The London Times reports that German troops in Afghanistan are too fat to fight—40 percent are overweight compared to 35 percent of the civilian population of the same age. Sausages are a big part of the problem, but beer is playing its traditional fat creation role on the front lines, with gusto: “According to official reports the 3,500 troops in northern Afghanistan drink too much and are too fat to fight. A German parliamentary report has revealed that in 2007 German forces in Afghanistan consumed about 1.7 million pints of beer and 90,000 bottles of wine.”

The article doesn’t do the math, but here it goes: Assuming that each German soldier drinks an equal amount of booze every night of the year, each night at the base would consist of 1.33 pints of beer and a half glass of wine per person. That doesn’t sound too bad until you consider that there have to be some nights when troops don’t have a chance to drink, and that some folks might be light drinkers or absolute teetotalers.

It’s a bit of a shame, but those who take a long view of history might not be totally upset to hear stories of a German army too busy guzzling Spaten Optimators to, say, wander over the border with Poland. Or Denmark. Or France. Or Belgium…

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