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]

Minister of Defence Took office Left office Time in office Party Cabinet
1
Gustav Noske
Noske, GustavGustav Noske
(1868–1946)
13 February 191922 March 19201 year, 38 daysSPDScheidemann
Bauer
2
Otto Gessler
Gessler, OttoOtto Gessler
(1875–1955)
27 March 192019 January 19287 years, 298 daysDDPMüller I
Fehrenbach
Wirth III
Cuno
Stresemann III
Marx III
Luther III
Marx IIIIV
3
Wilhelm Groener
Groener, WilhelmWilhelm Groener
(1867–1939)
19 January 192830 May 19324 years, 132 daysIndependentMarx IV
Müller II
Brüning III
4
Kurt von Schleicher
Schleicher, KurtKurt von Schleicher
(1882–1934)
1 June 193228 January 1933243 daysIndependentvon Papen
von Schleicher
5
Werner von Blomberg
Blomberg, WernerWerner von Blomberg
(1878–1946)
28 January 193321 May 19352 years, 113 daysIndependentvon Schleicher
Hitler

Minister of War, 1935–1938[edit]

Minister of War Took office Left office Time in office Party Cabinet
1
Werner von Blomberg
Blomberg, WernerWerner von Blomberg
(1878–1946)
21 May 193527 January 19382 years, 251 daysIndependentHitler

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]

Minister of War Took office Left office Time in office Party Cabinet
1
Wilhelm Keitel
Keitel, WilhelmWilhelm Keitel
(1882–1946)
4 February 19388 May 19457 years, 93 daysIndependentHitler
Flensburg

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

Minister of War Took office Left office Time in office Party Chairman
1
Willi Stoph
Stoph, WilliWilli Stoph
(1914–1999)
1 March 195614 July 19604 years, 135 daysSEDGrotewohl
2
Heinz Hoffmann
Hoffmann, HeinzHeinz Hoffmann
(1910–1985)
14 July 19602 December 198525 years, 141 daysSEDOtto Grotewohl
Willi Stoph
Horst Sindermann
Willi Stoph
3
Heinz Kessler
Kessler, HeinzHeinz Kessler
(1920–2017)
3 December 198518 November 19893 years, 351 daysSEDWilli Stoph
Hans Modrow
4
Theodor Hoffmann
Hoffmann, TheodorTheodor Hoffmann
(born 1935)
18 November 198912 April 1990145 daysSEDHans Modrow
5
Rainer Eppelmann
Eppelmann, RainerRainer Eppelmann
(born 1943)
12 April 19902 October 1990173 daysDALothar de Maizière

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

Name Took office Left office Time in office Party Cabinet
Federal Minister for Defence
1
Theodor Blank
Blank, TheodorTheodor Blank
(1905–1972)
7 June 195516 October 19561 year, 131 daysCDUAdenauer II
2
Franz Josef Strauß
Strauß, FranzFranz Josef Strauß
(1915–1988)
16 October 195629 December 19615 years, 74 daysCSUAdenauer IIIII
Federal Minister of Defence
(2)
Franz Josef Strauß
Strauß, FranzFranz Josef Strauß
(1915–1988)
30 December 19619 January 19631 year, 10 daysCSUAdenauer IVV
3
Kai-Uwe von Hassel
Hassel, Kai-UweKai-Uwe von Hassel
(1913–1997)
9 January 19631 December 19663 years, 326 daysCDUErhard III
4
Gerhard Schröder
Schröder, GerhardGerhard Schröder
(1910–1989)
1 December 196621 October 19692 years, 324 daysCDUKiesinger I
5
Helmut Schmidt
Schmidt, HelmutHelmut Schmidt
(1918–2015)
22 October 19697 July 19722 years, 259 daysSPDBrandt I
6
Georg Leber
Leber, GeorgGeorg Leber
(1920–2012)
7 July 197216 February 19785 years, 224 daysSPDBrandt III
Schmidt III
7
Hans Apel
Apel, HansHans Apel
(1932–2011)
17 February 19781 October 19824 years, 226 daysSPDSchmidt IIIII
8
Manfred Wörner
Wörner, ManfredManfred Wörner
(1934–1994)
4 October 198218 May 19885 years, 227 daysCDUKohl IIIIII
9
Rupert Scholz
Scholz, RupertRupert Scholz
(born 1937)
18 May 198821 April 1989338 daysCDUKohl III
10
Gerhard Stoltenberg
Stoltenberg, GerhardGerhard Stoltenberg
(1928–2001)
21 April 198931 March 19922 years, 345 daysCDUKohl IIIIV
11
Volker Rühe
Rühe, VolkerVolker Rühe
(born 1942)
1 April 199226 October 19986 years, 188 daysCDUKohl IVV
12
Rudolf Scharping
Scharping, RudolfRudolf Scharping
(born 1947)
27 October 199819 July 20023 years, 265 daysSPDSchröder I
13
Peter Struck
Struck, PeterPeter Struck
(1943–2012)
19 July 200222 November 20053 years, 126 daysSPDSchröder II
14
Franz Josef Jung
Jung, FranzFranz Josef Jung
(born 1949)
22 November 200528 October 20093 years, 340 daysCDUMerkel I
15
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
Guttenberg, Karl-TheodorKarl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
(born 1971)
28 October 20093 March 20111 year, 126 daysCSUMerkel II
16
Thomas de Maizière
Maizière, ThomasThomas de Maizière
(born 1954)
3 March 201117 December 20132 years, 289 daysCDUMerkel II
17
Ursula von der Leyen
Leyen, UrsulaUrsula von der Leyen
(born 1958)
17 December 2013Incumbent4 years, 242 daysCDUMerkel IIIIV

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]