• GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • FRANKISH KINGDOM
  • JOHANNES REUCHLIN
  • THE WEIMAR CONSTITUTION
  • W
  • INFLATION, REPARATIONS, AND
  • THE STRESEMANN ERA, 19231929
  • STABILIZATION AND LOCARNO,
  • CULTURE AND SOCIETY
  • ROAD TO DICTATORSHIP,
  • T
  • CONSOLIDATION OF POWER
  • THE NAZI TOTAL STATE
  • ULRICH VON HUTTEN
  • PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS
  • RELIGION AND THE CHURCHES
  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • W
  • THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
  • INVASION OF RUSSIA
  • HITLERS PLANS FOR EUROPE
  • TURNING OF THE TIDE,
  • THE HOME FRONT
  • THE RESISTANCE
  • PHILIP MELANCHTHON
  • D-DAY TO DEFEAT NAZI GERMANY
  • THE HOLOCAUST
  • A
  • ALLIED PLANS AND CONFERENCES
  • DENAZIFICATION
  • POLITICAL PARTIES AND TRADE
  • LOCAL STATE FORMATION
  • PARLIAMENTARY COUNCIL AND THE
  • ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION
  • T
  • ERASMUS OF ROTTERDAM
  • BUNDESTAG ELECTION AND
  • REGAINING SOVEREIGNTY AND INTEGRATION
  • RECONSTRUCTION AND THE ECONOMIC
  • TRANSITIONAL YEARS AND
  • THE GRAND COALITION AND YOUTH
  • THE SOCIAL-LIBERAL COALITION
  • OSTPOLITIK (FOREIGN POLICY
  • CULTURE AND SOCIETY
  • SOCIAL STRUCTURE
  • SCHMIDT ERA: SOCIAL UNREST,
  • PRINTING AND MEDICINE
  • THE KOHL ERA, 19821998
  • T
  • UPRISING OF JUNE 17, 1953
  • ECONOMIC SYSTEM
  • SOCIETY, EDUCATION, AND
  • RELATIONS WITH THE FEDERAL
  • R
  • CONSEQUENCES AND PROBLEMS OF
  • ECONOMIC UNIFICATION,
  • P
  • RENAISSANCE ART
  • UNIFICATION POLITICS AND ITS
  • FOREIGN POLICY
  • GOVERNMENT AND ELECTIONS,
  • HISTORICAL DICTIONARY A
  • A
  • Abwehr
  • Adenauer, Konrad
  • Afrika Korps
  • Agadir Incident
  • Agrarian League
  • NEED FOR CHURCH REFORM
  • Agricola, Rudolf
  • Air Force
  • Albert (Albrecht) of
  • Albert V
  • Algeciras, Conference of
  • Allied Control Council
  • Alsace-Lorraine
  • Altdorfer, Albrecht
  • Amiens, Battle of
  • Anabaptists
  • P
  • Anglo-German Naval Treaty
  • Anschluss
  • Anti-Comintern Pact
  • anti-Semitism/Jew hatred
  • anti-Semitism
  • Anti-Socialist Law
  • Ardennes, Battle of the
  • Arendt, Hannah
  • Armed Forces (Wehrmacht)
  • Armed Forces (Bundeswehr):
  • LUTHER AND MELANCHTHON
  • Army (Prussian to 1860)
  • Army (Second Empire,
  • Asylum Law
  • Atlantic, Battle of the
  • Auerstadt, Battle of
  • Augsburg, Diet of
  • Augsburg, Religious Peace of
  • Augsburg, War of the League
  • Augsburg Confession
  • Augspurg, Anita
  • LUTHER AND ZWINGLI
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • Austerlitz, Battle of
  • Austria
  • Austrian Succession, War of
  • autarchy
  • autobahns
  • Axis, The
  • B
  • Baden-Württemberg
  • Ballin, Albert
  • CAROLINGIAN EMPIRE
  • KNIGHTS REVOLT AND GREAT
  • Barbie, Klaus
  • Barmen Declaration
  • Barth, Karl
  • Basic Treaty
  • Bauernschutz
  • Bauhaus
  • Baumer, Gertrud
  • Bavaria
  • Bavarian Peoples Party (BVP)
  • Bavarian Succession, War of
  • REFORMATION AND THE TOWNS
  • Bayer AG
  • Bayreuth
  • Bebel, August
  • Beck, Ludwig August Theodor
  • Beckmann, Max
