• Germany's news in English
 

British troops to leave Germany a year early

Published: 06 Mar 2013 07:32 GMT+01:00

Unveiling a £1.8 billion (€2.1 billion) plan, Hammond said around 4,000 troops had already returned and another 11,000 would move back by 2016. The remaining 4,500 would be back in Britain by 2019.

The government had previously said that all British troops in Germany and their families would be home by 2020. Most are stationed in the states of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The speeded-up return of the troops will lead to a shake-up of UK army bases to accommodate them when they return. Four will close and parts of three others will shut to allow resources to be concentrated on bases where the returning forces will be stationed.

They will be based at seven sites, including Salisbury Plain in southwest England, Edinburgh and Leuchars in Scotland, Catterick in northern England and Colchester in southeast England.

There has been a British army presence in Germany for 70 years, but the end of the Cold War necessitated a change in thinking.

Hammond told parliament: "The return of the British Army from Germany marks the end of an era and I want to put on record the huge debt of gratitude we owe to the German government and the German people for the support, both moral and material, they have shown our Armed Forces over more than six decades."

The plan will see around £1 billion of the funding go towards 1,900 new houses for service families and accommodation for 7,800 single soldiers. Another £800 million will be spent on infrastructure and refurbishment of bases.

AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

10:56 March 6, 2013 by Kennneth Ingle
A British army in Germany has not been necessary for over half a century. It has cost both countries millions of taxpayers money without bringing any military benefits, but nevertheless I personally will be sorry to see them go.

With all the criminal groups now entering this country, from other parts of Europe and also the Middle-East, although not needed, psychologically it has always been a comfort to know there was a British Barracks just around the corner. Now those of us, who have chosen to live here permanently, will soon be a small minority amongst the ever growing number of immigrants, a large abundance of whom have little respect for Christian values, or law and order.

The decision, to take our armed forces back into their home land, is not only for the defence of Britain most sensible and financially sound, it is also for the individual members and their families from great advantage. It is a pity that so many others lost their lives, or health, overseas, in conflicts which have done absolutely nothing to improve world peace.

Perhaps with the withdrawal from Germany, we may hope that the government in Britain is waking up to the fact, that wars bring little benefit, but much grief. A requirement for well trained British troops will certainly be needed in the near future for defence reasons. The danger of powerful fanatics did not unfortunately end with WW2, but modern warfare can be carried out without the necessity of sending thousands of troops to lose their lives in countries where they are not welcome.

Does anybody remember the song; Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye? It was sung at the beginning of the era which now goes to an end.
11:30 March 6, 2013 by auniquecorn
Now those of us, who have chosen to live here permanently, will soon be a small minority amongst the ever growing number of immigrants,

Man, you got me on that one.
13:18 March 6, 2013 by The-ex-pat
@11:30 March 6, 2013 by auniquecorn

If you call 300,000 Brits a small community......
13:24 March 6, 2013 by Firmino
lol @ auiniquecorn
15:33 March 6, 2013 by SchwabHallRocks
And now we know why Local.de is so much more "popular" than Local.fr...

Millions, upon millions, of British, US, and Canadian military, civilians, and family members living in Germany due to Status of Forces Agreements from WW II.

USA alone had over 1,000,000 Americans in Germany each year, in the 70s and 80s.
17:15 March 6, 2013 by Istabraq
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbyee
17:22 March 6, 2013 by florence
l have lived in Germany for many, many years and will be so sorry to leave.

I would like to thank all the people in the German Community who have helped make our time here so enjoyabe. I will be leaving many good friends behind and this makes me very sad.
17:39 March 6, 2013 by laurencelewis
@Kennneth Ingle

I am an Englishman living in Munich. I have the utmost respect for the law and order here (well, those devoid of religious foundations). However, I have absolutely no respect for Christian values! Especially as they often lead to the kind of crass, bigoted, generalisations you just made.

I suggest that, if you are worried about the impending scourge of migrants, you find some other land where your narrow world view may remain unblemished. Perhaps the newly reinforced Britain. Maybe you can lend a hand in defending the beaches from the hordes of immigrants from "other parts of Europe and the Middle-East".

I'm beginning to think it is inevitable for younger generations to be disgusted by the rhetoric and behaviour of those which came before them.

Wow! Nothing like piety to get my angry.
18:23 March 6, 2013 by Englishted
Oh no!,

there is only one genuine Indian curry restaurant anywhere near me and I think that is because of the barracks ,hope it doesn't go as well.
23:34 March 6, 2013 by schneebeck
@laurencelewis #8

Can you tell me about the kinds of values that exist in Munich that enticed you to live there?

Which other Christian values do you have absolutely no respect for, aside from the ones you especially see as crass and bigoted?

What Munich needs is less Christians and their values, right?
02:38 March 7, 2013 by vossy
The Brits spend a lot of money in Germany, I wonder if the incoming immigrants will spend as much when they replace them .
06:08 March 7, 2013 by LiberalGuy
Englishted

You have a curry house?! I haven't found anything with some spice in this country.

