Are German Submarines a Match for the Russian Navy or Just an Easy Prey?

The war in Ukraine caught the German submarine fleet off guard, and now they seek to restore its submarine fleet as quickly as possible.
Kiel HWDW U35

Germany is a country that has taken its military seriously throughout history. However, the German submarine fleet is currently underfunded and vulnerable to the Russian navy’s submarines.

And as tensions between NATO and Russia continue to mount, some experts are questioning whether or not the German submarines are ready for combat.

German submarines aren’t a threat to Russia

German submarine U-33
German submarine U-33 by Mark Andrew Hays. Public Domain.

The days when Germany was a threat at sea are long gone. The German navy’s U-boats were a major factor during WWII and could sink ships of any military power in the world.


Today, Germany has six attack submarines. Although they are advanced submarines with sophisticated technology, it’s hard to confront dozens of Russian submarines with such a small fleet.

Actually, Germany could hardly cope with the 60 submarines that Russia currently has with just six submarines. 

The only advantage of German submarines is that they are much newer and technologically advanced. They are also quieter and hard to detect, meaning they are more effective at sneaking up on and attacking enemies. 


In any case, Germany still relies on NATO forces to defend itself against Russia – and in the last decade, Germany has greatly overlooked its military capabilities.

But as tensions with Russia rise, Germany may be forced to increase its funding and build new submarines.

Germany without US support is pretty vulnerable

Soviet Oscar Class nuclear-powered attack submarine
Soviet Oscar Class nuclear-powered attack submarine by Public Domain.

Russia has a large submarine fleet. The vast majority of these submarines are designed for strategic purposes, carrying large ballistic missiles that can target enemy cities and military bases. 


Even if they’re not cutting-edge submarines, they are very dangerous and equipped with nuclear missiles, making them a formidable deterrent against potential enemies. 

In addition, some Russian submarines are equipped with state-of-the-art sonar and communications systems, making them invaluable for intelligence gathering and reconnaissance missions. 

That’s why Germany entirely depends on the United States for its own defense. With its six submarines is quite hard to face the Russian threat… And although it is a convenient economic situation since they don’t need to invest heavily in military equipment, its defense is dependent on the US.


Now, the German Navy is trying to fix this mess

U Boot 212 HDW
U Boot 212 HDW by user:Stahlkocher. Licensed under CC by 3.0

Germany has close ties with other NATO countries, which allows it to call on its forces in the event of an attack.

As a result, Germany may not have a traditional standing army, but it still possesses a considerable amount of military power.

German Navy P8 Pistol
German Navy P8 Pistol by Bart Bauer. Public Domain.

However, Germany is currently negotiating a rapid increase in the submarine fleet for the next decade with an upgraded version of the Type 212 submarines.


It is still early to know the details of this operation, but Germany is definitely looking to increase its submarine fleet as well as strengthen its overall military force as a deterrent to Russian expansion.

Europe is getting ready for war!

Germany is the clearest example that Europe neglected its military forces during peacetime.

But now, with the ongoing war in Ukraine, the navies of Europe’s leading countries are once again investing in upgrading their forces as a deterrent to Russia in case war spreads across the continent.


Featured image credit: Kiel HWDW U35 by Bjoertvedt. Licensed under CC by 3.0.