German forces have now taken the lead for the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), providing thousands of soldiers on standby and ready to deploy within days.
Germany takes over from Italy, which provided the VJTF lead brigade in 2018.
The VJTF in 2019 is based on a German brigade, the 9th Panzerlehrbrigade. The Netherlands and Norway support the German contingent adding capabilities such as aviation and mechanised infantry.

France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Lithuania also provide forces. Together, they represent a multinational brigade of around 8,000 troops.

“The VJTF is a substantial contribution to our collective defence,” said NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu. “In 2019, nine Allies will contribute to the VJTF. This is a strong display of our capabilities and our resolve to work together. Once activated, the VJTF, our Spearhead Force, is available to move immediately to defend any Ally against any threat”, said the Alliance in a statement.

The VJTF is a joint force, consisting of a land component, supported by air, maritime and special forces. It is part of the Alliance’s larger NATO Response Force (NRF) with around 40,000 troops.

This year, the 1st German/Netherlands Corps is in charge of the NRF’s land forces. Admiral James Foggo commands the entire NRF from NATO’s Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy.

Last year we reported that the vast majority of major weapons systems in the German military were unavailable for training exercises or deployment, according to a German Defence Ministry report.

According to local media, the German Defence Ministry said that a higher number of training missions and deployments since Russia’s intervention in eastern Ukraine in 2014 had caused existing equipment to wear down quicker than it had previously.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anthony Bromley

With what?

Bloke down the pub

Bit early for April Fools?

captain P Wash.

I was watching a News Report yesterday about the lack of Subs, Ships and Aircraft. It’s one hell of a mess.


Did you miss the one about a SM2 missile misfiring, failing to launch and burning out a VLS tube? Germany really is the laughing stock.

Honestly, Europe is so screwed if it wants to base its defense around Germany and good like that FCAS France!

Steve M

Looking at Wikipedia the 9th Panzerlehrbrigade is comprised of one hell of a lot of “demonstration” battalions/brigades, 4 out of 8. Not sure what they are, any ideas?


Panzerlehrbrigade literally means Tank Demonstration Brigade. They are to all intents and purposes normal battalions but with an additional role of being the units of choice for showing off (demonstrating) how was Heer is supposed to operate in contact to VIPs and the like.

There used to be a Armoured Demonstration Division (Panzerlehr Division) during ww2, which was considered one of the best units in the Wehrmacht. So the Lehr battalions (though not directly descended from the 1943 division) have a pretty good pedigree.


“demonstration” is the translation of Lehr, which really means “teach”. The Panzer Lehr Division was an elite WW2 unit built from experienced veterans who previously manned the Panzer schools as instructors. Hence the “Lehr” is a appellation given to units considered the elite.


Not sure the word “readiness” should be used in any way in conjunction with “Bundeswehr”…


Ian Skinner

Panzer Lehr units have traditionally been the demonstration and test unit of the German army, they were a very effective panzer division in WW2, so it no surprise that they are being used for this role.

Daniele Mandelli

Yes. In Normandy in 44.

Big Chief

What are they leading it with?
The ship that lists and requires ballast?
The Eurofighters that are grounded and largely under armed?


I understand that the newest German frigate had s 4 degree list to port and was sent back to the builders. Apparently it turns out that the whole class will have the same problem due to the placement of the the engine and to rectify the issue all 3 ships currently built will have to be completely rebuilt and a complete redesign of the remaining 2 yet to built vessels.

So much for the much vaunted German engineering excellence.

Mr Bell

It is sadly tyre. But Germanic hyperbole is that their engineering prowess is 2nd to none and you have to buy German to get quality. Utter BS. If their engineering was that good they would have won at least one of the 2 world wars they started.
Reality is British shipbuilding is superior. The Germans have not just built a QE class carrier or Astute class subs.
It could not happen to a nicer bunch of people. Hope the F125 Baden class costs billions to fix. Large, underarmed, over hyped crap.

Robert Blay

Is that comment a joke? If not, it doesn’t say much about you

Levi Goldsteinberg

I don’t think the Germans would ever claim that their shipbuilding was world leading, it’s never been their forté at any point in history or today. Implying German engineering is anything less than deeply impressive in nearly every other field though is just plain old silly

Daniele Mandelli

The Germans lost on the Russian front due to sheer weight of numbers weather, long lines of communication, the partisans, their racial policies, Russian heroism, and sheer folly by Adolf Hitler.

Despite their technical expertise and quality of their tanks, their tactical acumen, and quality of the Wermacht and Waffen SS.


Germans technical expertise was so good their equipment didn’t work in the cold and they had no suitable clothing. The T34 was superior to anything the Germans had and in the sufficient numbers. German tactics were simple, to undertake a huge surprise attack on a country they had signed a non aggression treaty with and they were prepared for war unlike any of their adversaries who didn’t want war. The Waffen SS were ruthless fanatical Nazis who carried out numerous war crimes. They were not soldiers as most would understand but more akin to merciless crusaders. Despite some of their… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Hi Sjb1968. Right, lets go through this, as I think you are a tad wide of the mark in some areas. I’m well read on the Great Patriotic War and will happily discuss this subject all day. This is the reason I often defend Russia here, I’m well aware of what they went through and the wider historical suspicions that prevail in the Russian mind set. With good reason. German equipment was found wanting before Moscow in 41 yes, after it not so much. Being the coldest winter anyone could recall, even the Russians had trouble. Winter, and the mud… Read more »


