Lambrecht’s tank mess: Minister interrogated by the opposition – domestic politics

Secretary of Defense Christine Lambrecht (57, SPD) was at the cross-examination for an hour today!

The central topic of the government survey in the Bundestag, in which it answered questions from deputies, especially the opposition, was the support of Ukraine through arms supplies from Germany.

But what you will probably remember from the debate is Lambrecht’s tank mistake.

Asked by CDU / CSU European Political Spokesman Florian Hahn (48), what is the significant difference in the federal government’s decision not to supply Marder tanks but Cheetah tanks, Lambrecht resolutely replied: “A cheetah is not a tank. That’s the difference. “

The Minister of Defense stated: The cheetah is “classified differently”. At least that is “the classification of the Inspector General or military advice. There is a difference. “Lambrecht’s conclusion:” So far there have been no deliveries of Western-type tanks, and therefore there will be no German solo effort. “

▶ ︎ Military historian prof. Sönke Neitzel (53, University of Potsdam) at BILD: “The cheetah is, of course, a tank, an anti-aircraft tank.” It’s not the main battle tank he’s been fighting so hard right now. The distinction is somewhat intentional and shows the reluctance of the German government.

Many EU MEPs made fun of Lambrecht’s strange statement on Twitter. CDU politician Johann Wadephul posted on Twitter the official name of the cheetah: “anti-aircraft cannon tank” – and the hashtag “expertise”.

The fact is: An army spokesman also confirmed to BILD: “It’s an anti-aircraft gun tank.”

So what did the minister have in mind: Compared to the Marder infantry fighting vehicle and the Leopard battle tank, this is not a so-called “main battle tank” model.

► Background: The main battle tanks are the most heavily armored and most flexibly armed type of tank. They are used to attack enemy infantry, main battle tanks and other armored vehicles on the ground.

The cheetah, on the other hand, serves mainly to protect Panzer and Panzergrenadier units from attacking aircraft and helicopters at low altitudes in the accompanying operation.


Fact sheet: Marder Infographic

This means in simple language: Although both combat vehicles have very different functions – they are still by the name TANKY!

But instead of clearly naming this difference when asked how exactly it was distinguished with respect to classification or non-classification as a tank, the minister continued to babble:

“This is a military evaluation, which was also carried out by consultants who are also available to us. The cheetah is there to protect critical infrastructure, for example by firing the tube into the air and capturing objects that are very distant. The tank can’t do it. “

And then: “So this is something else. Both are of course heavy, both have large barrels, but it’s not a tank. And that’s why the decision was made to supply the cheetah, because it can secure critical infrastructure. “

Embarrassing: The Minister of Defense is not proficient in defense matters.

Lambrecht also emphasized the cheetah’s defensive nature, that it protects critical infrastructure.

Lambrecht announced in the Bundestag that Ukraine would not attack targets on Russian territory with artillery systems and multiple missiles (Mars II) supplied by Germany. Her colleague, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Resnikov (56), made this clear in Brussels recently.


Catalog sheet: MARS II - Infographics

Lambrecht in the Bundestag: “For my colleague Resnikov – he was in Brussels last week and took part in various meetings – it was very important for him to explicitly explain to Ukraine that these weapons only serve to defend it. But that as a result of their actions there will be no shelling from Russian territory. He explained it explicitly, and that’s why we have this certainty. “

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