  • Beer-Hall Putsch of 1923
  • Beethoven, Ludwig van
  • Benjamin, Walter
  • Benn, Gottfried
  • Bennigsen, Rudolf von
  • ANABAPTISM AND MÜNTZER
  • Benz, Carl Friedrich
  • Bergen-Belsen
  • Berghof
  • Berlin
  • Berlin, Battle for (Fall of)
  • Berlin, Congress of
  • Berlin-Baghdad Railway
  • Berlin Blockade
  • Berlin Conference
  • Berlin Wall
  • CALVINISM IN GERMANY
  • Bernstein, Eduard
  • Bethmann Hollweg, Theobald
  • Biedermeier
  • Biermann, Wolf
  • Bismarck, Otto Eduard Leopold
  • blank check
  • Bleichröder, Gerson von
  • Blenheim, Battle of
  • Blomberg, Werner von
  • Blücher, Gebhard
  • CHARLES V AND THE REFORMATION
  • Böll, Heinrich
  • Bonhoeffer, Dietrich
  • Bonn
  • Bormann, Martin
  • Born, Max
  • Borsig, August
  • Bosch, Robert
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Brahms, Johannes
  • Brandenburg
  • C
  • Brauchitsch, Walther von
  • Braun, Eva
  • Braun, Karl Ferdinand
  • Braun, Otto
  • Braun, Wernher von
  • Brecht, Bertolt
  • Bremen/Bremerhaven
  • Brentano, Elizabeth Bettina
  • Breslau
  • The Bridge
  • THE THIRTY YEARS WAR
  • Britain, Battle of
  • Brüning, Heinrich
  • Buchenwald
  • Bülow, Bernhard von
  • Bundesrat
  • Bundestag
  • Burschenschaft
  • C
  • Canisius, Peter
  • canton system
  • A
  • Carlsbad Decrees
  • Celtis, Conrad
  • Center Party
  • Chamberlain, Houston Stewart
  • Charles V
  • Charles VI
  • Charles VII
  • Charlottenburg, Palace of
  • Christian Democratic Union
  • Christian Social Union
  • LITERATURE
  • Civil Code, German (Revised
  • Clausewitz, Carl von
  • Concordat of 1933
  • Condor Legion
  • The Confederation of the Rhine was a
  • Confessing Church
  • Congress of Vienna
  • conservatism
  • constitutional traditions
  • Counter-Reformation
  • MUSIC
  • Cranach, Lucas, the Elder
  • cultured elites
  • D
  • Daimler, Gottlieb
  • Danish War
  • Danzig
  • Dawes Plan
  • D-Banks
  • D-Day
  • Degenerate Art
  • SAXON AND SALIAN DYNASTIES,
  • SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION
  • denazification
  • Denck, Hans
  • Depression, The Great
  • Depressions
  • détente
  • Diesel, Rudolf
  • Dietrich, Josef Sepp
  • Diplomatic Revolution of 1756
  • Dix, Otto
  • Döblin, Alfred
  • GOTTFRIED WILHELM VON LEIBNIZ
  • Dönitz, Karl
  • Dresden
  • Droste-Hülshoff, Annette
  • Dual Alliance
  • Dürer, Albrecht
  • Düsseldorf
  • E
  • Edict of Toleration
  • Ehrlich, Paul
  • Eichendorff, Joseph von
  • PIETISM
  • Eichmann, Adolf
  • Eicke, Theodor
  • Einsatzgruppen
  • Einstein, Albert
  • Eisner, Kurt
  • El Alamein, Battles of
  • Elbe River
  • Ems Telegram
  • Enabling Act
  • Engels, Friedrich
  • ROCOCO
  • ENIGMA/ULTRA
  • Enlightenment
  • Erasmus, Desiderius
  • Erfurt Program
  • Erhard, Ludwig
  • Ernst, Max
  • Erzberger, Matthias
  • Eugene, prince of Savoy
  • European Coal and Steel
  • European Defense Community
  • A
  • European Economic Community
  • European Union
  • euthanasia
  • expressionism
  • Falkenhayn, Erich von
  • F
  • Fatherland Party
  • Federal Constitutional Court
  • Federal Republic of Germany
  • Federation of German Industry
