The Bundesmarine: Guarding the Baltic
58 Ships in 1990
The German Navy is one of these institutions that passed through an exceptionally tumultuous history linked to the country's creation, which began with the Prussians in the 1700s as the Preußische Marine, became the Reichsflotte in 1850, the North German Federal Navy until 1870, then the Kaiserliche Marine until 1919, the Reichmarine until 1933, then the Kriegsmarine until 1945, the German Mine Sweeping Administration until 1948, and with the decision to let Germany rearm inside NATO, the Bundesmarine from 1956 until 1990. It's part of the Bundeswehr at large, the German federal army.
Capitalizing on its ww2 expertise in submarines, Federal Germany built far more of this type for export than any other country to date German shipyards are in fact world champions in exporting conventional submarines, with more than 120 sold to 17 countries, on four continents. In comparison, the Bundesmarine had at all times in the cold war about 15 at sea. Here, the U-1 of the Type 205.
Today the Marine is a shadow of its past self, especially the humongus Kaiserliches Marine that almost became the second world's largest, compounded by NATO's strict missions and policies for the Baltic and budget cuts following the end of the cold war. Nevertheless, what the Bundesmarine could not do in terms of domestic needs, more than compensated in exports, especially through the very successful line of diesel-eletric submarines, MEKO frigates, Lürssen's FACs and numerous weaponry and detection, mine warfare systems which allowed the domestic German naval industry to punch well above its weight.
The Bundesmarine in 1990, an attempt to stack in the standard 50x65 cm format all types of ships used since 1955.