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The Wages of Destruction

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by Kai-Petri, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    This looks interesting, and I´ll get it next. Especially the economical aspects interest me , did Germany have ammo and other material to continue the fighting for how long etc if in 1940 there would have been no breakthrough in the Ardennes area...or even earlier in Poland...

    The Wages of Destruction
    By Adam Tooze


    The Wages of Destruction - Adam Tooze - Penguin UK

    On the other hand for an economic historian the question is not why did Hitler not win World War II, but how Nazi Germany ever managed to get as far as it did.

    What are the new conclusions?
    Well, we have fundamentally dismantled the propagandistic myths, which continue to surround Hitler’s work creation programme and such public relations stunts as the Volkswagen project. Goering’s Four Year Plan, of 1936 also appears as less significant than it was once thought to be. By contrast, what has emerged as crucial for the entire period between 1933 and 1940 is the management of Germany’s cripplingly inadequate foreign exchange reserves. In 1934 this problem was so severe that Hitler’s regime came very close to economic meltdown, a crisis which has been grossly underrated in the literature. And even after that crisis was overcome, every aspect of Hitler’s economic policy whether with regard to armaments, the forced expulsion of the German and Austrian Jews, or the maintenance of the domestic standard of living, was dictated by the difficulty of managing the balance of payments.

    Just as the international crisis was reaching its climax, Hitler was forced to face the fact that his armaments effort was set to decelerate. He knew by the summer of 1939 that he would be unable to match the renewed efforts of Britain and France. This throws dramatic new light on his decision to start the war a few months later.

    ....in the early summer of 1944 Speer’s office maintained a telephone hotline to the railway ramp in Auschwitz, where hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were selected either for gassing or forced labour.

    Speer’s role was not only to produce more guns, ammunition and tanks. It was crucial that these weapons were “made to tell a story”, to maintain a narrative of the invincibility of the German nation, despite the overwhelming odds against it. Within weeks of his appointment Speer had struck up a new relationship with Joseph Goebbels, from which emerged a new brand of “armaments propaganda” celebrating and mythologizing the triumphs of mass production and the invincible quality of Germany’s new tanks, machine-guns and U Boats.
     
  2. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Looks very interesting!
     
  3. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    Something a little different nice one I made a note of this one, good find there Kai.
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Yes,

    as I got the book first time around in my hands in the local book shop after a few glimpses I realízed it will be a book I cannot leave unread once I start. Just gotta finish "Smiling" Kesselring´s memoirs first...and start reading the book early in the morning...
     
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Is it any good and what is it's title, Kai?
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  7. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    I bought it today, Kai are you reading it now? If so whats it like?
     
  8. Greenjacket

    Greenjacket Member

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    I'm reading it at the moment, 200 pages in, and so far it's fascinating.
     
  9. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    Thank you. :)

    Look forward to reading this book now in 14th place of my books to read unless anyone can give me a good reason to bump it up more. :D
     
  10. Greenjacket

    Greenjacket Member

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    I ought to have said that those 200 pages have so far been exclusively on the peacetime economy, and have been eye-opening on all sorts of topics like reparations, balance of payments, work creation, industry and industrialists, rearmament and that sort of thing. Part II 'War in Europe' should be even more interesting - I'm looking forward to seeing what he says about the effects of bombing, and the economic rationale for the Holocaust.
     
  11. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    Well thats good enough for me to bump it up the pile to 13th.
     
  12. Greenjacket

    Greenjacket Member

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    400 pages in now, things are hotting up.
     
  13. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    I will bump it up to 10th spot now.
     
  14. Greenjacket

    Greenjacket Member

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    Hehe, if I post ten times, will you start reading it?
     
  15. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    It will go in to my top five thats for sure. :D
     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Eh.....soon. I got stuck with Hurricats and Stalingrad...

    ;) ;)
     
  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Definitely the best book in my opinion on the nazi economy development. You could say they were living on the edge of a knife. It is also funny that simply the movement of all the Jews from Germany would have created such a loss of foreign currency in Hitler´s germany that they would have been in total chaos and they would have been called bankrupcy.nazi afte that...

    If you don´t have it then get it.....
     
  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    " Of the growth in total national output in Germany between 1935 and 1938 almost half
    ( 47% ) was accounted for directly by the increase in the Reich´s military spending. If we add investment, of which a very large part was dictated by the priorities of autarchy or rearmament, the share rises to two-thirds ( 67% ). private consumption by contrast, was responsible for only 25% of the growth over this same period, even though in 1935 it had accounted for 70% of total economic activity.

    ..of the goods an services purchased by the Reich, the Wehrmacht accounted for 70% in 1935 and 80% three years later."
     
  19. tikilal

    tikilal Ace

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    I am reading this now and thougth I would bring the thread back to the top.

    It is very good. I have had to call into question everything I know about currency and economics. I was suprised to read about how Germany tried to get the Jews to leave. Transfering funds and all. Not that I think it was right, it was just suprising on page 110 now.
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Great book in my opinion with excellent data to show how Hitler was walking on the edge of the knife and pushing all the money in his direction to create the new army. It is incredible that actually the German people´s level of wealth was lower than the early 1930´s according to the indexes, but I guess propaganda can replace bread then....
     

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