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Wehrmacht generals, West German society and the debate on rearmament, 1949-1959

Searle, DA 2003, Wehrmacht generals, West German society and the debate on rearmament, 1949-1959 , Praeger Publishers, California, USA.

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Abstract

Examining the fate of former German generals after the Second World War, this is one of the first books in English to utilize the extensive archival material now available on the West German rearmament debate. Focus is given to the role these generals played in military policy-making, in planning for democratic armed forces, and in public discussions on coming to terms with the National Socialist past. The former generals were active in behind-the-scenes military planning and debates on military reform, but they also engaged in public efforts to influence politics as spokesmen of veterans' organizations. Alaric Searle uncovers proof that some former generals tried to bypass parliamentary control of the Federal armed forces, while others intervened to thwart those efforts. Through their actions, these generals also became symbols and metaphors for the National Socialist past. At an early stage, the generals were involved in the media discussions on rearmament. From the mid-1950s onwards, they increasingly became the objects of critical press attention, most notably in a number of trials that centered on wartime execution orders. These trials immediately assumed relevance for the public debate on military reform and rearmament. In providing an account of the political and military activities of the Wehrmacht General Officer Corps after World War II, this work also contributes to the broader debate on the role of elites in West German society after 1945.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: DOI: 10.1336/0275979687
Themes: Subjects / Themes > D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
Subjects / Themes > D History General and Old World > DD Germany
Subjects / Themes > D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D731 World War II
Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for European Security
Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Publisher: Praeger Publishers
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 9780275979683
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2009 16:27
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:53
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/1245

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