Fighting for the Fatherland: The Story of the German Soldier from 1648 to the Present Day [Hardcover] [Aug 14, 2006] David Stone
This work traces and analyses the evolution of the German fighting man and the army in which he served during three and a half centuries. It sets his patriotism against his cultural background and against the ever-changing national imperatives of the time. His cultural legacy encompassed the romanticised Teutonic legends of Germanic mythology and of the mighty Rhine. There were also the more immediate and pragmatic imperatives of national survival in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which reinforced Germanys emerging awareness of its national identity, precipitating the heady brew of spectacular military victories and imperialist aspirations which dominated the following century. But then came the pervasive and misplaced but irresistibly attractive in post-Versailles 1930s Germany lure of National Socialism: a perverse path, which subsequently resulted in the divided and Allied-occupied German state of 1945, after a conflict which proved to be both the zenith and the nadir of his military fortunes. Finally, yet another culture with its very different social and wider priorities today underwrites the new post-Cold War Bundeswehr of reunified Germany.
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