By Isabel V. Hull
In a e-book that's right away an incredible contribution to trendy eu historical past and a cautionary story for this present day, Isabel V. Hull argues that the exercises and practices of the Imperial German military, unchecked via powerful civilian associations, more and more sought absolutely the destruction of its enemies because the simply warrantly of the nation's safeguard. So deeply embedded have been the assumptions and systems of this distinctively German army tradition that the military, in its force to annihilate the enemy army, didn't scale down from the utter destruction of civilian estate and lives. Carried to its severe, the common sense of "military necessity" came upon actual safeguard basically in extremities of destruction, within the "silence of the graveyard."
Hull starts off with a dramatic account, in response to 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 battle that inaugurated the Imperial period in German heritage, and analyzes the genesis and nature of this in particular German army tradition and its operations in colonial battle. within the First global warfare the workouts perfected within the colonies have been visited upon eu populations. Hull makes a speciality of one set of situations (Belgium and northerly France) within which the transition to overall destruction was once checked (if slightly) and on one other (Armenia) within which "military necessity" prompted Germany to simply accept its ally's genocidal guidelines 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 struggle no matter if the native land have been destroyed within the process―a probably insane crusade that completes the common sense of this deeply institutionalized set of army exercises and practices. Hull concludes by way of speculating at the function of this exact army tradition in nationwide Socialism's army and racial policies.
Absolute Destruction has severe implications for the character of warmaking in any glossy energy. At its middle is a caution in regards to the blindness of bureaucratic workouts, in particular whilst 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
Leutwein, 14 Feb. , RM 121 I, Nr. 422, p. 168; report of 4 Mar. , RM 121 I, Nr. 423, p. 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.
When the reports use the phrase “prisoner testimony” or “prisoner’s report” it is thus impossible to tell the sex or status of the prisoner(s) in question. Some reports do distinguish women and children from men, but all Herero were subject to being made prisoner. The conﬂation of combatants with noncombatants had serious repercussions for the later conduct of this war. Second, adult male Herero prisoners, those who, if they had been Europeans, would have fallen under the protected status of prisoners of war, were subject to harsh treatment in several respects.
139–42. Waterberg uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu When a local population failed to deliver up rebel leaders, Trotha recommended “hanging 27 one prisoner every month” until they complied. ”92 If Trotha’s general proﬁle as a colonial commander was not far out of the ordinary, he nonetheless had begun to distinguish himself as a man prepared to go to extremes, if necessary. He made political minds uneasy. The Colonial Department routinely published excerpts from military leaders’ reports as propaganda for the colonies.
Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany by Isabel V. Hull