  • TURKISH WARS
  • Federation of German Womens
  • feminism, 18151945
  • feminism, 19452005
  • Ferdinand II
  • Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas
  • Fichte, Johann Gottlieb
  • Final Solution
  • Fischer, Josef Joschka
  • Fischer von Erlach, John
  • Fontane, Theodor
  • WARS OF AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION
  • Four Year Plan
  • Francis II
  • Frank, Anne
  • Frank, Hans
  • Frankfurt am Main
  • Frankfurt Parliament
  • Frederick I
  • Frederick II, The Great
  • Frederick III
  • Frederick III, The Wise
  • STATE REFORMS
  • Frederick William
  • Frederick William I
  • Frederick William II
  • Frederick William III
  • Frederick William IV
  • Free Corps
  • Free Democratic Party
  • Freemasonry/Illuminati
  • French Revolutionary Wars
  • Freytag, Gustav
  • FOREIGN POLICY AND KAUNITZ
  • Friedrich, Caspar David
  • Fritsch, Werner von
  • Fugger, Jacob the Rich
  • Führerprinzip
  • G
  • Galen, Clemens August von
  • Gellert, Christian
  • General Directory
  • Genscher, Hans-Dietrich
  • Gentz, Friedrich
  • JOSEPH II AND REFORM
  • German Christians
  • German Communist Party
  • German Confederation
  • German Conservative Party
  • German Democratic Party
  • German Democratic Republic
  • German Labor Front
  • German National Peoples
  • German Peoples Party
  • German Progressive Party
  • HOHENSTAUFEN DYNASTY,
  • VIENNA AND ARCHITECTURE
  • German Reich (Imperial) Party
  • German Womens Bureau
  • German Workers Party
  • Germany Treaty
  • R
  • FREDERICK III
  • FREDERICK WILLIAM I, THE
  • FREDERICK THE GREAT
  • SEVEN YEARS WAR
  • S
  • ECONOMY
  • POLITICAL DECENTRALIZATION
  • SOCIAL STRUCTURE
  • HABSBURG DYNASTY
  • CULTURE
  • THE ENLIGHTENMENT
  • LITERATURE AND DRAMA
  • PHILOSOPHY
  • SECRET SOCIETIES
  • T
  • R
  • THE ROMANTIC MOVEMENT
  • NATIONALISM AND LIBERALISM
  • EARLY INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
  • CITIES AND CRAFT GUILDS
  • REVOLUTIONS OF 1848
  • ARMY REFORM AND PARLIAMENTARY
  • O
  • THE DANISH WAR, 1864
  • AUSTRO-PRUSSIAN WAR, 1866
  • THE FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR,
  • COLLAPSE OF THE SECOND FRENCH
  • I
  • N
  • ART AND ARCHITECTURE
  • ORIGINS OF CAPITALISM
  • SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND WOMEN
  • EDUCATION
  • T
  • POLITICAL PARTIES
  • THE KULTURKAMPF, SOCIALISM,
  • FOREIGN POLICY AND ALLIANCE
  • BISMARCKS DISMISSAL
  • WILHELMINE GERMANY
  • T
  • THE QUESTION OF
  • LATE MEDIEVAL CULTURE
  • CONDUCT OF THE WAR
  • PEACE RESOLUTION, REFORM, AND
  • AN UNPLANNED REVOLUTION
  • N
  • POLITICAL PARTIES UNPREPARED
  • A REVOLUTIONARY PATTERN
  • WORKERS AND SOLDIERS
  • KURT EISNER AND REVOLUTION IN
  • A REPUBLIC PROCLAIMED
  • A SEVERE ARMISTICE
  • T
  • ESTABLISHMENT OF A REVOLUTIONARY
  • EBERT MAKES A DEAL WITH THE
  • THE SPARTACISTS
  • INTERPRETATION OF THE
  • A VENGEFUL PEACE
  • V
  • THE GOALS OF THE PEACEMAKERS
  • TERMS OF THE TREATY
  • WAR GUILT AND REPARATIONS
  • DENUNCIATION AND RELUCTANT
  • GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • Army (Second Empire,

