Fixing German Army brigades

I was disrespectful enough to claim to know how to fix U.S.Army brigades, now I have little excuse for not doing the same to about the German army.

For background:

German army OOB 2012 (c) Noclador
German army bases
The problems are still approx. the same and there are equipment in-unit inventory and depot inventory issues as well as training issues etc, but I will follow the pattern from the other post and only describe a very, very short list of pivotal changes that should be done. Nothing about ideal designs from a clean sheet of paper.

First, hardware (mostly excluding munition stocks issues):

AFV and other vehicle issues would produce a long list. IFV Puma is nowhere close to ideal, but no alternative is realistic till 2020. The MBT is OK, the SPG is superb.

Anti-tank defences rest almost entirely on the Leopard 2's 120 mm gun, the still-new EuroSpike missile and Panzerfaust 3. I recommend the same as with the U.S.Army; we should introduce a HVM before 2020 because the IR-guided ATGM approach of both EuroSpike and the Trigat LR (the latter used by Tiger helicopters) requires a dissimilar alternative for redundancy. There's no reliability of long range AT defences without true redundancy. To control systemic risks (eliminating that one point of failure may crash the whole) this is basic risk management. 

We badly need a solution to the neverending story of the mortar crisis. I don't insist on a new mortar system and I'm certainly no fan of those excessively expensive and heavy mortar turrets, but we need better than 1960's style 4x4 car-towed 120 mm mortars only. The much-publicized Wiesel 120 mm mortar merely exist in numbers worthy of prototype status.
A self-propelled 105 mm soft recoil gun might be great for the purpose, but trajectory-correcting munitions AND a super-short high angle fire minimum range round that can emulate a 120 mm mortar's ~400 m minimum range in high angle fire* should be used for it, or else such a SPG cannot really replace mortars.

It was a mistake to eliminate more than 90 % of our battlefield air defences. Our legacy inventory of Stinger missiles is either near-useless after long storage and decades of countermeasures development or will be near-useless very soon.
It's not really an option to try to bring back Gepard and/or Roland in my opinion.
IRIS-T SLS is not the answer. I'd rather like them to have a close look at a combination of Bolide and MICA VL, though the latter may be too expensive for large numbers.** It's also important that all remote-controlled weapon stations for machineguns be prepared for use against low-flying helicopters and drones.

We need enough tank transporters (in-service types are Mammut, Franziska and Elefant) to deploy by road all tracked vehicles of half of the brigades at the same time. This means we may need to purchase additional Mammut vehicles, since we have less than 400 of all three types.

Tan transporter SLT 50 Elefant, (c) Sonaz

There aren't enough COBRA artillery radars. They have each less than 120° field of view and need to stare (emit) in order to provide reliable coverage. This means at least four per brigade would be needed, before accounting for attrition.

Second, organisation:

This is where the bigger sins are at.

Artillery needs to be organic with brigades, period.

We should clean up the many different brigades. We know that there's but one halfway realistic area of operations, and it makes sense to optimise for it in order to achieve the desired deterrence with great efficiency. Three terrain types are relevant; flat open agricultural areas, settlements (no megacities) and flat woodland. The agricultural areas and flat woodland may have a very soft and wet soil. The typical trees have thin-enough stems for being knocked over by MBTs.

I assume that capitals in the region would be defended by their national forces, so delaying actions and (counter-)attacks in alternatingly open, village and woodland areas would be predominant for German brigades.

The proper brigade archetype for this is an upgraded mechanized infantry brigade (Panzergrenadierbrigade), though its leadership should be capable of both infantry- and tank-centric mindsets. We should have minimum six of these, eight if we get rid of the navy and some other wasteful spending. No budget increase is required for this.

