Rearming Germany

History of Warfare
Kelly DeVries
Loyola College, Maryland
John France
University of Wales, Swansea
Michael S. Neiberg
University of Southern Mississippi
Frederick Schneid
High Point University, North Carolina


Rearming Germany

Edited by

James S. Corum


Cover illustration: Photo of German maneuvers 1960 MHI.
With kind permission of the US Army Military History Institute,
Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

This book is printed on acid-free paper.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Rearming Germany / edited by James S. Corum.
p. cm. -- (History of warfare, ISSN 1385-7827 ; v. 64)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-90-04-20317-4 (hbk. : acid-free paper)
1. Germany (West)--Military policy. 2. Germany (West)--Defenses--History.
3. Germany (West)--Armed Forces--History. 4. National security--Germany
(West)--History. 5. Germany (East)--Military policy. 6. Germany
(East)--Defenses--History. 7. Germany (East)--Armed Forces--History.
8. National security--Germany (East)--History. 9. Cold War. 10. Germany--
History, Military--20th century. I. Corum, James S. II. Title: Re-arming
Germany. III. Series.

UA710.R372 2011


ISSN 1385-7827
ISBN 978 90 04 20317 4

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......................... 1950–1956 Douglas Carl Peifer .......................................... and the Founding of the Bundeswehr 1950–1956 James S..........................................73 American Assistance to the New German Army and Luftwaffe James S....................................vii Introduction ..................................................................................................................93 Establishing the Bundesmarine: The Convergence of Central Planning and Pre-existing Maritime Organizations. House ....117 ..................... Corum ....................................................................................................... 1945–1956 Adam Seipp ............. Corum ............29 THE DEBATE WITHIN GERMAN SOCIETY A Reasonable “Yes”: The Social Democrats and West German Rearmament........................................................................................................................................................... Amt Blank...... CONTENTS List of Abbreviations .55 THE ALLIED POWERS AND THE CREATION OF A NEW GERMAN ARMED FORCERS The European Defense Community Jonathan M............................................................ 3 Adenauer.....................ix THE BEGINNING OF REARMAMENT The Himmerod Memorandum and the Beginning of West German Security Policy Thomas Vogel .......................................

.............. Kollmer....................................................................... The Bundeswehr’s Internal Debates on Adopting NATO Doctrine 1950–1963 Martin Rink........................................ The International Mix of Armaments in the Build-up Phase of the Bundeswehr 1953–1958 Dieter H. CREATING THE DDR’S ARMED FORCES Failure to Command: The Political Underpinnings of the Failure of the Nationale Volksarmee as a Social Institution Dan Jordan ................................................... 255 Rearming Germany: An Essay on Books and Sources ........................................................ 177 DEBATES WITHIN THE BUNDESWEHR ABOUT ORGANIZATION AND DOCTRINE The Battle Over “Innere Fuehrung” Klaus Naumann .................... 221 THE OTHER GERMANY................................................................................................. the Cold War... and the Bundeswehr Oliver Haller....................... 145 Reasons of State: A Military and Foreign Trade Necessity........................................................................................................ 205 The Service Staffs’ Struggle over contents THE ECONOMICS OF GERMAN REARMAMENT German Industry...........................273 Index .............281 ..............................

East Germany IFV infantry fighting vehicle JCS Joint Chiefs of Staff JLC Joint Logistics Committee KPD Communist Party LANDCENT NATO Land Forces Commander LSU Labor Service Unit MAAG Military Assistance Advisory Group MfNV Ministerium für Nationale Verteidigung MGFA Militärgeschichtliche Forschungsamt NCO non-commissioned officer NHT U. Central Europe COMLANDCENT Commander of Allied Land Forces Central Europe COMNAVFORGER Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Germany CSU Bavarian Christian Social Union ECSC European Coal and Steel Community EDC European Defense Community ERP European Recovery Program EUCOM European Command FDP Free Democratic Party FEA Foreign Economic Administration FRG Federal Republic of Germany. Allied Forces. West Germany GB/BHE Gesamtdeutscher Block/Bund der Heimatver- triebenen und Entrechteten (All-German Bloc/ League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights) GDP Gross Domestic Product GDR German Democratic Republic.S. Navy’s Naval Historical Team Bremerhaven NSRB National Security Resource Board NVA Nationale Volksarmee . LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ACC Allied Control Council Amt Blank “The Blank Office” CAS close air support CDU Christian Democratic Union CINCENT Commander in Chief.

viii list of abbreviations NVP Nationale Volkspolizei OMGBS Office of Military Government. Air Force USAFE U.S. Berlin Sector PHV Politische Hauptverwaltung RAF Royal Air Force SACEUR Supreme Allied Commander. Europe VOL Regulations for Performance WEU Western European Union . Europe SED Socialistische Einheits Partei SPD Social Democratic Party SED Socialist Union Party UNC United Nations Command USAF U.S. Air Force. Europe USAREUR U. Army.S.

INTRODUCTION By any version of historical accounting. Although far too much material remains hidden in national archives. In its effects upon the world’s political structure. we again saw a wholesale reshaping of the European political and economic scene on a scale not seen since the end of World War II. was one of the pivotal nations in the Cold War. This is a positive step. gave enormous credibility to the Western deterrent against the Soviet Block and helped ensure the stability of Europe for the next 45 years. the Cold War equals the effects of the World Wars. notably West Germany. One of the seminal events of the early period of the Cold War—from 1945 to 1960—was the rearmament of Germany and the incorporation of West Germany as a formal member of the Western military alliance system. With the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Yet one of the problems in studying the Cold War as a distinct subject is a lack of basic course texts. the start of the Cold War began largely as a dis- pute among the victorious Allied powers of World War II about the status and post-war relationship the defeated German nation would assume. Therefore. the Cold War ranks with the two World Wars as one of the great events of the 20th century. The Cold War is now being studied in many universities as a separate field of history. Although the end of the Cold War was a relatively recent event. Britain. The reestablishment of Germany as a major military power. Both the Western powers and the Soviet Union had strongly . In turn. the strong security alliance system created by the West played a central role in the Cold War and was one of the primary factors that brought about the downfall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Indeed. this book is intended to fill one of the gaps in the cur- rent historical literature by providing a general review of one of the seminal events of the Cold War—the rearmament of the Germany in the 1940s and 1950s. and the West. enough has been released to the public in the 20 years since the end of the Cold War to allow for a thorough analysis of some of the pertinent issues. Germany. and its post-war partnership with the United States. enough time has passed to allow historians to initiate some studies of major issues with a degree of necessary distance and objectivity.

in the post-war mood of a new democratic Germany. which culminated in the formation of NATO in 1949. As a prosperous and democratic West Germany emerged from the devastation of the World War in 1949. Instead. The Korean War provided a new urgency to the security predica- ment of the Western powers. Stalin’s policies served to encourage the concept of a new Western security system. and in 1950 the debate about German rearmament began in earnest. Germany had been a world power of the first rank and had possessed Europe’s largest economy. West Germany was well on its way to being established as a separate political entity when the Americans and British merged their occupation zones into one economic unit in 1947. Before World War II. The Soviet-backed coup in Czechoslovakia in 1947 and the Soviet blockade of West Berlin in 1948–1949 ended the possibility of any friendly cooperation in post-war Europe between the Western powers and the emerging Soviet block. Indeed. and negotiating an appropriate role for a new German armed forces with the Allied powers was only the beginning. As the Cold War intensified between 1946 and 1950. the idea of reestablishing German armed forces was a very difficult concept for many Germans to accept. . even though the Germans faced a palpable threat from the Soviet Union. the idea of a rearmed Germany only four years after the end of the Third Reich was some- thing that was extremely difficult for the Western Powers to accept. it was clear that Germany would align itself in some way with the West. Yet even the devas- tation of the World War and the loss of some valuable territories had not significantly diminished Germany’s potential to again become the primary economic and political power of Europe.x introduction differing views as to the status of Germany in the post-war world. The march to establish a separate West German state proceeded apace and resulted in the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 with the full support and bless- ing of the Western Powers. recruiting a cadre force from among the veter- ans of the Wehrmacht. However. It took five years of debate among the Germans and negotiations among the Western powers to establish a framework by which a rearmed Germany would again take its place among the nations of the world as a major military power—this time as a member of the NATO alliance. it became clear to both sides that Germany would again be a major player in European politics. The aggressive Soviet actions against Berlin failed to intimidate the Western powers as intended. Moving the German Bundestag to pass the necessary laws.

The role that the new tech- nology of nuclear weapons would play in the doctrine of the new German armed forces was also a subject of intensive debate within the NATO alliance and within the German military leadership. Germany was heavily dependent upon the Western powers. and these are dealt with by the authors in turn. From the very beginning of the discussion on rearmament in 1950 there were strong splits between factions of the . it was not just a matter of German rearmament and spending but also an issue of European trade policy and technology transfer. several major themes emerge from an analy- sis of the rearmament of Germany. What emerged was something radically different from the past in terms of its sense of tradition. the doctrine that the force would employ. Section five of the book covers the major internal debates within the officer corps of the Bundeswehr. the equip- ment for the force. and the rela- tionship the Bundeswehr would have with the military past of Germany were all subjects of intensive debate within the German government and within the officer corps of the new West German armed forces. The second major theme to be discussed is the debate within West Germany. Indeed. West Germany would join NATO. As a new NATO nation. the organization of the Bundeswehr. especially the long discussions about the morality and practicality of rearmament that took place within the Social Democratic Party. This book is intended to introduce a university student to all these basic issues and to provide a guide for further research on the subject of Germany and the Cold War. in standing up the first units of the Bundeswehr between 1955 and 1957. The next section of the book discusses the often-ignored economic aspects of rearmament. This section begins with a review of the negotiations between the Germans and Western powers over establishing a European military force. The third major theme to be dis- cussed is the relationship that Germany had with the Western Powers on defense issues. The authors have taken a broad view of the rearmament of Germany in that it was much more than a military or political issue. introduction xi Although the Bundeswehr was formally established in 1955 it would take several more years for the West German armed forces to be con- sidered as a credible and effective deterrent force for western Europe. In the meantime. notably the United States and Great Britain. As the authors point out. When the plan for a European military force fell through. but sometimes very close to the Wehrmacht in terms of its unit organization and doctrine. The book begins with a review of the early debates about the establishment of the Bundeswehr and the organization that the new force might take.

the issues of the East German armed forces ought not to be ignored. Finally. and the traditions that the new Bundeswehr ought to adopt from the Germany armed forces of the past.xii introduction German officer corps over the proposed organization of the force. so the early years of the Volksarmee of the DDR are exam- ined as well. the doctrine the force ought to employ. Because this book is meant to serve the reader more as a general introduction and course text. . the final chapter is a bibliographical essay that outlines the major sources of original documents for the student as well as the most useful secondary sources.



See Aspekte der deutschen Wiederbewaffnung bis 1955. The full title of the document was “A Study Concerning the Establishment of a German Contingent in the Framework of a Supranational Force for Western European Defense. The Memorandum laid out the basic concepts for rearming West Germany after the Second World War. Br. In 1977 an annotated version with a commen- tary was published. “Die ‘Himmeroder Denkschrift’ vom Oktober 1950. Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt (Boppard am Rhein: Boldt.1 It was the product of a conference of German military experts carried out at the request of the German chancellor Konrad Adenauer in October 1950. 1975). . THE HIMMEROD MEMORANDUM AND THE BEGINNING OF WEST GERMAN SECURITY POLICY Thomas Vogel The Himmerod Memorandum stands as the “Magna Charta” of the armed forces (Bundeswehr) of the Federal Republic of Germany. and four complete copies were prepared. 2 A copy is found in the Bundesarchiv Abteilung Militärarchiv in Freiburg i. Politische und militärische Überlegungen für einen Beitrag der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zur westeuropäischen Verteidigung. ed.3 Prehistory of Himmerod—The Political Situation The title of the document makes it clear that the mission of the confer- ence had already been assigned to the participants. Yet neither the con- ference nor the Memorandum marks the real beginning of West German security policy. 3 Hans-Jürgen Rautenberg and Norbert Wiggershaus. In fact. 142.” in Militärgeschichtliche Mitteilungen 21 (1977). 135–206. The Allied occupying powers also endorsed the mis- sion of the conferees conducted at the monastery at Himmerod. under File Number BW 9/3119. some would date the real beginning of 1 Characterizing the Memorandum as the “Magna Charta of German Rearmament” can be directly attributed to Count Gerhard von Schwerin.”2 The memoran- dum itself was more than 50 typewritten pages long.

as demonstrated by the Berlin Blockade. the West thought it could be secured and protected by the shield of the atomic bomb monopoly of the United States. that the new West German state should contribute to its own defense and to the defense of the West.” and the confrontation between the west- ern and eastern power blocks was especially dramatic on the European front. 339 [hereafter cited as Foerster.4 thomas vogel West German security policy back to the foundation of the Federal Republic a year and a half before the Himmerod Conference. In April 1949 most of the Western democracies joined together to form NATO. the Allied Powers and the Germans were coming to the same conclusion. . 1. ed. Anfänge]. Foerster et al. The Western states had underestimated the growing threat from the East. The powerful Soviet presence within the borders of greater Germany was seen as a serious threat to the Western Powers. Roland G. On the central European front the Eastern Block forces had a numerical superiority of 3:1 in ground forces and 5:1 in aircraft strength.4 Due to the massive debts just incurred by the Western Powers during World War II and the need to pay for various colonial conflicts. Others would give an even earlier date. namely. vol. (Munich: Oldenbourg. the financial condition of the Western states was precarious. In the Western press the issue was being 4 Norbert Wiggershaus. which had united their occupation zones and encouraged the formation of the West German state in May 1949. The increasingly aggressive strategy of the Soviets.” in Anfänge westdeutscher Sicherheitspolitik 1945–1956. which lasted from June 1948 to May 1949. Although their motivations were quite different. beginning with some statements made by Konrad Adenauer long before he became the Federal Republic’s first chancellor and the official proponent of a policy of West German rearmament. the Western Powers lacked the necessary military forces to provide an effective defense against the expected Soviet main attack. Additional military spending was not possible. Before 29 August 1949. it was the Soviet superiority in conventional weapons that alarmed the Western Powers. the date the Soviet Union detonated its first atom bomb. “Die Entscheidung für einen westdeutschen Verteidigungsbeitrag 1950. However. How did the Germans come to Himmerod? The world had just found itself in a “Cold War. 1982). Yet in central Europe. compelled the Western Powers to form a defensive alliance. The “Iron Curtain” ran through the middle of Germany.

a broad section of the public rejected the establishment of any form of military service on pacifistic grounds. Army General Staff began planning for creation of a West German army in the Fall of 1949. Just as the Berlin Blockade initiated a public debate about external security. Internationale Auseinandersetzungen um die Rolle der Deutschen in Europa (Munich: Oldenbourg. This political movement saw a concrete danger to rearmament in that the Soviet Union might be provoked to attack. but within the inner circles of the British and American governments the issue of West German rearma- ment was frankly discussed. Among the military leaders the view was universal that Europe could not be defended against a Soviet attack without a military contribution from the Germans. 1967).. 6 Ibid.6 Only the French refused to consider the creation of a German military force.S. the himmerod memorandum 5 seriously discussed starting in the Fall of 1949.5 The Western Powers took no official note of the issue. the “without me” (Ohne Mich) movement. that soon became a signifi- cant factor in Germany’s internal politics. One planning group in the U. because the memory of the German occupation of 1940–1944 was still too fresh and painful in their minds. The Western Powers also had an interest in spread- ing the burden of the common defense. Entmilitarisierung und Wiederbewaffnung in Deutschland 1943– 1955. Since becoming the first head of government (Federal chancellor) in September 1949 he never wavered in his deter- mination to chart Germany on a course of full integration with the West—which had been one of the conditions of the establishment of the West German state. it also provoked a strong protest movement. In the years just after Germany’s catastrophic defeat. 274. 277–80. Konrad Adenauer was willing to pay the full political price to fur- ther his policy aims. Adenauer wanted Germany’s former enemies 5 Gerhard Wettig. . Not a few Germans feared that rearmament and formally binding the Federal Republic to the Western Alliance would make the division of Germany permanent. Adenauer’s Early Position on Security Policy and the Attitude of the Western Powers In West Germany there was another kind of resistance to be overcome.

Berlin: Propyläen. a December 1949 decree of the Allied High Commission threatened anyone participating in secret military activities with lifelong imprisonment. some of which came from the leaders of his own party. In late 1949. Adenauer mentioned the possibility of West German armed forces in a discussion with for- eign journalists—making very clear that such a force could only exist as a part of an integrated European army. 612–13. Adenauer’s primary goal. . the possibility of a military contribution was also implicit. Already in early 1949 he made some general statements that did not directly raise the issue but opened the way for a public discussion. In addi- tion. Achieving full sovereign status for the Federal Republic was. When he raised the possibility of Germany participating in the newly formed NATO Alliance. he was himself convinced of the need for such a contribution. taking slow steps and constantly gauging the degree of public acceptance for the creation of a West German defense force. 9 This refers to Law Number 16 of the High Commission.8 The foreign policy situation and legal status made for other difficulties. as the danger of war had increased dramatically since the start of the Berlin Blockade.10 The public outcry against such a position was surprisingly strong and was damped down only by some quick political backpedalling. Adenauer. 7 Henning Köhler. 3 December 1949. then he expected that political partnership and a status of full equality would follow. Even unofficial political agitation for rearmament was criminalized.6 thomas vogel to trust the West German government to clear the way for the young state to progress from the status of a legally occupied country to that of full state sovereignty. One notable feature of the Federal constitution is that it made no provision for armed forces. 1994). who resigned over this issue on 9 October 1950 as Minister of the Interior. In his own country he had to take into account strong resistance to his initiatives. If Germany contrib- uted militarily to the Western Security alliance. He later even resigned from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). in fact.7 The Federal chancellor had little political maneuver room to craft his position on security policy. 10 See Adenauer’s interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Eine politische Biographie (Frankfurt/Main.9 Adenauer began with extreme care and circumspection. 8 Adenauer’s most prominent opponent on this issue was Gustav Heinemann. published 19 December 1949. as a Federal chancellor only a few months in office. The occupation statute of 1949 still required the Federal Republic to carry out disarmament and demilita- rization measures.

11 Adenauer knew this and also knew that the Western Powers understood the subtle message for a stronger secu- rity system that he was communicating. In dis- cussions with the Allied High Commission and also in his public state- ments. some also feared that in their desire to reunify their country. Allied planners believed that the earliest a Soviet offensive could be halted was at the Rhine River and that a large part of West German territory would have to be sacrificed if the Soviets attacked. Adenauer had to face Allied disapproval on 28 April when he recommended to the Allied High Commission that a Federal police gendarmerie of 30.12 In early 1950 the previously uncompromising attitude of the Allies towards Adenauer on the question of rearmament was about to be undermined. published 8 May 1950. the himmerod memorandum 7 Powerful opposition within and outside of Germany pushed Adenauer in early 1950 to change his tactics. Another fact that worked against German rearmament were the legal restrictions against rearmament that the Allied powers reaffirmed in May 1950. Adenauer was not sure that the Western Powers would employ their nuclear deterrent to defend West Germany. even though conventional military power was so weak.000 men be created. Still. he asked only for stronger security guarantees for German territory in case of an attack by the Soviet Union. The justification for such a force was the weakness of the existing internal police forces of the Federal Republic which were simply too weak to provide internal secu- rity in time of crisis. the creation of large paramilitary forces in East Germany deeply disturbed Adenauer. He avoided any direct reference to the theme of a West German defense contribution. In addition. the West Germans might move to the Soviet side. Yet this pragmatic approach to grand strategy could not be publi- cally expressed. . 12 This refers to Law Number 24 of the Allied High Commission. but they also knew that they could not mount an effective defense on the German border because of weak Western troop strength. The Federal chan- cellor viewed West Germany as virtually defenseless in any internal German-versus-German conflict pitting the East German People’s 11 Due to the lack of ground forces. The Western Powers understood well Adenauer’s concerns. partly out of consideration for public opinion in Western nations. The high commands of both the British and American armed forces carried out their own analysis and soberly concluded that West German armed forces were indispensible for the defense of the West. In addition. the old concerns about the revival of German militarism were still present in the conscious- ness of the Allied nations.

13 But in early 1950 he was not available to assume the post. based partly on the recommendation of the British. Count Schwerin and the Road to Himmerod The Allies responded cautiously to Adenauer’s recommendations and finally refused them at the end of July 1950.) Hans Speidel.” Although the Allied Powers approved of the action. . Count Schwerin required several weeks to assemble a small staff and move into an office next to the chancellor. If the Western Powers refused to escalate the conflict and intervene.” in Foerster. For Adenauer.) Reinhard Gehlen. 14 A good account of this is Roland G. the possibility that a Federal gendarmerie might become the core of future armed forces was also behind Adenauer’s thinking. who ran a secret intelligence organization for the Americans. On 1 August 1950 he opened a small office under the cover name “Central Office for Homeland Service. At this time the Allies had already obliged Adenauer in another. Adenauer had infor- mally sought out former Wehrmacht generals to advise him on mili- tary and security issues. Later. on 24 May 1950 Count Schwerin became the “Advisor to the chancellor for Security Issues. Even before Schwerin became military advisor. the fundamental problems of internal secu- rity were directly linked to the provision of external security. way. the British High Commissioner Sir Brian Robertson and his deputy Sir Christopher Steel by early 1950 had become advocates for Adenauer’s political agenda. Count Schwerin was not the first choice of the Federal chancellor. Of course. 1:458–59. then the West German state would face defeat. the selection of a panzer general indicated Adenauer’s intent for the position. Foremost among these informal advisors was Lieutenant General (ret.8 thomas vogel Police against the West Germans. Notably. Anfänge. who had established a good rapport with Adenauer in the latter part of 1948. the Americans favored Speidel for the position of advisor to the chancellor.”14 Although the title failed to clearly differentiate between internal and external security. Foerster. In the person of the retired General Count Gerhard von Schwerin they had identified someone in whom both Adenauer and they could have confidence to serve as the chancellor’s first official security advisor. but more decisive. “Innenpolitische Aspekte der Sicherheit Westdeutschlands (1947–1950). So. the 13 Also fully involved was Major General (ret.

Policy Changes Following the Invasion of Korea Of the three Western Powers. This action set the stage for the later conference at Himmerod. which began on 12 July 1950. Events in the Far East provoked intense anxiety in Western Europe. So. not the least because of the tactical defeats 15 In the service of the Allied Powers there were various labor and security units manned with German personnel. at first. and the existence of the office was not publically announced before 12 September. who had become the new British High Commissioner at the end of June. in which Count Schwerin took part. Most of the European Council members favored Churchill’s suggestion for a European army that would include German participation. was not yet ready to accept the idea of German armed forces and proposed instead that German personnel in the form of the so-called labor units or other volunteer units be added as reinforcements to existing Allied military units. initi- ated on 25 June 1950. representing the American High Commissioner John S. McCloy.15 At the meeting it was decided to establish a committee of German defense experts who could provide advice about the German defense contribution. George P. The British and Americans approved the pro- posal on 8/9 August. the himmerod memorandum 9 “Central Office” still occupied a grey zone under the occupation laws. the world political environment had dramatically changed as a result of the North Korean attack on South Korea. The Western Powers correctly saw the Soviet Union behind the aggression. The German chancellor therefore cultivated his contact with Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick. sea. Britain remained the most friendly towards Adenauer. and air forces to be integrated within NATO. What also remained a secret to the public were the German/Allied Powers discussions on security issues. In the meantime. The British military leaders surprised their civilian superiors with a policy paper in early August 1950 that proposed the establishment of German land. the official government spokesmen and the press remained quiet about the action. Still. the official British view lagged far behind the position of the British military chiefs. . Hays. The former British prime minister Winston Churchill supported this position in a speech before the European Council on 11 August 1950.

The latter travelled to London to consult with the government and returned with an agreement for the creation of a 100. a proposal that had been modified to conform more closely to French sensibilities. Speaking more openly than ever before. On the one hand. The police proposal was linked to the concept of a future European army. The earlier recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to have German soldiers was a deciding factor. McCloy did not immediately respond to Adenauer’s proposals because Washington had decided to completely reconsider its security policies in light of the Korean War.10 thomas vogel experienced by the American forces in their early battles in South Korea. So on 16 August he renewed the initiative to establish a German Federal police gendar- merie. A fundamental agree- ment on these issues would be decided at the conference of Western foreign ministers and by the NATO council. a proposal that the Allies had tabled in April. the chances that the Western Powers would accept a West German defense force were better than before. in an interview with the New York Times Adenauer expressed the hope that in the near future a West German “defense force” could be integrated into a European army. At the end of August the Pentagon proposed to Secretary of State Dean Acheson the “single package” concept in which the Western European allies could count on a significant reinforcement of the U. the security threat to the Federal Republic had increased. Adenauer’s proposal was rejected by the French High Commissioner André François-Poncet. . which would meet in New York at the end of September. This had consequences for the pol- icy of the Western nations. The next day he sent the Allied High Commissioner a proposal for the creation of a 150. But McCloy and Kirkpatrick reacted differently. Adenauer saw the developments in Korea in a different light.S.000 Federal protection police. On the other hand. Discussions with European allies quickly led to the conclusion that their rearmament efforts were not sufficient to meet the threat.000-man strong gendarmerie that would be the first step towards the establishment of a future army. forces in Europe only if they accepted the creation of a West German contingent to be part 16 This recommendation was related to a memorandum to the Allied High Commis- sioners of 29 August in which Adenauer accepted the notion of eliminating national armed forces in the framework of a single European army.16 As one might have expected.

Although the Allies did not meet all of Adenauer’s expectations—namely the desired peace treaty and the end of the occupation—significant progress was made. the German military contribution to NATO. the Americans had some powerful advantages in dealing with the French. and throughout the whole of the Soviet-occupied Eastern Block. the conference’s summary statement noted that the question of rear- mament and the status of German equality were directly linked. On 19 September the three foreign ministers came to an important agreement about the German Federal Republic. However. Count Schwerin had already assembled a small staff from his ear- lier military circle as he began operations on 1 August 1950 in the Central Office for Homeland Service. One week later the NATO Council promised that. Schwerin had a small but highly effective intelligence service. the institutional apparatus to cre- ate a security policy was already being prepared in the Federal Republic. In New York it was relatively easy to win British approval for the American plan. In order to help him keep abreast of developments in the eastern part of Germany. The Himmerod Conference—Preparation It is important to note that even before the Korea conflict provoked an international strategic reassessment. armament program. The small staff provided Schwerin with excellent support. Yet Schwerin lacked the specialist staff that could help him pre- pare a comprehensive plan for the development of West German . although bound by some restrictions. The French were strongly dependent upon the Americans to maintain their national finances. After President Truman approved the policy on 9 September the Americans went to the conference with a clear objective. in principle. This support could be lever- aged to push the French to accept an agreement. However. the French foreign minister Robert Schuman was expected to resist strongly. one that was directly subordinate to the Federal chancel- lor. and he was able to effectively advise and pre- pare the chancellor for his discussions with the German political oppo- sition leaders and negotiations with the Allied High Commissioners. The most contested issue. The final breakthrough came with the acceptance of the modified French “Pleven Plan” (also called the “Spofford Compromise”) in December 1950. the basic concept of a German defense contribution could be acceptable. Still. and military policy. was tabled. In his office. the himmerod memorandum 11 of NATO.

that was not exactly the mandate that Adenauer had given him. footnote 4. Per Adenauer’s wishes. Schwerin began to assemble a group of mili- tary experts for a conference to take place in August 1950. Foertsch. This is one of the issues that caused some conflict between Adenauer and Schwerin and later led to Schwerin’s firing. Schwerin concentrated his efforts on developing Adenauer’s preference for mixing internal and external security and on developing a paramilitary West German police force as an intermedi- ate step towards building a cadre for new armed forces. titled “Thoughts on the Issue of External Security for the Federal Republic. perhaps. even the Federal Republic’s first defense minister. Speidel.12 thomas vogel military forces. With Wildermuth’s encouragement. and Heusinger prepared a memorandum on 7 August 1950.17 With the start of the Korean War Schwerin understood that the moment had come to organize a first-rate expert staff who could systematically build German armed forces.) Heinrich von Vietinghoff- Scheel to take over as chairman of a group of experts. This group had already created a network of former senior Wehrmacht officers and had laid out their own concepts for a German security policy. Two other major figures aligned with Speidel were General (ret.18 Even before he had become chancellor. With Adenauer’s approval Schwerin proceeded. as a highly decorated former colonel. which began in mid-July. believed that Adenauer would be better served if he himself was the chancellor’s military advisor and. The open rivalry between his two subordinates was a considerable irritation to Adenauer. Schwerin’s discussions with the Allied High Commission- ers. and by the end of July he had recruited Colonel General (ret. Their views fit well with Adenauer’s. convinced him of the need for such a staff. . who.) Adolf Heusinger. The actual victor in this internal fight was a small group of experts that formed around retired Lieutenant General Speidel. whose primary interests supported rear- mament as a means of political emancipation for the Federal Republic.” Adenauer accepted the memorandum on 14 August and was so impressed with 17 See above. 18 Count Schwerin did not want to link the West German agreement to rearmament completely to political terms addressed to the Allies. At the same time. Schwerin came into a political conflict with the housing minister. Eberhard Wildermuth.) Hermann Foertsch and Lieutenant General (ret. Adenauer had established con- tact with Speidel and sought his advice. Indeed.

Consulting with Herbert Blankenhorn.” and he feared that the Allied ministers might reverse any German initiative. The security assurances of the Western Powers would not be sufficient to keep West Germany safe and free. footnote 9. the memorandum wanted NATO to provide defense guarantees and be prepared to sta- tion more troops in West Germany.19 pro- vided encouragement for Adenauer to lay out a new security policy initiative. 20 The agreement of the High Commission was necessary because they had decreed under Occupation Law Number 16 that the political involvement of Germans in mili- tary issues was subject to prosecution. Thus. as well as a tacti- cal air force. The chan- cellor noted that the military situation and the threats facing the Federal Republic were even more dangerous that he had previously thought. The memorandum. Per Adenauer’s wishes. They were invited to an organizational meeting on 29 August 1950. the himmerod memorandum 13 the document that he put it before the cabinet the next day. 19 See above. the foreign policy advisor in Adenauer’s office. Speidel’s group definitively offered its services for the intended conference of experts to thrash out the details. The High Commissioners had already agreed to the project when. on 26 August. The Western Powers should end Germany’s occupation status and allow the Federal Republic full sovereignty. along with the most recent decision of the European Council. Essentially it proposed to commit West German army contingents in corps-sized formations.20 He did not want to irritate the Allied foreign ministers or risk any negative consequences for the “German Question. In addition. Schwerin drafted the instructions for the experts on 25 August. the memorandum argued that the goal of West German rearmament was to achieve mili- tary and political equality. For several weeks his office had been busy recruiting and selecting military experts. Finally. It was also noted that the military committee pledged to follow the directions laid down by their civilian political leaders. in mid-August Count Schwerin began putting together a meeting of experts. The expert committee was also seen as the likely mem- bers of a future team that could work together with their Allied coun- terparts on a larger joint committee. . See footnote 9. to serve under the command of an integrated military staff. Adenauer ordered the cancellation of the expert meeting in consideration of the upcoming Allied foreign ministers conference in New York.

22 The decision to hold the conference at Himmerod was made because Adenauer personally knew the abbot and had made a personal appeal to hold the conference there. In late September he had convinced General Staff Colonel (ret. Kielmansegg organized the experts into four subcommittees. Bonn. he instructed Count Schwerin to prepare to call the experts committee together right away. The location was chosen to preserve the privacy of the discussions. Die Entscheidung für einen westdeutschen Verteidigungsbeitrag: Adenauer und die Westmächte 1950 (Erlangen. Meanwhile.21 Adenauer felt compelled to take a more forceful stance towards pushing the consideration of a West German military contribution. in Schwerin’s Central Office.) Count Johann Adolf von Kielmansegg to serve as the committee secretary. and the committee would meet from 6 to 9 October. McCloy personally briefed the German chancellor on 24 September as to the decisions of the con- ference.22 On 26 September the committee members who had been selected to attend the confer- ence were officially notified. Wien: Straube. Schwerin’s withdrawal from direct participation in the conference he had organized was symbolic of his sinking political position on the chancellor’s staff. Kielmansegg had made all the necessary preparations by the start of October. Adenauer wanted to avoid giving the impression that Germany had already begun rearmament planning. 213–14.14 thomas vogel In any case. See Foerster. See also Rolf Steiniger. some detailed instructions for the subcommittees were prepared. Just before the beginning of the conference. Their conference was to take place in the Benedictine monastery at Himmerod. Wiederbe- waffnung. They would begin with a conference dinner on 5 October. Along with Schwerin and the committee chair- man.” 560. despite support for the measure from the British. Coordinating with Schwerin. about 100 kilometers south of Bonn in the Eifel Hills. 1989). Adenauer had come to prefer the “direct solution” proposed by Speidel’s 21 Foerster. Count Schwerin made an important decision concerning the committee membership. . The concept of using the Federal police as an intermediate means to reach rearmament had made no progress. Upon his return from New York. Already on 17 September he had been told that his recommendation to build up the Federal German police as a step towards creating a West German military force had been set aside. Immediately. Vietinghoff-Scheel. 330. 142. Innenpolitische Aspekte. “Innenpolitische Aspekte. Adenauer was somewhat disappointed by the results.

) Count Wolf von Baudissin (army) Major of the General Staff (ret.) Hermann Foertsch (army) General of Panzer Troops (ret.D. Erinnerungen (Berlin. the himmerod memorandum 15 circle.) Horst Krüger (air force) The selection of experts by Count Schwerin was based on several criteria.) Count Johann Adolf von Kiel- mansegg (army) Colonel of the General Staff (ret.) Count Eberhard von Nostitz (army) Naval Captain (ret. 1977). Wien: Ullstein/Propyläen.) Dr.D.23 Participants and the Events of the Conference Lieutenant General (ret.) Rudolf Meister (air force) Admiral a. First. On 4 October Adenauer personally told Speidel that his memorandum should form the basis of the committee discussions that would begin at Himmerod in two days.) Adolf Heusinger (army) Vice Admiral a.) Alfred Schulze-Hinrichs (navy) Major of the General Staff (ret.) Speidel was one of 15 senior officers of the former German Wehrmacht who were invited to participate at the con- ference at Himmerod. Friedrich Ruge (navy) Colonel of the General Staff (ret. Adenauer had taken Speidel’s security policy memorandum of 7 August as the preferred direction for Germany.) Dr. The complete list of the participants is as follows: Colonel General (ret.) Heinrich von Vietinghoff-Scheel (army: con- ference chairman) General of Infantry (ret. all committee members had to be acceptable to the 23 Cited in Hans Speidel. Aus unserer Zeit. 272. Hans Speidel (army) Lieutenant General (ret. Walter Gladisch (navy) Lieutenant General (ret.) Hans Röttiger (army) General of Panzer Troops (ret. . Frankfurt/Main. Robert Knauss (air force) General of the Air Force (ret.) Friedo von Senger and Etterlin (army) General of the Air Force (ret.

the new armed forces could not take its inspiration from the Wehrmacht or ear- lier German military traditions. military experience and professional relationships certainly played a major role in selecting the group of experts. Blankenhorn provided a general overview of the security conditions facing Germany. Even better would be the selection of people who had been known to be critical of National Socialism. Knauss. Count Schwerin greeted the conference participants on 6 October. Lastly. out- lined the purpose of the conference. The hoped-for integration would have to lead to full equality of the West German state. and Knauss. For example. who in the 1930s had openly supported National Socialism. had simply been a mistake. Furthermore. The tra- ditional identities and specific needs of the army. as men who had belonged to the circle of military opposition to Hitler. He spec- ified the primary goals of the foreign and security policies of the Federal Republic. the Federal Republic preferred the model of an integrated European army as a means to fur- ther the process of European unity. Ruge. it was seen as important to ensure a mix of regional backgrounds as well as age groups. After Schwerin’s talk.) It was expected that each officer would have shown correct behavior during the war and would have a positive view of the Allies. Rather than an international army under the framework of NATO. Blankenhorn concluded that. The differ- ence between the youngest member of the committee (Krüger. Meeting this criteria were Vietinghoff-Scheel. in consideration of German internal politics. Speidel. Senger und Etterlin. . which included the integration of the Federal Republic with the West to include a rapprochement with France.16 thomas vogel Western Allies and to the German public as well. and Kielmansegg were considered in the latter category. Speidel. It must also be noted that several people took part in the conference without being involved in the committee proceedings. At the very least. born 1884) spanned several genera- tions of officers. The question of how Western security would be organized remained open. Heusinger. (Extending the invitation to Foertsch. navy and air force were taken into account by providing an appropriate numerical pro- portion among the representatives of the different service branches. born 1916) and the oldest (Gladisch. committee members had to be free from any direct involvement in the crimes of the Third Reich. and presented the official message of the Federal chancellor. Both highly effective field commanders and officers with a General Staff background were represented. Heusinger. Röttiger.

and Krüger. They were tasked to recommend ethical and moral principles for the new German soldier. . “Die ‘Himmeroder Denkschrift’.. and Nostitz. They were to provide an analysis of the operational requirements that would form the basis for recommendations about the type and number of military formations and the equipment they would require. The Training Committee under Senger und Etterlin as chair included Schulze-Hinrichs and Krüger. Gladisch. and the mil- itary. and Kielmansegg as members. 24 Ibid. Major General (ret. Finally. The Military/Political committee was chaired by Speidel and included Ruge. The Memorandum The Himmerod Memorandum was divided into five sections and con- cludes with comments by the committee chairman. the committee would provide a timetable for standing up units.) Hellmuth Reinhardt spoke about the German Labor service personnel employed by the Allied armed forces as a pos- sible cadre for a new German armed forces. He spoke of the current threat posed by Soviet military power and about the People’s Police Force established by the East Germans. Dr. This committee would establish the principles. Meister. the himmerod memorandum 17 After Blankenhorn. spoke on “The Problems of National and International Law.” 150. In addi- tion. The Organization Committee had Heusinger as the chair and Röttiger. the people. See Rautenberg/Wiggershaus. This group dealt with the issue of the relationships among state. The conference work was divided into four subcommittees. and goals of a military training program. They would address the political and mili- tary requirements of the Allies. Each section will be examined in turn. Meister. It may be that Kaufmann played only the role of a passive observer at the conference. a final report was produced by the committee secretary Kielmansegg on 11 October. After some internal disputes were resolved. The written reports of the sub- committees were combined into one memorandum at the end of the conference. The General Committee under Foertsch as chairman included Knauss. Erich Kaufmann. It would also provide recommendations for the establishment of the military infrastructure and the manning system. Baudissin.”24 Following him was former General Staff Major Achim Oster. chief of the information and intelligence office of the Central Office for Homeland Service. methods. 273. a legal expert.

“The Military-Political Principles and Assumptions” In military/political terms. This would include releas- ing German military personnel who have been imprisoned as war criminals as long as they have not also violated “laws that existed before the Nazi takeover. a German tactical air force. • Provide a declaration by the government and parliament that for- mer German soldiers have served their country with honor. the Western Powers will have to avoid characterizing soldiers of the wartime Wehrmacht and Waffen SS as criminals.18 thomas vogel Part 1. An important part of achiev- ing military equality would be the creation of a German army corps. The security guarantees of the Western Powers are more theoretical than real as long as the Allied forces available for the defense of Germany and Western Europe are insufficient. The German people’s willingness to defend their country is prob- ably sufficient to fill the gap in the defense of Western Europe. The defense forces must be strengthened to the point that the Soviet Union will be deterred from attack by the higher level of risk. • Stipulate that German soldiers will serve only within Europe. To win the support of the German population for a program of national defense the West German government needs to adopt the fol- lowing measures: • Promise that every German soldier will owe his service to the German people until a federal European state is formed. • Keep the population fully informed on all issues regarding rear- mament. It is also psychologically important for the national morale to have the “rehabilitation” of former German soldiers carried out through an official declaration by the Western Powers. • Distinguish clearly between internal and external security as well as between military forces and police.” In general. and a German navy for coastal defense. Yet the readiness of the Germans to fight if necessary has eroded dramatically since 1945. Some means must be found to bolster the self-confidence of the Germans. Germany finds itself in the most unfavour- able Position in its modern history. • Win the support of the opposition parties and the labor unions for rearmament. . To build this self confidence the Western Powers will need to return to Germany full sovereign rights and powers and then integrate Germany fully into the Western alliance.

from Norway to the Pyrenees. In a few days they could reinforce any Soviet attack against Western Europe or the Balkans.25 Furthermore. The enemy superiority is increased by 60 divisions when one counts units that are available in Russia.800 of which are stationed in East Germany.000 operational aircraft. their fuel supplies. Any Soviet attack against Western Europe would have the objective of reaching and occupying the Atlantic coast.26 In summary. They must consider the possibility of Allied air attacks against their logistics lines. One can add to these approximately 50 units of the Soviet satellite states that are in various stages of manning and readiness. as well as a further eight to nine Soviet divisions in Poland. However. the Soviets also have to contend with certain limitations. The Soviet numer- ical superiority on land is mirrored in the air. The immediate threat is posed by the 22 Soviet divisions based in Germany. a number that includes obsolete and training boats.000 aircraft was not necessarily accurate. The Soviets will have to reach their objectives as quickly as possible to prevent the Allies from establishing a bridgehead that would form the base for a counterattack. 26 From information available today we know that the number of operational sub- marines in the North Sea and Baltic was considerably lower. . as it included training planes as well as surplus aircraft left over from the World War. Part 2. If the Soviets cannot succeed quickly. where the Soviets have approximately 25. 1. as well as the Mediterranean line from Corsica-Sicily and Suez. the himmerod memorandum 19 • Provide reasonable support for former and future German sol- diers and their families and survivors. one must take into account the use of strong airborne formations. and the Balkans. Of these. Austria. all of which are full-strength armored or mechanized divisions. 25 The number of 25. “Basic Operational Considerations Facing the Federal Republic” The operational situation facing the Federal Republic and which will form the basic direction for German rearmament planning is deter- mined by a significant military superiority of the Soviet Union in Europe. the Soviet Union is in a position to attack Western Europe at any time. approximately 200 are committed to the North Atlantic and the Baltic. At sea the Soviets have built a strong sub- marine force with approximately 300 submarines. and their troop reinforcements.

In July 1950 a memorandum of Count Schwerin gave the number of necessary divi- sions as 12 motorized and armoured divisions.” Because historical experience has seen the German armed forces unable to create a unified high command. which must be ready and immediately available for the West German defense. Then a counterattack would be possible.” A civilian state secretary should head the politically 27 The requirement for 12 divisions is older than the Himmerod memorandum. To support the Allied operational planning in central Europe. 25 divisions are necessary. An “integrated operations plan” for the defense of Western Europe is necessary. “Organization of the German Contingent” Special attention is paid to the issue of “command authority of the military in peacetime. Western efforts are insuffi- cient. the immediate Allied objective should be to win enough time in their defense of Germany to enable the planned reinforcements from Western Europe and America to move into posi- tion. the very exist- ence of an Allied defense force might deter the enemy from attacking.27 That Allied force would have to stop any Soviet attack and hold a defense line on the Rhine until a further 30 Allied divisions. See Rautenberg/Wiggershaus. In the meantime. The political/parliamentary control of the armed forces should be exercised by a civilian “Minister of External Security. the nuclear superiority of the United States will make a Soviet attack unlikely. It will take two years for Germany to build such a capable defense force. . “Die ‘Himmeroder Denkschrift’.” The command authority of the “Inspector” and the armed forces should be exer- cised by the Federal president. the three service branches together will be headed by an officer with the title of “Inspector” or “Chief of the Defense Office. stationed west of the Rhine or brought as reinforcements from America.20 thomas vogel in the short and long run they will be at a disadvantage when facing the greatly superior military-industrial potential of America. could arrive to do battle. Because the enemy would want to reach the Atlantic Coast as quickly as possible. to make the defense as mobile as possible and aggressive as possible. Part 3. The goal of such a plan would be to defend Western Europe as far eastwards as possible.” 202. In the face of superior Soviet numbers. If the Soviets do attack. 190. and to be ready to push the fight into East Germany. Annex. This number includes the 12 German armored divisions.

Germany should build an army air corps that would be oriented towards supporting the army with reconnaissance and close air sup- port. Only armored forces will have the required mass. The amount of equipment required is approximately 3. and mobility to fulfill the envisioned mission. as a Soviet attack within two years was seen as unlikely. The introduction of “compulsory duty” will come later.000 artillery pieces. above all the personnel department. and obsolete equip- ment from the surplus and reserve stocks of the Western Allies are not wanted.29 The most modern equipment is required for the force. and fighter planes. Standardization with American weapons and equipment is considered desirable. The number of aircraft needed is estimated at 831 reconnaissance.600 battle tanks and 1. The army aviation branch will need to protect its reconnaissance and fighter bomber aircraft with its own fighter-interceptor units.000 soldiers. when it will be nec- essary to flesh out the army’s units. It is not necessary for Germany to have its own Luftwaffe.” Instead of an independent air force. The leadership cadre should be recruited primarily from volunteers. 29 The date of Fall 1952 as the goal date for setting up units was set forth in part 2 of the Memorandum. the army will need at least 12 panzer divisions with six corps staffs and assorted additional support units. The number of flying and technical personnel will have to be decided by early 1951 if training is to begin 28 The important but politically sensitive question of universal military service was only briefly mentioned. a number that is likely the largest that the Federal Republic can effectively field. to have the first trained units combat ready by the Fall of 1952. and such weapons might be built in Germany under license. The committee estimates that the army will need a total of 250. the himmerod memorandum 21 important departments of the ministry. It is unlikely that conscription can be avoided. This is expected and considered necessary. Recommendations for unit organization and equipment procure- ment of the West German armed forces are based on the assessment that the German contribution will consist mainly of land forces. This mission can only be accomplished “in the framework of an integrated air defense system for all of Europe. Allied fighter units could take over the defense of West German airspace.28 One must begin the process of standing up units in November 1950. . fighting power. close support. Per the guidelines laid down in part 2 of the Himmerod Memorandum.

From the large number of German mili- tary and combat veterans. It is also necessary to create a system that can provide a high level of indi- vidual training. the training program will have to depend on the Western Powers. West Germany would first have to receive the necessary weapons. To carry out the missions of attacking Soviet naval forces and interdicting Soviet logistics lines. Training The training of soldiers for new armed forces is a formidable endeav- our under any circumstances. From the army’s viewpoint. However. Together with Allied naval and air forces. If the training of German soldiers is to begin before the end of 1952. units could be formed and joint training could begin with the ground forces. Only with well-trained. The leadership cadre. equipment. Part 4. the German navy requires numerous small units and its own naval air arm. Smaller ships and wooden vessels could be supplied by German shipyards. as well as flying and technical personnel for the air . Other demilita- rized vessels of the former German navy are in Allied or private hands and could be reactivated for navy service. The weak NATO naval forces in the Baltic must be reinforced by a German naval contingent. and training teams from the Western armed forces. A number of older minesweepers and escort ships with German crews are already in service with the Allied occupation governments and could be immediately taken into German service.S. control of the sea in at least the western reaches of the Baltic is a realis- tic goal. and British models. In the interest of integration and standardization with Germany’s allies. capable and think- ing soldiers” can Germany hope to fight on roughly equal terms when facing the numerical superiority of the Soviet forces. to conduct naval landings in the enemy rear. “confident. new German soldiers will have to learn to use new weapons and equipment provided by the Western Powers.22 thomas vogel overseas in Allied training facilities in the Fall of that year. As soon as the training of individuals is completed. a German air force could be oriented on both the U. only a minority can be used effectively in a new military force. In any case. this means that only the Americans are in the position to provide an acceptable model and to support the Germans. as training in the Wehrmacht in its last years was deficient. and to protect from Soviet amphibious landings in NATO’s rear.

In practice this means that the rights of the individual should be limited for the duration of military service. One will retain the right of petition. it is essential that the orientation of the new armed forces not follow “the cultural forms of the old Wehrmacht. will have to be trained overseas in Allied bases.” Another issue is the encouragement of the view that soldiers ought to be “above party politics” as a means of furthering the internal unity of the forces. A further major issue will be creating a modern infrastructure for the new armed forces inside Germany. One stipulated duty is the responsibility to disobey orders that will cause crimes against humanity or violate international law as well as the civil and military law.” A balance should be found between the necessary orientation towards the Western armed forces and consideration for the German “soldierly experience and traditions. For political reasons. One issue in this regard is whether it makes sense to . the new ethic does not rule out a “healthy patriotism. The source of command authority is the head of state (Federal president) and the constitution. Part 5. however. membership in political parties and unions. the new German soldier will stand for a new European idea that will supersede the “traditional national ties.” With his commitment to the defense of freedom and social justice. The culture of the military services will encourage every single sol- dier to personally accept and internalize the “democratic state and civil life. Every soldier should make a “formal and public oath.” However. and the right to join organizations. The military will differenti- ate between civil and military offenses so that the civil courts will deal with the former and the military courts the latter. the right to speak and meet within military facilities. “The Internal Orientation” of the Military Of equal importance to the purely military side of training is the “char- acter building and education” of new German soldiers. to be carried out with special regard for the “internal orientation” of the new mili- tary force. The disciplinary system of the military will be reintroduced in a modernized form.” which will provide the soldier with a direct link to his family and home town. These rights include voting rights. the himmerod memorandum 23 force. With the oath each soldier acknowledges his “soldierly duties” as stipu- lated by law.” which con- tains a commitment to Europe and the German democratic state.

• The Allied High Commission must legalize the work and the existence of the current committee and allow an increase of the working staff. then the following measures will have to be put into effect under high priority: • As early as November 1950 the working staff already recruited should be expanded and begin serving as a standing committee to begin the practical work of standing up armed forces. The education of soldiers is envisioned as something that includes political and ethical training as well as military training. Sensitive themes such as pacifism. and the thorny issue of a German versus German conflict will need to be addressed.24 thomas vogel have a committee of ombudsmen within each military unit. or the requirement to wear uniforms at all times are all to be things of the past. This might prove useful in controlling the system for the enlistment of officers in the sense of “self-purification. the orderlies of the officers’ clubs. The “defense mindedness” of the whole population will have to be reinforced through a planned public-relations campaign and a public- education program. The batman. Summary Comments by the Committee Chairman If the political decision is made to create German armed forces. conscientious objection to military service. militarism. • Western nations must take public measures against the “prejudi- cial characterization” of the former German soldiers and must distance the former regular armed forces from the “war crimes issue.” This is needed in order to build an attitude of mutual trust so that cadre personnel for the new armed forces can be recruited and also can be accepted by the broader population. The objective of such training is to create a “committed” citizen and European soldier and to combat any anti-democratic influences. Later History of the Conference and the Memorandum The conference memorandum that was signed by all the conference participants was not immediately sent to the Federal chancellor for .” especially if there is any suspicion against officers because of their service in the last World War. Part 6. Each soldier should learn to be part of society without being part of a separate caste.

) Reinhard Gehlen. in the three weeks since the Himmerod conference. 6–8. a Christian- Democratic labor-union leader. and a former reserve army lieutenant (Blank) than a highly qualified military professional (Schwerin) when it came to piloting the rearmament of Germany through the rocky waters of parliament and public opinion. At the urging of Count Kielmansegg. Major General (ret. as Adenauer had relieved him from his position as military advisor on 28 October—an action that had long been anticipated. 32 Adenauer had no desire to see publicity about his policy for rearmament. Blank was not offi- cially Schwerin’s replacement but was appointed to fill a newly created office. . Count Schwerin on 28 October provided a broader commentary to the Memorandum. Speidel. In fact. Theodor Blank and Globke briefed Adenauer that very day on the findings of the confer- ence.31 The ostensible reason for the firing was a press interview given by Schwerin that caused the chancellor some political embarrassment. Kielmansegg presented the Memorandum on 2 November to the responsible department chief in the chancellor’s office. See footnote 8. Blank was officially named the “Pleponitary of the Federal Chancellor for Coordination of Issues Concerning the Increase of the Allied Forces. In Adenauer’s view.. yet it is very probable. the political and organizational con- ditions for preparing and creating West German armed forces had fun- damentally changed. as evi- denced by the resignation of Interior Minister Heinemann on 9 October demonstrates. To provide an ongoing cover before the public for West Germany’s rearmament activities. In any case. Along with Schwerin’s commentary. “Die ‘Himmeroder Denkschrift’. he agreed with the recommendation for fundamental internal reforms but did not see that the conditions existed to quickly build armed forces from the rehabilitated expertise of the past.30 In careful language.” In reality. a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) representative. 31 Ibid. Count Schwerin did not take part in the briefing. One cannot be sure. the himmerod memorandum 25 approval. For example. Hans Globke. that Federal chancellor Adenauer personally did read the document. “Amt Blank” (“The Blank 30 The commentary is provided in Rautenberg/Wiggershaus.” 190–92. it was politically better to have a civil- ian. The summary of this briefing indicates that. Heusinger.32 The participation of Theodor Blank in the briefing was a harbinger of the future. he took a somewhat critical tone.

The historical significance of the Central Office and the committee of experts. and Blank would become the first Minister of Defense. It would actually take ten years to create a truly effective Bundeswehr. However. Upon assuming his new office on 8 November. from today’s perspective. The idea that capable armed forces could be created from nothing in only two years was highly unrealistic. were readily taken into the new organiza- tion. the proposal to establish the German army as a pure armored force represented some extreme thinking and therefore did not find acceptance among the Allies.26 thomas vogel Office. such as Kielmansegg and Oster. Some of the essential personnel of the old Central Office. And. To confer supreme military command authority on a soldier and put the armed forces under the overall command of the Federal presi- dent was also unrealistic. the experts misjudged the political and con- stitutional leeway of the young republic. For example. Some committee participants were offended by the curt manner in which Blank summarily dissolved the Central Office and committee of experts. Members of the committee of experts were told by Blank in mid- December that their work was complete and that committee operations would end. Neither was needed any longer. NATO’s operational planning demanded strong infantry forces. it was 33 The 12th and last division of the Bundeswehr was stood up and assigned to NATO in 1965. other considerations and rec- ommendations revealed a serious lack of knowledge about Allied plan- ning and requirements. . is not dis- puted.33 The recommendations for dividing the com- mand responsibilities for the military were more idealistic than realis- tic. The establishment of Amt Blank represented the end of the Central Office for Homeland Service and of the committee of experts as well. which mandated a compromise of a mixed armor-infantry force. Amt Blank would evolve into the Federal Defense Ministry in 1955. Blank abolished the old Central Office for Homeland Service. there remains the issue of some criticism of the participants and their work. as manifested in the Himmerod Memorandum.” as it came to be called) was given the duty of directing the prep- arations for the creation of West German armed forces when officially beginning operations on 23 November. As already recognized by Schwerin.

Army (1950–1970).S.” in Helmut R. the Himmerod planners echoed the actual planning for NATO at the time. Organisation. The German requirement for forces was mirrored in the requirement provided by the U. the himmerod memorandum 27 essential to win the acceptance of the French. a strategy that set the stage for the Allies to request German military participation in NATO. Das Heer der Bundeswehr zwischen Wehrmacht und U. “Die alliierten militärstrategischen Planungen zur Verteidigung Westeuropas 1947–1950. 1:311–15.” The Memorandum made clear that military forces and soldiers should stand firm in defense of democracy and a free 34 Helmut R.S. and economic burdens that Germany could support. This assured that the major assumptions of the Himmerod Memorandum were in agreement with Allied concepts and assumptions. financial. A notable willingness to reform was found in the call for “Inner Orientation. Yet the Memorandum is free from suspicion as an attempt to restore Germany’s military tradition. The Himmerod force strength figures turned out to be exactly right to meet the internal and external requirements for Germany. who continued to fear an too-powerful German offensive capability. The Memorandum made it clear that it was in the obvious self-interest of the Germans to support a NATO policy of forward defense. Hammerich.. This is exactly what the Western military planners at the time were arguing was the necessary force to close the central European force gap. Aufstellung (Munich: Oldenbourg: 2006). Anfänge. 79. The Himmerod committee was amazingly successful in setting the requirements for the army with their proposed force of 250. Army Staff in October 1950 that between ten and 13 German divisions were needed to “fill the gap.” See Christian Greiner. 35 There had been many personal contacts between Speidel and Schwerin and the Western representatives. Hammerich et al. Das Heer 1950 bis 1970.35 With the recommendation that western Europe be defended as far eastward as possible. Instead. But the lesson had certainly been learned that Germany’s past experience of rivalry among the military services had been disastrous.” in Foerster. . Konzeption.000 men to man 12 divisions. the idea of unified armed forces was almost revolutionary.34 Much of the thinking behind the Himmerod memorandum was clearly based on Germany’s experience of the Second World War. The numbers also were practical in setting the personnel. it sought solutions among some of the current ideas under the political and social pressures of the time. “Kommiss kommt von Kompromiss. in October 1950 NATO began development of the new “forward strategy” concept. From the German tradition. Indeed.

starting with the foundation of the first units in early 1956. Speidel. would take these ideas and develop them into the concept of the “Innere Fuehrung” (“Leadership Development and Civic Education”) requirement and would later express them as the “citizen in uniform” concept. Major (ret.28 thomas vogel society—yet could do so without weakening the military need for discipline. . These recommendations were at the origin of an often- misunderstood debate between the modern and traditional approaches to military discipline. in a later staff posi- tion in Amt Blank. and Baudissin—used it as a blueprint for planning while they worked on the staff of Amt Blank.36 From the years-long process of internal and external debate there emerged many concepts first stated by the Memorandum that would form the Bundeswehr.) Count Baudissin. Some of the spiritual fathers of the Memorandum—namely. and two commanders of NATO’s Central Front forces (Kielmansegg. Speidel). Heusinger. one Inspector („Inspekteur”) of the Army (Röttiger) and Navy (Ruge). 36 Among the personnel involved with the Himmerod Conference were seven who achieved high general rank in the Bundeswehr: one Chief of the Joint Staff („Generalinspekteur”) (Heusinger). Kielmansegg. In many ways the Himmerod Memorandum was a milestone along the path of West German rearmament.

While many different actors played their role in building or delaying the establishment of the Bundeswehr. The Beginning of Rearmament—Allied Thinking With the Berlin Crisis of 1948–49 and the founding of NATO and establishment of the Bundesrepublik in 1949. AMT BLANK. Corum The establishment of the Bundeswehr between 1950 and 1965 offers a case study in overcoming obstacles of all types. the early years of the Bundeswehr provide excellent material for a study on institutional dynamics and organizational leadership. the most important players—and sometimes the greatest obstacles to the creation of the force—came from inside the Bundeswehr. What is especially interesting about the creation of the Bundeswehr and the exceptional birthing problems it experienced are not the out- side problems that had to be overcome but the internal ones. In many respects. The German Federal Republic finally got its armed forces—and forces that were very capa- ble. It would be impossible . There were political obstacles in the form of a large German peace movement that opposed the rearmament of Germany. This chapter will focus on the leadership of the Bundeswehr in its first years. 1950 to 1956—from the time that the German Federal Republic possessed only a shadow defense staff and defense minister to the creation of the Bundeswehr and its first official defense ministry. German rearmament became a critical issue for the Western alliance. But it only came at the end of a process far more difficult than anyone had anticipated. There were economic obstacles in the form of raising the funds and develop- ing the industries to produce modern armaments. There were external obstacles in the form of negotiating a new status with the Western powers. ADENAUER. AND THE FOUNDING OF THE BUNDESWEHR 1950–1956 James S. The various obsta- cles to rearmament meant that a process that was supposed to be mostly complete in three years took a full decade.

As the first chancellor of the Federal Republic. when Konrad Adenauer was 19. and he was one of the few Germans of his generation with little direct contact with the military in his formative years. 286–87. art. 296–300. without the year of service done by most of his class and generation.30 james s. 310–15. tactics.2 Although. 344–45. However. his understanding of military organization. 2 Normally someone of Adenauer’s background—Abitur holder and law student in the university—in Wilhelmine Germany of the late 19th century would have done one year of volunteer service as a kind of officer cadet and. and he 1 For Adenauer’s views on German rearmament. The first chancellor of the German Federal Republic. the lines of the Cold War were being drawn ever more clearly. Thus. and equip- ment was quite shallow. and taking its place as a respected member of the Western nations. by any standard. and culture—his knowledge did not extend to military matters. 1965). Adenauer proceeded directly to the university. one can call Adenauer a brilliant man with a great breadth and depth of knowledge of politics. see Konrad Adenauer. or how a future war might be fought. His only concern was that Germany would have armed forces and that they be significant enough to establish Germany in its rightful place as a major Western power. the military doctors determined that he had “weak lungs” and deferred him from military service. Konrad Adenauer. would have been given a commission as a reserve officer. literature. He showed little interest in such details of rearmament as the size of the military and its armament and organization. upon completion of his “volun- teer” training year. regaining full sover- eignty over its own affairs. Rearmament and full German participation in the defense of western Europe were essential parts of Germany regain- ing its position in the world. Memoirs 1945–53 (Chicago: Henry Regnery. .1 One must remember the salient fact that Adenauer was very much a civilian politician all his life. Indeed. some- times not. Adenauer’s lack of a military background was sometimes beneficial to the process. Adenauer had few opinions on how new German armed forces might be equipped or organized. the year in which he would have done his year of mili- tary service. where he took a degree in law and progressed to as a member of the Prussian civil service. corum to meet NATO defense goals without a major German rearmament program. a central aspect of Adenauer’s policy and personality dominated the whole of the early discussion on German rearmament. Adenauer was primarily concerned with Germany regaining its posi- tion in the world as a major European power. started thinking about Germany’s defense relationships when he assumed office in 1949. However. and this is how Adenauer approached the problem. With the establishment of NATO and the German Federal Republic in 1949.

and there was little public support for such a plan. The Germans already made a monetary contribution to Western defense by paying for some of the costs of stationing Allied troops in Germany. In early 1950 the U. . Reforging the Iron Cross (1988. At the same time. even in the face of an aggressive Soviet Union.S. he was still an opposition leader and would not be called to be prime minister until the next year. His refusal to micromanage the process was a good thing in that he allowed German military experts free rein to develop some very good plans for German rearmament with some very innovative concepts. From the initial disagreements over the status of Poland in 1944 to the Soviet-supported coup of 1948 that destroyed a democratic government in Czechoslovakia to the Berlin airlift of 1948–49. government was skeptical about German rearmament. and French troops in West Germany were officially there as occupation forces. might play a role in Western defense against the Soviet Union. The World War was still fresh in people’s minds. British. While Churchill’s thinking received respect. In the summer of 1950. Princeton: Princeton University Press. By the time the Federal Republic of Germany was established in 1949 it had become clear to some Western leaders that the new democratic West German government. Winston Churchill. but ever since the founding of NATO and the Federal Republic in 1949 the Allied forces had been far more concerned with the European defense mission than 3 Donald Abenheim. The British military staff broached the subject in early 1950 and considered the idea of German rearmament. 43. argued for German rearmament in the context of a European defense force.3 Yet even after the establishment of NATO in 1949.S. Adenauer’s consistent detachment from practical military issues meant that when problems arose he was reluctant to intervene too early if he thought a practical solution might be found later. 1998). as Conservative Party leader. the Cold War steadily intensified. leading a nation that was making rapid strides in economic and social recon- struction. His refusal to intervene in mili- tary issues sometimes allowed serious problems to fester and grow— and these problems later required much more painful and drastic solutions. the founding of the bundeswehr 1950–1956 31 delegated such issues to experts. most Western political leaders were still reluctant to take a further step and openly advocate German rearmament. The U..

1 (Munich: Oldenbourg. In a joint statement following discus- sions with Prime Minister René Pleven of France on 30 January 1951. and during July and August 1950 Adenauer and members of his staff began dis- cussing the issue of West German rearmament with the same Americans who had been skeptical about the subject only weeks before. John S. the invasion of Korea was seen as the initial phase of a general Soviet offensive against the West. By early 1951 even the French were slowly coming on board to support German rearmament. they forbade any efforts to establish a military force or train forces or even produce weapons in West Germany.S. given the U. Yet. remarked that.4 Yet other Americans found the build-up of Soviet forces in East Germany to be especially alarming. 1982). ed. maintained a token force on the ground. President Harry Truman expressed strong support for German rear- mament and noted that the U. Officially. At the time. for which he required Western. corum in occupation duties. 368–80. 5 Ibid. and French governments “reaffirmed their conviction that German participation in the common defense effort as envisioned last month at Brussels would strengthen the security of Europe without altering in any way the purely defensive 4 Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt [hereafter MGFA]. . Anfänge westdeut- scher Sicherheitspolitik 1945–1956. any discussions about German rear- mament were completely illegal under the terms of the Allied occupa- tion decrees still in force in 1950. High Commissioner to Germany. In early 1950 the U. Now Adenauer had a supportive and willing audience to begin serious plan- ning for rearmament. vol. the American leaders promised to broach the subject with the French and encourage their support of West German rearmament efforts.S. In a matter of weeks attitudes changed quickly. 358–63..S. Adenauer made it very clear that any national defense efforts made by West Germany would only be carried out as part of a collective defense effort in full partner- ship with the Western allies and that the Allied powers would be kept fully informed of all German plans and efforts. For their part. that alone would be deterrent enough. especially British and American. support.S. For his part. nuclear capa- bility. the American and British high commissioners gave the Adenauer government the green light to begin planning for rearmament. despite the occupation laws. as long as the U. McCloy.5 It took the invasion of South Korea by Soviet-backed North Korea on 25 June 1950 to trigger a fundamental change in American and Western attitudes towards rearmament.32 james s.

: U. Memoirs. D. Government Printing Office. 128–30. So. like Adenauer. In the fall of 1948. 8 Adenauer. 1966). as an accomplished officer and a known anti-Nazi. While there was debate about the details. 1951 (Washington.: U. 1072. Truman. . Adenauer. 1951. 310–11. 7 For a recent view of European concepts and the European army.C. then the president of the parliamentary committee that was in the process of preparing the new German Federal constitution. see Jean-Pascal Lejeune.8 The Germans Begin Thinking About Rearmament Adenauer’s interest in West German rearmament predates the estab- lishment of the Federal Republic. January 30.S. Frankreich und die EVG 1950– 1954.” in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. See also “Statement by the President on German Steps Towards Acceptance of the European Defense Community Agreements.C. Truman. One of Adenauer’s staff recommended that he meet with retired Lieutenant General Hans Speidel. 6 “Joint Statement Following discussions With Prime Minister of France. Speidel was. 10–13. D. as was clearly the wish of Adenauer and the only politically acceptable route. the Pleven Plan. requested a briefing by military experts on the military security situation facing West Germany. Heft 4 (2007). For the next three years NATO and European discussions focused on the details of the organization and command structure of proposed German forces.7 But in the end.”6 In late 1950 the NATO Council began serious discussions to outline the form that a German contribution to NATO or a common European defense organ- ization might take. 1965). the concept of rearming Germany within the NATO command framework won out. Government Printing Office. From late 1950 to 1953 the Western Alliance focused on a French proposal. “Das Projekt Europaarmee: Deutschland.” 6 December 1952. there was no disagreement on the fundamental principle that the German contribution was expected to be substantial and would take place within a NATO or European army framework. the founding of the bundeswehr 1950–1956 33 character of the North Atlantic treaty Organization. to create a multinational European army. 1952–53 (Washington.S. a brilliant former General Staff officer who had been chief of staff of Rommel’s army group in the summer of 1944 and had been arrested by the Gestapo in the wake of the 20 July plot against Hitler. in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Speidel was an excellent pick to advise West Germany’s leading democratic politician.” Militärgeschichte.

” so he would therefore ensure that a system of clear civilian control over the military was established that would be partly based on the American model.. one of them. corum a highly educated and eloquent man who was widely read in history and politics. Adenauer came to like several of the military men he worked with. but he was also a man of exceptional intelligence and good education. Adolf Heusinger.S. 11 On early rearmament efforts. 10 Ibid. see Bundesministerium der Verteidigung. In 1944 he had been arrested and held by the Gestapo for several weeks before being released. While he could form close bonds with some soldiers. Heusinger was more easy-going than Speidel and not as eloquent. maintained a solid distrust of soldiers. 1995). General Count Gerhard von Schwerin was chosen as the head of the special office and was given the title of “Adviser for Military and Security Issues” (Berater für militär- und Sicherheitsfragen). It was essentially a similar method to the East German approach to rearmament. The office under Schwerin’s direction was given the title of Central Office for Homeland Service (Zentrale für Heimatdienst). 97–81.9 Adenauer.11 Schwerin was a good choice to serve as the chancellor’s 9 Rolf Friedemann Pauls. . Schwerin’s pet idea was to create and build a large national “security police” force and use this as a foundation for a new armed forces. who had not known many generals but certainly did not expect a level of educa- tion and thought equal to his own. “Adenauer und die Soldaten. In 1954 he confided to U. 39. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles that he was concerned about a return of the “Prussian Military Caste. Adenauer established a special office under his direction to deal with security and rearmament planning.” in Vom Kalten Krieg zur deutschen Einheit: Analysen und Zeizeugenberichte zur deutschen Militärgeschichte 1945 bis 1995. ed. but Heusinger would remain his favorite. ed.34 james s. also making an excellent impression. Von Himmerod bis Andernach.. he also recognized the heavy burden of German history. and he therefore always maintained some reserve about soldiers. 1985). here 37–38. He made an excellent impression on Adenauer. Dokumente zur Enstehungsgechichte der Bundeswehr (Streitkräfteamt: Medienzentrale der Bundeswehr. Over the next year Adenauer came to meet several other former Wehrmacht generals.10 With talk of German rearmament rising in the spring of 1950. 37–42. He had been a staunch opponent of the Nazis and had been deposed as lord mayor of Cologne in 1933 for his open hostility to the new regime and sent into internal exile. however. MGFA (Munich: Oldenbourg. Adenauer was well aware that many of the senior officers had been staunch Nazis.

