By Isabel V. Hull

In a ebook that's straight away an incredible contribution to trendy ecu background and a cautionary story for at the present time, Isabel V. Hull argues that the workouts and practices of the Imperial German military, unchecked by way of powerful civilian associations, more and more sought absolutely the destruction of its enemies because the purely warrantly of the nation's safety. So deeply embedded have been the assumptions and approaches of this distinctively German army tradition that the military, in its force to annihilate the enemy army, didn't reduce from the utter destruction of civilian estate and lives. Carried to its severe, the common sense of "military necessity" discovered genuine protection basically in extremities of destruction, within the "silence of the graveyard."

Hull starts with a dramatic account, in line with clean archival paintings, of the German Army's slide from administrative homicide to genocide in German Southwest Africa (1904-7). the writer then strikes again to 1870 and the battle that inaugurated the Imperial period in German historical past, and analyzes the genesis and nature of this particularly German army tradition and its operations in colonial war. within the First global warfare the exercises perfected within the colonies have been visited upon eu populations. Hull specializes in one set of instances (Belgium and northern France) during which the transition to overall destruction was once checked (if slightly) and on one other (Armenia) during which "military necessity" prompted Germany to just accept its ally's genocidal guidelines even after those grew to become militarily counterproductive. She then turns to the Endkampf (1918), the German basic Staff's plan to accomplish victory within the nice battle no matter if the native land have been destroyed within the process-a doubtless insane crusade that completes the common sense of this deeply institutionalized set of army exercises and practices. Hull concludes through speculating at the function of this certain army tradition in nationwide Socialism's army and racial policies.

Absolute Destruction has critical implications for the character of warmaking in any sleek energy. At its center is a caution concerning the blindness of bureaucratic workouts, specially while these bureaucracies command the tools of mass death.

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Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany by Isabel V. Hull


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