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Bundeswehr

The Bundeswehr is the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities. The states of Germany are not allowed to maintain armed forces of their own, since the German Constitution states that matters of defense fall into the sole responsibility of the federal government; the Bundeswehr is divided into a military part and a civil part with the armed forces administration. The military part of the federal defense force consists of the German Army, the German Navy, the German Air Force, the Joint Support Service, the Joint Medical Service, the Cyber and Information Space Command; as of January 2020, the Bundeswehr has a strength of 184,001 active soldiers and 80,947 civilians, placing it among the 30 largest military forces in the world and making it the second largest in the European Union behind France in terms of personnel. In addition the Bundeswehr has 29,200 reserve personnel. With German military expenditures at €47.878 billion, the Bundeswehr is the eighth or ninth best-funded military in the world if in terms of share of German GDP, military expenditures remain average at 1.38% and below the NATO target of 2%.

Germany aims to expand the Bundeswehr to around 203,000 soldiers by 2025 to better cope with increasing responsibilities. The name Bundeswehr was first proposed by former Wehrmacht general and Liberal politician Hasso von Manteuffel; the Iron Cross is its official emblem. It is a symbol; the Schwarzes Kreuz is derived from the black cross insignia of the medieval Teutonic knights. When the Bundeswehr was established in 1955, its founding principles were based on developing a new military force for the defence of West Germany. In this respect the Bundeswehr did not consider itself to be a successor to either the Reichswehr of the Weimar Republic or Hitler's Wehrmacht. Neither does it adhere to the traditions of any former German military organization, its official ethos is based on three major themes: the aims of the military reformers at the beginning of the 19th century such as Scharnhorst and Clausewitz the conduct displayed by members of the military resistance against Adolf Hitler the attempt of Claus von Stauffenberg and Henning von Tresckow to assassinate him.

Its own tradition since 1955. One of the most visible traditions of the modern Bundeswehr is the Großer Zapfenstreich; the FRG reinstated this formal military ceremony in 1952, three years before the foundation of the Bundeswehr. Today it is performed by a military band with 4 fanfare trumpeters and timpani, a corps of drums, up to two escort companies of the Bundeswehr's Wachbataillon and Torchbearers; the Zapfenstreich is only performed during solemn public commemorations. It can honour distinguished persons present such as the German federal president or provide the conclusion to large military exercises. Another important tradition in the modern German armed forces is the Gelöbnis. There are two kinds of oath: for conscripts/recruits it is a pledge but it's a solemn vow for full-time personnel; the pledge is made annually on 20 July, the date on which a group of Wehrmacht officers attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944. Recruits from the Bundeswehr's Wachbataillon make their vow at the Bendlerblock in Berlin.

This was the headquarters of the resistance but where the officers were summarily executed following its failure. National commemorations are held nearby within the grounds of the Reichstag. Similar events take place across the German Republic. Since 2011, the wording of the ceremonial vow for full-time recruits and volunteer personnel is: "Ich gelobe, der Bundesrepublik Deutschland treu zu dienen und das Recht und die Freiheit des deutschen Volkes tapfer zu verteidigen." "I pledge to serve the Federal Republic of Germany loyally and to defend the right and the freedom of the German people bravely."Serving Bundeswehr personnel replace "Ich gelobe..." with "Ich schwöre...". After World War II the responsibility for the security of Germany as a whole rested with the four Allied Powers: the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. Germany had been without armed forces since the Wehrmacht was dissolved following World War II; when the Federal Republic of Germany was founded in 1949, it was without a military.

Germany remained demilitarized and any plans for a German military were forbidden by Allied regulations. Some naval mine-sweeping units continued to exist, but they remained unarmed and under Allied control and did not serve as a national defence force; the Federal Border Protection Force, a mobile armed police force of 10,000 men, was formed on 14 March 1951 and expanded to 20,000 men on 19 June 1953. A proposal to integrate West German troops with soldiers of France, the Netherlands and Italy in a European Defence Community was proposed but never implemented. There was a discussion among the United States, the United Kingdom and France over the issue of a revived German military. In particular, France was reluctant to allow Germany to rearm in light of recent history (Germany had invaded France twice in living memory, in World War I and World War II, defeated France in the Franco-German War of 1870/71.

Ben Smith (footballer, born 1986)

Benjamin James "Ben" Smith is an English football goalkeeper who last played for Southport. He made senior appearances in the Football League for Doncaster Rovers and Lincoln City, was part of the Shrewsbury Town squad which won promotion from League Two in the 2011−12 season. Smith is son of goalkeeping coach Simon Smith, he attended Whitley Bay High School. He has been on the books of Newcastle United's youth team, spending a period on loan with Middlesbrough and on trial at Leeds United, before joining Stockport County on non-contract terms on 23 March 2006, he made his debut for Doncaster in a League Cup game against Wycombe Wanderers on 24 October 2006, which led to a run in the side as Rovers first choice goalkeeper, but the signing of ever-present goalkeeper Neil Sullivan saw Smith getting limited chances in the first team. He went on loan to Lincoln City in November 2007. On 16 October 2009 Smith joined Morecambe on a one-month loan. In May 2010, Doncaster announced. On 29 July 2010, Smith joined League Two club Shrewsbury Town on a two-year contract after a successful trial period.

In May 2012, Smith was released by the club following their promotion to Football League One, having lost his place earlier in the season to Chris Neal. On 10 August 2012 it was announced that Smith had signed with League Two club Rochdale on non-contract terms to act as cover to first choice goalkeeper Josh Lillis, he moved on to Conference Premier team Southport until the end of the season in March 2014. However, during his second start for the club, he suffered a torn groin muscle against Newport County, which ruled him out for the remainder of the season. Outside of football, Smith runs a number of businesses in Shrewsbury with his wife. Football League One play-off winner: 2007–08 Ben Smith's at Soccerbase

Žižkov tram depot

Žižkov tram depot is a tram depot in Žižkov, part of the Prague tram network since 1912. The depot celebrated its centenary in 2012. There are seven tram depots in Prague, Žižkov is second oldest of those seven. Žižkov depot is home to 77 Tatra T3SUCS trams, 6 T3R. PV trams and 41 T6A5 trams which are operated in pairs on tram lines 1, 9, 11, 12, 14, 24 and 25. All T3SUCS in Prague are supposed to be replaced with a new type of tram - Škoda 15T within the next few years. More than a hundred 15T's were delivered, many of T3SUCS were put out of service, stored at yard of workshop-depot in Hostivař, offered to purchase. However, due to technical issues of Škoda 14T trams which had to be withdrawn from service, some of the old T3SUCS are now temporally back, it is not certain yet if Žižkov will operate 15T tram instead of T3SUCS, or some other depot will get new 15T trams and Žižkov will get some older trams from other depots, such as T6A5 from Strašnice tram depot or T3R. PV from Vokovice tram depot.

The T6A5 model is old and not much prospective. Elimination of this model is expected since the last of 250 15T's will be delivered in 2018