German Troops Arrive in Lithuania for First Permanent Deployment Since WWII

Germany will have 4,800 troops in Lithuania by 2027

On Monday, Germany began deploying troops to Lithuania, where they will be stationed permanently, marking the first deployment of its kind for the German military since World War II.

Only two dozen German soldiers have arrived in Lithuania so far, and the force will increase to 4,800 by 2027. Germany already leads a NATO deployment in Lithuania with 1,000 troops, but the new force will be permanent.

“This is the first time that we have permanently stationed such a unit outside of Germany,” German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said at a farewell ceremony in Berlin, according to The Associated Press. He said the deployment was “an important day for the German army.”

Lithuania shares a border with Kaliningrad, the Russian Oblast on the Baltic Sea that’s separated from the Russian mainland. The country also borders Belarus, a treaty ally of Russia that now hosts Russian nuclear weapons.

Map of Lithuania (Source: Nations Online Project)

Lithuanian Defense Minister Laurynas Kasciunas celebrated the German deployment and said it was an example of NATO’s Article V commitment, which outlines mutual defense. “We will create such a defense and deterrence architecture that no adversary from the east will even think about testing NATO’s Article 5,” he said.

Despite only having 15,000 active duty troops in its military, Lithuania has been extremely bellicose toward Russia. In 2022, Lithuania placed an embargo on sanctioned goods traveling to Kaliningrad through its territory by rail, which included basic goods such as concrete, wood, and alcohol. Lithuania quickly lifted the embargo due to pressure from the EU.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.