Are Reports of Germany’s Military Woes Exaggerated?

Two Leopard 2 A6 heavy battle tanks and a Puma infantry fighting vehicle of the Bundeswehr’s 9th Panzer Training Brigade participate in a demonstration of capabilities.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Are Reports of Germany’s Military Woes Exaggerated?

Why the best in the world isn’t operational

A shocking report in mid-December revealed that 18 out of 18 of Germany’s infantry fighting vehicles were not ready for operation. Deutsche Welle wrote December 19: “Total Failure of the Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicle.” Germany exports high-tech weapons around the world. Its own tanks and aircraft compete for the title “best of the world.” But if you read the news on a weekly basis, you get the impression that nothing works in Germany.

A case study of the Puma shows that this impression may be altogether wrong. wrote at the time: “Due to the total failure of 18 Pumas during an exercise, which became public over the weekend, the Bundeswehr will not participate in the nato spearhead vjtf [Very High Readiness Joint Task Force] with the world’s most expensive infantry fighting vehicle from January onwards, but with decades-old Marder.”

Search for the best ifv and you will find the Puma is number one. But what good is the best tank in the world if it isn’t operational?

The “failure” of the Puma had been in the news even before the recent incident. German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht told the Bundestag on April 27: “[O]n paper we have 350 Puma infantry fighting vehicles. Of those, 150 are actually operational because the appropriate capabilities are not there to repair them.” What a shame for Germany. How can it be that the tank that claims to be the best infantry fighting vehicle in the world fails to pass inspections for routine exercises?

Since 2019, Germany keeps its operational readiness figures secret; most believe this is because Germany fears criticism due to a lack of operational readiness. The recent reports appear to confirm that.

Germany, the economic powerhouse, with a prestigious military industry and a formidable military budget is therefore seen as the laughingstock of the world. But did some research and wrote a follow-up on December 23, with the intriguing title, “Are the Puma Tanks Actually Not That Broken?”

The article recounts how the news of the terrible condition of the Puma tank was released. Following the leaked report, politicians blamed the industry and the industry blamed politicians. wrote:

Several representatives of the companies concerned began to fight back in confidential talks. The first argument from the industry was that politicians and the military were making a “big fuss” about trifles. The investigation is still underway, but one thing is already clear: Most of the allegedly damaged Pumas had only minor damage: A screen had failed because someone had accidentally kicked it, a fuse had blown, and a screw was loose in a missile mount. On one occasion, it was simply overlooked that the auxiliary heating only works when the switch is set to “on.” Only two vehicles had more serious problems: A cable fire in the driver’s cab and damage to the heavy gear rim on which the turret rotates—possibly due to an accident, since such a gear rim “doesn’t break by itself.” Overall, said an industry representative, they are confident they can repair most of the 18 Pumas by January 1—the day from which they must be available for nato spearhead operations.

Arms expert Christian Mölling of the German Council on Foreign Relations identified the problem as “poor handling of the vehicles.” concluded: “The Puma is causing problems, and the defense minister is blaming the industry. But is that justified? For some tanks, a wrench is apparently all that’s needed to repair them.” If those are the only problems, this “broken tank” could be a game changer if deployed on either side of the Ukraine war.

Unsurprisingly, the industry is upset. After all, it deals with a ridiculously over-regulated system. noted: “[T]he reading light in the Puma now complies with the German Workplace Lighting Ordinance, and the exit flaps are also suitable for pregnant women. But even these Pumas are worthless to nato if they don’t meet its standards.” That is not a joke: The Workplace Ordinance requires that the interior of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle must have such good conditions that even heavily pregnant female soldiers can be transported during combat operations. The basis for the law is simple: The German army needs to follow the same working conditions regulations as other sectors. In practice, however, these standards are obviously ridiculous.

This small example may explain why so much of Germany’s military equipment is deemed “not operational.”

There are certainly industrial problems, but the military equipment competing to be the “best in the world” can’t malfunction as much as politics want us to believe. So perhaps there is another reason why Germany keeps its military readiness reports secret: It wants to keep the world in the dark.

Regulations make the German troops look weak and fragile. Constant negative press makes them a laughingstock. Political bickering has never caused enemies to tremble. But all of this has one advantage: The German populace, and the world around them, is ready to tolerate a higher German military budget.

The Bible has many specific prophecies that warn of a terrifying military power that will suddenly rise from Europe’s heartland. This power has been underground for decades. In 1945, when Germany lay in ruin, Herbert W. Armstrong warned radio listeners of this rising power. No one believed it then; no one believes it today. But this prediction is based on Bible prophecy, and the Bible reveals in the book of Nahum that we need to beware Germany’s deceit (read Nahum—An End-Time Prophecy for Germany).

In “Forging a Superpower,” we wrote concerning Mr. Armstrong’s prediction:

He knew the prophecy in Isaiah 10, where God says He will use the “Assyrian” as a corrective rod to punish the nations of Israel (America and Britain). Verse 6 says Germany (modern-day Assyria) will have the military might “to tread them down like the mire of the streets.”

He knew the prophecy of Daniel 7. Depicted in this chapter are four “beasts,” each representing a world-ruling empire. These empires rise and fall chronologically; that means the fourth is on the scene prior to the return of Jesus Christ. This fourth “beast” is the most destructive; verse 7 says it is “dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly ….”

Mr. Armstrong knew the prophecies of Revelation 13 and 17. He understood the identity of the “woman” in Revelation 17 who rides the seven-headed, 10-horned beast. He understood that the seven heads of this beast represent the seven consecutive resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire, and that the 10 horns on the seventh and final head represent a united, German-led European empire.

To many, these prophecies seem impossible when you consider Germany’s military condition reported in the news. But God calls on us to look deeper than the superficial headlines. To understand these prophecies, I encourage you to read “Forging a Superpower” and request a free copy of our booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.