Mechanised brigade HQ company (small)
   Tank battalion
      (3 tank companies)
   Artillery battalion
      (PzH 2000s only; MARS should be above brigade level assets)
   Mechanised infantry ("Panzergrenadier") battalion
      (4 IFV companies and 1 organic indirect fires company)
   Infantry ("Jäger") battalion
      (3 infantry companies, 1 indirect fires company, 1 anti-tank company)
   Logistics battalion
      (carrying enough supplies for three days; 1,000 rds per indirect fires tube and about 1,500 tons diesel fuel)
   Anti-tank ("Panzerjäger") company
      (HVMs and Skorpion)
   Engineer company
      (mostly minesweeping and bridgelaying)
   (Artillery) Sensors, EW and MI company
   Air defence company
   Military Police Platoon
      (traffic control and HQ security tasks, in emergency usable as motorcycle couriers)

The doctrine for these brigades would rather not be to keep them together, but to (initially) deploy three mechanised battalion battlegroups that may converge for a massed action temporarily. The tank, mechanised and infantry battalion HQs would for this reason be identical once deployed. Only the administrative parts may differ.
A support group would host the support assets (including some of the artillery and air defences) and would primarily be secured by the infantry battalion whenever it's not required to sweep or defend infantry-friendly terrain.

The brigades would be in a two-phase cycle:
12 months training phase with deployability (90% of personnel and equipment) within 14 days.***
12 months quick reaction phase with deployability (90% of personnel and equipment) within 4-7 days.***

Support units allocated at division or corps command, but based very close to the brigades, would need to provide the tank transporters. These units would need to alternate bases yearly in order to always be close to the QR brigades.

Two light infantry ("Ranger" or "Jäger") regiments should exist in parallel. I would not designate them as brigades since I wouldn't want any 155 mm artillery, medium or heavy AFVs in there. These regiments would thus not be true combined army formations on their own. They would be able to self-deploy by road in 1st and 2nd week respectively.

There should be no Franco-German brigade. To disband this brigade is not feasible in itself due to its symbolism, so I suppose we should cheat and form a "Franco-German division" consisting of a French brigade and a German brigade.

_ _ _ _ _

The idea is simple: An army that could reliably deploy a robust**** force capable of delaying actions and (counter-)attacks against invaders to the region of Warsaw in mere days. Additional collective defence contributions for the first two weeks in NE Europe should include corps-level support (area air defences, some army rotary aviation, rocket artillery, combat service support) and combat air patrols by most of the Luftwaffe's Typhoon wings, which should be based in Eastern Germany.*****
This fits to the constitutional mission of the Bundeswehr and no-one would have good reason to claim that we don't do enough for collective deterrence an defence if we could deploy as much land forces power in the first week or two into Poland as the rest of NATO combined - in addition to the Luftwaffe's contribution beginning on day one.
I think this can be done without spending more than we spend so far - if we muster the self-discipline to cut wasteful spending.


P.S.: I don't know enough about the current equipment of the Heer for radio communication and electronic warfare to comment on these possibly decisive elements.

*: This may necessitate +80° maximum barrel elevation and fin-stabilized smoke and high explosive rounds for ranges of 400 to about 2,000 m only. 
**: I wrote MICA VL instead of IRIS-T SL because MICA VL exists with alternative RF and IIR seekers. It's rather unlikely that both will be countered effectively by the same target. Ironically, the Swedish military appears to intend to replace RBS 70 with IRIS-T SL, so I may be wrong here. I insist on Bolide (a RBS 70 version) because of its low price and its laser beamrider guidance that is most difficult to counter. An emphasis on IRIS-T SL or MICA on the other hand would emphasise a higher ceiling, which matters much against air attack with guided munitions.
Small numbers of ShorAD missiles such as MICA VL may suffice to force attack aircraft to higher altitudes, from which detecting, identifying and engaging targets is more difficult and in its effect less efficient. IRIS-T SL and MICA VL would in theory also be able to lock on after launch on an attack helicopter that's not in line of sight to the missile launcher.
***: Deployment by road to the vicinity of Warsaw - regardless of weekends, holidays etc. Legal preparations for this need to be done by German state governments, the federal government and the Polish government.
****: Actually robust, not buzzword "robust". By "robust" I mean not brittle under great pressure, without predictable points of failure such as countered anti-tank defences, unreliable radio communication, personnel without common native language or not survivable indirect fires support.
*****: Not too far and not too close. Tornado units and one training-focused Typhoon wing with early batch Typhoons would be meant for the 3rd and 4th weeks. Enough A310 MRTT need to be available for supporting Typhoon operations over Poland and Baltic Sea at the latest in the 2nd week (these planes can be converted between transport and tanker configurations). Used civilian A310 are available at low prices and could be converted to MRTTs.

Correction: Skorpion was scrapped already. The reason was obviously the AT mines, which can be triggered by infantrymen and are thus banned already. The vehicles were rather slow and in poor shape as well.