After the war he was retained by the Reichswehr and admitted to the rigorous general staff course. Hans Speidel. who briefed the chancellor on a different approach to rearma- ment that he and a small circle of ex-officers around Speidel favored. Russia. He was relieved of command of his division. Instead. A few months later he was called back to command a division in Italy and ended the war there as a corps commander with the rank of General der Panzertruppen. Yet Adenauer did not rely solely on advice from Count Schwerin. rearming Germany was no longer an issue for abstract discussion by the Western Powers. With encouragement from the British and Americans. He believed that Germany needed to quickly build its own armed forces and rejected the idea of an intermediate solution such as developing a national police as a foun- dation for armed forces because it would simply confuse and slow down the process. France. Schwerin began forming a small staff and brought some ex-military men into his office to include former generals Adolf Heusinger. In September that year. when he was given the mission of defending Aachen from the American advance. Speidel argued that Germany ought to go directly to the step of building a new armed forces—of course with the full permission of the Western Allies and a transparent plan before the public to make it clear to all that the West German armed forces would operate only in the context of a European army. The four-day Himmerod conference. Born in 1899 he had served as a lieutenant in World War I and had been deco- rated with the Iron Cross for fighting on the Western Front. Speidel saw an urgent need to respond to the Soviet initiatives and the rapid buildup of the East German forces. and Colonel Adolf Graf von Kielmansegg. After the invasion of South Korea in June 1950 ratcheted up the ten- sions of the Cold War. He had an outstanding military resume and was also well known for his bad relations with the Nazi regime. and Italy. During World War II he served with distinction as a panzer force commander in Africa. the founding of the bundeswehr 1950–1956 35 initial military advisor. turned out a report with a concept plan for . In the spring and summer of 1950 he met with retired General Hans Speidel. he earned the ire of the Nazi leadership by requesting permission to evacuate civilians from the city. chaired by Heusinger. which he led in the Normandy campaign. These latter men would all play a central role in estab- lishing the Bundeswehr. Schwerin organized a group of 15 former Wehrmacht senior officers to meet at Kloster Himmerod in the Eiffel Mountains to develop a program for German rearmament within the context of the Western Alliance. In 1944 he was given command of the 116th Panzer Division.

36 james s. corum

German rearmament that was in keeping with Germany’s ability to
develop a modern West German armed forces and to meet NATO’s
requirements for an expanded deterrent force in Europe.
The report that came out of the conference was called the ‘Himmerod
Denkschrift” and was edited and amended by Heusinger and Count
Kielmansegg. The report outlined a plan to create an army of 12 armored
and mechanized divisions for the Bundesrepublik. There would be a
small navy of approximately 200 vessels to defend the Baltic and North
seas, and a tactical air force to support the army consisting of 800–900
aircraft. The final version of the new German military would be between
400,000 and 500,000 men. With the exception of the air force, which
was later expanded to a force of more than 1,300 planes and 80,000
personnel, the report was remarkably prescient on the final form that
the Bundeswehr would achieve. The report was almost exactly on tar-
get as to the eventual organization and personnel requirements of the
army and navy. It was an impressive bit of military planning that dem-
onstrated that the former Wehrmacht general staff officer had not lost
their talent for planning and organization. The Himmerod Conference
Denkschrift, and the office that Count Schwerin had organized, gave
the Adenauer government a sound foundation to begin West German

German Internal Attitudes Towards Rearmament

While the West Germans enjoyed strong support for rearmament
efforts from the Western Powers, especially from the United States and
Britain, there was considerable internal opposition to rearmament.
After the devastating experience of the World War, most Germans were
skeptical about rearmament and suspicious of their own armed forces
as a national institution. While the Christian Democrats and Free
Democrats were cautiously supportive of building a new German
armed forces, most of the Social Democrats disapproved of rearma-
ment. It was partly the deep suspicion that all the Social Democrats

The strategic and political issues dealing with German rearmament are well cov-
ered in David Clay Large, Germans to the Front: West German Rearmament in the
Adenauer Era (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1996); and Hans-
Martin Ottmer, Die Entwicklung Deutscher Sicherheitspolitik und die Geschichte der
Bundeswehr (Berlin: E.S. Mittler und Sohn, 1995).

the founding of the bundeswehr 1950–1956 37

had after facing the open hostility of the military in both Wilhelmine
and Nazi Germany, and the more subdued hostility of the Reichswehr
or the Weimar Republic. Opinion polls of the 1950s show a German
populace that was deeply ambivalent about rearmament. However, this
attitude was not so much driven by pacifism as by a rejection of the
blatant militarism of Germany’s recent history. On the several issues of
rearmament, which included establishing an armed forces and manning
it by conscription, German public opinion fluctuated considerably
between 1950 and 1954. In those years a plurality of between 30 to 50
per cent of the West Germans supported rearmament within a European
defense system, and a large number, which fluctuated between 25 and
33 per cent of the public, was opposed to rearmament. The opponents
were largely formed around the hard core of the hard core of the Social
Democratic party (SPD), but early in the debate many in the Christian
Democratic Union (CDU) also were inclined to pacifism.13
The CDU members who opposed rearmament in 1950 gradually
came around to support it as the Cold War intensified and there existed
less and less hope of any reconciliation between the two Germanies. To
a large degree, much of the SPD opposition to rearmament was over-
come through the work of Adenauer’s military committee, which kept
the Bundestag well informed of military plans. The military planners
sensibly included the Social Democratic leaders as well as the Christian
Democrats in their discussions. While the SPD remained generally
opposed, a few of the SPD leaders were willing to support rearmament
under certain conditions. One means of disarming the opposition to
rearmament was the clear commitment made by Adenauer’s military
advisers to build a new German armed forces that would not resemble
the old Prussian army but would be democratic and fully under control
of the civilian government. All of the major parties also agreed that any
German armed forces would operate within the context of NATO or a
European defense organization.
By 1954 public opinion in West Germany had shifted firmly to the
pro-rearmament side. In the 1953 elections, Adenauer’s conservative
Christian Democrats won an absolute majority in the Bundestag,

For a thorough study of the German public opinion polls and rearmament issues,
see Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, “Zur Rolle der öffentlichen Meinung bei der Debatte um die
Wiederbewaffnung 1950–1955,” in MGFA, Hans Buchheim, and Kurt Fett et al., eds.,
Aspekte der deutschen Wiederbewaffnung bis 1955 (Boppard am Rhein: Harald Boldt,
1975), 61–98.

38 james s. corum

so the government had the votes for any rearmament issue that came
before the parliament. By then the issue was no longer whether to
rearm—but how to rearm. The several crucial Bundestag votes between
1954 and 1956 on establishing an armed forces, joining NATO, and
establishing conscription were all passed with very large majorities.

Creation of Amt Blank—1950

Although Count Schwerin was a skilled strategist and very competent
commander and staff officer, he lacked a certain degree of political dis-
cretion. With the admirable intent of keeping the press informed of
defense thinking within the Federal government, a very necessary
thing in a democracy, in October 1955 he talked frankly to the press
about the state of rearmament thinking and admitted that conscription
would probably be necessary to realistically meet the force requirements
of a new German armed forces. At the time the rearmament issue was
highly sensitive, and the conscription issue even more so. There was
strong SPD opposition to rearmament at this time, and many CDU
members were skeptical on the issue as well. Therefore, the very men-
tion of conscription set off a minor furor. Adenauer might have ridden
out the crisis and kept Count Schwerin, but it is clear that the chancel-
lor was becoming more and more disenchanted with his official mili-
tary advisor. Adenauer did not like Schwerin’s idea of creating a large
new police force as a step to rearmament and preferred the advice of
Hans Speidel to go directly to creation of an army. But, having decided
that an army had to be created, Adenauer realized that the first military
chief ought not to be a military man. As liberal as Count Schwerin
might appear, the very fact that he was a former general conveyed the
wrong impression to members of parliament. Members of the parlia-
ment, and not just the SPD, needed assurance that any future West
German military force would be completely under civilian control.
Therefore, Count Schwerin had to go. Rather than ride out the minor
crisis of the press interview, Adenauer asked Schwerin for his resigna-
tion on 1 November 1955.
Adenauer replaced Schwerin with a member of the Bundestag,
Theodor Blank, as coordinator for all defense-related issues. Schwerin’s
job title as advisor for military and security issues was changed to
something a little less militaristic and a lot more bureaucratic—Der
Beauftragte des Bundeskanzlers für die mit vemehrung der Allierten

the founding of the bundeswehr 1950–1956 39

Truppen Zusammenhangenden Fragen (Pleponitary for the Federal
Chancellor for Questions Concerning the Reinforcement of Allied
Troops). Since this title was too windy even for a German bureaucrat,
Blank’s bureau was simply referred to as “Amt Blank” (“The Blank
Office”). But there was no doubt about Blank’s status or the purpose of
his office. Like Count Schwerin, Blank was to serve as the shadow
defense minister with the mission of building a military staff and plan-
ning for rearmament within the context of NATO or a European
defense organization.
Blank was an interesting choice for such an important job. Neither
Adenauer’s nor Blank’s papers offer any clear insights as to why Blank
was selected as Germany’s shadow defense minister.14 Blank’s expertise
was in trade unions and economics. Born in 1905, as a youth he had
been connected to the Catholic trade-workers unions sponsored by the
Center Party, the Catholic political party of Weimar Germany. He
showed considerable administrative talent and in 1930 became the
general secretary of the Central Group of Christian Factory and
Transport Workers Union. With the destruction of the German trade-
union movement upon the Nazi accession to power, Blank was pushed
out of his job and went on to university studies. Remaining true to his
Center party principles, he never joined the Nazi Party. He served as a
reserve first lieutenant in the army during the war. Released as a POW
just after the end of the war, he immediately went to work to reestablish
the Catholic trade-union movement within the framework of the new
CDU, formed partly from the members of the old Center Party such
as Adenauer. Elected a CDU state representative in North Rhine
Westphalia in 1946, Blank rose quickly through the ranks of the CDU
leadership. However, he was not even part of the inner circle of the
CDU nor was he very close to Adenauer. As a lifetime trade unionist,
Blank was considered to be very much on the left wing of the CDU, and
this is probably why he appealed to Adenauer as a shadow defense
minister in 1950. A leftist and trade unionist would have considerably
more appeal in dealing with an SPD that was notoriously suspicious of
all things military than a noble and former general such as Schwerin.
However, aside from being politically reassuring, Blank did not have
many other attributes to bring to the job. He possessed little knowledge

Theodor Blank’s papers are found in the Adenauer Stiftung, Sankt Augustin,
Germany. See Archivale Theo Blank, 098–005/1.

40 james s. corum

of the military, few political skills, and almost no ability to deal with
the press. At a time when the nascent defense ministry needed very
clear and firm organizational leadership Blank’s weak managerial skills
allowed for a breakdown at some of the critical stages of rearmament.
The structure of Amt Blank changed and grew rapidly. It was basi-
cally divided into three main divisions. The first was the administrative/
personnel/financial division that was managed mostly by career civil
servants. The second was the legal office to draw up legislation, mili-
tary regulations, and so on. Of course, this was manned by lawyers.
The largest section was the military planning division, subdivided into
several departments. The last section was manned mostly by former
Wehrmacht officers. Blank, with no military experience beyond the
company officer level, would have to rely upon this small group of top
military specialists to see the military planning for the Bundeswehr
was done right. Blank was lucky to have some superb talent in the mili-
tary branch. The problem was that no single military officer was clearly
in charge, and the effort became disjointed.

Internal Debates Within Amt Blank

With several semi-independent boards and officers within the military
planning staff, a small staff for each of the services, and no single con-
trolling military staff at the top, the officers and departments and serv-
ice staffs were soon working at cross purposes. Debate is a healthy
thing in a military organization, and there was a great deal of debate
within the Bundeswehr about the ethos of the armed forces. The small
defense staff soon organized itself into two groups—the “traditionalists”
were opposed by a group roughly called the “anti-traditionalists,” under
General Heusinger and Count Baudissin. The Heusinger/Baudissin
faction wanted a clean break from past German military tradition and
wanted an armed forces built on solidly democratic principles. The tra-
ditionalists wanted to keep as many of the old traditions of the German
army as possible, although both sides were agreed that Nazi ideology
had no place in a new German armed forces. The debate between the
two factions became quite emotional at times, with officers threatening
to resign unless their views were accepted. Looking back, many of the
issues that were debated so relentlessly from 1950–55 seem to be
tempests in a teapot—violent arguments over the subtle meaning of

the debates dragged on for years and took up a considerable amount of energy that the overworked military staff ought to have devoted to working out the details of organization. Yet in a nation that produced Immanuel Kant. The problem was not that the battles occurred but that Blank was unable to exercise any con- trol over the process. Von Bonin immediately began a study of NATO operational doc- trine and fundamentally rejected it. are rather thin. Colonel Bogislaw von Bonin. the founding of the bundeswehr 1950–1956 41 words and phrases. Von Bonin was regarded as a brilliant officer and was regarded as a staunch traditionalist. which put him in conflict with the reformist and anti-traditionalist faction led by Count Baudissin. favored the reformist faction but also defended von Bonin because of his reputation for brilliance. Nor was there a single chief military officer to settle the matters. who was emerging as the leading military advisor to Theodor Blank. General Heusinger. had been brought into Amt Blank in early 1952 and took over as chief of the operational plan- ning staff—the largest and most important of the staff sections of the military staff. Von Bonin. As a result. and equipment. He put his staff to work developing a completely different German army structure and defense plan based on a fixed defense at the border and relying heavily on Swiss-style reserve forces instead of heavy armored divi- sions. In July 1954. to which Germany was firmly committed. see Anfänge Westdeutsche Sicherheitspolitik (note 4 above). But von Bonin decided that the NATO approach yielded too much German territory to a Soviet invasion and was therefore unacceptable. such philosophical battles might have been expected. train- ing. a former army colonel and general staff officer. NATO doctrine. von Bonin’s staff section produced an extensive study attacking NATO operational doctrine at the same moment that 15 The documentary materials on the early years of Amt Blank. . For the most complete account of Amt Blank. was based on mobile defense and counterat- tack operations by powerful armored and mechanized divisions.15 One of the most notorious examples of the lack of control and severe factionalism within the military staff of Amt Blank was the dispute over Bundeswehr doctrine initiated by the head of the military plan- ning staff from 1952 to 1955. 1950–54. The 12-division force that West Germany committed itself to was specifi- cally structured around the NATO operational doctrine.

.42 james s.17 Von Bonin. The story of a NATO operational concept that would allow much of West Germany to be overrun in the first phase of a war. Combined with other stories concerning debates occurring within the military staff.Westintegration. was big news in 1954 and 1955. Issues such as logistics. Von Bonin’s views provided considerable ammunition to critics of both the Adenauer government and the con- cept of rearmament itself. the von Bonin articles and interviews did not help the image of a Bundeswehr that was just begin- ning to recruit its first major cadre. von Bonin had tied up the most important staff section of the Bundeswehr for almost two years in a futile effort to develop a doctrine to override NATO’s. and concen- trated on developing operational thinking and excellence to the highest degree. In the meantime. In April 1955 a reluctant Heusinger. Essentially. building barracks and basing forces. and accept- ing the turnover of Allied equipment are all very mundane matters. but these were the kinds of planning issues with which a brand new armed forces needed to deal at the beginning of the force-building process. The problem was. In fact. giving interviews in the Frankfurter Rundschau and Der Spiegel in 1954 and 1955. 118–22. the most brilliant defense concepts are 16 See Dr.Wiedervereinigung (Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgeschellschaft. 1987). corum West Germany was committing itself to NATO membership and NATO structure and doctrine. however. was forced to ask for von Bonin’s resignation from Amt Blank. and of open disagreement with NATO doctrine among the top staff officers of the new German armed forces. the turnover of Allied equipment was in a bureaucratic mud- dle. and there was a shortage of barracks and facilities for the new sol- diers. 17 Ibid. 122–23. Heinz Brill. there was not the slightest chance that NATO would accept his ideas. He took his objections to NATO doctrine to the press. When the Bundeswehr was formed in 1955 it lacked a logistics system.. Bogislaw von Bonin in Spannungsfeld zwischen Wiederbewaffnung. given logistics a low priority.16 Von Bonin proposed that NATO accept his alternate defense plans for Germany. Von Bonin had reproduced the greatest faults of the Wehrmacht general staff—he had ignored grand strategy (the centrality of coordi- nating efforts with NATO). then tapped to be the first chief of staff of the German army and still an admirer of von Bonin. many of the most fundamental tasks for developing the German army were neglected. would not let the issue rest.

when a systematic personnel recruitment system was finally set up. The Personnel Problem Amt Blank was grossly undermanned for the multitude of tasks that it had to perform to create new armed forces virtually from scratch. Essentially. and communications 18 Abenheim. For exam- ple. yet six of these—including the very important organization. the founding of the bundeswehr 1950–1956 43 irrelevant if there are no barracks for the soldiers and no supplies for the army. 169–84. the Luftwaffe staff had 28 sections in its organization table. on the eve of rearmament in November 1954. it also had to maintain an expert military staff in Paris for ongoing discussions with NATO and the European community. The problem underlying all others was the severe shortage of expert military staff that plagued Amt Blank from its inception in 1950 through its transformation into the Federal Defense Ministry. there were only 100 military personnel (former Wehrmacht officers) in Amt Blank. The von Bonin affair was only one symptom of a much broader problem within Amt Blank. 85–86. Recruiting a military staff in such a manner was necessary at the start. see Kurt Fett. von Bonin wasted almost three years of planning effort by the time the Bundeswehr was officially stood up in 1955.18 At a time in which Amt Blank had to maintain a military staff in Bonn to begin planning to stand up the Bundeswehr. a military specialist staff of 300 was simply overwhelmed by the necessary effort. . The initial recruiting of the military staff for Amt Blank was simply by word of mouth through an “old boys” network of former officers. Reforging the Iron Cross.19 At a time when Germany had committed itself to rearmament and NATO membership. “Die Grundlagen der militär- ischen Planungen. the year planning moved from the concept phase to the practical details. and in 1954 there were 300. personnel. Yet in 1952. Donald Abenheim argues in Reforging the Iron Cross that the chronic personnel shortage was “the worst organizational problem” of the Bundeswehr in its early years. 19 On personnel strength in Amt Blank.” in Aspekte der deutschen Wiederbewaffnung bis 1955 (note 13 above). but such recruiting methodologies remained the norm until 1954. In 1953 this rose to just over 200.

Dienststellen zur Vorbereitung des Westdeutschen Verteidigungs- beitrages. and the U..44 james s. former SS officers were not allowed to apply to join Amt Blank. All German adults had gone through the de-nazification program in 1946–48 and had been examined by boards designed to separate the staunch. K 570. xcii–xciii. in USAF Historical Research Agency [HRA]. the German air staff admitted to the Americans that they had neither the time nor personnel to prepare their own plan for Luftwaffe logistics. Doc. plans were approved by the German government without any debate or modification. The Allies left the choice of building staffs and cadre organizations to the Germans themselves and placed few restrictions upon the personnel that Amt Blank could recruit. Other officers had been investigated for war crimes or had been identified by the de-nazification boards as being strong Nazi believers. 1952–1955. Those sanc- tioned by the de-nazification boards could not hold management posi- tions or public office. “USAFE’s Assistance to Create a New German Air Force” (Wiesbaden. The German defense ministry was glad to get ready-made plans for their air force. 40 (Koblenz: Bundesarchiv Koblenz. 1. However. About 10 per cent of the adults in West Germany had some restrictions placed upon them for their past support of Nazi ideology. and support structure. on the eve of formal German rearmament. So.S. 21 HQ USAFE. committed Nazi believers from the average German who “went along” with the Party for career reasons. see Dieter Krüger. 70–83. the Allies placed no restrictions on former officers work- ing for Amt Blank or jointing the Bundeswehr. NATO air commander General Lauris Norstad had carefully followed the disorder of the shadow defense ministry and had antici- pated a planning breakdown. Findbücher zu Beständen des Bundesarchivs.04M. As far as the military was concerned. aside from the former SS officers and those connected with war crimes. 1992). . Norstad and his staff had already been working on the issue for more than a year and were able to present the German military staff with a complete basing and logistics plan for the Luftwaffe. the Allies also understood that it would be impossible to rearm Germany without employing former Wehrmacht officers.21 The shortage of qualified staff officers to meet the planning needs of the shadow defense ministry was solely a self-inflicted wound.20 In January 1955. 1956). basing. corum sections—had no section leader. All of the restrictions 20 For organization charts of the Luftwaffe planning staff of the early 1950s. Luckily for the Germans. and these were automatically excluded from consideration as officers of the new Bundeswehr. ed.

The Americans in particular seemed to have formed a close working relationship with the Germans. commander of the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE) concerning rumors that Amt Blank was considering Lt.S. concerns were brought to Amt Blank. 22 HQ USAFE. However. in all the U. General Adolf Galland. this was never a major concern among the U. 1955. and there are no records of how the U. we do know the reaction to the American hints. the World War fighter ace and hero.S. .S. there is only one case of U. vol.” p. in planning together. Twining added. send a secret message to General Tunner. would become the Luftwaffe’s first chief. While reminding Tunner to make it clear to the Germans that “it’s completely their choice. Letter of Gen. the founding of the bundeswehr 1950–1956 45 and sanctions placed on former German officers in the mid-1950s were the choice of the Germans themselves. None of the Americans who worked with the German shadow military staff on a regular basis had any questions about Nazi mentality or influence entering the Bundeswehr. Historical Division. 2. Tunner 2 May 1955.–Dec.01 Jan. General Nathan Twining. although there were constant informal meetings between senior Americans and Germans.S. a former Luftwaffe general who had masterminded the air defense of Germany in 1943– 44. K570. and in the negotiations in Paris. In May 1955 the United States Air Force (USAF) chief of staff. The Americans and British military had been working closely with the Germans for several years at this point. General Twining pointed out that Galland had associated with known Neo-Nazis to include Hans Ulrich Rudel and that Galland had worked in 1948 as an air advisor to the Perón dictatorship in Argentina—a government on especially bad terms with the United States. 83 in USAF NRA Doc. “History of the Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe. or British military staffs.”22 The documents on the early rear- mament era of the Luftwaffe are pretty thin.S. military records of the era. “Suggest you hint broadly to German Planning Group that we welcome another choice. General Josef Kammhuber. Twining to Gen. 1 January–31 Dec. 1955. in compiling the historical studies. In fact. as the Bundesluftwaffe’s first chief of staff—or Inspekteur. Although a great part of the German effort seems to have been geared toward reassuring the Western Allies that former Nazis would have no place in the Bundeswehr. intervention to prevent a perceived Nazi from being given a position in the Bundeswehr. Amt Blank soon announced that Lt.” he added that Galland would not be acceptable to the U.

46 james s. corum

Faced with the need to quickly build a cadre for a new armed forces,
in 1954 Amt Blank set up two organizations to screen volunteers. The
first was a special personnel board of 25 members, which would screen
senior officers, colonels and above, who applied for commissions in the
new Bundeswehr. The special personnel board consisted mainly of civil
servants and contained few ex-officers. The other, and much larger,
organization was called the “Acceptance Organization” (Annahme
Organization) and was also headed by civil servants. This organization
would be responsible for reviewing the applications of mid-ranking
and junior officers and of NCOs who applied to join the new Bun-
deswehr. It would also review the applications of young Germans who
had not served in World War II but who wished to join the Bundeswehr
as volunteers. It was soon evident that the Acceptance Organization
was far too small for the task. As the Bundeswehr moved closer to
becoming real, the Acceptance Organization was flooded with applica-
tions to join the Bundeswehr. From 1954 to 1956 more than 200,000
Germans applied to join the Bundeswehr. In the first weeks of 1955
more than 25,000 men applied. The Acceptance Organization was una-
ble to properly process the mass of applicants, so when the Bundeswehr
was formally established in June 1955, only a few personnel of the
expected initial cadres of several thousand men were able to report to
the training centers. Amt Blank, now the Federal Republic’s defense
ministry, had not been able to process the mass of applicants yet.23
The Acceptance Office was not merely slow; its procedures for per-
sonnel screening and selection proved to be highly defective. Despite
five years to plan for rearmament, the personnel screening system
broke down at the outset. This frustrated the careful plans made by
Germany’s allies, notably the U.S., to support the establishment of the
Bundeswehr. The USAFE had prepared its training staff and bases to
take in the first influx of Luftwaffe training cadres in mid-1955.24
However, the new defense ministry had not completed personnel
screening for the initial cadre of 660 Luftwaffe personnel to be trained
by the Americans. “E-Day,” the day to start training the first Bundeswehr
cadres, was set back to January 1956.25

Abenheim, Reforging the Iron Cross, 138–39.
On USAF training efforts, see “History of the Headquarters” (note 22 above),
vol. 1, p. 83.
HQ USAFE, CINCUSAFE’s Monthly Summary, August 1955, para. 9 in “History
of the Headquarters” (note 22 above), vol. 2.

the founding of the bundeswehr 1950–1956 47

When the training program got underway in earnest in mid-1956,
the Americans noted that the German screening process had been
haphazard. Many men selected for pilot training in U.S. schools did not
speak English to the required standard. What was even more trouble-
some was that a large number did not meet the high physical standards
for pilot training. This resulted in a higher than planned “washout” rate
in the first classes of German pilots that were trained, and a consider-
able waste of money and training resources.26
The personnel board of Amt Blank had to deal with relatively small
numbers of officers, but these were to be the critical senior leaders of
the new armed forces. Unfortunately, the contribution of the personnel
board in the formation of the Bundeswehr was mostly negative. The
special personnel board was highly secretive and did not allow appli-
cants to review their files or challenge information in the files. The
system that the board employed for selecting the higher-ranking offic-
ers was apparently completely subjective. Of 600 officers in the rank
of colonel and above who applied to serve in the Bundeswehr in 1954–
55, 428 were accepted and the others rejected outright or put under
special sanctions. What was especially surprising, and the cause of a
great deal of dissatisfaction within Amt Blank’s military staff, was
the rejection of some senior officers who had served competently in
Amt Blank from its inception. It came as a considerable shock to the
senior staff officers of Amt Blank when Colonel Fett, who had been
chief of planning before von Bonin, was denied a commission in the
Bundeswehr. Two other senior officers who had led the German team
negotiating with the Allied powers in Paris were also summarily dis-
missed from the Bundeswehr. These were not only officers with general
staff training but were also among the few Bundeswehr officers who
had an extensive background in the staff methods and planning of
Germany’s NATO allies. At a stroke, the civil servants of the special
personnel board had removed several men who had been key in the
development of the Bundeswehr.
As ought to be noted, these removals came at a time when the
Bundeswehr was terribly understaffed. Even more demoralizing for
the remaining officers was that no concrete reasons were given by the
personnel board for removal of these highly experienced officers.27

History of the 7330th Flying Training Wing, in USAF HRA Doc. K-WG-7330-HI,
Jan.–June 1956, 10.
Abenheim, Reforging the Iron Cross, 138–47.

48 james s. corum

The actions of the personnel board caused considerable pain and anxi-
ety within the military staff. At a time when a grossly undermanned
staff was trying to build a new armed forces it was deprived of highly
experienced personnel.

1955—The Financial Breakdown

The former officers estimated that, with proper funding and support,
most of the force could be stood up in three years after the decision to
rearm was made. The general concepts of the plan met with the approval
and support of the Western powers, which had made a major conven-
tional rearmament of western Europe a primary goal of NATO’s Lisbon
conference that year. The general outline of the German concepts fit
well within the NATO defense concepts.28 The Bundeswehr cadre was
to start training in 1955, and most of the force was to be organized and
battle ready. It was an ambitious scheme, but doable if the resources
had been provided by the Germans. The U.S. and U.K. stood up train-
ing programs to assist in the building of the new German navy and
Luftwaffe and were ready to train thousands of Germans who would, in
turn, teach the mass of new recruits to be inducted.
As if the personnel and planning problems were not enough to ham-
per the development of the Bundeswehr, the nascent force faced an
enormous funding shortage just as the force was ready to be formally
established in June 1955. The Adenauer government had told the
Bundestag that rearmament would cost no more than 9.26 billion
Deutschmarks per year (approximately $2.3 billion dollars). That was a
highly unrealistic figure, and even before the Bundeswehr was formed,
financial problems were on the horizon.
During the 1954 negotiations, the Germans had promised to pay for
a host of U.S. facilities that were being refurbished and turned over to
the Germans. In 1954 and 1955 the U.S. had undertaken millions of
dollars worth of construction projects to prepare bases for the new
Bundeswehr. The Germans had formally agreed to pay for the new
construction. As the turnover date came close, the money simply was

The complete text of the Himmerod Conference is found in Die “Himmeroder
Denkschrift” vom Oktober 1950, ed. Hans-Jürgen Rautenberg and Norbert Wiggershaus,
(Karlsruhe: Braun, 1985), 36–56. This work also contains an extensive commentary on
the Denkschrift and the text of other documents relating to German security planning
in 1950.

the founding of the bundeswehr 1950–1956 49

not there. Part of the problem was a simple funding shortage, and part
of the problem was a highly inefficient bureaucracy in Amt Blank that
had not worked out the details of service budgeting and accounting.
Through 1955 and 1956 the U.S. forces were stuck with the construc-
tion and base bills that the Bundeswehr could not pay. Some senior
U.S. officers in the U.S. military group working to train the new
Bundeswehr prophesied the collapse of the German rearmament effort
due to the inability to pay the bills.29
However, despite some very irritated U.S. officers, the American
military group working with the Bundeswehr understood that the
problem was not bad German faith but an incompetent bureaucracy
and confusion at the top of the new German defense ministry.30 To
prevent a breakdown of the German rearmament effort, U.S. com-
manders temporarily absorbed many of the construction costs by shift-
ing budget funds around. In late 1955, in order to get the effort for
training the Luftwaffe started, the U.S. came up with $11 million to
fund training programs necessary to build the first cadre of the Bun-
deswehr.31 The U.S. attitude was that the Germans would eventually
sort out their mess and the bills would be eventually paid. In the mean-
time, the U.S. forces were forced to carry out a good deal of creative
bookkeeping to get the training of the Bundeswehr cadres started.
When Theodor Blank became the Federal Republic’s first defense
minister on the establishment of the Bundeswehr in June 1955, the
various breakdowns in the rearmament program were already evident.
With too little money available to get rearmament started, Blank was
reluctant to go to the chancellor and Bundestag and ask for more. On a
matter such as aircraft procurement, Blank was ready to ignore profes-
sional military advice rather than displease Adenauer. Blank might
have gone to the press and built a case for a more robust rearmament
effort, or at least an effort large enough to fulfill some of Germany’s
treaty obligations. But Blank disliked and distrusted the press. Von
Bonin had recently been relieved of his position and was very active
before the press, attacking the Bundeswehr’s policies and doctrine.

James S. Corum, “Starting from Scratch: Establishing the Bundesluftwaffe as a
Modern Air Force, 1955–1960,” Air Power History 50 (Summer 2003), 16–29, here 24.
See “USAFE’s Assistance to Create a New German Air Force” (note 21 above).
James S. Corum, “Building a New Luftwaffe: The United States Air Force and
Bundeswehr Planning for Rearmament, 1950–60,” Journal of Strategic Studies 21.1
(March 2004), 105–06.

50 james s. corum

In the face of this open challenge, Blank simply refused to hold press
conferences and make his case to the public. In reviewing the Bundestag
debates of 1955 and 1956, Franz Josef Strauss, an aggressive young
member of the Bundestag’s defense committee, emerged as a far more
effective public spokesman for rearmament polices than the defense
By April 1956 the rearmament program had fallen far behind. By
that point the master plan for the German army called for 96,000 train-
ees to be already in the system, but, in fact, only 44,000 men had been
brought into service, a delay due to a lack of barracks space.32 As the
year progressed it became evident that Germany’s first defense minis-
ter was neither a very competent politician nor an effective bureau-
crat. Blank’s press relations remained abysmal.33 Moreover, he refused
to provide details of rearmament plans and spending to Bundestag
committees. With a solid Christian Democratic majority, it would not
have been hard to have received greater funding. But, kept in the dark,
the Bundestag was reluctant to appropriate funds to Blank to avert
the defense budget crash of 1956.34 The Western Powers were clearly
dissatisfied with Blank and the slow pace of German rearmament in
1956, and complaints from NATO allies mounted.35 In October 1956
Adenauer asked for Blank’s resignation and replaced him with Franz
Josef Strauss, who had already proven himself an effective spokesman
for German rearmament and who possessed considerably greater
political and managerial skills than Blank. The hapless former defense
minister was kept in the cabinet for another ten years as minister
for labor relations—a much more appropriate job considering his

Strauss Tackles the Internal Disorder in the Ministry

In any case, with a strong consensus that rearmament was necessary
and with a CDU majority in the Bundestag, the SPD was now more

Archivale Theo Blank, Adenauer Stiftung, Memo from the Defense Minister, 10
April 1956.
Montescue Lowry, The Forge of West German Rearmament: Theodor Blank and
Amt Blank (New York: Peter Lang, 1990), 202–03.
Ibid., 290.
Large, Germans to the Front, 261.

With the SPD on board on rearmament. and new teams were established to sort out the bureaucratic problems that had slowed the troop intake.36 36 History of the 7330th Flying Training Wing (note 26 above). the office of the defense minister stood directly above the three service chiefs—who were all of equal stature. When dealing with the military chiefs. it was possible to have the more dynamic Strauss. Some issues required immediate action. Now the defense minister had one military office to coordinate with and to work with in sorting out the various inter-service agendas and agreements. Blank’s main advantage was that he was on the left of the CDU and was seen as something of a bridge to a recalcitrant SPD. take charge of the defense ministry. . 14. and the very able General Heusinger appointed to the post. He immediately drew up legislation to establish the post of “General Inspector of the Bundeswehr. Strauss had to deal with three competing bureaucracies and agendas. The initial recruit screening process had broken down. One of his first tasks was to sort out the leadership problem in the defense ministry. In 1956. Strauss realized that the time frame of three years for rearmament was clearly impossible to reach and finally made that clear to Adenauer and the Bundestag. Within six months the law was passed. As it was originally created. Within four months the defense ministry had a new master plan to stretch out the rearmament process to roughly five years. counted for more than political alliance building. on the right of the CDU. manage- rial skill. Strauss put his staff to work identifying the core problems and deficiencies and developing a new plan. something that they could support and work with. which Strauss possessed in abundance. Now Germany’s allies wanted an alternative plan. The new General Inspector of the Bundeswehr had the authority to sort out the bureau- cratic muddles that plagued the first year and a half of the Bundeswehr’s existence. Strauss went on to serve as West Germany’s defense minister for 11 years. By the end of 1956 a more efficient system was in place. the founding of the bundeswehr 1950–1956 51 willing to compromise and accommodate the Bundeswehr. It was already clear to Germany’s NATO allies that the plan had failed.” essentially an officer to serve as the chairman of the joint chiefs and a military man to rank above the serv- ice chiefs. Strauss put the staff to work organizing a revamped process.

corum When he took office in October 1956.. new German units would have the best equipment and would be fully equal to any other NATO units.37 Strauss was a huge improvement over Blank. and the Federal Republic of Germany finally built up the Bundeswehr to its planned level and fielded high-quality armed forces—but the completed force missed the planned deadline by five years.38 Under Strauss the financial problems of the Blank era were over- come and the build-up of the Bundeswehr funded adequately.52 james s. The slow pace of West German rearmament was partly due to internal politics and the slow pace of negotiating Germany’s entry into NATO. However. Origins and Development of West German Military Thought. But once the decision had been made to include Germany as a full member of the European Defense system.” The three-year build-up plan was scrapped. VT: Gower Publishing Co. Strauss immediately announced to an unhappy NATO that the new policy for rearmament would be “quality over quantity. 38 Ibid. . 304–05. (Brookfield. virtually all of the problems and delays were due to bad planning and bad management on the part of Germany’s first defense minister and his staff. 1986). and the pace of rearmament was appreciably slowed—in fact the Bundeswehr took seven years to reach it original force goals.970 n 1958. Under Strauss’s leadership the German defense budget grew from 3. The slowed-down rearmament schedule proved much more manageable. 2 vols. 304–30.. as he enjoyed far better press relations and was the better politi- cian.4 billion Deutschmarks in 1956 to 7. 37 Julian Lider.



’ ” “No. to a Europe of equal and free people. to the Soviet suppression of the Social Democrats in the east.”1 1 Willy Albrecht. The man who walked onto the stage was one of the most famil- iar faces in German politics and one whose body bore the scars of a life spent in opposition. 1985). Two years before. Schumacher came to Hamburg ready to do battle. The dominant figure of the post-war center-left. . on the Soviet Union. “Our critics say that the Social Democrats are negative. Aging and broken in body.” said the party. he had only one arm. to the German loss of the Saarland. FRG) relations with the western Allies.’ but we have always also offered a real- istic. Kurt Schumacher was only 55 but looked a great deal older. Unable to block legislation that he believed endangered the future of Germany. Schriften. 1945– 1952 (Berlin: Dietz. the assembled party congress of the West German Social Democratic Party (SPD) waited to hear from their leader. Kurt Schumacher: Reden. Schumacher’s physical status seemed to give him a special legitimacy. A REASONABLE “YES”: THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS AND WEST GERMAN REARMAMENT. “with all our hearts. The Social Democrats found them- selves in retreat. courageous. and on the western Allies that until recently had occupied western Germany.” Schumacher thundered. ed. Badly wounded on the Eastern Front during World War I. and a stout no to the Petersberg Agreement that set the terms of West German (Federal Republic of Germany. Indeed. bested by their rivals in parliamentary elections the year before. positive. 777–78. reasonable ‘yes. to the post-war division of Germany and Poland at the line of the Oder and Neisse riv- ers. Korrespondenzen. In a country full of tangible reminders of war. doctors had amputated a leg damaged during nearly 11 years in the camps and prisons of the Third Reich. the Social Democrats have said ‘No. or self-assured. there were few politicians in the young Federal Republic more formidable. 1945–1956 Adam Seipp On a May evening in 1950. Schumacher delivered a blistering attack on the government of Konrad Adenauer. “We say yes.

Since German nationalism would not be palatable to Germany’s neighbors and occupiers. shifting ideologies and creating odd constellations. Intransigent. Even this was not straightforward. and the limits imposed by the Cold War. The painful process through which this reversal took place happened less for ideological reasons than as a response to the political situation in the Federal Republic. For the SPD leadership. dominated by the towering figure of Konrad Adenauer. the personal experiences of its leadership cohort. The SPD in 1950. and defiant of the coalition of Allies responsible for Germany’s defeat in 1945. which the SPD eventually lost. while divided on the issue. spoke the lan- guage of normalization and integration into a Western and west European community. West Germany’s Social Democrats eventually emerged from this period of intra-party squabbling with a commitment to rearmament. The fearsome battles over rearmament in the early 1950s. The center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its allies. the rearma- ment debate was a subset of the much larger issue of the place of Germany in post-war Europe. Social Democratic nationalism coupled with a deeply held opposition to rearmament. played an important role in shaping the terms of the debate. One of the most contentious issues fac- ing West Germany’s government was the future role of the country in military affairs. as it combined the anti-militarism of the party’s rank-and-file with the pragmatic nationalism of the party’s leadership. fashioning a new generation of lead- ers who later helped govern the Federal Republic. make sense only in the context of a deepening Cold War confrontation. In turn. This battle between pragmatism and principle drew from the specific historical experiences of the SPD in the previ- ous decades. The SPD tried to operate in the narrow . Schumacher and the party he helped to build before his early death in 1952 played a critical role in fashioning a workable democracy in West Germany. nation- alistic.56 adam seipp The Hamburg speech encapsulated the extraordinary transforma- tion of the German left in the years after the war. it was still remarkable that the CDU’s opponents in the center-left SPD emerged from the war as fierce nationalists. While nationalism had not been the exclusive property of the right in interwar Germany. This chapter will explore the relation- ship between these two related problems and the ways in which these competing visions transformed the SPD as a party and West German politics more broadly. the same set of debates transformed the SPD. The legacies of Germany’s recent past helped to distort the post-war political landscape.

To understand the story of the post-war SPD and its battle over the rearmament question. they were “social fascists” who betrayed their class origins. a saddle-maker from Heidelberg. To the Communists. it is necessary to consider the party’s history and its role in the troubled history of Germany after 1871.”2 The party split badly over the conflict. By the time the rearmament debates ended in 1956. they might have been able to act as a firebreak against the conflagration that followed. The Social Democrats who shaped the party in the post-war period were products of the interwar period. that window was all but closed. the SPD spent much of the end of the 19th century under ban. The SPD managed to engineer several governing coalitions during the tumultuous 1920s. a time when the party both governed at the head of a grand democratic experiment and found themselves out- lawed and forced into exile. Friedrich Ebert. For the Right. 126. they represented the “stab-in-the- back” of the Treaty of Versailles. as one leading historian of the German Left put it. The socialist Left faced the regular problem of squaring its internationalist ideology with a pragmatic and sufficiently patriotic electoral appeal. ending with the collapse of Hermann Müller’s government in March 1930. served as the Republic’s first President until his death in 1925. a reasonable “yes” 57 window of opportunity seemingly afforded by the fluid politics of the post-war decade. The SPD’s path through the first decades of the 20th century was inseparable from the problems of war and peace. A product of an increasingly assertive German worker’s movement in the 1860s. That portion of the leadership cohort who escaped or survived persecution returned scarred by their experience and convinced that they needed to build a new kind of party. “promised the lasting basis of the labor movement’s acceptance into the nation. 2002). When the future Nazi propaganda chief Josef Goebbels attacked the Social Democrats in parliament 2 Geoff Eley. The Social Democrats had powerful enemies on the Left and Right. but emerged after the war as a cornerstone of the fragile edifice that was the Weimar Republic. Two years before the outbreak of war in 1914. Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe. SPD leaders and many of the rank-and-file gave their more or less enthusiastic support for the war. . the SPD won a resounding victory in the Reichstag elections. 1850–2000 (New York: Oxford University Press. Now the largest party in parliament. Instead. The war.

and London. Der schwierige Deutsche. Now armed with quasi-legality. his health never recovered. the net closed around him. Part of its core leadership fled into exile. Sopade leaders like future party chief Erich Ollenhauer returned from London. The one-armed firebrand told the audience that Nazism had “for the first time in German politics achieved the total mobiliza- tion of human idiocy. Not long thereafter. the party now fell into eclipse. an academic and later one of the party’s most eloquent speakers on rearmament. squads of para- military Brownshirts joined with law enforcement to incarcerate. 164. did not have to come as far. tor- ture. Eine Biographie (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt. Schumacher emerged from the war with the certainties of a clearly anti-Nazi resume that gave him immediate legitimacy after the German collapse. 191. their “Reports from Germany” helped to keep the outside world informed on the progress of the war from within Fortress Europe. his will proved indomitable. He remained an active opponent of the new regime. Along the way. The Social Democrats in exile (Sopade) made its home successively in Prague. 4 Merseberger. .”3 The SPD quickly found itself on the defensive after Hitler’s 1933 assumption of power. he encountered an energetic young war veteran named Kurt Schumacher. 1995).58 adam seipp in 1931. Having failed to mount a challenge to the Nazi ascendancy. Schumacher spent virtually the entire length of the 12-year Reich in concentration camps like Flossenbürg and Dachau. Now free. and sometimes murder leftists of all stripes. Schumacher led hunger strikes that shrank his frame to less than 100 pounds. He had spent the war serving as legal advisor with 3 Peter Merseberger. who would go on to be one of the most successful Social Democrats of the post-war period.4 British troops liberated him and the other inmates of the Neuengamme camp in 1945. Kurt Schumacher had no intention of fleeing. including a tough and ambitious German-born naturalized Norwegian named Willy Brandt. While his body was failing. Carlo Schmid. Schumacher quickly reformed the SPD in the British and American zones of occupation. Just 50 years old. Others trickled back from their places of exile. Der schwierige Deutsche: Kurt Schumacher. During the summer of 1933. a journey made grim- mer by the relentless march of the German war machine. Just as persistent inside the camps as outside. 120. Paris. Now freed from captivity.

he argued. while the SPD wanted only “to alleviate the political and social crises facing the working masses of Germany. The SPD’s antimilitary attitude also drew from a strong popular aversion to the threat of another war. Nazism was. The KPD. Archiv der Sozialen Demokratie [hereafter AsdD]. The SPD intended to resume its status as a national working-class- based party.fes. 6 “Der Weg in die Zukunft. If they wish to do anything. My thanks to Jason Smith for helping me find some of the source material cited herein.” Referentenmaterial der SPD Karlsruhe. Bonn. Both needed to be neutralized if Germany had any hope of restoring itself to the community of nations. in the minds of the party’s leaders. a goal that required it to shed much of the baggage of its recent past. August 1945). Lutheran pacifism also spoke to the historic divisions 5 See the pamphlet “Politische Richtlinien für die SPD in ihrem Verhältnis zu den anderen politische Faktoren” (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Given the post-war ascendancy of Catholic politicians like Adenauer. a new political party began to emerge. During a period of writing and travel- ling as he brought the party back together. From this group and their very different wartime experiences. Conservative Protestants like Martin Niemöller became the public face of pacifism and war guilt. they should be in the front rank cleaning up the rubble in which they have left the people of Germany. closely linked with the Prusso-German military tradition. http://www. Schumacher real- ized that any ambiguity toward communism would cost votes in future elections in the western zones. .de/archiv/adsd_neu/ index. December 1945. or at least persecution. Opposition to the use of armed force had broad appeal across the political spectrum. which dove- tailed with its Marxist orientation to produce a strong moral and polit- ical opposition to war and military institutions.htm.”5 The post-war SPD had a strong pacifist component. under the Nazis. The new SPD intended to learn from its mistakes. this argu- ment carried a good deal of weight.”6 As a party with a relatively consistent record of opposition. “Nazis and militarists can no longer play a role in Germany. Schumacher drafted clear guidelines intended to demonstrate the SPD’s commitment to national unity and to draw sharp distinctions between themselves and the Communist Party (KPD). served one of the vic- torious allies. a reasonable “yes” 59 German occupation forces in France. As an SPD pam- phlet published in Karlsruhe argued in 1945.

1984).60 adam seipp within German politics. the occu- pation regimes played an outsized role in the shaping politics. which acknowledged German responsibility for the Nazi war of aggression. so much so that 7 Quoted in James Bentley. Schumacher was not naturally inclined toward the rejectionists. thousands of posters and voices repeated. He preferred to see military ques- tions within the framework of the larger issue of the future shape of a German state.”7 Among the SPD’s core sup- porters in organized labor. they explicitly restricted “Nazi. ed. militaristic. While German parties in the east and west rushed to reform. it would be “ohne mich” (without me). 8 Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) 1067. . Niemöller publicly suggested that “the rearmament in Germany pending the present state of division cannot amount but to suicide. Like Schumacher.”8 While military officials readily used this prohibition against fringe par- ties or even local branches of the CDU. 1955). 211. Documents of Germany Under Occupation. and ensuring that radicals on the Left and Right had no place at the table. Reprinted in Beate Ruhm von Oppen. Martin Niemöller (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 19. they adopted a leftist nationalism that looked at times not unlike the right-wing variant. SPD leaders roundly criticized the occupation regimes. the SPD found itself regularly scrutinized for its nationalist activities. While the Allies agreed before the end of the war that Germans should have political parties. However. Niemöller and other prominent Lutheran leaders issued the Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt (Stuttgarter Schuldbekenntnis). political parties were tightly reg- ulated within and between occupation zones. If war came again. In 1950. or pan-German doctrines. the internal politics in the Western zones developed simul- taneously with the changing and varied policies of the occupying Allies. maintaining order. To that end. Having rejected communism. April 1945. 1945–1954 (London: Oxford University Press. they realized that talk of rearmament might harm efforts toward reunification. The issue of rearmament could wait until a successful resolution of the larger challenges came into view. the message came across with stark simplic- ity. Niemöller and other conservative Protestants such as Gustav Heinemann were not only ideologically opposed to war. For the Americans. priorities included rebuilding the devastated economy. In 1945. reacting to rumors of negotia- tions over the future shape of a West German army. Schumacher and the SPD began making nuisances of themselves very quickly.

having risen through Rhineland politics to become mayor of Cologne in 1917. The conflict between the CDU and SPD shaped the founding years of West Germany. the Volkspolizei looked increasingly like an army in all but name. a reasonable “yes” 61 the French all but banned Schumacher from their zone until 1949. had to wait until fundamental questions of boundaries could be settled. 114.9 In eastern Germany. seemed to belie Soviet claims about their peaceful intentions in the region. Schumacher’s intransigence also put him at odds with the other great figure to emerge from the war. not least because of their fierce disagreements on issues of national sovereignty and national security. The Soviets were also not nearly as concerned about arming Germans in their zone. including those centered on rearmament. Adenauer came from another political generation. Two experiences. He spent the years of the Third Reich in retirement. They clumsily compelled the union of the SPD in the east with the KPD in April 1946. For Schumacher. influenced the party’s thinking about a future German role in any defense com- munity. As early as 1945. For the SPD. 1995). the Soviets began a de facto remilitari- zation of their zone of occupation through the creation of a “People’s Police” (Volkspolizei). Politics After Hitler: The Western Allies and the German Party System (New York: New York University Press. this gave the western SPD’s opponents a valuable weapon that could be used to ques- tion the loyalty of Social Democrats anywhere. Despite Schumacher’s angry protestations. forming the Socialist Unity Party (SED) that dominated the GDR until its dissolution. . while the Soviets seized a small portion around Königsberg (Kaliningrad) for itself. By the end of 1948. Following the war. all questions about the future role of a German state within post-war Europe. The new boundary along the lines of the Oder 9 Daniel Rogers. Konrad Adenauer of the CDU. The curious formation of the party system in West Germany began with these varied and sometimes contradictory responses by the Allies. which grew increas- ingly well armed and sophisticated. partition and division. the Allies awarded large tracts of eastern Germany to Poland. avoiding politics as much as possible. the Soviet occupation regime pursued a course that had serious implications for the SPD in the west. These armed formations. the most important consideration in the wake of the war remained the uncertain geographic position of Germany within central Europe.

The SPD under Schumacher expressed keen interest in peaceful reunification. AsdD. “Social Democracy cannot put forth a nationalist and isolated Germany. Bonn.” suggested a party brochure in 1947. was a foregone conclusion. Could the transferred territories play a role in a future diplomatic settlement? How could politicians in the west manage the strident demands of mil- lions of Germans expellees (Heimatvertriebene) from the east? Since the FRG saw itself as the legitimate heir to pre-Nazi Germany. Die Entstehung der Oder-Neisse-Linie als Nebenprodukt alliierter Grossmachtpolitik während des Zweiten Weltkrieges (Frankfurt: Peter Lang. the heart of old Prussia ceased to be German. Grudgingly. his childhood home now fell outside the new borders of Germany.” The east.”11 In 1948. reflecting the con- tradictory and competing impulses within the party. “Forging the unity of the Reich (Reichseinheit) must stand above the petty politics of the states.62 adam seipp and Neisse rivers divided Poland from the Soviet zone of Germany. A new conception of the state needed to emerge. 1947. It can only imag- ine Germany as part of Europe. suggested the pamphlet. While Adenauer was a man of the west. 1995). a council representing the states (Länder) met at the palace of Herrenchiemsee in Bavaria to draft a founding document for the new western state. As ethnic Germans fled or were expelled from this belt of territory. Both of which. The SPD under Schumacher made German unity the lodestar of its political vision. The SPD set itself against the federalism of the right and the distinct policies of the occupiers. “that is not at the same time a European problem.” This appeal was both nationalist and cosmopolitan. they argued. 11 Pamphlet “Was will die Sozialdemokratie?” (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. his SPD opposite number had his feet firmly planted in the east. Any serious discussion of rearmament might scupper meaningful dialog on inter-German questions. made it less likely that Germany would ever recover from the war. Germany cannot be a pariah. even those 10 Carsten Lilge. but an equal. at the urging of the Allies. As a West Prussian. “There is no German prob- lem. such questions were far from academic. Germany could only be a constructive part of European reconstruction if it acted as a unified state. could it have a voice on a boundary issue that technically did not touch on its territory? For Schumacher. .10 This raised both diplo- matic and personal problems for German political leaders.

Second was a reflection of the genuinely pacifist sentiment among many of the party’s rank-and- file. They gained 29. the CDU threw itself behind the efforts of France and its Foreign Minister Robert Schuman to build a partnership 12 http://www. would work with Adenauer. not far below the 31 per cent of the CDU and its sister party. The SPD and CDU clashed over the question of whether this new semi-sovereign German state could posses an army of its own. Finally. but they could not afford to ignore it. a reasonable “yes” 63 who feared that such a move would guarantee the permanence of the post-war division acceded to the meetings. In the Spring of 1950. collided at the meeting. the final document reflected a compromise between the two. Schumacher ran for President but was defeated by the Free Democrat Theodor Heuss.pdf . First and most important was the leadership’s fixation on reunification and their fear that any diplomatic or military initiatives would only harden the post-war division. Because of the looming partition and the hope of eventual reunification. “especially preparation for aggressive war. the SPD retained much of its historic class- based rhetoric and remained committed to attacking the pro-business climate of Adenauer’s West Germany. The framers of the Grundgesetz faced a whole host of legal and lin- guistic obstacles. Article 26 forbid acts threatening to peace. The SPD’s continued focus on oppositional class- based politics all but ensured that other middle-class parties. The leadership might not have shared this view. the framers agreed that they would negotiate a temporary “Basic Law” (Grundgesetz) in place of a constitution. these issues were often intertwined. such as the Free Democrats and the German Party. the CDU and the SPD. During the Federal Republic’s first decade.2 per cent of the vote.bundestag.”12 This ambiguity in the Grundgesetz threw the question of a future security role back to the voters. The party’s efforts to stop Adenauer must be understood in the context of three factors. The two years after the drafting the Grundgesetz saw the sharpening of SPD opposition to Adenauer’s European and security policy. The election of August 1949 brought the SPD tantalizingly close to a leadership role but also consigned it to more than a decade in the wilderness. The visions of the two largest parties of the post-war Caught between radically different visions of the potential future role of a military. the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU).

2005). Schumacher wrote in the Hamburger Echo.”14 The ratification of the treaty was a triumph for Adenauer. 806. 2004). who had been born in then-German-occupied Lorraine in 1886. the Bundestag put its stamp on the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and West German integration into the increasingly borderless markets of western Europe began in earnest. 64. Schuman. but materially impossible. the SPD failed to block Adenauer’s relentless drive west- ward. By early 1952. His plan for joint Franco- German administration of coal and steel resources offered to resolve one of the proximate causes of antagonism between the two countries. Charles Williams. Adenauer: The Father of the New Germany (New York: Wiley. “It is the continuation of traditional French claims to dominance phrased in European terms. Albrecht. Schumacher never sounded as nationalistic as when he attacked the plan put forward by Schuman. On economic issues. . 377–79.”13 Ultimately. 14 Quoted in John McCormick. Schuman’s proposal offered legitimacy and tangible proof of the Federal Republic’s good intentions. who hoped to add structure to his western vision.64 adam seipp across their recently militarized frontier. For the SPD. The Social Democrats mobilized in opposition. these agreements weakened the Federal Republic’s chances of favorably resolving either the ambig- uous position of the Saarland or the more vexing problems of Germany’s eastern borders. 13 John Lewis Gadds. Franco-German armed conflict was now “not merely unthinkable. Schuman sold the ECSC on the promise of a safer and more prosper- ous tomorrow. the Christian Democratic consensus that evolved across the region in post-war period proved too powerful for the Social Democrats to check. was little more than Louis XIV under a new guise. The Cold War: A New History (New York: Penguin. The plan. 2000). For Adenauer. but again found themselves in a position of weakness. and the network of Catholic conservatives who now dominated western Europe. The European Union: Politics and Policies (Cambridge: Westview. At the same time. 105. The deteriorating security situation and an internal leadership change combined to change the face of the debate and led eventually to both a political victory for the government and the transformation of the SPD from within. discussions began between Adenauer and Allies about the possibility of a West German contribution to the evolving western military presence in Europe. Kurt Schumacher.

Berlin’s future SPD mayor Ernst Reuter.” When he won a resounding victory in municipal elections a few weeks later. 15 Wochenbericht. Such anxieties decreased markedly with the end of the blockade and the march toward limited sovereignty. The American Resident Officer in the Franconian district of Hammelburg saw these fears reflected in a weekly report. Landesratsamt Hammelburg. an avid reunification advocate and opponent of rearmament. By June 1949. In Fall 1948. Events on the other side of the world further weakened the “ohne mich” idea. Reuter. The captions ‘the Electrifying Victories of the North Koreans’ reminds the Germans of similar headlines from a bygone age. In June 1950. someone would have to defend western Germany. Clearly. Berlin. Even taking into account the biases of the conservative bureaucrat collating these reports. People living along Europe’s fault lines saw a frightening vision of the future. also happened to be the “reddest” place in the western zones. a fact starkly highlighted in public surveys at the time. demanded that the world “look upon this city. 1950. Korea looked like a template for a Red Army victory in cen- tral Europe. what emerges is a profoundly uneasy community uncomfort- ably close to the probable main line of attack. 2399. on political opinion in the district. Staatsarchiv Würzburg. gave one of the most impor- tant speeches of the post-war period. the symbol of Europe’s Cold War divi- sion. the party took responsibility for one of the most strategically significant flashpoints in Europe. a reasonable “yes” 65 As a party. 24 per cent of respondents indi- cated that they feared an internal or external military threat from the communism. Facing a Soviet blockade. Questions remained as to whether the Germans themselves would play a role in that defense. Particularly in the first days of the war. Developments in Korea strongly influenced public opinion in West Germany. “The concern that the Korea model could have an impact on West Germany continues to be strong. North Korean troops poured across the bor- der into their southern neighbor. the SPD was already familiar with the dangers of living close to the Iron Curtain. July 28.”15 Germans in 1950 were just five years removed from a devastating war and the experience of defeat and ruin. In 1948. during the Berlin blockade. assembled for him by the Landrat. . who ironically joined the Red Army while a POW in Russia during World War I.

Public opinion generally opposed any move toward the creation of an independent military. 1992). In December 1949. Merritt and Richard L. it was either a somewhat desperate attempt to undermine U. 17 Willy Brandt. Merritt.16 For the SPD. His position on rearmament was scarcely less tentative.”17 In Spring 1952. with 29 per cent in favor. The war in Korea provoked a tremendous amount of anxiety that at least made such proposals more imaginable. 62 per cent of respondents opposed rearmament. Schumacher embraced the 16 Anna J. For many. 310. “I was not guided in this by the pacifist dreams of my early youth … Some of us [Social Democrats] had learnt that you must be able to handle armed force if you don’t want it to han- dle you. opposition fell to 45 per cent and sup- port rose to 43 per cent. 1949–1955 (Urbana: University Of Illinois Press. Making matters more complicated. Shortly after the outbreak of war in Asia. He favored a limited remilitarization focused on mirroring the develop- ment of the GDR’s Volkspolizei.66 adam seipp this number slipped to 16 per cent. In anxious times. eds. As the center-right moved more or less comfortably into a policy of orientation toward the West. including Adenauer. . A younger generation of Social Democrats grew frustrated with the impasse of the early 1950s. and the debate came to center on the circumstances under which rearmament would happen rather than on the question of whether it would.” Support grew among the popula- tion if a German military could be integrated into a larger Western alliance. My Life in Politics (New York: Viking. 1980). continued opposition to defense fell increasingly outside of the main- stream of political opinion. 1970). total opposition to rearmament grew increasingly marginal. most of those opposed to rearmament agreed that “West Germany could not be defended without German help. their oppo- nents on the left faced electoral oblivion if they could not find a reason- able way to challenge the emerging Adenauer consensus. Public Opinion in Occupied Germany: The OMGUS Surveys. this anxiety posed large problems. 20. 1945–1949 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press.S. 146. security commitments in the region and undo NATO or an insin- cere ploy designed to test western resolve. In short. the continuing uncertainty over the future map of central Europe deepened with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s public note offering to consider a unified neutral Germany. Willy Brandt later wrote with frustration that the FRG created a “straightjacket for itself ” during this period.. Public Opinion in Semisovereign Germany: The Hicog Surveys. however.

and for the increasing number of Germans who feared communist intentions in central Europe. who had previously opposed rearmament. the problem only worsened as it became clear that some form of rearmament was all but inevitable and that it would not happen under international administration. . the SPD found itself forced to play a constructive role in the long and tortured debates over rearmament. With little chance of halting the creation of a German armed force dur- ing the debates over the European Defense Community (EDC). Kurt Schumacher died. The Paris Accords debate culminated in a January 1955 meeting at the Paulskirche in Frankfurt. SPD parliamentarians urged. and the question of German unity together in a single package. urging the Chancellor to “quickly call a Four-Power confer- ence as a first step toward a free election for the whole of Germany. now sought to shape the likely out- come into a form they found acceptable rather than reject it completely and face defeat. the creation of structures and rules that assured the rights of soldiers and constitutional protec- tions for those in uniform. SPD leaders such as Carlo Schmid. Schumacher’s vision of a German future was not to be. 963. it pointedly did not include the territory ceded to Poland at the end of the war. a reasonable “yes” 67 possibility. Even assuming the sincerity of Stalin’s offer.”18 Effectively. This began a shift leftward in which the ruthless pragmatism of Schumacher gave way to a more pas- sionate objection to rearmament. The church. After the collapse of the EDC in 1954. Kurt Schumacher. 19 David Clay Large. Adenauer’s western orientation. the summary rejection of the note represented a last oppor- tunity to tie rearmament. Germans to the Front: West German Rearmament in the Adenauer Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. this transition boded poorly for the SPD’s political prospects. The negotiations over the Paris Accords in 1955 brought the tensions within the party out into the open as the more radical wing began a public campaign against ratification. In August 1952. resonant with the history of 18 Albrecht. often successfully. Confined to the opposition. 228. For reformers within the party who yearned for electoral victories. Party leadership passed to his reliable deputy Erich Ollenhauer. 1996).19 The party under Ollenhauer retained its commitment to a negoti- ated reunification of divided Germany but also still lacked the power to force a deviation from Adenauer’s focus on integration with the West.

The Göttingen Manifesto of April 1957 reflected the deep ambivalence of many in the region about the dangers of “tactical” atomic weapons. proved to be a last-ditch effort to block a treaty whose passage was all but certain. The “German Manifesto” passed by the Frankfurt delegates urged only the continuation of talks on reunification as a pre- condition for rearmament. their advocacy had important repercussions in shaping the political culture of the republic. Germans from across the political spectrum began to question an evolving NATO strategy that placed them squarely in the crosshairs of a future conflict. not least of which was the growing self- assuredness of a new generation of activists who took to the streets in the late 1960s and early 1970s. “We demand of the Bundestag and Federal government not to participate in the nuclear arms race. This was probably most clear in the area of nuclear weapons. there were still areas in which Social Democrats could draw upon popular support to criti- cize the government’s defense policy. While the Bundestag ratified the agreement shortly thereafter.” This grassroots move- ment left important legacies. Extra-parliamentary opposition seemed to offer a better forum to make their case. Particularly for the SPD’s supporters in organized labor.”20 The SPD and its organized labor constituency played an important organizing role in the vocal Campaign to Stop Atomic Death (Kampf dem Atomtod).” proclaimed the campaign’s 1958 manifesto. If the Social Democrats proved unable to stop rearmament. April 12. “and instead to support an atomic-weapon free zone in Europe as a contribution to the relaxation of tensions. “we believe that the best way to protect ourselves and pro- mote world peace is to voluntarily give up nuclear weapons. If the question of rearmament seemed settled. the Paulskirche meeting set an important precedent.” wrote 18 leading German nuclear scientists. 1957. The SPD’s troubled and ultimately failed opposition to rearmament arguably had its most durable impact in the 20 Göttinger Erklärung. . After the introduction of nuclear-capable weapons to West Germany in 1953. efforts to find parliamentary solu- tions continued to fail against the government’s electoral strength. “For a country as small as the Federal Republic.68 adam seipp the 1848 disturbances and the abortive National Assembly that met there. The campaign drew from earlier SPD positions on national unity and the need to demilitarize east-west conflict.

a reasonable “yes” 69 creation of the New Left more than a decade after the Bundeswehr debates. lay at the heart of the Godesberg Program.”22 The party’s ideological reorientation yielded rapid results. 11. 1959. rearmament did as much to transform the SPD as the party did to try and influence the debate itself. The prize that had eluded the Social Democrats of 21 Mark Cioc. Pax Atomica: Nuclear Defense Debate in West Germany During the Adenauer Era (New York: Columbia University Press. 22 Grundsatzprogramm der Sozialdemokratischen Partei Deutschlands. As a central facet of a whole range of political disagreements during the first decade of the Federal Republic. ed. In Fall 1969. With a rising new generation of politicians. An Extraordinary Party Congress at Bad Godesberg in 1959 pro- vided the reformers a platform. 210–54. Decentering America (New York: Berghahn. 119.” the new party program made great efforts to showcase a commitment to responsible national defense. the SPD looked to shed its class-party image. Provided that democratic controls remained in place. . that the armed forces be used only for national defense and that soldiers continued to be treated as citizens. the party emerged from its re-foundation struggles faced with the enormous task of dem- onstrating its fitness to govern. Delegates overwhelmingly approved a program free of the overtly socialist language of the party’s past. the program bluntly asserted that “the Social Democrats sup- port national defense. the SPD significantly extended its electoral mandate. By the mid-1960s. 2007). While continuing to affirm the party’s desire to see the “banning of implements of mass destruction under international law. After another disappointing election in 1957.21 The story of the SPD and the rearmament debate did not end with the founding of the Bundeswehr. 1988). Willy Brandt assumed leadership of the party after Ollenhauer’s death in 1963. See also Holger Nehring. Brandt became Chancellor. “Americanized Protests? The British and West German Protests Against Nuclear Weapons and the Pacifist Roots of the West German New Left. coming back to govern- ment for the first time since the Weimar Republic. 1957–64. National defense.” in Jessica C. which saw the CDU/CSU gain a slim but absolute majority in parliament.E. and with it a commitment to institution building. including Brandt and future German President Johannes Rau. it became clear that the SPD had to change course. In 1966. they joined a Grand Coalition. Gienow-Hecht. By the late 1950s.

But the SPD’s role in the rearmament debate had an importance far beyond the party’s internal divisions. While there was widespread consensus within the party over the need for peaceful reunification. The political titans of the post-war period and their successors created West German politics and shaped political culture in the republic in large part over the ques- tion of the future of national security. the western orienta- tion of the CDU and the left nationalism of the SPD intertwined to create the conditions under which West Germany emerged as a part- ner in the Western Alliance. the party embraced Schumacher’s “reason- able yes” as a reflection of the difficult and dangerous circumstances facing West Germany in the early Cold War. By reinventing itself after the war. they rarely held leadership positions. In the decade after the Second World War. this masked much more important splits between pragmatists and ideologues that kept the party confined to the opposition during the long Adenauer years. during which democracy collapsed under the weight of its own structural dysfunction. More important. proved to be perhaps the most contentious issue in the political life of the new Federal Republic. While the parties diverged on many of the specific issues under consideration. While pacifists played an important role in the party. the SPD in West Germany learned to be a mass party in large part through debates over the future role of Germany in Europe. the FRG proved durable under a small constellation of parties defined in large part by their stance on national security. and many of the party’s leaders who held anti-rearmament positions eventually softened them in the face of political reality. the SPD created a durable role for itself within the West German party system and helped to foster the remarkable success of a parliamentary democracy born out of the horrors of Nazism and defeat. . then proving flexible during the early Cold War. In the end. The rearmament of West Germany.70 adam seipp the post-war period now fell to a new generation. Unlike the Weimar period. The SPD now faced the task of governing a country entrenched in the Western alliance. the SPD’s role in the opposition helped to facilitate a new style of politics in the new repub- lic. while simultaneously trying to reach out to Eastern Europe and bridge the chasm left by the end of the Second World War. Adenauer and Schumacher held positions on this issue that irrevocably marked the ideologies and identities of the parties that they founded. coming so soon on the heels of the catastrophic defeat of the German armed forces in the Second World War.



during World War I. At the end of World War II. France sought security in the form of alliances against the perennial foe. Even with France administering the vital mineral deposits of the 1 Quoted in Edward Fursdon. some French politicians also came to understand that Europe could not recover economically without German involve- ment. France won. In the wake of this Pyrrhic victory. wounded. in March 1947. explicitly intended to establish “mutual assistance in the event of any renewal of German aggression. and the French Communist Party at home forced the constantly changing governments of the Fourth Republic to recognize that Germany might not be the only threat to French secu- rity. growing friction with the Soviet Union. the Viet Minh in Indochina. but only with the help of major allies and at the ruinous cost of 5. the French discovered that without major allies they were too weak to prevent German resurgence. Twice. The third time. . The European Defence Community: A History (London: Macmillan Press. 29. House Reviving Germany: The Schuman Plan Germany invaded France three times between 1870 and 1940.”1 One year later. no French official expected that situation to endure. therefore.4 mil- lion Frenchmen killed. the agree- ment established the Western Union (later the Western European Union or WEU) with the rudiments of an integrated command struc- ture to coordinate defense. the Germans conquered. More practically. As time passed. London and Paris joined with the three low-country governments in the Brussels Treaty. France and Britain concluded the Dunkirk Treaty. which again provided for collective defense against Germany. THE EUROPEAN DEFENSE COMMUNITY Jonathan M. During the later 1940s. To this end. Charles de Gaulle had traveled to Moscow in December 1944 to sign a long-term anti-German alliance with Joseph Stalin. and missing. Despite his life-long opposition to communism. occupying northern France and extorting extensive reparations. Even though Germany was momentarily prostrate. 1980).