    18711918)

    The Prussian army was the most obvious instrument

    of power and influence in the Second

    Empire. Technically, a German army did not

    exist, but the Prussian army by law was extended

    to the entire Reich, and the army became one

    unified army under the immediate control of

    PRUSSIA. All of the states except three, BAVARIA,

    SAXONY, and Württemberg, transferred their military

    powers to Prussia. Only the three retained

    independent military contingents, which in time

    of war came under Prussian control. The king of

    Prussia, as emperor, was commander in chief

    and was in complete control of the army. Allegiance

    was sworn to the emperor and not the

    constitution. The hopes of the liberals that the

    army would be under parliamentary control

    were not realized. The military, not subject to

    constitutional requirements, was thus removed

    completely from the constraints of the constitution.

    The army was the core of the Prussian

    state, the state within the state.

    The Prussian soldier-state was recognized by

    most Germans as having been responsible for

    the unification of Germany. Political thought as

    well as political action throughout Germany,

    therefore, was deeply influenced by the Prussian

    crown, the Prussian general staff, and the Prussian

    army. It was a truism that the primary

    means used in creating the new German Reich

    was the forces of the Prussian military, and that

    continued to preserve it. As the eminent historian

    Friedrich Meinecke wrote It was the Prussian

    military state with all that goes with itits

    royalist and aristocratic traditions and its favoring

    of those social classes that made up the core

    of the officer corpsthat has remained the most

    firm pivot of internal policy and at the same time

    the citadel of the entire fortress.

    The army did, however, play an essential role

    in bringing about national integration after 1871.

    It absorbed generations of conscripts into the one

    institution that symbolized the Empire. Although

    the army had preferred to recruit its officers from

    the nobility, the expanded army had to reach

    into the upper middle class to fulfill its requirements.

    It became an honor for the middle classes

    to obtain officers commissions, and its impact on

    their social consciousness has been called the feudalization

    of the middle class. The middle-class

    officer candidates had to be Christian in religion,

    politically conservative, and as feudal-minded as

    the JUNKERS themselves.

    In order to escape from the possible constraints

    of revolution and the liberal parliament,

    the political generals decided to withdraw most

    of the vital military matters from the war minister

    and place them in the hands of constitutionally

    irresponsible agencies like the General

    Staff and the Military Cabinet. Second, they

    decided to make the officer corps a bulwark of

    royal absolutism by withholding officer commissions

    from candidates with unorthodox

    social and political ideas. The officer corps thus

    became a sort of praetorian guard.

    With the Franco-Russian alliance of 1894 the

    general staff was convinced that Germany had

    to be prepared to fight and win a two-front war

    and that it should be fought on enemy territory.

    The development of the SCHLIEFFEN PLAN was a

    strategy that made that possible. General Schlieffens

    strategy was predicated on a quick defeat of

    Army (Second Empire, 18711918) 227

    France while holding Russians in the East. It also

    planned on the violation of Belgian neutrality,

    logistical difficulties, and little leeway for the

    problems characterizing modern warfare. Military

    leaders in Germany and Austria-Hungary

    increasingly felt that a war was inevitable and

    the sooner the better if they were to win.

    Although the REICHSTAG resisted increasing military

    budgets, the budget for the navy was

    increased to the point that peace with Britain

    was threatened. By 1914 the army had a peacetime

    strength of 800,000 men with a war footing

    of almost 4 million. As Germany stood on

    the brink of war, there were weaknesses manifested

    in its reserve system, where half of the

    men conscripted during a year saw no military

    service.

    Between 1890 and 1914 military leaders

    appealed for funds to increase the size of the

    army comparable to its enemies. General Schlieffen

    believed that all men capable of service

    had to be trained, but they could not without

    new budget increases and reforms, which meant

    more appeals to the Reichstag for funds. The difficulties

    of getting the Reichstag to vote for these

    increases were made more difficult by the constant

    criticism of the emperor and his military

    clique over making any concessions to the parliamentarians.

    There was also the problem of

    internal competition within the army, and the

    war of opinions was one of the armys greatest

    weaknesses at the beginning of WORLD WAR I.

    Equally evident was the growth of military absolutism

    as the army claimed immunity to the law

    and a significant part of the officer corps looked

    down upon society with contempt and hostility.

    A classic illustration of this problem was the

    ZABERN AFFAIR of 1913, in which a young officer

    insulted the people of Alsace and his commanding

    officer declared a state of siege and made

    wholesale arrests of those who mocked his

    troops. The privileged position of the army as a

    state within a state was not changed until after

    World War I.

    During World War I a number of failures in

    the German war effort led to its eventual defeat.

    The High Seas Fleet that Admiral TIRPITZ had

    built up at great expense not only had turned the

    British to the side of the Allies but was completely

    ineffective in defeating England on the

    sea. Then the Schlieffen Plan was fatally altered

    and the stiff Belgian resistance slowed the German

    advance to the advantage of the French.

    The British forces arrived earlier than the German

    leaders had expected and stopped the Germans

    at the Marne. Another radical change in

    the Schlieffen Plan moved the left wing into an

    offensive against Nancy. On the eastern front the

    Russians launched an offensive earlier than

    expected, but General HINDENBURG defeated

    them at the BATTLE OF TANNENBERG and Battle of

    the Masurian Lakes. The Austrians, on the other

    hand, in the battles of Galicia and Serbia lost the

    best of their junior and noncommissioned officers.