  1. Could the mortar crisis be solved with the proposed 105mm soft recoil and (mechanised)infantry company organic 81mm mortar platoon that could cover the 0-2000m range. I do regocnize the survivability problems of a towed mortar, but could it be solved by dispersing individual mortars hundreds of meters apart to make them less obvious target for countermortar fires and enchance the units survivability as a result.

    Then again choosing 120mm mortars over 105mm is supported by the fact that neither has MRSI capability and mortar can fire more rounds in the first few seconds than 105. Studies show that over 70% (about, can't remember exact figure) of casualties are inflicted within the first few seconds. With slow enough ROF it makes sense to have more weapons hence making faster ROF favourable over slower ROF weapons because less are needed for the same results.

    Still with 105 vs 120 its battle of range vs terminal effects. 105 has features that dominate the 120, but 120 has more versaility when choosing firing positions in forested regions there by allowing it to lesssen the effects of smaller range. In my opinion it's more about what you prefer, oranges and apples.

    1. A single 81 mm mortar is still worth 8 152 mm HE shells. 8 shells for minimum 3 kills + mortar destroyed is very efficient.

      A 105 mm like Hawkeye or a 120 mm like CARDOM inevitably has a MRSI capability - typically 3 rounds within first ten seconds.
      PzH 2000 achieves typically 3-5 rounds/10 sec MRSI (simultaneous impact of 5 at 17 km).
      MRSI with differing propellant strengths is unavailable at very long and very short ranges and then dependent on rate of fire only. Large calibre firearms typically have a very high RoF between till the 2nd shot because the 2nd round can be prepared in advance.

      105 and 120 mm rounds have almost identical weights and 105 mm can fire in upper register (>43°), for optimum dangle of descent for HE and for firing from within building compounds or on forestry roads.

      Spin-stabilised 105 mm rounds are much more difficult to detect by arty radar, probably undetectable in a jammed environment.
      The 105's range advantage (2x) is near-indispensable when force density is very low and battalions stretched out far.

      Maybe 81/82/120 mm mortars are examples of technology that's become obsolete against high end forces since the 1960's and our land forces merely don't accept it because "we" never experienced this from the more unpleasant side.

    2. You mean a single mortar (unprotected above ground) with crew can be destroyed with 8 152mm shells?

      I recall having read about the 81mm having the best effective fragment/weight unit ratio out of all artillery and mortar calibers.

      Say you're counter artillery/mortar radar operator and you detect 30+ single (dispersed) targets within 5 minutes and have two battalions in dire need of arty support. What would you do? No one knows nor do I.

      Other than indirect fire, I find your proposition capable of tackling various situations. When referring to battlegrouops do you mean tank/mech.inf battalion+ arty support or combined tank+mech.inf and arty support. As your organisation doesn't cover platoon level, would you see battalion having organic recon platoon to scout the battalion day objective and companies having their own recon element for the companies objective?

      PS. Call me bias because I work with mortars.

    3. Radar-based interpolation of mortar positions has a CEP of 50 m or better at 15 km.
      The dispersion in range for a modern 152 or 155 mm howitzer at 15 km is about 40-50 m, and dispersion in deflection is even less. The lethal region for 152 mm HE airburst can be in the range of 50-80 m width and length.

      8 rounds isn't merely lethal, but actually overkill at such a range. It would become much less efficient at 30 km, of course. At that range it would pay dividends to use a drone to determine the exact location and maybe use a course correcting round on that point target.

      Modern artillery fire coordination and control tools such as FüWES ADLER III supported by a 1990's or newer artillery radar can coordinate the destruction of dozens of mortar positions by an arty Bn in minutes.

      About the battlegroups; tailored to mission, with the "average" simply having a tank coy, mechanized inf coy as well as engineer and VShorAD detachments. A battlegroup may also be tank-heavy or infantry-heavy.

      The idea is to have the benefits of a "pure" battalions' training efficiency and the flexibility of tailored battlegroups in action. This compromise between pure and mixed battalion TO&Es has become recognised as the way to go by several modern land forces, but it requires doctrinal standardisation and high Bn/BG HQ versatility.

    4. Mortar can be hiden behind buildings, preferably beton ones and hope that the artillery can't find an angle.
      Dug in positions can have trenches to overhead protection.

      15 km, if the mortar is 5 km behind the line is quite close for the 152. Maybe to close for they own safety.

