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As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key Western economic and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO, while the Communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring Eastern productivity and wages up to Western standards. In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro. In January 2011, Germany assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term.


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Military

Military branches
Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr): Army (Heer), Navy (Deutsche Marine, includes naval air arm), Air Force (Luftwaffe), Joint Support Services (Streitkraeftbasis), Central Medical Service (Zentraler Sanitaetsdienst) (2010)

Military service age and obligation
17-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription ended 1 July 2011; 1-2 year service obligation; women have been eligible for voluntary service in all military branches and positions since 2001 (2004)

Manpower available for military service
Males age 16-49 18,529,299
Females age 16-49 17,888,543 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
Males age 16-49 15,027,886
Females age 16-49 14,510,527 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Male 405,438
Female 384,930 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures World Ranking: 98
1.5% of GDP (2005 est.)


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  Germany (Berlin):


  GPS points from Germany (Berlin)

Kapellentief Lower Saxony

Lissingen Rhineland-palatinate

Deinod Bavaria

Fresdorfer See Brandenburg

Repe North Rhine-westphalia

Blankenberg North Rhine-westphalia

Vogelberg North Rhine-westphalia

Schwarzer See Brandenburg




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