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The Politics of the Prussian Army: 1640-1945 download epub

by Gordon A. Craig


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Craig, Gordon Alexander, 1913-2005.

Craig, Gordon Alexander, 1913-2005. Heer, Prussia (Kingdom). Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Gutierres on October 18, 2011. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata).

Gordon Craig is the doyen of Prussia/Germany.

Start by marking The Politics of the Prussian Army 1640-1945 as Want to Read . Excellent book on the inner workings of the Prussian (and later, German) army. I would recommend this anyone interested in 19th and 20th century European military history

Start by marking The Politics of the Prussian Army 1640-1945 as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. I would recommend this anyone interested in 19th and 20th century European military history.

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Gordon Craig's history of the Prussian officer corps and its relationship with the state it served is a true classic of military history. This book is a close look at the political role of the Prussian army in German society. The primary focus of the book is on the civil-military relations of the Prussian state beginning with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 and tracings its evolution and influence to the Second World War when Hitler and the Nazis crushed the political influence of the officer corps.

Publication Date - December 1964. Professor Craig has now given us a definitive work which covers the whole field in impressive detail and with an awe-inspiring apparatus of scholarship. -Michael Howard, The New Statesman and Nation. an achievement in which American scholarship can take legitimate pride. Moreover, it is no mere chronicle of the past, but is pregnant with contemporary significance. - Telford Taylor, The New York Times. Germany: The Long Road West.

After 1945, Craig worked as a consultant to the . The Politics of the Prussian Army 1640-1945. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the State Department, the . Air Force Academy and the Historical Division of the . He was a professor at Princeton University from 1950–61 and at Stanford University from 1961-79. He followed this book with studies on the Prussian Army, the Battle of Königgrätz and many aspects of European and German history. Craig was particularly noted for his contribution to the Oxford History of Modern Europe series entitled Germany, 1866-1945 and its companion volume, The Germans.

This book was the foundation of a class I took on German Operational Art . This is particularly true when Craig seeks to show that the Prussian Army was continually the obstacle to social and political reform.

This book was the foundation of a class I took on German Operational Art and Military tradition. Unlike the other books in the course (and most of the others that I have read), this book focuses of the political process and the interplay between the King, the Government and the Military rather than purely military matters. Nevertheless, Craig's style is not without fault.

Home Craig, Gordon A. The Politics of the Prussian Army, 1640-1945. Craig, Gordon A. Published by Oxford University Press, New York, 1956. From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, . Price: US$ 2. 0 Convert Currency.

Prof G A Craig book The Politics of the Prussian Army 1640-1945 revd. It covers the same period and much of the same material as does Walter Goerlitz' "History of the German General Staff," published here in the spring of 1953. View Full Article in Timesmachine . Advertisement.

THE INFLUENCE EXERTED IN GERMAN DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICY;

Comments: (7)

Ceck
A detailed study of “The Politics of the Prussian Army” might not have seemed to have had any relevance to American politics when it was published 60 years ago, but circumstances change and today we see the United States struggling with the problem that stymied Prussian (later German) liberals for two centuries: How does a polity achieve (or ensure) that the will of the people — as expressed in elections — is supreme?

The Prussians/Germans never did figure it out, although Professor Gordon Craig emphasizes that it was not for lack of trying.

The problem was deeper in Prussia than in other European states since the modern Prussian state was basically the army. It was only when that successful instrument decayed and failed in the face of the French nation in arms that the liberals got their first chance. Then Stein, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Boyen reformed the army but were unable to reform the government. (It is interesting that the Nazi state revered Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, not obviously for their liberalism but for their military and nationalist successes.)

From that rather simple time, the situation became far more complex, with the political evolution of the Great General Staff and the interplay among the army, the government and a succession of monarchs who varied widely in abilities and attitude to liberalism.

It was Europe’s misfortune that the more or less liberal-minded kings were weak or died early.

The curious thing about all this is that, except for a period of about 20 years, the army was not effective. The myth of Prussian military prowess was just that —a myth. The generals who limited the state were limited themselves by their small abilities. (It is worth noting that Prussian law limited the army’s manpower to 1% of the population; today, even after 25 years of continual reductions, the American military is just barely getting down to this level.)

