Hitler's Ambivalent Attaché: Lt. Gen. Friedrich Von Boetticher in America, 1933-1941

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9781574888775: Hitler's Ambivalent Attaché: Lt. Gen. Friedrich Von Boetticher in America, 1933-1941
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Friedrich von Boetticher was Germany’s only military attaché accredited to the United States between the world wars. As such, he was Germany’s official military observer in the capital of the nation whose potential as an ally of those powers arrayed against Adolf Hitler in the 1930s might have given the dictator pause in any predatory plans he harbored against his neighbors. Though von Boetticher produced a rich and detailed commentary on military and political affairs in Washington in the eight years prior to the outbreak of war between Germany and the United States in 1941, he was nonetheless accused after the war of misjudging America’s productive potential and misleading Hitler with overly optimistic reports. As Alfred M. Beck points out, what he actually told German authorities in Berlin is strikingly different from what his detractors later claimed. Von Boetticher “permits a glimpse into the sociology of a conservative officer caste at once assailed by the politics of a regime and the impossibilities imposed on it, its weaknesses in resisting its evils, and its eventual failure to present an alternative to National Socialism’s illusory attractions.”

A loyal German, von Boetticher had strong ties to America. His mother was American-born, he spoke English fluently, and he was enamored of American military history. He was also anti-Semitic and believed that “Jewish wire-pullers” had undue influence over the U.S. government and its policies. His professional ties to U.S. Army officers in the War Department were so strong—supplying them, for example, with details on German air strength and operations during the Battle of Britain in 1940—that they survived until August 1941 and long after the German ambassador himself had been recalled. Torn between his duty to Germany (though the Nazi regime had attempted to harm his son) and his deep affection for America, von Boetticher stood among the broad middle range of German officials who were neither perpetrator nor victim.

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About the Author:

Alfred M. Beck, Ph.D., served over twenty-five years as a historian and publisher in various U.S. Department of Defense historical programs. He has published several major works that draw on his wide research experience in German archives, including The Corps of Engineers in the War Against Germany. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia.

Review:

"Alfred M. Beck's Hitler's Ambivalent Attaché fills in many details of this crucial era in American and European history."—International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 2007-07-06)

"A well-written, detached, and balanced biography . . . Beck's study makes significant contributions to German as well as U.S. military and diplomatic history"—Army History (Army History 2007-07-07)

“Beck has written a fine, ambitious book that persuades through the density of its research...a fine addition to the existing literature on pre-1941 diplomatic relations between the United States and Germany, a fascinating glimpse into prewar Washington, an interesting read on the role of military attachés and a[n] engaging investigation into the role and conduct of a high-ranking, but second-row military official, his worldview and justification, in Nazi Germany.”—H-German (H-German 2008-06-03)

"The relative insouciance with which Adolf Hitler and the German High Command accepted war with the U.S. in 1941 continues to puzzle historians. In this comprehensively researched, well-written study, Alfred Beck shows this fatal decision was not made from ignorance. Friedrich von Boetticher, the Third Reich's military attaché in Washington from 1933, possessed both a remarkable grasp of America's prewar military problems and deep respect for an American military potential still untapped at the time of Pearl Harbor. At the same time, Boetticher believed the U.S. could not win a short war--the kind of war Hitler was still proposing to fight as his tanks stalled in the outskirts of Moscow. The ambivalent nature of Boetticher's reports contributed a full share to Hitler’s conviction that this time, unlike 1917, when the Americans came it would be too late. It was arguably the Führer's greatest miscalculation."—Dennis E. Showalter, professor of history at Colorado College and co-author of Voices from the Third Reich: An Oral History (Dennis E. Showalter)

"The role of the military attachés in providing analysis to the German leadership has been hitherto largely ignored. . . . This book not only adds to the literature, it is the major work on the subject of German attachés and their role in the interwar era. The author fulfills his purpose admirably. This is a well-written biography about an important man who has, until now, not been given the attention he deserves."—James S. Corum, professor of comparative military studies, USAF School of Advanced Airpower Studies (James S. Corum)

