The German Empire is a nation in Central Europe that was established on January 18, 1871 during the War of Nations. The German Empire, more popularly referred to as Germany, is a constitutional monarchy, with head of state, the Emperor, George Friedrich I and head of government, the Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder of the Social Democratic Party. Since the collapse of the Empire of Japan, the German Empire is the only world superpower, the other closest superpowers being the United States, Russia, and China. The capital of Germany is Berlin, which is also its largest city, with a metropolitan population of around 5,200,000 people. Berlin is home to the Reichstag building, which houses both houses of the German parliament, the lower house, or Reichstag, and the upper house, or Bundesrat.
The German military is the largest in the world, with the world's largest navy, the Kaiserliche Marine, used to protect German overseas political and economic interests, and world's second largest army, the Deutches Heer, after the United Federation of China. The Luftwaffe, or Air Force, is the world's largest and most advanced air force, and the Imperial German Armed Forces, or the Kaiserliche Streitkräfte is the most powerful military force in the world. It is currently undertaking multiple anti-terrorism missions across the world, mainly in the Middle East and Southeastern Asia.
The Emperor of Germany, currently George Friedrich I, is also the Imperial Protector of the German Federation, as head of the German Federation, an intergovernmental union of the German-speaking states of the world, minus Switzerland and Austria. Most of the countries are former colonies or protectorates of Germany, and must help Germany work towards creating a world "for human rights, democracy, and egalitarianism." The current Crown Prince of Germany is Christian-Sigisumund, the uncle of Emperor Georg Friedrich I, who will hold the position until George Friedrich fathers a dynastic heir. While the Emperor's powers are heavily limited by the German Constitution, among which include being President of the Bundesrat, appointing and dismissing the Chancellor upon recommendation of the Reichstag, and being the commander-in-chief of the Kaiserliche Streitkräfte.
The German government is formally established under the German Constitution of 1871, which officially established the government's positions and offices.
The EmperorThe Emperor is the head of state, the commander-in-chief of the German Armed Forces, was originally the appointer of the German Chancellor, although since the Amendments of 1934, he still technically appoints the Chancellor, however only after a vote on it by the Reichstag. The current Emperor, Georg Friedrich I, has been serving since 1994, after succeeding his grandfather, the longest serving Emperor in German history, Louis Ferdinand I. The result was a succession crisis where the Hohenzollern family was divided between the successor being Georg Friedrich, or his uncle Christian-Sigismund; but eventually Georg was chosen.
The ChancellorThe German Chancellor is the head of government of Germany, and is voted on by the Reichstag, and then appointed by the Emperor. He serves as the head of ruling political party in the Reichstag, and as the foreign and chief minister of the German government, oversees the establishment of foreign policy, and also oversees the enactment and proposal parliament's laws. The serving Chancellor is Gerhard Schröder of the Social Democratic Party, who has been serving as of November 22, 2009, after one-term Chancellor Angela Merkel was voted out after the effects of late 2000's recession saw the Christian Democratic Union lose its majority in the Reichstag.
The original Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, held great sway in German politics, serving from 1871-1892, so far being the longest serving German Chancellor. He established the Chancellor as a powerful office in German politics, and oversaw the transition of Germany from a organized group of states, to a single, powerful nation. Bismarck was, however, dismissed in 1892 after he constantly clashed with the liberal Emperor Friedrich III, and subsequently died six years later. But he left a strong legacy in German politics, and ironically truthfully gained more power only under Emperor Friedrich III.
The German Parliament is made up of the lower house, the Reichstag, with 620 members, and is elected every four years. The upper house, the Bundesrat, has 72 members, and each one represents one of the provinces of the Empire. The Reichstag has the power to vote for who they shall nominate for the office of Chancellor, to be appointed then by the Emperor, receives, creates, and passes laws, and oversees the practices of the country's executive branch. The Bundesrat, which is selected mostly from either nobility or long-serving Reichstag members, and votes on laws that have passed the Reichstag. However, if a law fails to pass the Bundesrat, the Emperor, being the President of the Bundesrat, can have the vote sent back to the Reichstag.
The current Reichstag comprises of 278 members of the Social Democratic Party, and with a coalition with The Left Party with 76, and The Greens party with 68. Then an opposition coalition 151 seats of the Christian Democratic Union, 16 seats of the Free Democratic Party, and 31 seats of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria. The current Speaker of the Reichstag is Andrea Nahles, and the Bundestag, however, does not have political parties, instead it is kept non-partisan by tradition. The Reichstag then elects the Chancellor, requiring a majority vote for the appointment, and in the the latest election Gerhard Schröder passed the Reichstag with a vote of 422-198, using the overwhelming control of the Reichstag to launch himself to power.