Whenever a major issue arose. Only the various socialist and moderate parties were willing to make significant compromises to re-integrate Germany into Europe. However.” Comparative Politics 2. France wanted to halt any Soviet aggres- sion as far to the east as possible. . 2063–228. aggression. was not part of the new alliance. Right-wing parties were generally strongest in their advocacy of French power and German weakness. the French reluctantly accepted British and American plans to restart the West German economy. Western military planners estimated that defending Germany would require up to 54 divisions. which embraced a broad political spectrum in its goal of a revised constitution. The Berlin Blockade of 1948–49 reinforced the specter of Soviet. but the emerging Federal Republic of Germany.2 (January 1970). Politically and economically. and American occupa- tion zones. was equally skeptical about a revived Germany. because the French popular vote was divided among so many political parties. therefore. Geographically. no party was completely unified about the German issue. but in 1949 the three occupying powers had fewer than ten divisions to do the job. In 1947–48. rather than German. The Fourth French Republic was an inherently unstable structure. in the immediate post-war era. Among these parties was the Popular Republican Movement (Mouvement Républicain Populaire). large and small. “The European Defense Community in the French National Assembly: A Roll Call Analysis. France cooperated in countering this blockade and signed the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949. house Saar region. a strong supporter of European integration. formed from the French.2 Yet. Charles de Gaulle’s Rally of the French People. British.74 jonathan m. even politicians who favored eco- nomic integration were unwilling to discuss the possibility of German rearmament. building a realistic deterrent required much more than mere treaties. 2 See Arnold Kanter. Except for the communists. who followed Moscow’s line against any rejuvenated Germany. the new alliance could not field sufficient forces to defend this glacis. that issue could well fracture the coalition and re-align the parties into another cabinet. that every cabinet was of necessity a coalition of conflicting viewpoints. Europe in general and France in particular could flourish economically only with German industrial participation. the party of Robert Schuman. nor were the British and Americans obligated to defend that territory as part of NATO.

West Germany. Memoirs. which became the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951. The chancellor of the new Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). N. the Netherlands. Common Assembly. returning only at a much later stage of the war. however unpalatable. Monnet never held elected office in France. but it was certainly the simpler aspect of the problem. Jr. by administering heavy industry internationally. He was the first president of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and a life- long advocate of European unification.S. Wells. in Olav Riste. the european defense community 75 The U. had considered the nation state to be outmoded and had instead advocated a supranational economic organization to create an efficient. multi-national Europe. and his views on integration were far more liberal than those of de Gaulle. The only solution to this problem. and Court of Justice. Richard Mayne (Garden City..4 This so-called Schuman Plan. In April 1949. for example. would permit the partici- pants—France. Luxemburg. 1985). 298. had the equivalent of two divisions (one infantry division plus three light armored regiments of the Constabulary) with two fighter-bomber groups. Although he had been de Gaulle’s economic recovery head immediately after World War II. This left the Europeans on their own. 4 Quoted in Jean Monnet. Integrating the German economy was by no means easy. was to tap the economic and military resources of West Germany. League of Nations official. 3 Samuel F. 186. during the two World Wars. deal with their rebellious colonies. The depleted states of western Europe could not simultaneously rebuild their economies. American planning for a possi- ble conflict with the Soviet Union assumed that its occupation troops would have to evacuate the continent. and field enough troops to deter a Soviet advance. seeking to accelerate European economic recov- ery and reduce friction among potential allies and aid recipients. and New York: Columbia University Press.: Doubleday..3 Secretly. and Italy—to cooperate economically by establishing a High Authority.. For decades. Secretary of State Dean Acheson and other American diplomats encouraged the idea. . and arms purchaser working in the U. and steel production. ed. Monnet (1888–1979) spent much of his life outside of France as a businessman. iron. the par- ticipants hoped to prevent Germany from secretly manufacturing arms. Monnet proposed to then-Foreign Minister Robert Schuman a plan for multi-national supervision of coal. 1978). Council of Ministers. At the same time. Belgium. He originated both the Schuman Plan for economic inte- gration and the Pleven Plan that led to the European Defense Community (EDC). trans. a number of politicians. Western Security: The Formative Years (Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.S. most notably Jean Monnet of France.Y.

. house Konrad Adenauer. reducing a major issue in Franco-German relations. 1966). Rearming Germany: The Pleven Plan The problem of German military participation in the Western alliance remained. Instead. therefore. there was too much opposition (and German reluctance) to resolve the issue.. argued to the Truman Administration that the initial defeats in Korea had caused Europeans to doubt the validity of American deterrence in Europe. Paradoxically. Bohlen. produced a series of memo- randa for Adenauer on the problem of West German defense. Western Security. ed. Charles E. Memoirs 1945–53. however. Speidel recognized that neither the West Germans themselves nor the govern- ments of the Western Powers were prepared to rearm Germany at that time. embraced Monnet’s concept. 299–304.5 Adenauer had little desire to recreate an autonomous German Army. while the possibility of German troops was openly discussed in 1949–50. written in the spring of that year. 1947–1950. Initially. trans. For the Truman Administration. he argued that the Western Powers needed to create a more effective defense of Germany in their own self-interest. The outbreak of the Korean conflict in June 1950 brought a new sense of urgency to the defense of western Europe. which foresaw a prolonged confrontation with a Soviet Union intent on dominating the Eurasian land mass. not least because it placed the resources of the Saar under supranational control. the chan- cellor asked the occupation authorities to sanction only a Federal police force for internal security. an American expert on the Soviet Union. this conflict reinforced the recommendations of National Security Document 68 (NSC-68). fearing a resurgence of militarism. “The Defence of Western Europe and the Rearmament of West Germany. Beginning in mid-1948.” in Riste. the war in Korea motivated Harry Truman to deploy more troops to Europe and to provide more military aid to allies 5 Christian Greiner. 162–70. but Adenauer opposed either an autonomous Federal Army or the service of West Germans in other armies..76 jonathan m. Beate Ruhm von Oppen (Chicago: Henry Regnery Co. On 13 July 1950. a former Wehrmacht officer. therefore. Lieutenant General Hans Speidel. Adenauer’s concerns about rearmament are expressed in his own account. Thus. The constitution of the FRG did envision German participation in some form of collective defense agreement.

as well as a combined Belgian/Luxembourg battalion. 36–46. Germany and NATO (Washington. many of these troops had previously fought alongside the Americans. 187–88.: National Defense University Press.. The Soviet Union (Washington. 4: Central and Eastern Europe.-controlled United Nations Command (UNC) in Korea became a test bed for multinational military forces. 1987). which was itself over-extended by various defense com- mitments. 1950. inte- grated under American division and regimental commanders.S. Greece. Jr.. D. As a practical matter. Department of State. vol.S. Reed. Indeed. the european defense community 77 both on that continent and in the ongoing counter-insurgencies in British Malaya and French Indo-China. 8 U. 1980). History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. 684–95. Although Britain and its Commonwealth eventually fielded a com- plete division between them. however. see Doris M. most of the national contributions to the UNC were in the form of battalions of perhaps 1. see also John A.8 Adenauer still wanted to avoid a resurgent German Army.C. The Test of War: 1950–1953 (Washington.S. esp. ed. but saw German contributions to Western defense as a key means to regain sovereignty and international status. The Test of War. Adenauer reluctantly concluded that some form of German rearmament might be necessary. The North Korean example sug- gested that the Soviet Union might use the paramilitary East German “Alert Police” as a surrogate to seize West Germany while denying Soviet responsibility for the invasion.C. vol. the Truman Administration had begun to increase the American garrison of Germany to five divisions. response to Korea.C. 55–65. On Adenauer’s role and the politics of German rearmament. Western Security.6 More practically. By the fall of 1950. the U.S. see Riste. and the UNC simplified logistics by insisting that all non-Commonwealth contingents use American weap- ons and equipment. 55–65. D. Condit. 7 Condit. and the Netherlands.5 billion dollars in additional defense aid to the Europeans. 6–10. The British government. On Bohlen. D.: Office of the Secretary of Defense. 2. 1988). .: Department of State. should arm and train local allies wherever possible in order to limit its own military commit- ments. the kind of protracted struggle foreseen by NSC-68 argued that the U. 6 On NSC-68 and the U. while earmarking 3.7 The Korean conflict was equally significant to the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany. encouraged Adenauer in this idea.000 men each. Foreign Relations of the United States. Among these contributions were battalions from France.

would maxi- mize the use of all available resources.000 by 1952. move to create six German divisions. it was no surprise that Monnet should quietly suggest to Pleven that France use the model of the Schuman Plan to create a pan- European army. under international control. .78 jonathan m. an expansion of the French Army from five to 20 divisions. 10 Monnet. the author of a multi-national solution to the German issue was Pleven’s former mentor. Pleven had promised the U. For American efforts to convince the French in the fall of 1950. vol. 1950.S. French. Premier René Pleven hosted a meeting of the WEU defense ministers at Fontainebleau. René Pleven: Un Francais libre et politique (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes. At the same time. the cream of the French army.000 to 642. offering the French safe- guards against German aggression while emphasizing the Soviet threat.”10 Thus. Monnet. 206–07.9 Once again. On 20 July 1950. D. This situation not only made it difficult to provide cadres and training for the army at home but also raised the possibility that a resurrected German Army might rapidly become too strong for the homeland security of France. all seeking to increase their defense forces without sacrificing their economies. and British officials met in New York City that September. Monnet had worked to integrate the economies of Britain.S. including those of West Germany. France. but the Pleven government continued to resist. Within a month. had attempted to create a union of the British and French states.C. Thus. Memoirs. As Monnet later remarked. including their armed forces. although he sought additional aid for rearmament. 1383–1424. This army. however. with Pleven’s assistance. Jean Monnet. see Foreign Relations of the United States. it is no good dealing separately with the various interests that determine their future. and the United States. 1994). “when peoples are threatened by the same danger. Defense Secretary Marshall and other officials followed up in private discussions. was engaged in an open-ended struggle in Indo-China. In both world wars. 3: Western Europe (Washington. 35. without permitting the Germans to have independent major units or a 9 Christian Bougeard. Foreign Minister Shuman resisted a U. He made good on that promise by persuading the French Assembly to increase the length of conscripted service from 12 to 18 months. when France was on the verge of collapse in front of the German Blitzkrieg. 1977). when American.: Department of State. house France was trapped by the logic of the situation. During May and June 1940. including thousands of its best commissioned and non-commissioned officers. This meant that the French Army in Europe would grow from 580.

No German government could honorably accept the plan as written. the U. Such a plan meant that there would be no separate German headquarters. Meanwhile. 1969).11 The French Assembly endorsed the basic concept of the Pleven Plan but also voted another motion explicitly disapproving the creation of a separate German Army or general staff.12 Thus. 13 Fursdon. Ohio.. the Council would follow a dual track. “John Foster Dulles and the European Defense Community” (Ph. discussing future defense arrangements with the FRG while taking official notice of the French intent to call a conference concerning a European Army. the high commissioners of the British. the largest purely German unit would be a battalion of 1. This plan envisioned a European army under a European defense minister. Spofford. but only at the “smallest possible unit” level. Charles M. American. answerable to the kind of supranational body being developed at that time to control the ECSC.. from the very begin- ning. In December 1950. 208–09. and French occupation authorities met in Petersberg.13 Negotiations On 9 January 1951. 96–98. Kent State University. by implication.000 soldiers. engineered the first of many tortuous compromises on the matter. France agreed that the Bonn gov- ernment could take the initial steps to recruit German soldiers. arguing that this European Army would take too long to develop and that mixing multiple nation- alities within a single division was impractical militarily. . May. 34. German troops would participate in this army. Pleven and his cabinet quickly cobbled together what became known as the Pleven Plan. Even Monnet and other supporters of European integration wanted to complete the negotiations for the ECSC before focusing on the military issue. French politicians were skeptical of Pleven’s idea. In effect. integrated within multi-national divisions and corps. At the same time. France’s allies were even more critical. diss. with its obvi- ous intent of using German troops but not granting political equality.D. ed. the european defense community 79 revived general staff.S. deputy representative to the North Atlantic Council. with 11 Riste. Western Security. The European Defence Community. 12 Joseph T. Germany. announced publicly on 24 October 1950. other partici- pants in the new army would retain control of those portions of their military forces that were not assigned to the new European Army. Inspired by Monnet.

4–5. West Germany. Belgium. chaired by Schuman. and sovereignty on the part of the West Germans.14 Eventually.80 jonathan m. Meanwhile. Aside from France. Despite its military helplessness. 15 Adenauer. the Truman and Adenauer administrations came to regard the French proposal as a more effective means of obtain- ing their goals. quoted in Kevin Ruane. therefore. Inc. 1950–55 (New York: St.”15 On 15 February 1951. Italy. the Conference for the Organization of the European Army opened in Paris. and Luxembourg—were full participants in the conference. Again. Daniel Lerner and Raymond Aron. The unprecedented complexity of the Pleven/Monnet concept led to prolonged and difficult negotiations in a number of committees. Praeger. Only five states—France. this European Army was the “key to equality. although the remaining NATO members sent observers and the Dutch eventually decided to join the treaty. 17. Blank therefore insisted on equal treatment for Germany. the German government insisted on total equality within the new organization. Martin’s Press. Acheson persuaded his president to sup- port the emerging French solution over the Petersberg process. for security reasons the North Atlantic Council had not authorized the commissioners to divulge their specific plans for defense in general or German participation in particular. seeking some means to bring German forces into the NATO defense framework. 2000). the German delegation had to grope its way forward to find mutually acceptable solutions. while the Low Countries 14 Ibid. For Adenauer. France Defeats EDC (New York: Frederick A. 1957). Kept in the dark. partnership. . The German government particularly wanted admission to the North Atlantic Pact and a separate German defense ministry for administration. Theodor Blank. most NATO members believed this to be a far sim- pler solution than the proposed European Army. The Rise and Fall of the European Defence Community: Anglo-American Relations and the Crisis of European Defence.. but in practice politi- cal as well as military problems thwarted progress. In July 1951. right down to the same type of reserved parking as the high commissioners. the new army obviously had to report to some civilian authority. which in turn implied the type of supranational government that had just been included in the ECSC treaty. house Adenauer’s de facto defense minister. the German government could not hope to sell rearma- ment to a reluctant public except on a basis of complete equality with the other NATO powers. The questions were not simply about military field organization. 107–08..

Britain signed 16 Fursdon. France Defeats EDC. The French socialists wanted not only an American commitment to main- tain troops in Europe but also close British participation in the new defense structure. General Dwight Eisenhower. even supporters of the European Army sought American and British counter-weights to any increase in German influence. 247–55. and they even drew up a table of organization for such a division. the two powers would jointly promise to maintain troops on the continent for as long as nec- essary.000 to 16. Elections in June 1951 weakened the moderate parties in favor of the communists and Gaullists. Europe. 18 Lerner and Aron. the Anglo-American governments were determined to avoid any further delay in rearming Germany. 220–22. Finally. However. Once again.18 By this point.17 In February of that same year. 17 Bougeard. a position that allowed him to shep- herd his plan for the next two years. as part of the emerging treaty. The professional soldiers at the conference agreed that language and other barriers made it far more efficient to have national units of division size (13. and they promised to consider a threat to the new European Defense Community (EDC) to be a threat to NATO itself. René Pleven. 213. 7–9.000) rather than battalion size. Premier Edgar-Jean Faure had per- suaded the French Assembly to renew its approval in principle of the new army. the first Supreme Allied Commander. the european defense community 81 feared that their interests would be overshadowed by those of the larger states. both of whom opposed the European Army. the Assembly condemned the possibil- ity of a separate German Army and insisted that the government reach a solution with Bonn about the Saar. while the war in Indo-China swung between victories and defeats. In short. France had numerous dis- tractions from the job at hand. They therefore readily agreed that. Retail prices rose by 38 per cent during 1951. 122–25. The Soviet government launched a diplomatic peace offensive. that great game of musical chairs known as the Fourth Republic made René Pleven the defense minister in March 1952. The European Defence Community. . seeking to prevent German involvement in NATO. French political opinion adamantly opposed the idea of German divisions. but even this approval came with numerous caveats. achieved a successful compromise by simply labeling the new organization a “groupement” rather than a division!16 As negotiations dragged on for months.

2 (April 1953). or transport aircraft. would also be formed on a national basis.19 The EDC Treaty The long negotiations finally came to fruition in May 1952. 21 This analysis of the EDC Treaty is based on ibid. had general powers both to ensure that the new EDC units were created in a satisfactory manner and had power to operationally command all such units as soon as they became combat ready.20 It would also be accurate to say that the participants were surrendering far more sovereignty than was involved in the previous treaties and that there was much less unanim- ity of agreement about the entire project. especially Italy and Germany. Brussels. of which 14 would be French and 12 German. Air force groups of 1. and the Federal Republic of Germany signed the Bonn Conventions. The European Defense Forces would be a quasi-federal army wearing a common uniform. 151–88. The European Defence Community. the new treaty included many specific interrelationships with that organization.82 jonathan m.000 men each. Kunz. Europe (SACEUR). 20 Fursdon.. equipped with fighter. reconnaissance.” American Journal of International Law 47. The next day in Paris. under multi- national corps and army headquarters.21 The NATO Supreme Allied Commander.300 to 2. Although Germany was still not recognized as a member of NATO. Rise and Fall of the European Defence Community. . has observed with some justification that this complexity reflected the fact that the treaty was drafted by countries familiar with Napoleonic rather than Roman and Anglo-Saxon law. house a convention with the EDC members extending the original guaran- tees of the 1948 Brussels Treaty to include all members of the commu- nity. 33–34. a noted historian of the EDC. On the 26th. or North Atlantic Treaties: it consisted of 132 articles. “Establishing the European Defense Community. The army would eventually total 43 groupements/ divisions. the six continental governments initialed the treaty creating the EDC. General Edward Fursdon. 151. 19 Ruane. France. This treaty was far more detailed and complex than the Dunkirk. 275–81. contractual agreements that granted Germany sovereignty in return for its participation in collec- tive defense. Britain. and several other common dec- larations. and on Josef L. bomber. 12 protocols. 192. the United States.

” an EDC Council would make decisions by weighted voting. the member states would not maintain national armed forces within Europe. functioning as a sort of collective defense minister and responsible to the same supra- national assembly and court that had just come into existence to administer the coal and steel community. was the first to ratify the result. 164–65. the new agreement was a classic example of the clichéd warn- ing to “be careful what you wish for. Yet the biggest obstacle became France itself. and Italy to one for Luxembourg. A nine-member board of commissioners would control the EDC armed forces. Although Schuman never explained the reason for this delay. 23 Lerner and Aron. France Defeats EDC. which had initially been skeptical of the entire process. the european defense community 83 Politically. as a gesture to reassure the smaller partici- pants against domination by the larger ones. did not even forward the treaty to the Assembly until 29 January 1953. it was obvious that the EDC Treaty was very unpopular in France for a number of reasons. Article 38 foreshadowed the eventual establishment of a European political union. France. the man so closely identified with European integration. where Robert Schuman. As an intermediary between the commissioners and this ECSC “government. The Netherlands. Adenauer’s government faced unique constitutional and political issues in committing West Germany to rearmament but gradually made progress. 8. more than eight months after signing. The controversial Article 107 required the commissioners to issue licenses for any arms production not directly related to EDC. a proviso that permitted France to still keep national troops in its overseas possessions. one of the French provisos had been that no German troops should be conscripted until all the other signatories had ratified the treaty. The European Defence Community. The EDC commissioners would also standardize weaponry and equipment and issue all con- tracts.” The original Pleven Plan had 22 Fursdon.22 Fatal Delays Signed treaties mean nothing until they are ratified. . indeed. ranging from three votes each for Germany.23 First. The Italian government also had serious domestic opposition to the plan. At Italy’s suggestion.

Research memorandum RM-1668-RC (Santa Monica. Paris From EDC to WEU. they contended. for example. After Juin became more and more outspo- ken. Even if one were willing. that did not mean that one would feel able to compete economically with other strong nations.26 For such people. Such an action. 25 Bougeard. in effect. vi–vii. to accept German rearmament against the Soviet threat. Edgar S. 203. to which the marshal replied simply “I am not a corporal.” International Organization 7. Defense Minister Pleven sent him a memorandum reminding him of the obligations of military discipline. but extended the same rules to all participants—a strict interpretation of Articles 9 and 10 meant that France would have no control over its armed forces except for overseas and UN commitments. see Nathan Leites and Christian de la Malene. on 31 March 1954.”25 After exhausting all other options. but the more conservative and traditional areas of southern and western France feared competition. The final treaty did that. in a multinational arena. wealthy northern and eastern portions of France. Jr. CA: RAND Corporation. . 262. For a discussion of the French sense of inferiority. the thought of surrendering the emo- tional symbol of its great army was appalling. For a nation struggling to maintain its great power image. 1956). could accept European union. Critics argued that.2 (May 1953). would give the appearance that France was weakening itself to become part of Europe. this civil-military confrontation inflamed opposition to the treaty. France Defeats EDC. placing the new troops under supranational control that would also restrict German arms production. grudgingly. turning its back on the French Union that it was trying to defend in Indo-China. “French Attitudes Towards Western European Unity. 26 Lerner and Aron. Coming at the same time as the crisis of Dien Bien Phu. the new treaty rearmed Germany while disarming France. house envisioned forming German units but not a German Army. especially Germany. Pleven and other advo- cates of unification. Pleven reluctantly persuaded the cabinet to relieve Juin of all his positions. Furniss. 24 See. A related issue was that not all Frenchmen supported the idea of European integration.. many of whom came from the industrialized. 15–19. René Pleven. who held a number of positions as the senior officer in the French military and as NATO commander for troops on the central front. 31–32.24 This criticism was strongest in the French Army. The opposition was led by Marshal Alphonse Juin.84 jonathan m.

Britain went as far as possible to sat- isfy France by entering into a convention that committed it not only to maintain troops on the continent indefinitely but also to maintain the integrity of the EDC against all threats. and the British government. he considered the pro- posed multinational army to be an impractical “bucket of wood pulp. On the other hand. Winston Churchill had been one of the first to propose a European Army. To some extent. Britain placed as much stress on its rela- tions with the Commonwealth as France did on interactions with the French Union. like the French. 28 John W. 20. Indeed.” 201. the British had even greater obligations in Malaya and elsewhere. Young. To this end. the reasons for this attitude were similar to those of France. Yet Britain had never said that it would join such an army. Economically. “Churchill’s ‘No’ to Europe: The ‘Rejection’ of European Union by Churchill’s Post-War Government. Given these national interests. “French Attitudes. the European Economic Community. . for example. the european defense community 85 the EDC combined two repulsive ideas: German rearmament and fur- ther economic integration with Europe. a not-so-subtle reference to German aggression. in August 1950. Under those circumstances. France wanted to bring more players into the treaty as counterweights to German dominance. however.” The Historical Journal 28. until 1973. The “wood pulp” comment is quoted in Ruane. Churchill privately described the new treaty as a “sludgy amalgam”.4 (December 1985).27 The key to this latter goal was Britain. 924. Britain wanted to associate itself with the new structure while still retaining full sovereignty. On the one hand.”28 Just as in the case of the ECSC. France wanted to limit the provisions of EDC by. whether Labor or Conservative. While France was pinned down in Indo-China. Yet even this generous promise was insufficient 27 Furniss. Even politicians who were willing to ratify the EDC Treaty wanted to ensure that France was not left alone to compete with a resurgent Germany inside a newly integrated Europe. the British. had no inten- tion of becoming fully integrated into the EDC. permitting it to withdraw troops from EDC control if they were needed overseas. Rise and Fall of the European Defence Community. 1951–1952. were hard pressed to meet their NATO com- mitments in Europe and did not wish to deal with the restrictions in the new treaty. This issue ultimately delayed British involvement in the ECSC’s successor. Paris repeat- edly demanded further protocols to accomplish two contradictory goals.

to support France without interfering openly. John Foster Dulles and the Diplomacy of the Cold War (Princeton. Mayer asked the U.”32 29 May. David K. Dulles took the first step in a more supportive approach by asking Eisenhower to name David K. house for critics who had expected London to join the EDC and felt aban- doned as a result. the Saar dispute. “John Foster Dulles and the European Defense Community. ed. finally introduced the treaty to the National Assembly. In effect. and other unspecified questions. the Truman Administration tried in vain to accelerate ratification of the EDC Treaty. Eisenhower had to accommodate the neo-isolationist wing of his party.86 jonathan m. 34. trying to hasten ratification. however. E. Bruce as United States Observer to the European Defense . Subject: Recommended des- ignation of Mr.31 On 18 February 1953. Dulles argued that this action would be “the clearest indication we could give of our close support for and belief in their [European] efforts towards unification.. who became premier of France in January 1953. As president. 30 Quoted in Richard H.29 Eisenhower’s new secretary of state. was a Wilsonian idealist who believed strongly in the economic and military integration of Europe. French nationalists considered it an admission of inferiority for France to join the EDC while Britain remained aloof. 32 John Foster Dulles. Although Adenauer assured Dulles that German ratification would happen in the near future. Immerman. 1990). as United States observer to the yet-unratified EDC and representative to the ECSC.”30 As soon as he took office in late January 1953. “John Foster Dulles and the European Defense Community. Memorandum to the President. a former ambassador to Paris and under-secretary of state. John Foster Dulles. Dwight Eisenhower inherited the question when he became president later that same month. he later told Pierre Mendes-France that “the supranational aspect of EDC [is] far more important than twelve German divisions. which meant implementation of the EDC. The other potential counter-weight to Germany was the United States. but announced that he would not make ratification a vote of confidence on his government—he was not willing to risk defeat on the issue. 31 May. led by Senator Robert Taft. René Mayer. Dulles toured the capitals of Europe.” 80–83. Throughout 1952.E. NJ: Princeton University Press. Premier Mayer raised the issue of further concessions concerning British participation. Thus the new administration had to dem- onstrate that the Europeans were assuming the burden of their own defense. Bruce.S.” 86–94.

declassified 15 December 2006. Dulles’ assistant and a nephew of the famous general. to midnight. John Foster Dulles Papers.34 Despite Dulles’s considerable efforts. dated 2/18/53. 83–84. 10:15 p. Douglas MacArthur II with Prime Minister Laniel. International Series. . April 13. 1953. Dulles and the Diplomacy of the Cold War. Box 1. MacArthur bluntly remarked that it would be “infinitely sad if [Laniel] were Prime Minister … responsible for France losing its position as a leader of the free world and becoming in effect another Belgium. Eisenhower Library. clearly lacked the votes to pass the treaty. Dulles Papers.S. Box 14. in September 1953. the Soviets rejected Dulles’ offer of a limited agenda concerning Germany and Austria. File White House Correspondence. the EDC Treaty languished in French legislative committees throughout 1953 and well into 1954. To deal with this sentiment. 36 Memorandum of Conversation. who was premier during most of this period. the European Defense Community. told Laniel privately that other states doubted whether France would ever approve the EDC and were therefore looking for alternatives to rearm Germany.” in Immerman. In December 1953. Classified Top Secret. renewed after the death of Stalin and clearly aimed at creating a neu- tralized Germany. calling for a settlement on Germany while condemn- ing the EDC because it would lead to “West German armed forces led by Hitlerite generals.m. Paris. Box 1.. “John Foster Dulles. White House Memorandum Series. the Cold War atmosphere of 1953 was far less dire than that of 1950.”33 Certainly. Dulles told a NATO meeting that a failure to establish the EDC would “compel an agonizing reappraisal of basic United States policy. Dwight David Eisenhower Library. causing many Europeans to question the necessity for a radical defense effort such as the EDC. Dulles invited the Soviets to meet with Britain. and the German Question.”35 Four months later. the european defense community 87 Dulles also had to deal with the Soviet “peace offensive” of 1953. 35 Quoted in ibid. Douglas MacArthur II. Having known Laniel for many years. Joseph Laniel. White House Memoranda Series. and the U.. On 16 August 1953 the new Soviet leadership sent a diplomatic note. 34 Rolf Steininger. Predictably. 86. in Eisenhower Library. 1954.”36 Community and United States Representative to the European Coal and Steel Community. ed. however. France. Whitman Files. thereby incurring the onus for the failure to hold a conference. 33 Department of State translation of Soviet note dated 16 August 1953.

He had never accepted the treaty even with various additional promises to France. he gained office solely because he promised to resolve the Indo-Chinese situation decisively within a month. he deliberately formed a cabinet that was divided between pro. Dulles and the Diplomacy of the Cold War.38 However. house Yet Laniel could not achieve ratification. Lerner and Aron. 126. Pierre Mendes-France. Mendes- France turned to the EDC. As French requests for aid became increasingly importunate. the European Defense Community. Foreign Minister Georges Bidault attempted to use EDC ratification as a bar- gaining chip to get more international involvement in Southeast Asia. France Defeats EDC.. had to focus on the impending disaster. “John Foster Dulles. the originator of the EDC concept. As defense minister. a disaster which made it difficult for anyone in French politics to muster political sup- port on the question of military integration. but he recognized that France’s allies would take great offense if the originator rejected the plan. if the 37 Alexander Werth. A major reason for this prolonged delay was the death throes of the French expeditionary force in Indo-China.37 Failure of Ratification The fall of Dien Bien Phu on 7 May 1954 brought with it the fall of the Laniel government. After the Geneva Accords partitioned Indo-China in July. To this end. 16–18. 1958). In February 1954. had established a reputation as a thoughtful critic of government policy. even Pleven. Laniel’s successor. 87. Lost Statesman.88 jonathan m. there is no evidence that this was an explicit trade. Lost Statesman: The Strange Story of Pierre Mendes-France (New York and London: Abelard-Schuman. ed. .” in Immerman. offering to kill the EDC in return for Soviet assistance in obtaining an armistice in Indo-China.and anti-EDC politi- cians. 125. Mendes-France needed the broad- est possible political support to achieve this goal. and he did not wish to become sidetracked by the EDC Treaty. Critics later claimed that Mendes-France made a deal with Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov at Geneva. but he omitted some of the plan’s strongest supporters. 38 Werth. Dulles reluctantly recognized that the EDC issue could not be resolved until after the Geneva talks on Indo-China. Steininger. He also acknowledged that he lost sleep over the possibility that.

had no chance of ratification. Choisir: Conversations avec Jean Bothorel (Paris.39 Thus. Mendes-France proposed a long “Protocol of Application” that would eliminate most of the supra-national aspects of the treaty.. On 19 August 1954 he met in Brussels with Adenauer and leaders of the other four signatory states. everyone but Germany— would still make all decisions concerning the promotion of their flag officers. For the first eight years after ratification. The Board of Commissioners would make only technical decisions. he had promised the Americans his support for the idea and would not consider alternatives so long as the treaty remained on the table. The European Defence Community. Mendes-France’s subsequent meeting at Chartwell with Churchill and Eden accomplished little. the member states that had armed forces prior to ratification—in other words. would negotiate a rearmament deal directly with Adenauer. leaving any political decisions to the member states and to joint meetings of the North Atlantic and EDC Councils.41 39 Pierre Mendes France. Mendes-France set out to change radically the nature of that agreement in order to get it through the Assembly. the U. while the other states retained control over their national armies and budgets. 41 Ibid. In effect. 71. 40 Fursdon. attempted to arrange a compromise. any member state could in effect veto a decision by the Board or by the EDC Council. 285–93. Instead. the other five states rejected such a radical change. Most striking of all. and in fact the other states conceded many of the French demands but could not reach agreement. Although Churchill had never liked the EDC.40 Predictably. excluding France.S. but each national legislature would determine how much it would contribute to that budget. 1974). the integration of troop units would apply only to forces in the forward or covering zone. two years after the agreement had been signed. the european defense community 89 EDC failed. the Belgian premier. even with additional protocols to give France flexibility about moving troops overseas. Paul- Henri Spaak. this meant a return to the original proposal. whereby only Germany was completely integrated into the EDC. 281–85. For the first four years. . The French premier bluntly told them that the EDC Treaty as it currently existed. The Board of Commissioners would draft a yearly budget. Éditions Stock.

Even at this late date. and on this basis the treaty died by a vote of 319 to 264. Returning to Paris. 30 per cent of those who had originally endorsed the Pleven Plan opposed the EDC Treaty. the French asked for further safeguards and especially wished to avoid German member- ship in NATO. whereas in fact that defeat led directly to the creation of a separate German Army with far fewer safeguards than the EDC might have provided.” 206. After touring the European capitals in September. Forgetting that the rest of NATO had bowed to French wishes on this matter. of the need to begin German rearmament without further delay. some opponents illogically complained that the U. “The European Defense Community. “The European Defense Community. the very event that the Pleven Plan and all the subsequent agreements had tried to prevent. however.42 Most of the reasons for this defeat have already appeared in this chapter. probably because they wanted to control German rearma- ment without surrendering French military sovereignty. On 30 August 1954.” 206–11. Once again. An irritated Eden replied that Mendes-France had “ruined the EDC. The mov- ing force behind this alternative was British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. Choisir. naively. In addition. that defeating the EDC would also prevent German rearmament. the four years of delay between the ini- tial discussion of German rearmament and the final vote on the EDC Treaty had caused French public opinion to misunderstand the con- nection between the two. Opponents had come to believe. who had to convince not only the French but also his own prime minister. he suddenly brought the treaty to a vote in the Assembly. 43 Kanter.S. 75–76. the logical alternative was to allow independent German armed forces. no substantive debate ever occurred.” and he demanded that the French think in terms of 42 Mendes France. opponents of the treaty introduced a procedural motion to adjourn debate. Eden brought together representatives of Germany and the NATO members in London at the end of the month. . house The French premier concluded that he could rely on the British to help him reach a solution once the EDC Treaty was defeated.43 With the EDC Treaty effectively dead. announcing that his cabinet would not take a position on the mat- ter. Churchill.90 jonathan m. Kanter. was forc- ing France to sacrifice itself by joining the EDC! Moreover.

This would allow German forces to serve under NATO command without the FRG actually joining the North Atlantic pact. The European Defence Community. especially when dealing with stillborn agreements such as the EDC. Mendes-France realized that France had iso- lated itself to such an extent that it could not reject a reasonable alter- native. Member nations would field national divisions and corps. The European Defence Community. Rise and Fall of the European Defence Community. At this stage. This convoluted plan was embod- ied in a Protocol on Forces of Western European Union signed in Paris on 23 October 1954. Second.44 Nonetheless.” London would not remove these troops without the agreement of a majority of the states in the WEU. and Germany was officially free to rearm. the three western powers would officially ter- minate their occupation of the FRG. 11–12.” International Organization 9. 329–35. Eden calmly stated that German rearmament would continue regardless. First. Jr. “Britain and the Unification of Europe. did not include the loss of French sovereignty involved in the EDC. On Eden’s role in this cri- sis. In retrospect. when the French Assembly still balked at ratifying this agreement. Two months later. 331. Except in case of some “acute overseas emer- gency. but that his guarantee of British forces depended on all members of the WEU ratifying the agreement. The next year.. Moreover. by which time much of the French Army had returned from Indo-China. it seems clear that French ratification of the EDC Treaty 44 Quoted in Fursdon. Eden and other leaders col- lectively devised a plan to modify the WEU. 171. the european defense community 91 European rather than French security. 152–65. however unpalatable. see Ruane. if far less specific. the Federal Republic of Germany became a full member of NATO. bringing Germany and Italy into that organization and then making the resulting forces avail- able to the SACEUR. On 30 December 1954 the National Assembly finally ratified the agreement. 45 Eden’s statement is quoted in Allan Hovey. Paris From EDC to WEU. statement of support. 324. the WEU plan. but SACEUR control of logistics and multinational field army headquarters would limit the freedom of action of individual— read German—armies. however. on 26 September he made a detailed public commitment to maintain indefi- nitely the four British divisions and tactical air units then assigned to NATO on the continent. 46 Fursdon.45 Dulles made a similar. Foreign Secretary Eden provided solutions to the basic French concerns. At the same time.46 “Might have been” is a dubious concept for historians. See also Leites and de la Malene. .3 (August 1955).

house would have had numerous consequences. and with a Germany that was slow to regain its full sovereignty because its forces remained under supranational control. Second. NATO itself might well have evolved in a different direction.92 jonathan m. as he did in 1966. First. it would have acceler- ated the development of the European Union by several decades. . Finally. with more continental and less American influence. French involvement in the EDC would have made it very dif- ficult for Charles de Gaulle to withdraw French forces from NATO command and control.

and there was considerable debate among the service staffs of the two nations throughout the whole proc- ess. AMERICAN ASSISTANCE TO THE NEW GERMAN ARMY AND LUFTWAFFE James S. chaired by retired General Adolf Heusinger (who became the first Generalinspekteur of the Bundeswehr). armed forces that would be formed and conceived only in full cooperation with the . the Western alliance realized that a major German rearmament program was essential in order to meet NATO defense goals. the story is mostly one of very effective cooperation between the two nations. Corum This chapter aims to examine the political. The study that came out of the Himmerod conference served as a basis for planning new German armed forces.S. The Himmerod Conference. Army and Air Force played in assisting the formation of their German counterparts. while there was considerable debate and friction. laid the foundations for developing armed forces for a democratic West Germany. The assistance that the U.S. reach- ing the goal of an effective Bundeswehr meant overcoming numerous obstacles. However. As Cold War tensions increased. a group of former Wehrmacht senior officers acting as military advisors for the Federal Government met in October 1950 at Kloster Himmerod to develop a program for German rearmament within the context of the Western Alliance. The Himmerod Conference By 1949. and personnel problems in the creation of the Bundeswehr between 1950–58 and the role the U. The build-up phase of the Bundeswehr resulted in a German force of which both the Germans and Americans generally approved. military provided to the Germans was hardly a straightforward process. technical. Both the Germans and the Americans could have very different visions of an ideal army and air force. after the Berlin Crisis and the founding of NATO and the establishment of the Bundesrepublik. Yet.

equipment. and West German air force officers developed a remarkably close and cordial relationship. Adenauer’s two favorite military advisors. The American program to train and equip the Bundeswehr was not a truly unified program or strategy but. Air Force relationship to the Bundesluftwaffe took on very different natures.S.S.94 james s. each American service formed a unique relationship with its German counterpart. industrial capacity. When the Germans spoke of the Western Allies in 1950—and through the whole decade of the 1950s—they meant first and foremost the United States. The West German Air Force readily and voluntarily embraced American doctrine. This was in contrast to the U. at least in the build-up phase. where the relationship was somewhat less harmonious.S. Army relationship to the West German Army and the U. While German and Allied planners looked at procuring some of the heavy equipment and major weapons systems for the Bundeswehr from European allies. the first Germans on the nascent military staff of the Konrad Adenauer government understood that the United States would play the key partner at every step of the process. corum Western Allies. would be dependent upon receiving extensive support from the Allies. From the start of the process. men who would go on to hold top positions in the Bundeswehr and NATO. separate plans developed by each American military service to support the foundation of their West German counterpart services. were former army generals Adolf Heusinger and Hans Speidel. one must first under- stand that the dominant figures in early West German defense plan- ning were all army officers. and the large stocks of reason- ably modern surplus equipment to be able to provide the West Germans with the degree of support they would need. rather. From the start. the U. U. in the formative years of the Bundeswehr. From the start of the process in 1950 it was clear to all participants that the rearmament of West Germany. Adenauer’s first defense advisor was former panzer force commander General Count Gerhard von Schwerin. Early German Thinking on Army and Air Force Organization In looking at the first comprehensive German rearmament plans that came out of the Himmerod conference in 1950.S. A key figure and editor of . Army and the West German Army. and methods. From the start of the proc- ess. Indeed. only the United States had the funds. organization.

also having the same unit structure would simplify the logistics and maintenance support for the force. 1996). Hans-Jürgen Rautenberg and Norbert Wiggershaus . outlined a plan for an army of approximately 12 divisions—all to be fully armored or mechanized units equipped with the best weapons and vehicles available. which is discussed in detail else- where in this book. specifically designed for German coastal defense and Baltic and North Sea operations. From 1950 to 1952 the base figures and organizational concepts for the West German army that were set at the Himmerod conference became the basis of Allied defense planning. ed. The navy would be a small force. the American military staff in Europe liked the look of the armor-heavy. The former German officers at Himmerod proposed a plan for a German air force of approximately 831 aircraft. 279 fighter-bombers. Such a force would be capable of fighting the kind of mechanized modern war in which the Germans had excelled during World War II. 2 The complete text of the Himmerod conference is found in Die “Himmeroder Denk- schrift” vom Oktober 1950. The Luftwaffe and navy were represented at Himmerod by former Luftwaffe generals Robert Knauss and Rudolf Meister and vice admiral Friedrich Ruge. and 372 interceptors that would serve as the army’s air corps rather than as an independent service. 12-division West German army. the goal of 12 German divisions was set and locked in as a funda- mental NATO objective. They rejected the old Luftwaffe’s squadron and wing organization and rec- ommended copying the American air force logistical and organiza- tional structure. 97–99. In contrast. Indeed. at NATO’s Lisbon Conference in 1952. the proposal for a new German air force made by the army-heavy Himmerod committee was a radical departure from the British and American approaches to air warfare. From the start. most of the 15 members of the committee that produced the key military plans and documents for Adenauer between 1950 to 1953 were army officers. The Himmerod Memorandum.2 1 David Clay Large. Count Johann Adolf von Kielmansegg—another army officer. This made perfect sense because if the new Luftwaffe were to have American equipment. and all the documents of the era have a distinctly army ‘flavor’ to them.1 The officers at Himmerod proposed that a German air force ought to be created and equipped with American aircraft. american assistance 95 the Himmerod Study was retired Colonel of the General Staff. Germans to the Front: West German Rearmament in the Adenauer Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Still. with 180 reconnais- sance planes.

S. the German officers did not envision a balanced air force capable of strike missions and air defense. more U. 36–56. army divisions in (Karlsruhe: G. The idea of creating a German army air corps rather than an independent air force found favor with some U. The U. Chancellor Adenauer accepted the Himmerod conference proposals as a basis for rearmament planning. appointed Adenauer’s shadow defense minister in October 1950.S. government was kept informed of West German defense thinking.S. Support for German Rearmament under Eisenhower A key factor in the U. corum Air groups would be directly attached to the army divisions and corps and under direct army command. government negotiated quietly with Bonn on rearmament policy. At the start of the Korean War in 1950 there was only one U. This work also contains an extensive commentary on the Denkschrift and the texts of other documents relating to German security planning in 1950.S. troops were sent to Europe in 1950–53 than were sent to Korea. From the start. On the German air force. and through 1950 and 1951 the U. The role of the air force in national air defense was virtually ignored by the German planners.96 james s. Army division stationed in Europe. pages 45–48. 98–99. 1985).S. faced in defending Europe as Cold War tensions increased. By the end of 1952 there were five U. see Section 2. began building a defense ministry staff to work with the Allied Powers and Bundestag to prepare the groundwork for German rearmament. In the fall of 1950. From a British and American perspective.S. Theodor Blank.3 Moreover.S.S. U. support for German rearmament was the heavy burden that the U. Germans to the Front. 3 See Large. Braun. the U. But the idea of form- ing an army air corps rather than a multi-purpose. Army officers. who assumed that the air defense of Germany would be primarily handled by the air forces of the Western Powers.S. the German views on the development of the army and navy were sound.S. paragraphs a–f. Luftwaffe. . tactical air force was completely unacceptable to the British and American air force leadership. dramatically increased its force commitment to Europe at the start of the Korean War—indeed. A small staff of mostly former officers was functioning in Bonn under Blank’s direction by early 1951.

S. The U.S. Army personnel 4 Richard Emmons. american assistance 97 Germany.S. Report from USAFE History Office.882 foreign national civilians in 1953. Eisenhower understood that such high defense spend- ing levels could not be maintained indefinitely. 28.S. the U.S.04–13 1945–1985.000 officers and airmen. 11.S. In mid-1953. which included huge cuts in U. 5 For a good overview of Eisenhower and his position of the Army and defense strategy. Air Force in Europe (USAFE) grew from 15.S. civilians. Air Force commitment to Europe was equally dramatic. still has a significant superiority in nuclear weapons and delivery systems in the 1950s.4 The outbreak of the Korean War and the increase in tensions in Europe were the initial motivations for getting the U. . defense spending. 8–9. the “new look” defense policy would rely primarily upon nuclear weapons to deter communist aggression.146 military personnel assigned. USAF Historical Research Agency [cited hereafter as HRA] Doc. The increase in the U.S. Army troop strength.5 Indeed. the whole Eisenhower presidency was a period of major conventional force cuts. and the U. Eisenhower formally announced the “new look” policy. USAFE Profile: Personnel Strength and Organizational Change 1945–1985. would keep some capable conventional forces. Compared to conventional forces. the huge conventional army that had been expanded more than threefold between 1950 and 1953 would be drastically reduced. see Ingo Trauschweizer.S. in 1950 to 91. The U.159 U. one of his major strategic concerns. which had climbed to more than 10 per cent of the American Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dur- ing the Korean War and was threatening the long-term health of the U. The Cold War U. The most important of these was the defense strategy of the Eisenhower administration. K 570.S. and 39.S. economy.425 civilian employees. 5. nuclear weapons were relatively cheap—so the Americans would replace one with the other. When Eisenhower became president. after ending the Korean War.S. logistics and support system had been built up in France and the other NATO countries. 8–9. Therefore. Yet there were other factors as well that drove American policy. was to cut U. Although the Soviets had developed their own atomic bomb by 1949. to change its view on West German rearmament and come to support the creation of German armed forces. supported by 19. Although the U. Army: Building Deterrence for Limited War (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. announced shortly after Eisenhower assumed the presidency in January 1953. 2008).

facilities.000 men by 1959. the Germans could take over much of the conventional deterrence mission from the Americans. But there was no need for the conventional force to be composed of American troops. The Americans needed to prepare the 6 Donald A. troop reductions also came pretty quickly. which allowed the Americans to quickly withdraw most of their ground troops. Army Europe (USAREUR) and USAFE head- quarters were stood up. corum strength fell from 1. the type of training programs the Germans might need were assessed. equipment at first. At the same time. see 1176–78. side accelerated quickly.4 (October 2007).S. as large planning groups in both the U.S.6 million soldiers in 1952 to 860. by the end of the Korean War. then most of the U. the Eisenhower administration was posi- tively enthusiastic. the U. since the Germans would likely be equipped with U. government had poured more than $2 billion worth of military aid and training into building up the Korean forces.S. and supplies that might be turned over to the Germans. The Americans figured that if the West German army could be build up in a similar fashion. “Eisenhower Versus the Generals. As the Eisenhower administration settled in.98 james s. the payoff in the form of U. once equipment was handed over and a period of training completed.S. A strong West German army could provide NATO with an effective conventional deterrent force that would also allow the U.S. Carter.” Journal of Military History 71. . While the Truman administration had initially been reluctant to rearm Germany. The Americans realized that the initial costs of helping stand up West German military forces might be high but that.000 men by the end of the Korean War. to reduce its force strength in Germany—which had grown to over 400. On Eisenhower and the “new look” strategy. Eisenhower’s preference was to build up the western European forces so that the Europeans would be able to look after their own defense.S. planning for German rearmament from the U. A strong conventional force in Europe would add considerable credibility to the nuclear deterrent.6 Yet Eisenhower saw no need to eliminate conventional forces alto- gether.S.S. The U. looked to the model of Korea where. As a first step they went to work identifying U.S. equipment. Although the initial expense had been very high. 1169–99. Army could be withdrawn from Europe.

Between 1947 and the early 1960s the U. strongly supported establishment of the military history program that could glean valuable information and insights from the men who were expert in fighting the Soviets.S. General Gruenther. military history program.S. support for the rearmament of Germany—and not an inconsiderable one—was the relationship that the U. Of primary interest to the Americans was the vast experience the Germans had gained in fighting the Soviets on the Eastern Front from 1941 to 1945. the preferred solution was to defend as far east of the Rhine as possible. was a key player in the rearmament of Germany and was especially eager to facilitate the creation of a German army that would make the defense strategy more practicable.S. Army progressively came to view the former Wehrmacht in a positive light. Detailed monographs on Eastern Front operations began to be pub- lished in 1949 as the German Report series. as very useful allies against the Soviets. Rearming Germany was also seen as a great boon to NATO’s strategy for defending western Europe. On the Eastern Front. The NATO defense strategy of the early 1950s relied on holding any Soviet attack at the line of the Rhine River. Army Yet another factor that favored U. Army. because every delay to the Soviet forces gave NATO additional time to prepare the defenses and bring reinforcements. the Germans had almost 7 See Trauschweizer. However. 42–44. Army. a strong German ground force would serve the NATO strategy very effectively by enabling a forward defense.S.S. As soon as they were pub- lished they began to have a major impact on the content of U.S. NATO Supreme Allied Commander. documents and lesson plans into German.S.S. Generals Eisenhower and Bradley. which much often simply meant translating U. as leaders of the post- war U. Army operational doctrine. The Cold War U. . Europe (SACEUR) from 1953 to 1956.S. financed by the U. american assistance 99 necessary training courses. behind which the U. Army. Army had formed with its erstwhile Wehrmacht enemies. Between 1947 and 1955 the U.7 West German Influence on the U.S.S. Therefore. and NATO forces would receive reinforcements and prepare a counterattack. employed hundreds of former German officers—in every rank from lieutenant to field marshal—to write extensive historical studies and analyses of World War II opera- tions.

The German generals produced a study that was highly critical of U. . troops with 8 Kevin Soutor. the Wehrmacht forces had developed some sophisticated defensive tactics to cope with the Red Army’s supe- rior manpower and armament.S.S. training personnel. and would lend personnel and financial support to. A good overview is pro- vided by Marc Trachtenberg. With a whole career of military experience behind him. Army in 1952 to conduct a year-long study of U. corum always fought outnumbered. Army saw such experience as relevant and valuable in developing a new operational doctrine that had the Soviets in mind. 1948–1957. delaying tactics..” Journal of Military History 57.S. doctrine and recommended large-scale revisions. and the like would pay off quickly in terms of replacing U. Eisenhower knew that an initial U. 1999).S. 1990). this meant that the U. 9 Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt. vol. expendi- ture to provide Germany with equipment. especially in the areas of defensive doctrine.S. Army’s tactics and operational doctrines. Through the 1950s the German studies were a major influence on all the U. 27–31.S.S.S.S.S. would strongly encourage the West Germans to rearm and would lead the way in negotiations with other NATO powers to get their approval and support for German rearmament. any means of supporting increased European forces and efforts. Therefore he viewed favorably.9 Eisenhower looked forward to a time when a strong western Europe would be able to provide for its own defense with little contribution from the U. 653–88.4 (October 1993).S. The U. The U. and anti-tank tactics. ed.S. Army doctrine and to recom- mend revisions in the light of their experience in fighting the Soviets. 2 (Munich: Oldenbourg. policy was to pare its own defense budget and cut back conventional forces from the high point of the Korean War.S. “To Stem the Red Tide: The German Report Series and its Effect on American Defense Doctrine. U. A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement 1945–1963 (Princeton: Princeton University Press. Army until 1961. Anfänge westdeutscher Sicherheitspolitik 1945–1956. Colonel General Franz Halder and six former German General Staff officers were set to work by the U. Army valued Halder’s critical thinking so highly that he remained in the employ of the U.100 james s. pp. Army revised its force structure and tactics in light of the Soviet enemy. as the U. For West Germany.8 Moving to a Nuclear Defense Doctrine From 1953 onward.

Army and U. in fact. several other men in the American military leadership would play key roles in developing the German armed forces.S. This support was vital because the shadow defense ministry of the Adenauer government was terribly understaffed. Eisenhower’s defense policy relied on very deep cuts in the size of the U.S. american assistance 101 capable foreign troops. As one of his first major policy steps after becom- ing president. like Ridgeway. who served as commander of U. Eisenhower saw the same possibilities for a similar policy in Germany. Norstad had served in the Mediterranean with Eisenhower during World War II. aid program would enable the U. the U.S.S. Gruenther was a highly conventional army general and an obsessive micro-manager. but the payoff also came quickly in an accelerated program to withdraw most Americans from South Korea between 1953 and 1955. Army. where a U.S.S. Eisenhower endorsed a large and expensive plan to pour military aid and training into the South Korean army as a means of enabling the South Koreans to take over the job of defending their country as quickly as possible. Along with Eisenhower. Air Force staffs in Europe carried out a great deal of the basic planning for the new West German forces. and the Germans were lucky to have highly dedicated officers who were ready to put their staffs to work to support the German efforts. Army chief of staff. In Korea the initial costs were high. General Norstad and the Shadow Luftwaffe One of the central figures in the creation of the Bundeswehr was General Lauris Norstad. and then served on the army staff. Eisenhower had served as the first SACEUR and was intimately familiar with the European military and political leadership. and central European NATO air forces from 1951 to 1956 and as commander of all NATO forces in Europe from 1956 to 1962. but. and this led to considerable friction between him and some of his former close colleagues such as General Ridgeway. who also served briefly as SACEUR (1952–53) before becoming the U. he was strongly committed to the policy of rearming the West Germans. to pull troops out of Europe.S. Following General Ridgeway as SACEUR was General Alfred Gruenther (SACEUR 1953–56). Throughout the whole process. The U. However. Like his predecessors Ridgeway and . Indeed. Eisenhower had high respect for Norstad’s intelligence and ability to plan.S.

Air Force. The American concept of a German air force emphasized flexibility. Norstad believed that air units ought to be under the centralized command of an air commander who would cooperate with. but not be directly tied to. The USAF staff called the views on air power expressed by the former German officers at Himmerod “the doctrine of a defeated enemy. equipment. . training. corum Gruenther.”11 From his wartime experience. Norstad pointed out the importance of directly influencing German rearmament planning in order to ensure a position more acceptable to American 10 On Norstad. “Von der ‘Befehlsausgabe’ zum ‘Briefing’: die Amerikanis- ierung der Luftwaffe während der Aufbauphase der Bundeswehr. air commander and then later as NATO commander. Throughout his tenure as U. see the biography by Robert Jordan.S. Norstad wanted to see a large German air force that would be capable of a variety of missions including air defense. 44. From the time he arrived in Europe as NATO’s central Europe air commander in 1951. The idea that Germany ought to have an army air corps rather than a true air force was completely unacceptable to Norstad and the USAF leadership.102 james s.10 One of Norstad’s first tasks as NATO air commander was to assess the German concept of defense presented by the Himmerod Memoran- dum. tactical transport. Strategist. he worked to influence the organization. Norstad was concerned about the German defense thinking on airpower and in July 1952 wrote to General Thomas White.S. Because of the range and speed of aircraft. 11 Wolfgang Schmidt. the army. flexibility was the greatest advantage to airpower. Norstad took a keen interest in every aspect of German aerial rearmament. Norstad: Cold War NATO Supreme Commander: Airman. 2000). Norstad as SACEUR took a strong interest in the German rearmament efforts and made supporting the effort a priority.” Militärgeschichte 3 (2001). The Americans and the Royal Air Force (RAF) wanted to have full German integration into the two Allied tactical air forces in Germany and wanted the Germans to be able to provide air support to any NATO mission along the entire front. Air Force Deputy chief of Staff (later USAF chief of staff ) for permission to form an air force permanent military assistance group to the West Germans to replace the informal contacts that already existed. Diplomat (New York: St. For the U. and doctrine of the Bundesluftwaffe. air units could be dispatched to operate all across a war theater as needed—able to mass aircraft for decisive effects at the order of the theater commander. and tactical interdiction as well as close support of the army. Martin’s.

The last part of the plan.” precursor to Germany’s Federal Defense Ministry and headed by Theodor Blank) were not yet authorized to communicate directly with their American and Allied military counterparts. when it is formed. under a military aid program.14 12 Letter from Gen. the only official coordination was at the highest political levels. .”12 In February 1951 the USAF War Plans Division prepared a study of German aerial rearmament for Norstad. The USAF tables of organization would be duplicated. “USAFE’s Assistance to Create a New German Air Force” (Wiesbaden. and the fully mobilized force would consist of about 88.. “One of our greatest concerns in the matter has been in seeing that the German Air Force.S. 14 Ibid. in USAF HRA. At least ten fighter wings should be organized. 13 HQ USAFE. The training of German air force personnel should take place outside of Germany. General White. 5. as one might expect. Germans and American military staffs were working on parallel courses. and light bombers. 1945–1985. It outlined a German air force with at least 750 front-line combat aircraft for air defense and ground attack. Doc. 7–10.04–13. even to share vital information about equipment capabilities or discuss shared logistical concerns. K 570. The German planners outlined a German proposal for an air force of 1. The German air rearmament proposals were set forth by former army generals Heusinger and Speidel.04M. We have been dis- turbed that this might happen unless qualified advisors were on hand to work directly with the Germans in their early planning. 1956). and flying units would be assigned to specific divisions and corps of the army.000 flight personnel. including 3. and the German air force should be equipped by the U. The air force would be parceled out. american assistance 103 doctrine. fighter-bombers.13 At this point. 7 July 1952. K 570. is pat- terned along lines that will permit its effective use as part of the defense forces of the Western Powers rather than see it parceled out by direct assignment to ground units for limited objectives.000 personnel. Norstad wrote. Norstad to Lt. In April 1951 the first official German proposals on developing an air force and army for the Bundesrepublik were set forth at the Allied Rearmament Conference sponsored by the NATO Council and held in Bonn. with the largest part of the force to consist of fighter-bombers for ground support. USAF HRA Doc. reconnaissance planes. 1952–1955. The military planners in Amt Blank (“The Blank Office.900 first-line aircraft including fighters. met with strong opposition from the USAF.

equipment and tactical doctrine. 300 artillery pieces. Army and the Bundeswehr in the Cold War.S. it was enough equipment to equip four mecha- nized divisions and two armored divisions. Secretary of Defense Frank Nash. armored vehicles and other equipment were all criticized by Amt Blank’s army members as outdated and gen- erally unsuitable for the German Army. These. mortars. the German military planners wanted to equip their army as quickly as possible with German weap- ons.S. especially the American rifles and machine guns. Army’s infantry weapons.S.16 However.2 (April 2008). The Bundeswehr generally rejected US Army organization. armored personnel carriers. the army planners consistently found fault with the U.104 james s. As far as the West German army was concerned. 152 light tanks.S. even though the West Germans were assured of enough equipment to equip half of the planned 12 divisions of the army. were still of the World War II pattern and were generally obsolete. equipment unsuitable for their conditions and doctrine. American tanks. indeed inferior to the weapons the Germans had developed during the World War.S. 1997). agreed to deliver to the new German forces 1.17 The early German force planning focused on a doctrine very different 15 Anfänge westdeutscher Sicherheitspolitik.S. vol. “Learning with an Ally: The U.15 The foundation of the U. The U. military assistance to the Bundeswehr in its formative years was a grant of heavy equipment worth $950 million.100 battle tanks. the Germans initially planned a battle doctrine around armored personnel carriers for the infantry and did not like the design of the M-59 armored personnel carriers supplied by the Americans. 477–508. The Bundesheer (German Army) As rearmament plans were finalized. 4 (Munich: Oldenbourg. 480–81. corum Debates on Equipment and Doctrine From the very beginning of the formal rearmament process in 1950 the German army and air force staffs exhibited a very different attitudes towards adopting the equipment. 16 See Ingo Trauschweizer. organization and tactical doctrine that the Americans were offering. 74–77. 164–68. and enough aircraft to equip 24 air force squadrons. here 480. the former officers observed. 17 Ibid. arranged by U. The core issue was simply that the Germans found much of the U. For exam- ple.. .” Journal of Military History 72.

Akt N/4/55. Air Force. and when one sees high-quality equipment such as the Leopard 1 tank designed in the late 1950s. and the American training system would be adopted in toto.S. and clearly the best model was the U. The West German officers firmly believed that they could build better equipment than the Americans. Indeed. 6 January 1955. the new West German army did not feel any need to copy American practice and never viewed itself as a junior partner of the U. The first was psychological. Army. At the beginning of the rearmament planning the small group of air force planners came to the conclusion that the most practical way for Germany to develop a sizeable and modern air force was to copy the equipment. american assistance 105 kind than the American one. 18 Adenauer Papers. had exhibited a very different attitude towards its American counterpart. Briefing to Adenauer from Amt Blank. and backed up by armored anti-tank guns—a piece of equipment that had proven exceptionally effective in the recent World War. Bundesheer vs. at the tactical level the German doctrine differed considerably from the American and British ideas. and organization of another air force. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. from the earliest planning days. In short. Bundesluftwaffe There were two reasons for the different relationships of the two services towards their respective American services. with their own organizations. In the early years almost all of the Bundesluftwaffe’s equipment would be American.000 battle tanks.S. While the West Germans agreed to follow NATO operational level doctrine when they joined NATO.S. For example. one can see that they had a valid point. the Luftwaffe’s first leaders were frankly eager to copy the American model. tactics. The Bundesluftwaffe (German Air Force) The West German Air Force. supported by 8.18 The first divisions organized by the West German army had to follow American organizational lines mainly because it made logistics easier: the U. training. the army planners in Amt Blank proposed a force of 6.000 armored personnel carriers for the infantry. . Anlage 1. had already worked out all the necessary support and logistics require- ments for its heavy weapons. as quickly as possible in the rearmament process. Luftwaffe air groups would be organized on American lines. Yet the German plan was to build their own divisions. built for European condi- tions.

training. unit leadership. aerial warfare had been almost com- pletely transformed. immediately after the war the U. and this allowed the Allies to bomb any target in the Reich with relatively low losses. and equipping a modern mecha- nized army. indeed.S. The former Luftwaffe officers of Amt Blank knew that. The Luftwaffe had been decisively defeated in the air over Europe long before the end of the World War. accurate. 1982). man for man and unit for unit. the better army. 1807–1945 (McLean.S. Dupuy. There was.19 In fact. and by the end of the Korean War the USAF had become an almost all-jet air force. While the Germans had been the first to fly jets in combat. the German army had acquired four years of experience in fighting the Soviets. Army was eager to learn from the German experience. The attitude of the early Bundesluftwaffe officers towards their war experience was quite different. Army Performance. They believed that German training.S. By early 1944 the Luftwaffe had lost air superiority over Germany. Therefore. 1984). After all.106 james s. in the years since the end of the World War. a strong basis in fact for the views of the former army officers. Even the few 19 See Trevor N. Their attitude was generally that the German army of World War II had been. and devastating air support to their front line troops. .S. By 1943 the Luftwaffe had lost the ability to provide effective support to the ground armies while the Western Allies could provide massive. Fighting Power: German and U. Many in the U. A variety of aircraft-delivered atomic bombs been developed by the Russians and Americans. tactics. and equipment had been generally superior in battle and that the German army had suffered defeat pri- marily due to the overwhelming superiority in numbers of men and material of the Allied forces. Army employed several dozen German generals to write monographs on specific campaigns and on their combat lessons. Army agreed that the German army had performed superbly on the battlefield and had indeed been superbly professional at the tactical level of war. corum The former army officers who built the Bundesheer did not feel any inferiority towards their American counterparts. most Luftwaffe pilots were flying clearly inferior aircraft by the end of the war. and the U. VA: The Dupuy Institute. many of which were published and greatly influenced U.S. they needed little coaching or foreign tutelage in forming. Army doctrine. A Genius for War: The German Army and General Staff. 1939–1945 (Westport: Green- wood. and Martin Van Creveld.

21 Bruce Quarrie.. weaponry to equip its first units. The German aviation industry might be able. The Americans had already gone through two generations of jet aircraft technology and were ready to field their third generation of jets (the F-100 century series) at the end of the Korean War. the West German aviation industry in the early 1950s did not have the capital. in a few years.S. They were accepted by the defense ministry as a short-term meas- ure until German tanks could be produced. mortars. Under strict post-war regulation by the occupying powers. Much of the army’s equipment.S. Another reason for the different attitudes of the German army and air force towards the U. The Bundeswehr’s first armored personnel carrier was of Swiss design and license. to build basic jet trainers and transport aircraft. Development had begun on a fourth generation of jets (F-104. 1989). was of European design and was built under license.21 In contrast. trained 20 See Anfänge westdeutscher Sicherheitspolitik. etc. By the mid-1950s German industry had recovered from the war. F-4) by the mid-1950s. If the Bundeswehr might require some surplus U. military model was economic.S. In short. this situa- tion would not last for long. trucks. . Encyclopedia of the German Army in the 20th Century (Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens Ltd. the German aircraft firms that survived in the early 1950s were small operations that produced small quantities of light utility planes. and the economy was booming. Many items of American- made army equipment. However. It would not be difficult for German firms to produce high-quality modern arms for the army. the vehicle industry had grown rapidly in the 1950s and was capable of producing superior armored vehicles. built by Hanomag and Rheinmetall.. The German Army developed the Leopard I battle tank in 1960–61.20 By 1960 German industry was able to produce prototypes of the superb Leopard I battle tank and a missile- armed tank destroyer. even before all of the army’s mechanized divisions had been organized. the former Luftwaffe officers realized that the only way they could catch up technologically and learn how to fight a modern air war would be to copy the Americans. The Bundeswehr’s jeeps and motor vehicles were all new German-made models. were criticized by the German army as mediocre. such as rifles. The German army in the 1950s was able to produce rifles and machine guns of their own design. such as the U. the German aircraft industry had not yet recovered from the World War. american assistance 107 German pilots who had flown the Me 262 in the latter part of World War II knew that their experience was largely irrelevant in the techno- logical terms of the 1950s. machine guns. and jeeps of German design and manufacture by mid-decade. M-47 tank. 336–39. 4:156–70. For example.

plant capacity. 9–10. the new West German air force would be almost completely dependent upon buying aircraft from its allies. In the early days of Amt Blank. The American aircraft industry. to the staff of USAFE at Wiesbaden in November 1951. and for the foreseeable future. as Germany had no armed forces recognized under law. the German aviation industry was generations behind the Americans and British in terms of designing and building modern planes. The first actual contact between the air staffs came from an informal memo from the chief of the German air planning group in Amt Blank. forces were not officially authorized to set up direct relations with the German military staff.22 Opening Official Military Relations With German rearmament issues stuck over the negotiations in Paris between 1951 and 1954. thanks to the increase in fighter production brought by the Korean War. deployment of German air units. the air forces had been almost left out of the discussions. forces in Germany.23 However.108 james s. and training for the new air force. although the country’s first major attempt to produce com- bat aircraft at home (F-104 Starfighter) proved that Germany should have been much more careful in making the jump from simple trainers to one of the most complex aircraft of the era. At the start. contacts between the Americans and the Germans were almost all army-to-army contacts. Moreover. Until a formal plan for rearmament could be agreed upon between the Allied Powers and Germany. At first. was able to promise a large number of modern jet fighters to be delivered in a short (24–36 month) timeframe. there was no framework to allow direct military- to-military contact between the staff of Amt Blank and the U. Eschenauer wanted to initiate meetings with the Americans to dis- cuss reconstruction of airfields. There was an option for building planes under license in Germany. Colonel Eschenauer. corum workers. or research facilities to build modern jet air- craft. the best solution for a long time was to buy American.S. official military-to-military contacts were out of the question. Yet it was impossible for Germany and the Allies come up with coherent rearmament plans unless their military experts 22 Ibid. Indeed. 23 “USAFE’s Assistance to Create a New German Air Force” (note 13 above). because U.S. both Germans and Americans had to be discreet about such early contacts. .

S. airmen were staunchly opposed to the plan. who are army officers from EUCOM (European Command).S.24 At first the Germans received some very conflicting advice from senior officers of the U. by 1952 U. Thus. . In early 1952../ German military discussions took on a clandestine appearance. army and air forces in Europe appointed officers to be responsible for liaison and planning with the Germans. the U. and Americans from USAREUR and USAFE headquarters would regularly visit each other’s headquarters and discuss issues. to subordinate the German air force to the army. Since the Americans still could not send a liaison team to Bonn to work with the German planners of Amt Blank./German military relations became more open. a possibility of subordination of the air arm to ground control to an undesirable degree.25 Thus the creation of new German armed forces also became a battle- ground for different conceptions of modern fighting doctrine between 24 Ibid.S. General Landon of the USAFE staff noted in a memo to General Norstad that this view of the former German army officers was proba- bly being reinforced by the U. Army advisors assigned to the U. devel- oped at Himmerod in 1950.S. One of the initial issues for German/American discussion was the role of the new German Luftwaffe..S. Finally it was simply decided to not have “formal” military relations—which would upset the French. which had officially appointed liai- son staffs to deal with the Germans. Army and German army communication and contact between 1947 and 1960. services and the German shadow mili- tary staff. Army and U.S.S.S. Air Force. in 1950 and 1951 the first U. 25 Ibid.S. 15. The U. various discreet means were proposed.S. military forces has been through the High Commissioner’s office to his advisors. 11–12. would carry on with “informal” discussions with their German counterparts. american assistance 109 exchanged ideas and information. a series of “infor- mal” discussions began with Germans from Amt Blank.S. We have feared. and some of our early reports concerning the overall plans being formulated by the Germans have indicated.S. the U. High Commissioner’s office: … the only formal contact the Germans have had with U. such as using the cover of the historical research program—which was a major means of U. Between 1950 and 1952 this was a major point of conflict between the two U. However. Instead. Thus..

