Portal:Military of Germany

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Insignia of the Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr is the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities. The States of Germany are not allowed to maintain armed forces of their own, since the German Constitution states that matters of defense fall into the sole responsibility of the federal government.

The Bundeswehr is divided into a military part (armed forces or Streitkräfte) and a civil part with the armed forces administration (Wehrverwaltung). The military part of the federal defense force consists of the Heer (Army), Marine (Navy), Luftwaffe (Air Force), Streitkräftebasis (Joint Support Service), and the Zentraler Sanitätsdienst (Joint Medical Service) branches. Read more...

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Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds

The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German language: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes), or simply the Knight's Cross (Ritterkreuz), was a grade of the 1939 version of the Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz), which had been created in 1813. The Knight's Cross was the highest award made by Nazi Germany to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or outstanding military leadership during World War II. Among the military decorations of Nazi Germany, it was second only to the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross, an award that was given only once, to Nazi leader and Hitler's second-in-command Hermann Göring. He was granted it as a result of his services in building up the Luftwaffe (the German air force), and for serving as its commander-in-chief. The Knight's Cross was therefore functionally the highest order that German soldiers of all rank could obtain.

The Knight's Cross grade of the Iron Cross was worn at the neck and was slightly larger but similar in appearance to the 1813 Iron Cross. It was legally based on the 1 September 1939 renewal of the Iron Cross. The order could be presented to German soldiers of all ranks and to soldiers from other Axis countries. Its first presentation was made on 30 September 1939, following the German Invasion of Poland, which marked the beginning of World War II in Europe.

In post-World War II Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany prohibited the wearing of Nazi insignia. In 1957 the German government authorized a replacement Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, with an oak leaf cluster in place of the swastika, which could be worn by World War II Knight's Cross recipients.

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Selected biography

Vidkun Quisling

Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling (Norwegian: [ˈʋɪdkʉn ˈkʋɪʃlɪŋ] (About this soundlisten); 18 July 1887 – 24 October 1945) was a Norwegian politician. On 9 April 1940, with the German invasion of Norway in progress, he seized power in a Nazi-backed coup d'etat that garnered him international infamy. From 1942 to 1945 he served as Minister-President, working with the occupying forces. His government, known as the Quisling regime, was dominated by ministers from Nasjonal Samling, the party he had founded in 1933. The collaborationist government participated in Germany's Final Solution. Quisling was put on trial during the post-war legal purge in Norway and found guilty of charges including embezzlement, murder and high treason. He was executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress, Oslo, on 24 October 1945. During World War II, quisling became a synonym for traitor.

The son of a Church of Norway pastor, Quisling blended Christian fundamentals, scientific developments and philosophy into a new theory he called Universism. Before going into politics, he proved himself in the military, joining the General Staff in 1911 and specialising in Russian affairs. He was posted to Russia in 1918, and worked with Fridtjof Nansen during the 1921 famine in the Ukraine, returning to Russia to work with Frederik Prytz in Moscow. When Prytz left in 1927, Quisling stayed on as the Norwegian diplomat responsible for managing British diplomatic affairs. For these services he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by King George V, though the honour was later rescinded. He returned to Norway in 1929, and served as Minister of Defence during the Agrarian governments (1931–33). Although Quisling achieved some popularity after his attacks on the political left, his party never polled well and was little more than peripheral at the time of his 1940 coup. (Read more)

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Gedenkblatt für die Angehörigen unserer gefallenen Helden by Emil Doepler (1916)

Did you know?

German army belt buckle
  • ...that Bundeswehr belt buckles are inscribed with Einigkeit – Recht – Freiheit, which translates to Unity – Justice – Freedom?
  • ...that the Bundeswehr Military History Museum building is 14,000 square meters and has an inside and outside exhibition area of about 20,000 square meters, making it Germany's largest museum.

