Money and security : troops, monetary policy and West Germany's relations with the United States and Britain, 1950-1971 /

By Hubert Zimmermann | Go to book overview

1
On Whose Shoulders? German Rearmament
and The Cold War Burden

GERMAN REARMAMENT AND ALLIED TROOP
MAINTENANCE IN GERMANY

When in May 1955 the Paris Accords came into effect, the long and tortuous process of forming an integrated Western security system was finally concluded after more than five years of negotiations. The major stumbling block had been the politically sensitive question of whether and how the former enemy, Germany, was to be integrated into this structure. The result of the multinational effort was spectacular. It encompassed not only the rules for rearming West Germany but also the establishment of Bonn's sovereignty and its inclusion in NATO only ten years after the end of World War II. A reaffirmation of the continuity of large-scale NATO troop presence on German soil was a further core element of the settlement. American, British, French, Canadian, Dutch, Belgian, and Danish troops changed their status from occupiers to protectors.

The diplomatic events leading up to the Paris Accords, their political and military causes, and their implications have been the subject of much historical research.1 Much less is known about the economic foundations

____________________
1
With references to the vast literature, the four volumes of the Militärgeschichtliche Forschungsamt, ed., Anfänge Westdeutscher Sicherheitspolitik (MGFA I—IV) (Munich, 1982–96) provide a meticulous account of the issue. Recent collections containing many excellent articles on German rearmament and related issues include Fred Heller and John Gillingham, eds., NATO: The Founding of the Alliance and the Integration of Europe (Basingstoke, U. K., 1992); Klaus A. Maier and Norbert Wiggershaus, eds., Das Nordatlantische Bündnis 1949–1956 (Munich, 1993); Jeffry M. Diefendorf, Axel Frohn, and Hermann-Josef Rupieper, eds., American Policy and the Reconstruction of West Germany, 1945–55 (New York, 1993). See also Thomas A. Schwartz, America's Germany: John J. McCloy and the Federal Republic of Germany (Cambridge, Mass., 1991); Hermann-Josef Rupieper, Der besetzte Verbündete: Die amerikanische Deutschlandpolitik 1949–1955 (Opladen, 1991); David Clay Large, Germans to the Front:West German Rearmament in the Adenauer Era (Chapel Hill, N. C., 1996). The construction of the transatlantic security system is analyzed in Marc Trachtenberg, A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945–63 (Princeton, N. J., 1999). The following paragraphs are based on this literature.

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