      If counterbattery is so effective, both sides will hold they big guns as far away as possible to improve survival chances and they might not use it on mortars then.

      Lot of reason to have a light support weapon that is not artillery organic to the infantry.

  2. The tank strength of that organisation might be a bit suspect, with I assume around 45 tanks.

    My proposal would be a bit different. 3 types of brigades:

    Panzer, PzG and Motorised.

    The motorized brigade would be 3 battalion task forces of 4 wheeled infantry, heavy support, AT company, AD company, and engineer company.
    SPG, tank battalion and logistic assets would be kept at brigade level or attached as needed. This forces would be able to move on road on they own and hold key points.

    The Pz and PzG brigades would use a different mix of Pz and PzG battalions (2:2 and 1:3) while keeping the same artillery and support assets.

    1. With 3 different brigade types for the same theatre you have almost 2/3 chance of having the wrong type in the right place. Keep in mind the battalions from the ranger regiments would be available as reinforcements for brigades that need a higher infantry share, and brigades that don't need 1:2 simply use their infantry Bn for security.

    2. About tanks strength: I think it's more important to have replacement tanks than to have very tank-strong brigades.

    3. The mototised brigade is the march on they own fast responder that has 3 task forces for indipedent delaying action.

      The Boxer is a great APC, that might not be needed, but the army won't get rid of it.
      The motorised brigade can use Boxers everywhere, as the boxer is a very modular design.

      I forsee battalion groups as the primary operational units, with them coming together for decisive actions. The panzer heavy brigade allows for panzer heavy bat+ without sacrificing the support of the panzers for the other battalions.

    4. Considering the current state of "quickness" in the Heer and the small numbers of medium and heavy AFVs, the availability and on-road cruise speed of tank transporters may not prove to be one of the more stubborn bottlenecks.

      I considered "wheels only" advance parties with MBT Bn as slower-deploying follow-on element myself, but to date I think the expense of additional Mammut may easily be worth it. There's merely a dozen of them, still their price was only €12 million for 12 tank transporters including trailers. A hundred more may be purchasable for € 40-70 million, which is a bargain for the gain in deployability.

    5. That asset should be corps level, as a transport battalion. I'm split on that, it ties manpower to tasks that might be useful only at the start of hostilities.
      On the other hand, it will be a short campaign, so that might be worth it and it can take damaged tanks back to the factory. Then the crossroad capability might be worth it.

      The bad part of the Boxer and Puma deal has been paid. Now they can be reasonably prized per unit, rather then paying the R&D. Both platforms are quite capable, with Puma being held back by the stupid transport requirements. If that could be dropped, and it should it can be a great IFV - Medium tank.

    6. "Support units allocated at division or corps command, but based very close to the brigades, would need to provide the tank transporters."

    7. Never thought about buying that many transporters but it can be a nice option to have a more or less organic and rail-independent way of getting heavy equipment from A to B.
      Personally, I would also emphasize the use of standardized vehicles like the Boxer, especially if equipped with 30/35mm autocannon/EuroSpikes or probably with a medium calibre (57mm) cannon to directly support infantry. Something like E.g. the Russian AU-220 57mm cannon could double act as AA-cannon (EO fire control) or indirect small artillery.
      Actually, I was always a fan of 4x4-vehicles with mortars used in bulk but if counterfire is so quick, going for e.g. the Hawkeye with scoot&shoot. BTW: Could you explain why a 105mm is more difficult to track?

    8. 105 mm shells have less radar cross section and can be shot at a much lower elevation (lower register <43°). Their shorter time of flight and often supersonic speed at arrival (buying seconds for surprise effect) help as well.
      Finally, a 18 km range system may more often be out of range or at a high dispersion range than a 9 km range system.

      And about your IFV stuff; don't get me triggered, please.


      And 57 mm is a wasted opportunity, for it's too small for true versatility.

  3. Nice. Really very sensible, match of org and equipment to mission.

    A few details (which perhaps you wrote about earlier , if so apologies),

    Should the bde also have a reconnaissance (as opposed to sensor) company?

    But what then to do with boxer etc? Is that the battle taxi for the light inf, or perhaps a separate wheeled ("cavalry") regiment for very quick maneuver on road?

