Week 12 Outline-Craig chapters 9-10

Week 12 Outline-Craig chapters 9-10 - Brief outline of...

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Craig points out several times of the Prussian army’s ability as a political organization to escape from having to pay for their mistakes. He proposes that the army’s success was due to the collective political intelligence or the adaptability of the German Officer Corps. In 1918, the German people were more fearful of communism than of an unreformed and unregenerate military. While negotiating peace terms with President Wilson, the Center, Progressive, and Social Democrat Parties promised a parliamentary government with ministries, and civilian control over the military. The Chancellor would be responsible for all actions taken by the emperor. According to Craig, these reforms were never really put into effect. Led by a Social Democrat majority, on 9 November 1918, Germany announced the formation of a German republic. It would be socialist in character. The army was reticent based on the traditional socialist prejudice against the professional military tradition and the dominance of the General Staff. Head of the General Staff, now called the first quartermaster-general was General Groener, who collaborated with incoming Majority Socialist Chancellor Friedrich Ebert. Groener promised the High Command would continue to function until the troops had been brought back to Germany. Ebert accepted the offer and the pact between the new government and the Army began. While the pact between the Socialists and the Army was designed to save both parties from extremists, according to Craig, the result was the doom of the Weimar Republic. The new government required: 1. The relations between officer and soldiers was to be built upon mutual confidence. 2. Officer’s superiority in rank remains, discipline must be maintained. 3. The formation of a Soldier’s Council that should have an advisory role in garrison matters. Groener was able to stifle revolutionary agitation by the soldiers councils. Independent’s began to accuse the army leaders of seeking counter- revolution. The government began calling for a republican civil guard (Freiwillige Volkswehr) Then the government submitted the “Hamburg Points”, which called for the transference of command over the entire military to the cabinet, the abolishment of rank insignia, election of officers by the troops, elimination of a standing army, and the creation of the Volkswehr. Old Generals, such as Hindenburg were appalled and vowed to fight
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Week 12 Outline-Craig chapters 9-10 - Brief outline of...

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