110 james s.S. regulations to smooth the way for the transfer of information to the Germans and allowing them to train on the latest U. In July 1952 General Norstad expressed his concerns to the Air Force deputy chief of staff.S.S. the U. American military observers at the EDC Commission were told that Amt Blank had dropped the concept of creating the Luftwaffe as an army air corps and that it had decided that any future Luftwaffe would be a fully inde- pendent service.26 The informal German/American staff contacts continued and increased in frequency and in the variety of subjects discussed through 1952 and 1953. 16. In August 1952. Yet security regulations precluded sharing classified information about Allied aircraft control and warn- ing centers with the German planners. For example. Defense Department.S.. equipment. 13. Eventually.28 26 Ibid. the effort remained ham- pered by political restrictions imposed by the EDC and bureaucratic restrictions imposed by NATO and the U.S. While German and American officers were able to carry out some of the basic planning for rearmament. General Tommy White: One of our greatest concerns in this matter has been in seeing that the German Air Force. however. 27 Ibid. We have been disturbed that this might happen unless qualified advisors were on hand to work directly with the Germans in their early planning. at the urging of USAFE. the Air Force staff granted an exemption to the security regulations and allowed the USAFE planners to share classified defense information with accredited German military per- sonnel.S. In the backroom battle for the doctrine of the future German armed forces. The system of informal planning had some effect. planners had strong support at the top to remove the bureaucratic obstacles. is patterned along lines that will permit its effective use as part of the defense forces of the Western Powers rather than see it parceled out by direct assignment to ground units for limited objectives.S. with offic- ers such as Norstad pushing the process. .’ ” 44. when it is formed. Army. fully integrated into Allied air operations. air defense planning required developing an extensive com- munications and radar network. 28 Schmidt.. “Von der ‘Befehlsausgabe’ zum ‘Briefing. Air Force and U. the U. corum the U. Air Force won some battles. In December 1953.27 Other similar changes were made in U. The key battle was over the very existence of a “proper” West German air force.

Army’s Advisory Group in Germany between 1955 and 1957.S. The main thing the army would need in order to build effective units was heavy equipment—and the American Nash Plan had assured Germany of enough equipment to begin building large units. to mobilize an army of 12 divisions and an air force of approximately 20 wings with more than 1.S.300 first-line aircraft (fighter-bombers. as well as several hundred training aircraft and a small navy of a destroyers. which had grown to about 800 personnel by this time. american assistance 111 Finalizing the Defense Plans In November 1953 the cadre for a U. 31 Trauschweizer. 327. so the main requirement for sup- port from the U. based on NATO’s Lisbon Conference’s 1952 force requirements. In the summer of 1954 the U. The Forge of West German Rearmament: Theodor Blank and Amt Blank (New York: Peter Lang. and transports). 30 Montescue Lowry. interceptors. Adenauer rejected this plan out of hand and insisted upon a three-year rearmament program. and more than 900 U. By that time the West German army was fully able to manage their own training efforts. Indeed. and patrol boats. military assistance group to Germany was moved to Bonn. military assistance group was formed in EUCOM and charged with direct liaison with Amt Blank. Blank and his staff proposed a four-and-a-half-year rearmament period to build the Bundeswehr to full strength. equipment. recon- naissance.” 480–81.29 Theodor Blank and his staff developed a series of final plans. . So at least the army was ready to begin recruit training.31 29 “USAFE’s Assistance to Create a New German Air Force” (note 13 above). where it could work on a daily basis with Amt Blank to finalize German rearmament plans. The USAREUR provided 34 training teams to train the German soldiers in the use and maintenance of American equipment. The army had a cadre of well-trained former Wehrmacht officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) under arms in the Bundesgren- zschutz. 17–21. 1990). soldiers were assigned to the U. minesweepers.S.S.30 Adenauer’s unrealistic demand put Blank and his staff under enormous pressure to speed up what was already an overwhelming task. was to have teams train Bundeswehr soldiers on the U.S. “Learning with an Ally. the rearmament program came very close to collapse as a result of Adenauer’s unrealistic demand. The professional officers and NCOs from the old Wehrmacht would not require a long period of training to get back in form.S.

which had operational cadres in the form of organized units of the Grenzshutz (Border Police) and Minesweeping flotillas. So the USAFE staff developed a complete logistics and basing plan for the German Air Force. On 6 May 1955 the USAFE and Amt Blank approved a 62-page contract setting up the goals. KWG-7330-HI. aside from the small air staff in Amt Blank. Such personnel could staff an air base and provide necessary services. K-WG-7330-HI.” in USAF HRA Doc. firemen. In 1954–55 the USAFE developed a large-scale train- ing program for the new Luftwaffe. 1955. To oversee the whole effort for training the German Air Force. 34 Ibid.32 The USAF training establishment in Germany was well prepared to take on the mission. General Norstad made building a new Luftwaffe a top priority for the USAFE. in USAF HRA Doc. The air force not only would need to acquire all new equipment but also would need to provide a long training period for its personnel who would operate the equipment. Norstad was able to 32 CINCUSAFE. planning for the West German air force was largely overlooked. that while staff planning for the army proceeded. It had been building up since 1953 in anticipation of German rearmament. Jan.–June 1956. Although the USAF in Germany employed thousands of German workers in airfield support positions such as air traffic con- trollers. corum In contrast to the Navy and Army. 2–4. the German staff admitted to the Americans that they had not the personnel to carry out serious planning for the logistics and support structure of the German Air Force..34 By June 1955.112 james s. and the air staff so undermanned.–Jun. was German employees of the USAF. Jan. Norstad put the training wings under a single headquarters (USAF Training Headquarters–Provisional) commanded by a general who reported directly to Norstad. mechanics. 69–70. and machinists.33 The Bundeswehr staff under General Heusinger was so army dominated. “Technical Agreement for Joint Tenancy of USAFE 3-Base Training Complex. . When the Germans and American staff met in January 1955 to talk about German organizational concepts. 33 History of the 7330th Flying Training Wing. air base engineers. these were still only support positions. obliga- tions. the only cadre for a German air force. and financial arrangements for the USAF training of the new Luftwaffe. but the nascent Luftwaffe had no cadre of pilots trained in high performance jets—nor were any Germans trained in the current radar systems or electronic gear essential to operate a modern air force.

36 HQ USAFE.–Dec.36 The navy was best prepared to begin forming units. bases and units for training. Since there was a shortage of trained German cadre. and as training and personnel problems arose he responded quickly with new tests. 9 in USAF HRA Doc. the Luftwaffe was completely unprepared. 507. american assistance 113 present a complete plan at his first formal meeting with the German air staff. 1955. Jan. August 1955. the USAF instructor personnel had to remain at their posts longer than planned.35 Thanks to Norstad’s personal intervention. 10. This resulted in a higher than expected “washout” rate for the first classes of German pilots and technical personnel. vol. 37 History of the 7330th Flying Training Wing (note 33 above). The first Luftwaffe cadres had not been well screened for the high physical standards of pilot training or for English proficiency. The Germans saw the Americans as 35 Ibid. The Germans were also fortunate to have an exceptional German Air Force leader to move the program.01. the plan for training and standing up new units was six months behind. Panitzki was an excellent problem solver. The German air staff passed on the U.. and better English-language preparation. more thorough screening. plans to Defense Minister Blank. 70–83. CINCUSAFE’s Monthly Summary.S. The first chief of the Luftwaffe’s Training Command was Colonel Werner Panitzki. The initial training problems were quickly overcome. In contrast. para. .S. All of the American accounts of the 1956–57 training program men- tion the close and very friendly cooperation between German and American air force personnel. and one hears of few complaints from the American side on the quality of the German Luftwaffe personnel reporting to U. Birth of the Bundeswehr When the Bundeswehr was officially born in 1955. The army was in a muddle but was able to form small cadres and begin training. K.2.37 The Luftwaffe training and formation program managed to get mov- ing because of Norstad’s personal involvement. by mid-1955 the not-yet- existing German Air Force at least had a comprehensive training plan and a program for unit basing and logistics that met with NATO approval. who approved them without any debate or modification. who had led the Luftwaffe staff in Amt Blank since 1954.

304–05..39 A start to solving some of the problems came in October 1956. Although the Bundeswehr took seven years to reach it original force goals. The USAF had initiated 32 major construction projects for the first Luftwaffe bases that involved millions of dollars. the new SACEUR in 1956. found many imaginative ways to shift funds and cover the German rearmament effort through 1956 until the German Defense Ministry could sort out its bureaucracy and funding. Strauss immedi- ately announced to NATO that the new policy for rearmament would be “quality over quantity. The most serious problems in building the Bundeswehr originated in the German Defense Ministry. .38 The biggest problem was the unrealistic limits for rearmament costs set by Chancellor Adenauer. and the pace of rearmament was appreciably slowed. No sooner had the German government signed agreements with the Americans on paying for bases. Wet German soldiers expressed some unease with American doctrinal concepts.40 Finally Resolving the Doctrine Debates From the start of the rearmament process.114 james s. and by the end of 1955 the defense ministry was millions of dollars in arrears to the U. One of the West German army’s most capable thinkers. who became NATO Land Forces Commander (LANDCENT) in early 38 “USAFE’s Assistance to Create a New German Air Force” (note 13 above). Franz Josef Strauss. 89–90. 1986). vol. Origins and Development of West German Military Thought.26 billion Deutschmarks per year—a wholly unrealistic figure. there was some consolation in that the new German units would have the best equipment and would be fully equal to any other NATO units. The government had promised that rearma- ment would not cost more than 9. 40 Julian Lider. 39 Ibid. The Americans saw the German officer and NCO staff and instructors as cooperative and highly dedi- cated to the mission of building a new air force. when Adenauer fired his defense minister and replaced him with the eager and ambi- tious young Bavarian politician.” The three-year build-up plan was scrapped.S. 89–93. VT: Gower. training. General Hans Speidel. General Norstad. corum helpful and highly competent teachers. 1 (Brookfield. and equipment than it began to try to renege on scheduled payments and renegotiate the terms.

S.42 The U. officers such as Maxwell Taylor were beginning to advocate. american assistance 115 1957. As chief of NATO’s land forces. See Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Archiv. Both the West Germans and the Americans believed that any future conflict would almost certainly involve large numbers of tactical nuclear weapons. Army Study From Major General Clark Ruffner. equipped with heavy firepower and tactical nuclear weapons. Army shared these classified studies with the German army staff. far too much on nuclear weapons and massive retaliation. Speidel supported a European version of the “flexible response” doctrine that some U. to General Speidel. 359–411. The development and proliferation of small.S. 2 October 1956. tactical nuclear weapons in the early 1950s required the major powers to rethink their battle doctrines. Army initiated several studies of the nuclear battlefield and determined that the U. 1977).43 41 A good overview of these debates is provided in Speidel’s memoirs. Army began experi- menting with a smaller.” translation of a U. Meeting of 3 October. In 1956 the U. Augustin.S.” which was composed of several battle groups— essentially reinforced battalions—each capable of operating as a semi- independent force under conditions of the nuclear battlefield.41 Even as the first Bundeswehr units were formed in 1955.S. 42 “Studie über die neuzeitliche militärische Entwicklung.S. 1956. 43 Notes for the Defense Committee and Minister. The future “nuclear battlefield” became a central concern of U. The American studies provided considerable support to officers such as Speidel. Akt I 098–005/1. Aus unserer Zeit: Errinerungen (Berlin. more flexible divisional organization known as the “pentomic division.S. St. and German military leaders as they grappled with the doctrinal implications of tactical nuclear weapons.M. studies were discussed at the ministerial level and with the top staffs at the very moment that Theodor Blank was forced to resign and hand his office over to Franz Josef Strauss.S. Speidel pushed for a doctrine that relied more on highly mobile ground forces. in his view. Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Archiv. had long expressed his unease with the American defense doc- trines of the early 1950s that relied. Cold War realities made the Americans and Germans rethink their organiza- tional and doctrinal assumptions. Military Assistance Group Germany. who were reconsidering the whole process of unit organization of both the army and the air force. Commander of the U.S. Hans Speidel. Akt IV/ IV C-6–931–05. St. divisional organization was much too large and clumsy to function effectively on the future battlefield. Augustin.S. . In the mid-1950s the U.: Propyläen. In 1955 and 1956 the U. Frankfurt a.

1993). like the army’s. and West German Army counterparts. in which it had performed creditably. American military planning and equipment made it possible for the West Germans to get their rearmament effort up and running. In 1958 the Luftwaffe activated its first jet fighter bomber unit equipped with F-84Fs (Thunderstreaks). American and West German airmen saw eye to eye and joined together to oppose the views of their U.44 There was some friction in the process. The inevitable problems of politics and bureaucracy slowed the whole process down. Army had come around to the Bundeswehr’s preferred way of thinking. In 1956–57. Beginning with the post-war historical studies. Indeed. and Panitzki were especially effective in working with their allied counterparts to solve training problems and doctrinal disputes. Generals Speidel. Army as a sound solution to the nuclear battlefield problem and was quickly adopted. the story is largely about how the different armed forces interacted with each other in a productive manner. as one might expect when officers representing two great military traditions come into contact.S. In the long term.S. . the German approach was greatly appreciated by NATO and the U. the origin of many of the disputes came less from nationality than from service perspective. see also Anfänge westdeutscher Sicher- heitspolitik. 3 (Munich: Oldenbourg. By the end of 1957 the German Army had created five divisions and had held its first large maneuvers. 44 Lider. By 1957 the Germans and Americans were marching along the same lines in terms of doctrine and unit organization.S. Yet the process of West German rearmament was not a one-way street.S.116 james s. In only two years from its foundation. army doctrine in the first half of the Cold War. but those problems were finally overcome by good leaders on both sides. the West German Army staff developed a new divisional organization built around smaller. even as the West German Army was still in its early formative stages. The Luftwaffe organization. vol. corum In its idea of a smaller and more flexible divisional organization. with a primary Luftwaffe mission being delivery of tacti- cal nuclear weapons. 834. Norstad. 304–09. the U. Origins and Development. was changed and adapted to a more long-range and offensive force than had been envi- sioned at first. West German soldiers had an especially strong influence upon U. the West German army had evolved very rapidly in terms of doctrine and organ- ization. all-arms brigades. In fact.

The deliberations and negotiations leading to West Germany’s accession to NATO (5 May 1955) and the creation of the Bundeswehr proved far more protracted and difficult than any of the participants envisioned in early 1951. a team of former Kriegsmarine admirals assembled by the United States under the innocuous cover of a “Naval Historical Team” played a key role . Adenauer established closer contact with a number of former high-ranking German officers. The French prime minister. and by January 1951 was negoti- ating with the Western powers about the desirability and feasibility of West German rearmament. either by directly attacking western Europe or by using East Germany’s People’s Police as a proxy force to occupy the Federal Republic. Preparations for setting up West German naval forces proceeded at two levels. alarmed at the prospect of a remilitarized Federal Republic. the chancellor of the young Federal Republic. countered with the suggestion of organizing a common European Defense Force. the United States was publicly and officially advocat- ing West German rearmament within the context of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance. Konrad Adenauer. Western leaders feared that the Soviet Union would exploit the diversion of American resources in order to shift the balance in Europe.ESTABLISHING THE BUNDESMARINE: THE CONVERGENCE OF CENTRAL PLANNING AND PRE-EXISTING MARITIME ORGANIZATIONS. By September 1950. He was willing to push an unenthusiastic West German popu- lace along the path to remilitarization in exchange for concessions in the area of German sovereignty. realized an opportunity was at hand. appointed Bundestag parliamentarian Theodor Blank as head of an office charged with coordinating security planning. On the periphery. which would draw on German manpower without generating German national armed forces. René Pleven. 1950–1956 Douglas Carl Peifer The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 proved pivotal to the ongoing debate within the western camp about German remilitariza- tion.

with admirals from the Naval Historical Team Bremerhaven and a naval veterans group known as the Meisel Circle playing a par- ticularly prominent role. which enabled them to assemble boats. and the U.118 douglas carl peifer in sounding out fellow Kriegsmarine veterans about their willingness to serve in a future West German navy. the Labor Service Unit Bravo and the West German Seegrenzschutz. establish maritime facilities. The leaders of the Bundesmarine assumed their posts only in 1956 and 1957. Gathering the Personnel. the Americans and Germans founded two maritime organizations. but the Bundesmarine owed much to the multiple maritime organizations that preceded it. Navy began to co-opt a select group of Kriegsma- rine admirals even before negotiations about German rearmament had formally commenced. advice.S. the U. Additionally. and Infrastructure of a New West German Navy: The Naval Historical Team Bremerhaven. The convergence of the materiel and manpower of the periphery with the leadership and planning of the center in 1955–56 enabled West Germany to organize naval forces rapidly once the diplomatic framework for the Bundesmarine had been established. and the Seegrenzschutz The innocuous sounding Naval Historical Team Bremerhaven illus- trates how the U.” precursor to Germany’s Federal Defense Ministry and headed by Theodor Blank) and the German naval delegate to the Paris European Defense Commu- nity (EDC) negotiations stood at the center of the process leading up to the establishment of the Bundesmarine. The Royal Navy. and begin non- military nautical training while diplomats hashed out the details of Germany’s role in NATO and the establishment of a West German military. but many had been engaged in plan- ning for a new West German navy since the early 1950s.S. The naval section of Amt Blank (“The Blank Office. and assistance from a variety of groups. Vessels. These midlevel naval veterans received generous support. Navy had all sponsored a number of historical projects employ- ing Kriegsmarine veterans during the post-war period and had recruited a small number of Kriegsmarine veterans to support their .S. the Labor Service Unit Bravo. Army. The West German Bundesmarine showed none of the direct organizational con- tinuity that characterized the shift from People’s Police-Sea to Volks- marine in East Germany.

see Douglas Carl Peifer. Lieutenant Commander Edward R. former Admiral for Midget Weapons. The team was formed because of mounting alarm about Soviet intentions during the period of the Berlin blockade. the Kriegsma- rine’s leading expert in mine warfare. Transition. and Stephan Huck. 2 Graubart. Graubart and his assistant. The Three German Navies: Dissolution. 170– 75 [Drei Deutsche Marinen.S. Patzig. 1975. Gerhard Wagner. U. Riedel. 1 For details on the Naval Historical Team Bremerhaven and other precursors to the Bundesmarine. Hellmuth Heye. interview 18 Jan. Auflösung. combined a superb knowledge of the Kriegsmarine personnel system with a critical stance to National Socialism. Army and U. 1945–1960. former Chief of Staff. Chief of Naval Intelligence in Germany.S. Port of Embarkation in the Bremerhaven enclave on 9 April 1949. N539/42. Wagner Papers. establishing the bundesmarine 119 intelligence activities. 2002). a former head of the Abwehr service (German military intelli- gence). however. Graubart to author. New perspectives on maritime history and nautical archaeology (Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Navy’s Naval Historical Team Bremer- haven (NHT) constituted more than a historical research endeavor. Both men were well connected and proved invaluable in tapping the Kriegsmarine veterans network for the skills and knowledge the Americans sought. and their wives played bridge together. Navy’s historical writing projects. 2002. Captain Arthur H. having volunteered to con- tribute to the U. with its studies drawing upon the Kriegsmarine’s wartime experience with the Soviet navy but addressing issues of current rather than historical relevance. ed. 2007)]. “Speed” Graubart.S. was the father figure and organizer of the NHT.2 Ruge. Head of the Operations Department of the Naval War Staff. Naval intelligence put a small villa in Spekenbüttel at the team’s disposal. Among the Kriegsmarine veterans they assembled under the cover of a “Naval Historical Team Bremerhaven” were: Otto Schniewind.3 The German Naval Historical Team assembled for its first session under the cloud of the Berlin Blockade. and New Beginnings. Übergänge Und Neuanfänge. and Eberhardt Godt. . meeting in the U.S. Kleine Schriftenreihe Zur Militär- und Marinegeschichte (Bochum: Winkler. Bundesarchiv- Militärarchiv (henceforth BA/MA). 10 Jan.1 The U. Jörg Hillmann. Jens Graul. interview between Güth and Patzig. 107–13.S. approached Kriegsmarine Admirals Konrad Patzig and Friedrich Ruge about assembling a team of Kriegsmarine experts to assist the Americans. 3 See BA/MA ZA 4 for records and correspondence dealing with the NHT. Eva Besteck. Chief of the Operations Department of the U-Boat Command. had come to the attention of the Americans during his POW captivity. Patzig. trans.

. The U. 1 November 1951. as they lacked military equipment and training. After the Second World War. and shore facilities of U. Gen Adolf Heusinger.S. the U. Naval intelli- gence paid the team members. MSG 1/2061. Naval Intelligence into an unofficial coordinating staff exploring possibilities for a future German navy. 1976). two other organizations did much to assemble the personnel. “Der Einfluss verschiedener Marinekreise (Naval Historical Team. boats. with the NHT forwarding names for his consideration.S. craft. BA/MA. Friedrich Ruge. In vier Marinen: Lebenserinnerungen als Beitrag zur Zeitgeschichte (Munich: Bernard & Graefe.S. These were the Labor Service Unit Bravo and the Seegrenzs- chutz. but both later served as reservoirs for the Bundesmarine. BA/MA. The U. he contacted the NHT for recom- mendations. Navy established three German Labor Service Units (LSUs) in November 1950 to “assist in manning the ships. 11. 279. Wagner to Zenker. Germany. Navy had utilized a number of German Marine Dienstgruppen to help clear the Bremerhaven area. with the entire program operated on American initiative without the knowledge or input of the fledgling West German government in Bonn.5 Wagner and the NHT.) 1945–1955 auf die Marineplanungen der Dienststelle Blank unter besonderer Berucksichtigung der Marinedienstgruppen” (Freiburg: unpub- lished Militärgeschichtliche Forschungsamt study. A closer 4 Heinz-Ludger Borgert. 1979). prepare Kriegsmarine assets for disposition. Navy could claim that it was merely organizing a number of new units to meet its present needs. and equipment necessary for naval effective- ness.” Marine Forum 55 (1980). While the NHT played the role of an unofficial planning staff for a future German navy. whose members had been selected on their recommendation in the first place. set the agenda for the naval section of Amt Blank.S. 5 Karl-Adolf Zenker. required naval assistance. working closely with their American sponsors. “Aus der Vorgeschichte der Bundesmarine. Naval Forces.”6 The move seemed unremark- able. and provide harbor and support services. ZA 6/89. 97.S. Neither constituted a proto-navy per se. ‘Meisel’ Kreis etc. 6 COMNAVFORGER Order 20–50. Much of the planning for the Bundesmarine originated in the NHT rather than within the naval section of Amt Blank: when the head of the military office of Amt Blank.4 The outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 spurred serious discussion about German rearmament. and the admirals in the NHT gradually transformed the team from an analysis group operated by the U.120 douglas carl peifer even arranging for a cook and orderly for the admirals.

most jobs that had been entrusted to the Marine Dienstgruppen had been completed. Berger (and presumably John) received an invitation to visit COMNAVFORGER in Heidelberg at the beginning of October. Little did they anticipate that the process of negotiating Germany’s role in the Western security system would drag on for five more years. Naval Forces Germany (COMNAVFORGER) acted proactively. equipment.S. the Americans posed all sorts of questions. The Americans noted that the planning was preliminary. Berger provided detailed written responses but received little information in response. the NHT’s mine warfare expert.S. and the type of equipment with which German minesweeping personnel were familiar. Friedrich Ruge. COMNAVFORGER requested the NHT’s assistance in find- ing suitable mid-level German naval veterans who would consider service in the LSUs. The Commander. Both had proven themselves in the minesweeping forces of the Kriegsmarine and seemed to fit the job description. He explained that the Americans would equip the units with minesweeping boats and river patrol craft and that he anticipated transferring the units to the Federal Republic. . They asked about the size and composition of a German minesweeper crew. The estab- lishment of the Bremerhaven Labor Service Unit must be interpreted as a first step by the U. Indeed. explained that the French and British had been informed.S. Navy toward building up West German naval forces.7 7 Berger to Ruge. establishing the bundesmarine 121 look at the Bremerhaven Labor Service Unit reveals that it came to serve an entirely different function than had the post-war Marine Dienstgruppen. the pay scale utilized by the Kriegsmarine. contacted Hans John and Walter Berger. ZA 6/89. BA/MA. and facilities to put at the disposal of the EDC or the Federal Republic once Western politicians had agreed upon the exact form and nature of West Germany’s military contribution to NATO. sweeping up mines left over from the war. According to Berger. and quietly began to assemble personnel. U. Navy anticipated that diplomatic efforts would proceed at a faster pace than they did. The U. and told Berger that they would be in touch. and the civilian Cuxhaven Minesweeping Group was doing a fine job finishing the one major remaining task. 5 October 1950. informing the Kriegsmarine admirals on the NHT of his intention to establish Labor Service Units in Bremerhaven and Schierstein on the Rhine in late September 1950.

. pass an entry examination. while onerous.S. and meet the same physical.). and moral standards prescribed for members of the U. LSU (B) was activated at the U. COMNAVFORGER established LSU (A) as a German liaison office at its headquarters in Heidelberg. Counterintelligence Corps.8 Entry guidelines mandated that candidates be between 18 and 35 years of age. LSU (B) benefited from the accession of experienced personnel from Bremerhaven’s Marine Technical Unit and the Cuxhaven Mine- sweeping Group. 9 COMNAVFORGER Order 20–50.S. BA/MA. and within eight months all three LSUs were oper- ational. Additional personnel were recruited directly from civilian life.” In addition. Orders pertaining to the creation of three German naval LSUs were issued on 15 November 1950. On 1 February 1951. “Entwicklung. Aufgaben und Organisation der Dienstgruppen 1945–1956” (research paper. The Americans believed that the LSU (B) should constitute more than a training establishment and should have operational utility. and they had to submit to a security check from the local office of the U. though the influx only partially satisfied the person- nel requirements of the new unit. n. ensuring that “democrats” and politically inactive personnel dominated the ranks. Hans John later transferred to LSU (B) from Heidelberg. the U. In early 1951 the U. Militärgeschichtliche Forschungsamt.122 douglas carl peifer COMNAVFORGER moved more rapidly than expected. becoming its senior German officer in light of his seniority. Navy insisted on reclaiming its minesweep- ers. mental.S. Naval Advance Base. Navy. The tugs and roughly 150 personnel of the Bremerhaven Marine Technical Unit were transferred to the new organization.S. Navy indicated that it intended to reclaim the mine- sweeping boats it had leased to a German civilian minesweeping organ- ization in Cuxhaven. ZA 6/89.S. was intended to weed out those who sympa- thized with either the far right or the far left.9 The process. with 60 percent of LSU personnel having prior service in the Kriegsmarine and the rest lacking naval experience. and Walter Berger was appointed as senior German officer. U. All candidates had to present their identity cards in order to prove that de-nazification courts had classified them as either category 4 (fol- lower) or 5 (exonerated) persons or had “politically screened them.d. Bremerhaven. Despite the intervention of the NHT and West German officials. 142. naval 8 Josef Zienert. with Hans John serving as the German liaison officer. applicants had to present a “Police Good Conduct Certificate” from their local police station.S.

Navy shifted gears and began to empha- size training over operations in LSU (B). Minesweeping boats were dry-docked in order to free more personnel for training opportunities.und Osteuropa nach 1945. Karl Peter. Navy had ulterior purposes were brushed aside. COMNAVFORGER maintained that LSU (B) had been organized mainly for the purpose of clearing residual World War II mines. 11 Zienert. The rationale behind disbanding one civilian minesweeping organization in order to replace it with another baffled skeptics.S. . LSU (B) personnel and boats were put to work clearing mines. sweep- ing more than 400 square miles of water between 1951 and 1956. The press and public were reassured that LSU (B) personnel had signed civilian contracts. The U.11 During the early 1950s. Navy put classrooms and equip- ment at the Germans’ disposal and encouraged LSU personnel to take advantage of the numerous courses offered through the Educa- tion Department. The French parliament’s rejec- tion of the EDC the following year forced Western politicians and military experts back to the drawing board. Karl Peter. “Labor Service Unit (LSU) (B) und (C) und Einbau von Personal und Material in die Bundesmarine. Acht Glas. 12 Gerhard Freiherr von Ledebur. “Die Räumung von Seeminen in den Gewässern von Nord-. The personnel officer of LSU (B). later rose to become an admiral in the Bundesmarine. and allegations that the U. The U. but American and German naval personnel in Bremerhaven continued to assume that LSU (B) would serve as a ready source of personnel for whatever German naval organization was devised.S. By 1956 approxi- mately 850 Germans were employed by LSU (B). and by 1955 fully one- third of LSU personnel were attending courses covering topics such as naval weaponry.” Truppenpraxis 11 (1965). Aufgaben und Organisation der Dienstgruppen 1945– 1956. and little effort or money had to be expended on advertising openings. 1989/90).” Marine Rundschau 67 (1970). 463. sonar. Erinnerungen eines Seeoffiziers der Crew 38 (Berlin: Preussischer Militärverlag. but the U. West.” 142.12 The ratification of the General Treaty and the EDC treaty by the Bundestag and Bundesrat in March and May 1953 seemed to indicate that the time had arrived to ready LSU personnel for their transfer to West German control.S. 10 Karl Peter. Navy’s emphasis on the utilitarian nature of LSU (B)’s mission helped allay public concern.S. “Entwicklung. electronics. and engineering.10 Recruitment proved relatively easy. navigation. establishing the bundesmarine 123 officers selected the first generation of personnel but subsequently del- egated the task to Hans John and his German staff.

The boat pool continued to expand. 343. explained to his American contacts that veterans who had returned to civilian life would object to any arrange- ment indicating special treatment for LSU personnel. .S. Bonn insisted that LSU personnel be treated like all other candidates for the Bundesmarine and declined to honor promotions given out by the U. The July 1951 arrival of 12 minesweepers previously leased to the Cuxhaven Minesweeping Group doubled the number of vessels assigned to LSU (B). U. in addition to several tugs and harbor craft. training and professional development became the top prior- ity by 1953–55. The U. 14 Wagner to Admiral [Orem].14 13 Ibid. with 32 minesweeping boats. Navy makes it clear that they were being groomed for tasks that went beyond minesweeping..S. acting as an unoffi- cial spokesman for Amt Blank. Navy equipped LSU (B) with Kriegsmarine vessels that had been assigned to the United States by the Tripartite Naval Commission. Navy and transferred to LSU (B). were assigned to LSU (B) in early 1951. four tenders. Navy. sailing under the American flag.S. MSg 1/2061.124 douglas carl peifer While minesweeping work was emphasized for political reasons in 1951–52.S. These Type 40 minesweepers. The U. The broad range of courses offered to LSU personnel by the U.13 The boats were American property. American officers and their German employees discovered that their German negotiating partners were eager to acquire LSU boats and equipment but unbending when it came to personnel guidelines for joining the new Bundesmarine. Navy assembled sufficient vessels to organize three minesweeping flo- tillas. BA/MA. one tanker. naval officers and the naval section of Amt Blank began to nego- tiate the transfer of the American LSUs to German control six months before the West German Ministry of Defense was created in June 1955. as mine- sweepers which had been chartered out to civilian maritime groups were reclaimed by the U. three fast patrol boats. four Kriegsmarine minesweepers remained in mothballs. While many boats had been scrapped or sold by 1950. The boat complement was meager and motley at the outset. and assorted small craft making up the entire boat pool of the organization. one coastal ASW boat.S. Wagner Correspondence.S. The implications for young LSU personnel were severe: a young sailor who had advanced to petty officer rank by dint of hard work and study would have to enter the Bundesmarine as a seaman. Gerhard Wagner. one floating barrack. 6 January 1955.

equipment. . with most of its personnel.S. and he broached the idea of form- ing a West German border guard in October 1950. The U. On the whole. Distressed at the 15 Peter. three minesweeping squadrons (the 1st. and organized by West Germans from its inception. Adenauer first proposed establishing a Federal Border Guard. but those with prior service proved willing to join the Bundesmarine at their former rank. 2nd. Adenauer had been greatly concerned over North Korea’s lightning attack against South Korea the preceding summer. A screen- ing committee arrived in Bremerhaven in March 1956 and verified that LSU personnel met the requirements. Like the U.-organized unit. the Seegren- zschutz served as a precursor organization to the Bundesmarine.-sponsored Labor Service Unit. a veteran of the Kriegsmarine’s minesweeping forces. the Seegrenzschutz was formed. administered. seized upon the concept. Navy remained com- mitted to transferring the unit to German control despite this disagree- ment. establishing the bundesmarine 125 The naval section of Amt Blank and the U.15 The Federal Republic established its own maritime organization. the Seegrenzschutz (Maritime Border Guard) as part of the Bundesgrenzs- chutz (Federal Border Guard) set up in March 1951. “Labor Service Unit (LSU) (B) und (C) und Einbau von Personal und Material in die Bundesmarine. an Iron Cross recipient. Navy indicated that it would transfer the boats and materiel of LSU (B) to the Germans as soon as Amt Blank finished screening LSU (B) personnel for entry to the Bundesmarine. and then chief of Schleswig- Holstein’s Waterways Police. Hermann Knuth. The first transfer proceedings began in June 1956. and some 560 officers and men as a result.” 932.S. and further transfers placed the entire material assets of the organization under Bundesmarine control by July 1958. He was alarmed at the growth of East German paramilitary units and envisioned the organization as a stopgap measure while negotiations determined the form and manner in which the Federal Republic would be drawn into NATO.S.S. The Bundesmarine acquired a fully equipped naval facility in Bremerhaven. In October 1950. The U. Yet unlike the U. Navy began to transfer the boats and assets of LSU (B) to the Bundesmarine as soon as the personnel question had been resolved.S. and facilities put at the disposal of the West German Navy in 1956. LSU personnel without prior service in the Kriegsmarine declined to transfer to the Bundesmarine. and 3rd).

They forwarded the name of Fritz Poske to the Ministry of the Interior. 26. Knuth offered to help organize a maritime component to the Federal Border Guard. . was for- gotten in the flurry of activity that preceded the Bundestag vote estab- lishing the Federal Border Guard. Bericht. three flotillas (18 boats total) of 122 personnel each. Bonn officials instead contacted the former Kriegsmarine admirals at the NHT for suggestions concerning personnel and equipment. Their draft plan proposed establishing a staff unit of 48 personnel. merely checking to see that the limit of 500 men had been observed. and a training and repair division of 86. Ministry of Interior officials and the prospective “inspector” of the Federal Border Guard approved the plan with little comment. Poske was given a desk. and the vague guideline to organize a maritime border police component not to exceed 500 men in strength. 30. Poske worked furiously to draw up manpower and equipment proposals for the Seegrenzschutz. Erinnerung. 1981). explaining that his work in Schleswig-Holstein’s Waterways Police had made him well aware of the problems a Federal maritime unit would encounter in the Baltic. Following initial screening for minimal qualifications. Dokumentation (Munich: Bernard & Graefe. with Poske reporting for duty in Bonn on 9 May 1951. however.126 douglas carl peifer inability of his provincial maritime police to stop smugglers. Knuth’s offer to help organize the contingent. select candidates 16 Fritz Poske. a pencil. 17 Ibid. The process utilized to select additional officers hearkened back to the highly competitive selection procedure used by the Reichsmarine.000 to 20. the Seegrenzschutz tripled in size to 1. and the prospective “inspector” of the Federal Border Guard concurred that the organization should include a maritime detachment of 500 men. catch ille- gal fishers. With the assistance of a fellow Kriegsmarine veteran (the head of the recently disbanded Cuxhaven minesweeping group) named Adalbert von Blanc. By the end of 1951 the Seegrenzschutz had reached its authorized strength of 500.17 The new organization recruited heavily from veterans who had worked in the various post-war minesweeping organizations. or apprehend “saboteurs” from the East. When the Bundestag authorized an increase in the overall strength of the Federal Border Guard from 10.550 men.000 men in June 1953.16 Knuth’s idea was received favorably at the Ministry of the Interior. Der Seegrenzschutz 1951–1956.. Additional personnel were recruited from the civilian sector.

more precisely. Former Kriegsmarine admirals Heye.550 officers. and equipment of the Seegrenzschutz reflected a limited charter. ongoing negotiations over the EDC caused influential West German Kriegsmarine experts to advocate transforming the Seegrenzs- chutz into a West German coast guard.19 By 1952. Der Seegrenzschutz 1951–1956. The outlines of the EDC plan indicated that West Germany would have no national naval force but would contribute ships to a common European navy. “Der Bundesgrenzschutz-See und seine Eingliederung in die Marine. and military operations. The candidates. fitness. engineering. but very lit- tle in the way of tactics. 140. Schools provided training in seamanship. operations. with only one out of five candidates accepted for service in the Seegrenzschutz. The training. were put through a series of exercises and tests. the Seegrenzschutz apparently had little difficulty attracting Kriegsmarine veterans: Two out of three applicants for officer vacancies had to be turned away. and so forth. Competition at the petty officer and enlisted level was even fiercer. and others pointed out that Britain 18 Adalbert von Blanc. establishing the bundesmarine 127 received invitations from the Federal Border Guard to attend five-day evaluation sessions in Lübeck. maritime law. communications. An official Bierabend (garden party with beer) concluded the examination period. and experience. Ruge. Civilian supervisors at the Ministry of the Interior warned against utilizing “barrack yard” methods of instruction and drill. 19 Poske. civil servants. though the practice of drawing on former Kriegsmarine officers and petty officers in effect perpetuated the social structure of the Kriegsmarine or. 925–26. the small Reichsmarine. naval weapons. rang- ing from impromptu speaking to physical tests to group exercises. Former Kriegsmarine officers supervised the selection process and claimed to measure candidates strictly on the basis of performance. Though segments of the veteran population maintained an “ohne mich” (without me) attitude in light of the ongoing imprisonment of Grand Admirals Raeder and Dönitz.” Truppenpraxis 11 (1965). divided into small groups of 15 to 20 men. . indicating that new training procedures must guard against assaults on human dignity. and enlisted men of the Seegrenzs- chutz were the crème de la crème of a large pool of applicants. Political affiliation and class criteria played no out- right role in the selection process.18 The 1.

it would fall under civilian control and perform various duties currently divided up among West Germany’s numerous ministries.20 The transfer took effect precisely five years after the Seegrenzschutz had been estab- lished.S. equipment. 877 Seegrenzschutz personnel elected to make the shift to the Bundesmarine.128 douglas carl peifer and France planned to retain naval forces outside the framework of a unified West European navy. Yet they played only a peripheral role in planning how a new 20 Ibid. The NHT. Their representatives refused to con- sider the proposal due to an aversion to men in uniforms that bordered on outright hostility. Coast Guard. the Seegrenzschutz began to procure boats and facilities in late 1951 and throughout 1952. materiel. The “Second Law regarding the Federal Border Guard. Transferred personnel retained their rank and seniority but had to undergo the same screening criteria as other can- didates entering the Bundeswehr and Bundesmarine. and by 1955 the Seegrenzschutz had assembled more than 40 patrol boats. facilities. and Cuxhaven—became the property of the Bundesmarine on 1 July 1956. and institutional memory to the Bundes- marine. 178–79.. Personnel who wished to decline their transfer to the Ministry of Defense were entitled to do so. The boat pool gradually expanded. LSU (B). In times of peace. . Seegrenzschutz assets—including 30 boats and facilities at Kiel. and the Seegrenzschutz all contributed critical personnel.” passed by the Bundestag on 30 May 1956. Neustadt. Transportation. transferred the personnel of the Seegrenzschutz to the Bundesmarine. while the Ministry was empowered to reject unsuitable members of the Federal Border Guard. whereas in the event of war it could take over the mission of coastal defense. and they advocated modeling the Seegrenzschutz after the U. Despite initial reservations about the Seegrenzschutz on the part of the British and French. While training. and foreign supervision show that the organization was far from being a covert West German navy. Poske gained the support of his superiors in the Ministry of the Interior for this scheme but ran into problems when he spelled out the benefits of con- solidating all maritime affairs to officials at the Ministries of Finance. and Agriculture. the first armed vessels to operate under the West German flag belonged to the Seegrenzschutz.

3 (1995). later joined by Heinrich Gerlach. and personnel policies for Germany’s contributions to the EDC and (after the collapse of the EDC) to NATO. Defining the Mission. the NHT. Wagner recommended two individuals he knew and trusted from the war: former captains Wolfgang Kähler and Adolf Zenker. Structure. plans. “Die Anfänge der Bundesmarine 1950–1955. and Processes of a West German Navy: Amt Blank. establishing the bundesmarine 129 West German navy would contribute to the security of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). had worked closely with Admiral Gerhard Wagner during the Second World War. Theodor Blank and his organization worked out the specifics of how to translate treaty commitments into reality. Kähler and Zenker. organization. and the Ministry of Defense Individuals who joined LSU (B) and the Seegrenzschutz were objects of negotiation rather than participants in the diplomatic process lead- ing to the foundation of the Bundesmarine. He contacted Wagner at the NHT and asked for recommendations of some mid-level naval representatives for posi- tions in his department’s personnel section (II/3) and planning section (II/Pl). 22 For further information about the naval section of Amt Blank. and at NATO’s headquarters. and another group of senior Kriegsmarine veterans loosely known as the Meisel Circle. London.” Marine Forum 1/2. In 1951. Amt Blank recruited several mid-level Kriegsmarine veter- ans to provide assistance in naval force planning and personnel issues. Amt Blank—the chancellor’s advisory office for security and defense issues—stood at the center of the process.22 21 See note 5 above. became the naval specialists in Amt Blank and in the German delegation to the EDC negotiations. They stood at the periph- ery and had little input into the shifting diplomacy concerning West Germany’s security role in the Western alliance. see Dieter Krüger. EDC Negotiations. The parameters defining the Bundesma- rine’s mission. and they developed the proposals. and purpose were defined in Bonn follow- ing negotiations in Paris. General Adolf Heusinger.21 These “insiders” at Amt Blank and in the German dele- gation to the EDC negotiations maintained close contact with Wagner. The head of the military department of Amt Blank. .

the NHT recommended a minimum force of 12 large torpedo boats. respectively. ruled out the possibility of establishing any new “High Seas Fleet. only to disappear with Raeder and Dönitz’s release from Spandau in July 1955 and September 1956. 12 convoy escorts. Heusinger. and the West German chancellor all lacked the authority to release the grand admirals. Hans Speidel. Given that personnel requirements would vary depending on the exact class of boats selected. Ruge came prepared with an NHT position paper. well aware that large surface ships had proven of limited value during the Second World War.” Ruge explained that a future West German navy should be able to defend the Baltic approaches. however. which stated that West Germany would soon join NATO and that its naval forces would operate within the context of the Western alliance. and in Bonn that Raeder and Dönitz had been unjustly sentenced.” They still maintained. and Hermann Foertsch—to examine the Federal Republic’s strategic and military situation. Adenauer had asked three trusted military experts—former generals Adolf Heusinger. the Royal Navy. By then. three naval experts were invited to attend: Schulze-Hinrich from the Gehlen organization. and the admirals of the NHT cooperated in playing a delicate game of working toward German remilitarization while claiming that the grand admiral ques- tion stood in its way. and 144 naval aircraft. and Foertsch convened a select group of military experts for a secret conference at the Himmelrod monastery in the Eifel Mountains. The issue loomed like a dark cloud on the horizon. 36 patrol boats. the NHT estimated that . secure sea lines of communication and supply in the North Sea. While army and air force experts predomi- nated. Friedrich Ruge from the NHT. Ruge and the NHT. the Baltic Approaches. who had been Fleet Commander before the war. 12 small ASW boats.S. 36 fast attack boats. 60 mine- sweepers.130 douglas carl peifer The naval section of Amt Blank. planning for the next German navy had been in progress for five years. the Meisel Circle. but the American admiral in Heidelberg. The NHT drew up the first plans for a West German navy in prepa- ration for the Himmelrod Conference of October 1950. 36 landing craft. They succeeded in convincing many of their con- tacts in the U. and operate offensively in the Baltic. 24 small U-boats. the British flag officer in Cologne. In order to accomplish these missions. Following the outbreak of the Korean War. that German naval forces were essential to defending the “number one strategic position in North- west Europe. Navy. Speidel. and Walter Gladisch.

30 airplanes. January–June 1951) and among France. Karl-Adolf Zenker. whose members had been selected on the recommendation of the NHT admirals in the first place. “Aus der Vorgeschichte der Bun- desmarine. vol. and Luxembourg (Paris Conference on the EDC. who opposed the idea of setting up 23 Ruge. “Aus den Anfängen der Bundesmarine” (paper presented at the 11. 281. BW 9/3102. who had spent the entire war in the operations depart- ment of the Kriegsmarine. shouldered the task and wrote an 18-page study in March 1951. and Norbert Wiggershaus. three weapon depots. February 1951–May 1952). Von der Kapitulation bis zum Pleven-Plan. Anfänge Westdeutschersicherheitspolitik 1945–1956. Historisches Selbstverständnis und Standortbes- timmung.23 The rough draft that Ruge presented at the Himmelrod Conference was subsequently revised by the NHT at the request of Heusinger and Speidel. 1983). Hans-Jürgen Rautenberg. 1982).26 Amt Blank adopted the Wagner proposal. ed.600 naval personnel. Admiralstabsoffizierlehrgang. 96. establishing the bundesmarine 131 West Germany would need to assemble between 15. the number and disposition of its units. He analyzed the strategic situation in Europe. 1980).” in Die deutsche Marine.25 Wagner and the NHT set the agenda for the naval section of Amt Blank.” 96 [as cited in note 23]. und 12. and a headquarters. In vier Marinen. Militärgeschiliches Forschungsamt. three air bases. Deutschen Marine Institut (Bonn and Herford: Mittler. Belgium. Carl Greiner. West Germany. nine escort vessels.24 The Wagner paper. The French. one signals section. was adopted by the naval section of Amt Blank and became the basis of Germany’s negotiating position during discussions between the Allied high commissioners and the German government (Petersberg Conference. given the limited missions of the proposed navy. BA/ MA. 1971). Italy. The European Defence Community: A History (London: Macmillan. see Roland Foerster. 9. His study was reviewed and accepted by other members of the team. the future missions of a German navy. 24 Zenker. 25 For a detailed discussion of the formal negotiations dealing with the EDC project. originating outside of Amt Blank. “Aus der Vorgeschichte der Bundesmarine. Wagner. Manpower estimates had soared to more than 20. 30 helicopters. two coastal artillery sections. but by mid-1951 it became clear that the NATO option favored by the Americans and British had been abandoned.100 and 19. and the shore facilities that would be needed to support the projected force. and Edward Fursdon. . one netlayer.000 persons. their organization and training. The final proposal was ambitious. and the following units had been added to the Himmelrod estimate: two minelayers. ed. 26 Heinrich Gerlach. 1 (Munich: Oldenbourg.

representatives from the United States. Speidel. Heusinger. the American recommendation seemed to ensure that some sort of German naval force would be organized within the framework of the EDC. German naval negotiators found the NHT’s connections to Speidel. and the Italians) were uninterested in the idea of subordinating their national naval forces to the EDC. neither a member of Amt Blank nor part of the German negotiating team. the Dutch. but grave differences soon brought the naval committee of the EDC conference to a standstill. At the London and Paris conferences (September 28–October 3.27 While less than everything the Germans had hoped for. . and they argued that coastal protec- tion fell within the framework of the EDC. the French Parliament refused to consider the EDC treaty with- out major revisions. Admiral Wagner. the French naval representative to the EDC Interim Committee shifted gears and did everything in his power to assist the Germans. U. October 21–23). 3291. The American arbitrator supported the German strategic argu- ment but suggested a smaller force than was set forth in the Wagner proposal.S. The army and air force committees made progress during the fall. often presenting a common front against interference from army personnel. The Germans realized that they would have no naval force at all if the EDC was limited to land and air units. BW 9/3059. “Aus den Anfängen der Bundesmarine. pushed forward with their EDC alternative. were never implemented. the United 27 BA/MA. backed his naval special- ists and insisted that the EDC include a maritime component. presented the German position to Captain George Anderson. Negotiations began again but moved more rapidly than before. Once agreement had been reached on num- bers and armament. In August 1954.132 douglas carl peifer German military contingents within NATO. 28 Gerlach. The impasse was solved only by appealing to NATO arbitrators at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). effectively ending the project. and the Americans invaluable. however. explaining that their overseas commitments and the lack of a common European foreign policy made this impossible. the chief German military expert. Navy. The German naval delegation in Paris and the naval section of Amt Blank spent the remainder of 1952 and most of 1953 devising plans based on the EDC project. He and the Germans worked closely on the details of the plan. The French (and to a lesser degree the Belgians.28 Their plans. in February 1952.” 17.

and Luxembourg). September–October 1954 (Department of State pub. chemical. Belgium. disrupted by the collapse of the EDC. SHAPE summarized the main missions of the Bundesmarine as follows: • to assist in preventing enemy naval forces from penetrating into the North Sea through the Baltic Exits and the Kiel Canal. warships over 3. and enter NATO. the Federal Republic.” observe certain arms limitations. establishing the bundesmarine 133 Kingdom. Italy. Netherlands. and Canada joined with the foreign ministers of the six nations of the now-defunct EDC (West Germany. The naval section of Amt Blank resurrected the Wagner Proposal. and Amt Blank became the Federal Ministry of Defense in June. and • to assist in maintaining Allied sea lines of communication in the German coastal waters and adjacent waters. . • to participate in the Allied defense of the North German Baltic coast and the Danish islands. reworked the plan. West Germany became a member of NATO in May. They hoped that SHAPE would return their plan in the form of a recommendation which could then serve as the basis for discussion within the Ministry of Defense and with the Bundestag.” SHAPE sent a “tentative and informal proposal” incorporating the main themes and recommen- dations of the reworked Wagner plan. 29 London and Paris Agreements. or submarines over 350 tons. The Bundestag ratified the Paris treaties in February 1955. Adenauer paid little heed to the particu- lar interests of his naval advisers during the proceedings. 9–29.29 Kriegsmarine veterans and the naval section of Amt Blank took these restrictions in stride. France. Naval planning. began anew. and submitted it to SHAPE. magnetic/influence mines. 5659). well aware that the London and Paris agreements opened the way to a larger navy than West Germany would have been permitted under the framework of the EDC. The Western occupation powers. and the combined “Nine Powers” concluded a series of agreements under which West Germany would become sovereign. or bio- logical weapons or acquire guided missiles. • to interdict to the maximum extent Soviet sea lines of communi- cation in the Baltic. pledging that the Federal Republic would not manufacture atomic.000 tons. join a reconstituted “Western European Union. Although reluctant to “prepare recommendations regarding the mag- nitude of national contributions to NATO. The Western European Union (WEU) lifted the restrictions govern- ing the displacement of German naval vessels on 21 July 1980.

civilians retained their grip over these essential areas. The key challenge facing the Ministry of Defence lay in the area of personnel selection.134 douglas carl peifer SHAPE’s “tentative and informal proposal” included a rough sketch of the naval forces that West Germany would need if it was to accomplish these missions. the military chiefs were granted equal status with civilian department heads (administration. 36 landing craft. “Aus den Anfängen der Bundesmarine. 1993). 30 Gerlach.). the Seegrenzschutz. ten harbor defense craft..600 officers and 26. 24 coastal minesweep- ers.” appendix. The recommended force was remarkably similar to that suggested by the NHT five years earlier and included 18 small fast destroyers. The Bundestag approved the Ministry’s budget request in 1955. 24 inshore minesweepers. and all that remained was to bring together the scattered naval potential present in the Labor Service Units. The Ministry’s senior naval officer presided over a subdepartment for naval planning and no longer had control over legal matters. or logistics.400 enlisted personnel. 12 coastal submarines. ed.30 The projected force would require a sea and shore establish- ment of approximately 3. and vari- ous British and American intelligence organizations (the British sponsored the Klose group and the American sponsored the Gehlen organization). personnel. ten escorts. Anfänge westdeutscher Sicherheitspolitik. two coastal minelayers. to prevent any repeat of the Weimar model. etc. 682–87. and one coastal artillery regi- ment. 31 Krüger. vol. six ocean minesweepers. Blank. sharply limiting the role of military officers within the organization. 58 maritime aircraft and helicopters. 1945–1956. Die NATO Option. “Die Anfänge der Bundesmarine 1950–1955.” 29–30. Nonetheless. . 40 fast patrol boats. finances. at Heusinger’s insistence. Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt. 32 Hans Ehlert et al. Adenauer. personnel selection. The Bundesmarine Subdepartment II/7 (Naval Office) of the Ministry of Defense forwarded SHAPE’s military requirements to the appropriate civilian department heads in the Ministry of Defense.32 In late 1955 the Ministry of Defense was reorganized and. legal.31 The small naval section at Amt Blank and their admiral advisers could be well pleased: SHAPE was supporting a Bundesmarine that would have twice as many officers and men as had the Reichsmarine. and the Bonn establishment ensured that this matter would be strictly under civilian control. 3 (Munich: Oldenbourg. Blank created five depart- ments and put civilians in charge of four of them.

worked up by former admiral Bernhard Rogge in association with other members of the Meisel Circle. that “integrity and character are more important than the question of previous political convictions. decisively shifting power within the Ministry of Defense away from career officers and toward civilian bureaucrats.”35 Their position paper. Wagner. performance during time of war. and conduct since the war were appropriate criteria for evaluating candidates. and Jörg Duppler. Die Geschichte des deutschen Marine- Ingenieuroffizierkorps (Hamburg: Oldenburg. 35 Ehlert et al.” claiming that they were opportunists and recent converts to democracy.. Von der Marineluftschiffabteilung zur Marinefliegerdivision (Herford: Mittler. character. BA/MA. Person- alauslese. however. MSg 1/586. Kriegsmarine veterans nevertheless bombarded the new Ministry of Defense with recommendations. Ruge suggested sounding out Admirals Schniewind.” 10 September 1954.. BA/MA. MSg 1/ 2060. . These former admirals were very concerned that the Ministry of Defense might select officers for the Bundesmarine without their input. 1137. and Zenker. recom- mended that the Ministry select officers who had accommodated themselves to West Germany’s parliamentary democracy.36 Wagner and the Meisel Circle hoped that these recommenda- tions would provide the Ministry of Defense with a measuring rod for 33 See. received detailed “suggestions” from Ruge. and the Meisel Circle.34 Wagner and the Meisel Circle took the liberty of providing the Bonn naval group with some “Guiding Thoughts for the New Foundation of the Officer Corps. Engineers weighed in with ideas about a unitary officer corps. political sensibility. 36 “Besprechungspunkte für Zusammenkunft mit Dienstelle Blank betr. performance during time of peace. Werner Bräckow. education. Backenköhler. naval aviators noted that the Bundesmarine needed to have its own air support. Rogge noted. all of whom lived in the Rhineland area. and Ehrhardt. 2 August 1955. establishing the bundesmarine 135 This structure signified a dramatic break with German naval precedent.” Rogge suggested that integ- rity. 1974). Ruge counseled Zenker and Kähler to discuss Bonn’s decisions with a “small circle of respected older officers” in order to avoid criticism. 34 Ruge to Zenker. Die NATO Option. for example. and chaplains took up the problem of spiritual care in the military. His “guidelines” warned the Ministry against relying on “so-called democratic officers. 1988). ed. Marine- flieger.33 Kähler. the adviser for naval person- nel affairs. head of the naval planning group.

Those who had refused to sign petitions for the release of the grand admirals. 17 October 1952. Wagner to Rogge. Former rear admiral Rolf Johannesson. for example. Fully 25 per cent of the Kriegsmarine’s surviving Knights Cross recipients joined the Bundesmarine. He was not closely associated with the Wagner-Kähler-Meisel group. was unsure where he stood in the eyes of his peers. “Professional accom- plishments. Kähler. appears to have followed the Rogge paper’s recommendation. Meisel. clearly showing that Kähler made an effort to find an opening in the new navy for those who had proven themselves. stood an excellent chance of becoming candidates. but those who had “betrayed” their Kriegsmarine comrades during or after the war should be barred from entering the Bundesmarine. He demanded clarification from Wagner (not Kähler!). or had turned against the Kriegsmarine in its final agony were blacklisted and stood little chance of ever making it before a screening committee. in contrast. and Wagner to Reinicke. and he grew worried that his difficulties with Dönitz might harm his chances for selection. and others were in charge of evaluating their political suitability.136 douglas carl peifer selecting the “best” candidates for service in the Bundesmarine. and Kähler could justify excluding certain individuals on the basis of their poor professional reputation. had criticized them while in confinement. Wagner Papers N 539/5. specialist for naval personnel questions in the personnel department at the Ministry of Defense. who had earned a Knight’s Cross during the war but had fallen out with his superiors toward its end. 9 October 1956. BA/MA.” however. . 37 See. and other “grey eminences” provided damning information about person- nel who had broken ranks with their Kriegsmarine comrades. Wagner to Machsens.69. could be construed broadly. winnowing out appli- cants who had acted “objectionably” during or after the war. Wagner added that Johannesson had no reason to be con- cerned about Ewig-Gestrigen (old diehards) dominating the new navy.37 Knight’s Cross recipients. The drift of their thinking was clear: Kriegsmarine veterans who had sup- ported the Third Reich should be evaluated on the basis of their profes- sional competency. Kähler’s responsibility for selection consisted only of evaluating the profes- sional and military accomplishment of candidates. who replied that Johannesson’s name was always men- tioned when discussion turned to selecting personnel for the German navy. 28 January 1953. Wagner.

Wagner to Johannesson. BA/MA. and Gesamtdeutscher Block/Bund der Heimatvertriebenen und Entrechteten (All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights) [GB/BHE]) pushed the concept further and established an independent personnel screening committee whose members had been selected and approved by the Bundestag.39 The Bundestag instructed the personnel screening committee to devise screening criteria to guide the Ministry of Defense in selecting officers and men below the rank of colonel and tasked it with scrutinizing all candidates for the position of colonel and above. 24 January 1953.” had to 38 Johannesson to Wagner. establishing the bundesmarine 137 One or two individuals might cling to the past. The screening committee convened in late August 1955. 1020–1120. Wagner Papers. Its mem- bers represented a broad range of political persuasions. who coupled excellent connections with the U. Blank promised the Bundestag that he would establish a personnel screening committee composed of respected public figures to review the candidacy of every officer above the rank of colonel (naval captain)..38 Johannesson was indeed recommended for consideration. 39 Ehlert et al. . Navy with an unparalleled knowledge of the Kriegsmarine community. including former career officers and nonmilitary personnel. Offizier in kritischer Zeit (Herford: Mittler.S. he passed the screening process and served in a number of flag rank billets. The executive and the legislative branches shared Johannesson’s concern that “diehards” might flood into the new military. The screening committee began by grappling with the problem of appropriate evaluation criteria. and they wanted to avoid a repetition of the Weimar Republic’s civil-military experience. Social Democratic Party [SPD]. 25 February 1953. See also Johannesson’s discussion of conservative influences in Rolf Johannesson. Bonn politicians were unwilling to delegate the process of selecting West Germany’s first generation of military officers to an inner circle of civil servants and veteran advisers. was the sole former Kriegsmarine officer involved. 1989). Admiral Konrad Patzig. The major parliamen- tary parties (Christian Democratic union [CDU]/Bavarian Christian Social Union [CSU]. but most Kriegsmarine veterans now rejected Hitler and National Socialism. Die NATO Option. By October 1955. In June 1955. N539/5. Free Democratic Party [FDP]. it had approved a set of guidelines which specified that veterans wishing to join West Germany’s military had to be “uncondi- tionally committed to the democratic form of government.

In November 1955. he had to appear before the personnel screening committee before his appointment became effective. asked them to describe the appropriate relation- ship between the Bundesmarine and the grand admirals. They posed questions about candidates’ attitudes toward the 20 July assassination attempt. The Ministry of Defense forwarded 553 applications for review. conducted outside inquiries if appropriate. and records per- taining to the evaluation process were destroyed. Blank asked Ruge a few additional questions about his military background. Ruge. The working groups utilized the interview sessions to verify that candidates met the selection guidelines outlined above.138 douglas carl peifer have “a clear recognition of the value of individual freedom. the head of the personnel department went through the formality of posing several questions before ushering Ruge into the office of the defense minister.” and had to be “willing to defend freedom and law. and interro- gated them about their perception of the role of the military in a parliamentary democracy. The files were distributed by lot to one of four working groups. and then without further ado inquired whether he would be interested in becoming the head of the naval division in the Ministry of Defense. . with the latter group consisting of personnel serving in the Federal Border Guard and Seegrenzschutz who wished to transfer to the Bundeswehr and Bundesmarine. These working groups reviewed the files.”40 The screening committee then went about evaluating candidates’ files. Following the interviews. The working group reviewing his files arranged to interview Ruge over dinner. but like all others. one of the least controversial candidates for a flag level posi- tion in the Bundesmarine. and the Ministry of the Interior forwarded 47 applications. At the Ministry. 1096. the working groups met behind closed doors to evaluate the overall suitability of the candidates and then communicated their recommendation to the screening committee as a whole. The screening committee approved or rejected candidates. It completed its work in December 1957. and while Ruge claimed that his interviewers “didn’t make it easy for 40 Ibid.. and then invited candidates for a per- sonal interview. and its findings were final and could not be appealed. Ruge received a letter from Theodor Blank inviting him to appear at the Ministry of Defense the following month. Ruge agreed. provided a glimpse into the selection process in his memoirs.

182. and additional applications trickled in over the ensuing years. Der Seegrenzschutz 1951–1956. but the psychological baggage that many brought into the new institution proved problematic. He “fit the billet” for a number of reasons. These Kriegsmarine veterans provided the Bundesma- rine with its first generation of officers and petty officers. Fritz Poske. 123. 15 August 1956. The committee felt that his insistence on hanging a picture of Grand Admiral Dönitz behind his desk did not constitute reason to reject his candidacy outright. 299. In vier Marinen. a conditional approval. Theodor Blank selected the top leader of the Bundesmarine very carefully for this precise reason.. 43 Ehlert et al. along with some very conservative captains. establishing the bundesmarine 139 him. passed the screening process by downplaying their enduring personal loyalty to Grand Admiral Dönitz.45 The screening process for officers below the rank of captain and colonel proved selective.”42 The committee as a whole may have been influenced by former admiral Konrad Patzig. who appeared before a different working group. BA/MA. 1087. 2. however. Ruge’s 41 Ruge.934 former Kriegsmarine officers and men had applied for entry into the Bundesmarine. believed that the screening process allowed some candidates with questionable political attitudes to “slip through the net. From a military perspective. BWD 13/3. who argued that the German Navy had been largely “nonpolitical” and that National Socialism had made few inroads. Blank and Adenauer chose Friedrich Ruge to lead the Bundesmarine.41 Admiral Johannesson. Although Gerhard Wagner had been the driving force behind conceptualizing the new naval section. 44 Poske.” the entire process seems to have been structured to be as non- confrontational as possible. . only granted the head of the Seegrenzschutz. Their professional competence and combat leadership were superior. The screening committee.43 Admirals Wagner and Rogge. 42 Johannesson. As of August 1956. but felt it precluded Poske from assuming an admiralty billet in the new Bundesmarine. Offizier in kritischer Zeit. although age and physical disability ruled out far more candidates than did political criteria. Die NATO Option.44 Statistics indicate that few candidates for Bundesmarine billets were rejected by the screening committee. More than 85 per cent were approved. 45 Statistischer Bericht Bundesministerium für Verteidigung (PIII 3).

became the second-ranking Bundesmarine admiral a dec- ade later. He was multilingual. Domestically. His neutral position suggested that he would be able to bridge the gap between both groups. to the posts of Commanding Admiral North Sea and Commanding Admiral Baltic Sea in 1957. the head of the naval section of Amt Blank and the chief German negotiator for naval matters. Personally. His selection would be reassuring to West Germany’s new allies.S. who in May 1945 had accompanied the last head of the Kriegsmarine to Montgomery’s headquarters to negotiate Germany’s surrender. Blank selected Wagner as Ruge’s deputy in recognition of his invalu- able role in the planning and negotiation process. the top leaders of the new Bundesmarine consisted largely of veterans who had been planning and preparing for its creation since the early 1950s. and had shown that he could work with vari- ous political parties as a member of Cuxhaven’s town council from 1952 to 1954. Adenauer had talked with Ruge after the admiral’s trip to the United States and apparently concluded that Ruge would make an excellent leader for the new Bundesmarine. appointing Rolf Johannesson to be commander of naval forces and Bernhard Rogge to be commander of Military District I. Navy promised to be useful. The Ministry of Defense appointed Zenker and Gerlach.140 douglas carl peifer experience in mine warfare reflected the more limited mission and composition of the future Bundesmarine. exhibited flexibility. more than any other Kriegsmarine veteran he had conceptualized the Bundesmarine’s mis- sion. Ruge possessed traits that would prove of great importance. Ruge had credentials with both supporters of the assassination attempt and its opponents. Wagner. Wagner’s 1951 con- cept paper for a future German navy had guided German negotiators during the EDC talks and had been revived in late 1954 as the basis for discussion with SHAPE. and he had made it clear that he shared Adenauer’s commitment to strengthening the Federal Republic’s ties with the West. and his service in the NHT had not escaped Bonn’s notice. However. Ruge had worked closely with the Americans from the outset. The Ministry made an effort to reach outside Amt Blank and the NHT as well. Their hard work in Amt Blank gave them an advantage over other contenders. While Wagner’s close connection to Dönitz ruled out appointing him to the top post. and his selection as senior naval officer would alienate few. . Ruge’s well-established ties to the U. Furthermore. behaved diplomati- cally.

under the tight supervision of the Bundestag. . and elsewhere between the Adenauer government and the member states of the North Atlantic Alliance. establishing the bundesmarine 141 The process leading toward the creation of West Germany’s navy was complex and dispersed. Once the political framework for German rearma- ment was finally hammered out in 1955. and facilities. one uncovers a parallel story. under the cover of a police organization. staffs. “From Enemy to Ally: Reconciliation Made Real in the Post-War German Maritime Sphere. London. 1945–1960 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Officially. and other pre-existing maritime organizations formed a reservoir of talent.” International Journal of Naval History 1. And at the ground level. Yet if one delves a little deeper. trained enlisted personnel. a covert navy had been formed already in 1950. the LSU (B). the Seegrenzschutz.2 (2005). as had various other veteran groups such as the Meisel Circle. The Three German Navies: Dissolution. At the top. and New Beginnings. the path to the creation of a new navy proceeded at two levels. The Bundesmarine was a new creation. and “Forerunners to the West German Bundesmarine. In East Germany. the newly created Ministry of Defense. The creation of the East German Navy in 1956 entailed little more than renaming an organization already in existence. boats. but a good portion of its people.” War in History 12. boats. Transition. personnel. democratically rooted Bundeswehr and Bundesmarine. In West Germany. This article draws on chapters in Douglas Carl Peifer. equipment. commenced the task of creating a new.1 (April 2002). and facilities were already in place along the North Sea and Baltic prior to its official foundation. the effort centered on the negotiations in Paris. and equipment that allowed the Bundesmarine to emerge quite rapidly in 1956. The Bundesmarine was formed by drawing upon preexisting maritime organizations which had already assembled a core of experi- enced officers. the Bundesmarine’s first chief and his deputy had discreetly shaped planning for the Bundesmarine as members of the NHT. 2002).




High Commissioner for Germany. 1989). especially the turn towards supporting rearmament during the late 1940s and early 1950s. AND THE BUNDESWEHR Oliver Haller Introduction On a foggy morning in early February 1951. The U.S. “I hope.”1 A few years later. John McCloy. America’s Germany: John J. Buscher.S. or other necessary components for the newly founded Bundeswehr and NATO members.” he stated dryly. The historiography of post-war Germany tangentially asserted for decades that the Allies tore out the “sinews of war” from German heavy industry. 1946–1955 (New York: Greenwood Press. 1992).S. Krupp and other German firms were either producing many of the same weapons used during the war. “it will never be necessary to produce arms again. Alfried Krupp von Bohlen. and Thomas Alan Schwartz. such as the MG-42. McCloy. more importantly. had a few days ear- lier granted amnesty to this eclectic group of industrialists. 12 February 1951. The survival of certain arma- ment production facilities and. Kai Bird. politi- cians. doctors. The U. the American hus- banding of considerable dual-use manufacturing potential. influenced overall U. drove off with his brother and celebrated the end of his prison term with a champagne breakfast. GERMAN INDUSTRY. and Nazi officials. 1991). a group of 29 German war criminals was released from Landsberg prison in Bavaria. THE COLD WAR. policy in Germany. The Chairman: John J. MA: Harvard University Press. Alfried uttered a politically loaded comment to the assembled group of journalists. 156–84.” Time. This chapter briefly outlines the fate of German heavy industry after 1945. This interpretation typically rests alongside general 1 A number of historians have dealt with the amnesty. McCloy and the Federal Republic of Germany (Cambridge. 332–36. 49–64. . including Frank M. see also “Reprieve. One of those released. The Making of the American Establishment (New York: Simon & Schuster. Before leaving. War Crimes Trial Program in Germany.

