West Germany: Help for the Orphan Army

For most of the past decade, West Germany's Bundeswehr has been justly known as "the orphan army." Though its authorized strength of 460,000 makes it NATO's largest European land army, it has been plagued by poor pay, rundown garrisons, manpower shortages (the Bundeswehr is below strength by 2,600 officers and 25,000 noncoms) and inept civilian leadership. Reacting to the strident heel clicking of the Nazi era, the public held the military in low esteem—an attitude abetted by baggy, dull gray uniforms that made even generals look like sloppy bus drivers.

When Willy Brandt's...

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