Germany is one of the most developed nations in the world, with a social market, highly industrialized mixed economy, with a large economic base in manufacturing, industry, service, and agriculture. The German Empire has the fourth highest GDP per capita in the world, behind Qatar, Macau and Singapore, and the largest GDP in the world, at around €16.76 trillion. The official currency of the German Empire is the euro, which it shares as its currency with the rest of the European Union, minus Great Britain, and Frankfurt, Germany's largest commercial center is the seat of the European Central Bank. The German economy has a 7.8% unemployment rate, and 11% of the population living below the property line.
The German homeland is one of, if not the most, heavily industrialized nations in the world, with major industrial bases in the Rhineland, particularly the Ruhr Valley, and the main economic manufacturing base lays in the Steel Triangle. The Steel Triangle is the major economic base of Germany, which exists in a triangle formed by the cities of Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Düsseldorf. Germany has one of the largest steel and coal industries, which is based in the area, and provides it with millions of jobs, creating an extensive industrial base for the German economy. Car manufacturing is also a major industry of Germany, as it has been since the 1920's when German car manufacturing capacity came to the level of the United States in the post-World War I German industrial boom. The German Four are some of the biggest car manufacturers in the world, and are based in the German Empire; they are, in order of size: Volkswagen, Dailmer, BMW, and Porsche.
Production in German is mostly controlled by Mittelstand, which are medium-sized production companies across Germany, and have existed in the German Industrial are in the west since the early 20th century. Mittelstand produce technologically advanced, moderately-priced products, which have become the basis of the German economy since the start of the 20th century, and currently employ about 70% of the country's workforce. While coal ans steel production has gradually decreased in the east, production in these industries has seen a rapid increase since the end of World War II. Since the integration of the German economy into the Common European Economic Area in the 1990's, the Rhineland has rapidly developed into a massive industrial base for all of Europe, and has prospered heavily from the new markets in Western, Southern, and Eastern Europe.
The German agricultural base exists mostly in the south of the country and in its center, but the majority of German agriculture comes from Austria-Hungary. While Austria-Hungary has also witnessed a recent upturn in industrialization, they still have a wide-scale agriculture base in many rural parts of the country.
Despite the late 2000's recession hitting Europe, the efforts of the German Empire and the Fifth French Republic have kept the euro alive and on the rise. Further integration has taken place to save the euro, and several bills and resolutions of the European Parliament has given Germany numerous benefits, mainly to its industrial areas. Germany has kept a relatively low unemployment rate, and the inflation of euro peaked in October 2011, now beginning to wind down and sees the European Union become a major economic power as of recent. The efforts of Social Democratic Chancellor Gerhard Schröder have recovered the economy from the recession, and now Germany is seeing an increasingly powerful economy.
The German Army, or Deutches Heer is the most powerful, albeit the second largest, army in the world, and uses the most technologically advanced military equipment in the world. It is a volunteer army in peacetime, however, in times of war, apparent onset of war, or national crisis, the Emperor can order the enforcement of a system of conscription. The current volunteer army stands at 2,400,000 soldiers, which are stationed all across the world in German military bases, mainly in the states of the German Federation. Roughly 800,000 men are currently stationed within the German homeland itself for national defense, while the remainder of 1,600,000 men and women are stationed across the world, and are currently participating in anti-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia.The German Panzer Divisions were established in 1937, in the onset of World War II, and still serve the nation today as the world's most powerful and elite tank units. The current Main Battle Tank (MBT) of the German Army is the Leopard II, first introduced to service in 1979, and currently around 5,480 Leopard II's have been produced and are in use by the German Army. The German General Staff, based in Berlin, oversees the systematic German Army, and its maneuvers and training regimen. They create numerous theoretical situations that prepare Germany for war with any nation, at least in terms of strategy and tactics. The system of the General Staff is also used to find superior strategic commanders within the German military machine, and through training and war games, promote them up the social ladder of the military to be of greater benefit to the Armed Forces.
