German Army to Increase Its Reserves

Germany’s Defense Ministry plans to add 75,000 troops to its reserves to meet its nato commitment, Spiegel magazine reported on June 7.

Why? At the 2023 Vilnius summit, nato leaders signed the alliance’s first major defense plan since the Cold War. It detailed how nato would respond to a Russian attack. Since then, member states have been working to reach new requirements for troops and weapons stocks.

Citing confidential Defense Ministry documents, Spiegel reported that the Bundeswehr needs to recruit an additional 75,000 reservists to meet its part of the plan.

However, this is not a definite number.

More? One senior military source told Reuters that since Germany would be a major staging ground for nato operations, the Bundeswehr could increase its reserves well beyond 75,000, suggesting an additional “mid-five-digit figure.”

The Bundeswehr currently has about 184,000 soldiers and 80,000 civilian personnel.

I am convinced that we have to adapt the reserve completely to the current security policy challenges so that it can properly support the Bundeswehr in carrying out its task of national and alliance defense.
—Lt. Gen. Andreas Hoppe, deputy inspector general and commissioner for Reservist Affairs

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius will propose a model for compulsory military service on Wednesday. Spiegel says he plans to recruit 10,000 people each year.

Preparing for war: The threat of another Russian invasion frightens many Europeans. Germany in particular knows it must militarize if Europe is to stand up to Russia.

Learn more: Read “Germany’s Astonishing Military Rise.”