So the West is now supplying battle tanks to Ukraine after all. The step surprised many – including even Annalena Baerbock’s Foreign Ministry. Just before the announcement, the ministry was still planning how to justify the non-delivery.

The Federal Foreign Office was surprised by the German battle tank turnaround last week. This emerges from an internal communiqué sent to all German diplomatic missions abroad, which is available exclusively to T-Online.

“The federal government has not yet made a decision on the issue of supplying main battle tanks from Germany. Within the international support coalition for Ukraine there is still a need for discussion on the question of the possible delivery of Leopard 2 (or 1),” said the handout for German diplomats, among other things.

These so-called “Lines to Take” were sent out on January 24 at around 5 p.m. via an internal communication platform of the Federal Foreign Office. This was at a time when it had already been leaked that the USA was about to deliver Abrams and shortly before it was announced in the press that Germany would now release Leopard 2 tanks after all.

The language regulations for the embassies also referred to waiting for a possible Leopard delivery from Poland: “The federal government will examine this with the urgency it deserves and decide on it based on the tried and tested procedures and responsibilities,” it said. The decision in the Chancellery had obviously already been made.