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Albert KesselringAlbert SpeerAxis naval activity in Australian watersBattle of Arras (1917)Battle of AusterlitzBattle of BicoccaBattle of BlenheimBattle of CeresoleBattle of DürensteinBattle of GreeceBattle of MoscowBattle of RamilliesBattle of SchellenbergBattle of Verrières RidgeBattle of Villers-BocageBattle of Vimy RidgeBayern-class battleshipBert TrautmannBlack Friday (1945)Cologne WarDerfflinger-class battlecruiserErnest Augustus I of HanoverErnst LindemannFalaise pocketFinnish Civil WarFrederick III, German EmperorHelgoland-class battleshipHelmut LentHermann DetznerIG Farben BuildingInner German borderItalian War of 1521-1526Italian War of 1542-1546Johann von KlenauKaiser-class battleshipKönig-class battleshipMauthausen-Gusen concentration campMoltke-class battlecruiserNassau-class battleshipOmaha BeachOperation BrevityOperation CharnwoodOperation CobraOperation EpsomOperation PerchOperation TeardropOperation TractableOperation UranusOperation VarsityPanzer IPigeon photographyRheinmetall 120 mm gunSMS Baden (1915)SMS Bayern (1915)SMS BlücherSMS DerfflingerSMS Friedrich der Grosse (1911)SMS GoebenSMS Grosser Kurfürst (1913)SMS HelgolandSMS HindenburgSMS KönigSMS Kronprinz (1914)SMS LützowSMS MarkgrafSMS Moltke (1910)SMS RheinlandSMS SeydlitzSMS Von der TannSMS WestfalenSM U-66Second Ostend RaidTAM (tank)Ulm CampaignUnification of GermanyWalter ModelWar of the Bavarian SuccessionWar of the Fifth CoalitionWar of the League of Cambrai

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List of Commando raids on the Atlantic wallList of German World War II jet acesList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipientsList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients of the KriegsmarineList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recipients of the U-boat serviceList of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1940-1941)List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1942)List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1943)List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1944)List of Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves recipients (1945)List of armored cruisers of GermanyList of battlecruisers of GermanyList of battleships of GermanyList of foreign recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

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Action of 28 January 1945Arado E.381Design A-150 battleshipBattle of AachenBattle of Bita PakaBombardment of PapeeteCold WarDeutschland-class battleshipEgmont Prinz zur Lippe-WeißenfeldGerman battleship TirpitzHeinrich Prinz zu Sayn-WittgensteinHeuschrecke 10Juno BeachKaunas FortressLe Paradis massacreMax-Hellmuth OstermannMoro River CampaignOperation FreshmanOperation LüttichOperation PostmasterOperation TotalizeOperation WindsorOperation Winter StormOrder of Saint HubertOrganization of the Luftwaffe (1933-1945)SMS Deutschland (1904)SMS HannoverSMS Kaiser (1911)SMS KaiserinSMS Kurfürst Friedrich WilhelmSMS NassauSMS OstfrieslandSMS PosenSM U-68Sd.Kfz. 10Second Battle of KharkovWalter NowotnyWehrmacht forces for the Ardennes OffensiveWolfgang Lüth

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Armored cruisers of GermanyBattleships of Austria-HungaryBattleships of GermanyGerman Type IXA submarinesGerman Type U 66 submarinesGerman Type UB I submarinesPrinz Adalbert-class armored cruisersRoon-class armored cruisersScharnhorst-class armored cruisersU-1-class submarines (Austria-Hungary)U-3-class submarinesU-5-class submarinesU-20-class submarinesU-27-class submarines (Austria-Hungary)U-43-class submarines (Austria-Hungary)

