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.

Richard Overy | Published in History Review

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.

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