2. Hans-Günther Thiele. in fact. West German Society. and the Debate on Rearmament. Frontsoldaten: The German Soldier in World War II (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.. Detlef Vogel and Wolfram Wette. and the controversies surrounding a military contribution that exist to the present day.”4 New or converted 2 For an overview of this traditional interpretation. Rolf-Dieter Müller and Hans-Erich Volkmann. Die Wehrmacht: Mythos und Realität (Munich: Oldenbourg. 1998). Klaus-Jürgen Müller. Cultural demilitarization is thereby somehow linked to industrial demilitarization.und Munitionsfabriken Aktien-Gesellschaft and Alkett GmbH facilities in Berlin. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt. whose organizations worked hard to salvage an image seriously tainted by a close association with Nazism. Fritz... Wehrmacht Generals. democratization.. 1949–1959 (Westport. 1982). 4 S. Nazis and War in the Third Reich (New York: Oxford University Press. eds. 1991). Armee und national- sozialistisches Regime 1933–1940 (1969. Bischof. 1967). These texts do not assist in the investigation of post-war German military industrial capacities and. 1945–1955 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Foerster et al. 2001). Klaus Latzel. (Munich: Herbig. Das Heer und Hitler. 1992). 1999).. Deutsche Soldaten- Nationalsozialistischer Krieg?: Kriegserlebnis. Jonathan Wiesen. 3 A host of analyses deal with the fate of German soldiers and generals. Alaric Searle.3 Echoing the post-war narrative of the German industrialists them- selves.. Stephen E. Hitlers Krieger (Munich: Bertelsmann. Erich Maschke. Gieseking. Die Wehrmachtausstellung: Dokumentation einer Kontroverse (Bremen: Temmen. and denazification. Ambrose and Günter J. xiii.. Stephen G. ed. Guido Knopp et al. the overall political contours of remilitarization. Von der Kapitulation bis zum Pleven-Plan (Munich: Oldenbourg. Omer Bartov. Die Soldaten der Wehrmacht. Hitler’s Army: Soldiers. Zur Geschichte der deutschen Kriegsgefangenen des Zweiten Weltkrieges: Beiheft (Munich: E.2 The evidence supporting this conclusion generally cites the disman- tling of such major German armaments factories as the Mauser Oberndorf factories or the Deutsche Waffen. ed. 1995). Andere Helme- Andere Menschen? (Essen: Klartext. eds. Kriegserfahrung 1939–1945 (Paderborn: Schöningh.146 oliver haller examinations of decartelization.u. West German Industry and the Challenge of the Nazi Past. . help cultivate the image that Germany was in fact demilitarized in terms of societal attitudes. 2003). CT: Praeger.. ed. 1997). The bulk of the literature dealing with the subsequent reactivation of a German military in the 1950s consequently skirts any links with the Nazi rear- mament period. 1998). Wehrmachtsverbrechen: Eine deutsche Kontro- verse (Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe. 1998). The intense political debates within Germany between the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) concerning a military contribution raise the most aca- demic curiosity. Hans Poeppel et al. 1988). see the introduction of Roland G. Eisenhower and the German Pows: Facts Against Falsehood (London: Louisiana State University Press. Heribert Prantl. 1995). 5th ed.W. 1997). a complete shift towards civilian production has been portrayed as offering a significant “peace dividend” that resulted in the “Wirtschaftswunder.

That Rheinmetall would later return to armaments production and become one of Europe’s most successful arms merchants should of course spark interest as well as serious doubt. economic . for example the immediate contradiction of the European Recovery Plan’s focus on industrial reconstruction. trains.4 (1983). that the program was far from successful. David Clay Large draws atten- tion to the extreme variations within Allied policy and how each of the four victorious powers defined matters differently. Die Suche nach dem gültigen Erbe der deutschen Soldaten (Munich: Oldenbourg. do not lead historians to depart from the central doctrine that the full indus- trial demilitarization of Germany transpired. For example. german industry.”7 American policymakers clearly understood the industrial importance of Germany.6 No clear definition can therefore be applied. and the bundeswehr 147 equipment supposedly replaced the hammers and anvils of war. 29–30. “Working-Class Politics and the Cold War: American Intervention in the German Labor Movement. By 1949. 6 David Clay Large.S. Without a definition. 1996). the cold war. as this chapter points out. 283–306. Bundeswehr und Tradition. Historians have generally understood McCloy’s decision to release 5 Donald Abenheim. But it should come as no surprise. 1988).” Diplomatic History 7.5 Why? Did a gulf between civilian and military forms of production even exist? Even more serious anomalies abound. only studies of individual firms such as Alkett can assist in the evaluation of industrial demilita- rization. The anomalies of indus- trial demilitarization. in a world in which military conflict between major states is unlikely. inveterate armaments producers such as Rheinmetall-Borsig set to work producing office equipment. 2. Scholars such as Samuel Huntington have tried hard to convince academic circles that economic power really does mean hard military power.8 Interpretations of Industrial Disarmament This chapter focuses on German dual-use capacities after 1945. 8 “Economists are blind to the fact that economic activity is a source of power and. No single under- standing of demilitarization ever existed. 7 Carolyn Woods Eisenberg. and machine tools. Germans to the Front: West German Rearmament in the Adenauer Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. and they made defense of the Rhine economy a central plank of their post-war policy and containment strategies. 1945–49. State Department officials described the German Ruhr region as the “greatest concentra- tion of economic power in the continent. U.

and McCloy’s own belief that many of the sentences had been arbitrarily harsh. three issues require clarification. thinking. posits that this interpretation puts the cart before the horse. however. “John McCloy and the Landsberg Cases. ed. 72. 1945–1955. 19 August 1957. 1993).” Wiesen. industrial machinery. This old narra- tive depended on an artificial distinction between civilian and military production that was mobilized in order to reduce the pressures on Germany from within and without. trucks. and certainly McCloy’s. An inversion of this logic would argue that the con- tinued existence of German dual-use capabilities drove the desire to keep West Germany out of the Soviet orbit and that the extremely negative Soviet reactions to this policy kick-started containment and the movement towards collective security.S. The Arms of Krupp.” International Security 17. 1587–1968 (Boston: Back Bay Books. Time Magazine reported in 1957 that more than 60 Krupp factories were busy churn- ing out “locomotives. why have historians so readily accepted the success of post-war industrial demil- itarization? Here the “nobility” of the enterprise has obviously colored analysis. 433–54. the desire to appease a German public highly critical of Nuremberg and the concept of collective guilt. Wilfried Mausbach points out that the dismantling plans of the American Foreign Economic Administration represented rational power will be increasingly important in determining the primacy or subordination of states. some historians have recently moved away from the orthodox post-war narrative that emphasized the success of industrial demilitarization. airplanes. Jonathan Wiesen points out that historians “agree on a number of factors influ- encing the clemency decisions in 1951: the powerful effect that the Cold War exercised on U.” Time.”10 The writers failed to mention that the Allies had originally demanded an end to the production of precisely these commodities as part of indus- trial demilitarization. Diefendorf. Before turning to the brief examination of the course of industrial demilitarization and the state of German dual-use capabilities on the eve of rearmament. 202–03. ships. First. 9 S.4 (Spring 1993). West German Industry and the Challenge of the Nazi Past. and Hermann-Josef Rupieper (New York: Cambridge University Press. Axel Frohn. false teeth—almost everything but guns.9 This chapter. Publications of the German Historical Institute. see also William Raymond Manchester. “Why International Primacy Matters. Of course.” in American Policy and the Reconstruction of West Germany.” Samuel Huntington. See also Thomas Alan Schwartz. For example. Jeffry M.. For one of the few books dealing with the Krupp empire. 2003). . 10 “The House That Krupp Rebuilt. giant bucket diggers.148 oliver haller the industrialists and rearm Germany as part of the logic of the Cold War.

as will be shown. 130–32.13 The summer of 1950 witnessed extreme pressure on the part of Washington to secure a German military contingent and authorize a return to armaments production. “Analysis of the German war economy. The Dynamics of German Industry: Germany’s Path toward the New Economy and the American Challenge (New York: Berghahn Books. America’s Germany. 20. . “is also essential to understanding the economic dynamism of West Germany after 1945. the Korean War can be viewed as the Pearl Harbor of the Cold War. Alfried’s group of freed war criminals included a chemist who went on to use his Auschwitz research results to conduct poison gas experiments at Edgewood Arsenal. german industry. it is important to understand that the German ability to recover after 1945 was highly dependent on the investments in infrastructure made during the 1930s and the war itself. 13 Schwartz. 72–73.14 Lastly. Nazi Scientists. much of the discussion concerning a West German military concerned political issues and how fast a military should be reacti- vated. Bundeswehr und Tradition. In fact. 11 Wilfried Mausbach. 1991). 1945 to 1990 (St.12 But this debate misses something important. Zwischen Morgenthau und Marshall: Das wirtschaftspolitische Deutschlandkonzept der USA 1944–1947 (Düsseldorf: Droste. the cold war. The questionable morality of the decision should not obscure the simple fact that Germany could and did rearm because of the survival of significant dual-use capabilities. although beyond the scope of this chapter. But none of this political maneuvering makes any sense unless German industry could in fact make a real contribution to Western defense. For example. and the bundeswehr 149 strategies based on understandable national security concerns.” Abenheim. Linda Hunt argues that American policy towards Germany led down a slippery slope that ulti- mately resuscitated and then assimilated some of the most odious characters and aspects of the Nazi regime. 15 Werner Abelshauser. Furthermore. Secret Agenda: The United States Government. 14.11 Academic criticism of the 1950s rearmament process has furthermore ranged from benign support to open hostility. 124. used the opportunity to secure a better deal for his country. and Project Paperclip.” Werner Abelshauser writes. 2005). 12 Linda Hunt. 1996). Konrad Adenauer. Maryland.”15 For example. Martin’s Press: New York. 14 “There was then a real danger in having the West Germans establish their armed forces too quickly. the Nazi period had substantially enhanced the depth of the German machine-tool sector and also injected the flexibility to adapt to changing circum- stances as later demanded by the strategic bombing campaign.

a near- universal desire to destroy all German military industrial capacities dominated the halls of Allied governments immediately prior to and after German defeat.150 oliver haller A Flawed Industrial Demilitarization Policy Why did West German heavy industry survive? After all. D.17 Even fertilizer manufacturing was targeted. peace required the industrial and societal restructuring of Germany. vol. 1950). H. ed. the British authorities baulked at a massive and expensive program of industrial restructuring in order to save British taxpayers from the severe burden of having to support the German population..O.G. Janis Schmelzer.M. 576.O.S. the American military was ordered to localize and eliminate all aspects of armaments production including excess capacities in the purely civilian sectors. despite their directive. Rosenman (New York: Russell & Russell. Forces of Occupation (JCS 1067). Section 16. Samuel I. 945–53. Thinking pragmatically about the adminis- tration of their occupation zone. JCS 1067 targeted sectors of the economy such as the traditional chemical industries that did not accord with a simple definition of 16 Franklin D. 23–27. 225. “it is to secure the peace of the rest of the world now and in the future. Enshrined in the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Directive 1067. . ultimately shared this belief. 1944–45. The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. in Franklin D. vol. The British military believed that German militarism ended with the destruction of Prussia and refused to view Nazism as an extremely broad social phenomenon spanning every aspect of German society.: U. Roosevelt. “1945 Directive to the Commander in Chief of the U. 1969).” ed. “Address to Congress Reporting on the Yalta Conference. “Die Geheimdirektive JCS 1067. 5 (London.” Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Martin-Luther-Universitat Halle-Wittenberg 8 (1959). This putative solution formed the core element of initial American policy in Germany. By way of comparison. Roosevelt. The American military. 13: “Victory and the Threshold of Peace. 17 “Directive JCS 1067.C. Velma Hastings Cassidy (Washington. British Foreign Policy in the Second World War.P. 1970–).” President Franklin D. Whitehall rejected JCS 1067 as any proper basis for occupation policy.18 Companies such as Volkswagen were therefore spared and permitted to recover and flourish. Roosevelt declared in March 1945.”16 From the president’s perspective.S.” 1 March 1945.” 26 April 1945. The policy appeared straightforward. Part II.S. Roosevelt: With a Special Introduction and Explanatory Notes by President Roosevelt. “Our objec- tive in handling Germany is simple. 18 Llewellyn Woodward.” in Germany 1947– 1949: The Story in Documents.

1996).S.S.” quoted in Earl F. was the return of the German economy to a pre- Hitler peacetime basis. vol.: Center of Military History. Instrument of Surrender. 285. D.” 25 November 1944. The U. American conceptions of industrial demilitarization departed from any strict logic. The primary task in Germany. American wartime experience had demon- strated the importance of converted civilian industries such as cutlery fabrication for war production. 21 “Memorandum No. The Americans hoped to eliminate Rhine Capitalism by slash- ing German productive output and re-establishing Britain. 14. The German Capitalist model of a “coor- dinated market economy” or “business-coordinated market economy” represented a target far more important than the actual armaments industry. The American tableware producer International Silver had shifted to armament production and manufactured a range of products that included rifles. and the bundeswehr 151 armaments production. 1. 60.” 14 August 1944. machine-gun clips. the German Capitalist variant somehow repre- sented a graver threat to the New Dealers than that of Communist collectivization. 1944. in “Eclipse: Appreciation and Outline Plan. The global market economy heralded by Bretton Woods represented White’s vision.C. wanted to force the American version of Capitalism or the liberal market econ- omy on the rest of the world. 1975). Germany would never “again becoming a threat to the peace of the world. the State and War Department experts believed. 22 “Germany: General Objectives of United States Economic Policy with Regard to Germany. Mobilizing U. Gropman. Orders to German Military Authorities to Supplement Instrument. 1. a hard-line supporter of Henry Morgenthau. D.: Institute for National Strategic Studies. 158–77. Harry Dexter White. United States Army. as the primary European industrial state. Army in the Occupation of Germany.22 The State and War Departments rejected the ideological vagaries of the Treasury as fantastically destabilizing. Section VI Tasks of the Supreme Commander.”21 Precisely how this program would move forward remained unclear. and magnesium bombs. 19 Alan L. The work of Werner Abelshauser dem- onstrates that Roosevelt and his supporters in the Treasury Department were motivated by much more than national security issues. german industry. Industry in World War II: Myth and Reality (Washington.19 Dual-use industries mat- tered in war. Sanctions in Event of Delinquency. National Defense University. . shell casings.C. 20 Abelshauser. a Capitalist partner. The Dynamics of German Industry. Ziemke. Foreign Relations of the United States [hereafter FRUS].20 Seen in this way. the cold war. 1944–1946 (Washington.

Excessive manipulation of established industrial patterns was seen as counter- productive. The State Department discouraged radical solutions that advocated the type of industrial restructuring characterized by the comprehensive reparations program of the Versailles Treaty. 27 “Directive to Commander in Chief U. 25 G.25 A belief in the efficacy of strategic bombing induced the military to try and wash its hands of overall responsibility for German civilians in the immediate aftermath of the war. 720–23. 5.26 Until Washington relieved the military of occupation duties. vol.S. 3.H.” This provision meant that the occupation authorities could suspend harsher policies according to the realities in Germany. The United States and the Origins of the Cold War. FRUS. The threat of regional economic breakdown and the resultant political instability was com- pounded by the inherent difficulty involved in removing military productive potential from any advanced economy. Proposal with Regard to the Treatment of Germany.” 305–06. Forces of Occupation Regarding the Military Government of Germany in the Period Immediately Following the Cessation of Organized Resistance. 28 Carolyn Woods Eisenberg. 1945. .” 25 November 1943.S. Reparations and the Future of German Industry (Nendeln. JCS 1067 permitted operations to “protect the safety and meet the needs of the occupying forces and assure the production and main- tenance of goods and services required to prevent starvation or such disease and unrest as would endanger these forces.27 The perception of imminent disaster was obviously influenced by the images of destruction that confronted the military everywhere in Germany.” FRUS. 1972).D.152 oliver haller This rejection reflected entrenched bureaucratic concerns and norma- tive attitudes.24 The “bombscape” mattered.” 14 August 1944. Industrial reconver- sion nevertheless remained a high priority. 1944. Liechtenstein: Kraus-Thomson Organization Limited.23 The War Department worried about the more mundane matters of civil-military occupation policy in a vanquished and deso- late wasteland. Army in the Occupation of Germany. vol. “Germany: General Objectives of United States Economic Policy with Regard to Germany. 96–102. Historians have therefore characterized JCS 1067 and other military policy papers as a “set of documents with draconian prohibitions and clever escape hatches. vol.S. FRUS. 26 John Lewis Gaddis. 1. 1945). Cole. The U. How could the occupation authorities sanitize industry if even cutlery producers 23 “U. “Working-Class Politics and the Cold War. 1943. 285. 1. 5. 24 See Ziemke.”28 A structural factor also worked against the superficially straightfor- ward pursuit of industrial demilitarization. 1941–1947 (New York: Columbia University Press.

My Years in the State Department (London: Hamish Hamilton. 2. creates a need for other machines to make it.C. 1969). On 28 September 1944 a detailed study of industrial demilitarization began. Roosevelt had directed Leo T. other tools to keep it in order. the Enemy Branch received the responsibility 29 Carl L. “how to render Germany harmless as a potential aggressor. whose experience with wartime procurement under- lined the complexities of industry. Crowley’s Foreign Economic Administration (FEA) to study post-war issues such as “what should be done after the surrender of Germany to control its power and capacity to make war in the future.Y. and the bundeswehr 153 represented potential armaments manufacturers? The American histo- rian Carl L. N. 31 “The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference) 1945. Clay. 220–35. 1987). Wolfgang Krieger. Lucius D. Jean Edward Smith. The story of modern industry is like the story of the ‘house that Jack built. understood the problems of balanc- ing the logic of demilitarization with the needs of the German popula- tion.: Silver Burdett Company. Henry L. so that much of modern industry is devoted. 756.’29 Lucius D. but to making the machines that make machines that make the things they consume. History of Modern Europe. the cold war.30 Until Washington relieved the military of occupation duties. 98–101. War Department Educational Manual no. not to making things people consume directly. Present at the Creation. Clay und die amerikanische Deutschlandpolitik. Course Two: Democracy. Clay. Becker. 1990).” Under the direction of Henry H. vol.: Doubleday. 205 (14 September 1944) (Washington. 1950). writing for the military prior to the end of the war. Becker. 356–95. . and the Industrial Revolution.”31 This demilitarization- rehabilitation conundrum characterized American and inter-Allied debates until the Korean War kick-started German rearmament. Fowler. Thus machines breed machines and industries breed industries. General Lucius D. 30 Dean Acheson. Decision in Germany (Garden City. D. The general failure to provide a satisfactory or rational definition of dual-use military industries forced other American organizations to unwillingly followed suit.” he wrote. 1945). “Every new machine. german industry. 257. and at the same time enable her to play her part in the necessary rehabilitation of Europe. who was well acquainted with arma- ments manufacturing. emphasized the challenge in Germany. Lucius Clay: An American Life (New York: Henry Holt. 1945.” FRUS. 1945–1959 (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta. Stimson argued at the Potsdam Conference in 1945 that the central problem represented. Nationalism. 18–19.

Communications. the report argued. Enemy Branch: Study by Interagency Committee on the Treatment of the German Chemical Industries from the Standpoint of International Security. “Foreign Economic Administration. The report con- cluded that the German military-industry system would continue to maintain significant war-making potential.154 oliver haller of formulating the methods by which a German capacity to wage war would be neutralized. Internal Affairs: Social. Clayton on 26 April 1945 that controlling copper and iron imports would alone seriously restrict the German armaments industry. Industry Division. reel 11. Enemy Branch: Study by Interagency Committee on the Treatment of the German Chemical Industries from the Stand- point of International Security. U. This flexibility invalidated general downsizing. State Department. Germany’s “most important basic industry” employed 13. Germany. informed Assistant Secretary of State William L. Industrial. The Enemy Branch composed 32 studies touch- ing on a comprehensive list of industrial subjects.7 per cent of all industrial workers. The Industry Division emphasized the contradiction of dismantling and simultane- ously maintaining a self-sufficient civilian industrial system. reel 36.32 The task force’s Industrial Division examined the German machine- tool sector and published their findings in May 1945. reel 11. an American engineer analyzing demilitarization for the War Department. 33 “The Foreign Economic Administration. Other methods consequently seemed more agreeable. Close observation over a protracted period limited the possibilities of military revival without destroying German society. “unless capacity in every branch of the machine industry is fundamentally curtailed and its use is strictly controlled. Enemy Branch.” The group pointed out that the war had demon- strated a strong German ability to repair damage caused by strategic bombing.S. Economic. Transportation and Science Affairs [hereafter Internal Affairs: Social]. The final report stressed the ease with which the civilian sector was converted to military purposes. The study 32 “Foreign Economic Administration. . Internal Affairs: Social. Internal Affairs: Social. The strong German capacity to produce the tools that built the tools that built dual-use commodities represented the most significant dilemma. reel 11. Cassidy.” May 1945. Clayton (Assistant Secretary of State).” 8 October 1945. Part 2: Social. The German Machine Industry. Only severe cuts to this sector would guar- antee long-term compliance with industrial demilitarization. Central Files. Cassidy (Engineer) to William L. Internal Affairs.” 26 April 1945.” 8 October 1945.33 Excessive tampering with this industry. James E. 1945–1949. “James E. would ruin German society and destabilize the occupation.

. ward off the threat of mass starvation in Europe. however. the ACC 34 Ibid. could return German agriculture to subsistence lev- els. in Allied Control Authority (Germany). 4 and 68–69.U.” These included the economic well-being of Germany. 36 “Marshall Dodge (Chief TIDC Staff ) to Clair Wilcox. 37 Coordinating Committee.” 12 April 1946.35 Under these conditions. Interestingly enough. Only a significant increase in fertilizer manufacturing.36 The lack of a precise industrial demilitarization plan. Technical Industrial Committee Reports. vol. and the bundeswehr 155 groups therefore questioned the utility of downsizing.37 Disregarding these calculations.M. The world suffered from “an acute shortage of fertilizers. 1993).” As pointed out. the cold war. Internal Affairs: Social. Food Supplies in the Aftermath of World War II (New York: Garland Publishing. “Draft Cable to Combined Food Board on Fertilizer Requirement for 1946/1947. the work of the FEA hardly merited Mausbach’s use of the word “rational.S. reel 36. the Americans in Germany found it necessary to continue the operation of the same fixed nitrogen facilities that had fed synthetic fuel synthesis and explosives manufacturing during the war. and create good export markets for the United States. the ACC itself recognized many of the same problems that afflicted the preparation of a workable American demilitariza- tion program from the start. European reconstruc- tion. german industry. and the domestic prosperity of the United States. Enactments and Approved Papers of the Control Council and Coordinating Committee [hereafter ACC]. 35 Edith Hirsch. 3 (Berlin: Legal Division O. for example. discounted the viability of sufficient food imports for fis- cal reasons. 1945–). the occupation authorities realized that “any disarmament program might have to be adapted to the other three economic requisites.34 The War Department itself clearly understood the dangers of down- sizing or sector elimination. In order to maintain the “minimum peacetime requirements” of Germany.G. did not stop the ACC located in Berlin from attempting to find a quadripartite solution and setting the future levels of German industry in March 1946. they believed. This basic need demanded continued support of fixed nitro- gen facilities. The link between removal of synthetic fuel facilities and global starvation became apparent.” and the Allied Control Council (ACC) decided in September 1946 to delay the dis- mantling of all industries required for food production and other vital civilian commodities.. one that balanced multiple policy aims. Long-term con- trol would come to represent the only essential point of agreement. The Coordinating Committee of the ACC.” 22 October 1945. 87–90.

“Directive No. 108–09. Farbenindustrie and the Control Thereof.39 These categories.” 22 September 1945. 129–30. “Committee for Liquidation of Military Potential in Germany. vol. . did not recognize the complex economic and political repercussions brought by sweep- ing change. 39 Coordinating Committee. they proclaimed that after “all these measures have been actu- ally carried out.38 The directorates of the ACC targeted factories.” 2 October 1946. 253. like those of the FEA. 225–26. 5. vol. ACC. vol. ACC. 38 Michael Balfour. ACC. ACC. they therefore argued. 1. Coordinating Committee.” 3 October 1945. 1–6. and a long list of regulations was established.” 3 October 1945. 39: Liquidation of German War and Industrial Potential. ACC. Control Council. “Responsibilities of the Military Directorate in Relation to the Conclusions of the Tripartite Potsdam Conference. Several large companies such as Volkswagen. In a display of peculiar confi- dence. indicated that the trans- lation of planning into reality would face the arduous task of balancing incongruent post-war aims. The Survival of Industrial Capacities The brief post-war interval between demilitarization and rearmament demonstrated that the definitions of “armaments potential” were any- thing but logical or systematically applied. vol. Keeping matters as straightforward as possible helped address the difficulties involved in securing coalition support. 129–30. and BASF survived and continued estab- lished patterns of production. the industrial basis for Germany’s aggressive war actions will have been destroyed. 9: Providing For the Seizures of Property Owned by I. the range between direct war potential and purely civilian production. “Committee for Liquidation of Military Potential in Germany. The Volkswagen plant in Fallersleben itself represented an obvious target for the dismantling teams.” 30 November 1945. owing to the recognized dual-use potential of automotive manufacturing. Daimler. however. vol.156 oliver haller nevertheless moved forward to implement demilitarization. would suffice to remove the capabil- ity to wage war. Military Directorate. Their own reservations. 1956). “Law No. Slashing military industrial capacities. Coordinating Committee. 1. Control Council.” The ACC divided German industry neatly into four categories that reflected. 1. Four-Power Control in Germany and Austria 1945–1946 (Düsseldorf. These cat- egories distinguished between so-called pure armaments factories and those which produced commodities of various degrees of military importance.G. 1. as they believed.

Volkswagen returned to production and managed to build 10..785.C.P. and Forced Labor in Germany during the Second World War (New York: Berghahn Books.D. Western German automobile manufacturers.O. the major tank producer of Hitler’s Reich. The major US automobile producers had generally been respon- sible for a disproportionate percentage of American weapons systems.G. The economic problems that gripped Germany and the foreign need for German production invali- dated previous thinking. Reinhold Billstein et al. On 8 May 1945. 42 The Käfer production statistics were: 1945: 1. Report No. D. 1949: 46. 98–104. The same crews that had labored to mitigate wartime bombing damage contin- ued their efforts in the immediate post-war. under the watchful eyes of Anglo-American military government offi- cials. rebuilt the Fallersleben plant and repaired damaged industrial equipment in the months after defeat.200. 119. 1947: 8. Working for the Enemy: Ford. A total of 168.41 The demands of the occupation determined that military officials cut themselves loose from official policy. german industry.146. ultimately surpassed the produc- tion levels of Hitler’s Reich by the end of the 1940s..987.42 The millionth “Käfer” or “Beetle” rolled off the production lines in 1954.161 were built between 1945 and 1950. 1950: 81. T. an American film crew set to work recording the first trucks produced in post-war Germany. This intrinsic German ability to rebuild is well-documented by historians such as Werner Abelshauser.C. .244. The “vehicle industry.979. Alkett. led by Volkswagen.S. 1945). The military nature of the tank producer excluded it from the type of defense mobi- lized by Volkswagen or BASF for automobiles or chemical products. General Motors. The western Allies also spared armaments facilities on the same grounds. surprising as it might seem. Technical Industrial Disarmament Committee. These men and women.”40 Volkswagen recovered quicker than most German firms. 40 U. The post-war survival of Alkett GmbH in the Berlin Borsigwalde represented a clear breach of any commitment to demili- tarization.000 automobiles by the end of 1946.: U. The dual-use capac- ities of this important sector—a “major force for war”—remained intact despite demilitarization. Output soared even higher the next year. 2000). the cold war.” Allied policymakers constantly repeated during this period.I. 12 (Washington. The Dynamics of German Industry. “is a major force for war. Study by Interagency Committee on the Treatment of the German Automotive Industry from the Standpoint of International Security. 41 Abelshauser. 1946: 10.S. and the bundeswehr 157 The American disarmament groups who first moved into the area prior to the subsequent transfer to British control understood this impor- tance. had repre- sented a natural target for the dismantling teams. 1948: 19.

Office of Military Government.158 oliver haller Alkett had been constructed in conjunction with Hitler’s rearmament drive in the late 1930s and was therefore never an organic part of the civilian economy. in order to establish overall manufacturing levels and for claims pur- poses. Directorate of Economic Industry Committee. Unilateral seizures by the French and Soviet occupation authorities. box 65–1. 4/63–65 (vol. The ACC demanded preliminary valuation of all firms on the dismantling lists. folder 15. He worried in particular that 43 “Allied Control Authority. Landesbibliothek Berlin [hereafter LAB] B036. 349. 44 Raymond G. Seizing their chance. . 1946–1950. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ind Comm Br. The discord that characterized four-power control in fact prompted Clay to suspend all reparations deliveries from the American zone on 3 May 1946. “From the IG Farben Fusion to the Establishment of BASF AG (1925–1952). Alkett itself was a subsidiary of the Rheinmetall-Borsig empire. OMGBS Econ Br.” in German Industry and Global Enterprise BASF: The History of A Company. Borsig Plant. Clay was angered by the failure of the ACC to adequately account for German peacetime requirements on the basis of a unified economy. Berlin Sector [hereafter OMGBS] 4/65–1/15. folder 15. shipment 4. dismantling teams blocked valuation and moved forward in early 1946. The French authorities eventually became nervous that a significant prize was being lost. threatened to derail any rational industrial demilitarization scheme. NARA RG260/ OMGUS: Borsig Plant. so the French in Berlin desisted from immediate dismantling and assisted recovery efforts in order to siphon off production for the French economy.” 16 May 1946. ed. Reservations. Werner Abelshauser et al. German workers began cutting down equipment and loading them into crates. The ACC had deter- mined that factories belonging to United Nations members should be approached differently than purely German holdings. The ACC Economic Directorate in November 1945 conse- quently classified Alkett as a “Category I” plant and provided the number 2045. This work was interrupted by Lucius Clay’s reparations stoppage in May 1946.44 Dismantling was complicated by the pre-war struc- ture of Alkett’s parent company. that country’s dismantling teams set to work organizing the destruction of the complex. 2004). Shipment 4 Box 65–1. Borsig had been British-owned—part of Babcock & Wilcox—prior to Nazi nationalization. 9) NARA 260/OMGUS. Stokes.43 Since Alkett was in the French sector. he believed. Alkett was a clear example of an armaments factory complex.

172–74. American pressure convinced the French authorities to initially desist from further operations in the Borsigwalde.48 After that date. 48 Ibid.45 “While we are prepared to continue the paper allocation of plants for reparations. The workers unloaded the crates and began to rebuild the machine shops and assembly lines. in a shift from the policies of his predecessor. The global economic situation looked grim after the coal and food shortages of the previous year. First. He pointed out that the termi- nation of production in Europe’s industrial heartland worked against the overall goal of European peace and security. Rheinmetall Borsig Plant at Berlin-Tegel. At the 1947 Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Moscow.” 1949. and the bundeswehr 159 the costs of occupation would spiral out of control. George C. American Policy and the Division of Germany: The Clash with Russia over Reparations (Ithaca. the cold war.” Clay reported. denounced the concept of industrial demilitarization. The short rebuilding period continued until the spring of 1947. N. 5 dictated that the individual military authorities retain the power “to operate.47 During this interlude. control and otherwise exercise complete dominance over all such property. OMGBS 4/65–1/15 NARA RG260/OMGUS: Borsig Plant. a major policy shift would save German compa- nies from the brunt of dismantling policy.”46 Clay’s action resulted in two important consequences for Alkett.” 20 October 1945.” The French authorities even provided loans to encourage this process. vol. “Reports & Statistical Analysis Section.S. LAB. The crates collected dust while reparations issues were discussed at the highest levels of quadri- partite administration. accepted the War and State Department’s position that the re-creation 45 Bruce Kuklick. On 10 November 1946. the French authorities changed course. “we do not propose to take any further physical efforts to carry out the reparations program until major overall questions are resolved and we know what area is to compose Germany and whether or not that area will be treated as an economic unit. 5: Vesting and Marshalling of German External Assets. including where this was essential to the preservation of the value represented by the property. 1972). Marshall. Harry Truman.: Cornell University Press. as new U. . B036. german industry. Secretary of State. ACC Law No. 46 Smith. the valuation efforts of the Economic Directorate were suspended. 47 “Control Council Law No. 1. Alkett employees were encouraged to initiate repairs. Alkett executives were encouraged to plan for civilian production. ACC.Y. 176–80. Lucius Clay. 351. More important.

Frank Howley. they argued.51 For exactly this reason. and because Alkett had never produced civilian goods. 52 Frank L. and general public health. the Americans in Berlin should have closed ranks with their French ally. Howley pointed to the levels of wartime destruction and post-war loot- ing. LAB. The Americans instead moved to defend Alkett in early Summer 1947. “Report on Borsig. vol. he even claimed that Alkett’s “entire capacity does not meet the present demand. 2. Alkett workers were ordered to stop their recovery efforts and return to dismantling.” 11 March 1947. OMGBS 4/65–1/15 NARA RG260/OMGUS: Borsig Plant. Rheinmetall Borsig Plant at Berlin-Tegel.” 1949.” Furthermore. 50 “Reports & Statistical Analysis Section. and those rebuilt for civilian produc- tion lines. Howley therefore invoked the “escape clause” in direct support of a war plant. including agri- culture.49 During the meeting in Moscow. Howley warned that Alkett’s destruction would “have a serious effect on industrial recovery. Alkett executives reversed the original Allied understanding of dual-use capabilities. In this way.160 oliver haller of a politically and economically stable Europe required the German industrial system.”52 49 “The Secretary of State to the President and the Acting Secretary of State. LAB. in fact appeared convinced of the accuracy of German claims and started to openly challenge the direc- tion of ACC policy in Germany itself. He reported to Clay that Berlin. FRUS.50 The company’s executives protested. French military officials realized that time was running out. Frank Howley. OMGBS. OMGBS 4/65–1/15 NARA RG260/OMGUS: Borsig Plant.” 27 March 1947. needed Alkett’s heavy industrial equipment to repair or produce com- modities for all aspects of the economic infrastructure. To discourage against partial dismantling. The Soviet military. OMGBS 4/65–1/15 NARA RG260/OMGUS: Borsig Plant. Howley. Tegel plant. 242–44. B036. . B036. who commanded the first detachment of Americans to enter Berlin in July. and especially eastern Germany. 51 “Lübke to Frederick Pope. They pleaded their case to the Office of Military Government. LAB. dur- ing the summer that witnessed the development and proclamation of the European Recovery Plan.” He therefore rec- ommended that the “removal of the plant be strongly opposed. 1947. were incapable of producing armaments. The remaining general-purpose machine tools. coal mining. Like the Alkett executives. had already seized most of their capital equipment as booty. public utilities. Berlin Sector (OMGBS) and resorted to a strategy that would become standard prac- tice in western Berlin. and they decided to take matters into their own hands. B036.” 21 January 1948.

Alkett’s his- tory as a war plant was now mobilized to shield it from dismantling and reparations. consisted of ruined lathes. german industry. and the bundeswehr 161 Pressured by the American military government in Berlin. ACC. semi-finished cannon barrels. the ACC exhibited considerable foresight and warned that the survival of Alkett might create a strong precedent against future dismantling projects. B036. LAB. the cold war. 54 “Extract of Minutes of the Second Meeting of the Economics Committee. VIII. the British and Americans appeared tired of any further debate.”54 In other words. and general scrap. the French representatives attempted to turn the wartime destruction argument against itself. American Perceptions of German Industry After 1945. 53 “Approved Paper No. LAB. However. they underlined Howley’s conclusion that the Soviets had in fact plundered the machine park and taken everything of value. The remaining stocks of equipment and materials.53 Howley’s new course allowed Alkett and other firms to stop renewed French attempts to seize assets. the Economic Directorate decided to suspend the dismantling of Alkett. “Importance of the Borsig Works for the Public Utilities in Berlin. Logic disappeared from the debate. 27: Allocation of General Purpose Equipment from Category I War Plants in the French Zone. B036 OMGBS 4/65–1/15 NARA RG260/OMGUS: Borsig Plant. This retention of strong dual-use capacities obviously represented an issue of interest OMGBS. . a new French approach emerged. Called to discuss the future of Alkett. On 11 January 1950. Nevertheless. The world had certainly changed.” 11 January 1950. They rebuffed the French argument in a manner that illustrated the death of demilitarization as a policy aim. The discussions began with expressions of French sympa- thy for the argument that German industrial resources should be directed to increasing output for Europe and the United States. The British representatives interjected that Alkett’s so-called scrap junk contained a high percentage of carbon and was therefore of “no value in industry” and “should not be moved. Anglo-American intervention saved many of the German industrial firms that had equipped Hitler’s armies. stolen foreign machines. 90–96.” 2 July 1947. they argued. at the second meeting of the reorganized Economics Committee. vol.” 14 November 1947. At this point. Only the Anglo- American resolve to husband German assets remained. OMGBS 4/65–1/15 NARA RG260/OMGUS: Borsig Plant.

Joint Chiefs of Staff.S. Part 2: 1946–53. 56 Economic Directorate. Furthermore. reel 4.162 oliver haller to American politicians and military planners.565 billion in new capital equipment. Dependence on coal stood in the way. Survey on Soda Ash: Compiled for the Materials Office National Security Resources Board. U. the intrinsic strength of dual-use capacities in turn accentuated the dominating geostrategic importance of German industry in any calculations of European mili- tary strength. They focused on every conceivable element of dual-use industry including sewing machines and lamps as well as a long list of critical commodities such as aluminum and coal. 1. Department of Defense. The effort aimed at slashing the ability to divert excess capacities to armaments production. In general. Poland. For this reason. the data emphasized the generally intact nature of heavy industry despite wartime dislocation. Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The ACC had originally planned a significant reduction in the number of machine tools. in particular. These organizations examined global economic issues in significant detail. The Economic Working Group on Economic Aid estimated at the beginning of 1947 that the maintenance and development of coal mines for Germany. Section 2. vol. . The work was based on the firm belief that civilian industrial resources represented the starting point of mili- tary procurement.56 Certain realities such as the interdependency of national economies conflicted with this ideal. Poland rep- resented an interesting problem.” ACC.” December 1950. the vic- torious powers agreed to cut machine tool production in some sectors by half and fully expunge output in others. In many ways. these studies of Germany under- lined the older hypothesis that German industry was of central importance to overall global reconstruction efforts. Strategic Issues [hereafter JCS: Strategic Issues].55 The survival and expansion of the German machine tool sector after 1945 represented an important example of enduring dual-use capaci- ties. owing to the expansion of territorial 55 See. “Chemical Division. “The Plan for Reparations and the Level of Post-War German Economy in Accordance with the Berlin Protocol. 34–50. National Production Authority. and the United States (the three most important coal exporters for the European market in the immediate post-war period) required $1. The Joint Logistics Committee (JLC) and the National Security Resource Board (NSRB) looked at these capacities between 1947 and 1950.

and in order to reduce pressure on the United States.59 They entertained a new vision of industry in the central European state that rejected an important element of post-war policy and had more in common with “Grossraumwirtschaft” than with the Potsdam Agreement. Recognizing pre-war trade patterns.” For these reasons. State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee Memorandum for Information No. the Americans predicated economic recovery on a major German industrial contribution.” the com- mittee stated. along with a currency reform intended to stabilize the western German economy. Report of the Special Ad Hoc Committee of the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee. german industry.” 2 May 1947. the link between Berlin and the rest of Europe appeared contrived.” 2 May 1947. JCS 1769/4. JCS: Strategic Issues. State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee Memorandum for Information No. . 60 Ibid. the Economic Working Group argued that only the Ruhr. the cold war. On initial inspection. Note by the Secretaries. reel 7. Foreign Needs for United States Economic Assistance During the Next Three to Five Years. the committee demanded that the European economy free up raw materials for the breadth of German industry. the “largest supplier of such equipment. In a State Department analysis of the reasons behind the Soviet pressure on the beleaguered German capital. JCS: Strategic Issues.”60 They hoped to use indigenous German dual-use capacities as the starting point.” could provide Poland and other coal-mining states with the heavy machinery they needed. The Soviets were perceived as follow- ing a strategy of interference in order to weaken Europe and make the continent more pliant and susceptible to Communist infiltration. This decision. JCS: Strategic Issues. and the bundeswehr 163 boundaries and the acquisition of coal mines in Silesia formerly sup- ported by Germany. Section 1. Section 1. Section 1. “When present plans are completed. From this per- spective. “production capacity in Germany will be greater than [during the] prewar. reel 7.57 The State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee supported this conclusion. 79: Study on Economic Aid. 79: Study on Economic Aid. the Soviets had therefore struck at the lynchpin of the 57 “Economic Working Group on Economic Aid. soured relations with Josef Stalin’s empire and helped encourage the Soviets to blockade Berlin in June 1948. a link between indus- trial and military issues surfaced.58 The committee understood that “only” Germany and the United States could export “substantial quantities of mining equipment. 58 “Appendix ‘E.’ Section VI: Transportation and Industrial Equipment. However.” 1 July 1947. Note by the Secretaries. reel 7. 59 “JCS 1769/4.

2919.’ ”61 On 11 January 1949.” The State Department held to the belief that German industrial production was “essential to the economy of Western Europe” and that a retreat in Berlin would have “lost the ‘cold war. B Rep 037. 63 The State Department had issued a memorandum to the Civil Affairs Division calling for the elimination of reparations and for increasing German industrial output using manufactured goods to subsidize the import of raw materials. William Draper. lastly. the issue of a constitution. 9 August 1948. 2919 nr. acc.62 During the Berlin Crisis of 1948–49. The six papers addressed the occupation statute for western Germany. The Americans had returned to the notion of . 2. B Rep 037. reasons.” the document explained. “If they can prevent the recovery of Western Germany. 66–69. “Brief Analysis of Current US-Soviet Relations.” Draper placed the project under the supervision of the Assistant Secretary of the Army. the American Civil Affairs Division in conjunction with the Army Staff had formulated a series of contingency plans and long-term plans concerning the fate of the former Nazi capital and western Germany as a whole. They aimed at a significant transformation based on the idea of German industry acting as eco- nomic “lynchpin. Other important issues. were made contin- gent on first pushing through the new economic policy in Germany.164 oliver haller European Recovery Program (ERP). a former banker and direc- tor of the Economics Division of the ACC. such as European economic assistance and the formation of NATO. These drafts focused on the unresolved problems concerning western Germany. Maddocks (Major General. the Trizonal Agreement. acc.” LAB. “they can probably be assured that the European Recovery Program will fail for psychological and political.” LAB. nr. GSC.63 They evaluated 61 State Department Memorandum for Civil Affairs Division General Draper. “Memorandum: Proposed American Policy re: Problems Affecting Germany which Require Negotiation for their Solution with the British and French. Voorhees (Assistant Secretary of the Army). 1–2. Any pretenses of industrial demilitarization were gone. 25–28. Considering the serious erosion of relations with the Soviets. reparations. 62 Ray T. Director of Plans & Operations) to Mr. ordered the Plans and Operations Division to prepare policy drafts for new negotiations with British and French officials. and. The matter was to be treated with urgency. prohibited and restricted industries. the Ruhr Control Plan. it was also considered necessary to add a paper that dealt with the stormy matter of currency reform. as well as material. Six draft position papers were quickly composed by the Civil Affairs Division and reviewed by the Plans and Operations Division. 14 January 1949.

An addi- tional element was added.”64 With these restrictions. organization. nr. . The document singled out the salient problems of western German economic recovery. the binding of western Germany to other states through the International Trade Organization. 25–28. 1–2. become the basis of policy. and giving the region most favored nation treat- ment through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The failure to ship raw materials to Germany was four-power control and inspection schemes to assure that western Germany would not mobilize its assets and rearm. in the view of the authors. nr. A series of five “minimum points” were established that should. and pursuit of foreign trade that will permit solid eco- nomic recovery. Two of Draper’s policy papers demonstrated how far things had come. to discriminate against German economic develop- ment or to curtail free competition of German products in world competition. and the bundeswehr 165 the potential impact of both a Soviet or Anglo-American victory. In terms of reparations. the document further specified that eco- nomic recovery was best facilitated by a three-pronged program that called for expanded production through improved resource allocation. 2919. B Rep 037. State Department Memorandum for Civil Affairs Division General Draper.” it was argued. “Any agreed regulations necessary during the control period. 2919.” Second. “are to be used only to back up agreed security restrictions on Germany and are not to be utilized by the controlling countries to promote economic advantage for their respec- tive countries. Two points had an impact on industrial demilitarization and stood out starkly.” LAB. 9 August 1948. 14 January 1949. In order to address such problems as the growing balance of payments crisis and the need to increase the flow of capital for resource allocation and investment. german industry. 6. industrial demilitarization was only a facade. 64 Civil Affairs Division and Plans and Operations Division. All future reparations were linked to the fulfillment of recipro- cal trade obligations. B Rep 037. The authors first called for an “all out effort in the production. A short document dated 14 January 1949 titled “Western Germany’s Long Range Economic Program” stood out. “Western Germany’s Long Range Economic Program. acc.” LAB. The German thirst for resources took prece- dence. the document argued that “productivity must be raised above pre-war levels” and that exports alone should be expanded by 400 per cent. 66–69. “Brief Analysis of Current US-Soviet Relations. the cold war. the policymakers wanted a quick end to this kind of interference. acc.

McCloy met with the newly elected Chancellor Konrad Adenauer to discuss West German sovereignty. André François-Poncet. and fabrication of non-ferrous metals. 66 Ibid.66 West German Industry and the Cold War During the final weeks of 1949. zinc refining. 10. the example of Alkett demonstrated the gulf between reality and official policy. 2919. copper refining.166 oliver haller penalized by a simple halt to promised reparations. signed on 22 November 1949 at Petersberg near Bonn. Minimum Requirements with Respect to German Reparations. nr. stressed the resumption of normal consular and trade relations within the new transatlantic community. Adenauer’s government saw these measures as the price for greater control over industry. As directed by the American military on 24 December 1948. “Proposed U. the Allied High Commissioners Brian Hubert Robertson. . this decision shielded a wide range of German industrial firms. B Rep 037. He accepted the underlying principle of international control of the Ruhr and agreed to the further dismemberment of car- tels. This report would also determine the production capacities of such vital commodities as ball and roller bearings. While dismantling was not officially ended until the signing of the Germany Treaty on 26 May 1952. Adenauer paid a small price. with capacity to be retained until the Humphrey Report would clarify matters. Now the Americans began pushing for the conclusion of a peace treaty in order to officially lift the restrictions. 66–69. “present capacity” in these areas would be maintained as specified by the August 1947 Bizonal level of industry agreement—an agreement with which few were happy. The commissioners bound West Germany to the ERP and declared an end to reparations deliveries.7 million tons. acc. ammonia. chlorine.S. Until that moment.” LAB. 14 January 1949.65 But the changes in policy relating to prohibited and restricted industries represented the most revolutionary of all shifts. As seen in the example of Alkett. The protocol that resulted from the meeting. repa- rations were restricted to non-strategic items. calcium chloride. and John J. Furthermore. official policy argued for a steel limitation of 10. The Allied high commissioners did not fully relinquish their theoretical 65 Civil Affairs Division and Plans and Operations Division. coal distillation.

67 Like Roosevelt.”69 The search for increased sovereignty dominated Adenauer’s thinking during his first years in office. 72–73.68 “The foreign policy of a country. Nolan (Westport. 73 Christian Hacke. In fact. Erinnerungen. Erinnerungen. the chancellor took personal control over the formulation of foreign policy. 245. 1993). like the Americans. 69 Konrad Adenauer. ed. Hodge. “The Unexpected Origins . and thereby provide for domestic stability and national security. 1: 1945–1953 (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags- Anstalt. 1965). ques- tioned whether military capacities could be removed from the overall industrial system.71 But only Washington appeared willing and able to neutralize the post-war constraints placed on industry and society and bring the defeated state back into the international order. 57–69. Adenauer exerted a dominating influence over foreign policy. return his country to the international negotiating table. and the bundeswehr 167 powers over disarmament and demilitarization issues until after the western democracies granted West Germany “full sovereignty” during the Nine-Power Conference in London in the autumn of 1954. Hodge points out that this policy represented a form of “pragmatism. Carl C.70 Washington’s strenuous efforts after the war to protect the German heavy-industrial system influenced Adenauer’s perspectives con- cerning dual-use industry. vol. Hodge and Cathal J. Considering the direction of American policy.” in Shepherd of Democracy? America and Germany in the Twentieth Century. “is primarily derived from their real or alleged interests.” in Western Europe and Germany: The Beginnings of European Integration. John Orme. the cold war.3 (July 1955). ed. Donald Abenheim.73 67 Abenheim. 1995). Die doppelte Staatsgründung: Deutsche Geschichte. 55–86. 1945–1960. 68 West German conceptions centered largely on those of Adenauer. 87–103. The chancellor. “The Art of the Possible. “Active at the Creation: The United States and the Founding of the Adenauer’s Republic. german industry. Bundeswehr und Tradition. 72 Adenauer.” he believed.72 Bonn therefore supported the stationing of additional American forces on German soil and embraced the overall anti-Soviet focus of the Truman administration in exchange for reduced interference in German industrial affairs. CT: Greenwood Press. Christoph Kleßmann.” Carl C. Clemens Wurm (Oxford: Berg Publishers. 1991). 70 Carl C. 71 Hanns Jürgen Küsters. “Convention on Relations between the Three Powers and the Federal Republic of Germany. 1:177–81 and 182–92. it was hardly surprising that he wholeheartedly supported bind- ing West Germany to the United States as the means to ease occupation restrictions. 227. 67. 1945–1955 (Bonn: Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung. 1992).” The American Journal of International Law 49. Weltmacht wider Willen: Die Aussenpolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Frankfurt: Ullstein.

3 (1988). if Stalin chose to take advantage of the opportunity to launch an invasion against his enemies in Europe? “If the Russians choose to risk all-out war with the U.C. “they can roll through Western Europe like a color guard cross- ing a parade ground. December 1950–January 1951. 76 Melvyn P.P.” Political Science Quarterly. dominated strategic calculations. Nevertheless. FRUS.1 (1996). “The United States and the Strategic Dimensions of the Marshall Plan. . American intelligence estimated that the 110.”76 The potential loss of German industrial resources threatened the entire post-war American economic and national security system with ruin. 1994). ed. 13–46. This focus on Germany. the Soviet acquisition of nuclear weapons. American military officials agreed with these sentiments and once again pondered the geostrategic implications of losing West German industry to the Soviets. 2. “Report of the Special Evaluation Subcommittee of the National Security Council.S. 334–35. people wondered. Military officials in Washington demanded manpower and resources. and the defensive position must be established east of the Rhine River. “Adenauer und die amerkanische Sicherheitspolitik in Europa. 277–306. Truman’s govern- ment responded with the introduction of sweeping controls on the of Peace: Three Case Studies. Hermes. “German manpower and industrial resources must be employed. provided the pilots flew a one-way suicide mission.. “If we are to defend Western Europe. 14 August 1950. hardly unusual considering the entire premise of previous economic policy. 256. complicated matters.000 bombers that could strike targets throughout Europe and Asia and even hit the United States. the United States military nevertheless mustered considerable strength in Korea. Klaus Schwabe (Bonn: Bouvier. 75 “Frightening Truth. 77 Walter G. Foot.” the JCS declared in June 1950. Rosemary J. vol.1 (1986). together with the large standing army in central Europe.000 Chinese soldiers. The North Korean assault against poorly trained and ill-equipped American for- mations in the southern half of the peninsula unleashed a war scare that swept through the western world. The United States Army in the Korean War: Truce Trent and Fighting Front (Washington D. Only a single option existed. 111. 1992).”75 The implications of losing the Ruhr and other industrial regions seemed earth-shattering.” Diplomatic History 10.O. Norbert Wiggershaus. “Anglo-American Relations in the Korean Crisis: The British Effort to Avert an Expanded War. later. 43–57.: U.” undated. 10–14. 1952–54.168 oliver haller The outbreak of the Korean War in mid-1950 further changed the pace and direction of industrial policy in West Germany.S. 105–25.” Diplomatic History 12.74 What would happen. 74 Despite the fears. Leffler.77 But belts would first of all have to be tightened at home.” an American journalist specu- lated.000 North Korean and.” in Adenauer und die USA. The Joint Chiefs of Staff speculated at a later date that the Soviet nuclear arsenal included 120 atomic weapons and approximately 1.000 men of MacArthur’s 8th and 10th Corps faced roughly 100.” Time.G.

“Anglo-American Relations in the Korean Crisis”. “Wasted Opportunities? The 1950s Rearmament Programme and the Failure of British Economic Policy. concerned about the fragility of the European economy.80 Ultimately.” Journal of Contemporary History 32. fears of economic paralysis proved exag- gerated. Souveränität und Sicherheit (Munich: Oldenbourg. The war forced a re-evaluation of priorities. vol. the cold war.81 Nonetheless.3 (1997). and any immediate dislo- cation was temporary. part of Economics Minister Ludwig Erhard’s social market economy model. The British rearmament phase. Attlee (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. 702–03. 79 “NSC 71/1: Views of the Department of State on the Rearmament of Western Germany. FRUS. Dean Acheson. The previous year had witnessed the detonation of a Soviet nuclear device and the victory of Communism in China. studies emphasized the potential strains brought by rearmament. 82 “Memorandum of Conversation. Jihang Park. 357–79. 1995).82 78 Schwartz. and the bundeswehr 169 strategic raw materials and natural resources needed by the transatlan- tic military-industrial system. the Americans believed that only West Germany could muster the excess capacities needed for the rear- mament effort. informed President Truman that the State Department now even considered the creation of German ground units unavoidable. 4. The deepening military-industrial dependency on Ruhr steel and German machine tools in general actually induced a degree of American dis- satisfaction with Bonn. the American military wanted a focus on military output. 1997). was ultimately too short to seriously damage the economy.79 Initially. Wirtschaft und Rüstung. 1950. The shift towards military goods. 691–95. The American military had pushed the rearmament issue in Spring 1950 prior to the Korean War. 80 Werner Abelshauser and Walter Schwengler. Foot. as Secretary of State.” 31 July 1950. America’s Germany. 1950. 454. expressed doubts until the panic brought by the Korean crisis. it was believed. for instance. Instead of the previous West German concen- tration on consumer goods. American expenditures on armaments more than tripled and reached $50 billion by 1952. The State Department and occupation authorities in Germany. would create bottlenecks in strategic commodities and resources that might paralyze the overall economies of Europe. by the Secretary of State. . These pressures meant large increases in such areas as steel manufacturing to meet the demands of the military- industrial sector. 4.78 This strain only further accentuated any feelings of dependency on German dual-use industry and intensified the push for outright remilitarization. 124. vol. 81 Kenneth Harris. FRUS.” 3 July 1950. german industry. 14.

1975)..”83 Actual capabilities did not matter. 134. 1: Militärgeschichte seit 1945 (Boppard am Rhein: H. 3.87 The sub- stance of these discussions demonstrated the high residual dual-use industrial strength of the West German state. wir müssen sofort mit der Aufstellung deutscher Verteidigungskräfte beginnen. veterans of Hitler’s war. vol. McCloy expressed doubts that the rebirth of German military formations would help turn the defeated state into a “liberal constructive element in Europe. Boldt.. Graf von Schwerin. vol.”84 He there- fore clearly recognized the underlying strength of German indus- trial capacities but argued against swift changes to official policy. 86 “Der dritte Weltkrieg steht vor der Tür. a former Wehrmacht general and now national security advisor to Adenauer. America’s Germany. 84 Ibid. 131. McCloy had originally delayed action in regards to the JCS demand for open German rearmament. Prior to summarizing the work of the committees involved. 87 Abenheim. .85 McCloy sent a military advisor to meet with a representative from Adenauer’s government. and tactics.170 oliver haller The attitudes of the American High Commissioner in Germany demonstrated this shift. 38.” 3 August 1950. 1950. FRUS. it must be emphasized that Adenauer’s government recognized the reservations of their transat- lantic partners. started think- ing about armaments procurement. Aspekte der deut- schen Wiederbewaffnung bis 1955. The chancellor declared his unwillingness to form a sovereign military that would raise the specter of German militarism 83 Schwartz. Social reform became less important than national security. 85 “High Commissioner to Secretary of State. Bundeswehr und Tradition. The pressures arising from the Korean War caused McCloy to reject the previous concept of incremental change. McCloy understood that the strength of West German industry permitted the mobilization of a “substantial” military “within a year or eighteen months.86 West German Rearmament West German military experts. Adenauer himself addressed these fears in an August 1950 memorandum. In early February 1950 his Stuttgart speech challenged remilitarization. 181–82. 123–24. helped start the discussions that led to rearma- ment and the creation of the Bundeswehr.” in Hans Buchheim et al. strategy. The German representative demonstrated how so much had changed.

“to enable ever larger support for defense in addition to maintaining the net increase of investments and consumption necessary for the main- tenance of the growth. Even prior to discussing rearma- ment. 165–67. 2 (Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch. he emphasized. fight unemployment. stressed that weapons construction would further stimulate increases in industrial capacities. The initial assessments. an organization directly responsible for the more complicated aspects of rearmament. . Deutsche Geschichte seit 1945: Darstellung und Dokumente in vier Bände. following from meetings held in summer 1952. “lies primarily in the hands of the occupation troops. and the bundeswehr 171 from the dead. the cold war. 66. the battle lines were drawn between left and right and hinged on what actually constituted arma- ments and military-industrial potential. Hacke. 90 “Vernichtet der Verteidigungsbeitrag auf die derzeitige unsere Wirtschaft? Die Volkswirtschaftliche Gruppe des Bundesministeriums der Finanzen macht dazu folgende Ausführungen” and “Welche Auswirkungen wird ein deutscher Verteidigungsbeitrag auf die derzeitige Wirtschaftsverfassung ausüben und wie ist dieser Wirkung Rechnung zu tragen?” Auswärtiges Amt [hereafter AA].” 29 August 1950. Meeting at the Bundeshaus in Bonn.”90 This conclusion was debated by another committee in October 1952. 1952–1954. 7/230: Behandlung im Deutschen Bundestag.89 The committees discussing rearmament during the early 1950s quickly came to the same conclusions derived much earlier by the Americans. the Committee on Economic Policy fought a pitched battle over the dual-use issue. “The growth rate of the national product should be sufficiently large.” a committee of the Finance Ministry argued. Weltmacht wider Willen. vol. and generate wealth. in Rolf Steininger. The defense of West Germany. Composed of politicians drawn from various political parties and assisted by experts from the “Amt Blank”. 1996). The Socialist ministers of the SPD immediately criticized their more conservative CDU counter- parts for having provided foreign troops stationed on German soil with industrial goods and labor.”88 This support of foreign military forces stationed in West Germany would soothe the sensibilities of European states and free the post-war shackles that still remained. 89 Christian Hacke argues that Adenauer’s acute understanding of foreign fears con- cerning a resurgent Germany meant that security conceptions were built on the con- cept of security from and not with West Germany. B86 Referat 506/507 v. german industry. the Socialists interjected that these contributions already violated demilitarization policy. Worse than the blatant disregard for 88 “Adenauer Memorandum: Sicherung des Bundesgebietes nach innen und außen.

They drew attention to the fact that all machine tools intrinsically consti- tuted military potential and were therefore illegal according to the ACC. Theodor Blank challenged the question of what weap- ons systems could be produced by dual-use industry. 7/235: Ausschuß für Wirtschaftspolitik. and other issues were addressed. Bundeshaus. conservatives countered. then took up the stance of certain Allied policymakers in 1945. the Socialists relented. they pointed out. Somehow pacified by this interpretation.91 The Socialists.” What they intended to accomplish with this argument is beyond comprehension. the civilian element of their nature deter- mined that they were legal according to the new West German consti- tution or “Basic Law” that had been drafted with American assistance. partly owing to the immense impracticality of . Furthermore. the conservatives pointed out that rearmament required goods that would strengthen both civil- ian and military sides of dual-use industry.172 oliver haller occupation policy. related to resource allocation and not the quantity of machine tools or overall industrial capacities. Referring to French politician René Pleven’s plan of 24 October 1950.” 91 “Stenographisches Protokoll über die 161 Sitzung des Ausschusses für Wirtschaftspolitik. The real industrial problem. 93 Military policymakers outside of France ultimately rejected the Pleven Plan con- cept of a united European military. Bonn. Blank asked an important question. 22. 92 Ibid. Because no truly military machine tools exist.” AA. B86 Referat 506/507 v. a constant problem run- ning throughout modern German history. Participation in the defense against the Soviet Union would in any case help cure their chronic resource problem by allow- ing access to foreign markets. “In my opinion and based on the experiences from the war. “the danger still exists that that which is required for civilian demand is also required for war and vice versa. The impasse that resulted could only be overcome by a bizarre defense on the part of the conservatives. in a strange display of ideological short-sightedness.92 For example. Vehicles and electrical products were just as important as guns. This last claim was easily dis- missed. represented the issue of importance. Oktober 1952. a plan that advocated a unified European armed force commanded by a central authority and employing standardized military hardware.” one member explained. they believed that rearmament would jeopardize the program of economic reconstruction.93 “The question that plays a role here. Access to raw materials.

The problems for the German military were the incorporation of techni- cal changes into the new military structure. and the bundeswehr 173 he queried.” Handelsblatt.96 In any case. B86 Referat 506/507 v. forming a working military organization from disparate nations and military indus- trial systems. and development and in infrastructure. Rheinmetall itself returned to prominence as an arms pro- ducer by the mid-1950s. german industry. The Bundeswehr faced substantial costs in acquisition. LAB. the firm’s parent company. Nr. 7/235: Ausschuß für Wirtschaftspolitik. 2432. did not return to assembling weapons systems after 1950. The research of his department underlined the fact that West German capacities permitted the production of most weapons systems includ- ing armored fighting vehicles. nach d. hardly surprising owing to the rapidly expanding automotive production capacities of the early 1950s. the Rheinmetall AG. The real procurement problems related to solving political battles over standardization. 96 Wi. the cold war. 94 “Deutscher Bundestag. However. II B/6 (Tilch) an das Referat Wi. was beyond question. See Paul Noack. 162 Sitzung des Ausschusses für Wirtschaftspolitik. B Rep 010 Nr. 2432. 2–3. It did not make much sense to concentrate military-industrial production in an island surrounded by the enemy. the major tank producer of Hitler’s Reich.95 Conclusion Alkett. Bundeshaus. 13. III C/1. Praetoria. Abenheim. 23. Ausschuß.94 The ability of West Germany to produce tanks. Das Scheitern der Europäischen Verteidigungsgemeinschaft: Entscheidungsprozesse vor u.” Blank hastened to add that German industry could cope with multiple scenarios. Die Bundeswehr im Nordatlantischen Bündnis (Regensburg: Walhalla u. However. 30. 6 Oktober 1954 and “Rheinmetall hält von Bilanzoptik wenig. 9–16. 31 October 1958. Bonn. Oktober 1952.” AA. “Prolongation eines Betriebsmittelkredites fuer die Firma Alkett. of course. 1985). August 1954 (Düsseldorf: Droste.” LAB. Johannes Gerber. Today that firm represents one of Europe’s most successful defense industries. . research. The new German Army of 1955 was forced to redevelop or indeed develop military concepts and techniques in light of the strategic and tactical changes brought by the nuclear revolution and the revolution in conven- tional weapons primarily brought on by wartime German developments in airpower and rocketry. B Rep 010. “is what armaments orders await us. 1977). built new facilities in Düsseldorf that relied on capital equipment from its Berlin subsidiary. 95 Other problems existed. Alkett used its intrinsic capa- bilities to produce a range of dual-use items such as machine tools and component parts such as tracks for armored fighting vehicles. Bundeswehr und Tradition.

how important were any residual military- industrial capacities to the origins of the Bundeswehr or the subsequent rebirth of the West German armaments industry? This chapter has wrestled with these questions. 2432.” Neues Deutschland. the East Germans argued that the western Allies had been far too lenient on German businessmen and had allowed Nazis to return to positions of prominence in West German firms such as the technical director of Alkett. Satisfying answers are certainly hard to find. 25 January 1959. As an archetypical war plant. the firm’s early his- tory demonstrated an exclusive devotion to weapons of war. This chapter demonstrates that the Americans on the ground in Germany jettisoned industrial demilitarization long before its death was officially sanctioned in the halls of government. A poorly worked out definition or conceptual basis represented the dominant rea- son why.174 oliver haller The survival of Alkett did not escape the attention of the East German press. sits uncomfortably alongside the obvious American devotion to German economic rehabilitation after the war.97 These attacks skirted the basic issue of whether Alkett should have survived at all. These include specific examinations of Allied occupation policy and explana- tions of the seminal events of the immediate post-war. Nr. the policy of industrial demilitarization is men- tioned in a large number of analyses of post-war Germany. Adopting the usual techniques of accusation. “Neues Deutschland” pointed out that Alkett’s machine park was busy producing thousands of machine tools necessary for the production of gun barrels and other components of war. As elsewhere. The press correctly surmised that these tools and semi-finished goods were used for the production of military equipment used by both the Bundeswehr and the French military. . journalists focused their attention on the dual- use nature of machine tools. What does Alkett therefore teach about the success of Allied industrial demilitari- zation policy? Conversely. The Americans in particular experienced great difficulty 97 “Schlagdorne von Alkett. The standard response that Germany was industrially demilitarized. B Rep 010. Contradictions such as Alkett do serious damage to the supposed military-industrial tabula rasa that existed in West Germany at some mystical moment between 1945 and 1955. such as the ERP or the origins of the Cold War rupture. LAB. when we understand the complex meaning of dual-use industries. As pointed out.

The German armed forces were demobilized after 1945. the cold war. and the growing Cold War divide saved the company from extinction. The desire to remove the sinews of war—the war plants and even dual- use capacities—represented something more significant. . it became difficult to pursue dismantling with- out harming overall recovery. and only represented the initial steps taken by the military to secure the occupied territories. The plans that followed were different. These meas- ures did not imply the eradication of military industrial potential. the com- plexity of modern economies. The program failed because the revival of German industry was more important to the economies and overall national security of the emerging transat- lantic community. The documentary record literally bombards the historian with evi- dence that seriously questions the success of industrial demilitariza- tion in Germany. For Alkett. It was first of all radically dif- ferent from disarmament. Industrial demilitarization was itself a depar- ture from normal post-war policy goals. The survival of German syn- thetic facilities owed a great deal to this problem. and the bulk of the remaining Nazi arsenal was destroyed or placed under quarantine. Moreover. the Allies stopped the output of new armaments at the assembly points and initiated a number of sup- plementary measures to ensure the cessation of hostilities. And this recovery depended on what was often classified as military-industrial. Owing to the intertwined nature of modern economies. however. the strength of western German dual-use capacities is underlined. the American dedication to European recovery. and the bundeswehr 175 in determining whether particular industrial facilities were of impor- tance to the general German economy. german industry. Instead.


