The poor Bundeswehr. Based on this item, it sounds like the Prussian militarism and tradition has really been beaten out of the German people:
The Bundeswehr is in danger of failing its mission in Afghanistan because German soldiers cannot use their weapons, drive their armoured vehicles or take care of their wounded properly, according to classified internal documents.
Bundeswehr officers complain in the reports obtained by German daily Bild that, “The soldiers’ proficiency in small arms and their command of the weaponry does not correspond to the requirements of the territory.”
“The soldiers generally have no mastery over their weapons,” the report added. “There is a need for more intense firearms training in the preparatory stages of foreign deployment.”
The reports also alleged that German soldiers have “little to no instruction and experience” in driving armoured vehicles. In Afghanistan’s difficult terrain, this has resulted in too many accidents and damaged equipment, putting additional lives at risk.Now, back in Opa's day (or in Great-Opa's Day, if you will), the German soldier was proficient, trained, and professional. Yes, he was a little given towards trying to take over the world, but, in Europe, they tend to forgive such things so long as there are bank bailouts and fine consumer goods to trade.
The wars of the 20th Century are fading so fast in the European consciousness that there really isn't anything to do but look at a demilitarized, almost pacifistic future. What European power is going to start a war nowadays? Ukraine? Spain? Serbia? It's as if history has actually ended. There are tens of millions of military aged men in Europe and there are no standing armies, nothing. There are polite, poorly-trained and poorly-equipped constabulary forces where once stood some of the toughest fighting formations on the face of the Earth. To hear about German soldiers who are incapable of going about their mission if it involves and armored vehicle is to truly appreciate the post-war dream of Europe: there are no more soldiers. Only young men and women who, if asked, will go to far flung places and die for lack of tradition, training, and equipment.
A soldier not being able to handle a weapon is akin to a race car driver not knowing how to work a steering wheel. And what's really sad is that Europe actually has a very robust law enforcement community. The Europeans love their riot police and their internal security forces. That's where the disciplined professionals are, I guess. The militaries of Europe have lost their traditions and now they just get whoever they can get.