As King Charles spoke of sacrifice made by D-Day troops, Germany went on war footing

Germany set to re-arm, go on full war alert, and introduce conscription, says Defence Minister

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2024

"We must be ready for war by 2029,” he said

A Brexit Facts4EU.Org Series on Defence

Part I – The UK's defence of the EU
Part II - The UK's support for Ukraine, years before the EU acted
Part III – The 80th anniversary of D-Day
Part IV - Germany set to re-arm, go on full war alert, and introduce conscription, says Defence Minister (This report)

On Wednesday (05 Jun 2024) while the pre D-Day celebrations were taking place in Portsmouth in front of their Majesties King Charles and Queen Camilla and HRH Prince William, the German government made some significant statements about the country’s readiness for war in the next five years.

In the German parliament in Berlin the country’s Defence Minister announced that Germany is going on a war footing and plans to introduce national conscription.

"We must be ready for war by 2029,” says Germany

"We must be ready for war by 2029. We must provide deterrence to prevent it from coming to the worst.”

“In an emergency, we need strong young women and men who can defend this country."

- German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius, Bundestag, 05 Jun 2024

Speaking about the measures, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said that a "new form of military service" was necessary, that "cannot be completely free of obligations."

He went on to add that his ministry has been instructed to explore military conscription models, after the last such programme was suspended 15 years ago. When questioned about this possibility in March of this year, around 50% of Germans were in favour of the move, according to a report by research institute Forsa.

Chancellor Scholz orders 20 more Eurofighters and two new frigates

Also speaking in Berlin on Wednesday was the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. He delivered his address at the opening of the International Aerospace Exhibition, where he vowed to beef up the German defence industry.

German Chancellor Scholz at the International Aerospace Exhibition in Berlin

"Today, we see more clearly than ever how important it is to have a European and German defence industry that can continuously produce all major types of weapons and the necessary ammunition.”

"Russia's attack on Ukraine in violation of international law has presented the whole of Germany with a new security policy reality."

- Chancellor Olaf Scholz, International Aerospace Exhibition, Berlin, 05 Jun 2024

The Chancellor said Germany had "given the industry too much of a wide berth in the past," but this was now over.

At the event, Scholz announced that Germany would buy a further 20 Eurofighter jets from Airbus to build up its defences.

Earlier in the week, the German Defence Ministry announced it would buy two additional frigates on top of four already ordered as a core part of Berlin's “sea change”) in defence policy.


Interesting timing

On the day that HM King Charles was addressing the crowds in Portsmouth to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the German government chose to make two separate announcements on its own military future. Some might say this was a convenient way of diverting attention away from the massive loss of lives suffered by allied troops at the hands of the Germans occupying northern France.

Be that as it may, what are the chances of Germany stepping up?

For 10 years Germany has failed to honour its obligations as a member of NATO

Now it seems that the coalition government in Germany, led by the socialist Chancellor Olaf Scholz, is determined to put the country on a full war footing in the next five years. We will believe this when we see it.

For decades Germany has underspent on defence. Any defence analyst will tell you that it takes many years to rebuild a country's military capabilities. The United Kingdom has consistently spent the two NATO minimum spending levels of 2% of GDP overall, of which 20% must be spent on equipment. Even so, the Conservative government in the UK has presided over a radical reduction in the size of the British Army.

Germany re-arming?

In Germany, the principle of re-arming is of course sensitive, as it has resonances with the largely hidden re-arming which took place under the Nazis in the lead-up to WWII, contrary to the treaty agreed at the end of WWI.

The latest example of Germany's problems came when it tried to deliver some old Leopard tanks to Ukraine. President Zellenskyy rejected them because - to be blunt - they broke down and could not be used.

What is interesting is the proposed re-introduction of compulsory national conscription. As if Chancellor Scholz's party were not unpopular already, we suspect that Germany's 'woke' youth are likely to react very negatively to these proposals.

Lessons from the past

If history has taught us anything, it is that the appeasement of despotic and dictatorial regimes such as those of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea will only end in tears.

Facts4EU.Org repeats its demand for a doubling of the UK defence budget, together with a root and branch overhaul of the incompetent MoD procurement department.

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[ Sources: German government | Forsa ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Fri 07 Jun 2024

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