List of German defence ministers

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For pre-1919 Prussian Ministers of War, see Prussian Ministry of War.
Federal Minister of Defence
Bundesminister der Verteidigung
Bundesadler Bundesorgane.svg
Flag of Germany (state).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 Inspector General of the Bundeswehr (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]

Political Party:   SPD   DDP

Name
(Born–Died)
Image Party Term of Office Chancellor
(Cabinet)
Gustav Noske
(1868–1946)
Bundesarchiv Bild 102-14240, Gustav Noske.jpg SPD 13 February 1919 22 March 1920 Scheidemann (I)

Bauer (I)

Otto Gessler
(1875–1955)
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1968-100-04A, Otto Karl Geßler.jpg DDP 27 March 1920 19 January 1928 Müller (I)

Fehrenbach (I)
Wirth (I, II)
Cuno (I)
Stresemann (I, II)
Marx (I, II)
Luther (I, II)
Marx (III, IV)

Wilhelm Groener
(1867–1939)
Bundesarchiv Bild 102-01049, Wilhelm Groener.jpg Independent 19 January 1928 30 May 1932 Marx (IV)

Müller (II)
Brüning (I, II)

Kurt von Schleicher
(1882–1934)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-B0527-0001-020, Kurt von Schleicher.jpg Independent 1 June 1932 28 January 1933 von Papen (I)

von Schleicher (I)

Werner von Blomberg
(1878–1946)
VonBlomBerg BundesArchive ReColoured.jpg Independent 28 January 1933 21 May 1935 von Schleicher (I)

Hitler (I)

Minister of War, 1935–1938[edit]

Name
(Born–Died)
Image Party Term of Office Chancellor
(Cabinet)
Werner von Blomberg
(1878–1946)
VonBlomBerg BundesArchive ReColoured.jpg Independent 21 May 1935 27 January 1938 Hitler (I)

In 1938 the Ministry of War was abolished and replaced by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW), as a result of the Blomberg–Fritsch affair.

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

Name
(Born–Died)
Image Party Term of Office Chancellor
(Cabinet)
Wilhelm Keitel
(1882–1946)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H30220, Wilhelm Keitel.jpg Independent 4 February 1938 8 May 1945 Hitler (I)
Donitz (Flensburg)

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

Political Party:   SED   DA

Name
(Born–Died)
Image Party Term of Office Chairman
Willi Stoph
(1914–1999)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1986-0617-024, Willi Stoph.jpg SED 1 March 1956 14 July 1960 Otto Grotewohl
Heinz Hoffmann
(1910–1985)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1982-1217-023, Heinz Hoffmann.jpg SED 14 July 1960 2 December 1985 Otto Grotewohl

Willi Stoph
Horst Sindermann
Willi Stoph

Heinz Kessler
(1920–)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1988-0704-410, Heinz Keßler.jpg SED 3 December 1985 18 November 1989 Willi Stoph

Hans Modrow

Theodor Hoffmann
(1935–)
Admiral-T.Hoffmann.jpg SED 18 November 1989 12 April 1990 Hans Modrow
Rainer Eppelmann
(1943–)
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-1990-0422-015, Rainer Eppelmann (DA).jpg DA 12 April 1990 2 October 1990 Lothar de Maizière

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

Political Party:   CDU   CSU   SPD

Name
(Born–Died)
Image Party Term of Office Chancellor
(Cabinet)
Federal Minister for Defence
Theodor Blank
(1905–1972)
Bundeswehr-Foto BVM001 Theodor Blank.jpg CDU 7 June 1955 16 October 1956 Adenauer
(II)
Franz Josef Strauß
(1915–1988)
Verteidigungsminister Franz Josef Strauß (4909816836).jpg CSU 16 October 1956 29 December 1961 Adenauer
(II • III)
Federal Minister of Defence
Franz Josef Strauß
(1915–1988)
Verteidigungsminister Franz Josef Strauß (4909816836).jpg CSU 30 December 1961 9 January 1963 Adenauer
(IV • V)
Kai-Uwe von Hassel
(1913–1997)
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F054627-0003, Ludwigshafen, CDU-Bundesparteitag, von Hassel (cropped).jpg CDU 9 January 1963 1 December 1966 Erhard
(III)
Gerhard Schröder
(1910–1989)
Verteidigungsminister Dr. Gerhard Schröder (4909218775).jpg CDU 1 December 1966 21 October 1969 Kiesinger
(I)
Helmut Schmidt
(1918–2015)
Helmut Schmidt (13.07.1977).jpg SPD 22 October 1969 7 July 1972 Brandt
(I)
Georg Leber
(1920–2012)
Verteidigungsminister Georg Leber.jpg SPD 7 July 1972 16 February 1978 Brandt (III)
Schmidt (III)
Hans Apel
(1932–2011)
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F055059-0008, Köln, SPD-Parteitag, Apel.jpg SPD 17 February 1978 1 October 1982 Schmidt
(II • III)
Manfred Wörner
(1934–1994)
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F038037-0030, Wiesbaden, CDU-Parteitag, Wörner.jpg CDU 4 October 1982 18 May 1988 Kohl
(IIIIII)
Rupert Scholz
(1937–)
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F078063-0010, Rupert Scholz.jpg CDU 18 May 1988 21 April 1989 Kohl
(III)
Gerhard Stoltenberg
(1928–2001)
Verteidigungsminister Dr. Gerhard Stoltenberg (4909220253).jpg CDU 21 April 1989 31 March 1992 Kohl
(IIIIV)
Volker Rühe
(1942–)
Verteidigungsminister Volker Rühe (4909819408).jpg CDU 1 April 1992 26 October 1998 Kohl
(IVV)
Rudolf Scharping
(1947–)
Bundeswehr-Foto BVM012 Rudolf Scharping.jpg SPD 27 October 1998 19 July 2002 Schröder
(I)
Peter Struck
(1943–2012)
Peter Struck-2010-01.jpg SPD 19 July 2002 22 November 2005 Schröder
(II)
Franz Josef Jung
(1949–)
Dr franz josef jung 02.jpg CDU 22 November 2005 28 October 2009 Merkel
(I)
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
(1971–)
Karl-Theodor Freiherr zu Guttenberg (4909820318).jpg CSU 28 October 2009 3 March 2011 Merkel
(II)
Thomas de Maizière
(1954–)
120216-D-TT977-152 cropped.jpg CDU 3 March 2011 17 December 2013
Ursula von der Leyen
(1958–)
Von der Leyen 2010.jpg CDU 17 December 2013 Incumbent Merkel
(III)

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]