"Assess The Impact Of Nazism On The Army In The Years 1918 1945."

1587 words - 6 pages

Throughout the period 1918 to 1945, the Army was impacted both positively and negatively through the implementation of Nazism. Between the end of the First World War and the implications placed upon Germany under the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the Army undertook significant restructure. Throughout both the National Socialist German Labour Party, known as the Nazi Party, and leader Adolf Hitler's rise to power, Hitler deliberately targeted the support of the Army in order to gain power the only way he thought was fit, by legal means. The re-Establishment of a German Army that was internationally competitive is an example of Nazism directly impacting the Army. Hitler needed rearmament of the German Army in order to achieve his goal Lebensraum (living space) for the German people. Finally, throughout World War II, the Army became a dictator of Nazism through the invasion of countries in order to achieve Lebensraum and the contribution towards Hitler's 'Final Solution', or extermination of the Jews.The surrender of the German Imperial Force on the 11th of November 1918, German soldiers were expected to return to their homeland after 4 years of treacherous war and assimilate back into German society. Feeling out of place, most returning soldiers joined right-winged, anti-Weimar constitution and military oriented political parties. Examples include the Friekorps who were "anti-communist volunteer groups formed by demobilised who were "anti-communist volunteer groups formed by demobilised servicemen. Part of the roles of these servicemen was to end revolutionary activity throughout German society, mainly communists, as requested by the Weimar Republic. One of the major feats of the Friekorps involved the ending of the Spartacist Uprising of the 5th of January and ending on the 15th of January 1919. The signing of the Treaty of Versailles on the 28th of June 1919 signified the drastic weakening of the German Army. The Army, now named the Reichsweir (National Defence or National Militia) was now limited to a size of 100,000 with 7 infantry divisions and 3 cavalry divisions. Upon assessing the impacts of Nazism, it is important to note that those in the Army or demobilised troops never supported the Weimar Republic and demonstrated disloyalty to the Government. The Army was only used to crush left-wing uprising, different political views to the Army, and encouraged those who opposed the Treaty of Versailles. Whilst there is no impact of Nazism on the Army at this time, it is an important stage in the eventual impacts as it demonstrates similarities between the ideals of the NSDAP Party, and the Army. Both the groups were opposed to the Treaty of Versailles, strived for the rearmament of the German forces, and, were supportive of an authoritarian state.Hitler viewed the support of the German Army as imperative in the Nazi Party's rise to power. Following Hitler's imprisonment after the failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1924, Hitler came to the...

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