By Marilyn Shevin Coetzee

This booklet lines the improvement of the German military League from its inception in the course of the earliest days of the Weimar Republic. based in January 1912, the League promoted the intensification of German militarism and the cultivation of German nationalism. because the final and moment greatest of the patriotic societies to emerge after 1890, the League led the crusade for military growth in 1912 and 1913, and opposed to the turning out to be effect of socialism and pacifism inside of Germany. trying to harness renowned and nationalist sentiment opposed to the government's international and family guidelines by means of preying on Germans' fears of defeat and socialism, the League contributed to the polarization of German society and irritated the overseas tensions which culminated within the nice struggle. Coetzee combines an research of the League's primary personalities and rules with an exploration of the interior workings of neighborhood and neighborhood branches, arguing that instead of having served exclusively as a barometer of populist nationalist sentiment, the League additionally mirrored the machinations of guys of schooling and prominence who believed that an unresponsive German govt had stifled their very own careers, dealt ineffectually with the possibility of household unrest, and squandered the nation's army superiority over its eu opponents.

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Extra resources for The German Army League: Popular Nationalism in Wilhelmine Germany

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Keim's deep concern for the 20 The German Army League condition of the German army captured the interest of Chancellor Leo v. 29 It was Keim's responsibility to administer the publicity campaign for the bill, for which he put his journalistic talents and persuasive abilities to work, publishing a series of pamphlets on the urgent need for army reform and lobbying Reichstag delegates on the bill's merits. Impressed by the general's tireless and successful efforts to nurse the bill's passage through the recalcitrant Reichstag, Chancellor Caprivi awarded him the Order of the Crown, Third Class, in July 1893.

Liebert, Free Conservative, an Army League member and president of the Imperial League against Social Democracy, provoked a round of hisses from the Socialist deputies with his assertion that the army was the nation's first line of defense (against domestic enemies as well) and thus it had to be fortified regardless of the cost. Despite the Left's protest, the army bill received overwhelming approval on 21 May. Although it augmented the army's peacetime strength by 29,000 men and increased the number of infantry and field artillery units, the bill failed to provide for the implementation of universal military service, the expanded use of the automobile and airplane, and the expansion of the engineer and supply units as the Army League had insisted.

Nevertheless, he entertained serious reservations about the government's ability to finance the increases. The War Minister's perception of the financial and social obstacles to expansion carried little weight with most members of the General Staff, especially with Helmut Moltke and Erich Ludendorff, who discounted such objections as subsidiary to the necessity of increasing the army (even if this meant "diluting" the officer corps with bourgeois entrants). "34 On 4 and 5 December both the Chancellor and War Minister met independently with the Kaiser to discuss the army bill.

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