The Nazi Economy - Was it Geared to War?
Controversy has raged about Hitler's military and economic preparations for war. Did he intend a world war or a series of short conflicts? Richard Overy argues that Hitler drew the lesson from 1914-18 not that a major war should be avoided but that Germany should prepare more systematically so that, this time, she would win.
In June 1937 the American military attaché in Berlin wrote back to Washington: ‘The entire economic life of the German nation is being organised on a war economy basis’. The character of German preparations was, in his view, determined by the idea of ‘total war’. Germany had learned the lessons of defeat in 1918: only ‘complete control of the national economy’ could ensure victory in the wars of the future.