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British troops to leave Germany a year early
Photo: DPA

British troops to leave Germany a year early

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

British troops will leave Germany a year earlier than planned to end a legacy of World War II by 2019, UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced late on Tuesday.

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)

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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.
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