The German Bundeswehr - a "Paper Tiger?"

benherrmann

New Member
Hello all...

To preface my remarks, allow me to give you a bit of my background so you'll be able to see where I'm coming from (and what I'm getting at in this posting).

I was born in Germany (Bavaria) in 1949 - the son of a WW II Wehrmacht Panzer Officer, and my mother served as a secretary with the German General Staff. We emigrated to the US in the mid 1950's. Upon graduating from high school, my father suggested that I join the "toughest" outfit that the US has - the Marine Corps - and so I did back in 1967. After doing two tours in Vietnam, I decided to make the Marine Corps a career (for 26 years) and served in a variety of scenarios to include tours as a Recruit Drill Instructor, US State Department Duty, and in a half dozen other posts. I subsequently retired from the Corps in 1993.

Alright, so where am I going with this posting? Since retiring from the Corps, I've been steadfastly keeping up with what is going on with the German Bundeswehr (the modern day Germany Army), researching their various doctrines, keeping up with units, weapons, and mostly with personnel matters. Why? Well, call it a bit of "harkening back to the Fatherland" mindset, which I still have, and also because I've always enjoyed military history, particularly, German military history.

So now I come to the nature of this posting - the status of the Bundeswehr. Having been in discussions over the years with many other military historians, they all seemingly talked about how the modern German Army would still maintain the traditions, discipline, training, and military equipment that once made them a force to be reckoned with in the past. But is that really true anymore? Members of the Bundeswehr are told that they are a "Parliamentary Army," so as to distinguish themselves from the Armies of the past (under Hitler, or the Kaisers from WW I and prior). The reality is - in my opinion - they may very well be a Paper Tiger. Let's look at a few brief categories below.

1. German Military Docrine and Attitudes about the military in general. The German attitudes towards their Bundeswehr are completely unlike what we experience here in the US with our military. In the US, we (society) for the most part, look at our military personnel with respect and we hold them in high esteem. The Germans, on the other hand, don't want to give off the wrong impressions for fear that any focus on their military may signal a rise of militarism (WW II and its aftermath is still firmly embedded in the minds of the German politicians - and their society in general). It is not unusual to see large groups of far left demonstrators literally trying to "shout down" any local German military ceremonies like recruit graduations, or other small time ceremonies. The Germans don't hold any large scale parades (i.e. national parades) - rather, their ceremonies are maintained to smaller unit level affairs or evening tattoos referred to "Zapfenstreichs."

2. Weapons and Equipment. Although the Germans still make some of the finest generalized weapons in the world today (yes, they still make superb small arms, armor, ships and other generalized equipment....), they have an extremely small budget to maintain all of that gear. The end result has now led to many units being heavily cannibalized so that the few so called combat "ready" units have what they need. Recently, a few companies of German Panzer Grenadiers were sent to one of the Balkan countries as a show of NATO force towards Russia - and all of their equipment and weapons were on loan from other units. The state of repair and equipment combat readiness of most German Army units is atrocious by many standards.

3. Military Discipline. Contemporary German army disciplinary standards are such that all efforts are maintained to ensure that any references or comparisons to German armies of the past should not be made. I've always maintained that an Army must not only look good - but that it must have the "will to fight." The Bundeswehr today is a voluntary military and the way their military is marketed in Germany is that they are presented as "the largest job providers" in Germany. They also sell the experience of "camaraderie," which has always been a German hallmark, but the discipline that once molded Germany soldiers into being some of the most well respected soldiers around the world is no more.

4. Military Appearance Standards. When you look at the Bundeswehr today, the Germans seemingly take great pride - or so it seems - in being able to have beards, longer hair, and a good percentage of their military members are overweight and slovenly in appearance. Although they still maintain some of the most attractive, colorful, and stylish uniforms, they just don't wear them with the pride that once personified the German Armed Forces prior to 1945. Additionally, just so they could fit in, the Germans even adopted the beret and unfortunately, most of them don't even know how to wear them properly. One has to only to watch the many You Tube videos about Bundeswehr units to see what I'm referring to here. Why does everybody have to wear berets now-a-days? Even many criminal street gangs around the world wear berets. Really!!!!!!

