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Germany’s soldiers of misfortune

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BERLIN — Fighter jets and helicopters that don’t fly. Ships and submarines that can’t sail. Severe shortages of everything from ammunition to underwear.

If it sounds like an exaggeration to compare Germany’s Bundeswehr to “The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight,” look no further than the army’s standard-issue assault rifle, Heckler & Koch’s G36. The government decided to scrap the weapon after discovering that the gun misses its target if it’s too hot.

On a recent trip to Lithuania, where about 450 German soldiers are stationed as part of a NATO mission to deter Russian aggression, U.S. officials were dismayed to discover Bundeswehr personnel communicating on unsecure mobile phones due to a shortage of secure radio equipment.

“No matter where you look, there’s dysfunction" — High-ranking German officer at Bundeswehr HQ

Fewer than 20 percent of Germany’s 68 Tiger combat helicopters and fewer than 30 percent of its 136 Eurofighter jets could fly in late 2018. Pilots, frustrated that they can’t fly, are quitting.

“No matter where you look, there’s dysfunction,” a high-ranking German officer stationed at Bundeswehr headquarters in Berlin said 


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Jeez. People have the cheek to criticise the SA80. Providing it is properly serviced and maintained its brutally accurate and reliable in the field. 

When I was in the TA I could routinely get 6-7 inch groupings at 300 metres with a SUSAT equipped SA80. Even less with the LSW on a tripod. 

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The modern SA80 is a German rifle in all but name. H&K redesigned it after Enfield burned through a billion pounds sticking an AR-180 into a bullpup stock and still stuffed it up.

I'd say it's one of the most glaring examples of the decline of Britain post-WWII. The Lee-Enfield was the best battle rifle of its time, and still one of the best going into WWII. The Enfield L85 was probably the worst..

Edited by MarkG

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