Articles

Pack Animals – the 🇩🇪 German Mountain Infantry Brigade

March 4, 2020


The mules are strong, they are helpful, and
they are honest, and if you are good to the mules, the mules will be good to you. We are here to carry loads from our platoons,
sometimes water, something to eat, ammunitions, heavy weapons. We have six very different mules here. Batzy is our white mule, he’s a cool guy. Daisy is our little diva. We have Fritz, who gets really nervous sometimes,
and then we have Yogi. Yogi is 18 years old, he’s our grandpa. Flicker is also very nice. She is like a teddy bear. The last one is Freida. She’s the biggest one. She weighs 700 kilos and she eats also a lot
of hay. If we have a long march and it’s very high
and it’s hard for me, then I talk to him and say ‘hey, ok, only a few hundred metres
to go, we can do it’ and also if I have some problems, I will talk also with the mule. Our task is to supply the troops on narrow
paths in the mountains with many supply goods. So the paths we can walk on, if you’re a
good driver, you might drive on them with a motorcycle, but you won’t load 120 kilos
on a motorcycle. You might say, then you use a helicopter,
but we can work when it’s bad weather and we work under all the conditions, and we are
not recognised in the same way as a helicopter is recognised. The German Mountain Infantry Brigade is the
last mountain infantry brigade in the Bundeswehr. We are the ones who are the specialists for
mountain warfare. We were in different places in the world on
missions abroad so we were in Kosovo and afterwards Afghanistan. We have in the unit around about 50 mules
and 20 riding horses. We have a special vet for the mules. Also we have now around about 10 blacksmiths. They have a lot to do, the blacksmiths, and
yeah it’s a special job in our unit. Our unit is very important for the NATO because
whenever there is a mission in the mountains, it’s very important to have supply to the
troops and in our special terrain, we are in the end the best. They have loaded now the water and the food
into the backpacks, then we load the mules and then we have to go very fast back because
the other unit is waiting for the food and for the water. You see it when the mule trusts his human
soldier. If they don’t trust together, then the mule
will stop. The bond gets so heavy and close together
because you’re working each day with the mules, the whole day, and especially if you
are on march on the mountains, five, six, seven hours a day and you are always together
with the mule, and you are really good together.

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