List of German defence ministers

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For pre-1919 Prussian Ministers of War, see Prussian Minister of War.
Federal Minister of Defence
Bundesminister der Verteidigung
Flag of Germany (state).svg
Bundesadler Bundesorgane.svg
Von der Leyen 2010.jpg
Incumbent
Ursula von der Leyen

since 17 December 2013
Federal Ministry of Defence
Reports to The Federal Chancellor
Appointer The President, upon advice of the Federal Chancellor
Formation 13 February 1919
First holder Gustav Noske
Website bmvg.de

The Federal Minister of Defence (German: Bundesminister der Verteidigung) is the head of the Federal Ministry of Defence and a member of the Federal Cabinet.

According to Article 65a of the German Constitution (German: Grundgesetz), the Federal Minister of Defence is Commander-in-chief (German: Inhaber der Befehls- und Kommandogewalt) of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces.[1] Article 115b decrees that in the state of defence, declared by the Bundestag with consent of the Bundesrat, the command in chief passes to the Federal Chancellor.[2] The highest-ranking military officer in the Bundeswehr is the Chief of Federal Armed Forces Staff (German: Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr).

The current Federal Minister of Defence is Ursula von der Leyen.

List of officeholders[edit]

Ministers of Defence, 1919–1935[edit]

No. Name Took office Left office Party
1 Gustav Noske (1868–1946) 13 February 1919 22 March 1920 SPD
2 Otto Gessler (1875–1955) 27 March 1920 19 January 1928 DDP
3 Wilhelm Groener (1867–1939) 19 January 1928 30 May 1932 none
4 Kurt von Schleicher (1882–1934) 1 June 1932 28 January 1933 none
5 Werner von Blomberg (1878–1946) 28 January 1933 21 May 1935 none

Minister of War, 1935–1938[edit]

No. Name Begin of office End of office Party
1 Werner von Blomberg (1878–1946) 21 May 1935 27 January 1938 none
In 1938 the Ministry of War was abolished and replaced by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW).

Chief of the OKW (de facto Minister of War, 1938–1945)[edit]

No. Name Begin of office End of office Party
1 Wilhelm Keitel (1882–1946) 4 February 1938 8 May 1945 none

Ministers of Defence of the GDR, 1956–1990[edit]

No. Name Begin of office End of office Party
1 Willi Stoph (1914-1999) 1 March 1956 14 July 1960 SED
2 Heinz Hoffmann (1910-1985) 14 July 1960 2 December 1985 SED
3 Heinz Kessler (*1920) 3 December 1985 18 November 1989 SED
4 Theodor Hoffmann (*1935) 18 November 1989 18 March 1990 SED
5 Rainer Eppelmann (*1943) 12 April 1990 2 October 1990 DA

Ministers of Defence (Bundesminister der Verteidigung), since 1955[edit]

No. Name Begin of office End of office Party
1 Theodor Blank (1905–1972) 7 June 1955 16 October 1956 CDU
2 Franz Josef Strauss (1915–1988) 16 October 1956 9 January 1963 CSU
3 Kai-Uwe von Hassel (1913–1997) 9 January 1963 1 December 1966 CDU
4 Gerhard Schröder (1910–1989) 1 December 1966 21 October 1969 CDU
5 Helmut Schmidt (*1918) 22 October 1969 7 July 1972 SPD
6 Georg Leber (1920–2012) 7 July 1972 16 February 1978 SPD
7 Hans Apel (1932–2011) 17 February 1978 1 October 1982 SPD
8 Manfred Wörner (1934–1994) 1 October 1982 18 May 1988 CDU
9 Rupert Scholz (*1937) 18 May 1988 21 April 1989 CDU
10 Gerhard Stoltenberg (1928–2001) 21 April 1989 31 March 1992 CDU
11 Volker Rühe (*1942) 1 April 1992 26 October 1998 CDU
12 Rudolf Scharping (*1947) 27 October 1998 19 July 2002 SPD
13 Peter Struck (1943–2012) 19 July 2002 22 November 2005 SPD
14 Franz Josef Jung (*1949) 22 November 2005 28 October 2009 CDU
15 Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (*1971) 28 October 2009 3 March 2011 CSU
16 Thomas de Maizière (*1954) 3 March 2011 17 December 2013 CDU
17 Ursula von der Leyen (*1958) 17 December 2013 Incumbent CDU

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Art 65a Basic Law". Gesetze-im-internet.de. Retrieved 2013-06-09. 
  2. ^ "Art 115b Basic Law". Gesetze-im-internet.de. Retrieved 2013-06-09. 

External links[edit]