"Fred Beck deftly reconstructs for the first time the diplomatic odyssey of General Friedrich von Boetticher, Nazi Germany’s military attaché to the United States. No cardboard figure, von Boetticher embodied all the ambiguities and dilemmas faced by the old German officer corps in dealing with the Nazi state in both peace and war. Masterfully researched, richly textured, and well-written, Beck’s portrayal of Germany’s 'ambivalent attaché' offers perceptive insights on the interaction of the German embassy with the American military establishment and the Washington diplomatic community on the eve of World War II."—Von Hardesty, curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and author of Red Phoenix: The Rise of Soviet Air Power, 1941-1945 (Von Hardesty)

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Book Description Potomac Books Inc, United States, 2005. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Friedrich von Boetticher was Germany s only military attache accredited to the United States between the world wars. As such, he was Germany s official military observer in the capital of the nation whose potential as an ally of those powers arrayed against Adolf Hitler in the 1930s might have given the dictator pause in any predatory plans he harbored against his neighbors. Though von Boetticher produced a rich and detailed commentary on military and political affairs in Washington in the eight years prior to the outbreak of war between Germany and the United States in 1941, he was nonetheless accused after the war of misjudging America s productive potential and misleading Hitler with overly optimistic reports. As Alfred M. Beck points out, what he actually told German authorities in Berlin is strikingly different from what his detractors later claimed. Von Boetticher permits a glimpse into the sociology of a conservative officer caste at once assailed by the politics of a regime and the impossibilities imposed on it, its weaknesses in resisting its evils, and its eventual failure to present an alternative to National Socialism s illusory attractions. A loyal German, von Boetticher had strong ties to America. His mother was American-born, he spoke English fluently, and he was enamored of American military history. He was also anti-Semitic and believed that Jewish wire-pullers had undue influence over the U.S. government and its policies. His professional ties to U.S. Army officers in the War Department were so strong - supplying them, for example, with details on German air strength and operations during the Battle of Britain in 1940 - that they survived until August 1941 and long after the German ambassador himself had been recalled. Torn between his duty to Germany (though the Nazi regime had attempted to harm his son) and his deep affection for America, von Boetticher stood among the broad middle range of German officials who were neither perpetrator nor victim. Seller Inventory # AAJ9781574888775

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Book Description Potomac Books Inc, United States, 2005. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Friedrich von Boetticher was Germany s only military attache accredited to the United States between the world wars. As such, he was Germany s official military observer in the capital of the nation whose potential as an ally of those powers arrayed against Adolf Hitler in the 1930s might have given the dictator pause in any predatory plans he harbored against his neighbors. Though von Boetticher produced a rich and detailed commentary on military and political affairs in Washington in the eight years prior to the outbreak of war between Germany and the United States in 1941, he was nonetheless accused after the war of misjudging America s productive potential and misleading Hitler with overly optimistic reports. As Alfred M. Beck points out, what he actually told German authorities in Berlin is strikingly different from what his detractors later claimed. Von Boetticher permits a glimpse into the sociology of a conservative officer caste at once assailed by the politics of a regime and the impossibilities imposed on it, its weaknesses in resisting its evils, and its eventual failure to present an alternative to National Socialism s illusory attractions. A loyal German, von Boetticher had strong ties to America. His mother was American-born, he spoke English fluently, and he was enamored of American military history. He was also anti-Semitic and believed that Jewish wire-pullers had undue influence over the U.S. government and its policies. His professional ties to U.S. Army officers in the War Department were so strong - supplying them, for example, with details on German air strength and operations during the Battle of Britain in 1940 - that they survived until August 1941 and long after the German ambassador himself had been recalled. Torn between his duty to Germany (though the Nazi regime had attempted to harm his son) and his deep affection for America, von Boetticher stood among the broad middle range of German officials who were neither perpetrator nor victim. Seller Inventory # AAJ9781574888775

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