Germany and the Second World War

TitleGermany and the Second World War
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2000
Corporate AuthorsMilitärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt
Volume1
Number of Volumes10
PublisherClarendon Press ; Oxford University Press
City, CountryOxford; New York
Abstract

This is the first of a comprehensive ten-volume history of the Second World War, written from the German perspective and translated for the first time into English. The five volumes so far published in German take the story up to the end of 1941, and have achieved international acclaim as amajor contribution to historical study. Under the auspices of the Militargeschichtliches Forschungsamt (Research Institute for Military History), a team of renowned historians has combined a full synthesis of existing material with the latest research to produce what will be the definitive historyof the Second World War. This volume, The Build-up of German Aggression, surveys the forces both within and outside Weimar Germany which paved the way for Hitler. The authors examine the systematic preparation for war, from the outset of Nazi rule, through rearmament, economic autarky, diplomacy, and the penetration ofGerman society at all levels. They consider the extent to which the movement can be regarded as a continuation of historic German nationalism; the limits of Hitler's involvement with the army and big business; and the lack of coordination between the administration and the armed services. The bookdemonstrates that, despite Nazi propaganda and in stark contrast to 1914, most Germans in 1939 opposed a war which they nevertheless endured with such tragic consequences. Intensively researched and documented, Germany and the Second World War is an undertaking of unparalleled scope and authority. It will prove indispensable to all historians of the twentieth century. [UNC Chapel Hill]

Full Text

Introduction (Wolfram Wette)
Part 1. Ideology, Propaganda, and Internal
Politics as Preconditions of the War
Policy of the Third Reich: Militarist and pacifist
Ideaologies in the last phase of the Weimar Republic
Propaganda mobilization for war
Organizing society in preparation for war (Hans-Erich Volkmann)
Part 2. The National Socialist
Economy in Preparation for War
From international economy to large-area economy
The National Socialist war economy
Job-creation and armament boom
The National Socialist economy under the 'New Plan'
The war economy under the four-year plan
Rearmament economy and aggression
The Third Reich's economic readiness for war (Wilhelm Deist)
Part 3. The Rearmament of the Wehrmacht: The Reichswehr and national defence
The rearmament of the individual services 1933-1939
The Wehrmacht of the Third Reich (Manfred Messerschmidt)
Part 4. Foreign Policy and Preparation for War: Hitler's 'Programme' and the problem of continuity in German foreign policy
The great powers and the aspiring great power
Bilateral foreign policy
Chances of hegemony: Stresa and the break-up of European solidarity
The road to war 1936-1938
1939: The initial position
Conclusions

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