The programs in the UK also usually assume the equivalent of a US Masters at the beginning of the program, however, so if you count that as at least two years worth of classes I think it works out about the same.
But mostly GERMAN programs are also of 3 years of duration.
Yes, but you also need a Masters to do a Phd, and this takes another 2 years. I guess you could do your PhD in three years, so that would again sum up to about five years.
In your masters you do a lot of coursework like qft and general relativity. These are usually grad courses in the US, right?