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Old October 3rd, 2017, 10:32 PM   #1
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What was the doctrine of the Bundeswehr during the cold wat?


What was the doctrine of the Bundeswehr during the cold war? It basically had the largest armoured force in Western Europe aside the Americans, and had around 600 tactical aircraft. There is also criticism that it was too fixated on armoured and mechanized warfare at the expense of infantry tactics.
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Old October 4th, 2017, 02:50 AM   #2

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Ambush techniques, this is why they kept Kanonenjagdpanzer long after other armies had scrapped their tank destroyers. All armies of course practice enfilade and defilade, but the Bundeswehr seemed to live these tactics and were, from observation, very good. It was just a pity about the hairnet era and Leo 1 suffering from inadequate protection. Their desire for as much mechanization as possible also led to Marder. They planned for a war of movement, so saw infantry as perhaps being more for the protection of the tanks, but this is really only a matter of greater emphasis towards having the infantry right with the tanks, something they were not alone with of course.
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Old October 4th, 2017, 09:22 AM   #3

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The cold wat?
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Old October 4th, 2017, 09:43 AM   #4
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What were infantry supposed to do during a week or two long campaign to take W. Germany?
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Old October 4th, 2017, 11:29 AM   #5

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During the Cold War the Bundeswehr was a key component in countering any potential Soviet aggression. It had a strength of 495,000. Although Germany had smaller armed forces than France and the United States. The Army consisted of three corps with 12 divisions, most of them heavily armed with tanks and APCs.

Following on from the barbarity of World War II, it was deemed to be both counter productive and provocative for jack booted German sodiers to once again be seen on the streets of foreign towns and cities. With this in mind the Bonn goverment legislated to that effect. These limitations obviously limited the scope and composition of the Bundeswehr.
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Old October 4th, 2017, 12:58 PM   #6

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It was also a conscript force.
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Old October 4th, 2017, 01:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OccamsRazor View Post
It was also a conscript force.
So were nearly every other army during the Cold War.
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Old October 4th, 2017, 01:52 PM   #8

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So were nearly every other army during the Cold War.
Not for the whole length of it; two of the largest members of NATO reverted to professional/volunteer forces during the Cold War - Britain stopped National Service in 1960, the USA stopped the draft in 1973.
I agree that those NATO member nations on the European mainland kept conscription (mostly up to the 1990s). Was that a result of geography I wonder?
Obviously, it was a bit different for the Warsaw Pact members.

Incidentally, according to Wikipedia German conscription was stopped in 2011 (!)
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Old October 4th, 2017, 02:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OccamsRazor View Post
Not for the whole length of it; two of the largest members of NATO reverted to professional/volunteer forces during the Cold War - Britain stopped National Service in 1960, the USA stopped the draft in 1973.
I agree that those NATO member nations on the European mainland kept conscription (mostly up to the 1990s). Was that a result of geography I wonder?
Obviously, it was a bit different for the Warsaw Pact members.

Incidentally, according to Wikipedia German conscription was stopped in 2011 (!)
I'm pretty sure conscription wasn't altogether very popular with British considering their many police conflicts throughout the world of the post war era, which likely contributed to their abolishment of National Service. Likewise, the conscription in the US ended for the same reason, even though it was much better set up in the early 70s (fair) than ever before, it was still too tainted by the protests of the Vietnam War to survive (even though most who served in Vietnam weren't draftees). Germany didn't have that issue. They fought nobody after WWII, they didn't deploy overseas, they stayed in their country and only trained to defend it against communism, which wasn't exactly something many Germans found alien.

Besides, conscripts don't make bad troops. Leadership and training techniques have to be adjusted in comparison to how they are treated and expected to learn in comparison with professional volunteer forces but they are still very capable of high performance.
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Old October 4th, 2017, 03:03 PM   #10

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Originally Posted by aggienation View Post
I'm pretty sure conscription wasn't altogether very popular with British considering their many police conflicts throughout the world of the post war era, which likely contributed to their abolishment of National Service.
I think the cost of maintaining large armed forces was more of a reason.
Also, public opinion was moving away from the idea of conscription of young men who had their civilian career or education stalled as a result.

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Germany didn't have that issue. They fought nobody after WWII, they didn't deploy overseas, they stayed in their country and only trained to defend it against communism, which wasn't exactly something many Germans found alien.
There was also a longer history of German conscription compared to both Britain and the USA.

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Originally Posted by aggienation View Post
Besides, conscripts don't make bad troops. Leadership and training techniques have to be adjusted in comparison to how they are treated and expected to learn in comparison with professional volunteer forces but they are still very capable of high performance.
Agreed. How many millions of conscripts fought in WW1 and WW2? I think that's proof enough.
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