Bismarck mastered them, by giving them three-quarters of a loaf, but after he was dismissed no one in the German state was really able to govern. Generals who were raised to the prime minister’s office were no more able to do it than civilians.

The result was another disaster, more complete even than in 1806. No Scharnhorst or Boyen was available, only Groener, an adept schemer but not a statesman. This led to “the kind of political confusion in which Hitler thrived.”

Hitler’s generals were no more capable than those of 1806 or 1914-18, so for the third time in 140 years the Prussian army drew the state to a doom, this time, everyone hopes, a final one.

It is astonishing, and an example of how people who know nothing about strategy are bemused by winning battles (something Clauswitz famously warned against), that the Prussian/German army still retains its aura of ruthless efficiency. In fact, it was thoroughly incompetent.

If this begins to sound familiar to American ears, it should. Incompetent generals, hopeless foreign policy goals: It is the story of America since 1950.
Faegal
I may be among the few non-academics who have tackled Craig's Politics of the Prussian Army. I decided to give it a go since it is cited in the footnotes of innumerable other works on Prussian-German military history. Craig's narrative flows surprisingly well given the amount of ground to be covered in five hundred pages.

As other reviewers have mentioned, Craig gives short shrift to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, so if you're looking for much on Frederick the Great and his predecessors, you'll need to look elsewhere. He only starts to flesh things out with the post-Jena reforms. That being said, Politics of the Prussian Army can be read through once, and then retained as a reliable reference for any era of Prussian-German military history from 1806-1945.
Shem
Well written . I was pulled along by the events leading to the eventual disaster. A pleasure to read. I purchased this book because for me it is a keeper. Also, it is one I want to pass on to my Grand Children. I was concerned because my Library with-drew it from circulation. My purchase also turned out to be a former Library copy, so I expect that many of these great books will dissapear.
Wat!?
Showed up quickly, well packaged and as described.
Hulore
Very interesting book. If you like history and want to learn more than public knowledge, than you should like this book.
Enila
Great book. It's an easy and enjoyable read. I was hooked and couldn't put it down. Gordon Craig is the doyen of Prussia/Germany.
Umsida
The book was what I expected. However, the copy received was tattered, sections underlined, badly worn ex-library copy. It should have been discarded long ago.
Gordon Craig's history of the Prussian officer corps and its relationship with the state it served is a true classic of military history. The primary focus of the book is on the civil-military relations of the Prussian state beginning with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 and tracings its evolution and influence to the Second World War when Hitler and the Nazis crushed the political influence of the officer corps. In addition, the book also addresses a number other issues in exquisite detail, including the formation of the German General Staff, the strategy developed before the First and Second World Wars, and the social conflict of the unified German states.

Craig's conclusions on the Prussian officer corps, their reforms and their performance are rather "standard" as far as historical interpretations go - but that is due in no small part to the fact that the author in many ways set the standard. The most salient theme of the book is that for all the German military got right in planning, strategy, and innovation, it was never able to effectively solve the civil-military relationship issue, and it was that failure that led to the disasters of the First and Second World Wars.

In Craig's opinion, the opportunity for success was formulated but squandered early in 19th century. After the devastating defeat at Jena in 1807 at the hands of Napoleon, the once-vaunted Prussian military had to assess how and why the disaster had occurred. The solution presented by the great military reformer Scharnhorst was the institutionalization of military genius in a centralized, elite general staff and the accountability of the armed services to the German people through an oath of allegiance to a republican constitution, rather than personal fealty to the monarch. The former was adopted and proved a stunning success, especially in the wars against the Danes, Austrians, and French in 1866-1872. However, the conservative officer corps' unwillingness to embrace the more liberal reform set forth by Scharnhorst kept the military at odds with the nation it served and ultimately led to the military's political dominance in World War I and political subjugation in World War II.

If you have a keen interest in civil-military relations, German history, or the development of the General Staff system this book is simply indispensable.
The Politics of the Prussian Army: 1640-1945 download epub
Humanities
Author: Gordon A. Craig
ISBN: 0195002571
Category: Other
Subcategory: Humanities
Language: English
Publisher: Oxford University Press (December 31, 1964)
Pages: 560 pages