Ukrainian soldiers to undergo artillery training in Germany

Ukrainian soldiers to undergo artillery training in Germany

Ukrainian soldiers have travelled to Germany to begin howitzer training. The soldiers will return to Ukraine upon completion of their training, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz promising to send heavy artillery to bolster the country’s defences.

Ukrainian troops land in Germany for weapons training

Over 60 Ukrainian troops have travelled to Germany from Poland to take part in weapons training. The soldiers, including technical experts and translators, will undergo the training, set to last around 40 days, at the German military artillery school in the town of Idar-Oberstein, Rhineland-Palatinate. After the training, the troops will return to Ukraine.

A howitzer is a long-ranged weapon; a form of heavy artillery that is somewhere between a cannon and a mortar. They are designed to accompany convoys and provide them with ground support. The Ukrainian troops in Germany will be training to operate the Howitzer 2000 model (also known as the Panzerhaubitze 2000 in German), an armoured, 155mm calibre, self-propelled gun that is capable of firing three rounds every 10 seconds.

Howitzers were first developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, a defence company based in Munich, and Rheinmetall, an arms manufacturer based in Düsseldorf, for the Bundeswehr in 1998. The Howitzer 2000 model is operated by a five-man crew and can travel up to 60 kilometres per hour, to a range of around 420 kilometres. They are extremely proficient weapons, able to cross bodies of water up to 1,5 metres deep and boast a range of around 30 to 56 kilometres (depending on the type of ammunition used).

Chancellor Scholz promises weapons to Ukraine

In a major turnaround by the German government, Olaf Scholz announced Germany would be sending seven howitzers to Ukraine, after previously facing criticism from Kyiv and its allies for not sending heavy weapons to the beleaguered country. The howitzers will first have to be made operational before they are sent over, something which is expected to be done by the summer.

According to German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht, the armed forces currently have around 100 howitzers, although only 40 are operational. The German government has also pledged to send several Flakpanzer Gepard anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine, although these also need to be made operational first.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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