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NYT: Would You Die For Europe? A Binational Battalion Offers an Answer

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NYT: Would You Die For Europe? A Binational Battalion Offers an Answer

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Old 02-20-2019, 04:06 AM
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Default NYT: Would You Die For Europe? A Binational Battalion Offers an Answer

Interesting article in today's NYT regarding Tank Battalion 141, a German-Dutch battalion that is testing how a European Army may look and fight in the future.

On a former Cold War base, German and Dutch soldiers, serving together in one tank battalion, stood to attention one recent morning and shouted their battle cry in both languages.

“We fight —,” their commander bellowed.

“— for Germany!” the battalion replied in unison.

“We fight —,” the commander shouted.

“— for the Netherlands!” his soldiers yelled back.

They are not shouting “for Europe.” Not yet.

But the battalion — Europe’s first made up of soldiers from two countries — is an important baby step toward deeper European military cooperation. First floated after World War II, the idea of a European army is as old as the European Union itself, but has yet to become a reality.

“Everyone is talking about a European army,” Lt. Col. Marco Niemeyer, the German commander of the battalion, said. “We are pioneers.”
History is never far in Germany.

Cpl. First Class Leon Berkepeis is among 100 Dutch soldiers staffing German battle tanks under German command. His grandfather, a Dutch freedom fighter, was shot dead by the Germans during Hitler’s occupation of the Netherlands.

Nearly eight decades later, one of his friends in the battalion is a German whose grandfather was in the SS.

The base in Lohheide is walking distance from Bergen-Belsen, the former Nazi camp where Anne Frank died in 1945. Some buildings on the base were used by the camp toward the end of the war. Today, there are regular visits organized for soldiers.

Some Dutch soldiers recalled being told to avoid World War II jokes before arriving. “Don’t mention the war,” a German major had warned them.
You can read the entire article at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/world/europe/germany-defense-spending-european-army.html


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Old 02-20-2019, 06:48 AM
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Very low probability that there will be a unified European Army. The lights have been turned on the Secular Globalists attempting to destroy the individual cultures and people of Europe through high taxes , mass immigration and outsourcing jobs. Nationalism is growing in each country. Just ask Macron how his Globalist dreams are going... Now back to RC Tanking!!!!!
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:11 AM
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Certainly didn't mean to bring up politics with this, just found it interesting given I've been in the full size sector myself & my father's side of the family is Dutch. Cheers.
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:33 PM
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Without diverging too far, many countries use unit swapping and common training opportunities. I was once in an op with Kiwi Army soldiers and CA National Guard. Fun training exercise. Great troops and interesting people.
I have also seen around town Brittish Soldiers last year. I noticed over a few days there were enough of them wandering around this one place near where I work. I asked them and they said they were doing joint exercises with the Marines locally. Always great keeping relations up.
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Old 02-21-2019, 12:17 PM
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From a modeling perspective, the news gives us licence to mix and match camo patterns on the tank figures for modern European tanks. That is worth knowing, thanks for sharing this.
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