5. An Exception to the rule - the German Guard Battalion. One German unit exceedingly stands out of the crowd - and masterfully so - and they are the Bundeswehr Wachbattailon (or Guard Battalion) located in Berlin and Freiburg. This 1800 man battalion is used for ceremonial purposes and they look absolutely stellar. You won't see overweight folks there, nor will you see beards or long hair being tolerated. These troops look outstanding and their uniforms are maintained to razor sharp perfection. They even use the old K98 Mauser rifle as their ceremonial rifle along with the old style German jack boots (but with trousers bloused over the boots). To watch them march is to smile and the sound of their leather heels striking the deck is music (well, to my ears, that is). I would love to see some of these standards filtered across the remainder of the Bundeswehr.

6. Close Order Drill. One well known aspect of German Armies of the past was not only how they wore their uniform and their personal grooming standards, but also how well they marched. The old German "goosestep," as it was named by western countries, is really known as the "Stechschritt" in German and it was originally designed to be used as a marching style beginning around 50 yards prior to approaching the reviewing stand, and then for another 50 yards or so past it. This "goosestep" style of marching is no longer allowed (hasn't been since WW II - but the East Germans while in the Soviet Bloc used it extensively). Now look at the unified German Army of today. Other than the Wachbattaillon, seeing the majority of German units in any type of parade or ceremony often winds up being a casual embarrassment. Many of the troops can't keep in step - they often appear as if they're casually walking and to anyone that has studied military history, one can only shake one's head in disgust. The once proud Roman Legions held fast to the belief that "you must be as good on parade as in battle." In my professional opinion (IMO), contemporary German soldiers look better just standing still in formation. It's when they try to move in an organized fashion, that it can become disorganized.

Alright - so all of this sounds like I'm crying for long lost times - who knows, maybe I am (we can dream, can't we?). At the same time I'm a realist. German society today is a far cry of what it once was. All countries are joined at the hip via economies, technology, communications, entertainment, etc., and as a result, national identifies cross-pollinate and begin to diffuse. And Germany is no different. Most of the contemporary German military mindsets were learned and copied from us - the Americans. Even the German language has been vastly changed with many, many American words now being considered part of their language. The Germans have even - and now get this - copied the US Navy's theme song, "Anchors Aweigh" as their theme song, rather than use their traditional "Unser Marine" (Our Marine) theme song which dates back over a 100 years (remember, can't have any comparisons to past German armies, now can they...).

In closing, as someone originally born in Germany (and a proud American I might add), I am growing increasing wary about the Russian military threat to all of Europe. The Russian military standards are very tough and they are proud organization (and can be ruthless in combat), along with maintaining some of the finest equipment in the world. Within all of Europe, the absolutely requirements for a strong, well trained, and ready Germany and France are a "must" against this growing Russian threat. Unfortunately, when you're a Paper Tiger, as Germany has become, there's not much you can do other than preach "patience" with the Russians as German Chancellor Merkel has done.

Would love to hear some of your comments - especially those of you who have observed the Bundeswehr over the years.

OK gang...I'm done with my rant.

Have a great day!!!

Semper Fidelis,


Bernd Werner Herrmann
Master Gunnery Sergeant
US Marine Corps (Retired)

Fuquay Varina, North Carolina USA

Moderator Edit. Font colour changed because red is reserved for Moderators use only.
 

RSAX

New Member
When evaluating the effectiveness of a fighting force, My priorities are to look at leadership development, tactics, equipment, and available resources, not how the Army wears their uniform and looks on the parade field. While stationed in German I had the chance to work with the Germans on a number of occasions and have the utmost respect for them. I have to disagree with your “Paper Tiger” analogy. Some of the comments I think are a bit petty and superficial.