Yet. first. Of course. secondly. In the Federal Republic of Germany. Kollmer The procurement of defense material can be regarded. 2002). without adequate equipment. was concerned to integrate the country into the Western alliance in order to achieve true sovereignty in foreign policy matters. Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung in der Aufbauphase der Bundeswehr. or studies of motor vehicle and tank production in the interwar period and its effect upon the operations in World War II. 23–47. and regional policy. Another aspect of the period under review was the particular situation sur- rounding Germany. Kollmer. REASONS OF STATE: A MILITARY AND FOREIGN TRADE NECESSITY. we also have to take a closer look at the second aspect. procurement of armaments has been influenced by various fields of politics. As it triggered and lost World War II. as a self- evident technical process in a security environment or. From the very beginning. There has been some serious discussion of the effect of technology and equipment production upon military affairs—for example. amidst reconstruction. for- eign trade.2 1 Modern military history is overwhelmingly concerned with political/strategic/ operational issues and leadership. the issue of military equipment. 2 See Dieter H. However. one can point to the excellent studies on the effect of steel production upon warfare in World War I. . as an economic policy measure that is part of a government’s fiscal frame- work. soldiers would never be able to carry out the military plans of and missions given to them by their political leaders. military factors also matter. if we want to understand why certain armaments are procured. fiscal policy as well as economic. and its procurement as a central variable in warfare is a subject that has not been thoroughly studied—and certainly needs more attention. home affairs. the Federal government. but they have often been subordinated to “civilian” affairs. Nonetheless. its pro- duction. THE INTERNATIONAL MIX OF ARMAMENTS IN THE BUILD-UP PHASE OF THE BUNDESWEHR 1953–19581 Dieter H. Der Schützenpanzer HS 30 als Fallbeispiel (1953–1961) (Stuttgart: Steiner. the main fields of government involvement include foreign and security policy. The first approach is obviously of vital importance for evaluating the military efficiency of defense material.

on the whole. 1982). 4 On this. Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung. Vol. First were the fundamental economic issues of budgeting and adapting the national economy. Another reason was the lack of essential knowledge. 614. In the years following the Second World War. Eisenhower. To carry out this mission required the crea- tion of a new and elaborate procurement system. when necessary. For useful background to the special situation in the Federal Republic in the build-up phase of the Bundeswehr. it became quickly obvious that one of the tough- est problems would be to quickly and efficiently provide the major items of equipment for Germany’s defense—namely.178 dieter h. 88–127. 1965). 4: Wirtschaft und Rüstung. 73. ed. the procurement of weapons serves as a means by which states can exercise their sovereignty. kollmer In early 1955. 1956–1961 (Garden City: Doubleday. Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt (Munich: Oldenbourg. The White House Years: Waging Peace. and German industry was. The Germans faced some further daunting problems that illustrate the complexity of creating a conventional military of a half million men from virtually nothing. by waging war.000 men in the shortest possible time.” in Anfänge westdeutscher Sicherheitspolitik 1945–1956. Dwight D. see Lutz Koellner. 30–47. and Kollmer. Yet other factors some- times play a significant role in the decisions to produce or not to pro- duce weapons. It would all be very expensive. poorly prepared to begin renewed arms production. Some of the most important factors to consider are the general level of economic prosperity of the nation and the military 3 For a basic work on the problems of financing the military in Germany. On the thinking about the military-industrial complex in this period. Militär und Finanzen. States defend themselves through deterrence or.4 Essentially. tanks.3 There were several reasons for Germany’s difficult position of the time. aircraft and warships. The Federal Republic wanted to build its own armed forces—but not at any price. Souveränitiät und Sicherheit.. Yet there were factors unique to Germany that also inhibited the development of a true mili- tary-industrial complex on the model of the Americans. Yet this force was needed to contribute to the defense of freedom and democracy right on the front line of the border separating east and west.g. “Wirtschaft und Rüstung in den fünfziger Jahren. Germany lacked the know-how to build the latest weapons. see. . see Werner Abelshauser. when the decision was finalized that the Federal Republic of Germany would establish its own armed forces within the framework of NATO. 1997). see Kollmer. Zur Finanzgeschichte und Finanzsoziologie von Militaerausgaben in Deutschland (Munich: Bernard und Graefe. which were essential if Germany wanted to keep the promise to the alliance to stand up a military force of 500. e. Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung.

see Hans-Guenther Bode. military goals must be achieved within the limits of technology and financial outlays. are the foreign and security policies of the national government.” in Klaus-Juergen Bremm. reasons of state 179 potential of the state. the fundamental foreign and security policies are the foundation for a national government’s decisions. At the same time. militär- ische und wirtschaftliche Rahmenbedingungen und ihr Einfluss auf die Rüstung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Kollmer. many other factors come into play in the decision to produce military equipment. and Martin Rink. 6 On the issue of the factors that influence equipment production. 7 Adenaur’s promise to NATO meant that he agreed to grow the Bundeswehr at a faster rate than Hitler had built the Wehrmacht between 1933 and 1939. “Die materielle Aufrüstung der Bundeswehr von den Anfängen bis heute. see the comment on basic literature on the subject in Kollmer. eds. Among a variety of principles. Both goals are closely related. Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung. indeed.7 Adenauer accepted this goal.5 Indeed. On this. 13–38. and foreign-trade policy. 23–77. and some of the most important are for- eign policy. . An excellent exam- ple of the extraordinary influence of these political factors upon the rearmament polices in the early year of the Bundeswehr is Konrad Adenauer’s ready acceptance of the Allied timetable for the build-up of the West German defense forces. eds. 1980). security policy.000-man mili- tary force in only three years. On this subject. sometimes the deciding reasons.” in Theodor Benecke and Guenther Schoener. Bundeswehr und Industrie—25 Jahre Partner für den Frieden (Munich: Bernard und Graefe. 216. Economic efficiency is one of the fundamental requirements of mili- tary power. Attaining both prosperity and military capability are goals of the modern industrial state. and requirements in international relationships. economic policy. The budgets that the state devotes to the armed forces are not necessarily oriented solely to attaining the maximum military benefit. The first West German chancellor promised the Allies that Germany would stand up a 500. relationships.. The demands of the state can also serve as a means of steer- ing the economy.. but not 5 In other words. 2005).6 The Framework: Foreign Policy Principles = Reasons of State Some of the reasons inherent in the process for choosing equipment for the armed forces. Entschieden für Frieden: 50 Jahre Bundeswehr 1955 bis 2005 (Freiburg: Rombach. Wehrtechnik für die Verteidigung. Hans-Hubertus Mack. the military-equipment industries serve a legitimate secondary goal of the state in building up and supporting certain sec- tors of its economy. “Politische. see Dieter H.

and also provide for West Germany’s defense. secure NATO’s vital Central Front.” Vierteljahrschrift für Zeitgeschichte 37 (1989). foreign-policy factors played the primary role in the creation of the Bundeswehr. West Germany’s top political leaders would request nuclear weapons for the Bundeswehr so that the German military could prop- erly fulfill its role in NATO’s new “Sword-Shield-Sword” strategy as expressed in NATO document MC 14/2.180 dieter h.. Rückblenden. One reason why the Bundeswehr wanted nuclear weapons was to ensure that any use of force in the future would be carefully tied to the political decision mak- ers and not left solely in Allied military hands. “Das Projekt einer trinationalen Nuklearkooperation. NATO’s strategy underwent constant revision to meet the new challenges. and Peter Fischer. 105–32. . Requirements of Security Policy The security policy of the Federal Republic was irrevocably bound to NATO in the Paris Treaties of 1954/55.” in Frank Naegler. Kollmer: “ ‘Nun siegt mal schoen!’ Aber womit?—Die Aufrüstung des Heeres der Bundeswehr 1953 bis 1972. 2007). Adenauer’s first priority was to establish the sovereignty of the Federal Republic with full recognition and acceptance by the West.” Historisches Jahrbuch 112 (1993). ed. Die Bundeswehr 1955 bis 2005. kollmer with the primary intent of creating a battle-worthy military force for Germany.8 By the end of the 1950s. 9 On the efforts made by West Germany to acquire atomic weapons at the end of the 1950s. 567–93. The goal of the large-scale rear- mament effort was to build an effective military force as quickly as pos- sible in order to support NATO’s conventional defense capability. 397–405. providing adequate financing for the armed forces still remains one of the central problems of any major power. Until the end of the 19th century the great part of any government’s expense was for the military. 8 See Dieter H. see Hans-Peter Schwarz. But despite such commitments. Einsichten. In a period of rapid technological change. not Germany’s security policy or military objectives. “Adenauer und die Kernwaffen. In short.9 Financial Handicaps The reach and effectiveness of a nation’s security policy exists in a direct relationship to the national income. Perspektiven (Munich: Oldenbourg.

the procurement of military equipment is a process of par- liamentary negotiation and compromise. 30–47. . Finanzen. the so-called general welfare. The social programs of the Federal Republic would. The optimal divi- sion of productive capacity is always dependent upon the political structure and the long-term goals of the broader society. In a demo- cratic state. the first objective of the state is to maximize the general economic prosperity of the whole community. The national policy was to keep the cost of rearmament at a moderate level because high defense costs could easily threaten the internal stability of the Federal Republic. but in fact. Thus. who served as the guardian of the West German prosperity. the political leadership in Bonn was well aware of the dilemmas they faced in financing West Germany’s rear- mament. The one positive aspect of the German government’s policy was a firm commitment of nine billion Deutschmarks per year to be devoted to the rearmament budget. Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung. it was quite insufficient for the needs of the Bundeswehr. However. a balance had to be found. be sacrificed in favor of national defense. The solution was finally made to select equipment offered at a lower price—but the less expen- sive equipment was also much less effective in serving the national defense. It was thought at the time to be a reasonable sum.10 In short. see Kollmer. Despite such drawbacks. reasons of state 181 From the start of the process. the Bonn politicians held to the prin- ciple that the new armed forces had to be created and equipped with- out increasing the government’s debts. the German leadership had to manage a very capital-intensive armaments and procurement program in a manner that did not affect the economic development process and social pro- gram expenditure. That means that a nation can 10 On the fundamental financial policies that frame the production of equipment in the Federal Republic of Germany. 11 On details of the financial aspects of equipping the Bundeswehr. The result was a series of crises in the attempt to produce major military equipment items. It was a tough battle to pry even that much out of the Federal Finance Minister Fritz Schaeffer. such a goal can only be achieved by the best possible allocation of available resources. under no circumstances.11 The National Economy Factor In the Western concept of government. see Koellner.

see Abelshauser. From that point on. In addition. 84–90.13 Only a few of the smaller firms showed an interest in producing weapons or military equipment. Large firms became interested in having a line of military equipment in production as a means of keeping the company busy in times of recession.12 The preju- dice against military arms production after the Second World War was reinforced by the ban on such production that the Allied powers had decreed. “Wirtschaft und Rüstung. the state of German industry was such that the Federal Defense Ministry would have to import 60 per cent of the Bundeswehr’s major equipment items from overseas during the first decade of its existence. 2002). However. “Die materielle Aufrüstung. Kollmer. kollmer normally only make considerable resources available to the defense budget if the resources are truly to be used for military purposes.” 64–66. and Lothar Gall. had only a limited interest in manufacturing military equipment in their own factories. 2004). . In the Germany of the early 1950s. Deutsche Wirtschaftsgeschichte seit 1945 (Munich: DTV. any interest in arms production was discouraged by the arrest and conviction by the Allies of some of the German indus- trialists who had supported Hitler. Note: This is the primary textbook on German economic history since 1945. as a result of the deceleration of the “economic miracle. ed. 181–86. Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung. One consequence of the Second World War was a somewhat unique evolution of the West German economy. the production of military equip- ment was also seen by the government as a means of steering economic demand. 14 Since 1961. Jahrhundert (Berlin: Seidler. therefore.” in Lothar Gall. Krupp im 20. 13 On these issues. the official title has been “Federal Ministry of Defense. Basically.15 12 See Werner Abelshauser.182 dieter h.” 217–18. the industrial firms had full order books and. some of the regional indus- tries that produced civilian goods.” a number of West German industries became interested in doing business with the Bundeswehr. “Von der Entlassung Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbachs bis zur Errichtung seiner Stiftung 1951 bis 1967/68.” 15 See Kollmer. were interested in supplying the Bundeswehr and selling to the military. 475–511. Contracting firms were interested in building the new barracks and bases the armed forces would need.14 Yet.. such as kitchen equipment. The condition of the economy basically decides which financial resources can be made available to the defense budgets.

Belgium. however. all of theses states had to overcome many serious post-war economic conditions. But while this policy of European procurement supported the for- eign relations of the Federal Republic. The idea that the Bundeswehr was ready to place major orders with its new European allies was well received. As the German “economic miracle” took off in the early 1950s. and Turkey. France. Although this policy made for mediocre national defense 16 For a detailed discussion of the balance of payments issue and the solution through weapons production in Europe. These imbalances could be equalized through carefully targeted joint procurement agreements with some of Germany’s allies. at the lowest pos- sible price. 87–90. imported goods valued considerably higher than the value of goods they exported to Germany. reasons of state 183 Weapons Procurement as Part of the Balance of Payments Question In the lengthy build-up phase of the Bundeswehr. . it also served to push down the quality of the equipment that the Bundeswehr actually received. 17 For a detailed discussion of the acquisition of the HS-30 armored infantry vehicle by the Bundeswehr. for example. a strong imbal- ance in the trade accounts occurred in the case of several European nations. Several western European nations were hope- ful that equipment orders from the new West German armed forces could help revive their own industries. Italy.16 At the same time. see Kollmer. One of the best examples of the unintended consequences of the Bundeswehr’s overseas weapons acquisition program was the decision to acquire the Hispano Suiza HS-30 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).17 Still. 131–270. Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung. Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung. This armored vehicle was developed by the Swiss firm Hispano Suiza and assembled by a British company. in the 1950s it was not a case of acquiring the best weapons for the money but rather finding as many minimally acceptable weapons systems as possible. In this way the Federal Republic could also assist some of its allies with their balance of payments difficulties. One major problem these states had to contend with was the weakness of the heavy industry sector and of the vehicle manufacturers. where it earned a notorious reputation for its poor reli- ability and generally bad design. For a time it served as the primary IFV of the German Army. see Kollmer. Great Britain. the procurement of military equipment was also an element of foreign trade policy.

to fill some of the requirements quickly. nicht kleckern!’ Die materielle Aufrüstung des Heeres von den Anfängen bis Ende der sechziger Jahre. Organisation und Aufstellung (Munich: Oldenbourg. see Dieter H. Das Heer 1950 bis 1970. S. 18 Florian Seiller.1 (2008). “ ‘Zusammenarbeit kann man das nicht nennen!’ Die Anfänge der deutsch-französischen Rüstungskooperation im konventionellen Bereich 1955–1966. kollmer capabilities. This approach is called “deep armament. . Kollmer. In the 1950s the speed of the build-up of the forces was the deciding factor. Dieter H. The result of such a pur- chasing policy was that the Bundeswehr ended up with a wide variety of different equipment. the government turned to the expedient of acquiring equipment at favora- ble prices from Germany’s new NATO allies.” In was only in the 1960s that the major armaments projects begun in the Bundeswehr’s first years finally bore fruit and consolidated equipment purchasing programs were set out on a long-term basis.” The advantages of this approach are simplicity of purchase and supply. Konzeption. 56–63. for every actual mission of the Bundeswehr there was a minimum of equipment models to fulfill the mission.” in Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift 67. it made for a good foreign policy and greatly helped the ongoing program of European integration.184 dieter h. Therefore. Martin Rink.18 Armaments Procurement Strategies Since the founding of the Bundeswehr. To achieve rapid procurement. Kollmer. 19 The best known examples are the IFV Marder (development beginning in 1959) and the legendary Leopard main battle tank (development beginning in 1960). Hammerich. some very diverse strategies for the acquisition of military equipment have been followed. the requirement for fewer maintenance personnel. and Rudolf J. When firms were not able to deliver the promised goods on time. and a broad interoperability between aircraft and vehicles as well as the personnel needed to support them. Schlaffer. “ ‘Klotzen. On this. The rather chaotic mix of weapons and systems is called “broad armament.” in Helmut R. or in the amount ordered. the Federal Defense Ministry set contracts for equipment that could be produced and delivered in time to equip the first Bundeswehr units.19 By the 1960s. lower maintenance costs. the orders had to be split and sent to more than one contractor. 564–75. so produc- tion of some single major pieces of equipment was shared between competitors. Yet the producers were not always able to produce the contracted equipment in time. 2006).

cannot operate in the open market like a private com- pany. the procurement process would follow the constitution of the Federal Republic as well as the free-market principles that were man- dated by the senior defense officials. Every expenditure was. The basic ideas of these initial concepts have. The service branches then deter- mined what materiel they would require to carry out their basic mis- sion. Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung. see Abelshauser. in fact. the Bundeswehr developed other funda- mental all-services concepts. “Wirtschaft und Rüstung. In fact. 21 On the “total force” thinking. a personnel system.” 10. In cooperation with the materiel procurement department of the Defense Ministry. the “whole armed forces con- cept” became the guiding principle of the Bundeswehr during its plan- ning and initial build-up phase. which was approved by parliament. a budget system. Contracts given to private companies were controlled by the “Regulations for Performance” (VOL). as the only contractee for military goods. . It was. 47–65. the specifi- cally European view that the government. one of the first major chal- lenges faced in the first year of the Bundeswehr was simply establishing a coherent procurement system. They also work under the supervision of the Federal Accounting Office. After a few early disputes. Therefore. carried out in accordance with the Federal budget plan 14. The contracting entity is controlled by officials and strictly regu- lated in every detail. To meet the requirements of the time that were to be established by contract. reasons of state 185 The Procurement System and Process20 In order to coordinate the necessary steps and find the best means to build up the new German armed forces. and other administration systems. the branches of the Bundeswehr overcame their service differences and oriented themselves to the same goals so they could all make an effective contri- bution to western European defense. remained with the Bundeswehr to the present day. and still is. This inter-service rivalry had been a notable feature of the Third Reich and had greatly affected the produc- tion of armaments. and still is today. the services established the necessary equipment requirements and methods of control. Every contract had to be 20 On the procurement process and system in the build-up phase of the Bundeswehr.21 The concept was emphasized in order to avoid the danger of “service egoism” from emerging among the branches of the Bundeswehr. see Kollmer. including a single military law system.

If the Bundeswehr had complied with its own regulations.” 141. nicht kleckern!’ ” 511–14. 64. The tender for contract procedures. Any company could bid to participate in such contracts. or have production expertise required for the contract. Per the VOL. standards. kollmer carefully reviewed and sorted into one of three categories when calls for tenders were published. in 1955 the Bundeswehr unofficially suspended its regulations for the purchase and fielding of military equipment.” as issued under the VOL.186 dieter h. The “open-contracting process” took up considerably more time than expected. new regulations were put into place in early 1956. Therefore. the contract would be awarded upon consideration of all the economic aspects. were put into place to reduce the problems of firms creating a monopoly of supplies and gaining a monopoly of the market. and was to be used if there were a limited number of firms capable of effectively fulfilling the contract. Under pressure to find a quick solu- tion.23 Under the framework of the new rules. those competing for open-tender contracts had to fulfill additional requirements and were mandated to carry out a three-year testing and development program on new equipment. every piece of equipment would have been thoroughly tested for as long as three years before being put into service with the troops. see Kollmer. Nonetheless. “ ‘Klotzen. Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung.” The “open award” was given for special exceptions in which ‘there are special conditions on the contract announcement as to how the con- tract would be awarded. Under a “limited tender. some politicians tried to water down the system of protections. The “open call for tender” was the norm. . “Wirtschaft und Rüstung. The new regulations ensured that a certain percentage of Bundeswehr contracts would be awarded to the medium-sized firms. 23 On the particular problems of contracting in the build-up phases of the Bundeswehr. 22 Kollmer. This type of contract competitive bidding also included social and political considera- tions. the majority of contracts in the first years were awarded under the limited-consideration bid rather than the open-contracting rules. “the pro- ducer had to meet special requirements. many in place to this day.”22 To prevent the large firms from pushing out the medium-sized and small companies in the contract competition by means such as price dumping. the Defense Ministry had only three years to com- pletely stand up and equip the armed forces.24 However. 24 See Abelshauser.

The result of this situation was that much of the heavy equipment for the Bundeswehr would have to be manufactured overseas. There was rarely enough time to develop new equipment. 26 For general background on the establishment and activity of “Amt Blank. several of Germany’s allies declared themselves ready to support West Germany by providing sur- plus material. Implementation: The International Mix of Weapons 1953–1958 The first phase of the Bundeswehr’s build-up actually begins some years before the first Bundeswehr military unit was formed. In the immediate post-war years only a few industrial firms had any serious interest in competing for contracts from the Defense Ministry. reasons of state 187 The open-tender process had often resulted in the government issuing contracts to “unqualified companies that could not often deliver equip- ment or services on time or to acceptable quality standards. the predecessor of the Federal Defense Ministry. 1993). Die schwierige Gründung des Bundesministeriums für Verteidigung (Freiburg: Rombach.“25 A chronic shortage of personnel in the Defense Ministry’s procure- ment department exacerbated the situation. Already in 1956 the Procurement Department had to administer the contracting of 9.000 major equipment items as well as 3.5 million individual items required for equipping the Bundeswehr.” the predecessor office of the Federal Defense Ministry. “ ‘Klotzen. . nicht kleckern!’ ” 512. To be able to ensure that the Bundeswehr’s first soldiers could be equipped quickly.26 At this time the whole focus of the German economy was on rebuild- ing Germany in the aftermath of the World War. To move the rearmament process along. see Dieter Krüger. Das Amt Blank. a large number of equipment articles had to be immediately bought “off the shelf ”— along with a large amount of materiel that was soon made available by the allied powers. Because of the particular situation of the Federal Republic. The approximately 200 members of the procurement department had to oversee more than 200. The first significant assistance to the German Federal 25 Cited in Kollmer. was given responsibility for ordering equipment for the new armed forces. The means did not exist to carry out all the administrative procedures in a timely fashion.000 contract items. at first the Amt Blank (“Blank Office”).

kollmer government in this regard was provided by the United States of America. . 2008).28 Still. Irritated by Germany’s position. the German Federal government did not find this level of support suf- ficient and during the next few months would make several diplomatic approaches to the Americans trying to negotiate additional aid. Army: Building Deterrence for Limited War (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.S. The Cold War U. This grant would be enough to equip the first six divisions of the German Army and 24 squadrons of the new German Air Force (Luftwaffe). Thus. “ ‘Klotzen. some particular conditions of the post-war period worked to the advantage of the Federal government. 29 “The Nash List” was the name of the list of weapons and equipment which were declared surplus by the Pentagon and made available at no cost to help equip the Bundeswehr. which would turn over surplus equipment directly to the Bundeswehr. see Kollmer. “ ‘Klotzen. It was an excellent opportunity to provide start-up help for U. Trauschweitzer.27 Eventually. Army began a program to re-equip its forces in Germany with new weapons systems. “ ‘Klotzen.S.” see Kollmer. 28 At the start of the 1950s. See Kollmer. the Germans turned largely to nations with large trade-balance deficits to procure some of the most urgently needed equipment for the army. nicht kleckern!’ ” 524. allies. the U. nicht kleckern!’ ” 523–38.S.S. the so-called “Nash Program” committed the United States to provide approximately 3. although the costs of this approach were quite high.8 billion Marks (almost $1 billion dollars) worth of heavy military equipment to Germany. thereby providing an large and inexpensive sur- plus of older but usable weapons right in Europe.29 That said. Frank Nash. the Americans would not agree to increase an already generous offer. Try as the German government would. In the next few years the army’s aviation corps would be equipped with Alouette helicopters 27 On the “Nash Program” and “Nash List” and their effects on German rearma- ment. nicht kleckern!’ ” 523–38. forces stationed in Germany.S. on 7 April 1953. The high levels of the foreign trade surplus that West Germany had amassed since the late 1940s had to be reduced. This was arranged so that the Germans could quickly provide a German contingent to the projected European Defense Community (EDC) through the program announced in Bonn by the Deputy U. The first delivery of equipment would be passed through the U. For more about the “Nash List. Secretary of Defense. In Bonn the West German Defense Ministry decided to import some of the most urgently needed army weapons from European allies. Washington modified the “Nash List” and limited its deliveries in early 1956 to mainly supplying equip- ment to the new German Army.188 dieter h. See also Ingo W.

Of course. see Abelshauser. the increasing tensions brought about by the Cold War were clearly the primary issue that drove the politicians in Bonn to support its Western allies at the end of the 1950s. a contribution to the financial support of the military forces stationed in Germany. “ ‘Klotzen. gaps quickly appeared in the infrastructure. government that West Germany did not have to spend more than 9 billion Deutschmarks per annum to build up the Bundeswehr. nicht kleckern!’ ” 591–95. 32 After tough negotiations. The whole of the Bundeswehr would be equipped with the G1 and G3 rifles as well as Uzi submachine guns. consider- ably more problems arose than had been expected. 96–99. and the Federal German Navy obtained ships mainly from Britain and France. The case of the so-called “Turkish ammo” scandal made it obvious that the Defense Ministry was not always looking for military efficiency but instead gave other national interests a higher priority.S.” 139–46. see Kollmer.30 The goals set by the German procurement policy included equaliza- tion of trade imbalances. Due to the Bundeswehr budget limitations. This. and the HS-30 armored personnel carrier that was produced in Switzerland and Britain. One means to better relations was to import military equipment. and with only 9 billion Deutschmarks for the military budget. armored reconnaissance vehicles built by the French Hotchkiss firm. the German Treasury Secretary Fritz Schaeffer reached an agreement with the U. all made in Belgium. reasons of state 189 built in France. “Wirtschaft und Rüstung.32 30 On Turkey’s difficulties with ammunition production. The Air Force received aircraft from both Italy and America. Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung. development of better bi-lateral relations. but the Turkish ammunition had noticeable quality-control problems.31 From Rapid Rearmament to the “Quality Army” During the early phases of rearmament in the Bundeswehr. and support for the economic growth of friendly nations. It was decided to order mortars from Israel and ammunition from Turkey. and . So the West German government considered every possibility to improve its trade relations with these countries. 31 On the objectives of the production policies of the German Federal government in the 1950s. The Israeli mortars proved to be very effective. and Kollmer. The governments of Turkey and Israel needed economic support to assist them to overcome external and internal conflicts.

nicht kleckern!’ ” 613. In the build-up phase of the Bundeswehr most of the funds for infrastructure the so-called “Annuality of the budget”—which means that the money of a certain budget (e. Old weapons projects were to be scrapped. Militär und Finanzen. See also Lutz Koellner. in its urgency to find any usable equipment at all. and Kollmer.35 Even though the greater proportion of the Bundeswehr’s equipment was acquired overseas in the first years of its existence.34 Strauss negotiated a new rearmament program with the major players in Washington. Strauss turned to the new NATO strategy laid out in NATO document MC 14/2.” See Kollmer. convinced Adenauer to slow the rearmament process. military) must be spent within a year or it will fall back to the Federal budget—led eventually to insufficient procurement measures. and he used it as the justification for proposing a new strategy to build up the Bundeswehr. 33 See Abelshauser. and Kollmer. 36–47.33 Blank’s successor. 34 On the slowdown of the Bundeswehr force planning. Planung und Aufbau der Bundeswehr unter den Bedingungen einer massiven atomaren Vergeltungsstrategie 1952–1960 (Munich: Oldenbourg 2006). “ ‘Klotzen. Rüstungsgüter- beschaffung. The first defense minister. and wholly new weapons were to be developed and fielded. 35 Examples of off-the-shelf materiel were the IFV HS-30 and the M 48 battle tank. who had lost confidence in the Bundeswehr due to the many failings of the first months of the rearma- ment process. a strategy that set the requirements for Allied contributions to NATO under the framework of building capa- ble conventional forces. Zur Finanzgeschichte und Finanzsoziologie von Militaerausgaben in Deutschland (Munich: Bernard & Graefe. Theodor Blank. Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung. almost 50 per cent of the budget for force infrastructure remained in Germany. Franz Josef Strauss. had been handed an unsolvable problem by Adenauer and was eventually forced out of office.190 dieter h. Paris. .. The new weapons systems that began development at this time were the Marder IFV and the main battle tank “Standardpanzer 30”—later called the “Leopard tank. NATO- Strategie und nationale Verteidigungsplanung. Wirtschaft. the Defense Ministry bought inferior equipment at inflated prices. 173–81.g. 1982). kollmer The budget limits had allowed for too few maintenance support per- sonnel for an armed forces equipped with complex modern weapons. Budget limits and the other problems discussed earlier led to a far slower rearmament process than Chancellor Adenauer had promised to NATO. see Bruno Thoss. and NATO under the slogan “The Quality Army” while working diligently to quiet West Germany’s irritated allies. In the meantime. Strauss’ goal was to build an “atomic war capable” Bundeswehr.

At the same time. By the end of the 1950s. 36 On building the Bundeswehr’s infrastructure. The Bonn Defense Ministry saw this as an opportunity to propose fundamental changes to Western policy and used the new security situation to request that the limitations placed on German industry in the aftermath of the World War be removed. . Die Infrastruktur der Streitkräfte als Faktor sozioökonomischer Modernisierung der Bundeswehr in der Bundesrepublik 1955–1975 (Munich: Oldenbourg 2006). The national infrastructure plan involved everything from grand building projects to building washstands for the Bundeswehr’s tanks. Washington hoped that the new NATO strategy would allow it to reduce the American conventional forces stationed in Europe by the end of the 1950s. 37 In Germany.37 A considera- ble number of medium-sized and small companies were involved in this process. Although he wanted to acquire complete nuclear delivery systems. after a negative reaction from the press and from some of Germany’s allies. In the end. the “know how” to build heavy weapons began with producing small all-terrain vehicles. Strauss would settle for equipping German corps artillery units with atomic-capable systems.36 In its early spending plans the Bundeswehr was concerned less about utilizing the current capabilities of German firms and more about developing a German armaments industry and armaments man- ufacturing competence over the middle and long term. The Allies complied and ended the restrictions that had denied Germany the right to build certain heavy military equipment. reasons of state 191 and equipment went to building new military vases and renovating old ones. he scaled down his requests to include only atomic artillery munitions. Integra- tion und Wandel. Other allies also took this view and looked to with- drawing some forces from Germany and having them replaced by the Germans. The result was that the responsible departments of the Defense Ministry concentrated on the development and production of a new generation of conventional weapons systems—very much along the lines of the defense minister’s “Quality Army” policy. and these remain. the backbone and the engine of the German economy. even today. see Wolfgang Schmidt. light weapons. Defense Minister Strauss requested that the Bundeswehr be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons. German industry was ready to design and build main battle tanks. and various items of special equipment.

Germany’s western European allies delivered supplements to offset their balance-of-payments deficit with Germany. The heavy dependence upon the American aviation industry was only broken in the 1970s as the result of a concentrated European investment program. much of the early equipment procured for the Bundeswehr was pro- vided by Washington to Bonn. the Bundeswehr was largely dependent upon foreign military aid. Only through the assistance programs of the Allies were the Bundeswehr’s “men in blue” the first branch of the armed forces able to report to the defense minister that they were ready for duty. Because the army required a vast amount of equipment to be supplied as soon as possible. During its build-up phase the Federal Navy was primarily provided with ves- sels from the American and British navies.” the Germans began planning to field their own weapons systems. Britain. Thanks to the naval superiority of the Allies. and these were also trans- ferred to the Germans. by the late 1950s. NATO assigned the West German Navy some low-priority coastal-defense duties. Thus. and Italy. Washington’s clear message to Bonn was that Germany needed to field operationally ready forces as soon as possible.192 dieter h. However. to transform the “broad armament” into a “deep armament. and to protect the West German coastline and the . The Federal Navy’s mission was to prevent the Warsaw Pact forces from breaking out of the Baltic into the North Sea. “Ready to Sail”: Why the Federal Navy Built an Improvised Force At the start of the 1950s the naval threat from the Warsaw Pact was minimal. But the vast majority of the equipment for the Air Force came from the United States. The army had to follow a similar path to obtain equipment. kollmer The Branches of the Bundeswehr In order to meet NATO’s goal of a speedier build-up process. to be built in Germany. this fast build-up that brought the West German Navy to readiness quickly also meant that in the 1970s almost the whole fleet had to be replaced at one time. to attack the Soviet sea lanes in the Baltic. Some aircraft were obtained from France. Even so. In its build-up phase the Air Force was even more dependent upon equipment supplied by allies. a large purchasing and procurement program quickly came into being. A few vessels from the Third Reich’s navy were still in good condition.

2006). and coastal- defense boats.. to meet the requirements of the fleet. and David R. 40 For more about the American Labor Service Units in Germany after World War II. four tugs. “Arming the ‘Bundesmarine’: The United States and the Build-Up of the German Federal Navy. A few weeks later the Federal Border Police sea unit. 40 torpedo boats. . one tanker.38 To carry out these narrowly crafted missions the West German Navy would need an array of smaller ships. reasons of state 193 Danish islands.” German military leaders planned to build patrol boats. “Kommiss kommt von Koompromiss. Already in June 1956. and three rescue boats of the American “Labor Service” units40—mostly former World War II German vessels manned by veterans of the old German navy—were readied to be turned over to the Federal Navy. see Johannes Berthold Sander-Nagashima. Die Bundesmarine 1955–1972 (Munich: Oldenbourg.39 These force levels were achieved only in the early 1960s. in every weather. 477–500. see Siegfried Breyer and Gerhard Koop. one tanker. and almost 60 aircraft.” The Journal of Military History 66. 36 landing craft. former German navy vessels that had been taken into French navy service at the end of World War II. former British torpedo boats with German crews and under British higher command took over patrol duties in the Baltic. at the end of 1959 38 On the planning to create the Federal German Navy and the ships and aircraft used by the navy. 1950–1960. Snyder. Fahrzeuge und Flugzeuge der deutschen Marine von 1956 bis heute (Munich: Bernard und Graefe. however. 59–62. The Federal Navy. in 1955 the Defense Ministry recom- mended a naval force of 18 small. Das Heer 1950 bis 1970. fast destroyers. considered destroyers an essential part of the fleet planning because it would need to carry out a variety of missions. landing craft. 39 On equipping the German Navy. However. and for long duration. submarines. and one tug all officially joined the West German Navy. These ves- sels had been used to clear mines in the Baltic and North Sea. Because the Federal Navy’s equip- ment demands were relatively modest in comparison to the army and air force. 10 escorts (later named frigates). 12 smaller patrol boats. with 26 boats. 54 minesweepers. the first units of the navy were deployed fairly quickly. the mission was soon broadened by NATO to include support for the Allied naval forces opposing Soviet naval efforts to seize the straits between Denmark and Norway. So. At the end of 1956 the French turned over five large minesweepers.” in Hammerich et al. 24 minesweepers. see Helmut Hammerich. 1996). As a result of these efforts. At the same time. 2002).2 (April. The larger vessels would actually be “large torpedo boats. Die Schiffe. minesweepers.

Snyder. In July of that year an addi- tional minesweeping squadron joined the NATO forces.41 The Force of Circumstance—The Army Adopts “Broad Armament” For the former German generals and general staff officers who had served on the Eastern Front from 1941 to 1945. the naval staff of the Defense Ministry decided to initiate an even larger shipbuilding program. 54 minesweepers. Bundesmarine. 220–22.194 dieter h. All branches of the armed serv- ices had the same problem: Most of the available weapons systems had not been designed to accomplish the tasks of the Bundeswehr. Early in the rearmament process there were generous donations of ships and materiel from America and Britain. Nevertheless. at the very beginning of the Bundeswehr. an unsatisfactory mix of weapons came into being. the operational lessons of how to defend the western European states from Soviet aggression were clear. Arming.” The main build-up phase of the Federal Navy ended in the early 1960s. Die materielle Aufrüstung. due to its modest requirements and the help of its new allies. The most important lessons learned in the campaign against the Red Army in World War II were the significant vulnerability of the Soviet leadership and planning a defense that employed highly mobile tactics as well as operational methods. Thus. . These German naval units were the first military forces of the Federal Republic to rou- tinely take part in NATO maneuvers. kollmer NATO could deploy two minesweeping squadrons as the Federal German Navy’s first operational fleet unit. see Sander-Nagashima. During 1957 the Defense Ministry planned to acquire eight destroyers. and 60 smaller vessels for the fleet. The Soviet military structure 41 For more on procurement for the German Navy. In addition to these significant steps. the West German Navy staff was able to assign its first units to NATO quickly. six escorts. and Kollmer. The goal of the procurement branch of the Defense Ministry was to work with German industries on a long-term plan to create a “deep armament. But the Allies usually only provided material that was older and surplus to their needs. 30 torpedo boats. The first submarine built for the defense of German waters came into service in March 1962 and was appropriately named the U-1.

reasons of state 195

made it often difficult for them to react to such an opponent. Indeed,
German officers were convinced that they could even halt a massive
conventional attack by Soviet forces. They had learned that one could
not leave the initiative in the campaign to the attacker for long and that
the defender had to fight a highly mobile and offensive campaign that
aimed to “disrupt the enemy plans.”42
The result of this thinking was a new German force model that was
disproportionately heavy with armored units. Even the infantry sup-
porting the armored units would be fully motorized and equipped with
cross-country capable armored vehicles that provided full protection
to the infantry soldiers.43 In order to achieve the highest possible mobil-
ity in all terrain conditions, the army’s armored vehicles would all have
to be fully tracked. Around the world there existed a large number of
proven battle tanks that could be easily purchased. However, it would
be harder to fulfill the requirement for fully tracked, fully armored
IFVs. In the early 1950s such vehicles simply did not exists. Either the
West German Army would have to give up its plans to equip its armored
infantry force with such vehicles or it would have to develop its own
vehicles. A new family of tactical armored vehicles would take more
time to develop than the Federal Republic could allow for rearmament.
There were also similar difficulties of finding the appropriate vehicles
for reconnaissance units, air defense units, and anti-tank units.
Developing fully armored command vehicles for leaders and tactical
staffs was yet another problem to be solved.44
Meanwhile, until Germany could develop and produce its own IFV,
some short-term solutions had to be found. Some of the army’s require-
ments were met by manufacturing the small French Hotchkiss armored
infantry tank45 and the newly developed Swiss Hispano-Suiza HS-30

The first General Inspector of the Bundeswehr (equivalent to the U.S. Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs) was Adolf Heusinger. Cited in Christian Greiner, “Die militärstrat-
egische Lage Westeuropas aus der Sicht westdeutscher Militärs 1945–1949,” in Franz
Knipping and Rolf-Jürgen Müller, eds., Aus der Ohnmacht zur Bündnismacht. Das
Machtproblem der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1945–1960 (Munich: Schöningh, 1995),
Ferdinand M. von Senger und Etterlin, “Gedanken über die Panzerinfanterie,”
Wehrwissenschaftliche Rundschau 3 (1953), 126–33.
On the army’s equipment requirements, see Kollmer, “ ‘Klotzen, nicht kleckern!’ ”
On the production of the Hotchkiss armored personnel carrier and its use by the
Bundeswehr, see Ibid. 595–98.

196 dieter h. kollmer

IFV that seemed to be ready for serial production.46 Other needs of the
army for tactical weapons systems could be provided by purchasing
equipment already in production. This was the case for helicopters for
the army. Both the French Alouette II light helicopters and the
American Sikorsky H-34 helicopters were in production and fully met
the army’s needs.
In fact, the greater part of the German Army’s initial procurement of
heavy equipment was received from the United States under the so-
called “Nash Program.” After protracted negotiations and numerous
misunderstandings, an agreement was reached in early 1956, and the
Pentagon made available $3.8 million worth of surplus U.S. military
equipment that was either shipped from depots in the United States or
directly transferred to the Bundeswehr from U.S. military stocks in
Germany. Per the “Nash List” of 24 February 1956 and the follow-on
agreement of 28 June 1956, the following American equipment was
made available for the German Army: 1,110 medium M-47 tanks, 152
light M-41 tanks, 100 M-39 armored personnel carriers, 192 M-16
Halftracks, 186 40mm M-42 armored anti-aircraft guns, 300 M-74
armored recovery vehicles, 127 105mm self-propelled guns, 350 artil-
lery pieces of various calibers, 350 81mm and 120mm mortars, 34,132
U.S. M-1 carbines, 10,300 .45 caliber pistols, 8,188 .45 caliber subma-
chine guns, and 2,450 .30 caliber machine guns, as well as various trac-
tors, trucks, and assorted communications equipment.47
The assistance from the United States was extremely useful to the
Bonn Defense Ministry because much of the equipment from the U.S.
would still equip units of the Bundeswehr up to the early 1970s. The
Americans also gained substantial advantages from this armament
deal. Most of the equipment was obsolete but still usable, and it pro-
vided a welcome reinforcement to support the defense of western
Europe. By being generous with its military aid program, the Americans
built a close relationship with the German Army from the start, and
this eventually worked greatly to the advantage of the American arma-
ments industry. From the 1950s to the 1970s the German Army would
order several billion Deutschmarks worth of heavy equipment from
U.S. manufacturers. These purchases included the M-48 main battle

On the production problems of the HS-30 and its reputation in the Bundeswehr,
see Kollmer, Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung, 131–284.
Kollmer, “ ‘Klotzen, nicht kleckern!’ ” 532.

reasons of state 197

tank, various self-propelled guns and howitzers, the M 113 armored
personnel carrier, and the Bell UH-1D utility helicopter that equipped
the army’s aviation units and is still in use today. By the early 1970s the
net worth of the Americans’ initial contribution to the Bundeswehr
had paid for itself many times over in later weapons exports to West
The Bundeswehr’s solution had its advantages and disadvantages.
On one hand, the Bundeswehr received fully developed and tested
equipment. The use of large amounts of American equipment also sim-
plified interoperability with Germany’s main ally. On the other hand,
the Bundeswehr’s procurement strategy of the 1950s prolonged
Germany’s position of dependence upon the Americans and slowed
the growth of Germany’s indigenous capacity to build arms. Still, at the
time, the willingness of Washington to financially support the rearma-
ment of their German ally was very welcome news for the Federal
German government. In the mid-1950s the top leadership in Bonn was
not yet enthusiastic about building up West Germany’s armaments

The “Americanized” Branch of the Bundeswehr—Equipping
the Luftwaffe

Very soon after it was established, the German Air Force became
known as the “Americanized’ branch of the Bundeswehr. Even though
the other branches of the Bundeswehr received large quantities of
American equipment, the influence of the U.S. Air Force upon the
organization and equipment of the Federal German Air Force was
exceptionally high. Although Great Britain offered to assist the Germans
in building and equipping a new Luftwaffe, early in the process the
German Defense Ministry found that the Nash program was the most
sensible basis for incorporating foreign equipment and to support into
the new Bundeswehr. The problem with the British offer was that any
cooperation and equipment purchase from the British was likely to be
very expensive. Furthermore, in the 1950s only the United States had
the infrastructure to train and equip a large new German Air Force
without undue strain.48 Given the pressures of time and the financial

On the establishment of the Federal German Air Force between 1956 and
1960, see Heinz Rebhan, “Aufbau und Organisation der Luftwaffe 1955–1971,” in

198 dieter h. kollmer

realties the Germany faced, the political leadership had limited options,
and the government chose the “North American option” while keeping
the British engaged by offering to buy 120 aircraft from them to equip
the air arm of the West German Navy. In fact, approximately 650 air-
craft were received, at no cost, from the United States and Canada in
the course of the 1950s, and another 300 aircraft were purchased from
across the Atlantic.
At the same time, a training agreement was completed that granted
the West German pilots and aircrew access to complete training pro-
grams in the United States and Canada, plus the opportunity to be
trained on the latest American aircraft models. In addition to the
American aid and purchases, during the build-up phases of the German
Air Force approximately 1,200 transport and training planes were
acquired from France and Italy as well as from Germany’s Dornier
Aircraft Company. The costs to build airplanes for the Luftwaffe came
to 2.166 billion Deutschmarks spread over four years. The delivery of
new aircraft through the military assistance program proceeded
quickly. By the end of 1958 the Americans had shipped to Germany
412 aircraft that included F-84 Thunderstreak fighter bombers, RF-84
Thunderflash tactical reconnaissance aircraft, and F-86 Sabre fighter
interceptors. The Luftwaffe soon had the problem of having more oper-
ational aircraft than it had pilots trained to fly them.49
In addition to producing or acquiring the transport and training air-
craft, a number of foreign trade and industrial issues were also part of
the build-up of the German Air Force. Foreign trade imbalances were
to be evened out whenever possible. As part of this policy the Italian
Piaggio P 149D trainer aircraft was acquired in large numbers, but then
only used for three years. The French Noratlas N 2501 D1 was plagued
with design and production problems, but it was bought nonetheless
and became the primary transport aircraft of the Bundeswehr. The
procurement of the Dornier D 27 training and liaison plane was
decided upon primarily as a means of helping the young German air-
craft industry.
In the mid-1950s NATO determined that there were numerous gaps
in the ground-based air defenses of central Europe. To fill the gaps,

Bernd Lembke, Dieter Krueger, Heinz Rebhan, and Wolfgang Schmidt, eds., Die
Luftwaffe 1950–1970, Konzeption, Aufbau, Integration (Munich: Oldenbourg, 2006),
See Ibid. 569–71.

reasons of state 199

beginning in 1957 the German Army and Air Force air-defense bat-
talions were equipped with the M-42 40mm armored flak guns and
with the new radar-controlled 75mm “Skysweeper” anti-aircraft guns.
Later the Bundeswehr added the NATO standardized Bofors 40mm
radar-controlled L/70 anti-aircraft gun to combat low-flying enemy
aircraft. In any case, the limited effectiveness of such weapons against
targets at medium and high altitudes was already an issue in the latter
half of World War II. To address this issue the Bundeswehr planned to
employ the Nike Ajax anti-aircraft missile system as well as the
improved Nike Hercules and Hawk missiles and to introduce these
weapons to the forces at the start of 1959.50
Planning for the development of the German Air Force was made in
close coordination with NATO, as the West German air units were to
operate directly subordinate to the NATO air forces. The willingness to
centralize and coordinate with the Allied air forces came from the
understanding that in any air war, the Soviets would have a significant
numerical superiority and that, to counter this, NATO air units needed
a flexible command structure that would enable them to quickly shift
forces.51 Although NATO members could not afford to quickly exchange
their available aircraft with the latest advanced American models,
through the 1950s there were a series of negotiations about force mod-
ernization that ended up in the decision for the West German Air Force
to acquire the F-104 Starfighter G-Model.52 Parallel to the discussions
over the F-104, the Federal Defense Ministry decided to buy the Fiat
G-91 fighter plane for the close air support mission. Because of its sim-
plicity and light weight, the G-91 could be easily operated from short,
auxiliary airfields close to the front. Another reason for the purchase of
the Fiat was the request of the Federal Economics Ministry to use the
procurement of materiel to even out the balance of payments with
Italy. A total of 344 Fiat G-91 fighters and 66 G-91 trainers was bought
by Germany. These numbers include those aircraft built under license

Ibid., 586–94.
On the strategic direction of the Luftwaffe in its build-up phase, see Heiner
Möllers, “50 Jahre Luftwaffe—Von Himmerod zum Hindukusch,” in Klaus-Jürgen
Bremm, Hans-Hubertus Mack, and Martin Rink, eds., Entschieden für Frieden: 50
Jahre Bundeswehr 1955 bis 2005 (Freiburg: Rombach, 2005), 155–82.
For more on the procurement of the F-104 Starfighter for the German Air Force,
see Bernd Lembke, “Konzeption und Aufbau der Luftwaffe,” in Lembke et al., Die
Luftwaffe 1950–1970, 327–31.

But the German armaments policy would also fulfill other requirements set by the national government that included evening out the payments imbalances with Germany’s European allies. . These considerations. 53 On equipping the Federal German Air Force during the build-up phase. lengthened the time requirements and increased the financial costs it took to build the Bundeswehr.200 dieter h.” 321–424. Yet.” 557–644.” The prosperity generated by private industry was still in a fragile state.” up into the 1970s. well over 70 per cent of all the Luftwaffe’s aircraft purchases were U. and Heinkel aircraft compa- nies.53 Conclusion Equipping the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1950s was driven by various external factors that led to less than opti- mal results in the production and procurement programs. Fortunately. The West German govern- ment knew that the economic capability of the country in the early 1950s was not stable enough to “go it alone. Messerschmitt.000-man armed forces as a contribution to NATO—and to do it as quickly as possible. As much as possible.S. kollmer by the German Dornier. and train a 500. “Aufbau und Organisation. “Konzeption und Aufbau. and keeping economic progress secure stood at the forefront of the government’s policy. and Rebhan. see Lembke. The East German uprising of 17 June 1953. aircraft. equip. The case of the Bundeswehr illustrates the problems of any democracy that must consider its national interests in terms of broad national and international factors. the Bundeswehr would purchase equipment with such considerations in mind. the Hungarian Revolt of 1956. and the Suez crisis that year illustrated the threats to West Germany and its prosperity in dramatic fashion. in turn. despite these efforts to “buy European. The acquisi- tion of equipment was driven by national policy decisions to build. Building capable armed forces was not a high priority for the leaders of German industry or the heads of the labor unions at this time. The force would be designed to secure the German border and to meet the security policy require- ments and strategy as set out in the NATO policy documents MC 14/1 and MC 14/2. the “balance of terror” worked to convince the Germans of the need to rearm.

. The play of numerous factors had turned a process planned for three years into am eight-year drama. reasons of state 201 The creation of the Bundeswehr was accomplished only by the receipt of considerable support from the United States and the incor- poration of Germany into NATO structures. By 1963 the process of building the Bundeswehr was finally completed.




and the Allied Powers. the government. but not all. These were not marginal issues. Indeed. when one heard about “Innere Fuehrung” being discussed. At the center of the debate was the issue of which organizational principles and philosophy would guide the inner cul- ture of the new military forces of the Federal Republic. even the Germans have considerable trouble in discerning the clear meaning and intent of the term. “internal moral compass. it might best be described as a series of skirmishes that neither side of the debate clearly won. Another proposed term. THE BATTLE OVER “INNERE FUEHRUNG” Klaus Naumann One of the most interesting and unique aspects of the creation of the Bundeswehr was the introduction of a new philosophy of military leadership and soldierly behavior. Thus. is one of those German terms that encompasses a broad spectrum of ideas and is exceptionally hard to render into English. throughout this chapter. the author uses the term “Innere Fue- hrung” in the expectation that the reader will glean an understanding of the concept from the context of the discussion. The battle over Innere Fuehrung was a product of the very particular aspects of the German military culture.” However. In the 1950s and 1960s. it is no surprise that the controversy lasted from the foun- dation years of the Bundeswehr into the 1970s. “Innere Fuehrung. Literally translated.” There- fore.” comes a bit closer but still fails to capture the full meaning of “Innere Fuehrung. the . Instead. this only captures part of the meaning. One proposed translation is “code of military service. as they led to numerous other questions that involved West German society.” the name of the new concept. the military. the term means “inner leadership. the public debate was always centered on the funda- mental issue: What should the relationship among the military. The battle over the concept and policy to make Innere Fuehrung part of the official culture of the Bundeswehr was not a single grand campaign ending in a decisive victory.” This expression captures some of the philosophy of Innere Fuehrung. because it makes it sound like an externally imposed code.

responsibility for the defeat.” as the public commonly described the military until the introduction of the term “Bundeswehr” in 1955. The Germans. The officially nonpolitical stance of the Reichswehr had. and destruction of much of Germany was placed primarily upon the National Socialist regime and its Führer. offering a series of . for many. worked to the advantage of political movements hostile to the republic. the occupation governments that the four Allied powers created to govern Germany forbade any development of military organizations as well as any revival of the German Wehrmacht. although this also came into conflict with the war-crimes trials that were carried out by the Allied Powers not only against the National Socialist leadership but also against representatives of the conservative elite and senior officers of the Wehrmacht. was not directed primarily towards the Wehrmacht itself. for their part. There was consensus that the Bundeswehr needed to avoid the authori- tarian training practices of the Wehrmacht. they also expressed their admira- tion for the combat effectiveness of the German Wehrmacht. Instead. which had produced an ethic of absolute obedience to superiors and a willingness of the mili- tary leadership to support the National Socialist regime without ques- tion. understood the conflicting views that the Allies had of the Wehrmacht. As a first consideration. a thorough de-nazification of the heirs of the Wehrmacht was desirable. should no longer be a “state within a state” like the Reichswehr had been in the days of the Weimar Republic. From this understanding. especially for those who had worn the field grey uniform. and the society ideally look like? The keys to unlocking the problem were “control” and “integration. It was also important that the former Wehrmacht officers were the only group that could potentially offer the Western Powers considerable experi- ence about fighting the Soviet Union.206 klaus naumann government.” The “new Wehrmacht. The disappointment and bitterness resulting from the defeat of 1945. Yet even on these fundamental issues of military ethics there were voices in the post-war society that took a different position. that institution stood for the unbroken military potential of the German nation. an experience that became more important as the Cold War between the eastern and western blocks deepened. Even as the Allies insisted that the tradition of Prussian- German militarism be suppressed. in reality. so eloquently described by Field Marshal von Manstein as “Lost Victories.” war crimes. The Allies themselves had differing opinions about the military effectiveness of the Wehrmacht and its organizational and operational doctrines.

the atom bomb was seen as simply another and more deadly form of artillery. and visions. What role did the Allies play—foremost among them the Ameri- cans—in the formulation of Inner Fuehrung? Was the new com- mand and organizational philosophy a foreign import—or did they originate from a particular German historical tradition? Explaining these questions is useful not only in understanding the dispute at the time but also in understanding the interpreta- tions of this made by West Germany’s alliance partners. the battle over “innere fuehrung” 207 sometime conflicting messages and positions and political proposals to address the questions of what core principles ought to guide the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). societal. Yet at the same time. 1. In reviewing the issues of the debate there are four core problems to consider. and political structures relate to each other? And how does the major theme of German mili- tary reform—the citizen in uniform—color these relationships? If one looks at these problems and conflicts with the intent of . It is all these contradictory factors that make the debate so difficult to analyze—and difficult to express—as one tries to grasp the process of creating the Bundeswehr. 3. convictions. many understood that the existence of atomic weapons had dramatically altered the pub- lic’s conception of war and of the role of the soldier. At one level. 2. or did the founders operate from the conviction that they were creating something new? Explaining this issue is important because understanding the relationship between continuity and the break with the past have become central themes in German social history as well as in German military history. I will examine each in turn. What do the terms “control” and “integration” mean for the inter- nal understanding of the Bundeswehr’s roles and missions? How do the military. What was the significance of tradition and history of the Weh- rmacht in the foundation of the Bundeswehr? Were the new armed forces to inherit and carry forward an unbroken tradition. The disputes about Innere Fuehrung included a whole series of contradictory expectations and experiences. One of the primary points of conflict was the attempt to understand the significance of the revolution in military affairs that had been initi- ated by the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 and how the further development of the atom and hydro- gen bombs in the Soviet Union would affect international security relations.

it became more important to understand the German operational experience of fighting the Soviets. the Western Powers had preserved the German war experience by employing an elite group of former German officers to record this experience. But even more important was the symbolic message of this quiet cooperation. were placed in a tough situation. On the other hand.S. one has the distinct impression from the contemporary sources that these questions were central to understanding the internal military relationships as well as the civil/military relationships. or at least tolerated. Officially the Allied occu- pation powers held to the course of demilitarizing Germany. the first steps taken by the German Federal government towards plan- ning for a German contribution to the defense of the West. the governments decided in confidence that the rearmament of Germany was necessary. . primarily the United States. The West—Godfather of Innere Fuehrung? The initiative of the Western Powers in creating new West German armed forces found its origin in the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. On one hand they were obligated to carry out the strict policies of the Allied Control Commission (ACC). Finally the Western Powers accepted. At a conference of the major western foreign ministers in New York in September 1950.208 klaus naumann developing some themes. During this period the American effort to learn from the German military experts had important consequences. 4. Army European Theater Historical Division (German Section) employed hundreds of former Wehrmacht officers up to the rank of field marshal to carry out studies on the German war experience. As the Cold War grew progressively colder. Thus the former German officers provided an indirect contribution to the defense of the West. Did Innere Fuehrung truly correspond to what we today refer to as a “revolution in military affairs?” Were the Bundeswehr’s reforms essentially an attempt to develop concepts that would answer the social and internal German questions of the time? Or did the reforms also orient their actions towards the requirements of nuclear warfare and the strategic concept of deterrence? At this level one sees Innere Fuehrung as one of the fundamental issues of how concepts of conflict and the military related to the nuclear threat that faced central Europe. which forbade the existence of any German military organization. the U. From 1945 onwards. By this policy the Western Powers.

147.” Later requests for assistance on this issue also went largely unheeded. the Germans could count on the help of the United States. which provided practical advice (training with new weapons etc. the former Wehrmacht officers working with the Allies were winning a high reputation. The noted sociologist Morris Janowitz was hired to develop recommendations for exchanges on this issue. “The essential goal of the train- ing program for the army of a democratic nation is not fundamentally different from the training program of any other nation—it is victory in battle. even though he had considerable mistrust of the “old Wehrmacht crowd. First of all. Rearming the Phoenix: U. Raising the reputation of the Wehrmacht was certainly in the interest of German politicians—first among them Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. . But nothing concrete came of this. they also looked for advice about how a nation could build an “Army under Democracy. the battle over “innere fuehrung” 209 Even as the official war crimes trials were being carried out.). n. 12 July 1954. be patterned after the more flexible American model. likely in the framework of the MAAG. 280. The future German armed forces will. The American High Commissioner was ready to intervene in German politics— especially when it concerned rearmament issues. An American reply to German questions noted that. As the Germans looked for assistance to build a new armed forces. 1950–1960 (New York and London: Garland. An even more important act affecting the American security interests was played out in the debate over the military culture of the 1 Newsweek.” To avoid their influence he sought the assist- ance of the former enemy. from the German viewpoint everything was seen differently.2 Diplomatic considerations were not the only concerns. 2 Andrew Birtle.” American assistance in this field came through the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG).S. For example. 310. He recommended that participants in the military resistance (July 20 plot) against Hitler be accepted into the proposed new armed forces and that former offic- ers of the Waffen SS not be considered for positions in the new armed forces. In 1954 the Pentagon promoted several studies about the “democratic question” in the armed forces. instead. conceptual help in developing a military system using the Innere Fuehrung doctrine was of far less importance. The later defense minister Theodor Blank went so far as to publically assure the Americans that “the traditional type of ‘Prussian’ Wehrmacht would not be reborn.”1 But reality was something else. Military Assistance for the Federal Republic of Germany. 1991).

4 Politicization of the military and the likely limitation of its fighting power as a result were the primary issues brought up by the American critics who observed the creation of the Federal Republic’s armed forces. they were met with skepticism and resistance from their European partners. American policy was less concerned about whether the pro- posed German army would be “democratic” than about whether the new force would attain the military efficiency of the earlier Wehrmacht. MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 310. at the same time. The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations (Cambridge. there was so much resistance to the German ideas that when the EDC negotiations collapsed in 1954. on issues such as the liberalization of military discipline laws. In fact.1957). the news was met 3 Ibid. an ideologically motivated force embodying subjective rather than objective civilian con- trol … Inevitably they will foster the permanent embroilment of the German military in politics and reduce the fighting effectiveness of the new army … Despite what Herr Blank had to say. 4 Samuel P. n.” However. When the Germans presented their proposals to the EDC. which included enforcing the ban on the production of atomic. biological.3 Aside from some special issues. the high commissioners limited their control to work with the framework provided by the German constitution of 1949 and the military laws passed between 1954 and 1956.. 123. still maintained specific military controls over the Federal Republic. as the victorious powers of the war. strategic goals. Samuel Huntington concluded: Now the proposal was to create a democratic army. Yet the Europeans could offer no better perspective on the German experiment in reform. There were doubts about the new style of leadership and what the dem- ocratic ideals of the Bundeswehr founders might really mean. Huntington. The Allies. and chemical weapons. . Finally. a democratic state is better defended by a professional force than by a democratic force. Janowitz warned the Pentagon in his study that “there is no reason to believe that merely issuing arms to Germany will be enough to guarantee the U.210 klaus naumann two nations. this opinion still did not result in America becoming involved in the internal organ- izational issues surrounding the establishment of the Bundeswehr. there was a series of negotiations in Paris concerning the creation of a European Defense Community (EDC).S. 148.

the battle over “innere fuehrung” 211

with some sense of relief in Bonn. The Germans could now carry their
reform concepts forward on their own internal initiative. Still, the for-
eign reaction in the meantime was sobering. Neither the Americans
nor the western Europeans welcomed German recommendations for
the reform of the military order. Yet the reformers in Amt Blank, the
predecessor office of the Defense Ministry (sometimes also called “The
Blank Office” after its head, Theodor Blank), made Western resistance
to their concepts into a virtue. The former officers in Amt Blank saw
their reform efforts as a national endeavor grounded in national his-
tory, and they modeled themselves on the great Prussian reformers of
the Napoleonic era. They were attempting to take Germany through a
middle course and revive the civil-military reform program that had
begun during the Prussian/German War of liberation against the
French empire of Napoleon I and had eventually collapsed.

The Inheritance of the Wehrmacht and Innere Fuehrung

It is significant that the controversy around the term later known as
Innere Fuehrung emerged originally at the secret meeting of military
experts at the Himmerod Abbey in October 1950. There one had the
beginning of a conflict among the former Wehrmacht officers on how
they would understand their past relationship with the Wehrmacht.
The majority of officers at Himmerod wanted to retain many of the
old military customs that had made the military structure of the
Wehrmacht so effective; they wanted to make only moderate changes
in the German military traditions. Yet the man who is credited as the
inventor of Innere Fuehrung, former Major Count von Baudissin, was
also at Himmerod, and he pushed for a much more open discussion
that looked more to the future than to the past. In the conference report
he would point out that “only without borrowing from the forms of the
old Wehrmacht we can get started.” But exactly what he meant by this
was not clear to all in those early days of West German rearmament.
The dispute about the meaning of the Wehrmacht experience in the
context of Innere Fuehrung can be developed as three themes. First
were the representatives of a Christian-Humanist ideology of the West,
notable among them the military commentator Werner Picht. This
group wanted to portray Hitler, the Nazi regime, and Nazi criminal
behavior as something very separate from a “clean” Wehrmacht. They
started with the conviction that the soldierly life was a worthy and

212 klaus naumann

moral attainment and could be properly understood as a rejection of
National Socialism. In the comradeship of fellow soldiers one found a
rejection of the rootlessness of the modern world that believed in little
more than the “superiority” of technology. On the second theme the
younger military writers such as Adalbert Weinstein took a different
tack. In his 1950 work “Army without Pathos,” he depicted the Wehr-
macht as a model that might prove successful if reformed and modern-
ized and freed from the old conventions. Then one could have a truly
“new Wehrmacht.” The third theme involved a radical change in the
relationship with the past. The one who eventually went furthest in his
convictions and in rejecting the inheritance of the Wehrmacht was
Count Baudissin, who held senior positions in Amt Blank and later in
the defense ministry; he was the man with responsibility to develop
Innere Fuehrung. The view of most of the old officer corps towards the
establishment of a new Wehrmacht can be largely summed up as “basi-
cally nothing new.” But for others, like Baudissin, the model of the
Bundeswehr could be best found in the military resistance to Hitler.
The Wehrmacht, as such, could not be a proper foundation for a new
military tradition. This was a view that was maintained through a long
intellectual struggle and would become a Bundeswehr tradition that
was fulfilled only in the 1980s and 1990s.
The ideal of the new soldier—one that Baudissin would develop dur-
ing the foundation phase of the Bundeswehr—was one that had little to
do with the Wehrmacht soldier. This lesson was one that old soldiers
had great difficulty in accepting. Many former officers had set up the
theoretical ideal of the “apolitical soldier” as a means of distancing
themselves from Germany’s responsibility for having conducted a war
of aggression, war crimes, and other criminal acts. But as a reformer,
Baudissin proposed a new ideal, that of the politically conscious and
engaged “citizen in uniform.” It could easily have been taken as an
affront against old comrades, or as a simplistic means of politicizing
the military—as the American scholar Samuel Huntington argued. Yet
Baudissin’s fundamental conception was easy to understand. It was a
position grounded in the Kantian-Protestant understanding of freedom
and was not to be confused with volunteerism or party membership; it
was a personal value established in education, acceptance of responsi-
bility, and an interest in furthering the common good.
In his statement made in the Handbook of Innere Fuehrung (1957),
the first official document of the new leadership curriculum of
the Bundeswehr, Baudissin provided readers with a brief overview of

the battle over “innere fuehrung” 213

his concept. He made it clear that the goal of the new leadership cur-
riculum was to develop the greatest fighting power for the armed
forces.5 But what exactly did that mean in terms of a questionable mili-
tary tradition, a parliamentary democracy, a modern pluralistic soci-
ety, and the confrontation with the forces of a totalitarian block?
Baudissin explained the fundamental unity of the person of soldier
and citizen—who served as two parts under the concept of a full citizen.
Under this model, the two social aspects of the individual both found
their place and their role. With his usual optimistic approach, which he
expressed as “democracy as a way of life,” Baudissin differentiated him-
self from the contemporary cultural critics of the 1950s who argued
that the process of social modernization was actually leading to crisis
and downfall. During this time the military reformer promoted the
progressive aspects of the newly consolidated postwar society. These
observations led Baudissin to break out of the traditional boundaries
in understanding German military history—namely, he proposed that
the fundamental unity of modernity, democracy, and the military was
possible and even advantageous. From this conviction he came to
understand that the concepts of “integration” and “congruence” would
have to serve as fundamental principles of Innere Fuehrung. The sol-
dier would stand as a member of a pluralistic society, grounded in the
rule of law, in spirit, and in reality. Under the new concept, the time of
the army as a “state within a state” was over. No longer would a soldier
forfeit his rights as a citizen, and military training would no longer be
characterized by the drill fields where “corpse like” obedience and
“martinet” leadership were the order of the day. Against this model, the
reformers set out their own model of the “responsible citizen” who
accepted a “willing discipline” and was led by a functioning hierarchy
that followed clear lines of behavior that was codified in law. All this
stemmed from a healthy “work climate” that would be equally at home
in an industrial concern or in the barracks.
Critics had two views of the matter. Some suggested that Baudissin
wanted to institute radical changes—which they characterized as
a sloppy and “soft” training program. Others maintained that the prin-
ciples of Innere Fuehrung had always been present as essential
principles of the Wehrmacht and Reichswehr and needed no dramatic

Bundesministerium fürVerteidigung, Handbuch Innere Führung. Hilfen zur
Klärung der Begriffe (Bonn: Bundesministerium fürVerteidigung, 1957), 15.

214 klaus naumann

new restatement. This latter group acknowledged that the general
approach of the recommendations for reform were sound, but did not
want Innere Fuehrung to be adopted as a stopgap measure or employed
an attempt to bring the values of the business world into the military.
Still, its critics had pointed out a sensitive point in the initiation of
Innere Fuehrung. Where Baudissin wanted to stand up a fully new
military with new values and a new ethic, some of his critics—among
them some officers who had been his close associates earlier, such as
General Heinz Karst, who later became chief of army training—saw
the problem in a different light. For them the question was how to
maintain consistent professional ethics and build a practical tradition
for the force in changing political conditions. This question was even
more critical than the question about what kind of inheritance the
Bundeswehr would accept from the old Wehrmacht. Along with ques-
tions of guilt and responsibility there were the issues of honor and rec-
ognition. There was a sustained and bitter debate on these issues
concerning the Bundeswehr’s relationship to the Wehrmacht, and even
today the debate lingers when the question of defining various military
norms and traditions is considered in view of values such as loyalty to
the constitution, which is one of the central ethics of the Bundeswehr.

The Citizen in Uniform—The Key Figure of Innere Fuehrung

In the year 1953, well before the founding of the Bundeswehr, the term
“Innere Fuehrung” was coined in a decree issued by Amt Blank as it
laid out the mission of the incipient military staff. The decree acknowl-
edged that “all of the studies on the subject of Innere Fuehrung had the
goal of developing and educating the modern soldier, and that the
modern soldier is a free individual, and that being a full citizen and a
dedicated soldier was completely consistent.”6 With this decree the
major themes of Baudissin’s concept were given official acceptance. The
core issues were integration and compatibility, and the challenge was to
use these means to develop the true “citizen soldier.” Yet all of the
themes mentioned in the decree did not have the same value. The terms
“individual” and “soldier” were roughly equated to “national citizen.”
And thus began some of the interpretive problems. While some

Regelung “Innere Führung,” 10 Jan. 1953, Dienstelle Blank [Amt Blank]
(Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv Freiburg, Doc. BW 9/411).

the battle over “innere fuehrung” 215

doubted the essential compatibility of the terms “citizen” and “soldier”—
and this was the case for some conservatives as well as pacifists—others
saw the ideal of the national citizen as illusionary. Could one really
bring a committed and educated citizen into the Bundeswehr as a
conscript? Or would the Bundeswehr have to turn the conscript into a
citizen? And if that were the reality—then wouldn’t the Bundeswehr
again be the “School of the nation,” just as is was in Bismarck’s time?
Baudissin had a very different view. It was clear to him that one did
not come into the Bundeswehr as a fully developed citizen. Yet it was
equally clear that the spiritual and moral requirements of serving in an
army under an immediate threat and under nuclear deterrence could
not be achieved without a strong conviction that the soldier was serv-
ing as a citizen. Thus for him, Innere Fuehrung was not the obscure
academic pursuit of a few specialists but was conceived as a program
for the average man. But this did not make the realization of such an
ambitious program much easier. Rather than becoming characterized
as an unworldly idealistic program, the intermediate goal in the foun-
dation phase of building the Bundeswehr was to address these issues in
a practical manner. In order to promulgate these new concepts and use
them to improve the training effort in the new armed forces, and to lay
the necessary foundations for the further development of the program,
the reformer and his colleagues had to reckon with some strong resist-
ance from Amt Blank. Thus the new organizational and leadership phi-
losophy was, for a time, consigned by such men to the fringes of the
Bundeswehr’s efforts. One problem was that there were few in politics
who were really interested in the concrete problems of military reform.
Some saw the main value of Innere Fuehrung as a useful political
excuse to justify their anti-military attitudes. Others had the impression
that Innere Fuehrung was somehow “not the real thing.” In 1969 a con-
servative general argued that once West Germany was politically con-
solidated it was time to “remove the mask of Innere Fuehrung from the
face of politics.” This statement led to the retirement of this general
from service. Yet the question remained: just how seriously did people
take Innere Fuehrung?
The most important accomplishments of Baudissin in the short term
lay in seeing the ideals of Innere Fuehrung recognized and, in attaining
this recognition, laying the groundwork to institutionalize the new
leadership principles and concepts related to Innere Fuehrung through-
out the doctrine and regulations of the Bundeswehr. It was, so to speak,
a form of investment in the future, which began to pay profits in the

more could be learned about Innere Fuehrung than from the various interpretations and definitions of the concept. and any limitations placed upon his rights have to be clearly specified by law or directive (Soldier’s Law para. scientists. Thanks to the Soldier’s Law. and the establishment of a School for Innere Fuehrung (1956). Complementing the work of the parliamentary commit- tee was the establishment of the office of “Advisor for Innere Fuehrung” in which persons in public life—politicians. From these different laws and institutions. In this school there were courses for both officer and NCO troop leaders in which men were trained in the basic theory of the new leadership and organizational philosophy. the establishment of a parlia- mentary military oversight committee (1959). The core concept of the law was the assertion that a soldier retained his fundamental rights of citizenship even when he is performing his military service. . With the establishment of this office. today the Center for Innere Fuehrung in Koblenz. Any order that damaged fundamental human rights or could not be viewed as having a “military purpose” was con- sidered beyond the proper boundaries of military obedience (para. The accom- plishments of these laws and institutions were significant. 1). the creation of the Advisory Office for Innere Fuehrung (1958). the Bundeswehr established the School of Innere Fuehrung. for the first time in German history—and not just the first time in a German democracy—the rights and duties of a soldier were clearly established. the Bundestag established a form of “early warning system” to serve as an aid in overseeing the internal mood and conditions of the Bundeswehr. para.216 klaus naumann early 1970s when another program of reform was introduced. 6). A yearly report to parliament on these issues was mandated. and church leaders—could have a venue to study and comment on the standard practices of the Bundeswehr and bring all these issues to the attention of the public if it were deemed necessary. This core concept of Innere Fuehrung was expressed in the mission statement of the parliamentary committee that had oversight responsi- bility over “Innere Fuehrung and violations of the basic rights of sol- diers or against the requirements established by the Innere Fuehrung program” (Law of the Defense Committee. Another core concept was the policy concerning the limits of soldierly obedience. The most common critique of Innere Fuehrung was that it was unclear and impractical—arguments that were made for decades. In order to realize the theory of Innere Fuehrung in the daily life of the armed forces. The first years of the Bundeswehr saw a series of core laws and policies enacted that included: the Soldier’s Law (1956). 11).

the introduction of the Innere Fuehrung training program for leaders initiated an internal conflict that would last a long time. and these concepts put more worth in “feeling” and “faith” than “thinking” and “discussing”—the latter actions being tied to the values expressed in Innere Fuehrung. In one sense. which made for many problems and reminded many old soldiers of the experience of the Wehrmacht’s overly-rapid expansion of the force in the 1930s.” that service as a soldier was an exceptional profession in comparison to other professions. a complete misunderstanding of the origi- nal concept. In June 1969 a memo written by the Army Inspector Albert Schnez paid tribute to Innere Fuehrung.” Rather. One of the real causes of the ensuing friction was the relatively low level of education of some of the officers taken into the Bundeswehr from the ranks of former front-line officers of the Wehrmacht. National Socialist ideas had been embedded deep in a generation of German soldiers. the battle over “innere fuehrung” 217 But one finds little to support such criticisms in the education program of the Bundeswehr. The former Wehr- macht officers could only be brought into the new cooperative manner of leadership with considerable effort. One should not underestimate the influence of a long and hard war that left its imprint on these old soldiers. So it came as no surprise that Innere Fuehrung was not seen as a great success towards the close of the Bundeswehr’s build-up phase in the late 1960s. The causes of the conflict were not to be found merely in “common prejudice” or “adherence to old habits. Even into the late 1960s one could find many inside the Bundeswehr who were skeptical about the value of democracy. The evaluation of the Bundeswehr’s trainees carried out by the School for Innere Fuehrung in the late 1950s and the start of the 1960s spoke precisely about some of the difficult problems in introducing these new concepts into the military. The inspector turned the concept of political responsibility on its head as he argued . other issues were at play. but the tribute was. In his memo the inspector argued that the concept of sol- diering included the “warrior ethic. Innere Fuehrung was broadly mistrusted by many of the old soldiers as a concept that undermined the prized traditions of the past and even as a theory that tended to renounce the essence of the soldierly life. it was the “last battle” of the war generation against the new spirit of the Bundeswehr. in fact. Nonetheless. Another issue that affected the Bundeswehr and its perceptions of Innere Fuehrung was the overly rash tempo of the training program (“build the force at any cost!”).” He argued for pride in one’s service branch and in one’s unit. The inspec- tor regretted the loss of tradition and the “lack of battle drills.

