Germany wanted to deliver to Poland the Leopard 1A5 tanks instead of the Leopard 2A4 as originally committed, which angered Warsaw.

Although there are many Leopard 2A4 tanks in storage, the German government wants Poland to receive outdated Leopard 1A5 tanks. In particular, Berlin officially announced that it could not supply the Polish Army with Leopard 2A4 tanks in the appropriate quantity and time. These machines are expected by Warsaw to receive after delivering all T-72s to Ukraine.

The German government has stated that it can only deliver 20 Leopard 2s in 12 months. The Polish Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak announced exactly such terms and quantities with a rather angry attitude. In the face of legitimate accusations from Warsaw of the unsuitability of the offer, Berlin suggested that Poland receive 100 Leopard 1A5 tanks, as well as the Marder infantry fighting vehicle, according to the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Notably, these Leopard 1A5 and Marders are in the warehouses of the Rheinmetall company. Germany has repeatedly pledged to hand them over to the Ukrainian Army, but now they want Poland to take them. This fact has once again aroused countless criticisms of Germany’s failure to strictly fulfill its commitments to its allies. The question now is, if they deliver these tanks to Poland, what will Ukraine get?

At the moment, the Polish side wonders, why can’t Berlin immediately deliver to them at least 50 Leopard 2A4s available in stock? According to the statistics of the Military Balance 2021 page, the German Army currently has 600 Leopard 2 main battle tanks in service, but only 250 are deployed on duty, the rest are still in storage.

Also, why can’t Germany send these Leopard 2 tanks to Slovakia and Slovenia, since they also have commitments with these countries after they deliver their weapons to Ukraine. And the only thing that the Krauss Maffei Wegmann Group has really done in recent years is to deliver 12 tanks in 2020 to Hungary, and another 15 are expected to be sent to the Czech Republic.

Facing criticism, Germany believes that all these tanks are stored with the role of ensuring the supply of spare parts to maintain the combat capabilities of their Leopard 2 and the armies of other countries operating this machine. In addition, Germany announced that it is also becoming a chassis sponsor for combat vehicles based on Leopard 2, such as the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer.

But the above answer was not satisfied by the stakeholders. Ukraine, Poland and a number of other countries accuse Berlin of deliberately not delivering weapons to them according to an earlier commitment because they want to please Russia, after Moscow reduced the amount of gas it sold to Germany.

They also mentioned the policy of reducing spending on the military that Germany has implemented since the 1990s, making it difficult to guarantee its role in NATO and the EU today. It is not clear at this time whether the German government will change its position under strong pressure from its allies?


  1. Please check your sources.

    While Poland is claiming that Germany offered Leopards 2 after after Warsaw delivered it’s T-72s to Ukraine there are no good sources supporting this (Polish) claims and Berlin is denying any former agreement featuring Leopard 2s.

    There is a high probability that Poland delivered the T-72s (many of them were given to the Poles by Germany a few years back) before a deal with Berlin was in place. The Germans do not have many operational Leopards 2 left for there own defensive needs.

    The T-72 are hardly worth Leopards 2 btw. They are much more comparable to the final upgrade level of the Leopard 1.

    The far-right Polish government is well know for it’s animosity towards Germany.


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