414 Tank Battalion (German: Panzerbataillon 414; Dutch: 414 Tankbataljon) is a mixed German and Dutch tank battalion, consisting of around 100 Dutch and 300 German soldiers.
The battalion was founded in 2016, and became fully operational in 2019.
Previously the German battalion, part of the 41st Panzergrenadier Brigade was active from 1991–2006 at Spechtberg. It was established on the basis of the 22nd and 23rd Panzer Regiments, 9th Panzer Division, of the Land Forces of the National People’s Army, the former East German Army.
On 17 March 2016, the battalion was attached to the Dutch 43rd Mechanized Brigade which is, in turn, a part of the German 1st Panzer Division.
The barracks of 414 Panzerbattalion are in Bergen-Lohheide, Lower Saxony.
It has been described as a step towards a “European army“.
414 Tank Battalion consists of the following elements:
- Staff (German, few Dutch)
- 1st staff company (staff and supply, mostly German, few Dutch)
- 2nd tank company (German)
- 3rd tank company (German)
- 4th tank company (Dutch)
- 5th tank company (German, reserve)
Out of the 100 Dutch soldiers, 72 are tank crew. The other 28 are staff members, maintenance, and support crew.
The battalion’s main armament is the Leopard 2 A6MA2 main battle tank. The unit has 49 tanks of these upgraded MBT’s. The tank is modified with a Dutch battlefield management system. This is done anticipating the fact that 414 Tank Battalion has joined the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) of the NATO Response Force in 2019.
- Improved Leopards for German-Dutch tank battalion Dutch Ministry of Defence
- Fiorenza, Nicholas (18 September 2015). “Dutch mechanized brigade to be integrated into German panzer division”. Jane’s Defence Weekly. Archived from the original on 22 March 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- Bennhold, Katrin (20 February 2019). “A European Army? The Germans and Dutch Take a Small Step”. The New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
- “Panzerbataillon 414 n.A.” Panzerbataillon184.de (in German). Archived from the original on 5 April 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- “Geschichte”. German Army official website (in German). Bundeswehr. 25 August 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- “Gliederung”. German Army official website (in German). Bundeswehr. 25 August 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- “Panzerbataillon 414 in Lohheide”. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
- “Digitale revolutie op rupsbanden”. magazines.defensie.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 June 2018.
- “Grote sprong voorwaarts”. magazines.defensie.nl (in Dutch). Retrieved 14 June 2018.