Germany Prepares for the Worst: Transforming Homes into Bomb Shelters Amidst Geopolitical Tensions


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In a move to bolster civil defense preparedness, Germans may find themselves transforming their residences into bomb shelters if a signifigant conflict erupts in Europe, as reported by Bild on Saturday, referencing a confidential document from the Defense Ministry.

Strategic Operational Plan for Civil Defense

The Defense Ministry is diligently working on finalizing the classified ‘Operational Plan’ (OPLAN) by April. This plan redefines Germany’s role as a pivotal “transit country,” facilitating the transportation of weapons and equipment, rather than being on the active frontline. Soldiers, under this proposal, would be assigned the responsibility of securing vital highways, railway stations, and ports, as outlined in the draft.

Civilian Engagement in Defense Efforts

Simultaneously, the government would rely on civilians to undertake certain responsibilities traditionally delegated to the military and police, including safeguarding power plants.

Limited Bomb Shelters: A Concern

With only 579 operational bomb shelters in Germany, the plan suggests citizens establish their own shelters in locations such as basements and garages. Ralph Tiesler, the head of the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, emphasized that constructing new shelters is “no longer feasible” given the time constraints.

Military Expansion Goals

In response to the geopolitical tensions arising from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Germany aims to enhance its military capabilities. The government has set a target to increase the size of the Bundeswehr from 183,000 soldiers to 203,000 by 2031.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, earlier this month, expressed concerns that Russia might potentially target a NATO country within the next five to eight years. However, in a recent interview with Bild, he adjusted his stance, stating, “At the moment, I don’t see any danger of a Russian attack on NATO territory or any NATO partner country.”

Russia’s Perspective and Accusations

While Germany strategizes for potential threats, Russia has consistently accused NATO of fearmongering and escalating tensions in Europe. Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, dismissed claims of Moscow planning an attack on NATO as “informational warfare.”

In conclusion, Germany’s proactive approach to civil defense underscores the evolving geopolitical landscape, with the nation adapting to potential challenges and seeking to fortify its resilience in the face of uncertainty.

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