    Have you have considered divisional/corps troops? The current bundeswehr org is very light on this, but some of MRLs, intel, log, css, rotary aviation, heavier engineers, theatre signals etc etc need to come from somewhere...

    1. https://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.de/2014/06/the-historical-problem-of-carrier-borne.html

      I say forget about Boxer unless the Fuchs vehicles fall apart already. Fuchs and Wisent are good enough for the Inf Bns. There's no good (and publicly known) reason to favour Boxer over Wisent imo.

      I limited this to the brigades for brevity and to stay in analogy to the U.S.Army post.

  4. Looking at the current ORBAT (+ military holdings according to the UN and personnel numnbers) of the army and SKB, the Bundeswehr could field 5 active and 1 reserve mechanized brigade (1x Panzer bn with 58 MBTs, 2x Panzergrenadier bns with 58x IFVs each and 1x mortar plt with 120 mm Tampella mortars, 1x artillery bn with 24x SPHs, 1x armored eng bn with 1x armored eng coy, 1x combat eng coy and 1x heavy equipment coy (including FSB bridges), 1x reconnaissance bn with 1x armored close reconnaissance coy and 1x ISR coy with UAVs, ground surveillance radars and other sensors, 1x logistics bn) , 1x active and 1x reserve Jaeger brigade (3x Jaeger bns, 1x artillery bn without howitzers but with brigade artillery reconnaissance assets, 1x eng bn, 1x reconnaissance bn a close reconnaissance coy and ISR coy with UAVs, ground surveillance radars and other sensors, 1x logistics bn), 1x Gebirgsjaeger brigade (3x Gebirgsjaeger bns, 1x mtn artillery bn without howitzers but with brigade artillery reconnaissance assets, 1x mtn eng bn, 1x reconnaissance bn with 1x mtn close reconnaissance coy and 1x ISR coy with UAVs, ground surveillance radars and other sensors, 1x mtn logistics bns with the Heer's mule coy attached) and 1x Fallschirmjaeger brigade (3x Fallschirmjäger bns, 1x airborne mortar coy with all 8 delivered Wiesel 2 mortar carriers, 1x large airborne engineer coy, 1x large abn close reconnaissance coy and 1x abn logistics bn).

    There would still be enough personnel and equipment left for the GÜZ OPFOR bn, an infantry demonstration bn, a reconsituted LRRP coy, one or two (maybe semi-active) separate armored reconnaissance bns, one or two semi-active MLRS bns, a reserve combat eng bn and a semi-active bridging bn, two CBRN bns, higher than brigade logistics units. The Wachbattalion would have to be dissolved to free up some manpower (can you hear me play the world's smallest violin for the guards and the traditionalists in the military^^).

    There would still be about 10.000 additional FWDL volunteers budgeted but without an assignment with an actual unit. If enough officer and nco posts in bloated staffs and commands could be freed up, maybe another brigade and/or support units would be possible. But that also depends on the available equipment.

    In terms of major weapons systems, I'd like to see
    - the replacement of the old Tampella mortars with a cost effective, newer system already in production,
    - the addition of the Spike NLOS system as part of a bn at plt,
    - replacing the Wiesel 1 weapon carriers of the Jaeger bns with a Boxer equipped with a medium caliber turret (including a Eurospike launcher) - such a vehicle is already being considered but AFAIK as an IFV for Panzergrenadiers,
    - retaining the Marder IFV - that's already beeing discussed within the Heer - with three of the brigades and replacing it later with a second generation of Puma IFVs with 8 dismounts and improved armor and maybe a different turret (first generation Pumas can then be used as mortar carriers, SPAAGs, ...),
    - keeping as much of our remaining military holdings as an attrition reserve.

    I would retain both the Gebirgsjaeger and Fallschirmjaeger more so because of them being elite (light) infantry and less so because I think their specific skillsets will be much needed in the next decade or so.

    However, the Fallschirmjaeger could provide a tripwire or quick reaction force in the Baltics (and when faced with superior Russian numbers easily split up into Jagdkommandos and start harassing the enemy), to provide some airmobile fire brigade used to fighting when surrounded or outnumbered, and for military evacuation operations of German citizens (that's where I see the only possibility for their parachute capability getting used). The Gebirgsjaeger would provide the "Kompetenzzentrum" for cold weather or mountain warfare. Of course, we shouldn't invest too much into these specialist capabilities.

