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War and Economy in the Third Reich$
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R. J. Overy

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202905

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202905.001.0001

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Hitler’s War Plans and the German Economy, 1933–1939

Hitler’s War Plans and the German Economy, 1933–1939

(p.176) (p.177) 6 Hitler’s War Plans and the German Economy, 1933–1939
War and Economy in the Third Reich

R. J. Overy

Oxford University Press

During the 1920s, the German army leadership laid the foundation for a strategy of total economic mobilisation. They called this conception Wehrwirtschaft, the defence-based economy, capable of generating the resources necessary for the conduct of total war. Gradually during the inter-war years the linking of ‘defence’ and ‘economy’ became popularly accepted as a crucial component of national security. In Georg Thomas's opinion ‘the frontiers between war and peace, state and economy, politics and the conduct of war have disappeared and the defence-based economy has become the definite economic trend of our time’. Wehrwirtschaft was as much part of the intellectual apparatus of Germany's military leaders and officials as ‘empire’ was in Britain. Much recent research has shown that German military and economic preparations for war were not the product of Nazi planning alone, but conformed well with strategic conceptions developed before Adolf Hitler ever came to power.

Keywords:   Germany, army, economic mobilisation, Wehrwirtschaft, defence, economy, national security, Georg Thomas, Nazi, Adolf Hitler

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