BERLIN, GERMANY — The wall that German Chancellor Mr. Olaf Scholz is putting on the idea of sending Leopard tanks to Ukraine is about to be broken. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Poland, as well as several Scandinavian countries, are ready to send their tanks to the war. But Germany, as the manufacturer and license holder, has the last word.
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So far, the German chancellor has resisted international pressure. “Germany will not be alone in this decision,” Mr. Scholz said late last year. Back then, BulgarianMilitary.com analyzed that this was “not a closed door”. Berlin does not want to be the first to send its tank against the Russian T-tanks.
The speech of the German chancellor, read correctly by us, is about to come true. Cracks are already beginning to appear inside the federal government. The first was delivered by the Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Economy of Germany, Mr. Robert Habeck. He believes that Berlin should allow its customers to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine.
“I think it is right that if other countries want to help, they should not be hindered and their help should not be stopped,” Mr. Habeck told the WELT news channel.
Poland is the most insistent. Late last year, Warsaw strongly criticized Berlin’s decision to send Patriot systems to Poland rather than Ukraine. Having managed to win over the country of manufacture [USA] of the Patriot air defense system, now Warsaw is trying to do the same with Berlin. Poland has already announced that it is ready to immediately send Leopard tanks to Ukraine. However, the decision depends on Germany, as the tanks are manufactured in that country.
Germany still holds
Mr. Habeck added that, in his opinion, the Ukrainian army has already shown readiness and responsibility in the use of Western-made weapons. According to him, Ukraine shows “precise use” of the supplied Western weapon systems.
BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that different Ukrainian military units at different times are trained in European states. They learn how to work with weapons supplied by the West. It should be noted that the Ukrainian army is extremely quick to adopt new technologies. In this way, they shorten the time required to complete a full course of training for the operation of a given military equipment.
However, Mr. Habeck avoided the question of whether Germany should supply Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Apparently, the German federal government does not want to be directly involved in such a supply. However, if Berlin decides to also participate in direct delivery, it will have to decide where to get the tanks – from the army’s inventory or from warehouse industrial stocks.
Reduced combat capability
A situation that is no stranger to the government in Berlin. BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that Germany promised 40 Marder IFVs to Ukraine. But as Spiegel already wrote, they will most likely be supplied from the inventory of the German army. The reason: the stocked quantities are in bad condition and it will take a long time until they are repaired and shipped. This disrupts the combat capability of the German army. Will the same situation not be repeated if Berlin agrees to donate tanks to Kyiv?
BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that the first country that will send its main battle tank to Ukraine is Great Britain. Challenger 2 will fight the Russian T-tanks. Officially, London will announce its decision most likely on January 20. Then there is the meeting of NATO member countries at the Ramstein base, in Germany.
Speaking of combat capability, London also announced that sending 14 Challenger 2 tanks would disrupt the combat capability of the British Army, but temporarily. At this stage, according to the Army Chief of Staff, the lack of 14 tanks will temporarily affect Britain’s commitments in NATO exercises. But no major upheaval is expected, as London has a stockpile of Challenger tanks that it can quickly bring into operational readiness. Something Berlin cannot do at this stage, however.
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