  5. The mechanized brigade formation reminds a little bit of the 1943-45 Panzer Abteilungen with Panzergranadier, Jager etc. and it make more sense today (resource-wise) than before, since no one can (or is willing to) field the WW2 mass of armour.
    120mm mortar is the no.1 killer in all conflict around the world.
    How about a 2B9 Vasilek type of mortar on a truck?
    Western armies are not so fond of MLRS of any type 16-40 rounds?

    The Franco-German brigade proved to be a financial burden more than anything else. One could have gotten rid of it (together with the proposed removal of Heavy German Kriegsmarine).

    1. It's (maybe coincidentally) close to Panzerbrigade 11 ("Armored Brigade 11" in the organigram) + arty, AT and AD support.

      The development and introduction of new MLRS munition would take years, and seemed to exceed my boundary of "a very, very short list of pivotal changes that should be done. Nothing about ideal designs from a clean sheet of paper."

      Brevity and modesty in ambition (when others share the bill) are virtues, and this time I wanted to limit the post to the most pivotal corrections that are highly advisable in my opinion.

      BTW, the current German navy is called "Deutsche Marine".

    2. Sorry, you are correct. When I buy collection optics on internet, they are labelled ‘Kriegsmarine’, of course.
      ‘Brevity and modesty in ambition’ is correct and I actually value your work, since I would not be able to do it, and I see no other effort from anywhere even trying to do that.

      What might change are the mission orders. The ‘Tank Diversion Battalion’ that would go play ‘behind’ and ‘around’ OPFOR would have to have clear mission statements to capture OPFOR arty (MLRS, MBT, SPAAGS, etc.) as much as it can, if that can be captured and saved from destruction.
      War booty, sometimes is a mission in itself.
      Example (small conventional conflict):
      During the Bosnian war (1992-95), many times the V Corps ARBIH (Bihac) took and immediately lost large portions of Grabez plateau.
      II Corps ARBIH (Tuzla) took and hold positions on Majevica Mountains.
      VII Corps ARBIH (Zenica) took and hold positions on Vlasic Mountain (1.943m).

      All the operations had in mind capturing large war booty for future operations, since there was an arms embargo in place and that was only penalizing one side of the conflict, the Bosniaks. If that objective could be coupled with taking and holding strategic territory, then it would be as such.

      Other better known examples exist in military encyclopaedias: the Trojan Horse is an unlimited source of inspiration.

    3. To capture equipment is only important if you have the same equipment standards (calibres), have hardly any equipment of our own or if the war is expected to last long.

      Such a long range raiding force would need to capture fuel first and foremost in order to lift the fuel limitation on the duration of the raid.

      This 'how to fix' blog post doesn't include my thoughts on raiding & skirmishing, though.

    4. Please, do not let my example disturb your thinking and research.
      I voluntarily took a less known example: the War in Bosnia, where the ARBIH was encircled in a few 1.000s square kilometres, 0 GDP, under an arms embargo and de facto foods, medications and goods embargo as well, fighting against up to three opponents (Bosnian Serb Forces supported by Serbia and Montenegro, the Bosnian Abdic’s Forces loyal to Serb authorities and the Croatian Defence Council supported by regular Croatian Army, until the Washington Agreement of 1994).
      Raiding, skirmishing and guerrilla warfare under such circumstances become self-evident, and what one must do, is not even hard to do, because no other options exist.

      Luckily, neither Germany nor USA live under such nightmarish conditions. They have plenty of time and money to figure out the best solutions.

    5. I don’t know about that Bosnia thing, but I remember that the Russian ‘little green men’, at least at the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict, literally ‘snatched’ what the Ukrainian Army had to offer them. They also besieged military barracks, giving them enough to begin a fight.
      This only emphasis how much the security, in general terms, is important. Whether it is in reconnaissance, with front line troops, reserves or far behind in civilian population and industry. That is the job of Military Intelligence, a secret police, and another less known organization.

      Later, of course, Russia had to intervene, if it wanted to supply pro-Russian forces with live forces, weapons, ammunition and food through humanitarian corridor. Remember those half empty trucks?

      Equipment standards and calibres might not be an issue if former Warsaw Pact, now NATO members, have kept their military industry alive or on stand by.

  6. One must also think in advance, on tactical, operational and strategic level about food an water supplies. Europe, despite its wealth and potential, was starving at the end of WWII. Food and drinking water shortages/inexistence happens systematically in all wars (or even in peacetime: Israel) and it seems to be the ‘Ultimate Weapon’.