1. German Military Doctrine and Attitudes about the military in general.
German military doctrine is sound, German Officer & NCO development is top notch, their training programs are one of the most advanced in today’s military climate.

2. Weapons and Equipment.
The Germans are currently modernizing their weapon systems. Two examples; the new Boxer AFV and Puma IFV are top of the line and exceed most currently fielded vehicles in their respected classes.

3. Military Discipline.
There is a lot more to Military Discipline than how one wears a uniform. How an Army or individual looks has nothing to do with their “Will to Fight”. I’m confident the German Army has the will to fight when the time comes and would share a fox hole with them any day.

4. Military Appearance Standards.

5. An Exception to the rule - the German Guard Battalion.

6. Close Order Drill.

4 – 6 By reading your comments and personal feelings, it seems your priorities for a military are more in favor of a “Paper Tiger” than an effective fighting force. While D&C and the wearing of the uniform plays an important role in the military, it is a low priority when evaluating the combat effectiveness of an Army. Wars are not won on the parade field.
 

benherrmann

New Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
You bring up some excellent points...

And I respect your comments - even the more so since you have worked with the Germans in the past.

As for equipment - as I said, they produce some outstanding armor (Leopard II, Boxer, Puma, etc.). I never said they didn't. Problem is that they haven't allowed a budget that allows for a large scale transition to these new vehicles (other than the Leopard II), nor the ability to handle the myriad of maintenance activities (on a large scale) to keep everything up to snuff. Heck, the Russians are buying more of the Boxer armored cars from Germany than the Germans ever will - along with the Saudi's.

And you're also correct in that I left out many other points, with my having focused just on appearances, uniforms, and discipline in general. I should have also included some comments about combat training, physical fitness, but more importantly...the will to fight and win! All the "wonderful" schooling in the world will not prepare a unit to fight and win. It may look good in your service record book, but in the real test of combat conditions, only a determined combat force will prevail.

Look guy, I take great pride in my German heritage, but I'm concerned because it's more of a national mindset than anything else. I should have also originally added that I still have relatives in Germany, one of which is a Lieutenant Colonel in one of the Airborne (Luftlande) Brigades getting ready to retire. He speaks better English than I do - go figure. And when we've corresponded in the past, he wound up being quite forthright with his views (keeping it within the family of course). To sum up his comments and attitudes, he basically states that although the training might be just fine (as you mentioned leadership training), he is concerned that the will to fight and win is not present on a national level (politicians), with everything being too politically correct (of course, that's the same way here in the US now also).

He also alluded to the scenario that they aren't allocating the funds to maintain equipment (he told me this several years back). And coincidentally, just recently, it has been reported in the news many units (Luftwaffe and armored) are having a difficult time keeping equipment maintained.. They are still using the old Marder armored personnel carriers, which they adopted in the 50's or 60's and most of those are down for parts or maintenance. Most of the Luftwaffe is in the same state. They've been wanting to replace the aging twin engine Transall logistics aircraft (again, adopted in the 60's or so) with the new Airbus A400, but to this date they've only managed to purchase one.

It was not my intention to be petty here - I'm proud of my heritage. Perhaps it's my Marine Corps training and the mindset we embraced about "being ready", esprit de corps, personal appearance, etc., that causes me to question all of this. I firmly believe if you could care less how you look, what physical condition you're in, and the degree of intensity in combat training, you're not going to win.

Thanks again for your input....but I'll have to disagree with some of your points.

Ben
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Most of the Luftwaffe is in the same state. They've been wanting to replace the aging twin engine Transall logistics aircraft (again, adopted in the 60's or so) with the new Airbus A400, but to this date they've only managed to purchase one.Ben
To be fair the Transall replacement is a Airbus problem not the German government's although to be fair again Airbus Military's problems are made worse by Euro governments competing for work share on the A400M. Some of the other issues of concern that you raise can be found in many of Germany's NATO allies as well (especially my country).
 