Germany. Where they take a good Hungarian Goulash, take away the flavor and call it their own
10:10 March 7, 2013 by laurencelewis
@schneebeck

Why would anyone be enticed to a city because of a dominant value system? I came to Munich because it is an excellent hub for life science research. It is also a nice city, and presented an opportunity to learn German.

The greater part of the value system adopted by Christianity functions independently from it, therefore Christianity has no absolute claim to it. Christian values for me, therefore, relate to a particular attitude towards how these value systems are adhered to. In the case of Christianity (and certainly Catholicism) that is often in a way which is prejudiced towards others and judgemental of the differences between people (see comment by Kennneth Ingle). It certainly leads to a degree of closed mindedness when it comes to change in social arenas, and also builds artificial barriers to peoples understanding of nature and our interactions with it.

And yes, Munich would be a more friendly place were it not for the undercurrent of Catholic sternness. I wouldn't say that Munich needs less Christians, more that it would be better if fewer people were Christian. It's never too late to give up religion and realise that lives can be led through responsibility and learning rather than through indoctrination and blind adherence to decrepit scripture.
14:43 March 7, 2013 by SchwabHallRocks
Got to love this site... The article talks about the Brits leaving and it morphs into the value system of Munich.

@ English Ted - you are spot on. Germany cuisine is inherently bland: meat, noodles, potatoes... But, at least in the south they cook up some tasty asparagus in the spring time. (Yea... right.)

@Laurence - if you think that Christianity had no role in shaping Western Values, you may want to take a class in Leadership, or Social Sciences, or History or something relevant to that particular issue.
18:20 March 7, 2013 by Englishted
@ SchwabHallRocks and @ LiberalGuy

You have never and never will hear me (write a comment) complain about the German beer because it is great ,and the bread as well.
10:04 March 8, 2013 by laurencelewis
@SchwabHallRocks

I didn't say Christianity had no role in shaping western values. My point is a subtle one.
14:39 March 8, 2013 by Harrow
another shout out for the most idiotic comment ever, even on a site with szuch idiotic posters as this. Ich lache mich tot!

"Now those of us, who have chosen to live here permanently, will soon be a small minority amongst the ever growing number of immigrants"
21:14 March 18, 2013 by MattyB
10:04 March 8, 2013 by laurencelewis

Oh, we all "get" your not so subtle point. You're a bigot who does not like other bigots.
Today's headlines
Hurricane Niklas
Storm shuts down NRW train lines
This train in Lower Saxony had to stop after striking a fallen tree. Photo: DPA

Storm shuts down NRW train lines

No regional trains are running in North Rhine-Westphalia as hurricane “Niklas” rages across Germany. READ  

Merkel urges Germans: Give Greece a chance
Chancellor Merkel speaking in Helsinki. Photo: DPA

Merkel urges Germans: Give Greece a chance

On a visit to Helsinki on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel showed a patient side to the German government as the Eurozone continues to wait for a new list of economic reforms from Greece. READ  

Unemployment at new post-unification low
Photo: DPA

Unemployment at new post-unification low

German unemployment fell in March to the lowest level since the country reunited in 1990 as growth in Europe's biggest economy continues to pick up, official data showed on Tuesday. READ  

Trabi project aims to electrify 'Ostalgia'
A Trabant being converted into an E-car. Photo: DPA

Trabi project aims to electrify 'Ostalgia'

Its chuntering motor and belching exhaust once heralded the coming of the communist utopia. Now the east German 'Trabi' is leading a new revolution, and this time you won't hear it coming. READ  

Gun maker denies problems with army rifles
A German soldier aims a G36 rifle. Photo: DPA

Gun maker denies problems with army rifles

Update: Weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch denied on Monday evening that the G36 rifles it supplied to the Bundeswehr (German army) lose their accuracy when they are too hot. READ  

Germany, France, Italy want Euro drones
An American Reaper drone. Photo: DPA

Germany, France, Italy want Euro drones

Germany, France and Italy plan to push forward with plans for a European-made military drone, the German government told MPs on Monday. READ  

Energy prices drive return to inflation
Photo: DPA

Energy prices drive return to inflation

Inflation in Germany crept higher in March, driven by rebounding energy prices, preliminary data showed on Monday. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Lufthansa questions 60th anniversary jubilee
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa questions 60th anniversary jubilee

Germany's national airline is reconsidering plans to celebrate its 60th anniversary on April 15th following last weak's deadly crash of a plane from subsidiary Germanwings in the French Alps. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Prosecutor: co-pilot had suicidal tendencies
Photo: DPA

Prosecutor: co-pilot had suicidal tendencies

A spokesman for prosecutors in Düsseldorf said on Monday that Germanwings flight 4U9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had been treated for suicidal tendencies in the years before obtaining his pilot's license. READ  

Minister promises “shredding-free” eggs
Photo: DPA

Minister promises “shredding-free” eggs

Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt hopes to end mass shredding of male chicks in hatcheries in the next two years, he announced on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,039
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd