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The Three German Navies: Dissolution, Transition, and New Beginnings, 1945-1960 (New Perspectives on Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology)

Peifer, Douglas Carl

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ISBN 10: 0813025532 / ISBN 13: 9780813025537
Published by University Press of Florida, 2002
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Three German Navies: Dissolution, ...

Publisher: University Press of Florida

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

About this title

Synopsis:


A comparative study of the dissolution, transition, and new foundation of naval forces in Germany after World War II, this book examines how postwar experiences such as captivity, war crimes prosecution, and the de-nazification process set the parameters for establishing the East and West German navies.

Douglas Peifer refutes previous interpretations that the end of the Third Reich in 1945 and German admission into NATO and the Warsaw Pact in 1955-56 marked complete breaks in German military history. By shifting the focus from Washington, London, and Moscow to Bremerhaven, Hamburg, and Rostock, he provides a corrective, experiential view of Germany's rearmament and remilitarization. Peifer's comparative approach, which pits East against West and the Kriegsmarine against the two postwar navies, makes this book a first in the field of maritime history.

Using primary archival material and interviews with some of the founding figures of the East and West German navies, Peifer tells clearly the complicated story of the numerous decentralized and often parallel agencies operating under Soviet and Western supervision. These semi-official units took up navy-like functions in the late 1940s: disposal of mines, supervision of maritime borders, fishery protection, and eventually espionage and counterespionage. Covering an 11-year period, Peifer shows how the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union shifted tactics from dismantling the vestiges of the Kriegsmarine to sponsoring new German naval organizations, how the process differed in the two new Germanies, and to what extent Kriegsmarine veterans and concepts shaped the new naval forces.

Book Description:

"Peifer's work ably fills the large gap between Hitler's navy and the navies of East and West Germany. It thoroughly explores both the continuities and discontinuities existing between the 'parent' Kriegsmarine and the navies of the two rival postwar German states, and, in the process, sheds important light on the early days of the Cold War."--Charles S. Thomas, Georgia Southern University

"Peifer has performed a great service in showing readers how the new navies of East and West Germany emerged from the wreck of the Nazi-dominated Kriegsmarine."--James F. Tent, University of Alabama, Birmingham

A comparative study of the dissolution, transition, and new foundation of naval forces in Germany after World War II, this book examines how postwar experiences such as captivity, war crimes prosecution, and the de-nazification process set the parameters for establishing the East and West German navies.

Douglas Peifer refutes previous interpretations that the end of the Third Reich in 1945 and German admission into NATO and the Warsaw Pact in 1955-56 marked complete breaks in German military history. By shifting the focus from Washington, London, and Moscow to Bremerhaven, Hamburg, and Rostock, he provides a corrective, experiential view of Germany's rearmament and remilitarization. Peifer's comparative approach, which pits East against West and the Kriegsmarine against the two postwar navies, makes this book a first in the field of maritime history.

Using primary archival material and interviews with some of the founding figures of the East and West German navies, Peifer tells clearly the complicated story of the numerous decentralized and often parallel agencies operating under Soviet and Western supervision. These semi-official units took up navy-like functions in the late 1940s: disposal of mines, supervision of maritime borders, fishery protection, and eventually espionage and counterespionage. Covering an 11-year period, Peifer shows how the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union shifted tactics from dismantling the vestiges of the Kriegsmarine to sponsoring new German naval organizations, how the process differed in the two new Germanies, and to what extent Kriegsmarine veterans and concepts shaped the new naval forces.

Douglas C. Peifer is assistant professor of comparative military studies, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base.

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