Rimasta

Member
When evaluating the effectiveness of a fighting force, My priorities are to look at leadership development, tactics, equipment, and available resources, not how the Army wears their uniform and looks on the parade field. While stationed in German I had the chance to work with the Germans on a number of occasions and have the utmost respect for them. I have to disagree with your “Paper Tiger” analogy. Some of the comments I think are a bit petty and superficial.

1. German Military Doctrine and Attitudes about the military in general.
German military doctrine is sound, German Officer & NCO development is top notch, their training programs are one of the most advanced in today’s military climate.

2. Weapons and Equipment.
The Germans are currently modernizing their weapon systems. Two examples; the new Boxer AFV and Puma IFV are top of the line and exceed most currently fielded vehicles in their respected classes.

3. Military Discipline.
There is a lot more to Military Discipline than how one wears a uniform. How an Army or individual looks has nothing to do with their “Will to Fight”. I’m confident the German Army has the will to fight when the time comes and would share a fox hole with them any day.

4. Military Appearance Standards.

5. An Exception to the rule - the German Guard Battalion.

6. Close Order Drill.

4 – 6 By reading your comments and personal feelings, it seems your priorities for a military are more in favor of a “Paper Tiger” than an effective fighting force. While D&C and the wearing of the uniform plays an important role in the military, it is a low priority when evaluating the combat effectiveness of an Army. Wars are not won on the parade field.
I have to disagree. Not wearing uniforms properly, being overweight, and a low order of discipline in general coupled with equipment shortfalls may not make a paper tiger, but they also don't make an Army that can even fight its way out of a paper bag either. There is a lot more to discipline than wearing the uniform properly, your right, and I believe the originally poster agreed and provided more info aside from "soldiers who look ate up". The one that stands out is drill and ceremony. D&C is one of the crucial factors that helps build unit discipline. It teaches soldiers how to move as a single unit.

I was in the U.S. Army and I can tell you, D&C took a backseat during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, training focused on things like, room clearing, IED detection and response, counter-ambush drills, etc...and as crucial as that training is, unit discipline took a VERY noticeable drop.

If they don't look like soldiers, don't act like soldiers, and don't train like soldiers, why in the Hell should they be expected to fight like soldiers? The German Army doesn't train in large unit maneuvers, so they may have doctrine down on paper, but in practice and under fire, that's a different story.

It was the discipline of the Wehrmacht and the tough reputation of German sergeants that made the German Army last as long as it did, not fancy new toys and doctrines. Wars are won by men willing to commit violence too, and discounting the value of unit discipline is like discounting the merits of having a foundation when you build a house. You can't see the foundation, but it holds everything up.
 

RSAX

New Member
Rimasta, I never stated D&C was not important to military discipline at the unit level. If I’m evaluating a conventional unit’s (Infantry Company or Scout Troop) potential effectiveness on the battlefield then areas like D&C will be higher up on my checklist. If I’m evaluating a nation’s army as a whole there are factors that are higher up on the importance checklist than D&C, for example; service support capabilities, air assets, weapon systems, training, doctrine, leadership development, logistics, reserve forces, alliances with other countries, civilian leadership stability, reactionary forces, etc. There are different factors and priorities when evaluating an individual unit compared to evaluating an army as a whole.

“I was in the U.S. Army and I can tell you, D&C took a backseat during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, training focused on things like, room clearing, IED detection and response, counter-ambush drills, etc...and as crucial as that training is, unit discipline took a VERY noticeable drop”.

I spent 12 years in the Airborne and the remaining of my career in mechanized units. I was fortunate to experience the best and worst of both subcultures during wartime. D&C tends to take a backseat during wartime in most armies, especially if an army has been in a long campaign. Are you talking about just discipline when it comes to D&C or overall military discipline took a very noticeable drop in your unit? If overall military discipline took a drop then there was a cultural problem within the unit and the Senior NCO’s dropped the ball.