    Worst of all, the Central powers had begun

    the war without a coordinated plan and knowledge

    of one anothers capabilities. The war began

    with three major campaigns: one into France, a

    second into Serbia, and a third into Galicia. All

    failed. Later, in January 1917, the Germans again

    tried a go-for-broke strategy with unrestricted

    submarine warfare. This only managed to bring

    the United States into the war. Unable to force a

    decision in the west, they turned to defeating

    Russia. The Russian Revolution had occurred,

    and Lenin decided to make peace, which resulted

    in the TREATY OF BREST-LITOVSK, through which

    Germany and Austria gained control of eastern

    and southeastern Europe. In the meantime, Hindenburg

    and LUDENDORFF had become military

    dictators and in 1918 planned a spring offensive,

    again gambling unrealistically that the gains

    would force the Allies to agree to peace on German

    terms. To obtain this goal, the generals had

    precalculated a casualty figure of 600,000 men.

    The offensive failed, and an armistice was negotiated

    on November 11, 1918.

    Army (Reichswehr, Weimar Republic)

    The German armed forces during the WEIMAR

    REPUBLIC were called the Reichswehr (191935).

    At the end of WORLDWAR I the German High

    Command was anxious to disassociate itself from

    228 Army (Reichswehr, Weimar Republic)

    the war, which it had promoted and lost. It therefore

    fabricated the Stab in the Back legend

    blaming the war protesters, Social Democrats,

    and revolutionaries for Germanys defeat. They

    also followed a political plan to burden the civilian

    government with the responsibility for the

    armistice negotiations and also the TREATY OF

    VERSAILLES.

    Initial efforts to create a new army along

    republican lines were made difficult by the turmoil

    of the REVOLUTION OF 19181919 and a

    fear of communism. As a consequence of these

    problems the Reichswehr had to rely on the former

    members of the army and navy, who were

    governed by the agreement arrived at in the

    EBERT-GROENER PACT, by which the officer corps

    would be free from parliamentary interference in

    return for maintaining orderly demobilization

    and internal security. The leadership of the Reichswehr

    was generally opposed to the concept of a

    parliamentary republic but decided to uphold the

    state. They also distrusted the radical-right paramilitary

    groups called the Free Corps (Freikorps).

    The KAPP PUTSCH of March 1920 became a turning

    point in relations between the Reichswehr

    and the civilian government. Even though the

    defeat of the Kapp Putsch was a great victory for

    republican forces, it failed to lead to the needed

    reform in the Reichswehr of eliminating monarchist

    and antirepublican officers.

    The Reichswehr was composed of the army

    and navy, although it mainly refers to the army

    alone. The strength of the army was fixed by the

    Treaty of Versailles at 100,000 men and the

    treaty also specified what proportions should go

    to the various services. Universal conscription

    was abolished, the General Staff was forbidden,

    and therefore the army became a highly trained

    group of professionals. According to the treaty it

    was not to possess tanks, aircraft, or heavy

    artillery. The navy was reduced to a few cruisers

    with its personnel set at 15,000, and all submarines

    were forbidden.

    The generals leading the Reichswehr were

    unenthusiastic supporters of the Weimar Republic.

    General Hans von Seeckt (18661936), who

    had distinguished himself in the war, gave up

    the Versailles-prohibited title of chief of the general

    staff and assumed his new title of Chef des

    Truppenamtes on November 24, 1919. Under

    his leadership the Reichswehr developed into a

    state within a state, serving successive civil governments

    loyally but without enthusiasm.

    Seeckt was adamant that members of the Reichswehr

    remained totally independent of politics

    considering the parliament (REICHSTAG) the

    cancer of our time. Seeckts goals were to preserve

    as much of the prewar army as possible.

    Rather than resisting the Versailles Treaty, Seeckt

    thought it more important to keep the army in

    being and preserve the possibility of a military

    resurrection. Under the Treaty of Versailles

    Seeckt could not create a shadow army, as had

    been done by the great Scharnhorst and GNEISENAU

    during the Napoleonic period, because of

    the treatys requirement of 12-year enlistments.

    With patience and determination, however,

    Seeckt conducted his covert campaign against

    the restrictions of the treaty by establishing the

    Reichswehr as a true military elite, an army of

    leaders. Every member was trained so that he

    was capable of filling the next highest position.

