Tank delivery to Ukraine: Germany delivers – and there’s more to come


As of: 04/26/2022 7:01 p.m

The delivery of German tanks will not decide the war in Ukraine. But it shows that the West is preparing for a longer war and that the Ukrainians have to switch to other weapon systems.

A comment by Uli Hauck, ARD capital studio

Germany’s arming of Ukraine has so far been a communications disaster. For weeks, the chancellor and the government let themselves be carried away: by their own people, the opposition and Ukraine.

As a result, the accusation that Germany is doing too little militarily has become firmly established. Even if partners like the USA expressly do not share this criticism. Because Germany is already providing two billion euros in training funds so that Ukraine in particular can buy additional weapons. For comparison: last year Ukraine’s entire military budget was just five billion euros.

A wrong impression was created

In addition to money, Germany also supplied Panzerfaust, mortars, anti-aircraft missiles, 100,000 hand grenades and more than 16 million rounds of ammunition. Germany has already agreed to the delivery of almost 60 former NVA armored personnel carriers from the Czech Republic and a ring exchange of tanks from Slovenia to Ukraine. And yet the fact remains: Germany does not supply heavy weapons.

Instead of openly communicating what is being done militarily, the government has only made bits and pieces of information public. Above all, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has always presented the public with fait accomplis. Without clearly communicating why a decision was made and why heavy tanks have not yet been delivered.

Pressure to act due to non-communication

This lack of communication led to a debate and a pressure to act that ultimately could not be stopped. And now the German arms industry is delivering Gepard anti-aircraft tanks directly to Ukraine. A step that is suddenly perceived as the great military U-turn, but which will not be decisive for the war either.

Because these 40 old cheetah tanks are complicated to maintain and handle. And since the training takes a long time, they could be deployed in Ukraine in a few months at the earliest. In addition, it has not yet been clarified where sufficient ammunition is supposed to come from. And yet: The delivery of German Gepard tanks – but also of French and Dutch howitzers – shows that the West is preparing for a longer war.

Ukrainians have to switch to other weapon systems

Because the previous delivery of former Soviet tanks from the stocks of Eastern European NATO countries to the Ukraine is finite. And that’s why the Ukrainians will have to switch to Western European and American weapon systems in the medium term if they are to hold out against Russia.

For this, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced pathetically in Ramstein that “heaven and earth” would be set in motion. And Germany apparently wants to continue to participate in this massive support.

Germany has long been a major arms supplier to Ukraine. Now it also delivers tanks directly. That is new. And more tanks from Germany will follow. The Federal Government and especially the Chancellor could have made that clear long ago: We are doing a lot and there is still more to come.

Heavy weapons for Ukraine – a single communication disaster

Uli Hauck, ARD Berlin, April 26, 2022 6:12 p.m

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