Grandiose military parades do not make for effective soldiers on the battlefield. I can name a dozen countries that flaunt their massive military parades, but their soldiers are not even close at being proficient at common soldiering tasks as those in most western nations.

Traditions are import in the military, but I feel what ceremonial rifle, jack boots, type of headgear, and theme song an Army uses is superficial to the big picture when evaluating combat effectiveness of an army. It’s nice to have eye-candy, but not needed.


@ John Fedup I agree, Airbus is the problem, countries have made commitments to upgrade their air transport capabilities, but Airbus has yet to supply the product in a timely manner.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Some Israelis I've known reckoned that much of their army used to take a perverse pride in scruffiness & slovenly marching. I didn't notice that it was markedly less effective than the more smartly-marching Arabs it fought.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
Some Israelis I've known reckoned that much of their army used to take a perverse pride in scruffiness & slovenly marching. I didn't notice that it was markedly less effective than the more smartly-marching Arabs it fought.
Typically isn't there often some flexibility while "on operation" with uniforms. And some "hard core" units wear clothing differently as an accepted code?

Certainly in the Navy some times you may appear in pirate rig and typically the longer serving the more pirate you become. It in fact has an inverse relationship to your capability. Submariners also seem to take pride in shuffling instead of marching.
 

Ranger25

Active Member
Staff member
Typically isn't there often some flexibility while "on operation" with uniforms. And some "hard core" units wear clothing differently as an accepted code?

Certainly in the Navy some times you may appear in pirate rig and typically the longer serving the more pirate you become. It in fact has an inverse relationship to your capability. Submariners also seem to take pride in shuffling instead of marching.
Yes, I agree. Typically the "further from the Flagpole" a unit gets on deployment the more liberty there is on rigs etc.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Some Israelis I've known reckoned that much of their army used to take a perverse pride in scruffiness & slovenly marching. I didn't notice that it was markedly less effective than the more smartly-marching Arabs it fought.
Quite a few career special forces types, or even specialist troops such as combat engineers, etc. I have come across tend to look scruffier than your average infantryman and tend see drill and big parades as a bit of a wank. I suppose its just not a priority for them or the commanders as they have far more important things to worry about, also their jobs require them to think and plan while infantry perhaps need more of the drill and instantaneous obedience.
 

Hone C

Member
Quite a few career special forces types, or even specialist troops such as combat engineers, etc. I have come across tend to look scruffier than your average infantryman and tend see drill and big parades as a bit of a wank. I suppose its just not a priority for them or the commanders as they have far more important things to worry about, also their jobs require them to think and plan while infantry perhaps need more of the drill and instantaneous obedience.
It definitely happens in the infantry too, although it differs between both nations and regiments/units.

I was quite surprised at the prevalent 'we don't do drill' attitude when I came over to the UK military. Compared to our colleagues in the US Army, for example, we do look a lot scruffier, both on ops and in camp, and there is a lot less uniformity when it comes to individual kit as well.

As far as the German military goes, from what I've seen of the Airborne Forces, they seem to be a fairly professional and proficient bunch.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
I understand that all units of an armed force should behave themselves, but disbanding a whole unit is absolutely an overreaction in my opinion, and probably some left politicians are behind this.

Also KSK training and international co-operation has been halted until further notice and its deployment commitments are being taken over by other units as far as possible.

Its just unnecessary, useless and ridiculous to almost ground the whole KSK.
 
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kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I posted something about this a while ago here here.

probably some left politicians are behind this.
The dissolution of 2nd Commando Company of KSK (one of four commando companies and one of about twelve companies within KSK) follows a 3-month inquiry panel headed by, subsequent report and recommendadtion from the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, i.e. the highest-ranked soldier, commander of all armed forces and highest military representative of the German Military.