    Seeckt even figured out how to circumvent the

    closing of the War Academy for the training of

    staff officers. Essentially, the training was distributed

    to the military districts under control of

    the Truppenamt. Although the treaty forbade

    the Great General Staff, it did not forbid the

    Operational General Staff, which Seeckt hoped

    to use to carry on its traditions. In order to circumvent

    the prohibition on military aviation,

    Seeckt set up a secret flying group within the

    Reichswehr Ministry. Within the government

    office of air transport civilian aviation was

    guided in accordance with military needs. As a

    reservoir of military manpower Seeckt used the

    civilian police, where combat-hardened officers

    who could not be taken into the Reichswehr

    joined the state and border police. Even the prohibition

    on submarine design and construction

    was circumvented as KRUPP set up a dummy

    Dutch company that built and sold submarines

    to foreign governments out of Germania shipyards

    at Kiel. Other circumventions also occurred.

    Army (Reichswehr, Weimar Republic) 229

    In 1921 during maneuvers in the Harz Mountains

    motorized infantry were loaded onto

    trucks in place of the mounted forces allowed by

    the Allies. Other elaborate schemes in 1921

    included the unofficial training of transport

    troops as artillerymen.

    In foreign affairs Seeckt was anti-Polish and

    pro-Russian. The new state of Poland had just

    won a decisive battle against the Russians at the

    gates of Warsaw, and Vilna was seized. Germanys

    problem with the new Poland resulted in

    an alliance between Germany and the Soviet

    Union, which came into being as a result of the

    Treaty of Rapallo in April 1922. For Seeckt

    friendship with Russia was integral to his whole

    political outlook. Its communist philosophy

    meant little to him, and more important it had

    not signed the Treaty of Versailles and was also

    shut out of the LEAGUE OF NATIONS. Seeckt also

    thought that a Russian alliance would help in

    the struggle against Poland in Upper Silesia and

    that Communist-inspired social unrest in Germany

    might be reduced. So the Polish question

    became the godmother of the alliance between

    the Reichswehr and the Red Army. There was

    also an economic connection because the Communists

    needed to industrialize and Seeckt

    wanted a place where prohibited German industries

    could be shipped. Within Germany the

    restrictions of the treaty were also circumvented,

    and clandestine rearmament begun. So-called

    black production centers for war materials were

    created and hidden from the Control Commission.

    For instance, within the firm of Rhein-

    Metal, which constructed railway carriages,

    artillery construction was located. That many

    types of weapons were forbidden did not hinder

    their development. In 1922 the Reichswehr

    signed a contract with the firm of Krupp for the

    development of German artillery, which firm

    also contributed to the development of tanks.

    The minister of defense was a civilian to whom

    the Reichswehr was theoretically responsible. The

    first was Gustav Noske (18681946), whose short

    term lasted from 1919 to 1920, followed by the

    conservative Otto Gessler (18751955) from

    1920 to 1928, and finally General Wilhelm

    Groener from 1928 to 1932. A common commitment

    to revising the Treaty of Versailles

    brought about cooperation with the foreign

    office. After Paul von HINDENBURG, an unreconstructed

    reactionary and trustee of the traditions

    of the officers corps, was elected president of the

    Republic in 1925 the Reichswehr hoped for a

    reorganization of the state along authoritarian

    lines, which actually began with the presidential

    cabinet in 1930. The crowning achievement of

    the Reichswehrs political influence was the

    appointment of General Kurt von SCHLEICHER as

    chancellor in 1932.

    Schleichers attempt to establish an authoritarian

    state with a mass base of support failed.

    The leaders of the armed forces looked down on

    Adolf HITLER and National Socialism, but later

    approved of the possibilities for the revival of

    German power. A Nazi government appeared to

    offer the best opportunity to build up the Reichswehr

    and rearm the nation. The soldiers offered

    no opposition to Hitlers appointment as chancellor

    and the violence used to establish a dictatorship;

    they cooperated in the blood purge of

    the radical SA in 1934. Under the Nazi regime

    after the death of President Hindenburg, General

    von Blomberg as Reichswehrminister introduced

    the oath of personal fealty in 1934, placing the

    armed forces under Hitlers direct control. In

    1935 the name of the armed forces was changed

    from Reichswehr to Wehrmacht, with the divisions

    Heer, Marine, and Luftwaffe. In 1938, during

    the Blomberg-Fritsch crisis, Hitler even took

    personal command of the military.

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