That’s Not Fair

Why couldn’t German tanks take part in the competition?

Oh, I forgot. They’re all broken.

The idea of green U.S. Army M1 Abrams tanks with big white stars on their sides, huge American flags flying on top, and art on the hull depicting a turtle wearing a World War II-era tanker uniform, running over a pile of cars sounds like something straight out of a 1980s arcade game. But its actually a real scene from the annual Strong Europe Tank Challenge at the service’s 7th Army Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany.

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Germans Puzzled That Turks Actually Use The Tanks They Sold Them

German tanks are apparently being used by Turkish forces in their current offensive against the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria and many Germans are demanding an immediate explanation.

Tanks

German tanks are meant to be admired and purchased, of course, but no one here ever expected that anybody in the real world would ever actually want to use the damned things. The German army certainly never would. Or could, I should say (most of them are broken).

Jiminy. Somebody could get hurt by one of those things if the Turks aren’t careful. Does the foreign minister know about this?

Bei ihrer Offensive gegen die Kurden-Miliz YPG setzen die türkischen Streitkräfte offenbar auch deutsche Panzer ein: Deutsche und türkische Nachrichtenagenturen berichteten, dass Bilder von der Militäroperation Panzer vom Typ Leopard 2 A4 aus deutscher Produktion zeigten. Die Türkei hatte Leopard-2-Panzer bereits im Kampf gegen die Terrormiliz Islamischer Staat (IS) in Syrien eingesetzt.

Tanks For The Kunst

Exporting tanks? No problem. But don’t try importing them without official authorization.

Tank

Not even if they are kind of sort of “demilitarized” and all you want to do is paint them for peace or whatever. Now the guy who imported them for artist Harald Glööckler is going to have to go to jail or something. Or maybe not. Glööckler is the work of art on the right, by the way.

Zwei Panzer und Harald Glööckler – Was eigentlich ein Kunstobjekt in einem Garten werden sollte, kommt nun vor Gericht. Angeklagt: Ein 49-Jähriger.

German Of The Day: Unfassbar

That means unfathomable or mind-boggling. And, well, actually, it isn’t.

Unfathomable

Not at all. It is in fact not in the least unfathomable that of the 244 Leopard II tanks the Bundeswehr has at its disposal (244 tanks for an entire army?) only 95 of them are acutally, well, disposable. That’s, uh – let me do the math here – less than half.

What was I saying the other day about Germany living in a parallel universe (comments)? Do you believe me now?

Please note: These are also the same tanks that are Exportschlager. Another German word. This one meaning export hits. See how it all fits together (not)?

“Das ist unfassbar.”

 

Germans Worried American Tanks Could Be Dangerous

The “risky roadshow” now rolling across Germany toward Poland could be, I dunno, an “embodiment of the United States’ commitment to deterring aggression and defending our European Allies and partners” or something.

Tanks

And who could possibly want that?

Some 3,500 troops from the 4th Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colorado, will join up with the equipment, which includes 87 tanks and 144 Bradley fighting vehicles, over the next two weeks… The new forces will gather first in Poland, then fan out across seven countries from Estonia to Bulgaria. A headquarters unit will be stationed in Germany.

Bedrohliche Musik, Bilder bewaffneter Milizionäre in der Ukraine, Karten eines sich nach Westen ausbreitenden Russlands: Die US-Armee in Europa hat auf ihrer Website ein Video über ihre Operation “Atlantic Resolve” (“Atlantische Entschlossenheit”) veröffentlicht: Die Botschaft: Nach der Besetzung der Krim und der Destabilisierung der Ostukraine könnte Russlands nächstes Opfer ein EU-Land sein, weshalb die US-Armee Europa zur Hilfe eilt.

But Can I Keep My Torpedo?

As you may know, German authorities are really touchy when it comes to gun control. Sort of. But it doesn’t just stop there. They totally freak out and call the Bundeswehr if they find out that you have a tank in your cellar. Skeleton in the closet? OK. But a tank in the cellar? No way.

Like take a chill pill already, officer. It wasn’t even loaded.

Tank

Police searched a villa in a wealthy suburb of Kiel on Wednesday and found a Second World War tank, a torpedo and other weaponry in the cellar. On Thursday they were still working on removing the tank.

“He was chugging around in that thing during the snow catastrophe in 1978.”

Just Out Of Cold War Storage

Demothball: to remove (naval or military equipment) from storage or reserve, usually for active duty; reactivate.

Leopard 2

Germany plans to bring 100 mothballed tanks back into service in what is widely seen as a response to rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine.

Die im Zuge der Neuausrichtung der Bundeswehr festgelegte Obergrenze von 225 Kampfpanzern Leopard 2 soll auf 320 erhöht werden.

Tanks For Nothing, Vlad

The end of the Cold War didn’t necessarily mean the end of war between big countries, and Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine undermines the notion that a quiet Europe is forever free from war. And modern warfare means tanks. Germany recently bolstered their current arsenal of tanks by buying and upgrading 20 Leopard 2A7 tanks acquired from the Netherlands, though originally from Canada.

Tanks

Upgrading old tanks is fairly routine and accounts for the dangers of the present. Developing a new advanced tank, instead, is a bet on the future. In August, German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), makers of the current versions of the Leopard tank, merged with French defense company Nexter. Speaking to the merger, KMW CEO mentioned the idea of a Leopard 3 tank, noting that France has a strategic perspective that stretches decades into the future. In October, when the budget committee of Germany’s parliament put together their draft of a 2015 spending bill, the proposal to develop a new tank was quietly noted, and then debated in an independent German armed forces journal.