When I first saw this information come up on my Google News feed, I was kind of groggy and thought maybe Germany was willing to help the Ukrainian war effort with some kind of uber military working dog. Then I actually read the article and saw that in the German military, a “Dingo” is a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle or MRAP. They are armored personnel carriers (APC).
According to Politico, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said this past Thursday that her nation would be sending 50 of the above-mentioned armored vehicles to Kyiv in support of their ongoing efforts to push the invading Russians out of their country. During an annual conference of the German military (aka the Bundeswehr), she announced, “It is encouraging to see the successes that Ukraine has been able to achieve, especially in recent days, also with the help of German weapons.”
In addition to the 50 MRAPs, Germany has also pledged to send two MARS (Medium Artillery Rocket Systems) to add to the three they have already shipped. Yeah, that makes a grand total of five. Come on, Germany, you a world power, you can do better than that. To be fair, they are also sending 200 rounds for the MARS. I had to laugh a little bit at that one because MARS is a Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) with 12 launch tubes capable of firing 12 rockets in approximately 60 seconds. At that rate of fire, they’ll burn through all 200 rounds in less than half an hour. When that happens, all they have left is a really expensive truck.
Sources from CNBC report that back in April, Germany promised to deliver its quite capable Leopard tanks and Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicles to Ukraine. Promises they have yet to deliver on. The plan was a bit convoluted from the beginning. The Germans didn’t want to send the equipment directly to Ukraine. That would be too easy. So instead, they proposed a system where NATO members would send their Soviet Era tanks (Leopard 1s, for example) to Ukraine. In exchange, Germany would send that nation (let’s use Poland as an example) Leopard 2s to replace what they sent. It sounds like the hard way to do it. Why not just send the “good stuff” directly to the country fighting for its life?
The reason is a bit condescending; according to Reuters, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the Ukrainians should only be sent the equipment they already know how to use. While speaking to lawmakers in the Bundestag lower house of parliament, he said, “These are very old inventories that were used by the NVA (army of former Communist East Germany), which have the advantage that they can be used particularly well in Ukraine because they have experience with this equipment. We have to supply equipment that can be used.”
In the past, Defense Minister Lambrecht has defended her hesitancy to send heavy weapons to Ukraine by saying that her first duty is to assure the German Bundeswehr has enough equipment to defend their country. That’s funny because last time I checked, no one was threatening to attack Germany.
An explanation of the most recent German weapons deals to Ukraine. Video from YouTube and Military FORCE
Ukraine has recently ratcheted up the pressure on Germany to do more. A report by Deutsche Welle reported how Lambrecht started talking about a tougher game during a keynote security address in Berlin. She spoke of Germany’s obligations to take a global leadership role and that her nation should not fear that responsibility. She said, “Germany’s size, its geographical situation, its economic power — in short, its clout — makes us a leading power whether or not we want to be one. Militarily as well.”
The Defense Minister continued, “The war in Ukraine has shown everyone, even us Germans who are used to peace, that states need armed forces as a last resort — that is, whenever an enemy is determined to use invasion, destruction, murder, and forced displacement.”
“Used to peace?” Ok, I’ll let that one slide…for now. Just put your money where your mouth is and step up your game, Germany. Let’s help the Ukrainians end this thing so they can get started on rebuilding their country.