An article in The Irish Times, titled "Fintan O’Toole: The second World War will finally end in 2019" says that

At some point in 2019, British troops will withdraw from Germany. This has nothing to do with Brexit. The British Army announced in 2015 that over the course of 2019, its remaining field army units will return home from their bases in Paderborn, Sennelager, Bielefeld and Gütersloh.


The moment will be poignant: the second World War will be over and the same, in one sense, will be true of the Cold War. These bases were established in 1945 by the invading British Army of the Rhine and became semi-permanent during the long stand-off with the Soviet Union.

The article refers to this withdrawal as a closing of the chapter on WW2 so it made me curious on how many Allied bases will be left in Germany.

After the UK withdrawal, are there other Allied bases left from those that were originally meant to control the situation in Germany?

  • I think it'd be easier to list the countries that the US has built anything in and then actually left. If that list isn't zero, likely we're just paying someone else to do it, or we took everything already. "Last allied nation to close" - yeah probably, because giving up land is silly.
    – Mazura
    Jan 5, 2019 at 23:44
  • WWII ended at different times according to different standards but years before 2019 in any reasonable one. For many years before 2019 the purpose of foreign military bases in Germany has been to help protect both Germany and the foreign nations involved from a potential Russian invasion and to facilitate other NATO military operations, and Germany has been a full member of NATO for decades.
    – MAGolding
    Jan 6, 2019 at 18:23
  • It's not a good idea to ask one question in the title, then ask the opposite in the question body. Can you rephrase one or the other to make them jibe with each other?
    – Spencer
    Jan 6, 2019 at 19:31

2 Answers 2


After the UK withdrawal, are there other Allied bases left from those that were originally meant to control the situation in Germany?


There are a number of bases operated by the United States in Germany, and many of these were established in the aftermath of the Second World War, for example Lucius D. Clay Kaserne at Wiesbaden.

Wikipedia has a list of United States Army installations in Germany.

  • Haven't checked them all for "original" purpose, but most were not built on green meadows: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Indicating that some French, Belgian, Dutch and Canadians are still around as well. Some like the German-Polish units are clearly not meant by OP, but the number of Canadians looks quite, well, between awkward and funny? Jan 5, 2019 at 18:20

This is subject to interpretation, leading to multiple defensible answers between "yes, several", or "yes, the Americans stay somewhat put" or "no, non at all, they are all long gone".

Is this about the structures/installations/houses/garrisons, the people or the characters? The tanks, weapons, rockets and bombs?

The original conception of the question has some problems of precision that leave quite some room for interpreting the question:

After the UK withdrawal, are there other Allied bases left from those that were originally meant to control the situation in Germany?

"Allied bases … originally meant to control the situation in Germany"? That would mean that we have quite some dates to look at.

The notion of "control the situation" is entirely different for (very roughly)

  • 1945–1949 Real occupation of Germany
  • 1949–1955 Founding of two Germanies with limited sovereignty
  • 1955–1970 Re-armament of both Germanies in opposing military blocks and increased sovereignty
  • 1970–1990 Two Germanies, partial sovereignty with mutual recognition
  • 1990–1994 One Germany with supposedly* full sovereignty, all allied troops still in place

  • 1994– now withdrawal of most foreign military from German soil (except US)

With "originally meant" we have to look at bases established before 1949. Those were for the American, British, French and Soviet troops, right? Well, they were also for the Belgian, Polish, Dutch, Norwegian, Canadian, even Luxembourgish troops.

And those mostly were not allocated to garrisons built on green meadows but largely housed in old Wehrmacht installations:

A part remained in the country as occupying troops and was distributed among a large number of former Wehrmacht barracks or newly erected accommodations in Germany. (WP: Ausländische Militärbasen in Deutschland)

That makes the structures matching the condition set forth in the question somewhat smaller. Most of the real occupation troops left shortly after the capitulation and before the founding of the provisional Federal Republic in 1949.

After that date in 1949 the Norwegians, Luxembourgish, left, the Poles got their bases conervetd into their 'homeland'. But while all other kinds of troops remained they were not really any longer occupying the land, offically. That was of course seen differently, and still is, by most right wing oriented people. But the "originally meant" calls for the official reason. And that would mean that neither UK nor US troops still had bases "meant originally to control the situation in Germany". This all of course under the boundaries set forth by Allied Control Council and arguably 'slightly different' for the Soviet forces in East Germany.

Disregarding these different views on interpretations of political situations, the question seems to assume that any occupation force after 1945 stayed like the British uninterrupted and with the same agenda until the now announced dissolution of British bases in Germany?

The British Army of the Rhine saw its end in 1994! In that sense the British ended the Second World War a tiny bit earlier than the newspaper quoted seems to suggest. British military in Germany is now only the British Forces Germany and while they will leave their permanent structures by the end of 2019, some troops will come back regularly for or within NATO training.

That makes it murky again, since the US will keep its airbases and nukes and whatnot for some time.

Other foreign military stationed on German soil now then still is composed of French, Dutch, Belgian, Canadian and Polish military personnel.

For the Polish and Dutch troops this is peculiar, as they are largely under colourful command with in shared NATO structures, and the French share this role with Germans.

Another line of reading this narrative could be that only Luxmeburg, Norway and the Soviet Union completely withdrew their troops. And while the Soviets really wont come back anytime soon, the Russians are really the most seldom guests of all now.

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