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1939 German ultimatum to Lithuania1st Parachute Brigade (United Kingdom)28 cm SK L/40 gun30.5 cm SK L/50 gunAction off LofotenAdlertagAdmiral Hipper-class cruiserAdolf GallandAgnes von Mansfeld-EislebenBattle of Amiens (1918)Battle of ArnhemBattle of Bautzen (1945)Battle of BelgiumBattle of Dover Strait (1916)Battle of Fort Eben-EmaelBattle of GrunwaldBattle of Hill 70Battle of Lanzerath RidgeBattle of Merville Gun BatteryBattle of MessinesBattle of Mont SorrelBattle of NgomanoBattle of RomaniBattle of San MarinoBattle of SchliengenBattle of Sedan (1940)Battle of VauchampsBattle of WaterlooBattle of the Heligoland Bight (1939)Battle of the NetherlandsBattle of the Strait of Otranto (1917)Battle off TexelBismarck-class battleshipBlack BrunswickersBrandenburg-class battleshipBraunschweig-class battleshipBrummer-class cruiserCharles FryattChristmas truceConvoy FaithCöln-class cruiserDornier Do 17Emil Lang (fighter ace)Ersatz Yorck-class battlecruiserÉtienne Marie Antoine Champion de NansoutyFirst Ostend RaidFranz von HipperFriedrich FoertschFriedrich GeißhardtFriedrich Wilhelm, Fürst zu Hohenlohe-KirchbergGebhard Truchsess von WaldburgGerman Type IXA submarineGerman Type UB I submarineGerman Type U 66 submarineGerman U-boat bases in occupied NorwayGerman aircraft carrier I (1915)German aircraft carrier I (1942)German attacks on NauruGerman battleship BismarckGerman battleship GneisenauGerman battleship ScharnhorstGerman cruiser Admiral Graf SpeeGerman cruiser Admiral HipperGerman cruiser Admiral ScheerGerman cruiser BlücherGerman cruiser DeutschlandGerman cruiser Lützow (1939)German cruiser Prinz EugenGerman cruiser SeydlitzGeman destroyer Z8 Bruno HeinemannGeman destroyer Z9 Wolfgang ZenkerGeman destroyer Z11 Bernd von ArnimGerman involvement in the Spanish Civil WarGerman submarine U-27 (1936)German submarine U-28 (1936)German submarine U-30 (1936)German submarine U-36 (1936)German submarine U-37 (1938)German submarine U-38 (1938)German submarine U-39 (1938)German submarine U-40 (1938)German submarine U-41 (1939)German submarine U-42 (1939)German submarine U-43 (1939)German submarine U-44 (1939)German submarine U-47 (1938)German submarine U-64 (1939)German submarine U-104 (1940)German submarine U-105 (1940)German submarine U-111 (1940)German submarine U-162 (1941)German submarine U-255German submarine U-853German submarine U-2336Greater Germanic ReichGünther SpechtH-class battleship proposalsHeinkel He 111High Seas FleetHindu-German ConspiracyJRM ZmajJade-class aircraft carrierJoachim HelbigJohann Jakob von WunschJoseph GoebbelsJunkers Ju 87Kaiser Friedrich III-class battleshipKristallnachtKurt WelterL 20 α-class battleshipLiberation of ArnhemMackensen-class battlecruiserOdin-class coastal defense shipOperation AquatintOperation BodenplatteOperation DeadstickOperation DonnerkeilOperation DoomsdayOperation IskraOperation PaulaOperation SlapstickOtto KittelPanzer 35(t)Preussen-class ironcladPrinz Adalbert-class cruiserPrussian uprisingsReinhard ScheerReinhold von WernerRommelspargelRudyard Kipling (ship)SMS ArminiusSMS BrandenburgSMS BraunschweigSMS BremseSMS BrummerSMS Deutschland (1874)SMS Dresden (1917)SMS ElsassSMS Friedrich CarlSMS Friedrich Carl (1867)SMS Friedrich der Grosse (1874)SMS Fürst Bismarck (1897)SMS GneisenauSMS Grosser Kurfürst (1875)SMS Hansa (1872)SMS HelaSMS HessenSMS Kaiser (1874)SMS Kaiser BarbarossaSMS Kaiser Friedrich IIISMS Kaiser Karl der GrosseSMS Kaiser Wilhelm IISMS Kaiser Wilhelm der GrosseSMS Kronprinz (1867)SMS König AlbertSMS König WilhelmSMS LothringenSMS MecklenburgSMS PommernSMS Preussen (1873)SMS Preussen (1903)SMS Prinz Adalbert (1865)SMS Prinz Adalbert (1901)SMS Prinz HeinrichSMS Prinzregent LuitpoldSMS RadetzkySMS RoonSMS SchlesienSMS Schleswig-HolsteinSMS SchwabenSMS ThüringenSMS WeissenburgSMS WettinSMS WittelsbachSMS WörthSMS YorckSMS ZähringenSM U-1 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-3 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-4 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-10 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-11 (Austria-Hungary)SM U-67SM U-69SM U-70SM UB-2SM UB-3SM UB-4SM UB-5SM UB-6SM UB-7SM UB-8SM UB-9SM UB-11SM UB-12SM UB-13SM UB-17SM UB-42SM UB-44SM UB-46SM UB-47SM UB-50Sachsen-class ironcladScharnhorst-class battleshipScharnhorst-class cruiserScuttling of the German fleet in Scapa FlowSd.Kfz. 8Sd.Kfz. 9Second Battle of PasschendaeleSiegfried-class coastal defense shipSt Nazaire RaidSwabian WarTallinn OffensiveTartu OffensiveThe Hardest DayTiger IIU-43-class submarine (Austria-Hungary)U-52-class submarineWalter OesauWalter OhmsenWittelsbach-class battleshipWorld War II

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