Politics have nothing to do with it. Our current government is solidly rightwing, and the current Minister of Defense is considered conservative even among them.

I understand that all units of an armed force should behave themselves
The dissolution does not stem from some "right-wing tendencies", if we dissolved units for that we'd have to dissolve half the German military.

It stems from the formation of armed neonazi terrorist groups recruiting among KSK members, and a group involving nearly one-third of that particular company not only having been under observation for three years, but having had weapons caches with stolen Bundeswehr arms discovered and as a formation actively hindering investigations into this.

It is not in any way an overreaction, and KSK is currently on 3 months "probation" with dissolution of the entire unit still on the table based on whether they apply the current measures swiftly as ordered.

Quite frankly it's a process that should have happened three to five years ago already, in the case of some of those being investigated now rather 15-20 years ago.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
On a side note every time i see the opening post of this thread i get involuntary facial twitches.

I know it's from 2015, but just for one thing in there, since it makes for a good example:
The Germans have even - and now get this - copied the US Navy's theme song, "Anchors Aweigh" as their theme song, rather than use their traditional "Unser Marine" (Our Marine) theme song which dates back over a 100 years (remember, can't have any comparisons to past German armies, now can they...)
The march "Unsere Marine" composed in 1886 was publicized as an operetta in 1893 with the song "Stolz weht die Flagge: Schwarz-Weiß-Rot" as accompanying lyrics to it, thus combining the two in the public mind permanently. The song contains the lyrics (translated):

Proud flies the flag Black-White-Red from our ships' masts
Woe betide the enemy who threatens them, who hates these colors!


The current Tradition Decree of the Bundeswehr contains this line incompatible with the above lyrics:

Of particular gravity for fostering tradition in the Bundeswehr are [...] the black-red-gold national colors as a symbol of democratic identity.

These colors are one of nine items integral to what constitutes tradition for the Bundeswehr - others of the same gravity are e.g. the soldier's oath, the iron cross, the national anthem, the european anthem and flag, the Good Comrade as traditional lament at military burials etc. Adopting a song that praises different national colors is therefore not acceptable.

It should be noted that when the self-identity of the Bundeswehr and its definition of acceptable tradition was less refined the above march (without lyrics) was still played by the Music Corps' of the Bundeswehr. That was in the 1960s. The Navy Music Corps as standards uses other marches composed during the same historic timeframe, in particular Gruß an Kiel / "Salute to Kiel" (1864) and the Dutch Honor March (1814, official formal presentation march of the Imperial Navy after 1901), both of which are instrumental only and thus do not have similar textual connotations.

Yes, the German Navy Music Corps plays Anchor Aweigh. There are US Navy Music Corps that play Unsere Marine.

Most of the other points adressed in the opening post are similarly refuted by the self-image of the Bundeswehr as refined over the last 64 years.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
I understand that all units of an armed force should behave themselves, but disbanding a whole unit is absolutely an overreaction in my opinion, and probably some left politicians are behind this.

Also KSK training and international co-operation has been halted until further notice and its deployment commitments are being taken over by other units as far as possible.

Its just unnecessary, useless and ridiculous to almost ground the whole KSK.
Agree, disbanding a whole unit is over-reach. The Canadian government’s elimination of the Airborne Regiment is a good example and that was a political decision, period.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Agree, disbanding a whole unit is over-reach. The Canadian government’s elimination of the Airborne Regiment is a good example and that was a political decision, period.
Did you read kato's reply explaining why the unit was disbanded?

"The dissolution of 2nd Commando Company of KSK (one of four commando companies and one of about twelve companies within KSK) follows a 3-month inquiry panel headed by, subsequent report and recommendadtion from the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, i.e. the highest-ranked soldier, commander of all armed forces and highest military representative of the German Military.
Politics have nothing to do with it. Our current government is solidly rightwing, and the current Minister of Defense is considered conservative even among them.
The dissolution does not stem from some "right-wing tendencies", if we dissolved units for that we'd have to dissolve half the German military.
It stems from the formation of armed neonazi terrorist groups recruiting among KSK members, and a group involving nearly one-third of that particular company not only having been under observation for three years, but having had weapons caches with stolen Bundeswehr arms discovered and as a formation actively hindering investigations into this."

