Portal:Military history of Germany

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Welcome to the Military of Germany portal

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Introduction

While German-speaking people have a long history, Germany as a nation state dates only from 1871. Earlier periods are subject to definition debates. The Franks, for instance, were a union of Germanic tribes; nevertheless, some of the Franks later identified themselves as Dutch, Flemish, French and again others as Germans. The capital of medieval ruler Charlemagne's empire was the city of Aachen, now part of Germany, yet he was a Frank. France was named after the Franks and the Dutch and Flemish people are the only ones to speak a language that descends from Frankish (the language of the Franks). Hence nearly all continental Western European historians can claim his victories as their heritage. The Holy Roman Empire he founded was largely but far from entirely German speaking. The Kingdom of Prussia, which unified Germany in the 19th century, had significant territory in what is now Poland. In the early 19th century, the philosopher Schlegel referred to Germany as a Kulturnation, a nation of shared culture and political disunity, analogous to ancient Greece. Until the unification of 1871, Austria was considered a part of Germany even though much of its empire was not in the Holy Roman Empire and was non-German.

Selected article

Gorch Fock unter Segeln Kieler Foerde 2006.jpg

The Gorch Fock is a tall ship of the German Navy (Deutsche Marine). She is the second ship of that name and a sister ship of the Gorch Fock built in 1933. Both ships are named in honour of the German writer Johann Kinau who wrote under the pseudonym "Gorch Fock" and died in the battle of Jutland/Skagerrak in 1916. The modern-day Gorch Fock was built in 1958 and has since then undertaken 146 cruises (as of October 2006), including one tour around the world in 1988. She is sometimes referred to (unofficially) as the Gorch Fock II to distinguish her from her older sister ship. The Gorch Fock is under the command of the Naval Academy in Flensburg-Mürwik.

Germany lost all of its school ships as war reparations after World War II to the Allies, so the (West) German Bundesmarine decided in 1957 to have a new training vessel built following the plans for the original Gorch Fock of 1933 which by that time was owned by the Soviets, and renamed to Tovarishch. The new ship was a modernized repeat of the Albert Leo Schlageter, a slightly modified sister ship of the previous Gorch Fock.

The 1933 Gorch Fock had already been designed to be a very safe ship: she had a righting moment large enough to bring her back into the upright position even when heeling over to nearly 90°. Nevertheless some last-minute changes to the design were made in response to the Pamir disaster in 1957, especially concerning the strength of the body and the bulkheads as well as the lifesaving equipment, including the lifeboats.

(Read more)

Selected biography

Sculpture of Bert Trautmann at the Manchester City Museum, Manchester, UK

Bernhard Carl "Bert" Trautmann OBE (22 October 1923 – 19 July 2013) was a German professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper for Manchester City from 1949 to 1964.

Brought up during times of inter-war strife in Germany, Trautmann joined the Luftwaffe early in the Second World War, serving as a paratrooper. He fought on the Eastern Front for three years, earning five medals, including an Iron Cross. Later in the war, he was transferred to the Western Front, where he was captured by the British as the war drew to a close. One of only 90 of his original 1,000-man regiment to survive the war, he was transferred to a prisoner-of-war camp in Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire. Trautmann refused an offer of repatriation, and following his release in 1948, settled in Lancashire, combining farm work with playing goalkeeper for a local football team, St Helens Town.

Performances for St Helens gained Trautmann a reputation as an outstanding goalkeeper, resulting in interest from Football League clubs. In October 1949, he signed for Manchester City, a club playing in the country's highest level of football, the First Division. The club's decision to sign a former Axis paratrooper sparked protests and 20,000 people attended a demonstration. Over time, he gained acceptance through his performances in the City goal, playing in all but five of the club's next 250 matches.

After his playing career, he moved into management, first with lower-division sides in England and Germany, and later as part of a German Football Association development scheme that took him to several countries, including Burma, Tanzania and Pakistan. In 2004, he was appointed an honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for promoting Anglo-German understanding through football. (Read more)

Selected picture

Bundeswehr G36.jpg
German Bundeswehr land force soldiers deployed with G36s

Did you know?

German army belt buckle
  • ...that Bundeswehr belt buckles are inscribed with Einigkeit – Recht – Freiheit, which translates to Unity – Justice – Freedom?
  • ...that the Bundeswehr Military History Museum building is 14,000 square meters and has an inside and outside exhibition area of about 20,000 square meters, making it Germany's largest museum.

Categories

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To display all subcategories click on the "►":
Military history of Germany(55 C, 65 P)
Wars involving Germany(26 C, 27 P)
Battles in Bavaria(29 P)
Battles in Hesse(14 P)
Battles in Saxony(20 P)
Battles in Thuringia(10 P)
Battles involving Germany(8 C, 15 P, 1 F)
Military of Bavaria(4 C, 13 P)
Military history of Berlin(1 C, 7 P)
Military of East Germany(8 C, 30 P)
Forts in Germany(2 C, 22 P)
Freikorps(3 C, 6 P)
German War Graves Commission(6 C, 27 P)
Military of Hamburg(2 P)
Invasions by Germany(3 C, 16 P)
King's German Legion(38 P)
Military of Württemberg(2 C, 5 P)
Naval history of Germany(8 C, 45 P)
Military of Nazi Germany(5 C, 20 P)
German military occupations(12 C, 28 P)
Peace treaties of Germany(1 C, 10 P)
Military history of Prussia(3 C, 20 P)
Military of Prussia(9 C, 13 P)
Military of Saxony(2 C, 5 P)
German war crimes(3 C, 3 P, 1 F)
German Empire in World War I(11 C, 65 P, 27 F)

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