- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 19, 2015

A limited supply of real weapons forced the German army to use black broomsticks during a recent NATO training exercise.

A confidential report viewed by Die Welt said the symbolic machine guns were used during a September field training exercise in Norway because “no barrels were available,” The Independent reported.

A defense ministry spokesperson said the situation was “hard to comprehend,” The Washington Post reported.

The soldiers taking part in the exercise are part of a NATO rapid-response task force that would be one of the first called upon during an actual attack.

The leaked reported also revealed that if NATO had to rely on Germany to lead a response during a global crisis, then its soldiers would have a tough time coming up with a sufficient number of pistols, machine guns and night-vision devices, The Post reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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