A RUSSIAN invasion of Europe is “likelier than ever” and Germany could be wiped off the map at any moment, a leaked report warned.
Senior military officials in Germany have urged the country to prepare for an impending war with Russia amid fears the war in Ukraine will escalate into a global conflict with NATO.
In confidential documents leaked to the German publication Der Spiegel, one of the country’s top generals, Eberhard Zorn, ordered the country’s army to stand at war in the face of “existential” threats.
The 68-page policy paper created at the end of September is entitled “Operational Guidelines for the Armed Forces”.
In it, General Zorn called for a complete overhaul of the German military and preparation for war.
“Attacks on Germany could possibly come without warning and with great, possibly even existential, damage,” he wrote.
The German armed forces, known as the Bundeswehr, have 183,638 active personnel and 949,000 reserve forces as of February this year.
This compares to the Russian army, which reportedly has around a million active soldiers and up to two million reserve personnel.
Although the modern Bundeswehr has been involved in foreign conflicts such as Afghanistan, Zorn calls on the Bundeswehr to “prepare for a forced war” on its own territory.
He warned that war in a NATO member state in Eastern Europe “has become more likely again” and called on Germany to take a leading role in defending the continent and build “more robust” armed forces.
Rather than downsizing smaller, specialized units for overseas deployments, he called for large units temporarily combat-ready for NATO.
“Allied defence, including the ability to provide visible and credible deterrence, will dominate Germany’s military action,” he said.
This would mark a drastic change in modern German military policy, which since the end of World War II has focused on maintaining a small military while having foreign military bases on its own soil.
The move comes after Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a “tipping point” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
Where Germany had previously tried to maintain close ties with Russia – a holdover from its Cold War-era Ostpolitik – Scholz acknowledged that “war in Europe is a reality again”.
He also pledged 100 billion euros (87 billion pounds) to revamp the country’s military.
If we don’t jump fast, no army in Europe will move
As part of a major increase in the German military, it was announced that the Bundeswehr would purchase 53 Airbus A400M transport aircraft, Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets and several unmanned aerial vehicles.
It will also procure additional NH90 helicopters, 579 Puma infantry fighting vehicles, at least 503 Boxer armored multirole fighting vehicles, and new warships and military submarines.
Germany also intends to bring most of its troops home from Mali, where they were deployed as part of a UN stabilization mission, as part of the reorganized Bundeswehr described in the leaked documents.
In the event of Russian aggression on NATO’s eastern border, Germany would have to provide “reaction and combat forces” and could not wait for US support, the paper said.
Zorn warns that neither the EU nor NATO can afford “to start planning and deploying forces only after the attack has taken place”.
He continues: “Unless we jump fast, no army will move in Europe.”
However, the leak of the report could be a sign that German military chiefs are frustrated by what they see as their government’s slow response to earlier pledges of money.
“A war is raging in Ukraine, but proceedings are still in peace mode here while inflation eats away at the money,” a defense executive told Reuters.
Another source claimed that Germany had yet to replenish the ammunition it had given Ukraine, leaving its army hopelessly under-equipped.
“Contracts for some munitions have been approved, but that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to what we actually need,” they said.
Germany supplied Kyiv with 14 self-propelled howitzers and 13,500 rounds of artillery ammunition from its own stocks in the first days of the war, but they have reportedly not yet been replaced.
It comes after the German army accidentally issued uniforms with SS tags on their soldiers.
The initials are believed to have stood for “small, short”, with a “production problem” being blamed for the error.
German law prohibits the display of any Nazi iconography, including the initials “SS,” which is often associated with Adolf Hitler’s evil Schutzstaffel that orchestrated the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust.
The letters SS are even banned from car license plates in Germany, along with all other Nazi symbols.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6682160/russian-invasion-europe-germany-destruction-nato-ukraine/ Russian invasion of Europe ‘more likely than ever’ & Germany could be wiped out at any moment, leaked documents warn