What Army?

Nobody wants to join Germany’s army.

Army

Germany’s armed forces are struggling to attract much-needed recruits, with the number of new soldiers joining the Bundeswehr falling to an all-time low last year. The shortages are an urgent challenge for the German military, which has tried to boost its strength and capabilities at a time of record-low unemployment, and against fierce competition from both the private sector and institutions such as the police.

The need to build up the Bundeswehr reflects at least in part the recent pressure from the U.S. and other allies to raise German defense spending to 2 percent of gross domestic product, in line with a longstanding commitment given by all NATO members. Berlin spent 1.2 percent of its budget on defense last year, a figure that is expected to rise to 1.5 percent by 2024. Still …

JUST 20,000 RECRUITS JOINED THE ARMED FORCES IN 2018, DOWN FROM 23,000 THE PREVIOUS YEAR, AND THE LOWEST IN THE HISTORY OF THE BUNDESWEHR.

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Stray Dogs Might Be Next

Germany’s military has a manpower problem, and its solution may be foreigners and teenagers.

Bundeswehr

Germany’s long-understaffed Bundeswehr is using computer videogames in an effort to lure young people into its ranks.

During this year’s Gamescom trade fair for video games in Cologne, the German armed forces unfurled a number of “Multiplayer in Its Best” and “A More Open World Doesn’t Exist” posters with a bundeswehrkarriere.de link carefully printed underneath.

“Vor zwei Jahren hab’ ich noch mit Playmobil gespielt.”

The Few, The Proud, The Ones Who Weep When Asked To Remove Their Piercings…

The German Marines.

Marines

“Perhaps these will be the hardest three months of their lives,” says a deep-voiced commentator during the opening credits of the show, against a dramatic backdrop of silhouettes of the recruits, who have attracted a strong following on social media.

Financed by the German army at a cost of €7.9m (£7m), the show, consisting of daily episodes of four to seven minutes, is an attempt by the German military, the Bundeswehr, to attract new soldiers at a time when their numbers, following the abolition of conscription six years ago, are at a historic low.

Gleich an Tag eins in der Kaserne bekommen die Rekruten dem Titel der ersten Doku-Folge gemäß einen „Kulturschock“. Sie müssen sich an die strengen Umgangsformen und typischen Gepflogenheiten bei der Bundeswehr gewöhnen.

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The Dirty Dozen

The German army is shrinking fast. After a recent purge of right-wing extremists, left-wing extremists and now Islamists, the number of able combat soldiers the Bundeswehr keeps on hand to never actually use has dropped to a dangerously low level indeed. Below is a picture of the entire remaining German army in non-action.

Army

“This has gone far enough already,” said one disgruntled spokesman for the pitifully anemic somewhat military-like force. “If they ever make us kick out the common criminals and other unsavory types we won’t have anyone left to not go to war with at all.”

More than 60 Islamists are suspected of sneaking into the ranks of the Germany army to undergo military training and carry out attacks in the country, it has been reported.