    Since one commentv in NATO section, already mentions Gog and Magog, I allow myself to mention another source about the same story (from comparative studies about Abrahamic religions), not from the Book of Revelation, but from the Quran:
    After Jesus resuscitation to fight the False Messiah, Jesus and His army fought the ‘Yajuj and Majuj’ (Arab name for Gog and Magog). The Gog and Magog armies were so powerful that Jesus and his army had to flee to the mountains (Mount Tur?), almost facing starvation and thirst, and then praying to Allah to make Yajuj and Majuj perish.
    I would also quote the Talmud version about Gog and Magog, but fortunately or not, the Talmudic version leaves that question unanswered and open with a big interrogation mark.

    But since God is just a theory, praying on a mountain might not be more helpful than the Yugoslav prayers on Mount Kozara during the Kozara Offensive or the German prayers on the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge (I took those examples randomly, since there are thousands among which to choose).

  7. Now that U.S and Germamy have had their share what you think of UKs current brigade structure with their three armoured infantry brigades and seven infantry "brigades"? The armoured infantry brigades slighty resemble your organisation for the german brigades.

    1. Go to Think Defence for debates about those.
      Most important is whether they will begin to focus on collective deterrence and defence instead of staying interested in great power games.

  8. Very interesting post. I agree that there is no need for a light brigade, but I am a little sceptical of the lack of any heavy panzer brigades. Are you sure there is no need for one?

    Furthermore I would have added a second battalion of Panzergrenadiers to every Mechaniced Brigade. I've never understod the rational for the German navy, but I find it highly unlikely it will be disbanded. Bureaucracies don't shrink, they only grow.

    1. Again; I think it's more important to have spare tanks than to have many tanks in the TO&E.

      The terrain in the Lithuania is 1/3 woodland.

  9. I'd probably argue that a 120mm mortar is better than the Cardom, simply because the matter is so urgent that an immediate 'off-the-shelf' solution is required. Also, mortar ammo stocks would probably deplete unbelievably quickly when things kick off, and 120mm mortar rounds will probably be around in greater numbers than 105mm howitzer stocks. Plus with the 120mm you can use the Strix AT round to interdict armoured vehicles, whereas no comparable ammo exists yet for the 105mm.

    If I were the German MoD I'd import second hand US M1064 vehicles as a stopgap, and explore the Cardom/M113 combo in the medium term.

    Re battlefield air defence, if you're going to buy RBS-70, why not Starstreak? It's laser guided, so it'll be tricky to counteract, plus it's a hyper-velocity munition.

    What do you envisage transporting the Jaeger battalions in? An up-armoured/engined M113 will probably be a good choice in terms of both mobility and survivability. Otherwise, something like Fuchs, Pasi or VAB?

    1. CARDOM is MOTS and uses 120 mm mortar tubes...
      STRIX is irrelevant and deeply flawed due to its miniscule sensor footprint.

      Starstreak doesn't have explosive filler, which makes it unsuitable for many targets in the air. That's why I point at Bolide.

      We still have Fuchs APCs (6x6) for motorised infantry.

    2. Apologies for the confusion, I meant the proposed 105mm soft-recoil howitzer. Perhaps I should have proof-read it.

      What I meant was that the German Army should perhaps buy second-hand M1064 in the short term as an immediate stop-gap, then upgrade some existing Tampella/M113s to Cardom.

    3. We had those in the Heer and got rid of them in the 2004-2010 timeframe.


      I think we scrapped those already. Anyway, the bureaucracy surely won't go back to a vehicle which it used in the 70's till early 2000's but got rid of already.

  10. How would your infantry battalion anti-tank company be equipped? With HVMs like in your Brigade anti-tank company? Or just a bunch of Panzerfaust 3s?

    1. Panzerfaust 3 are pretty much munitions; you can hand them out as needed. Infantry, support troops - all squads and teams can have those. The infantry may be the only ones with the more expensive clip-on sight for 600 m range, but the 300 m range daylight sight is cheap.

      I think the infantry AT Coy should have crew-portable equipment to best suit the infantry, and this means EuroSpike.

      The brigade-level AT company would be directly at disposal of the brigade CO and would have the longer-ranged HVMs.