The German Army (German: Deutsches Heer, Heer pronounced ) is the land component of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Heer was founded in 1955 as part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr along with the Marine (Navy) and the Luftwaffe (Air Force). In the aftermath of the German reunification of 1990, the Landstreitkräfte (Land Forces) of the National People's Army of the former German Democratic Republic were partially integrated into the Heer.
A German Army, equipped, organized and trained following a single doctrine, and permanently unified under one command dates from 1871, and the unification of Germany under the leadership of Prussia. From 1871 to 1919 the title Deutsches Heer or German Army was the official name of the army. This was the title the army carried during the First World War. From 1921 to 1935 under the Weimar Republic the army's title was Reichsheer (Empire Defence). From 1935 to 1945 the title was Heer (Army), part of the Wehrmacht, the name of Germany's armed forces under the Third Reich. From 1938, the Heer was first involved in the occupation of Czechoslovakia and then the successor events that led to the Second World War. The Heer effectively ceased to exist in 1945. Germany was split into two regions from 1945 and in the East the Landstreitkräfte was eventually created. In the West the Deutsches Heer or German Army became part of the West German Bundeswehr. The two armies faced each other across the Inner German Border, respectively part of the Warsaw Pact and NATO. Since 1990 the reunified army has been involved in peacekeeping operations in Somalia, and since 2002, fighting with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
Traditions can be traced between the Imperial Deutsches Heer, the Reichswehr and the Wehrmacht Heer. However after the Second World War the architects of the new Bundeswehr Heer choose not to continue any traditions of any of the previous armies and the new army of the Federal Republic of Germany. The only permitted historical antecedants for today's Bundeswehr Heer are the 1807 to 1814 Prussian military reformers and the servicemen who participated actively in the resistance against the Nazi regime, specifically the officers involved in the 20 July plot.
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