Now I would bet you that the Canadian Army Airborne Regiment was not disbanded because it was a vipers nest full of neo-nazis who were stashing stolen Canadian Armed Forces weapons and spreading their evil doctrine amongst the troops. So I suggest that your comment is unwarranted.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Did you read kato's reply explaining why the unit was disbanded?

"The dissolution of 2nd Commando Company of KSK (one of four commando companies and one of about twelve companies within KSK) follows a 3-month inquiry panel headed by, subsequent report and recommendadtion from the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, i.e. the highest-ranked soldier, commander of all armed forces and highest military representative of the German Military.
Politics have nothing to do with it. Our current government is solidly rightwing, and the current Minister of Defense is considered conservative even among them.
The dissolution does not stem from some "right-wing tendencies", if we dissolved units for that we'd have to dissolve half the German military.
It stems from the formation of armed neonazi terrorist groups recruiting among KSK members, and a group involving nearly one-third of that particular company not only having been under observation for three years, but having had weapons caches with stolen Bundeswehr arms discovered and as a formation actively hindering investigations into this."

Now I would bet you that the Canadian Army Airborne Regiment was not disbanded because it was a vipers nest full of neo-nazis who were stashing stolen Canadian Armed Forces weapons and spreading their evil doctrine amongst the troops. So I suggest that your comment is unwarranted.
The regiment was disbanded due to the actions of a few A-holes and the lax discipline practices of its commander which embarrassed the government of the day, clearly a political decision and not a corrective action.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
I'm gonna translate the relevant part of the official, unclassified investigation report on the KSK.

[Section] 5.6 - Domain Commando Forces

The escalation of events within KSK with regard to extremist tendencies had its visible origin in 2017. Following a farewell party for a company commander a larger circle of soldiers within KSK came within the focus of observation for the first time and - until today - is suspected of harboring right-wing extremist views. Since then this circle has been the object of many investigations regarding extremist activities and the assessment of individual cases of suspicion. The apex of this was the discovery of ammunition, explosives and weapons with one of the soldiers of the circle in May 2020.

During all investigations regarding this investigators have been facing a "wall of silence". Noticable is an apparent misguided elitarian conception and an internal personal cult regarding individuals, also tracable to long-time personal relations.

The concerned circle including the former company commander can be correlated with the 2nd Commando Company of KSK. Individual measures therefore no longer seem to be sufficient where the company is concerned. In order to remove the wrong leadership culture grown over years and the breeding ground for extremist tendencies, it is necessary to:

[Measure] 8. Dissolve the 2nd Commando Company

This full "reset" is to be conducted by the Army Command (KdoH) within a well-structured and despite that timewise narrow process, with particular attention to necessary personnel measures and the readiness of KSK as a whole.
The overall report is 55 pages.

The above was the formal recommendation of the investigation panel, consisting of:
  • Parliamentary State Secretary Peter Tauber (CDU), deputy to the Minister of Defense, political representation of the Minister of Defense
  • State Secretary Gerd Hoofe, deputy to the Minister of Defense, head of organization of the Ministry of Defense
  • General Eberhard Zorn, Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces
  • Lieutenant General Alfons Mais, Inspector General of the Army, Commander of the Ground Forces
  • Brigadier General Markus Kreitmayr, Commander of KSK
Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces Eva Högl (SPD) was additionally observing the panel on request of the Minister of Defense.

The report and recommendation was made to the Minister of Defense on June 30th, upon which the Minister of Defense the next day issued a public five-page order to all Bundeswehr soldiers in which she effectively signed off every single measure recommended by the panel.
 
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