The German Infantry units work mostly in tactical squads of five, and are made to work in coordination with both the Panzer Divisions and the Luftwaffe, keeping the spirit of German Blitzkrieg alive since 1939. The new era of satellite technology has helped keep and improve this idea, allowing German infantry soldiers thousands of km from Berlin to stay in contact with the General Staff, and with the local command nodes, keep the Army moving. The current main anti-armour weapon of the German Infantry is the Panzerfaust 3, and the current main assault rifle is the Heckler & Koch G36.
The Artillery Corps of the German Army is based around the PzH 2000 self-propelled artillery and the Wiesel 2 lePzMrs, while the Multi-Rocket Launcher used by the Deutches Heer is oddly the American M270 MLRS.
The IdZ, short for Infanterist der Zukunft (Infantrymen of the future) is a current advanced technology system being integrated into the German Army which hopes to see the infantry on the ground achieve a new level of lethality, mobility, survivability, and usability. The System has so far been installed into the 98th Sturmptruppen Brigade, the elite Sturmtruppen unit of the Army. The Sturmtruppen, still in use since 1870, continue to serve the country well as the German's elite fighting corp in the Blitzkrieg strategy.
The German Navy, or Kaiserliche Marine, has existed since 1871, since the Empire was founded, but was born of the simple and small Prussian Navy, and was only capable of coastal defense. However, under Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Emperor's obsessive ideas about expanding the German Navy, and turned it from a petty coastal defense corps, to the likes of the German High Seas Fleet, which smashed the British Navy at Jutland. Between World War I and World War II, the German Navy became one of the first users of the aircraft carrier, and soon its biggest promoter. The German Navy used the aircraft carriers they had to help the air force fight against Mosely's Britain, and Petain's France, and eventually help take part in Operation Sealion, which ended World War II in Europe. Currently the German Navy operates 12 aircraft carriers, patrol the seas of Germany's vast political expanse, ten of which are of the Karl Dönitz-class supercarriers, first built in 1975, and two are of the new Helmut Kohl-class supercarriers.
The German Navy operates bases out of Flensburg, Rostock, Wilhelmshaven, Kiel, Königsberg, and most importantly, at Danzig. The German Navy's modern objectives are to keep the Army supplied across the world and to keep the coast of Germany, and the shores of her overseas allies and protectorates defended. The German Navy, besides aircraft carriers, also operates a number of other ships, mostly frigates, corvettes, destroyers, cruisers, and submarines. Frigates and corvettes are mostly purposed for fast, maneuverable ships for combating other ships, cruisers are now mostly armed with guided missiles, and destroyers for anti-submarine warfare.
The German U-boat Command is the most advanced corps of submarines in the world, and has been in existence since around the turn of the 20th century. The U-boats rose to prominence in the First World War, and became vital in the sea campaign that cut off Britain and ended the war. Between the World Wars, the U-Boats, like much of the German Armed Forces, remained prominent in the budget, but with the Crash of 1929, the military was bled dry of funds, and the U-boats began to lag behind. Only under the Chancellorship of Albert Speer after in mid-1930's did the military begin to pick up steam, helping it in anticipation for World War II.
Air ForceThe German Air Force, or Luftwaffe, has been in existence since 1935 when it was founded out of the old shambles of the Luftstreitkräfte. The Luftstreitkräfte was suspended due to lack of funding in 1930, and when Speer came to power in 1934, the Imperial Air Force was dead, and the passage of Luftwaffe Act of 1935 secured the Luftwaffe's birth. Although surprisingly little protest occurred when the "imperial" part of the title was left out, the strength and integrity in the Luftwaffe has remained. Today it is the largest Air Force in the world, and operates around 5,900 aircraft, ranging from fighters, to bombers, to UAVs, and transport aircraft, the Luftwaffe enforces Germany's iron will.
During World War II, the German Air Marshal Manfred von Richthofen, or as he became known during his fighting days as an ace in World War I, the "Red Baron," oversaw the Luftwaffe develop into a powerful air combat machine that took the fight to Britain, saw the collapse of Paris, and the destruction of Moscow. But whether bombing Fascists or terrorists, the Luftwaffe remains a top military machine, and is currently under the administration of the German Air Ministry, established in World War II.
The main fighter of the German Air Force is the Eurofighter Typhoon, developed by Germany, Britain, Italy, and Austria-Hungary. It also uses the Junkers Ju 188 stealth bomber as a strategic bomber, that went into production in 1989, introduced to service in 1997, and still serves to the modern day. The Luftwaffe, capable of long-range missions across the world, also uses a vast system of satellites in Earth orbit, and remains as the nexus of Luftwaffe information and coordination.