Adolf Hitler's Machiavellian Strategy
Machiavelli’s The Prince outlines tactics for a leader to seize and maintain lands under his power. His tactics have been demonstrated repeatedly throughout history, and though his approach is hardly ethical or idealistic, one cannot deny the fact that it has proved to be effective. Hitler is an example that exemplifies the accuracy of what Machiavelli said would bring success in the acquisition of new provinces.
One topic Machiavelli focuses on, especially in Part II, are different types of troops. Had he seen Hitler’s army, he would have classified the troops as "native," and would have applauded Hitler’s choice in troops over "mercenary" (men who fight for money,) "auxiliary" (foreign borrowed troops,) and troops combining all three types. Mercenary troops are described by Machiavelli as "disorganized, undisciplined, ambitious and faithless" (47). Auxiliary troops are "useless" (50) because they do not have the strong loyalties to the nation as native troops, and fight only due to alliances which usually prove temporary. Finally, because mixed troops include useless mercenary and auxiliary troops, they are less than effective. Native troops, whose will were particularly strong in Hitler’s time due to the strong feeling of nativism that was sweeping through Europe, fight stronger due to loyalties to their nation, and the feeling of defending their home and their freedom. According to Machiavelli, "no state, unless it have its own arms, is secure" (53).
In Part I of The Prince, Machiavelli speaks of different types of principalities, or lands governed by a prince or leader, and how to maintain them. Hitler sought to gain two different kinds of principalities: "mixed," and "new". The mixed principality he first sought was Germany. The nation at the time was heavily divided. Germany’s democratic system had turned into a chaotic government in which just about anybody could, and did, start their own political party. Furthermore it contained people from various religions, including Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and atheists, such as communists. Hitler had built the support of an entire nativist Nazi army over the years with the Beer Hall Putsch, his book Mein Kampf, a book that narrates his struggle in Germany, and his tremendous oratory skills. Using this army he was able to bully his way into a dictatorial position and dissolve the Reichstag, eliminating the last bit of democratic government left in Germany. Once in power, he was able to successfully stay in power by using the guidelines given in The Prince. The work acknowledges...