Deaths in the Bundeswehr

Whether on exercises or on operations: servicemen and women often accomplish their missions at the risk of their own lives. Having to deal with death is part of their job. Sadly, this is evidenced by the figures on deaths in the Bundeswehr.

Soldaten tragen einen Sarg aus dem Dom

Bundeswehr deaths in the line of duty

More than 3,200 Bundeswehr personnel have lost their lives in the line of duty since the Bundeswehr was founded in 1955; 115 of them died on operations abroad or on recognised missions. All of the dead are commemorated by the Bundeswehr Memorial.

It does not matter whether the deceased were killed in combat or an accident or whether they died due to the long-term effects of their time in the military. The deciding factor is that their death was linked to the performance of official duties.

Blumenkränze vor dem Ehrenmal mit dem Eisernen Kreuz

Wreaths of flowers are left at the Bundeswehr Memorial in remembrance of fellow soldiers who have lost their lives.

Bundeswehr/Marc Tessensohn

Bundeswehr deaths in the line of duty

Last updated: 27 June 2022, Source: BMVgPI3 Ehrenmal

Year

Deaths

Year

Deaths

1956

4

1960

80

1957

50

1961

113

1958

72

1962

166

1959

105

1963

132

1964

148

1965

112

1966

92

1967

100

1968

95

1969

115

Total 1956-1959231Total 1960-1969 1153

Year

Deaths

Year

Deaths

1970

90

1980

60

1971

80

1981

62

1972

75

1982

33

1973

70

1983

57

1974

64

1984

37

1975

103

1985

46

1976

57

1986

38

1977

71

1987

29

1978

58

1988

42

1979

52

1989

21

Total 1970-1979720Total 1980-1989 425

Year

Deaths

Year

Deaths

1990

42

2000

42

1991

37

2001

51

1992

19

2002

46

1993

27

2003

51

1994

19

2004

43

1995

38

2005

23

1996

28

2006

23

1997

44

2007

27

1998

37

2008

28

1999

39

2009

10

Total 1990-1999330Total 2000-2009 344

Year

Deaths

Year

Deaths

2010

16

2020

16

2011

12

2021

20

2012

12

2022

1

2013

5

2014

5

2015

11

2016

8

2017

10

2018

14

2019

15

Total 2010-2019

108

Total 2020-2021

37

Deaths in the Bundeswehr on operations abroad and on recognised missions

Last updated: 21 October 2019, Source: BMVgBundesministerium der Verteidigung FüSK III (2)

The Bundeswehr has been involved in missions abroad since 1992. Since then, 115 German servicemen and women have lost their lives on operations and on recognised missions. 37 of them were killed in battles or attacks. The highest death toll so far was in Afghanistan: 59 German servicemen and women lost their lives there; 35 of them were killed by external causes. A total of 48 Bundeswehr members died in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo.

Soldaten tragen einen Sarg in das Transportflugzeug

A serviceman who died on operations is brought back home.

Bundeswehr/Andrea Bienert

Mission area

Mission

Deaths

Afghanistan

ISAFInternational Security Assistance Force/Resolute Support

59

Mali

MINUSMAMultidimensionnelle Intégrée des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation au Mali

2

Iraq

Training assistance

1

Kosovo

KFORKosovo Force

29

Adriatic (completed)

Sharp Guard

1

Bosnia (completed)

SFORStabilisation Force/EUFOREuropean Union Force

19

Georgia (completed)

UNOMIGUnited Nations Observer Mission in Georgia

1

Cambodia (completed)

UNTACUnited Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia

1

Lithuania (anerkannte Mission)

 EFP

1

Deaths by suicide in the Bundeswehr

Last updated:  February 2022, Source: BMVgBundesministerium der Verteidigung FüSK III (1)

Even soldiers are “only” human. Even military or civilian personnel in the Bundeswehr may commit suicide in a seemingly hopeless situation. That is why the Chaplain Service and the Psychological Service try to help people at risk of committing suicide out of their distress.

Soldat hält seine Hände vor dem Gesicht

The situation may seem desperate. But, even then, the Bundeswehr helps its military and civilian personnel.

Bundeswehr/Martin Stollberg

Year

Deaths

Year

Deaths

1957

18

1960

47

1958

27

1961

45

1959

24

1962

54

1963

64

1964

83

1965

58

1966

76

1967

68

1968

68

1969

68

Total 1957-195969Total 1960-1969 631

Year

Deaths

Year

Deaths

1970

69

1980

79

1971

73

1981

77

1972

82

1982

100

1973

96

1983

80

1974

87

1984

88

1975

97

1985

93

1976

89

1986

83

1977

80

1987

77

1978

93

1988

85

1979

103

1989

73

Total 1970-1979869Total 1980-1989 835

Year

Deaths

Year

Deaths

1990

65

2000

36

1991

43

2001

42

1992

54

2002

37

1993

53

2003

38

1994

73

2004

41

1995

65

2005

25

1996

50

2006

28

1997

49

2007

18

1998

44

2008

19

1999

41

2009

21

Total 1990-1999537Total 2000-2009 305

Year

Deaths

2010

24

2011

15

2012

22

2013

17

2014

27

2015

28

2016

15

2017

13

2018

21

2019

23

2020

9

Total 2010-2020

214

Bundeswehr deaths by suicide on missions abroad

Last updated: February 2022, Source BMVgBundesministerium der Verteidigung FüSK III (1)

Suicides of Bundeswehr members also occur on operations. Since 1998, a total of 22 personnel committed suicide while deployed abroad. There have been no suicides on operations in recent years.

Year

Deaths

Year

Deaths

1998

1

2009

1

1999

2

2010

0

2000

3

2011

0

2001

3

2012

1

2002

2

2013

1

2003

0

2014

1

2004

3

2015

0

2005

1

2016

0

2006

2

2017

0

2007

2

2018

0

2008

0

2019

1

2020

0

Total 1998-2020

24

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