SPIEGEL: Germany is trying to find promised 40 Marders for Ukraine

BERLIN, GERMANY — Perhaps the war in Ukraine revealed a rather unpleasant situation in Germany. German army supplies are not what they were supposed to be. There are no Leopard 2 tanks to be provided to Poland, there is a shortage of spare parts due to faulty planning, and self-propelled howitzers are showing serious defects in Ukraine. Now it has become clear that Berlin is even wondering where to deliver the promised 40 Marders to Ukraine.

Berlin will not send Leopard tanks to Kyiv, not now or in 2023
Photo credit: Snapshot

Germany actually has them. 60 Maredr IFVs are in storage in Rheinmetall. But they cannot be sent to Ukraine in this condition, writes Spiegel. If Berlin has decided to “sacrifice” them, there is no way they will be repaired and brought into operational readiness by March, as the Germans wish.

This means, writes Spiegel, that Berlin will have to sacrifice from its reserves. The federal government has not confirmed that the Marders for Ukraine will be taken from the German operationally ready and serving German army Marders. But the federal government isn’t even responding.

Government spokesman Steffen Hebstreit promised on Friday to the capital’s press that he would answer this question “during the day”. The Ministry of Defense “will certainly communicate the final answer before the end of the day”. However, there was no response.

Unclear messages

Something more. The public was spared Friday the information the Defense Ministry sent to some members of the Bundestag. In this announcement, the federal government announced: “that they are aiming for taxes from the industry and from the Bundeswehr’s stock”. An extremely vague statement from the federal government, followed by a second vague statement from Minister Ms. Christine Lambrecht. Her announcement spoke of a “tax on industrial shares or Bundeswehr shares”.

Moreover, all this vanity and maneuvering on the part of several federal services, through vague and unspecified answers, is a signal that the words of the German Chancellor Mr. Olaf Scholz, that he will give Ukraine 40 Marders, are not so easy to fulfill.

Mrs. Lambrecht will have to deal with her own self. Last weeks she categorically rejected the possibility of supplying Marderi, but now she will have to “maneuver” among the critical questions of journalists and society awaiting her. The important fact is – Mrs. Lambrecht was justifying herself with shortages in the German army. Perhaps the first question that will meet her is, does she sacrifice national security for the benefit of a foreign country?

Germany offers Ukraine Marder IFVs + Milan ATGM and 155mm PzH-2000
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Most likely, Berlin will supply Kyiv with the promised 40 units of Marderi from its stocks. This means that Rheinmetall will begin the renovation and modernization of these 60 units that are in the company’s warehouses. In addition to time to be brought to operational readiness, German taxpayers will have to pay the costs of bringing them to operational readiness.

Although the delivery of Marder to Ukraine is a burden for the German army, it is not a problem and is feasible. Berlin is preparing to start training Ukrainian soldiers. It is expected to happen as soon as possible, writes Spiegel. According to German analysis, the training of the Ukrainians will continue for four to eight weeks. It will most likely take place in Münster in Lower Saxony, where the largest German army military base is located.

The decision is kept secret

Spiegel says Mr. Scholz’s decision to send 40 Marders to Ukraine was kept secret, even by Germany’s defense ministry. This means, writes Spiegel, that despite Scholz’s passive behavior in recent months, the US has influenced the government, and the rapid joint press release by the two countries on the delivery of armored personnel carriers is proof of this.

Armored troops were vaguely informed in the middle of last week that, after months of rejection, the chancellery had finally decided to supply the martens. Therefore, neither the military nor the industry could plan specifically where the armored personnel carriers for Ukraine would come from.

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