Academic journal article Military Review

Disobedience and Conspiracy in the German Army, 1918-1945

Academic journal article Military Review

Disobedience and Conspiracy in the German Army, 1918-1945

Article excerpt

DISOBEDIENCE AND CONSPIRACY IN THE GERMAN ARMY, 1918-1945, Robert B. Kane, McFarland & Co., Jefferson, NC, 2002, 259 pages, $45.00.

In Disobedience and Conspiracy in the German Army, 1918-1945, Robert B. Kane investigates why some German military leaders obeyed and some defied German Chancellor Adolf Hitler during World War II. Kane methodically and thoroughly examines the relationship between Prussian and German militaries and political activities in the centuries before the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich.

By 1944 there were three types of military leaders in the Third Reich: conspirators, best exemplified by Colonel Klaus von Staufenberg, leader of the 20 July 1944 assassination plot; nonconspirators; and followers, such as Hitler sycophants Colonel General Alfred Jodl and Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel. In Kane's view, most of the officers were nonconspirators. They were not reconciled totally with the National Socialist ideology, but they were disinclined to actively defy Hitler. In many instances, they were aware of anti-Nazi activities and did nothing.

Kane seeks to answer the dual questions of what made conspirators willing to risk or lose their lives to resist Hitler and why nonconspirators were unable or unwilling to do so. …

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