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German Military in Crisis: Ex-Officer Exposes Bundeswehr’s Three-Hour Defense Limit

"Previously, the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) could endure for three days, but now it can only hold out for three hours," stated Colonel Ralf Thiele.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — A former senior officer of the German military has revealed that the country’s armed forces would only be able to last for three hours in the event of a war.

Colonel Ralf Thiele, a high-ranking German military official, conveyed this alarming assessment to the publication “Focus Online,” highlighting a significant deterioration in the state of the German armed forces over the past two years.

Thiele attributed this decline to the military’s sluggish approach to modernization efforts.

“Previously, the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) could endure for three days, but now it can only hold out for three hours,” stated Colonel Thiele.

 He emphasized that the military’s condition had worsened since the conflict in Ukraine erupted, with shortages of personnel and equipment posing a significant challenge.

 Furthermore, Thiele pointed out that the military’s weaponry system would not be able to withstand a sustained attack.


To address the critical issues facing the German Armed Forces, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the establishment of a special fund totaling €100 billion (RM511 billion) for the modernization of Bundeswehr’s equipment.

 The efforts to enhance the capabilities of the German Armed Forces include the acquisition of new weaponry systems, ammunition, and various upgrades.

However, German experts contend that there have been no significant improvements in the German Armed Forces at present.

 In March of the previous year, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius took decisive action by dismissing the Head of the Federal Office for Defense Technology and Procurement, Gabriele Korb, due to her failure to resolve issues related to weapon procurement and defense equipment.

Since the onset of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in February 2022, Germany has provided financial assistance to Kiev exceeding €25 billion (RM128 billion), encompassing humanitarian, financial, and military aid.


The German government plans to contribute €8 billion (RM41 billion) to support Ukraine in the coming year.

As of May 31, 2023, the German Armed Forces consist of 181,596 active-duty personnel, ranking it as the 30th largest military globally and the second-largest in the European Union, behind France.

According to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the German Armed Forces, Eva Hoegl, the current deficiencies in weaponry and equipment are more severe than before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The German Armed Forces have too few resources, and the situation has only worsened since the Russia-Ukraine conflict unfolded,” remarked Hoegl. — DSA


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