“The mission of the political leadership must be to provide the army with what it requires. Militär. observers issued the damning judgment that the army demonstrated only “limited operational capability. and educational reforms of the Bundeswehr’s founding period as a whole. a much more serious concern was the fighting power of the new forces. In fact. Innere Fuehrung and the Nuclear Revolution in Military Affairs If one takes the institutional. the failures in the training program—some of which resulted in soldier deaths—were blamed on the application of the old training methods of the Wehrmacht. Indeed. the problem of fighting power had its origin in some of the fundamental security-policy dilemmas of the Federal Republic. legal. the force was seriously shaken by some major training scandals.” But such breakdowns did not stop the new leadership concept. here 90–91. it turns out that Baudissin’s pessimistic assessment of the late 1960s was unfounded. ed. The inspector’s memo ended with a fanfare. Meinung. In the circles of the old soldiers and many of their new colleagues. 50–92. 7 “Gedanken zur Verbesserung der Inneren Ordnung des Heeres” (known as the “Schnez-Study”). But the ques- tion remains whether Baudissin’s highest goal—developing “first rate soldiers” and “achieving maximum fighting power” (Baudissin’s memo of 1953)—had actually been reached. Gehorsam. 1971). The cause of the deficiencies did not lie in the structural problems of the Bundeswehr. the whole reform movement was watched with considerable skepticism. when the Bundeswehr had to evolve into a force oriented towards foreign intervention missions.218 klaus naumann that only through a reform of the political body could the goals of the Bundeswehr be met and the fighting power of the force enhanced. which at one time included a too-rapid training tempo. During the 1962 NATO maneuvers. Instead. . In the early years of the Bundeswehr. June 1969.”7 It was no surprise that in 1969 the now-retired Baudissin believed that his attempt at reform had largely failed. The con- cept of Innere Fuehrung pushed the boundaries towards new perspec- tives and finally came full circle after 1990.. Dokumente zur Diskussion in der Bundeswehr (Berlin and New York: de Gruyter. But the question also remained as to whether they were prepared for the new demands—a defense of the nation and Western alliance based on nuclear weapons. cited in Klaus Hessler.

The point of this strategic thinking was to imply the basic principles of the new leadership teaching and make them practical on the battlefield.”8 In this statement he meant that the best means of resolving a conflict favorably was to apply military force in stages. then the Federal Republic would be turned into a nuclear theater of war. “We must avoid as much as possible the dangerous trait of automatic thinking characteristic of the soldier and instead insist that the primacy of politics serve as a guiding principle—even down to the tactical level. In the 1950s the military reform- ers insisted that the only true goal and focus for the forces was to pro- duce the “highest fighting power. And all this without risking the destruction of one’s own land.” Concepts such as “victory” “decisive battles” or “battle of annihilation” were seen as doubtful formulas in the modern context of conventional/nuclear war- fare. One of the strongest concepts of Innere Fuehrung was that it allowed itself to be adapted to new situations. 1982). . so that the two sides could establish conditions for peace negotiations. the new strategic requirements acted in parallel with the new organizational and leadership philosophy as the discussion within the alliance revolved around changing the strategy to “flexible response. 9 Ibid.. 100. territorial integrity. The deterrence capabilities of the forces had to remain high because the price of failure was too much to pay. The national defense stood in a paradox. Thus. In fact.” Yet the military planners were not so naive as to believe that. It’s now all about not losing. if deterrence failed. the fighting power and readiness goals of the Bundeswehr were not always oriented to the same goals as laid out by the American advisors in the early 1950s.” Behind the crisis and conflict plans lay the goal of restoring the previous status quo— namely the restoration of security. the defense mission of the army was outdated. Baudissin noted. 105. Nie wieder Sieg: Programmatische Schriften 1951–1981 (Munich: Piper.” The popular paradoxical saying went: “We will be able to fight—so that we don’t have to fight. The reformer Baudissin made the dramatic declaration: “No more victory!” He explained that “victory in the classical sense is no longer possible.”9 This simply meant that the “political 8 Count Wolf von Baudissin. with the destruction of the whole country as a likely result. the battle over “innere fuehrung” 219 If the deterrence strategy failed. and establishing peace. such as “victory in war. and in proportion to the enemy actions.

In fact. Indeed. One could call this approach “pure idealism. in the end. The soldier had to know what he was fighting for and the limits of mili- tary duty. as well as the mission to establish a just peace at the end of a conflict.” the military policy of the Federal Republic made significant strides in becoming an integral part of the western Alliance. But it always retained its rele- vance and vitality. there was in this comparison of concepts a blind spot in the training program. Thus the desire for peace that lay behind the commitment to the national defense was emphasized so strongly—as in the “soldier for peace” slogan—that the realities of death and killing. in dispute. Hard training. The goal of integration was pursued so enthusiastically that there was scarcely room to teach the particular conditions of military culture and prac- tice.220 klaus naumann soldier” remained a full and responsible citizen even on the battlefield. So the military profession could be described as “just another job.” and it would be considered that way by a great part of the public. As a leadership and organizational philosophy it caused considerable friction and tension between appear- ance and reality. The meaning of the concept was. and remains. the suffering of wounded soldiers and prisoners. made a positive contribution to the Bundeswehr. Yet the cognitive dissonance provoked a healthy debate that. Summary of the Debate on Innere Fuehrung Under the concept of Innere Fuehrung and the “citizen in uniform. But equally subject to a criticism was the military planning for a nuclear defense strategy that would leave Germany a total ruin in case of war. It was exactly these characteristics that a forward- thinking and imaginative thinker like Baudissin wanted to pass on to the new armed forces of Germany. the limits of obedience. this was one of the strongest arguments made by the conserva- tive critics of the Innere Fuehrung. were hardly mentioned under Baudissin’s formula.” and the critics of Innere Fuehrung did precisely that. and the relevance of the military hierarchy were all to be laid out so that the overarching goals were achieved. . There was too little open discussion among the public or in the military that tied training to the existential problems of going to war and using the military and violent means to defend soci- ety.

Hans-Hubertus Mack. THE SERVICE STAFFS’ STRUGGLE OVER STRUCTURE. Vienna: Propyläen. THE BUNDESWEHR’S INTERNAL DEBATES ON ADOPTING NATO DOCTRINE 1950–1963 Martin Rink Integration in the Alliance/Integrated Military Services—Really the Trademark of the Bundeswehr? Few other NATO armed forces in the Cold War were as strongly com- mitted to the concept of integration. Sicherheitspolitik und Streitkräfte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. 1–149.1 Accordingly. 1 (Munich: Oldenbourg.” in Hans Speidel. esp. 2008). 2005). Aus unserer Zei: Erinnerungent (Berlin. 1985). fully integrated into the Western alliance. as was the Bundeswehr. Planung und Aufbau der Bundeswehr unter den Bedingungen einer massiven atomaren Vergeltungsstrategie. from the very first. ed. 2 Hans Speidel. laid out at the secret 1 For a good overview. should have evolved into a mirror image of NATO’s strategy. its prospective founders laid out the integration principle in its founding document. Klaus-Jürgen Bremm.2 This principle. 37. Also cited in Hans-Jürgen Rautenberg and Norbert Wiggershaus. vol. as well as the mindset of its military commanders. Die “Himmeroder Denkschrift” vom Oktober 1950. see 467f. 53. 1977). the creation of new West German armed forces was made possible only under the condition that they be. (Karlsruhe: Braun. Ein Eiserner Vorhang ist niedergegangen. 4f. Volker Neugebauer (Munich: Oldenbourg. ‘Militärgeschichte im Kalten Krieg 1945– 1968/70 in Grundkurs deutsche Militärgeschichte. 454–65. See also Beatrice Heuser. the Bundeswehr’s military organization. see Rüdiger Wenzke und Irmgard Zündorf [with Eberhard Birk]. Frankfurt am Main. 90–96. 3: Die Zeit nach 1945. “Die Sicherheit Europas und Ergänzung zu den Bemerkungen für ein Gespräch über die Sicherheit Europas [1947]. Polititische und militärische Überlegungen für einen Beitrag der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zur westeuropäischen Verteidigung. 2nd ed. It is important to note that in the very beginning of the discussion about a West German military contribution. 51–62. ed. see 53–56. . Bruno Thoß. The prin- ciple was established that the rebirth of a new German “Wehrmacht” (a term which at that time referred to “armed forces” in general) could only be accomplished if carried out as a contingent force of the European/Atlantic defense effort. and Martin Rink (Berlin: Rombach 2005). Die Strategie der NATO während des Kalten Krieges. 50 Jahre Bundeswehr. see 38–65. in Entschieden für Frieden. Armeen im Wandel. Indeed. NATO-Strategie und nationale Verteidigungsplanung.

Zur Sicherheit der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und zur Entwicklung der Bundeswehr (1974). 4 See the following. 51f. win victory. 24–27..4 Another theme along these lines was also repeated from the very beginning: “A mean- ingful cooperation of all branches of the armed forces is required for success in waging war. one of the founding fathers of the Bundeswehr and its later military chief.222 martin rink Himmerod Conference in October 1950. it could have hardly been otherwise. Weißbuch 1985. 122. 18–21. Weißbuch 1983. was repeated in the primary manuals and regulations of the Bundeswehr in following years.”3 This principle was applied in general. Weißbuch 1973/74. 99f. 112–15. October 1962. Ulrich de Maizière (1966–72) was also a member of “Amt Blank” from 1952. the Bundeswehr army’s command doctrine would declare. No single branch of the armed forces can. Zur Sicherheit der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (1983). Yet these ideas were.. ironically. Indeed. Weißbuch 1971/72 Zur Sicherheit der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und zur Entwicklung der Bundeswehr (1971). of course. by itself. 126. Zur Sicherheit der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und zur Entwicklung der Bundeswehr (1976). Weißbuch 1975/76. for instance in the Bundeswehr’s “White Books” that were regularly published and which provided guidance concerning national policy and the mission and structure of the Bundeswehr. put into place by former Wehrmacht officers—though. 6 The later General Inspector of the Bundeswehr. 7f. See Ulrich de Maizière.6 He set 3 Army Field Manual Heeresdienstvorschrift HDV 100/1 Truppenführung. “Only with the unified force of all the NATO states can a defense be successful.. 5 HDV 100/1 (above. Twelve years after Himmerod. According to Ulrich de Maizière. 3. It was maintained up to the end of the Cold War as Bundeswehr official pol- icy. The concept of isolating the military aspects of war from national policy as well as from the broader society—and the isolation of the branches of the military from each other—was some- thing that the Bundeswehr intended to push into the past. Was war neu .”5 But how compatible was this principle of joint forces’ integration with the other one of close integration into the alliance? All this thinking about the new army stood in clear contradiction to the Wehrmacht’s actual experience of past warfare. note 3). published by Presse-und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung in Bonn: Weißbuch 1970 Zur Sicherheit der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und zur Lage der Bundeswehr (1970). Zur Lage und Entwicklung der Bundeswehr (1985). the spirit of the Himmerod Conference served to turn around some of the most noteworthy tendencies of the Prussian/German military traditions of the last two centuries. 14. the new ideal for the new army would be for each part to understand the vision and purpose of the whole. 3. 37–40.

Instead. or adapted themselves to the new integrated strat- egy. until 1970 (and in a way. besides the Armed Forces Staff (Führungsstab der Bundeswehr. Zur inneren und äußeren Integration unserer Bundeswehr in ihrer fünfzigjährigen Geschichte. Third. In February 1956. 11–16. Das Ganze vor den Teilen sehen. Similarly another General Inspector of the Bundeswehr from (1986–1991): Dieter Wellershoff. the armed forces would be responsible only to the parliamentary government. 107–22. there existed Army Staff (Führungsstab des Heeres). Die “Himmeroder Denkschrift” (above. the service staffs’ struggle over structure 223 out four determinations as the fundamental principles for the military and political requirements for the new West German armed forces. no command and control structure in the West German armed forces could claim to define an overarching joint services’ doctrine. note 1). . 19–38. However. Streitkräfte und Spitzengliederung—zum Verhältnis von ziviler und bewaffneter Macht bis 1990. Germany would have armed forces based on com- pulsory military service and a military that would be closely integrated into the broader society. note 1). Air Force Staff (Führungsstab der Luftwaffe) and Navy Staff (Führungsstab der Marine)—each under their respective an der Bundeswehr? Betrachtungen eines Zeitzeugen. closely bound to Western partners. the most notable concerning different operational visions of the army and the air force.” Thus. Fourth.”7 The experience of the Second World War was a collective experi- ence so strong that Germans simply called it “the war. note 2). or navy solutions. the military thinking of the first generation at the helm of the Bundeswehr often referred back to their “war” experience. later on “Führungsstab der Streitkräfte”). differed significantly. air force. in Entschieden für Frieden (above. though Germany’s new allies had a different strategic/political experience. This was called a “Wehrmacht” solution”—in order to avoid separate army. when the new-born armed forces had been officially instituted. until a new organizational outline in 2005). Second. In the Bundeswehr’s first decade this led to serious conflicts among its branches. Thus. the planners wanted fully unified armed forces. see 112–14. the manner in which German military leaders remained faithful to their former oper- ational inheritance. the German military would be an alli- ance force. in Entschieden für Frieden (above. note 1). 40. in Ent- schieden für Frieden (above. planners began referring to the “Bundeswehr solution. This was also due to legal restrictions placed upon the military organization and national policy: The Potsdam Agreement prohibited any re- establishment of a new German General Staff. Rautenberg/Wiggershaus. First. 7 Hans-Jürgen Rautenberg.

Hammerich. the service staffs’ struggle over structure reflected different military world-views. fundamental debates emerged concerning the Federal Armed Force’s overall concept. 107–22. In the winter of 1956/57 the decision was made to pur- chase the F-104G “Starfighter” as a fighter bomber that could carry out nuclear strike missions. see 359–66.9 From the start. which was indeed considerable. Konzeption. Kollmer. Accordingly. see Martin Rink. They reached their apogee in the end of that decade. note 1). Until 1956. from the early 1960s on. Adolf Heusinger. These staffs were at first only loosely coordinated by the Chief of Federal Armed Forces Staff (Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr) in the Military Command and Control Committee (Militärischer Führungsrat). Then the air force faced major changes concerning its role and equipment. Dieter H. Sicherheitspolitik und Streitkräfte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Then. 3 (Munich: Oldenbourg. The air force also developed very differently from the original force planning directives. Organisation. Das Heer 1950 bis 1970. the Bundeswehr had to consider NATO’s overall strategy as it developed the organization of the military services and of the large military units. could only rely on his personal authority. the first Bundeswehr’s first Inspector. it would again undergo continual organizational restructuring. in the context of the Alliance’s nuclearization of strategy and tactics in the mid-1950s. and Rudolf J. the German Federal Army radically altered its fundamental military organization. Michael Poppe.8 Given his lack of formal authority. 353–483. in Entschieden für Frieden (above. in the middle of the buildup of 1958–59.224 martin rink “Inspectors” with a very particular vision of the mission and doctrine of its service. For this reason. This decision reflected fundamental changes of the air force’s operational thinking. Thus. which were centered entirely on the ground forces. operational. Schlaffer. Aufstellung. . Streitkräfte und Spitzengliederung—zum Verhältnis von ziviler und bewaffneter Macht bis 1990.” Zur Organisation des deutschen Heeres. However. and military/political levels. 2006). 9 On the military organization and related issues. Strategy defines structure. the air force was dwarfed by the organization plans. strate- gic. In Helmut R. Such traditions play out at the tactical. and equipment of a military force—all of which is influenced by the national military tradition. Yet only ten years later. Martin Rink. the air force again had to change this somewhat single-minded focus and broaden its operational concept. see 112–16. organization. “Strukturen brausen um die Wette. Given these very different directions that 8 Hans-Jürgen Rautenberg. the branch assumed a technically focused appearance. system.

In any case. 375f. One approach was to rely primarily upon one service as Germany’s contribution to European defense. In April 1957 Hans Speidel was promoted to Command of Allied Land Forces Central Europe (COMLANDCENT). the Bundeswehr senior staff could still not speak of a truly integrated defense concept that effectively united all the branches of the Bundeswehr. German officers were soon placed in NATO’s top lead- ership ranks. . NATO-Strategie (above. note 1). Yet the command staffs of the three services held very different visions of how the Bundeswehr could reach this goal. Another approach was to develop a system of close cooperation with the western Alliance. The tough question was about the direction that the West German forces should follow in this regard. the future senior offic- ers of the new West German armed forces had not played any role in the formulation of NATO strategy by the time the Federal Republic of Germany became an active member of the alliance. This was the position of the initial planners at the Himmerod Conference and remained the fundamental position of the representatives of the “German Army” for a long time. In fact. 10 Thoß. it is no wonder that almost ten years after the Himmerod Conference. and it was based on the requirements for NATO air forces to have compat- ible technology and logistics as well as common procedures.10 In their role as former Wehrmacht officers and later participants in the founding of the Bundeswehr from 1950 to 1955. the goal of an integrated Bundeswehr was not as easily reached as had been assumed at the beginning of the process. In an organization such as the Bundeswehr there were divergent views concerning NATO strategy—which was anyway in flux at the time—and the most practical means to approach it. the service staffs’ struggle over structure 225 developments had taken. there were two competing organizational concepts at work. This was the preference of the Luftwaffe staff. and tactics. Despite their pre- vious exclusion. In the late 1950s. The papers of the military planning groups in Bonn in this period reveal that all the military planners wanted to see the Bundeswehr develop as an integrated force. much of the discussion was dependent upon the general preference as to whether the priority ought to go to conventional or nuclear forces and which service branches would play the primary role in the defense of central Europe. training. Another factor of the equation was the limited understanding that the top leadership of the new Bundeswehr had of the NATO strategy at this point.

Germany would have to participate in a strategy of nuclear deterrence. despite such regulations. Yet. New conditions required new strategic plans at the time Germany joined the alliance. The Experience of the War and the Himmerod Concepts In the immediate period after the beginning of the occupation of Germany. Indeed. the four Allied Powers issued decrees stating that all actions and preparations towards establishing German armed forces were expressly forbidden. In general. were central questions. The second half of the 1950s saw a series of disputes over German strategy that was a feature of the Bundeswehr from this time to the end of the Cold War. It took until the 1960s to develop a working synthesis. Strauss found that his predecessor had left Bundeswehr planning in a state of crisis. as well as the strategic and tactical issues associated with this. the question of the structure and form that the German forces ought to take was an ongoing concern from the first rearmament proposals in 1950 to the end of the era of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1963. One was that. as the situation gave Strauss the opportunity to rethink the Federal Republic’s position and resolve some of the differences between earlier concepts and new strategic thinking. In trying to understand the first 12 years of the Bundeswehr’s (pre) history it is best to cut the period into two parts—with the division right at the mid-way point of October 1956. there were circles of former higher officers who discussed precisely such issues—and who . when Franz Josef Strauss took over from Theodor Blank as Germany’s defense minister. this worked somewhat to Germany’s advantage. The second was how to face the creation of a capable force that could win a conven- tional war. But this led to a third dilemma—how could one successfully defend Germany without seeing the country completely destroyed in the process? These were the central issues that also concerned the NATO staffs in the mid-1950s as they grappled with developing new strategies. A great deal of initial work had already been done—but conditions changed more rapidly than the planners could deal with. one that remained in force until 1989–90. in order to deter a possible aggressor. In fact. the structural debates about Germany’s role in alliance defense planning.226 martin rink The conflicting concepts of war promoted by the army and the air force reflected multiple dilemmas for West German defense planning.

. 224. Between 1957 and the early 1960s these two officers would hold the Bundeswehr’s top posts.” see Dieter Krüger. As early as 1947. the service staffs’ struggle over structure 227 did so with the knowledge and tacit permission of the Western occupa- tion powers. and building up the Bundeswehr. after the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany in May 1949.11 Speidel drafted out a commentary on three conditions for planning.. 219f. The shock of the Korean War. Third. Deutsche Geheimdienstchefs im Kalten Krieg. a document that was only made possible by the agreement of the Allied Powers which. under the assumption that Germany would become formally allied with the West. see 207f. Dieter Krüger and Armin Wagner (Berlin: Links. who also carried out studies under the cover of “operational analysis” for the “Gehlen Orga- nization. These conditions became the practical foundation for planning.” in Konspiration als Beruf. From this opening. Speidel and Heusinger established a definitive blueprint for the foundation and buildup of the Bundeswehr—to be more precise: to its army. Bonn: Mittler. With this analysis. First of all. which took place in October 1950 in the Himmerod Abbey in the Eifel Hills. see Georg Meyer. Der BND-Chef als Schattenmann der Ära Adenauer. 2001). Both played a central role in writing the Himmerod Memorandum. the main bat- tle tank had to be the primary weapon of the German force. Adolf Heusinger: Dienst eines deutschen Soldaten. 354–77. The Gehlen Organization pro- vided information and analysis to the CIA and. retired Lieutenant General Hans Speidel began discussions with a small group about making a German contri- bution to the defense of the West. 2003). organizing. 207–36. Germany should field division-sized units in such an effort. “Reinhard Gehlen (1902–1979). Federal Chancellor Adenauer authorized a secret meeting of defense experts.” This organization was the cadre of the future West German intelligence service that had been set up by the Americans with the mission of analyzing the Soviet threat. a “German Wehrmacht” could only be established as a contingent of a European/transatlantic defense effort. and both reached positions in which they could turn their ideas into reality. 1915 bis 1964 (Hamburg. ed. were driven by the strategic requirements of the Cold War. in turn. opened the way for discussions about a West German defense contri- bution. 372. The memorandum that came out of the meeting proposed for the first time an organizational frame- 11 On Heusinger’s study. which broke out on 25 June 1950. Such discussions were carried on with former Lieutenant General Adolf Heusinger. Second. esp.. Berlin. On “organization Gehlen. also to its government.

later on. Die “Himmeroder Denkschrift” (above. 586. 1982–97). Militärgeschichte seit 1945. . This meant that the forces would be integrated at the lowest level possible. From the German side this looked very much like using the Germans just as the Germans had used their eastern European auxiliaries during the Second World War. Hitlers ausländische Helfer beim “Kreuzzug gegen den Bolschewismus” 1941–1945 (Berlin: Links. Die“Himmeroder Denkschrift” (above. 2:607–11. there was one principle that could not be challenged: that the German armed forces would be integrated into the Western alliance and that they would serve only within a “close partnership” with the Allies. 14 Rautenberg/Wiggershaus. national contingents would be combined into operational contingents with complete integration of personnel and equipment. The German experts predicted the German and the Allied requirements and capabilities with amazing accuracy. To even think about nuclear weapons for German jet- propelled aircraft and missiles in 1950 was out of the question.16 To the Germans. The latter were seen as coastal defense forces which were to serve in the Baltic and North Seas in order to defend the Schleswig-Holstein “bridge- head. 15 FRUS 1950 III. Per the Pleven Plan. 2:27–29 (Contribution Klaus A. Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt [hereafter MGFA].” The air force was to serve as an air defense force and as a tactical “support aviation force” of the army.” in Aspekte der deut- schen Wiederbewaffnung bis 1955. although this was true only with regard to the army. 13 Kurt Fett. 16 Rolf-Dieter Müller. this plan seemed to have been drafted in order to ensure that the Germans would pose no serious military threat—in 12 Rautenberg/Wiggershaus. from these minimal- ist concepts the army’s sister services would evolve. An der Seite der Wehrmacht. note 2).14 At the end of 1950 two political milestones were reached. 1 (Boppard: Boldt.12 The core force of the planned “German contingent” would be 12 army divisions. S. 2007).228 martin rink work for creating West German forces. 213–215. MGFA. S. 548–64. 1975). 169–200. 4 vols (Munich: Oldenbourg. On 19 December the sixth NATO Council meeting approved the so- called “Brussels Agreement. 45–48. 649–54 (Contribution Meier-Dörnberg). ed.13 The air and naval forces remained largely side issues. It was a mili- tary model that had never existed before. Still. “Die Grundlagen der militärischen Planungen. note 2). 531–47. ed. Anfänge westdeutscher Sicherheitspolitik 1945–1956 [hereafter AWS]. and both would become major branches and play a much larger role in German defense than anticipated. see 173. Yet. 41.”15 This agreement stated that West Germany would be closely integrated into the Western alliance system and the Germans would be allowed to rearm. On 24 October the so-called “Pleven Plan” was publically announced. Maier).

biological.01.18 During the Petersberg negotiations 17 Rautenberg/Wiggershaus. Until the Pleven Plan was officially abandoned on 30 August 1954. note 2). in contrast to the European Defense Community (EDC) Concept. According to the Brussels agreement of December 1950. Equality for the Germans meant modern units organized into national army corps. Theodor Blank. The navy and the air force were to be limited in size. 05.1951. this concept stood in the background of German defense planning. the service staffs’ struggle over structure 229 fact exactly what the French had in mind. 18 Notes on a discussion with General Hays. the focus on plan- ning was the land force. Blank was able to report on successful talks with the Allied high commissioners at their residence on the Petersberg Hill above Bonn.” with Germany “renouncing completely the possession of a strategic air force. Bl. In the first six years of Bundeswehr (pre)history.”17 Chancellor Adenauer consid- ered a West German national defense contribution under “European/ Atlantic Command” to be a political trade off as a step towards achiev- ing national sovereignty for the Federal Republic. Their force would be a tactical support force and the navy would be relegated to coastal defense duties under “European/Atlantic Command. This final point was strongly—and eventually successfully—resisted by the German negotiators. . The restrictions on the equipment that Germany was allowed to produce also clearly contradicted the Alliance policy of building the largest possible German force. Still. and a further restriction was proposed to forbid West Germany’s possession of heavy armored units. These talks produced an agreement for “new German armed forces” in the “framework of an Atlantic army. 37. By the start of 1951. Die“Himmeroder Denkschrift” (above. 34–43. His shadow defense minister. Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv Freiburg [hereafter BA/MA] Bw 9/2050.” Heusinger noted that this was the first occasion in international negotiations where support was expressed for a possible German con- tribution of ten to 12 divisions. a ban on West Germany’s acquisition of nuclear. To further this goal. Adenauer needed a military force to be built as quickly as possible. the preferred approach was to follow the Brussels Agreement. opted to organize forces under the principle of including the largest possible troop units. or chemical weapons pro- tected against a possible German threat. which. spoke of the largest possible German “investment” that the Germans should offer to the Alliance as a means to set the best possible negotiating conditions.

.19 In the discussion.Nr. It was set with the understanding that the Allies urgently needed the Germans to make up for serious deficiencies in the Allied forces.01. insisted that German forces be closely bound to the western Allies and that they would serve only under multinational control. “Die militärische Eingliederung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in die WEU und die NATO 1954 bis 1957. 1989). the question of “size and employment of German units” was thoroughly discussed. “Abt. the foun- dation and organization of the land forces in BA/MA Bw 9/2766. Blank stressed the experience of five and a half years of war. see Franz Josef Strauß. Amt Blank. Tgb. note 20).1962.” in Anfänge westdeutscher Sicherheitspolitik. Another important consideration centered on the ‘magic number’ of 12 divi- sions.01. 26. 19 “Ausführungen zu der Frage der Grösse und der Zusammensetzung der deut- schen Einheiten. In any case. 148–58. notably the French.1951” Memo of Graf Kielmansegg. and to demonstrate that Germany’s new forces would not become a new threat to European peace.08.” in BA/MA BH 1/3685. who initially preferred to employ the Germans as a mostly light infantry defense force that would serve as a covering force for the Iron Curtain line. Fü H III 1. in BA/MA Bw 9/2050. 1993). in BA/MA BH 1/9498. This experience lay in the background of all German recommendations on the tactics and organ- ization of a future defense force. As a reassurance to Germany’s future allies. 283. 178/62. Bl. Greiner. Die Erinnerungen (Berlin: Siedler.20 Given the German experience of war and the nature of the conven- tional Soviet threat. 21 On the “magic” 12-division requirement. However. The plans developed by the western European defense organizations as security for Germany were also understood by many as a program to provide security from Germany. 27. Heer. Bl. 846. Die militärische Eingliederung der Bundesrepublik (above.230 martin rink in January 1951.1955. which became very important in the development of the German military organization. This clashed with some of the concepts of the Allies. vol. 70. Bl. see 653. 561–850. the battle tank became the primary weapon of the German armed forces. 166–72.21 This number of divisions as the expected German contribution to Western defense was set by the Lisbon confer- ence of 1952. Cf. 25.1951. further memo. 3 (Munich: Oldenbourg. 20 Christian Greiner. 71.12. it was an army-centered standpoint. the Allies. 10. the German desire to achieve a status of international equality was behind the insistence that Germany field its own homogenous national divisions and even army corps. The Korean crisis had shown the Western Powers the necessity of using German forces to restore some of the conventional balance in central Europe.

000 men of the total 605. In fact. and the “division slice”—the number of total soldiers per division—was not to exceed 41. Minister Blank approved the plans for six armored divisions and six mechanized infantry divisions. the service staffs’ struggle over structure 231 In the course of discussions over the EDC. was taken over from the plan- ning done for the EDC.000-man army. the German delegation pushed their future allies to accept the concept of “large German armored formations”—e. 500. the German military planners. however. This number had little to do with any opera- tional requirements but instead was justified by a kind of political “numbers game” designed to keep Germany from becoming too strong. the German army plan- ners designed a fully armored/mechanized army with the largest possible strength in armored fighting vehicles. Die militärische Eingliederung der Bundesrepublik (above. Until April 1956 these plans remained a base point for standing up new German military units. In sharp dis- agreement with some of the Allied proposals. The planned total strength of the German armed forces. With the breakdown of the EDC plan on 30 August 1954. Quite soon. As a result of the London Conference of October 1954. At the end of November 1954. along with a plan to create additional army supporting units. The armored and mechanized combat forces would constitute 400. divisions—under German natio- nal control. No country was allowed a larger number of divisions than had been previously agreed upon by the Alliance members. they completely failed to meet the first major objective within 22 Greiner.g. These figures demonstrate clearly that. To properly create armed forces of this magnitude in just a few years presented some formidable problems for the Bundeswehr planners. especially those from the army. what had started out as the upper limit of forces to be allowed the Germans became in later years the mini- mum figure that the Alliance members would expect from Germany. Force levels were still closely tied to the 12-division force.000 men.500 men. . it was discovered that this planned force strength was wholly unrealistic.. the West German defense planning—national and within NATO—was focused on army armored divisions.22 Ironically. note 20). the Federal Republic joined the ranks of the NATO nations—the official entry of Germany into NATO being 9 May 1955. During intense negotiations. the Germans were able to broaden their options. saw their opportu- nity. 583f. from the start.

” On that day Adenauer visited the first 1. The “Modern” Branch of the Bundeswehr: The Air Force in the Era of Strauss/Kammhuber In the first half decade of the Bundeswehr’s existence. uniforms. From here the first elements of the forces’ branches emerged. The first 101 Bundeswehr volunteers took the oath of allegiance in a hurried and improvised ceremony. Adenauer and his ministers set the goal of creating a militarily capable alliance part- ner so that West Germany could have a full seat at the Alliance table. further. the armed forces lacked human resources. The years 1948 to 1964 were commonly called the “eco- nomic miracle” years. Its build-up took place at the exact moment that the West German economic growth reached its apogee.23 There was insufficient housing. Sicherheitspolitik und Streitkräfte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Many of the old bases of the Wehrmacht had been taken over for use by the Allied forces at the end of the World War. south of Bonn. Die Infrastruktur der Streitkräfte als Faktor sozioökonomischer Modernisierung in der Bundesrepublik 1955 bis 1975. Gerhard von Scharnhorst (1755– 1813). In short. The official birthday of the Bundeswehr could thus also sym- bolically be tied to a proverbial “new beginning. a large part of the population was fundamentally opposed to any involvement with the military and war. Kontinuität und Wandel.” The establishment of the first units was set for 20 January 1956. while the air force and navy volunteers later trained at Nörvenich near Cologne or at the seaport at Wilhelmshaven respectively.232 martin rink the time plan. The training base for the army’s first cadre units remained at Andernach. All the new volunteers had to contend with serious problems. 2006). There were shortages of equipment. also known as “Andernach Day.500 volunteers of the training unit at their garrison on the Rhine. Still. and other bases had been turned into refugee or “displaced person” camps. 6 (Munich: Oldenbourg. for the very same reason that West Germany had set out to create 23 Wolfgang Schmidt. and not even a minimal administrative and troop support infrastructure. . But the Bundeswehr’s worst problem was a simple lack of volunteers. Not only did the economy work against recruit- ment but. Thus. it was a matter of luck that this milestone could be tied to the 200th birthday of the great reformer of the Prussian army. and weapons.

11. the lead planners for the largely 24 Document: “Neuplanung Heer.000 men. BA/MA BH 1/16959. the Bundeswehr was in crisis. as Minister for Atomic Affairs. This over- all force structure would remain in effect up to the end of the Cold War. Strauss had made it known publicly that he felt he had a better grasp of defense policy than the luckless current inhabitant of the office. Earlier. The new approach by the Federal Republic had a parallel in the con- cept of development carried out by Germany’s American ally five years earlier. to keep NATO obligations. five years later it set out to create a nuclear force. as Minister for Special Affairs in 1953. Die Erinnerungen. and a airborne division—but the latter one had neither the equipment nor the manning of a “real” division. was subject to only minimal cuts. Strauss’ time in office is tied to a radical modernization movement. 25 Thoß.” the priority units for equipment and training were to be those with the greatest potential to be equipped with nuclear weap- ons.25 At the start of the Cold War. the unit activation timeline was now lengthened. The result was an army force organized into ten armored or armored infantry divisions. some fundamental changes in West Germany’s defense policy were indicated. the service staffs’ struggle over structure 233 its first armored units from 1951 onward. Thus. In reality. Strauß.1956. the large conventional force that would reinforce the status of the Germans in the Alliance failed to be developed according to plan.” 6. This led to a dramatic reduction of the Bundeswehr’s planned strength. With Franz Josef Strauss named as defense minister in October 1956. In any case. 24f. a mountain division. in its first two years. However. NATO-Strategie (above. 283. and later.000 men.000-plus force to a total force with 342. The army-heavy force concept developed under Blank’s planners seemed obsolete. and especially the air force. note 1). 270–79. Thus the atomic capable army corps artillery. . the strength of the army was cut in half to 195. Another result of the dramatic force cuts was a major reduction of the support troops allocated to the army corps. and two of the planned armored divisions were con- verted to less expensive light infantry formations.24 Per Strauss’ motto. from a 500. Compared to the pre-Strauss plans. Soon after his inauguration he told the Allies frankly that the earlier plans had turned out to be unsound and that a radical rethinking of policy was required. the promised number of 12 divisions could not be reduced. “qual- ity over quantity.

The end of the Korean War in July 1953 also made it clear that implement- ing a nuclear strategy was preferable to a repetition of this bloody.” in Bernd Lemke. expensive.S. and ultimately indecisive conflict. see 31–33. It presented a “Sword/Shield Concept” in which the “defensive shield” of conven- tional forces would elevate a conflict threshold—in other words. the few ground forces would trigger an overall nuclear reaction. Integration. 2 (Munich: Oldenbourg. At the end of 1954. the military committee of NATO produced its Strategic Guidance Document MC 48. Dieter Krüger. In the first phase there would be an exchange of nuclear weapons. which would be followed up by the surviving con- ventional forces. This amounted to replacing the conventional war fighting concept with a nuclear defense strategy.26 In February 1957 the Western Alliance issued a new “Overall Strategic Concept” for the defense of NATO nations in Document MC 14/2.” Thus. the Americans decided to use the West’s nuclear superiority to their advantage. Especially Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery. This new concept was tested in the NATO “Carte Blanche” maneuvers carried out in June 1955 in central Europe. Heinz Rebhan. On 12 January 1954 the new U. Sicherheitspolitik und Streitkräfte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. 2006). 17–40. Army’s budget was cut in half between 1953 and 1959. In December 1952 the guidance of NATO Document MC 14/1 was approved. In the 26 Bernd Lemke. Die Luftwaffe 1950 bis 1970. This gave the armed forces’ organizational design a “New Look. which Germany had joined just a month ago. The British were thinking along the same lines. “Die Bedeutung der strategischen Entwicklung für den Aufbau der Luftwaffe. President Eisenhower announced his “massive retaliation” concept through a speech by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. Konzeption.S. Deputy Supreme Allied Com- mander Europe (DSACEUR). This document presented a strategy that included different reaction phases. For want of other forces. Aufbau. strategic air power replaced the lacking ground forces. .S. forces had faced the threat of an overwhelming Soviet numerical superiority. the force ratios for West Germany’s most important ally changed dramatically: The U. Rather than create a large and prohibitively expensive conventional force to counter the Soviets. who advocated this policy. and Wolfgang Schmidt. which would then decide the outcome of the conflict. Its scenario generated con- siderable public doubt in West Germany about the strategy of the Alliance.234 martin rink demobilized U. This conceived of a possible conflict in two phases.

At the higher political lev- els. The issue was no longer a ques- tion of fielding armored forces in the manner of World War II. Heuser. the previous primary air force missions of air defense and close air support for ground troops assumed a lower priority. so did this concept of a nuclearized Bundeswehr—the planners had to turn to other solutions to achieve this goal. 2003). Yet. Die Strategie der NATO (above. 280–83. Georges-Henri Soutou.” as was outlined in the Strategy Paper MC 70 of April 1958. The planners in Amt Blank (“The Blank Office.” the precursor of the future Federal Ministry of Defense) had worked to develop the concept of conventional German armed forces to support the NATO force levels set by the 1952 Lisbon Conference. the German position was steered by Adenauer’s two-tracked strat- egy. But now events had overtaken the German planners and their initial conventional-arms-centric concepts. note 1).27 This evolution of strategic and technological concepts meant noth- ing less than a fundamental change in the nature of the West German defense contribution. “Die Entstehung der NATO-Luftverteidigung. Bruno Thoß (Munich: Oldenbourg. the service staffs’ struggle over structure 235 meantime. Die Entwicklung der Bündnisstrategie 1949 bis 1958. Details in Christian Greiner.” in Lemke et al. and Italy. because the French withdrew from the project. Accordingly. Strategie. . note 1). 28 Dieter Krüger. 92–96. ed. France. Les relations Est-Ouest 1943–1990 (Paris: Fayard. it was now also about employing nuclear weapons.. in Die NATO als Militärallianz. The mission of air interdiction of enemy forces was set as the new high-priority assign- ment—and it was a mission that included the use of nuclear weapons against enemy air bases and other vital infrastructure. 19–174. see 494. The core of the thinking in the new concept was the reinforcement of the “Shield” with tactical nuclear weapons. the Massive Retaliation con- cept was “Europeanized. Die Luftwaffe (above. 2001). Ein Eiserner Vorhang (above. La guerre de Cinquante Ans. the West’s technological development was soon matched by developments in Soviet weaponry so that both sides could be expected to use tactical nuclear arms. this cooperation failed. in 1957–58 a trilateral project for the joint use of atomic power was concluded by West Germany.28 At the time 27 Wenzke/Zündorf. 485–556. Propelled by the energetic Minister Strauss. to stand with the American military position while also deepening West Germany’s relationship with France. Under the strategy of massive retalia- tion. 53–56. NATO Document MC 48/2 of April 1957 revoked the operational concepts of previous strategic policy documents under which the German air force had operated. Organisation und nukleare Kontrolle im Bündnis 1949 bis 1959. note 26).

who served as Inspector of the Luftwaffe from 1956 to 1962.29 This period was also the era of Josef Kammhuber. the “German” war experience in many respects had become obsolete—particularly when one considered the state of 29 On strategy and rearmament. especially. and it apparently could only be gathered through co-operation with the allies. To gain such experience was top priority for the air force leaders. 173. Die Luftwaffe (above. “Konzeption und Aufbau der Luftwaffe. 80–88. The same was true for nuclear technology. mastery of the technology to build jet engines and rockets lagged far behind the western Allies. one of the war’s primary lessons was the failure of Hermann Göring’s air force to carry out an effective strategic air offensive against the enemy’s territory and. 374–77. It is also no surprise that the introduction of the F-104G Starfighter came at this time.” in Lemke et al. Indeed. It is no coinci- dence that the Strauss era. At this time the Germans also strongly advo- cated a German role in the nuclear strategy of the Alliance. As this customarily was “only” a three-star generals’ post. 321–55. technological “know how” mat- tered more than in the other services..” In the air force. from 1956 to 1962. Instead. In the thinking of the Federal German Air Force of the 1950s. Strauss and Kammhuber emancipated the Luftwaffe from its former role as provider of close air support for the army. . The experience of the war played a much smaller role in air force thinking than in the army. note 26). In the air force the role of multinational integration played a much stronger role than in the “German Army. From its birth and initial training it adopted an “American model” with a technological orientation towards warfare and a rather “technocratically” inspired leadership. to defend the homeland. in Germany. see esp. 71–484. see Bernd Lemke. the air force took a “modern” approach. this promotion indicated clearly the importance gained by the general and his branch. As the top ranking officer of his service he received his fourth general’s star. The Germans also decided that they would manufacture the plane and deploy their own F-104 squadrons. but it is exactly there that. coincided with the form- ative era of the West German Air Force.236 martin rink it was a noticeable readjustment of the focus of German defense strat- egy from the ground forces to the air forces—with the air strike forces being the main beneficiaries of the new strategic policy.

2006). there was still considerable mental baggage residing in the Luftwaffe. Konzeption und Aufbau.30 Yet. see 185.” American-oriented force and a bit more “Federal Republican” than its sister services. 98–109. “Der Strategiewechsel der Nordatlantischen Allianz und die Luftwaffe.32 So the air force evolved as a more “modern. and culture of the Luftwaffe were far stronger than in the other branches of the Bundes- wehr. see Wolfgang Schmidt. given the fact that West Germany had acquired its status of sovereignty only as a trade-off for political and military integration.” 41–68. “Briefing statt Befehlsausgabe. In any case. see Lemke et al. the mental inheritance of former German armies (and especially the Prussian one) maintained its vigor for roughly two decades.31 Due to the common methods of training the air units. see Johannes Berthold Sander-Nagashima. Die Luftwaffe (above. 171–225. the Luftwaffe had already assigned 50 attack aircraft to serve the SACEUR as a strike force. die deutsche Luftwaffe und der Strategiewechsel der NATO 1958 bis 1968. and despite some problems in developing a common communications system. By this time. This hints at the prevailing tendencies and prefer- ences concerning tactical thinking and operational doctrine. the Germans were assigned 40 per cent of the fighter units on the central European front and almost half of the anti-aircraft forces. equipment. the senior staff officers of the army—though of course West Germans as well—preferred to call their force the “German army” (“deutsches Heer”). Die Amerikanisierung der Luftwaffe 1955 bis 1975. “Federal Air Force” (“Bundesluftwaffe”)—a name that was never the official name—was a symbol of a new beginning. “Schlachtfeld Bundesrepublik? Europa. the American model and its influence over the training. 31 For a general background. Thus the current service name. especially the German one. Die Luftwaffe (above. conception that the term army basically meant “armed forces” in general..” in Lemke et al.” Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 2 (2008). The navy was commonly referred to as the 30 On the “Americanization” of the Luftwaffe’s training and culture. even to the popular. In con- trast. and Lemke. and false.” 151–222. Likewise. By 1957. 649–91. see esp. European air forces were only able to function as part of an alliance air force. most notably fueled by the Allied admiration for the German wartime fighter aces. On the “Culture Shock” experience of the naval aviation trainees during their training in the USA.. Die Bundesmarine 1950 bis 1972. “Konzeption und Aufbau der Luftwaffe. Sicherheitspolitik und Streitkräfte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. note 26). the service staffs’ struggle over structure 237 modern technology. note 26). in Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) planning. 4 (Munich: Oldenbourg. . Dieter Krüger. 32 Dieter Krüger.

substituting armored and motorized “Grenadier” divisions for the former light infantry force favored by the European Union had been a genuine suc- cess for the German negotiating team that settled the conditions for Germany’s entry into NATO. The “German Army” from Initial Planning to Nato’s Model for Central European Defense Though it preferred a rather traditional approach to waging war. the strategy planners at NATO headquarters and in London and Washington. the capitals of the nuclear powers. In the first half of the 1950s. had to develop new concep- tual models in the second half of the 1950s. In the meantime. The concepts of Colonel General (ret. However. In one respect the navy was similar to the Luftwaffe: both had to adopt much of the viewpoints of the Allies—a trend that became clear through the 1960s but that was less evident than the air force’s “Americanization. Even as the army was setting up its first operational units between 1956 and 1958. just like the rest of the Bundeswehr. its organizational system seemed increasingly irrelevant to many com- manders and staff planners. more the faults in the organizational struc- ture became evident—perceived as in contrast to the German war experience. the army took a different direction from that which was initially conceived. although the key personnel remai- ned faithful to the tradition and mentality the German navies which had been established since 1871.238 martin rink “Federal Navy” (“Bundesmarine”).) Heinz Guderian and Field Marshal (ret. were also discussing new strategies and force structures. the Germans initially were also supposed to organize their army units along the American models of structure and equipment. different degrees of multinational integration. the army. At the same time that reorganization of the force was being reconsidered. concepts of operations. The record of the first 1957 Fall maneuvers confirmed these doubts. the branches kept many aspects of service individuality in the following decades. the army increasingly oriented itself based on the German experience of the World War. and despite the over-all joint “Bundeswehr” concepts. These differences based on war experience. Yet as army units came into being since 1956.” Although many integration measures were implemented in joint-forces staffs.) Erich von Manstein were especially . Like other NATO forces. and the ever changing process of defining doctrine.

” and he referred to maneuvers in which he had participated as a young general staff planning officer. Strukturen brausen um die Wette (above. became the trademark of West German unit structure for the next 50 years.” It was openly fielded in the training and testing exercise “LV 58” in September 1958 at the Bergen-Hohne proving ground.35 Instead of the American-bred battle group (or “combat team”) organization for the army division. just like the American Pentomic division. Atom-Waffen und Streitkräfte mit 9 Skizzen im Text (Bonn: Verl. Westunion/Offene Worte. Röttiger noted that the new organization had been crafted with the Soviet nuclear threat in mind and. 35 Inspector of the Army.09. the brigade-oriented “organic organization” of the army division. Albert Schindler. were combined under the new 33 Ferdinand Otto Miksche.33 In the summer of 1957 the army chief Lieutenant General Hans Röttiger ordered a study group to develop new unit structures suitable for atomic warfare. The new organizations were to be tested in maneu- vers in the following year by the Troops Office (later called the Army Office). . This meant that the tactical and administrative leader- ship of the unit. which was in charge of developing army structure. and field manuals.” in BA/MA BH 1/10932.34 In his address to the troops and a prominent civilian audience. doctrine. a flexible system that lacked a fixed organization. “Begrüssung der Gäste. The result of the study was “Division 59. had been optimized for atomic warfare. note 6). units. But the main reason for the organizational changes were to be found elsewhere—especially in the wartime or even pre-war experience. the statement of the Bundeswehr General Staff ’s atomic expert. but heavily armored. see Rink.1958. 34 On the new organization of the army. In some contemporary professional journal arti- cles and books it was referred to as a “divisional organization crisis. cf.” The divisions that Germany had organized on the American model were seen as too large and clumsy to operate effectively on the battle- field under nuclear conditions. The two generals favored an army organiza- tion with smaller. in BA/MA Bw 2/1943. whose functions had been previously divided between the division and the combat team levels. the service staffs’ struggle over structure 239 influential in army circles. This includes the discussion on “the crisis of the division system”. Röttiger remarked that “in the 1930s the army had deci- sively oriented itself towards motorization and mechanization. Schlussbesprechung LV 58. 26. The nuclear threat also provoked new discussions in 1955 about the best force organization for waging nuclear war. 1955). 413–66. 135–71.

09. The army even organized its mountain division to play a role in combined armed mechanized war- fare and added an armored brigade to its two mountain infantry bri- gades. BA/MA BH 1/1943. 50–59. noted that “the army thinks far too little about the conditions of modern atomic warfare.”36 The armored divisions consisted of three armored or armored infantry brigades in a ratio of 2 to 1—with the more numerous arm determining the designation of the unit as a “Panzer” or “Panzergrenadier” division. 741. even army- bred officers questioned whether their colleagues of the Army Staff (Führungsstab des Heeres) were still mentally too closely attached to the model of World War II. Bonn.37 Thus many of the Bundeswehr’s operational experts did not agree that the direction the army was taking was the right one. it existed largely on political grounds. later General Inspector of the Army (and after that of the Bundeswehr) and at this time chief of one of the Armed Forces Staff sections. 2. . BA/MA BH 1/439. In the Armed Forces Staff (Führungsstab der Bundeswehr). In fact. Everything is narrowly conceived in terms of conventional warfare. unable to meet new challenges in an up-to- date fashion. BA/MA N 673/v. Experts for nuclear warfare of Armed Forces Staff maintained that the army was not mech- anized enough but should be able to employ infantry units also in a kind of “atomic guerrilla warfare.08. 38 Office Diary of de Maizière. BG Cord v. Also cited in Greiner.240 martin rink brigade organization. note 20). which were planned to be organized as truly homogenous units.1956. The Bundeswehr’s one airborne division was the only division not oriented towards armored warfare. as it made up NATO’s goal of 12 German divisions. Hobe to the General Inspector. 22. A valid critique was also raised that the restructuring of the army was initiated even before the concept had been tested. Entry 16. NATO’s SHAPE headquarters and the headquarters of NATO Land Forces Central Europe (LANDCENT) considered a new 36 Army Field Manual HDv 100/1 “Truppenführung. Die militärische Eingliederung der Bundesrepublik (above. 37 Fü B III. The transition to the second Federal Army structure was not carried out without some debate in the military and defense ministry staffs.” Ulrich de Maizière.1958.” August 1959.”38 In 1957. 15. The new core elements of the army at the tactical level were the armored and armored infantry (“Panzergrenadier”) bri- gades. The organization of these units embodied the principle of “train and organize how you fight.

an official LANDCENT memo of 44 June 1959 recom- mended that the NATO forces in central Europe be organized along the lines of the new German divisional organization. the structure and main concepts that lay behind army operational doc- trine.40 The young German army had convinced its allies of the soundness of its approach. which were established in the late 1950s. between 1957 and 1959. IV-43 to IV-48. the service staffs’ struggle over structure 241 organization for operational forces that paid close attention to the issue of organic division structure. Still. The Service Staffs’ Struggle over Structure. the other central European NATO partners generally supported this standardized unit approach. 40 SHAPE-History 1959.” in BA/MA Bw 2/1943. remained constant right to the 1990s with only a few minor changes. . the army remained fairly stable in its conceptual development. “Studie über die Gliederung der Landstreitkräfte Europa-Mitte (Nr. its forces had to be the American Strategic Air Command’s bomb- ers. and this was an impressive victory for the newcomer.39 A series of questions was put to the NATO alliance partners. 1957–59 Despite the upheavals of 1958–59. However. Indeed. Not for the first or the last time did the services argue from notice- ably different doctrinal positions in the period between September and November 1959. Basically. Thus. see also BA/MA Bw 2/2483. which now would be reinforced with mid-range. 2000/2/28/CINC/241/57). in the late 1950s the Luftwaffe oriented itself completely on the concept of the use of latest technology. In further discussions in LANDCENT under the chairmanship of General Hans Speidel. the Bundeswehr could not speak of an integrated organizational or operational doctrine. the core concepts were rooted in the armored war doctrines of the 1930s and 1940s and were now applied to the idea of fighting under atomic conditions. Eventually. the opera- tional doctrine to be used remained subject to a broad debate within the Bundeswehr. One Armed Forces Staff report from March 1958 summarized the various trends of thinking among the serv- ices: The “Sword” would be defined as it had been earlier. and later 39 SACEUR. and the idea was proposed to create a stand- ard unit organization throughout NATO—an idea oriented along the lines of the brigade organization concept that the Germans had just so recently introduced. Basically.

and 41 Cited in Greiner. the General Inspector noted that NATO had no real strategy for carrying on a conflict after the first atomic strike was initiated. Indeed. 43 Inspector of the Army Hans Röttiger. 42 General Inspector of the Bundeswehr. An additional mission was to establish a force at the most forward lines possible so as to stop limited incursions and prevent such an attack from growing into “general war. Further.Nr. Other statements by Röttiger showed that his thinking. Tgb. which was to minimize reliance upon the conventional forces and to defend Western Germany on the Rhine-Ijssel line and. note 20). 174.9.43 “The decisive force of the continental forces was primarily the German army.”42 The new formulation of the strategy was one of “hold and risk. and other German states 200 years earlier. the Bundeswehr was to serve as a deterrent and retaliation force.10. But such static concepts stood in clear contrast to classical German operational thinking.” in BA/MA. FüB III. FüH II. Röttiger explained that the German Army viewed its role as part of the “Continental sword” serv- ing alongside the international strike forces of the Allied powers. His words remind one of Frederick the Great’s role of “the Continental sword” at a time when Prussia had allied itself with Britain against France. 7. According to Heusinger himself. In response to Heusinger’s request. BH 1/9487.242 martin rink intercontinental. General Inspector Heusinger tasked the three service chiefs in September 1959 to estimate the situation and to draft their service’s possible mission that arose from it.”41 In considering the NATO Strategy Document MC 70. on the Weser-Lech Line.” in BA/MA. after 1958.” Yet such a strategy posed a risk that the armed forces would “lose all initiative” and fall into a “purely defen- sive mindset.Nr. “Gedanken zur weiteren Entwicklung strategischer Pläne und ihre Auswirkung auf die Aufstellungsplanungen der Bunde- swehr.” he remarked.” They might also reject the approved defensive strategy of the alliance. “to serve as the strong shield and hold the first wave of the Soviet attack and to follow up as quickly as possible with the sword of atomic counterattack in the hope that such action would decide the war. BH 1/9487. “Auffassung des Heeres zur weiteren Entwicklung strategischer Pläne und ihre Auswirkung auf die Aufstellungsplanungen. Die Entwicklung der Bündnisstrategie (above. 1959. Tgb. this mind-set lay in the background as Heusinger drew his outline of the Bundeswehr’s mission. 16. Austria. missiles. But also the “Shield” forces had to be rein- forced with more “modern” (meaning nuclear) weapons.1959. 337/59. . 300/59.

behind which a counterattack might be prepared and launched. it had not been decided which service would receive them.” After Röttiger’s major reorganization of the German army in 1957. In complete accord with his earlier experience of war. the service staffs’ struggle over structure 243 that of the army. In fact. between Schleswig-Holstein and the Alps. While conducting a threat analysis. and in consideration of the recent success of the young army in having its concepts accepted as the doc- trine for NATO’s large unit organizations. In a clear rejection of the concept of a defense from prepared lines far in the rear. One could not prevent “the destruction and enslavement of the whole German people” if the military plans envisioned a retreat to set lines deep in the rear of the country. Thus. Röttiger expressed concern that in the following decades the strike force would require “flexibility”— which essentially meant that the army would need to maintain a strong conventional force capability as well as a nuclear one. but only by land forces. even before assembling their whole force prior to their attack. Although it had already been decided by this point that these weapons should be provided to the Bundeswehr. Röttiger argued for a preventive strike—an attack with armored forces that would strike out from the inner German border through East German terrain to Magdeburg on the Elbe. He noted that “the Soviets will attempt to avoid a ‘big war’ and will try to attain their objectives by a ‘small war. This position also reflected Heusinger’s view. the ground forces were also intended to have their own nuclear weapons. the desire to conform to the NATO “shield concept’ in this way rendered . which meant that the Bundeswehr army needed to procure land-based medium-range tactical nuclear weapons—such as the American Pershing missiles.’ ” The conventional battle would complement and support a defensive plan based on using nuclear weapons. However. “The massive onslaught of the Soviet armored armies will not be stopped by strategic weapons. the Inspector of the Army declared that “the battle itself will be primarily oriented on the tank working in cooperation with other armored forces. they should be attacked themselves. the army’s large armored foundations was seen as a force designed to fight in the context of a nuclear war. the Allies should have 40 divisions with 123 brigades. and perhaps even further eastwards. given the very few combat-ready forces in the central sector by this time. lay completely within the tradition of Prussian/ German military thinking.” Before enemy forces could act aggressively against the Federal Republic. This also meant that the ground forces needed to avoid being pinned to static defense lines.

” As a result of this thinking. see Helmut R. The nuclear force balance of the superpowers had fundamentally changed the strategic landscape. . NATO-Strategie (above. Army (1950 bis 1970). It relied on Panzer warfare but also envisioned a highly mobile forward defense along the inner German border. Das Heer 1950 bis 1970 (above. Only after 1963 would this draft become officially accepted by the Allies. Indeed. “I am not very sure that the two great atomic powers of the West.10. the United States and Great Britain. would there be enough forces to implement it. 192/59..244 martin rink the army’s concept highly unrealistic.” The Inspector of the Luftwaffe formulated his own doctrine of “modern weapons. note 8).” in Hammerich et al. 573. The Luftwaffe Inspector Kammhuber pushed a concept that was dia- metrically opposed to the position of its sister service. note 1). see esp. He pointed out. the ground forces’ conception became more sober. see Thoß.45 Kammhuber considered the army thinking outdated.” He bluntly expressed his assumption about nuclear deter- rence: “Conventional weapons have no real deterrent effect. such as the Federal Republic.Nr. they actually serve to promote conflict. and only much later. in BA/MA. in the 1970s. see 131–54. ought to be capable of dealing with such a potential event themselves. Kammhuber also worried that America might decouple its nuclear umbrella over Europe as a result of making its strategy more “flexible.” On account of their range. They have had no such effect in the past and will have none in the future. which was to provide nuclear deterrence at the lowest level. In such a case the smal- ler European powers. “Kommiss kommt von Kompromiss. 1959. For detailed information.” No doubt Kamm- huber’s concept reflected the recently adopted technical orientation of the Luftwaffe. One cannot truly consider their effects—which mean that all the art of war has become irrelevant. BH 1/9487. however.S.” 16. 555–601. Das Heer der Bundeswehr zwischen Wehrmacht und U. The citations are also in this document. Tgb.44 Soon. Kammhuber came to consider the classic theories of war as outdated— even the works of the great masters of strategy. Gedanken zur weiteren Entwicklung strategischer Pläne und ihre Auswirkung auf die Aufstellungsnläne der Bundeswehr. 17–351. 45 Inspekteur der Luftwaffe (Josef Kammhuber). “The employment of atomic power is nothing that can be calculated in a coherent manner. Hammerich. would be ready to employ their strategic nuclear forces—with the possible consequence of the destruction of mankind—solely to defend the German Federal Republic in the case of a ‘small’ or ‘limited’ war. 44 On the development of the forward defense doctrine.

This latter view was the most common thinking in the German army. This was certainly the most common opinion among Luftwaffe officers. and destructive power. and British air forces as the primary means of deter- rence and war. the use of nuclear weapons might destroy the defenders as well as the attackers. then there is only no other practical solution—you arm yourself with nuclear weapons. In each case. the latter did not have a strong voice in the Alliance’s inner circle. On the other hand.” The conceptual alternative that the “New Look” strategy had pre- sented for the U. it seems.’ and not win the war. However. “if you seriously want to prevent a ‘small’ or ‘limited war. then in the Reichswehr. had now become obsolete—but. with conventional forces far inferior to those of the prospective enemy. on the one hand.S. one could accept the absolute “strategic” defense doctrine that employed the U. Indeed. All this experience. and the new organization was favored by LANDCENT. army officers) there were also good reasons not to forget about aspects of the traditional Prussian/German way of war— in order to win a war before it became nuclear and thus out of control. Either one was ready to employ an atomic strike in case of a limited provocation and was hence ready to use massive retaliation as a response for a “small war. traditional command doctrines had been rendered useless.S. The other alternative would be to reply to the provocation with conventional forces using a classic land defense strategy. In the Federal Republic. Another view was to have strong conventional forces—supported by tactical nuclear weapons—in order to establish a credible defense. In fact. forces in preference to conventional warfare also had supporters in the Bundeswehr. One could accept the strategy of deterrence—also on the tactical level—by threatening nuclear conflict.” or one could not react at all. Kammhuber concluded. the service staffs’ struggle over structure 245 speed. in a way. But to carry out this plan Germany and NATO were in a poor position. he had also sharpened his argu- ment in order to confront the army’s view.S. he claimed. and consequently this “conventional” defense would soon become nuclear as well. among many Europeans (and U. Certainly the 1959 German divisional organization followed this path. Both positions presented a dilemma. Kammhuber knew what he was talking about: he had formerly served as an infantry officer in the Bavarian Army. a truly “strategic” one—strategic not in terms of the range of the weapons . Finally it came down to a choice between the “atomic-oriented Anglo-Saxon” and the “Continental-Conventional” war-fighting con- cepts and even mentalities. this issue was.

146/59. 345.Nr. He there- fore requested an impressive number of 100 patrol boats.. ibid. all thought of “tactical” use of nuclear weapons in this regard contained an essentially “strate- gic” dimension. focused on his mission of securing the entrance of the Baltic Sea.47 Ruge railed against the “anach- ronism” of NATO’s policy having minimal reliance on naval opera- tions. see also Sander-Nagashima. he stressed the necessity of joint thinking: The dependence of the services upon each other is to be put in a nutshell: A strategic air war can only be conducted if the army and navy secure the land territory and the flanks … Territory can only be occupied and held by the army. “Gedanken zur weiteren Entwicklung strategischer Pläne und ihre Auswirkung auf die Aufstellung- splanungen der Bundeswehr. Vice Admiral Gerd Ruge. Vom Kriege: hinterlassenes Werk. However.246 martin rink but in terms of the Clausewitz definition that emphasized “strategy” as the employment of military action for political goals. the Federal German Navy avoided some of the strategic dilemmas that faced the army and air force. as well as for the West Europeans. 129–31. For the Federal Germans. Die Bundesmarine (above. in turn. The navy. and the Western European Union (WEU) policy that stated that “no nation should extend its military forces beyond its borders. 48 Fü M II. But no single service can do it all alone. . The Inspector of the navy.46 By its position on the geographical fringe of the likely theater of war. a naval air arm of 150 to 180 combat aircraft. 25. 47 Fü M II. chapter 1. 1973). note 30). p. Inspekteur der Marine.” Ruge argued that his force was too weak to carry out its mission. along with 18 destroyers. (Bonn: Dümmler.48 In contrast to the radical conceptions of war promoted by the army and air force—both of which favored either an immediate use of nuclear weapons or a preventive strike with armored ground forces—the Navy’s 46 Carl von Clausewitz.” in BA/MA BH1/9487. see esp. and a “tactical nuclear weapons capability. But army operations require the support of the air force as well as flank protection by the navy.” Ruge wanted larger ships and wanted to see the German navy as a “blue water navy” that could cast off the “brown waters” of the Baltic and North Seas. For general background. 81–98. Book 3. edited and commented by Werner Hahlweg. no one serv- ice has the ability to succeed even in a limited offensive or in a steadfast defense without support. 18th ed. 49–187. requires the sup- port of the air arm. Friedrich Ruge. Tgb. But he also argued for an expansion of the role—and thus the size and modernity—of his navy.

the service staffs’ struggle over structure 247 Inspector was less optimistic with regard to the strategy’s implementa- tion. 50 Conrad Ahlers (though published anonymously). in BA/MA BH 1/72 a. See “Aktennotiz fuer Inspekteur [Heer]. 15. Allied Forces.50 The succeeding “Spiegel Affair” became a 49 Fü H III 1. It is confirmed that this affidavit was given by deputy inspector of the army Thilo. This meant that the West Germans had to be true to their promise of set- ting up 12 ground force divisions. Just a week before the Cuban Missile Crisis reached its apogee. From “Limited Defense Readiness” to the Cornerstone of the Alliance The discussions among the service staffs in the autumn of 1959 reflected clearly the divergent concepts that the branches’ leaders advocated. or even behind. But with the start of the new decade some problems remained. in between the two poles favored by the army and the air force staffs. there lay a compromise solution that was eventually put into practice.1962.10. the service branches lived on differ- ent planets. German territory.1963. the Bundeswehr’s deplorable state of unprepar- edness for waging war became public in October 1962. Only in this way could forces be deployed for a forward defense of West Germany instead of the planned defensive lines deep in. “Notiz für Leiter Fü H III. Ruge’s assumption that “a unified campaign and defense strategy” existed only in the “continental” area in the central Europe theater of CINCENT (Commander in Chief. He pointed out that none of the services would be able to carry out its mission as laid out in MC 70 before the end of 1963. 08. an article in the Hamburg news magazine Der Spiegel—traditionally bitterly opposed to Defense Minister Strauss—focused on the “limited defense readi- ness” of the Bundeswehr. the existing gaps in the capability both to carry out conventional war and to deal with a tacti- cal/nuclear conflict were slowly filled.49 The German Army anxiously kept secret any deficiencies.10. The Federal Republic was now firmly in the Alliance—in reality as well as in word.1963.” 1.10. mentally. However.” 10. in BA/MA BH 1/72 a. However. . On the situation of the Bundeswehr at this time. “Bedingt abwehrbereit.” in Der Spiegel. Yet. Central Europe) was not shared by his counterparts in the respective sister services. see Bruno Thoß. But in the years 1960–65 the army’s top leadership feared to publicly disclose unfavorable realities to their American ally. By the late 1950s the experts who dealt with co-ordination of doctrine in the joint forces argued that. As the Federal German armed forces grew up.

