skip to main content

Germany forms panzer brigade to be stationed in Lithuania

The Bundeswehr is forming Panzerbrigade 42, composed of Panzerbataillon 203 equipped with the Leopard 2 tank (pictured) and Panzergrenadierbataillon 122 with the Puma IFV. (Bundeswehr/Mario Bähr)

The Bundeswehr is forming a panzer (armoured) brigade to be permanently stationed in Lithuania, the German Federal Ministry of Defence announced in a press release on 6 November. The decision was made by Federal Minister of Defence Boris Pistorius on the recommendation of Bundeswehr Generalinspekteur (chief of defence) General Carsten Breuer.

Designated Panzerbrigade 42, the new formation will be composed of Panzerbataillon (Armoured Battalion) 203 from Augustdorf in northern Germany and Panzergrenadierbataillon (Armoured Infantry Battalion) 122 from Oberviechtach close to the Czech-German border. The brigade's third battalion will be the rotating German-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) multinational battlegroup in Lithuania, which includes Dutch and Norwegian troops.

The two battalions based in Germany will be moved to Lithuania when the necessary infrastructure is ready. When they are, their bases in Germany will receive new units. Panzerartilleriebataillon (Armoured Artillery Battalion) 215 will be re-established at Augustdorf, and Artilleriebataillon 131 will be moved 40 km from Weiden southeastward to Oberviechtach. The Bundeswehr is also considering forming a light support company in Oberviechtach. Meanwhile, newly established Panzerartilleriebataillon 375 will continue to be built up in Weiden.

Initial command elements of Panzerbrigade 42 are scheduled to be deployed to Lithuania during the second quarter of 2024, followed by a staff to establish the brigade starting in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Panzerbataillon 203 is equipped with Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks, 14 of which have been donated to Ukraine and will be replaced by Leopard 2A8s. Panzergrenadierbataillon 122 is one of the Bundeswehr's few battalions equipped with the Puma infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...