We wish Russia could likewise get away with such a puny army, but given NATO (including German) bellicosity on its borders, it can’t.
A lot is said about the combat readiness of the Russian army, but how about this statistic. Of Germany’s 244 Leopard 2 tanks just 95 are currently operational. 53 are being upgraded, 7 are on testing grounds. Another 89 are in a state of disrepair and waiting for spare parts:
Only 95 out of the Bundeswehr’s 244 Leopard 2 main battle tanks are combat-ready, Funke media group has learnt from a Defense Ministry report. The report was published by Focus magazine.
Some 53 tanks have been disarmed, seven are being used for testing, while 89 vehicles are “conditionally operational” as they cannot be repaired without critical spare parts. The Defense Ministry report especially highlights multiple cases in which “unavailability of the required spare parts would be detrimental.”
Here is the crucial bit of information. Germany does not operate any other tanks besides the Leopard 2. The 95 machines constitute the entire combat-ready tank force of the nation of 80 million.
The situation is little different in the air force:
German media have also consistently reported on the poor combat readiness and technical malfunctions of German aircraft. Most recently, Deutsche Welle said that only 38 out of Germany’s 89 Tornado fighter jets were combat-ready and only 25 out of 57 transport airplanes were operational.
The percentage of combat-ready strike helicopters in the German Armed Forces varies between 18 and 32 percent depending on the type of gunship, Deutsche Welle wrote. Similar issues also affect armored personnel carriers and maritime vessels.
On the one hand, we must congratulate the Germans for seemingly not being terribly interested in war. Indeed they have no reason to be, as no one — least of all Russia — is threatening them. On the other hand, we long for the day when Russia can likewise afford to field no more than a hundred tanks. Given that currently over a dozen NATO nations — including Germany — have troops stationed on Russia’s borders, however, that day seems very far off.
Russia, for its part, operates 2,500-3,000 tanks and has another 15,000 in reserve.
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