emphasized this connection between Army and
in an address to theReich-and Gauleiters on November 7, 1943:I should like . . . to mention . . . how clearly all thoughtful regular soldiersrealize what an important part has been played by the National Socialistmovement in re-awakening the will to fight (Wehrwillen); in nurturingfighting strength
ehrkraft) and in rearming the German people.
all the virtue inherent in it, the numerically small Reichswehr wouldnever have been able to cope with this task alone, if only because
its ownrestricted radius
action. Indeed, what the Fiihrer aimed
happily been successful in bringing
safely assumed that this happy fusion was not the unaided creation
the Fiihrer alone.
not relevant here to investigate the details
the forces which raised him to power in the belief that he wouldremain their puppet. The significant factor is that
these the Army provedthe most difficult for him to deal with and, as it was the most essential tothe attainment
his aims, eventually the obstacle to their fulfilment. Thiswas not because the German Officers' Corps disapproved in any way of theHitlerian conspiracy to seize the world for
was, indeed, asmuch its own conspiracy as
because it came to realize that thepolitical preponderance
the Corps was in danger
being lost for ever inthe National Socialist system, with its combination
oriental despotism inthe person of the Fiihrer and
direct appeal to the worst instincts
themasses. Moreover, the High Command had for some time before the outbreak
the war been very doubtful about the strategical ability and intentions
Hitler and his favourites.Although full documentary evidence
not generally available, it is stillpossible to surmise that the crises within the High Command
the GermanArmy in the early months
1938 had their root in an attempt by Hitler toreplace the old-fashioned type of German General Staff officer, such asGeneral von Fritsch, then Chief
Minister,von Blomberg, like Hitler, had, it seems, been for some time mistrustful ofthe traditional policy and methods
the General Staff, inherited, togetherwith its prestige, through the Great General Staff of the Empire from thetime
FredeJ;'ick the Great.
this reason Blomberg had the ear of Hitler,who was anxious, as we have seen, to consolidate his hold on the ArmyCommand.
Fritsch's dismissal, however, Blomberg himselfwas driven to resignation by a scandal concerning his marriage, apparentlyengineered by Himmler for reasons
personal ambition and jealousy
German Major War Criminals; P1'oceedings
InternationalMilitary Tribunal sitting at Nuremberg,
1, p. 185.
"Sie [die Reichswehr]
Hitler zur Macht
Die deutsche Katastrophe
(Zurich, 1946), p. 143.