By Isabel V. Hull
In a e-book that's instantly a massive contribution to trendy eu background and a cautionary story for at the present time, Isabel V. Hull argues that the workouts and practices of the Imperial German military, unchecked by way of powerful civilian associations, more and more sought absolutely the destruction of its enemies because the basically warrantly of the nation's defense. So deeply embedded have been the assumptions and methods of this distinctively German army tradition that the military, in its force to annihilate the enemy army, didn't diminish from the utter destruction of civilian estate and lives. Carried to its severe, the good judgment of "military necessity" came upon genuine protection merely in extremities of destruction, within the "silence of the graveyard."
Hull starts with a dramatic account, in accordance with clean archival paintings, of the German Army's slide from administrative homicide to genocide in German Southwest Africa (1904–7). the writer then strikes again to 1870 and the warfare that inaugurated the Imperial period in German heritage, and analyzes the genesis and nature of this particularly German army tradition and its operations in colonial battle. within the First global battle the workouts perfected within the colonies have been visited upon ecu populations. Hull makes a speciality of one set of instances (Belgium and northerly France) within which the transition to overall destruction used to be checked (if slightly) and on one other (Armenia) during which "military necessity" brought on Germany to just accept its ally's genocidal rules even after those turned militarily counterproductive. She then turns to the Endkampf (1918), the German common Staff's plan to accomplish victory within the nice conflict no matter if the place of origin have been destroyed within the process―a doubtless insane crusade that completes the common sense of this deeply institutionalized set of army workouts and practices. Hull concludes by way of speculating at the function of this precise army tradition in nationwide Socialism's army and racial policies.
Absolute Destruction has severe implications for the character of warmaking in any smooth strength. At its center is a caution concerning the blindness of bureaucratic exercises, in particular while these bureaucracies command the tools of mass death.
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Additional info for Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany
S u p p r e s s i o n b e c o m e s a n n i h i l at i o n uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu 20 they saw troops. The standard procedure for handling “spies” was to shoot them immediately. Not every officer complied, of course, but Captain Franke’s scruples, which he noted in his diary, testify to the expectation that he was supposed to do so. “I am still ﬁghting with myself,” he wrote on 26 June 1904, “whether I should have a Herero shot, who was brought in and who is clearly a spy. ”65 Maj. Ludwig von Estorff, another experienced “African,” apparently shared Franke’s scruples.
6; Leutwein to Oberkommando der Schutztruppe, 2 April 1904, BA-Berlin, R 1001, Nr. 2113, p. , 14 June 1904, BA-MA Freiburg, RM 121 I, Nr. 431, p. , p. 65. , 18 Feb. 1904, BA-MA Freiburg, RM 121 I, Nr. 434; Deutsch Südwest-Afrikanische Zeitung 11 (15 Waterberg uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu down no guidelines for handling prisoners, except to say that “prisoners of any impor- 17 tance are always to be questioned about the causes of the uprising. ”47 As Leutwein later explained in answer to Bebel’s charges, he assumed that prisoners would be taken and treated in the “usual fashion” (naturgemäss); it was not necessary to order leniency, or indeed to order anything, since the usual procedures would apply.
20. Waterberg uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu that he urged the commander to conduct the war so that the people would survive. Gen- 31 eral v. ’ ” Paul Leutwein then maintains that later that evening his father told a public gathering of settlers in Okahandja of Trotha’s intentions, and that a report of the governor’s exposé, written by military correspondent retired Capt. Otto Dannhauer, appeared in the Berliner Lokalanzeiger shortly thereafter. ”113 Trotha and Leutwein did meet on 23 June, and Trotha later explained to Chancellor Bülow what they discussed: When I took over command, Governor Leutwein gave me a ﬁnished proclamation to the Herero, ready for printing, .
Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany by Isabel V. Hull