” in Vor dem Abgrund. also by mid-range Pershing missiles. Where the F-104G and Pershing 1A had previously been seen as the primary strike forces. by 1963/64. only after the newly elected president John F. the Federal German Luftwaffe had to likewise change its doctrine and equipment. as well as major changes in Alliance strategy and operational doctrine. 65–84. A central aspect of the Spiegel Affair concerned Germany’s partici- pation in NATO’s nuclear strategy. in terms of status and importance the Luftwaffe would clearly have appeared as the winner. Die Streitkräfte der USA und der UdSSR sowie ihrer deutschen Bündnispartner in der Kubakrise (Munich: Oldenbourg. Kennedy called for NATO to adopt a flexible response strategy did the operational doctrine change. four of the five operational fighter wings were assigned to NATO command. of 831 operational combat aircraft was only reached almost 20 years later. of which only one was assigned to NATO. “Bedingt abwehrbereit. The article “Limited defense readi- ness” (“Bedingt abwehrbereit”) reflected the unease of a large part of the population with the nuclear strategy in general and of Strauss’ pol- icy in particular. but also air defense. The one-sided thinking of the time led the Luftwaffe into the “Starfighter crisis” with the newly introduced F-104G. If one were to compare the different services in the early 1960s to that of the previous planning of the Blank era. Although there had already been previous considera- tions about adopting a more flexible strategy. though more indirectly. Accordingly. Auftrag und Rolle der Bundesweehr als NATO-Mitglied während der Kuba-Krise. At this time. In a way. . All this was the result of technical progress. the retirement of Adenauer as chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany in October 1963. 2005).248 martin rink major political scandal for the Federal Republic. the affair even caused. Yet the initial goal. which pushed up the costs. laid out in 1950. Supporting them were four fighter/ interceptor wings and three reconnaissance wings. Indirectly but clearly. This affected especially the previously downplayed mission of close air support. it led to the dismissal of Strauss as Defense Minister (though by no means did it end his political career). Central to this service was the strike mission by fighter bombers and. This finally culminated in the middle of the decade and led to a comprehensive restructuring of the Luftwaffe. The emphasis on these weapons systems signaled the strategy of the Bundeswehr. see 78–81. This in turn affected the German Air Force’s newly acquired role. the new goal was to adapt the force to be a more “all round” generalist air force.

51 Air defense responsibilities above the army corps level came under the Luftwaffe.12. the documents from July to December 1959: “Umorganisation der Heeres-Fla. Chairman of the Military Leadership Council (Heusinger).” 11. and the available resources did not fit the needs created by the army plan- ners’ tank concept. forces: the Bundeswehr’s nuclear weapons were controlled by a two key system. German nuclear participation was most closely integrated with U. the planners had paid little attention to the 51 Study: “Einheitliche oder getrennte Truppengattung Flugabwehrtruppe.” Conceptually. and probably of the Alliance. 09. Yet techno- logical developments required more and larger support units as well as command and control elements and rear security forces—especially if the hard core of the army consisted of mechanized forces. which therefore provided half of the static and comprehensive NATO integrated air defense sys- tem.07. this solution actually thwarted the concept that Röttiger had strived for so boldly between 1957 and 1959. in BA/MA Bw1/16104. German forces controlled the nuclear delivery sys- tems and maintained complete units—army and air force—but the warheads remained under American control. As with the Luftwaffe.” 31. This was resolved by the creation of cadre units— normally in the support and corps elements—that could be filled out by reservists. However.1956. both the air units and the forces committed to air defense certainly became the most internationally integrated service compo- nents of the Bundeswehr. At this time the army had to initiate severe economy measures. The ongoing disputes between 1958 and 1960 of whether air defense and missiles should belong to air force or army no doubt reflected and fueled the quarrels within the top levels of the services. see esp.08. But a price was paid in the form of a divide between the organization and operational doctrine of the air force and the army. the driving force of the army was technology. Part of the solution lay in a definition of responsibilities. In the earlier concepts of the 1950s. in BA/MA BH 1/640. Documents from July 1958 to April 1961. in BA/MA BH1/594. Under this level lay the air defense forces of the army’s divisions and corps.” the army stayed “German.S. .1956. the Bundeswehr’s overall structure settled down in compromise between the positions of Röttiger and Kammhuber— although the two ideals were certainly not easy to combine.1960. Compromise solutions were finally created after long discussions. including the inquiry of Bundestag representative and later defense minister and Federal chancellor Helmut Schmidt in BA/MA Bw 2/20027. the service staffs’ struggle over structure 249 However. Whereas the Luftwaffe under- went a process of “Americanization.

The deployment alongside the Iron Curtain was referred to as the “layer cake”: the German forces’ deployment areas lay between two American corps. Still. the Federal Republic was able in September 1963 to make her allies accept the long-called-for forward defense doctrine. thanks to progress in developing her own conventional forces.” Die 2. But to defend Germany right on the border required forces. Frank Nägler. at the start of the 1960s.250 martin rink follow-up costs of technology. Rückblenden—Einsichten—Perspektiven. this omis- sion required the army to undergo its third major restructuring—a process that would only be complete in 1968. 2007). a British corps. Nonetheless. The force that arose in reality was the largest conventional one in central Europe. each with a different level of integration—both with the allies and with the other German services. mis- siles. ed. With these overall developments. Some of the disputed issues were resolved by the de facto integration of all the branches of the Bundeswehr with their corresponding allied services in NATO. “Der Fall “Morgengruss. under the surface a variety of disputes were played out in the 1960s. . The Bundeswehr’s three corps had their positions covering the Inner German and Czechoslovakian borders. 297–311. the divisions could not be truly effective without a nuclear component.52 The full integration of the German army had by 1965 been established within NATO. whose wings and air defense regiments operated in an integrated manner within the Alliance. and atomic demolitions designed to create obstacles. Panzergrenadier-Division und die Abwehr eines überraschenden Feindangriffs westlich der Fulda 1963. The German forces were supported by nuclear weapons in the form of artillery. a Belgian corps and a Dutch corps. The price that had to be paid—and the opportunity that could also be seized—was sacrificing the initial design of a joint-forces concept of a single “German contingent.” Instead there emerged several contin- gents. By the time the Bundeswehr 52 Helmut R. Sicherheitspolitik und Streitkräfte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. the Bundeswehr and its services all settled into their roles in the 1960s.” in Die Bundeswehr 1955 bis 2005. Most of these reflected the dis- cussions that had ensured since October 1956. the army units stayed “German” up to the army corps level. even as the principal debates of the late 1950s had been settled. Now. and only in 1965 did the West Germans finally succeed in setting up their 12th division. Hammerich. However. But unlike the air force. and it was certainly the best integrated force in the Alliance. 1 (Munich: Oldenbourg.

53 At the same time. 208. note 30). On the one hand. The German naval air arm was the only such force in the region. By the 1970s the Germans manned over 60 per cent of NATO’s tanks in central Europe and 70 per cent of the naval forces in the Baltic Sea. it could lead to self-deterrent. their staffs continued to produce a polyphony of views. it provided half the land forces and half the ground-based air defense forces in central Europe. 54 See Krüger. .55 But perhaps it was exactly this range of concepts which contributed to a remarkable degree of security—despite all crises. 172. note 4). 740. psycho- logical. the massive retaliation doctrine in its pure form was scarcely likely to succeed. NATO-Strategie (above. and financial reasons—and a truly credible deterrent remained an elusive goal. proponents of the nuclear strategy could argue that the greater flexibility in German strategy did not necessarily lead to improved security. the German Air Force provided only 30 per cent of NATO’s combat aircraft in cen- tral Europe. The achievements were visible in the statistics of the force structure. note 1). the service staffs’ struggle over structure 251 reached its maturity in the 1970s. 55 See Thoß. 223–25. It was a significant contribution to the Alliance even though there had also been significant delays in reaching this point. Schlachtfeld Bundesrepublik? (above.54 Though the concepts of war-fighting and conflict-deterrence had led to compromise among the different branches of the Bundeswehr. 53 Weißbuch 1983 (above. 126. On the other hand.” There still remained the double dilemma in which a “winnable” con- ventional war was as unlikely as maintaining a completely credible nuclear deterrent. The much closer integration of the Luftwaffe in NATO’s structure represented a proportionately smaller voice in the Alliance but also a higher degree of “Americanization. 113. due to political. note 4). 482. moreover. Weißbuch 1985 (above.




3 The term Nationale Volksarmee is really a misnomer. Yet. except for a few relatively minor operations.FAILURE TO COMMAND: THE POLITICAL UNDERPINNINGS OF THE FAILURE OF THE NATIONALE VOLKSARMEE AS A SOCIAL INSTITUTION Dan Jordan “Truppenführung Ist Menschenführung. as the “army” in this context also included the air force and the navy and therefore should have been more correctly labeled the “Armed Forces of East Germany. created in the late 1940s. 1962). that transformed in 1956 into a 120. 2 “Reden zu Parteiorganisationen über Sozialistiche Erziehung. and equipped after the Soviet model. Panzer-Division im Ausbildungsjahr 1962. trained.” Nevertheless. In other words.3 The NVA was a heavily armed and mobile national police force. was brief and undistinguished. ed. we remember the NVA more for its military potential than what it actually accomplished as a military force in the Warsaw Pact. as a nod to the original nomenclature. while my intent is to also include the thousands of airmen and sailors in other branches of the NVA. Ministerium für Volksbildung. Vizeadmiral (Stellvertreter des Ministers und Chef der Politischen Verwaltung) (Dresden: Ministerium für Nationale Verteidigung [MfNV]. the NVA as a social institution had a profound.”1 “Socialism is not an empty delusion … It is not a cold formula.” in SED Parteiversammlungen. ed. Nevertheless. but rather a living power. MBIII. Waldemar Verner. such as soldiers and generals. and largely unexplored. 1957).”2 As a fighting force. 7PD. Even at the height of the Cold War. role in the development and demise of the 1 Auswertung des Polit-Moralischen Zustandes sowie der Politischen und Gefecht- sausbildung der Truppenteile und Enheiten der 7. 18. I use continued references to army terminology. they were never directly employed as a military force. 14.000-man army organized. the armed forces of German Democratic Republic (GDR). . Betriebsparteiorganisation (Berlin: Bundesarchiv Berlin. the history of the Nationale Volksarmee (NVA). they were never anything but a reserve to the Operational Maneuver Groups of the Soviet Group of Forces in Germany.

I suggest that the GDR’s most serious problem was neither economic nor social but. a chronic need to “self-criticize. More specifically. the influence of the party at all levels of administration and command. Those same effects cut a wide swath across organizational. rather. particularly on the development of the army as both a fighting force and a socializing agent for the country. These policies represented the GDR’s obstinate reliance on ideology. was organizationally and bureaucrati- cally dysfunctional from its inception to its demise in 1990. administrative. I offer opposing points to traditional views that have attributed the demise of the GDR exclusively to economic. the incomprehensible inability of its institutional bureaucracy to fix problems staring it in the face. The cause of that dysfunctionality was multifac- eted but lies essentially in the government’s implementation of Marxist ideology through such policies as the “leading role of the party in the NVA” and the concept of individual leadership. Instead. In making these arguments.” and the unconscionable failure of the officer and NCO corps to take care of their soldiers. and it made major contributions to undermining the very socialist state it was cre- ated to protect. The Leading Role of the Party In January 1958 a decision by the Security Commission of the Socialistische Einheits Partei (SED) (Sicherheitskommission) affirmed . or political causality. and the imple- mentation and enforcement of both military and party disciplinary issues. As a case study of social structures in a closed society. In fact. the archives hold records and reports of competing military and political chains of command within the NVA that give us a more accessible view of bureaucratic dysfunctional- ity than appears to be available from other government organs of the GDR. the NVA. social. the NVA became a huge anchor that helped sink the GDR. Put another way. in spite of its obvious mission to defend the East German state.256 daniel jordan East German state. Examples include an inability to successfully define a leadership philosophy for its commanders. which caused unfortunate deleterious effects on everyday bureaucratic actions within the NVA. East German Army records offer researchers a unique view into these party-government interactions. or Einzelleitung. and tradition- ally military domains.

1. 36. Beschluß der Sicherheitskommission vom 14. the ideological and moral education of party members and candidates in the army itself. ed. dem 17. The clarity of the party’s intent to fix this problem can be seen in the minutes of one 1958 Politbüro meeting: The most important task of party organizations in the NVA is the political-ideological and moral education of [party] members and candi- dates as well as all army members in the spirit of Marxism-Leninism and the security of the unity of the political and military education of all army members [emphasis added].” effectively put the commander “in his place” vis-à-vis the politi- cal officer. failure to command 257 the “Leading Role of the Party in the NVA. Zentralkomitees [ZK] Abteilung Sicherheitsfragen (Berlin: Bundesarchiv Berlin. 48. Zentralkomitee.Juni 1958 im Zentralhaus der Einheit. party members had to be reminded what their priorities were: not just their political reliability through political-ideological education but also their moral education and consequent “moral behavior” as party members. Notably. 1958).” in Bestand: Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands. the party leadership was still disappointed. at the lack of influence the party had within the newly formed army. . We should not be sur- prised by the first one. The Sicherheitskommission was the predecessor to the Nationaler Verteidigunsrat der DDR. 1958).6 There are two specific tasks in this statement. and to ignore that prerequi- site is to risk having the army turn on its political masters. In this case. the national police force (Nationale Volkspolizei.. under the guise of the “aggressive preparations of NATO and the Bonn Govern- ment. 5 Ibid. the leading role of the SED had been clearly established in the GDR and. two years after the NVA was officially established by the East German Volkskammer.5 The policies that Walter Ulbricht and his Politbüro created in the 1950s to create and shape an armed force for the East German state were no doubt well intended and clearly based on lessons they had learned from their Soviet masters. 26/58 der Sitzung des Politbüros des Zentralkomitees Am Dienstag.1958 über Die Rolle der Partei in der Nationalen Volksarmee.”4 The decision. Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen der DDR am Bundesarchive (SAPMO-BArch) (Berlin: SAPMO-BArch. if not frus- trated. Clearly. in particular. Grosser Sitzungssaal. a politically reliable army is the first requirement for any state. the government dictated that their political-officers’ 4 Abteilung für Sicherheitsfragen. NVP). 6 “Protokol Nr. By 1956. However. the National Defense Council of the GDR. formed in 1960.

or preservation. that this policy was so pervasive in the NVA that it trumped all other military policies and decisions. dem 21. and the army would have been no exception. Their priorities were not to the defense of the homeland but. rather. Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen der DDR am Bundesarchive (SAPMO-BArch) (Berlin: SAPMO- BArch. It is 7 Rudolf Dölling (Generalmajor) and Major Herbst. Admirale und Offiziere Als Soldat in der Truppe (Berlin: MfNV. 5. military training) were to be inextricably intertwined. 1959). to their own politi- cal. Politische Hauptverwaltung. of the unity of political and military educa- tion. rather. this policy should have been self-evident in a socialist state: the party must have a leading role in every aspect of society. It seems. .” in Bestand: Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands. The means by which the party would ensure this unity of political and mili- tary education was through a comprehensive policy that directed the “Leading Role of the Party in the NVA. were those organiza- tions and political officers that were based at every level of command down to the lowest units of the NVA.258 daniel jordan priorities were not to the state but. the evidence suggests that the policy presented such difficult challenges to the chain of command that it effectively reduced the combat effectiveness of the army on a day-to-day basis while also adversely affecting life in the barracks for the common soldier.” or party offices. and moral education. their lack of specificity of these competing interests became problematic over time. The second task is particularly instructive to our purposes: to insure the “safety. the Politbüro had already designated the Politorgane der Nationale Volksarmee as the leading organs of the SED for its political work within the army. to the party. In order for the party to have an effective “leading role” in army affairs. by extension.57 im Zentralhaus der Einheit. Zentralkomitee. 22/57 der Sitzung des Politbüros des Zentralkomitees Am Dienstag. even companies averaging 100 men or fewer were provided a “part-time” political officer. ideological. therefore. political and military education (and.8 The “political organs. 1957). it was essential that bureaucratic mechanisms be in place to administer policy and enforce its rules and regulations. Ultimately.”7 As many students of socialism might conclude. By May 1957. however. Beschluß des ZK der Sozialis- tischen Einheitspartei Deutschlands über den Zeitweiligen Einsatz der Generale.” No matter the cost. 48.5. 8 “Protokoll Nr. Grosser Sitzungssaal. While we should not conclude that the party ignored the state and its defense. to gloss over its importance would be a historical misjudgment.

. nor were its most impor- tant tasks self-evident. By ordering such comprehensive guidance. the statutes of the SED. The Politorgane needed to be told explicitly and comprehensively which policies and instructions they were to follow. the Politbüro directed that … the political work in the NVA … be organized and executed on the basis of Marxism-Leninism. in many ways a repeat of Joseph Stalin’s actions vis-à-vis the Soviet Army in the 1930s. the decisions of the Party Meetings and the Central Committee of the SED. 8. failure to command 259 important to note here that..9 Clearly. in pursuit of complete mastery of weapons and technical combat equip- ment and to the unshakable pursuit of victory. however. Of particular note was the prescribed relationship between political work and the military work of the Army. 7. … The Political Organs raise all members of the NVA to a higher vigilance. that the mere existence of a political arm was not sufficient to communicate its importance. thus foreshadowing the decision to unify political and military education by the Politbüro a year later: Total political work must serve the fulfillment of those posed tasks pur- suant to the Training Orders of the MfNV [Ministerium für Nationale Verteidigung] … It must be aimed at the systematic elevation of combat readiness. It appears. and stead- fastness [emphasis added]. the incremental rise of political consciousness. courage.. regardless of the tactical expertise that officer possessed. as well as the Orders and Directives of the Minister for National Defense and the Office of Main Political Administration for the NVA (Politische Hauptverwaltung [PHV]). party instructions were first in priority. and finally instructions from the defense ministry. the Politbüro effectively elimi- nated any possibility that the military itself could become a power base on its own. the decisions of the Government of the GDR. Even the ministers of national defense had political dep- uty commanders in Generalmajor Rudolf Dölling and Vizeadmiral Waldemar Verner. 10 Ibid. the majority of political officers above the rank of captain served as deputy command- ers for their units. For example. They train them in such high moral-fighting qualities as mission-readiness. then government direc- tives and laws. and the morale of the service members of the NVA.10 9 Ibid. the consolidation of discipline. as in the Soviet Army.

it was the party’s role and duty. instead. or even nationality—to ensure the “combat readiness” of his unit. and that the chain of command within that unit is functionally able to accomplish its orders. the state could dictate the framework within which that army functioned. it has been the commander’s traditional duty and responsi- bility—regardless of service. would lead the reader to a much different conclusion about the “leading role of the party” in the NVA. On its face. and not that of the commanders. In spite of this extraordinarily clear policy.” Similarly. that its soldiers are trained to operate mod- ern weapons on a complex battlefield. nor would it ever be. Nor. incumbent on the political organs to actually train their soldiers. ideology. The policy above gives the unambiguous appearance of a definitive framework within which the NVA was to function. the party was to be involved in questions of discipline. or should. not the commander’s.” Drunkenness and immoral behavior. Students of civil-military relations might conclude that these mat- ters were still of no consequence. to train all army members to complete mastery of their weapons and tactical skills. to contribute to a “systematic elevation of combat readiness.” “Combat readiness” is a comprehensive and ubiquitous military term which implies that a military unit is “ready for action. even in previous versions of the German Army such as the Wehrmacht and the Reichswehr. did the political arm have a firm grasp on solving the disciplinary problems in the NVA. They would argue. A close reading of the government policy. interfere. There was a signifi- cant problem however. in all respects. for example. a key task that clearly compromised the commander’s traditional responsibility to improve “combat readiness.260 daniel jordan Read literally.” It implies that the unit is sufficiently manned and equipped to accomplish its mission. the com- mander has a unique responsibility with which no one can. Judgments about the “combat readiness” of a military unit are generally binary. however. it appears that political officers within the NVA’s political organs had a special and unique role within the army: it was the party’s role. it seems. the party processes quickly devolved into the enforcement of “party infractions” as differentiated from “military infractions. In most armies. were party crimes to be dealt with . then. that because the army was an arm of the state. another respon- sibility that was traditionally possessed by commanders and their non-commissioned officers (NCOs). a unit either is or is not ready for combat. for example. They would be right. traditional command responsibilities were upended. it was not.

The party labeled this amalgamation of conflicting objectives as Einzelleitung. but it wanted that responsibil- ity to be shared with the “people’s representative” as embodied in the political officer. had a distinctive ideological tone that was difficult to separate from party processes. . Even purely mili- tary infractions. really. failure to command 261 by the party. the consolidation of authority of the commanders and superiors” [emphasis added]. particularly relative to the question of the integrity of individual command and the principle of Einzelleitung. is to be guaranteed through the collective consultation of all- important political and military measures of the commanders with the political-organs and political-leadership. the SED understood the need for commanders to command. The party would have none of that.11 Now we see one of the basic problems with the party’s desire to control the army. the party also directed its political officers to strengthen the authority of the commanders and superiors by strengthening the “individual perform- ances” of the soldiers. the unity of political and military leadership. such as vehicular accidents due to negligence. Instead. It was not enough to control the leadership of the army. According to the commanders. the traditional view of Einzelleitung was historically based on their rights and responsibilities to command and lead their military units without interference from outside agen- cies. or individual leadership. Einzelleitung In 1957 the Politbüro directed that “… work of the political organs must be directed at the strengthening of individual performance in the formations and troop units of the NVA and. the main political office of the NVA (PHV) defined Einzelleitung as follows: “Individual Leadership” in the army. The work of the political-organs [is to] be guided by the strength of individual leadership in the formations 11 Ibid. The NVA’s inability to resolve these inconsistencies would eventually lead to much bigger problems. not by the military chain of command. as well. The obvious problem was that the only way the political officers could strengthen the authority of the commanders was to circumvent that same authority by interfering with the traditional responsibilities of the commander. In other words. their best attempt to tell military commanders that they were still. in command.

Not surprisingly. not just combat formations or their support- ing units. 14 Rudolf Dölling. a seemingly wide reversal and 12 Appendix 10 to “Protokoll Nr. much less its concept of “individual leadership. commanders were still “in command. The director of the PHV. Bericht über Die Durchgeführten Delegiertenkonferenzen und Vollver- sammlungen der Parteiorganisationen im Dienstbereich der Nationalen Volksarmee. Their authority was not diminished. the concept of Einzelleittung was controversial. later expressed his disappoint- ment that there were still officers who either did not understand the concept. the policy of the “leading role of the party in the NVA” was still confus- ing to those commanders who struggled with how to perform their duties. 1958).14 Most of the complaints. the party empha- sized. Chef der Politischen Verwaltung.12 Therefore. 13 Sicherheitsfragen. did not understand their dual roles as both officers and party members. . who wanted more authority. rather. 61.” they essentially declared that the political arm would not be worthy of consultation were it not for the moral strength of the commander himself! Indeed. or worse. A parallel report by the Sicherheitskommission noted that “espe- cially with [respect to] commanders. were not from the commanders who had their authority watered down but. “individual leader- ship” was not individual at all but. Politische Verwaltung (Berlin: Bundesarchiv Berlin. are not in agreement with the overall principles of party work and inner-party-like democracy. 26/58” (note 6 above).262 daniel jordan and troop units of the NVA and the consolidation of the authority of the commanders and their superiors [emphasis added]. the party insisted. The phrase “formations and troop units” was one way of insuring that directives were applied to all armed forces units regardless of their function. 38. the chief political officer of the NVA. 44.” Dölling. Nevertheless. a forced marriage of military and political leadership that conjoined like oil and water. it seems. observed that some officers had the “false impression that the principle of Einzelleitung … and the structure of the army.” but all important decisions would be made in consultation with the political organs. ed. Rolle der Partei in der NVA (note 4 above). rather. yet commanders still had to confer with their political counter- parts. Ministerium für Nationale Verteidigung. By characterizing the political organs as the product of the leader’s strength and the “consolidation of command. Party policy “directed” the consultative nature of command.”13 In other words. Ministerium für Nationale Verteidigung. from the political arm. the party faithful were not in agreement with the Army’s struc- tural solution. Generalmajor Rudolf Dölling.

” If the reader is confused by this circuitous double talk. 47.” The questionable performance of many commanders had given the party reason to rein in their authority. Erich Honecker. 40. ed.1. according to Honecker.1958] … that different comrades think that the general development of the leading role of the party in the units of the NVA would lead to a weakness of the “concept of individual leadership” in the army. spoke to a meeting of party delegates from the NVA about his perspec- tive on the concept of Einzelleitung: It is no secret that in connection with the decision of the Politbüro [of 14. In May 1958. for example. Sicherheitskommission (Berlin: Bundesarchiv Berlin. 16 Sicherheitsfragen. commanders should not have the total responsibility that the official concept of Einzelleitung implied. the commander apparently had acted “in an arrogant and overbearing manner. If true. in an obvious attempt to set the record straight and come out squarely on the side of the party. the SED leadership had to resolve its decision to increase the “Role of the Party in the NVA” at the expense of the traditional roles of the commander.”16 In other words. he argued. therefore. 1958). Rolle der Partei in der NVA (note 4 above). No matter what. Commanders were indeed disenfranchised from command of their units.”15 Clearly. and there could be no place for the commander in military or. Plenums des Zk und des Beschlusses des Politbüros Vom 14. the 15 Information über Die Bisherige Auswertung des Beschlüsse des 35. The conclu- sion. . In the 12th Motorized Rifle Regiment. the essence of the conflict was over the tension between the commanders and political officers over the “role of the party. 17 Erich Honecker. failure to command 263 unclarity exists in the course of the principal of individual leadership (Einzelleitung).1958 in der Nationalen Volksarmee. 35 Diskussionsbeitrag (Berlin: Bundesarchiv Berlin. then the opposing premise had become even more valid—that the party really was “in command. 1958).1. Experi- ence shows that these comrades are not right … The Central Committee of our party will not permit a weakness of “individual leadership” in the army. why would we be surprised that the commanders themselves were confused? Obviously. for that matter. political affairs. was that there could be “no “command” in party work [emphasis added].” Therefore the leadership of the party organiza- tion of the regimental staff (but not the regiment itself) “forbade” and sharply criticized the manner in which he led his unit.17 There was no conflict between the “leading role of the party” and Einzelleitung.

One might argue that political officers were only required to follow political directives. was conspicuous by what was not specified. rather. the classical reinterpretation of the discourse.”19 In and of themselves. They started by try- ing to define the duties of the political deputy: The political deputies of companies. However. “individual leadership” reflected not the independence of military command as found in other armies but. after all. they actually made the situation worse by confusing the issues. these tasks and responsibilities were sensible and rationale within the framework of a socialist army. . We might also conclude that while they were publicly accountable for political work. rather than trying to differentiate between political and military problems. The above instruction. and have the duty to publicly account for that work. but the extension of those political duties into military ones. the “unity of political and military leadership.264 daniel jordan pervasive effects of the policy of the “leading role of the party” would not reduce the authority of the commander in the NVA. however. an obvious task that was surely uncontroversial. The duties of political officers.18 This directive required political officers to follow the political instruc- tions of the MfNV and the Politbüro. became even more convoluted when their 18 Sicherheitsfragen. Despite the objections of commanders. and regiments are … responsible for the conscientious execution of orders and directives of the Minister of National Defense and their superior commanders in the areas of political work of the masses. 41. not military ones. of political classes etc. It was.” The Solutions The SED did try to correct these problems. they were not explicitly accountable for their military work. however. 19 Ibid. however. of cultural work. battalions. Party members in uniform also carried a “high responsibility for strengthening the leading role of the party” as well as the elevation of its “authority and reputation. It was not the political duties that were problematic.. Rolle der Partei in der NVA (note 4 above). the party had reaffirmed its “leading role” in every aspect and had successfully redefined Einzelleitung to fit its paradigm.

the Abteilung für Sicherheitsfragen also directed party members of the NVA—and. and synonymous with. Political officers were to: … regularly analyze the political consciousness and morale in the forma- tions and troop units. Indeed.. and not surprisingly. 22 Ibid. 22/57” (note 8 above).21 The political officer had to report problems to his commander.23 The practi- cal effect was that the commander could be bypassed— and often was. . of course. was formed in 1953 to translate the political decisions of the Central Committee for the “armed organs” of the state. Even the PHV. Office for Security Questions. 32–47. the condition of the formations and troop units [emphasis added]. to ruthlessly uncover faults and ‘grievances’ and their causes. 11. 10. the army’s highest politi- cal organ. there are many examples of reports directly to the Central Committee through the PHV from political officers in low-level units. if necessary—in order to report deficiencies in his leadership or the 20 Ibid. in accordance with the truth. but if the commander was part of the problem. the achievement of combat capability. 21 “Protokoll Nr. and to lead an energetic fight towards their removal. 23 Ibid. The Abteilung für Sicherheitsfragen.20 There can be only one conclusion: enforcement of political ideol- ogy was equal to. had responsibility to report “all basic questions of political work in the NVA to the Central Committee of the SED and to the Minister for National Defense.. failure to command 265 professional success was equated to the military success of their respec- tive units: “By demanding a higher activity of all party members. Significantly.”22 The problem here was that informa- tion could reach the Minister of National Defense and the Politbüro faster than it could through the normal chain of command. 44. Relative position in the organization of the NVA was never a problem. Political organs have the duty to report to commanders and higher political organs.. its political officers—to have even more influence over commanders and their work by aggressively minimizing the commander’s authority within their units while also reporting their failures up the political chain. the enforcement of these decisions will contribute to still larger success in the increase of the combat strength of the NVA” (emphasis added). there was no dilemma for the subordinate: he skipped the military chain of command and proceeded directly up the political chain.

the solution was more ideological training. the party used a “dual chain of command” to exercise civil- ian control of the army. the SED. the solution most often listed as the number one corrective action was. 39. “an essential prerequi- site for removal of these deficiencies is the strengthening of the leading role of the party and its basic organizations as well as the improvement of the political education and training in the NVA.266 daniel jordan leadership of his officers. They were almost always the sole corrective action in a report. and welfare of his unit. If there was a suicide. Clearly. Rolle der Partei in der NVA (note 4 above). more practice on the gunnery range but. rather. even as a sworn party member dedicated to improving the health. If there was an accident on a flight line. or listed first in a series of proposed solutions. as one might expect. more ideological training and so forth. the solution was not. or ones similar to it. the commander had no control over this process. For example. by the increased application of ideology. Rarely did they aggressively attack the pragmatic root causes of their leadership problems. morale. were widespread in both military and party reporting. However. This created two conundrums that needed to be dealt with. more ideological training. If gunnery scores were found wanting. These solutions often took bizarre turns. the integration of the SED/NVA could never recognize the possibility that their own policies were actually causing training or readiness problems in the units. Clearly. In particular. they consistently focused on the “ideological” solu- tions to their practical problems. First. despite their efforts they were con- stantly disappointed and discouraged with the ideological progress of their officers’ development: “There still seems to be a series of deficien- cies in the leadership and the socialist education of army members who awkwardly stand in the way of further strengthening of the socialist 24 Sicherheitsfragen. this meant that the party’s “leading role” had to be reem- phasized. rather. for example. with the full cooperation of the NVA. which often meant quantitatively more political education and training. rather. More important. Even the basic welfare of the common soldier was not exempt from this single-minded emphasis on ideology. . consistently oriented their solutions to problems on ideological grounds. sadly. The second conundrum was that problems were not solved by a pragmatic application of logic and rational thinking but.”24 These types of statements.

1959). No matter how positive the first part of the report was. The phrase “series of deficiencies. Don Connolly. PhD (U. MBIII. • Education of members and candidates (of the party) towards a model fulfillment of their duties and military tasks. five years after the creation of the NVA. or poor leadership? Eventually.” or phrases similar to it.Pd]. . even Walter Ulbricht became intimately involved in the party’s struggle for ideological purity in the army. Army Command and General Staff College) for this insight. Political officers apparently had conducted their 25 Einschätzung des Standes des Sozialistischen Bewußtseins der Angehörigen der Nationalen Volksarmee in der Ersten Hälfte des Ausbildungsjahres 1959 (Strausberg: Militärarchiv der Deutchen Demokratischen Republik.S. 2.27 This particular policy declaration also claimed that there were appar- ent deficiencies in the work of the party members themselves. PHV. poor weapons proficiency. he continued. 1961). more likely. In 1961. Sekretariat. Ulbricht noted that the raising of the Berlin Wall had created “big expectations” by the party for the NVA to raise its combat readiness. he directed that a series of measures be undertaken. failure to command 267 consciousness” [emphasis added]. Ministerium für Nationale Verteidigung. the political operative could be assured that the shoe was about to drop when these political code words in the GDR discourse were used. Unfortunately. a very common theme. 26 I am indebted to Dr. no amount of ideological training could solve problems of poor morale. Halbjahresanalyse über den Politisch-Moralischen Zustand der Partei [7.” there was a surprising lack of specific military tasks in his instruction: • Strengthened struggle for the unconditional execution of given orders. ed. could not—take advantage of their enhanced ideological training to improve the unit’s mastery of weapons and overall military effective- ness.PD. were often found in political and military reporting. Vizeadmiral Verner (Stellvertreter des Ministers und Chef der Politischen Verwaltung) (Dresden: MfNV. certain officers and commanders would not—or. The reader should note. the efforts to do so had exposed a “series of deficiencies and weaknesses. 5. 27 Otto Hauptmann.26 Put another way: was it possible that no matter how hard the party tried.25 It appears that no matter how hard they tried. 7. that while his goal was to raise “combat readiness.” Therefore. • Creation of a critical and party-like atmosphere in the political organizations and improvement of the collective educational work [emphasis added]. however.

party members were relying too much on rank and privilege by “ordering” their troops around. the problem was not with the strength of the idea but. from the ‘large radical changes’ which occur in our lives. Ideologically.”30 Nonetheless. In some party meetings. the argument goes. “Leading Role” and Einzelleitung. 29 Ibid. and therefore society’s. The key to the success of the party in army life was beginning to take shape: officers and NCOs (who were expected to be political and military role models as party members) were to be the solution to the army’s. There- fore.268 daniel jordan business through “administrative orders” instead of “through political- ideological arguments and a steadfast naturalistic conviction for the elevation of the socialistic consciousness of the members of the Army.29 Clearly. “Giving orders” was not party-like. they should have been model socialist soldiers and proffered their guidance and direction by convincing oral arguments. Even regular officers of the NVA (as opposed to political officers) were accused of not paying enough “attention to the political training of the army and achieving very little political work …” Regular officers were also accused of incorrect party-like behavior towards their soldiers. 35. to make up for their small presence in the units. the NVA was viewed as the recipient of the strength of the “political-moral” unity of the population. manifested itself in another. Erich Honecker had viewed this relationship as symbiotic: “members of the NVA do not live in isolation from the population.”28 In other words. . the role of 28 Sicherheitsfragen. with the functionary who could not communicate it to the soldiers. no one was exempt. officers were accused of behaving in an “unfriendly and class-sensitive” manner towards their soldiers and NCOs. 37. If soldiers did not buy into the idea. 197. It now appears that the relationship of the party in the local districts and towns to the army was almost as important as the role of the party within the army itself. 30 Honecker. more surprising way. Diskussionsbeitrag. rather. The logic went as follows. To be accused of being “un-party-like” was a serious allega- tion. Rolle der Partei in der NVA (note 4 above). The NVA and Community The tensions between the two conflicting policies. problems. one must convince by the power of one’s argument.

though. 214. The civilian community was sup- posed to provide the essential support and cooperation that we often see today at local military bases in the western world. . failure to command 269 commanders in the socialist army had to be reconciled with the party’s scheme of political control outside the barracks gates. Clearly. The relationship the SED envisioned was much more invasive. as well as the party members. Admirals. District Party First Secretaries were invited to military events and staff meetings. 32 Ibid..31 Clearly.”32 The unsurprising result was the comprehensive influence of the local party on all matters military within the district. the collective existence of the party was becoming more important than the efficiency of the army. He encouraged the leaders of the districts and towns from “time to time to occupy themselves with significant questions of the units stationed in their areas. “and the judgment of the activities of the commander from all sides [emphasis added]. “that the party secretary. Bezirkssekretäre were to become 31 Einschaetzung des Standes (note 25 above).”33 The 1. In a letter dated 2 January 1958 to the district leaders of the party (Bezirkleitungen).” encour- aged Ulbricht.” as well as to improve the political and worldly education of the army. the relationship between the army and the surrounding com- munities was considered crucial. the political deputy of the com- mander [aka the political officer]. 4. the selection and judgment of the cadre. 33 Ibid.” Their goal was to raise the influence of the local party organizations in the development of “all aspects of life in the army. and Officers as Soldiers” empha- sized this point: A further expression of the growing socialist consciousness of army members is the narrow connection of the army with the working popula- tion of our republic. One directive for a program called “Generals.” “It would be appropriate. Ulbricht called for their complete cooperation to support the policy of the “leading role of the party in the NVA. This is found especially … in the partnerships of the troop units with the socialist businesses … where the political-moral unity of the population and the army develops even stronger through the recipro- cal help and support of the realization of the plans and tasks [emphasis added]. be invited to an office meeting. The level of detail written into Ulbricht’s guidance is most instruc- tive. including the decisions of the commanders themselves.

Nor have I showed how the sum total of these policies affected the combat readiness of the NVA during the Cold War.. However.”34 The district leadership was to support the neighboring units of the NVA while simultaneously maintaining the right to control the execution of the decisions of the party.. to the military council would come members of not only the offices of the Bezirks. Indeed. Ulbricht’s delegation of authority had limits. the “leading role” of the party also included the invasive party appara- tus of the local districts. 35 Ibid.36 Therefore. I can make some observations from these 34 Ibid. .270 daniel jordan full voting members of the military councils for the units in their dis- tricts so that they could “contribute and ensure that the decisions of the party become stronger as well as reality in the life of the army.35 Put into perspective. I have only discussed the policies of the “Leading Role” and Einzelleitung as causes of command problems within the NVA. Reluctantly. In every possible way. army commanders at all levels had significant bureaucratic challenges to overcome. read- ers have been left to make their own conclusions about these policies and their effects. local party officials had the authority to oversee and partici- pate in decisions of the local commanders but could not interfere with the party organizations that were integral to party control of the army itself—and which also had participative rights in military decisions according to the principle of Einzelleitung. 213. 36 Ibid. The leaders of the towns and districts did not have authority to oversee the work of the party organizations within the units of the NVA themselves. all of whom had a more- or-less direct line to the Politbüro. not only did the NVA have a dual chain of com- mand on the Soviet model but local commanders also had to deal with the whims and agendas of local politicians. I have not discussed the problems of “criticism and self-criticism” within the political discourse or the role of the various enforcement arms of the SED within the National Defense apparatus. though. No matter how you slice it.und Kreis leadership but also a “limited number” of members of the Office of Security Questions. 214. Conclusion Because of space limitations.

professional officers. poor leadership caused by a lack of trust between a government and its military officer corps as well as between its soldiers and the Party. as well as on the effectiveness of their units. not only in the NVA but also in other government minis- tries. If the solution to poor gunnery marksmanship is more ide- ological training instead of more time on the artillery range. the use of party organizations and political officers within the units of the NVA. Ideological training was so pervasive a solution that one can not help but wonder whether any social problem was ever solved in a prag- matic way. other problems start to develop that are much more fundamental and meas- ureable: increased safety problems with vehicle drivers involving seri- ous injury or death. observations that raise fur- ther questions about the role of the party in the more pervasive civilian structures of the GDR itself. I attribute the causes of these social problems within the NVA to poor leadership. the party knew the extent of their problems in the NVA and continued to try to solve them until the fall of the Berlin Wall. The constant use of ideological training to fix practical problems was ubiquitous. Bureaucratically. When looking the other way becomes a solution to a unit problem. and NCOs. high accident rates with weapons. failure to command 271 snapshots of political life within the NVA. I would argue that similar processes were going on in parallel in every social and political structure in the GDR. along with their exploitation through independ- ent chains of command direct to the Politbüro. increased drunkenness and moral violations. . and even an extraordinary number of sui- cides. had a significant con- straining effect on the development of commanders. what can we conclude about low production on the factory floor due to low equipment maintenance? Finally.


Christian Greiner. In Germany the main repository of original documents concerning the Bundeswehr is the Bundesarchiv/Militärarchiv in Freiburg am Breisgau. As a general starting point on the subject of West German rear- mament. One of the best sources of documents concerning Adenauer and his government is the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Sankt Augustin near Bonn. hereafter MGFA). and Georg Meyer as well as several of the authors in this volume. This collection of documents is espe- cially helpful in its coverage of the debates on rearmament in the Bundestag in the early 1950s. Deutsche Verteidigungspolitik 1948–1967: Dokumente und Kommentare (Boppard am Rhein: Harald Boldt. The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung has a large library and archive of original documents that includes cabinet reports and corre- spondence of Adenauer and other figures who are central to the study of German rearmament. There is an extensive body of American documents that deals with the rearmament of Germany. REARMING GERMANY: AN ESSAY ON BOOKS AND SOURCES As this book is meant to be more of an introduction to the subject of German rearmament than a comprehensive history. and the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene.. it is appropriate for the editors to provide a brief essay on the best primary and second- ary sources available to help any students who wish to pursue facets of this subject in detail. Kansas. These two very . the editors recommend the work of the Military History Research Institute of the Bundeswehr (Militärgeschichtliches Forsch- ungsamt. a useful collection of documents is found in Karl Bauer. Both of the archives are exceptionally user friendly for the researcher and have excellent websites and search aids. Between 1982 and 1997 the Military History Research Institute published a superb four-volume history of the early years of the Bundeswehr that was written by a group of excep- tional historians that includes Roland Foerster. ed. Missouri. For stu- dents seeking original documents concerning German rearmament. The major places to look are in the Truman Presidential Library in Independence. Some of the papers of Theodor Blank are also located in Sankt Augustin. 1968).

An important book that discusses the contemporary Allied views of the Himmerod Conference is Gerhard Wettig’s chapter on “Entmilitarisierung und Wiederbe- waffnung.M. See Hans Speidel. 1977). 135–206. Another very useful recent . The Beginning of Rearmament In considering the major sources in Thomas Vogel’s chapter on the beginnings of West German security policy. However. For a detailed background of the document one would do best to start with the seminal article by Hans- Jürgen Rautenbert and Norbert Wiggershaus. “Die Himmeroder Denkschrift vom Oktober 1950. Politische und militärische Űberlegungen fűr einen Beitrag der Bundesrepublikzur westeur- opäischen Verteidigung. 1996) does a good job in covering the major strategic and political issues surrounding German rearmament. 1967). 90 boxes of documents of General Lauris Norstad. Adenauer’s role in the Himmerod Conference is dis- cussed in Henning Köhler’s Adenauer: Eine politische Biographie (Frankfurt a.” in Deutschland 1943–1955: Internationale Auseinan- dersetzung um die Rolle der Deutschen in Europa (Munich: Oldenbourg. For example. one must approach the subject from several perspectives. 1965).M. 1994). an even better personal memoir that deals with the early thinking about West German security policy comes from General Hans Speidel. Konrad Adenauer provides some insights into his concept of allying Germany with the Western Powers in his Memoirs 1945–53 (Chicago: Henry Regnery.: Propyläen. It is important to begin a study of Amt Blank and the development of the Federal Defense Ministry with some personal perspectives. Aus Unsere Zeit: Errinerungen (Frankfurt a. It should be noted that the American presidential libraries contain not only the presidential papers but also the papers of many key figures associated with the administration or era. David Clay Large in Germans to the Front: West German Rearmament in the Adenauer Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.” in Militärgeschichtliche Mitteilungen 21 (1977). one of the Bundeswehr’s top soldiers.274 rearming germany: an essay on books and sources important Cold-War-era libraries and archives are located less than three hours drive from each other. NATO commander from 1956–63.: Propyläen. are located in the Eisenhower Library and constitute an excellent source of documents about American assistance to the West German rearmament effort.

1995). 1982).S. 1949–1960: The Case Against Rearmament (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Mittlerund Sohn. Despite a number of good German 1965). The best book on the anti-nuclear movement is Mark Cioc’s Pax Atomica: Nuclear Defense Debate in West Germany During the Adenauer Era (New York: Columbia University Press. The Allied Powers and the Creation of a New German Armed Forces In researching the role of the European Defense Community (EDC) and the development of the Bundeswehr. Die Entwicklung Deutscher Sicherheitspolitik und die Geschichte der Bundeswehr (Berlin: E. 2006) and Geoff Eley’s Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe. Edward Fursdon’s The European Defence Community: A History (London. Konrad H. The Debate Within West German Society Recommended reading for Adam Seipp’s chapter: anyone seeking to learn more about the political history of modern Germany will benefit from Alexander Sager’s excellent translation of Heinrich August Winkler’s two-volume Germany: The Long Road West (Oxford: Oxford University Press.html) and the German Historical Institute’s German History in Documents and Images project (http://germanhistorydocs. 2002). 1986) and Gordon Drummond’s extremely useful and thorough The German Social Democrats in Opposition. remains the .ghi-dc. Kurt Schumacher lacks a monographic treatment in English more recent than Lewis Erdinger’s Kurt Schumacher: A Study in Personality and Political Behavior (Stanford: Stanford University Press. Jarausch’s After Hitler: Recivilizing Germans. 1980).fordham. 1988). Those seeking primary sources from this period might consult the Internet Modern History Sourcebook: (http://www. rearming germany: an essay on books and sources 275 book dealing with early German thinking on defense policy is Hans Martin Ottmer. These include Susanne Miller and Heinrich Potthoff ’s A History of German Social Democracy (Leamington Spa: Berg. For perspective on the importance of this period in shap- ing German history and the broader history of the political Left. There are relatively few specialized studies of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) during this period in English. respectively. 2007). 1850–2000 (New York: Oxford University Press. 1945–1995 (New York: Oxford University Press.

. 1977). Army thinking of the 1950s and describes the role the West Germans played in developing U. The recollections of Jean Monnet (Memoirs. 1950–55 (London and New York: St.276 rearming germany: an essay on books and sources best full account of this complex topic. but there are a few useful articles and books for the serious student. 1974) as the originator and terminator of the EDC are also very useful. Paris From EDC to WEU (Santa Monica. 1994.) In order to best understand the policy of the United States towards the development of the Bundeswehr one ought to begin with Marc Trachtenberg’s study of the era in A Constrained Peace: The Making of the European Settlement 1945–1963 (Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1956). Praeger.Y. As always. 1991). Army (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. the official Foreign Relations of the United States provide a detailed contemporary descrip- tion of the process.S. The list of published works on the founding of the West German Navy is pretty thin. Another very useful book that covers the U.S. 1950–1960 (New York/ London: Garland. Martin’s Press. Two older works still constitute the best description of the domestic politics of the EDC: Daniel Lerner and Raymond Aron’s France Defeats EDC (New York: Frederick A. 3 for 1950 (Washington: Department of State. 1999). N. Military Assistance for the Federal Republic of Germany. especially vol. René Pleven: Un Francais libre et politique (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes.S.2 (January 1970). Arnold Kanter pro- vides a superb analysis of the political parties in “The European Defense Community in the French National Assembly: A Roll Call Analysis. On the specifics of the U.S. 203–28. Army doctrine is Ingo Trauschweitzer’s The Cold War U. useful primarily for the British and American role in the process. One should begin with the memoirs of the first commander of the Bundesmarine. Inc. is the subject of an excellent scholarly biography by Christian Bougeard. military assistance to West Germany the best general work is Andrew Birtle’s Rearming the Phoenix. René Pleven. Garden City. 1957) and a RAND study by Nathan Leites and Christian de la Malene.” Comparative Politics 2.S. as his title suggests. Admiral Friedrich Ruge . 2000) is. CA: RAND Corporation. the titular author of the plan.: Doubleday. Trachtenberg provides a thorough and insightful analysis of Eisenhower’s thinking on European security. 2008). Kevin Ruane’s The Rise and Fall of the European Defence Community: Anglo-American Relations and the Crisis of European Defence. 1978) and Pierre Mendes-France (Choisir: Conversations avec Jean Bothorel (Paris: Éditions Stock. U.

rearming germany: an essay on books and sources 277 (Friedrich Ruge. Bericht.” War in History 12. The author of the chapter on the German Navy in this book. See Douglas Peifer. the first place to begin is with the author of Innere Fuehrung. The Three German Navies: Dissolution. Debates Within the Bundeswehr In examining the internal policies of the Bundeswehr. one can go to Alaric Searles. There are a few accounts that address the evolution of the West German Navy from the mine-sweeper force sponsored by the U. Der Seegrenzschutz 1951–1956. 1988). Count Wolf von Baudissin. 1951–1981 (Munich: Piper. and British navies between 1946 and 1955. On this subject also see Fritz Poske.” in Marine Forum.” which appeared in Foreign Affairs. . On the Economics of Rearmament Since the procurement of armaments has not been in the focus of mili- tary historical research in Germany. 34 (October 1955). Errinerung. 1981). see Dieter Krüger. has been one of the most prolific authors on this subject. Munich: Bernard und Graefe. Transition and New Beginnings. 2003). Wehrmacht Generals. 2002) and “From Enemy to Ally: Reconciliation Made Real in the Post-War German Maritime Sphere. 1945–1960 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Lebenserrinerungen als Beitrag zur Zeitgeschichte. Douglas Peifer.S. 1. 1979). West German Society. one will find only a few books on the procurement for the build-up of the Bundeswehr in the period between 1953 and 1958. “Wirtschaft und Rüstung in den fünfziger Jahren. On this period. A seminal work on Innere Fuhrung by Baudissin was his article in English “The New German Army. 1981). His writings are collected in Nie Wieder Sieg! Programmatische Schriften. and his works ought to be consulted.2 (1995). “Die Anfänge der Bundesmarine 1950–1955. and the Debate on Rearmament. Dokumentation (Munich: Bernard & Graefe. An interesting take on the discussion of the relationship between the Wehrmacht and the Bundeswehr is found in Donald Abenheim’s Reforging the Iron Cross: The Search for Tradition in the West German Armed Forces (Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1949–1959 (Praeger: Westport. For fur- ther reading about the people and debates on Innere Fuehrung.2 (2005). 3. The most important books on this topic are Werner Abelshauser.

1997). Kollmer. Rüstungsgüterbeschaffung in der Aufbauphase der Bundeswehr— dargestellt an der Beschaffung des Schützenpanzer HS 30 (Stuttgart: Steiner. and Dieter H.” in Helmut R.: Suhrkamp 1984). Whereas Kollmer describes the way armaments had to be purchased for the Bundeswehr and the adverse environment in which it had to be done. at the Federal Military Archives facility. the Volksarmee. Other important publications on the Bundeswehr’s early procure- ment include Hans-Günter Bode. Michael Geyer. Political and national defense policy records. Rüstung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Regensburg: Walhalla. He analyzes the way the procurement process was integrated into the economy of West Germany. Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1949–1966 (Düs- seldorf: Schwann 1987). researchers face a significant but not insurmountable challenge in working with primary sources. Vol. “Klotzen. Dieter H. however. Abelshauser takes a close look at the presuppositions of arming the Bundeswehr. 2006). Those publications describe the procurement of arma- ments for the Bundeswehr from different angles. 2002). Das Heer 1950 bis 1970.278 rearming germany: an essay on books and sources in Anfänge westdeutscher Sicherheitspolitik 1945–1956. Military records of the Ministry of National Defense and the Nationale Volksarmee (NVA). the acquisition of the personnel carrier Hispano Suiza HS-30 for the Bundeswehr. nicht kleckern! Die materielle Aufrüstung des Heeres von den Anfängen bis Ende der sechziger Jahre. . as they are located in two different locations in the German archive system. Hammerich. Kollmer. Kollmer shows the framework and the way it was realized. issued by MGFA (Munich: Oldenbourg. Dieter H. Martin Rink. Schlaffer. are located in Freiburg. as well as the records of the Socialist Union Party’s (SED) First Secretaries. and Rudolf J. Konzeption. Organisation und Aufstellung (Munich: Oldenbourg. 1–186. are stored in Berlin at the Budesarchiv Lichterfelde facility in the Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen der DDR. Kollmer.M. Kollmer’s work reveals the structure of the procurement. Building the Armed Forces of the DDR When conducting research on the development of the East German Armed Forces. Deutsche Rüstungspolitik 1860–1980 (Frankfurt a. the operating princi- ples. Abelshauser’s research follows his well-known work Die Langen Fünfziger Jahre. 485–614. and their conversion into a prominent example. 1978). 4.

mgfa-potsdam. these authors give insights into problems that clearly started in the early days of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). rearming germany: an essay on books and sources 279 The indexes for both these facilities can be found at the following site: 1996) and Requiem for an Army: The Demise of the East German Military. 2002). . by Frank Hagemann (Berlin: Links. 1998). Bernd Pröll (Frankfurt aM: Broschiert. and political aspects of the history of the NVA. Motivation und gesellschaftliche Integration. While focused on the final days of the NVA. Parteiherr- schaft analyses the influence of the SED. the ruling party’s influence over the East German is the leading source for analysis on the military. Staat und Gesellschaft provides insightful analysis on the social interaction of the NVA with East German Society. ed. and provides the reader insight into the differences between this socialist army and those of the western Europeans. The Bundeswehr’s mili- tary history office. Recent publications include: Bundeswehr und Nationale Volksarmee in Staat und Gesellschaft. by Dale R. and Parteiherrschaft in der Nationalen Volksarmee: Zur Rolle der SED bei der inneren Entwicklung der DDR-Streitkräfte (1956 bis 1971). Legitimation. the MGFA (http://www. Two major works that should be read by every student of the NVA are Jorg Schonbohm’s Two Armies and One Fatherland: End of the National Volksarmee. organizational. 1983). Herspring (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. trans.bundesarchiv. Peter Johnson and Elfi Johnson (Oxford: Berghahn Books.


129. 73–74. 125–129. 128. 24. 108–113. 89–90 Berlin x. 248.E. 229–231. Baltic Sea 19. Border Police (Grenzschutz. 123. John Foster 34. 218. 195. Seegrenzschutz) 112. 80. Campaign to Stop Atomic Death 129–134. Charles 73–74. David K. 42. 103. 66. 101. 170. 190. 153. 92 172–173. 164. 179. 208 Bundesrat 123 Allied High Commission 6. 48–51. 77f. 38–39. 38–41. 69 (Bundeswehr) 46 Bremerhaven Labor Service Unit Acheson. 193f. 240–241 17. 38–47. 88 Czechoslovakia X. “Citizen in Uniform” 214–215 173. Alouette II. 68–9 214–215. 159f. 126. 52. 277 Churchill. 86 Advisory Office for Innere Brussels Agreement (1950) 73. 172. 103. 259. Count Wolf von 15. 93. 118. 117–118. 1948 32. Fuehrung 216 228–229 Alert Police 77 Brussels Treaty. 55–56. 149f Bonn Conventions 82 Acceptance Organization Brandt. 95. 68. 271. 157–161. 235. 262 248. Theodor A. 146. 48–51. 76. 39. 137–140. 85 74. 82 Alkett GmbH 146–147. 246f. 89. 31. 160–162. 50–51. 17 Draper. Dölling. William 164. 49. 80. 120–125 Adenauer. 65. 171. 31. 196 216. 126. Bradley. 145 Dulles. Herbert 13. William L. 105–106. Bundeswehr) 224. 120. helicopter 188. 68. 34 Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 25. 114. 192–193. 238. 65. 137. Winston 9. Georges A. 16. 7f. 200 Blankenhorn. 120. Daimler Company 156 115. 173–175 128–129. General Rudolf 258f. 111. 63–64. 10. 141 149. 75. 166–167. Allied Control Council (ACC) 155–156. 169 Bravo 118. 139–141. 120. Conservative Party (UK) 31. 105. 138–139. 117. 158–160 Berlin Crisis (Berlin Clayton. 134. 133–134. Dean G. Willy. 17. 273 Amt Blank 25. 118. Baudissen. 94–96. 58. 211–212. 226. 209. 80. 125. 89. Charles E. 229 96. 267. 111. 232. 26. 79. Bundestag X. 134. 246. 69 36–37. 77. Bundesmarine 118–120. 36. 32–36. 69–70. 119. 66. 160. 28. 10. 234 47. 220. 137. 56. Donald 43. 96. 37–38. General Omar 99 226–227. 64. 31 Blank. 69. 137 40–41. 70. 85. 154 Blockade1948–1949) 4–6. 163–164 Council of Foreign Ministers 159 Bidault. Bonin. 25–26. (Kampf dem Atomtod). 49–50. 251 Christian Social Union (CSU) 63. 255. 105. 133. 276–277 158. 229. 273–275 Bruce. Bad Godesburg Program. 113. 130. 123–125. 28. 26. General Lucius D. 59–64. 86–88. 190. Count Bosgislaw von 41–43. 1947. Bundesgrenzschutz. 73–74. 91. 124–125. 228. 11. 76. 211–215. 166. 133–141. 117. 49 Dunkirk Treaty. Konrad 30. INDEX – REARMING GERMANY Abenheim. 274 Dornier Aircraft Company 198. 274 Center Party 39 Andernach 232 Central Office for Homeland Service Armed Forces Staff (Fuehrungsstab der („Zentrale für Heimatdienst“) 8. 133–134. 140. 60–61. 164. 165f Bohlen. 278 Clay. 237f. 187. 29. 22. 86. 171 140–141. De Gaulle. 146. 157–158. 73 . 209–211.

172. 276. (Robert) Anthony 89–91 128. 22. 134–135. 49. 48f. General 214 Kaufmann. 96–101. 120. 28.282 index East Germany. Morris 209–210 Fowler. 211. 10 German aircraft industry 107–108. 7. 150. 195 European Recovery Plan 147. Eric 263. 236. 183. General Josef 45. 211–212 (ERP) 164 Honecker. 59. 103. 43–44. 264 Gladisch. 95–96. 95 . Reinhard. 271. 45. 25–26. 248 Gehlen. GAF) 15. 188. 32. 168. 143. 40–42. 118. 155–156 Janowitz. 32. 212. 236 Foertsch. 123. 268 Howley. 69. Globke. 81. 112. (EDC) 33. 15–17 International Trade Organization 165 Foreign Economic Administration (FEA) 153. Great Britain (UK) x. 222. 42 Kammhuber. 244–245. 197–200. 119 (Sicherheitskommission) 256. 108. European Recovery Program 209. Hays. Economic Working Group 162–163 85–86. 153 Joint Chiefs of Staff (US) 10. 245. 9. 35–36 Geneva Accords. 137 Karst. 189. 134. 35. Walter 15–17 GDR. 25f. GDR. General Alfred 99. 242 85–92. 234. 67–8 Verteidigung (MfNV) 259. 151. 25. Marshal Alphonse P. Henry H. 236. 59. 224. 129. 259. 137. 273–274 British military Staff 31. 118. 131. 1954. Politbüro 257–259. 160 F-84 Thunderstreak 198 Huntington Samuel P. 229f 111 Heinemann. 227 von 14–17. 13 Heusinger. 210. Hermann 12. George P. 11. 122. 179f. (DDR) German German Air Force (Bundesluftwaffe. 274 European Economic Community Hispano Suiza HS-30. 58. 160 Hitler. Ministry of National Defense 61 (Ministerium für Nationale German Manifesto (1955). 73–75. 34–36. 251 255–257. Eden. 15–17. 227. 229. 97. 45 Erhard. 74. 74. 140. 257. Himmerod Conference 3–28. 67. Erich 17 Galland. 14. 170 77–91. General Adolf 12. 77–79. 93–96. 94. General Heinz 238 Community (ECSC) 64. 263f 31–32. F-104 Starfighter 107–108. 250. 197–198. Democratic Republic (GDR) XI–XII. Dwight 81. General Franz 100 European Command (EUCOM) 109. John F. 81–83. Captain Arthur H. 35. 105. 198 Knauss. 18. 35–36. Ludwig 169 Gruenther. 249 63. 128. 130–131. 105. 19–20. General Adolf 42 Kennedy. 276 Juin. 93–94. 88 Kirkpatrick. 79–80. 102. 130. Heinz. also Gehlen Kielmansegg. 103. 35. Security Commission Graubart. 235. 68 GDR. 229. 7–9. 85–86 Halder. Joint Logistics Committee (JLC) 162 242. 152 183. 61. General Count Adolf Graf Organization 8f. 131–133. 189. 127. Frank L. 199. Hans 25 270–271 Göttingen Manifesto (1957). 83. 90–91. 75. 277 234. 75f. 231. 60 European Council 9. Free Democratic Party (FDP) 36. Eisenhower. 267. General Robert 15–17. Adolf 16. 163f. 210. 147. 262–265. 188. 129–132. 141. 275–276 225–227. JCS Directive 1067 150. 198. 64. 101–102 European Coal and Steel Guderian. 5. 51. infantry fighting (EEC) 85 vehicle 183. 25. 110–114. 278–279 German Communist Party (KPD). 109. 84 François-Poncet. Sir Ivone 9. Gustav 6f. 232. 86. 192. 192–193. European Defense Community 28. André 10 Frankfurter Rundschau. 110. France 16.

110. 66. Henry 151 131. 40. 188. 166. index 283 Korean War 9–12. 126. 17. 156f. 77. (LANDCENT) 114. 162–163 Volkspolizei (NVP)17. 274 Company 145. 166. 134. 129–130. 228 NATO Land Forces Commander Labor Service/units 9. 47–48. 120. 101–103. 33. 257 Potsdam Conference/ Potsdam National Security Resource Board Agreement 153.M. 84. 90–95. 213. 11. 145. 125. Alfred also Krupp 248–251. General Werner 113. 61–2 McCloy. 145–146. 230. 130. “Ohne mich” Movement 60. Montgomery. 57–58. 69 Meister. 111. 61. 245. 131. René 32–33. Reuter. 127 135–136. 170 158f. 128–132. 65 . 13. 125. 65. Count Eberhard von 15. 193 240-241. 226. 172f. London Conference (1954) 132–133. 14. Volksarmee (NVA) 255–271. 118. 276 Military Command and Control Panitzki. 16. 1954. 76–77. 148. 278–279 88. 158. 235 44–45. 91 (NHT): 119–122. 95. 78–80. 240–245. 129–135. 140–141 Rau. 9. 60. 67. 68. 35. 260 (NATO) X–XI. Johannes. National Defense Council (GDR) 257f 88. 82 Führungsrat) 224 Paris Conference //Paris Treaty Molotov. Vyacheslav Mikhailovich 88 (1954) 132–133. 129. 257. 65–66. General Lauris 44. Achim 17. 33. 178–180. 141 Ollenhauer. 123f. 265. 135–139 Bernard L. 105. 223 (NSRB) 162 Protocol on Forces of the Western Naval Historical Team Bremerhaven European Union. 196–197 Pleven Plan 11. 75. 228–229 National Peoples’ Army Nationale Pleven. General Ulrich de 222. 17. 83. 116–118. 98. Joseph 87–88 Nazi regime 18. 61–62. 184. 32. Pierre 86. 225. 112. 55. 149. 163. 116 Committee (Militärische Paris Accords 67. 9–10. Horst 15–17 231. 160 Meisel Circle 118. Krupp. 228 Marshall. 125. 121. 159 Nostitz. 59–60 Main Political Administration (Politische Norstad. Frank 104. Douglas II 87 Niemöller. 234 Petersberg negotiations 55. 37–39. 130. 231 Neues Deutschland 174 New York Times 10 MacArthur. 140–141. 116. 175. 6. 62. 88–91. 158f. 97–103. 114. 125. 101. 240 Oder-Neisse Line. 55. 33. 238 192–193. 66. Werner 211 Nash. Kriegsmarine 117–122. Jean O. 164. 67. 87. 111. 206. 95.G. 103. Reinhardt. 79–80. George C. 69 North Atlantic Treaty Organization Reichswehr 35. 180 Monnet. 41–44. 124–127. 27. 221–222. 121. 31. Martin. 83–84. 274 261–262. North Sea 19f. 133. 78. 22. Field Marshal 47. 229 Picht. 95 Oster. 237–238. 29–31. 78–80. 17 Mauser GmbH 146 Mazière. 39. Lisbon Conference 48. 120. Morgenthau. Krüger. 133. 218. 80–82. 148f. 32. 245 Laniel. General John S. 120. 37. 26 Mendes-France. 211 167. 225. General Rudolf 15. 4. 84–85. 117. 134. 164. Field Marshal 206. 50–52. 135–137. 276 National Peoples Police Force (Nationale Poland 19. 139–140 199–201. Erich von. 37. Eric. 51. Ernst. 182f NATO Council 11. 74. 96. 117. 125. 190–194. General Hellmuth 17 26f. 267f North Rhine Westphalia 39 Manstein. 32–33. 233–235. Hauptverwaltung (PHV) 259. 109–110. Office of Military Government 152f. 145. 168 113–114. 276 Personnel Screening Committee 46. 58. 35. 228. 90. 78–81.

Navy: 118–125. Air Force Europe (USAFE) 45–46. 76. Military Assistance Advisory Group 33–35. 209 221. xU. 114–116. Hans 15–17. Ulbricht. 86–87. 275–276 9. 55. 168. 27f. 162f 255 U. 78. Robert A. 135. General Maxwell 115 Schmid. 277 (Stuttgarter Schuldbekenntnis). 169. 166 Committee 163 Roosevelt. 247–248 Royal Air Force 102. Schwerin. 4–5. 226. 20. Army Civil Affairs Division 160. Harry S. Europe 119–121. 255. 195f 105. 114. Joseph. 60 Ruge. 189 Schleswig-Holstein 125–126. 87. Franz Josef 50–52. 206–207 164. 99. 171. Franklin D. 140. 55–70. 45. 77 Spofford. 137. 242–244. 130. 267. 94. 249 190–191. 147. 98. 25. General William 45 Schumacher. 58–9. U. 259 109. 11–16. 167.S. 163. 209. 277 234.S. 12–17. 17 Tunner. 188. x. 192–93. 86. 111. 276 Senger und Etterlin. Carlo. 269 78. 99. 83 United States (USA) ix. 99. 220 Truman. 101–102. 114–115. 94. 75–77. 237. 218f. 132. x1. 117. German Finance Minister Switzerland 189 1949–1957 181. National Security Council Der Speigel 42.S. 240. 70. (Truman School of Innere Fuehrung (later: Center Administration) 11. 108–113 Socialist Unity Party (SED) 61. 27. m93–94. 278–279 105–106. 91. 26. Taft.S. 73. 159f. General U. (SACEUR) 82. 101–102. 161.S. Twining. 242 “Spofford Compromise” 11 Rheinmetall-Borsig Company 107f. 155. 34. 150–151. 245 Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt Royal Navy 102. 166f Soviet Army 22. 20. 244. Strauss. Kurt. 168f. 257. 194–195. 167. 78. 31. 273 Schulze-Hinrichs. 86 228. 31. 163–164.S. General Nathan 45 66–67. U. 109–110. 75. 239. 132. 138–140. Germany 32. 167 Strategic Air Command 241 Röttiger. 208–209. 115–116. Paul-Henri 89 Germany 32. Albert. Defense Department 110. 93–94. 163. 225.S. Air Force. Sir Brian 8. 18–19. von 8–9. 32–33.284 index Rhine-Ijssel Line 20. 76–77. Charles M. 94. of Innere Fuehrung) 216 80. 172. 244. 50.S. 55–56. U. Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers 168–169 Europe (SHAPE) 132–134. 241f Ruhr Region 147. 28f. Stalin. 197 Social Democratic Party (SPD) X. (MAAG) 49. 130–132. General Hans 8. 117. 58–64. 170 196–198. 80. Soviet Union (USSR) ix. 159. 275 97–98. 145 Speidel. 201. 140. 79 U. 97. High Commissioner to Spaak. General 217. 243 Taylor. U. 130–131. 45–47. 82. 247 Document 68 (NSC-68) 76. 165f. 28. 63–64. 241f Schäffer. 241. 227. 256-266. Admiral Friedrich 15-17. Supreme Allied Commander. 34–36. Robert 11. U. 118–119. 140 . 74–75. General Mathew 101 State-War-Navy Coordinating Robertson. U. 269–270. 65. 237.S. 67 Time Magazine 148 Schnez. 4. 274. 66–67. Fritz. 111 Soviet Group of Forces. 38–40. 275. Army Europe (USAREUR) 98. 103. 25. 80 United Nations Command (UNC) 77 Schuman. 73. 232–236. 166. 36–39. 160f. 192. Walter 257. Army 5. 109–110. 259 Ridgeway. Sir Christopher 8 153. 275 Schuman Plan 63–64. 173 168. Alfred 15. Friedo von 15–17. 158. General Count Gerhard 36. x.S. Steel. 96–101. 7. 146. 246. 188. 137. 127.

159. 163–164. 76. Warsaw Pact 192.S. 296 259. Treasury Department 151 111. Verner. 42–45. 133. 277 Weimar Republic 32. 217–218. Admiral Waldemar 255. 93. 232. Admiral. 134f. State Department 147. 227. 206–214. White. 260. 15–18. 34–36. 154–155 221–223. 160f. U. 165f. 22f.S. Gerhard 119–120. General Heinrich Wellershof. General Dieter 223f von 12. General Thomas 104f. 209 White. 156–157 Western European Union (WEU) 73. 169. 12. Adalbert 212 Vietinghoff-Scheel. 135–136. Eberhard 12 . 179f. 8. 267f Weinstein. 276 23. 14–16 Weser-Lech Line 242 Volkswagen 150. 139–140 Wildermuth. 255 154f. U. 91. 40.S. 129. 110 124. index 285 U. 131–133. War Department 151–152. Harry Dexter 151 Wagner. Wehrmacht x. 151–152. 246 Waffen SS 18. 99–100. 44. 39. 37. 225. 57. xi. 69. 170.