Germany vs. France


Military branchesFederal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr): Army (Heer), Navy (Deutsche Marine, includes naval air arm), Air Force (Luftwaffe, includes air defense), Joint Support Service (Streitkraeftebasis, SKB), Central Medical Service (Zentraler Sanitaetsdienst, ZSanDstBw), Cyber and Information Space Command (Kommando Cyber- und Informationsraum, Kdo CIR) (2021)Army (Armee de Terre; includes Foreign Legion), Navy (Marine Nationale), Air and Space Force (Armee de l'Air et de l'Espace); includes Air Defense), National Guard (Reserves), National Gendarmerie (paramilitary police force that is a branch of the Armed Forces but under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior; also has additional duties to the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Justice) (2021)
Military service age and obligation17-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription ended July 2011; service obligation 8-23 months or 12 years; women have been eligible for voluntary service in all military branches and positions since 2001 (2019)18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription (abolished 2001); 1-year service obligation; women serve in noncombat posts (2019)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1.56% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.36% of GDP (2019)

1.25% of GDP (2018)

1.23% of GDP (2017)

1.2% of GDP (2016)
2.04% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.83% of GDP (2019)

1.81% of GDP (2018)

1.78% of GDP (2017)

1.79% of GDP (2016)
Military - notethe Federal Republic of Germany joined NATO in May 1955; with the reunification of Germany in October 1990, the states of the former German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany in its membership of NATOFrance was one of the original 12 countries to sign the North Atlantic Treaty (also known as the Washington Treaty), which created NATO in 1949; in 1966, President Charles DE GAULLE decided to withdraw France from NATO's integrated military structure, reflecting his desire for greater military independence, particularly vis-à-vis the US, and the refusal to integrate France's nuclear deterrent or accept any form of control over its armed forces; it did, however, sign agreements with NATO setting out procedures in the event of Soviet aggression; beginning with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, France distanced itself from the 1966 decision and has regularly contributed troops to NATO's military operations, being one of the largest troop-contributing states; in 2009 it officially announced its decision to fully participate in NATO structures
Military and security service personnel strengthsthe German Federal Armed Forces have approximately 180,000 active duty personnel (62,000 Army; 16,000 Navy; 28,000 Air Force; 27,000 Joint Support Service; 20,000 Medical Service, 13,000 Cyber and Information Space Command; 14,000 other) (2020)

note - Germany in 2020 announced it planned to increase the size of the military to about 200,000 troops by 2024
the French military has approximately 205,000 active duty troops (115,000 Army; 35,000 Navy; 40,000 Air Force; 15,000 other, such as joint staffs, medical service, etc.); approximately 100,000 National Gendarmerie; approximately 75,000 National Guard (2020)
Military equipment inventories and acquisitionsthe German Federal Armed Forces inventory is mostly comprised of weapons systems produced domestically or jointly with other European countries and Western imports; since 2010, the US is the leading foreign supplier of armaments to Germany; Germany's defense industry is capable of manufacturing the full spectrum of air, land, and naval military weapons systems, and is one of the world's leading arms exporters (2020)the French military's inventory consists almost entirely of domestically-produced weapons systems, including some jointly-produced with other European countries; there is a limited mix of armaments from other Western countries, particularly the US; since 2010, the US is the leading foreign supplier of military hardware to France; France has a defense industry capable of manufacturing the full spectrum of air, land, and naval military weapons systems (2020)
Military deploymentsapproximately 500 Middle East (NATO/Counter-ISIS campaign); 130 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 500 Lithuania (NATO); 800 Mali (MINUSMA/EUTM); note - Germany is a contributing member of the EuroCorps (2021)5,100 Burkina Faso/Chad/Mali/Niger (Operation Barkhane, Task Force Takuba; note - in July 2021, France announced that it would withdraw about 2,000 personnel from this force by the beginning of 2022); approximately 300 Central African Republic; 900 Cote D'Ivoire; 1,400 Djibouti; 300 Baltics (NATO); 2,000 French Guyana; 900 French Polynesia; 1,000 French West Indies; 350 Gabon; est. 500 Middle East (Iraq/Jordan/Syria); 950 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 1,400-1,500 New Caledonia; 1,700 Reunion Island; 350 Senegal; 650 United Arab Emirates (2020-2021)

note - France has been a contributing member of the EuroCorps since 1992

Source: CIA Factbook