Danielle it is always good to find someone who has a common interest in history and especially WW2 although my real interest is all things in the air and on the sea. I was ribbing you about tactics and I have read a fair bit about Von Manstein’s very clever mobile defence tactics on the eastern front, which even defeated a certain Mr Zukhov at the Demyansk pocket. That he advised NATO post war about how to counter the Soviets says it all. Of course my point was that the advantage nearly always lies with the premediated aggressor and here… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Ah! Much more like it. Thanks for the ribbing. There I was thinking I was speaking to someone with little knowledge of the subject making dismissive, ignorant remarks! How wrong I was. Manstein at Demyansk? I think you may be thinking of the counter offensive before Kharkov in February 43. Yes he proposed an “elastic defence” against the Soviets, and indeed advised NATO. As far as Tanks goes I think both our general statements need to be taken into context depending at what timeframe we are talking of. My comment was based mainly from early 43 on and indeed did… Read more »

captain P Wash.

Daniel, not sure If I’m actually replying to your Russia post as there is no “Reply” icon under it but, Well done, That’s pretty much how I see it too. T34’s had Wide Tracks to cope better with the Winter conditions and their very Rugged but basic design together with a half decent gun gave then certain advantages especially in such large numbers. Just like the Sherman really, Not the Best but the best we had that could be produced in Large Numbers.

Daniele Mandelli

Morning Captain. That occasional lack of a reply icon is curious isn’t it.

David E Flandry

If the German army had succeeded in killing Hitler, the generals would have gained control of strategy and tactics, and could have results in very different outcome for the war on both fronts. Hitler was the worst enemy for the Germans.


Germany with our without Hitler couldn’t even hold the allies. The combined weight of the US, Soviets and British Empire was enormous and when fully mobilised there was only going to be one outcome. It was purely a case of not if but when were they going to be crushed. The German generals knew that and would have sued for peace earlier.

Geoffrey Roach

Umm Germany…high readiness…you mean both tanks in daylight hours weekdays yes?

Mr Bell

German high readiness. When it is 13-25 degrees Celsius. No rain. No night. No rivers to cross. No opposing seriously armed and dangers enemies. No ATGM against their glass jawed leopard 2s. Did you hear ISIS took out an entire squadron of Leopard 2s belonging to the Turkish army in Syria. 16 tanks chopped up by RPGs, ATGM. Challenger 2 meanwhile hit by 16 such weapons in Iraq and still able to be recovered patched up and sent back out within 24hrs.
Have the Germans got ammo for their guns?


Have you got a link to the story behind what happened with the leopards? Everything I read indicated they were very effective and on par with the best, but paper stats mean nothing when the shooting starts.

Mr Bell

Widely reported by James defence website at the time. Poor handling admittedly by the Turkish army who parked the Leopard 2s on a hill silhouetted against the sky. The ISIS fighters left the town below the hill in a ragtag group disguised as refugees. Got to within 200m of the Leopards, on their flanks then poured out of their vehicles and fired a very large number of RPG and ATGM at the Turkish Leopard 2s. Resulting in total losses. Bad handling, bad depolyment, bad tactics, lack of interlocking fire support. Lack of screening infantry and IFVs, but does not change… Read more »

John Robinson

Or the fact that the Turks are using the A4 version of the L2 which is over 20yrs old, the German Army has the A7 version and the C2 in Iraq had armour upgrades so hardly a comparison

Daniele Mandelli

Interesting. I thought the ARRC was the high readiness unit of NATO, with the UK as framework nation.

Maybe I’m behind the times!

Levi Goldsteinberg

Oi kurwa!


Germany in high readiness force??? HAHAHA. The majority of their military hardware isn’t even combat ready!

captain P Wash.

Is It possible to suggest Defence related Gaffes that could be posted here ? Today on MSN, for Example. A Daily Mirror post rather proudly says, “BBC Gaffe shows May In WW2 Jet”. so when you click on it, It then says “May to fly to Brussels in WW2 Bombers”, with a video of 9 Spitfires possibly Hurricanes. It’s a case of the Blind leading the Blind yet again. How much do these people get paid to write such remarkably inaccurate Articles and just what are they teaching at Schools nowadays ? Sorry If this is off topic but I’m… Read more »


Hi folks hope are all well.
Good comments Daniele, I also have good reading of the second world war and agree with both of your comments regarding Germany and Russia in that period. However we do have an issue with current German hardware, which is of concern. A recent article on this site made reference to a French and German military alliance, which does question how? My concern is there is a possibility of minds being taken of the ball and NATO having resources diverted to other commitments.
All the best,


Why is it that any article about the German Military today on this site ends up “re-enacting World War 2”. Germany ended up as the economic leader of Europe through shear hard work, after the devastation of WW2, it has moved on since then. Germany needs to spend more money and resources today on their NATO commitments, that we can all agree on. But that is not high priority with the German Politicians at the moment. Loans to Greece and re-building the former East German infrastructure …

Corporal Harry Chunk (ex RAC)

Interesting comments about Isis wiping out a squadron of Turkish Leopard 2s. The British Challenger 2 coming under a similar level of attack in Iraq would have had the chobham armour against which the majority of Isis weapons would be useless against. In fact I do believe the only Challenger tank ever taken out was a friendly fire mistake by another Challenger. I understand that Britain and US are very selective about who they allow to have chobham armour and without it most modern tanks are no better defended than a WW2 Tiger.