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Hitler´s chief of the General Staff, Ludwig Beck

Discussion in 'Prelude to War & Poland 1939' started by Kai-Petri, May 23, 2012.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    " In the wake of Hitler´s meeting with his commanders on Nov 5, 1937,Beck had attacked the basic assumptions of Hitler´s plan, beginning with the presumed need for "Lebensraum", arguing that Germany´s economic goals could just as easily be met by foreign trade.

    In the same memorandum, Beck had also reiterated Blomberg´s and Fritsch´s warnings not to underestimate Britain and France: The extent of French and English opposition to increases in German power and space should not be misjudged. Beck dismissed as "a most improbable daydream" Hitler´s casual assertion of French military paralysis resulting from political turmoil.He pointed out that the French Army was so strong that even in the case of a war with Italy, France would always have enough forces to set against Germany.

    Beck agreed that Austria and Czechoslovakia came "naturally" within Germany´s sphere of influence and might eventually be incorporated into the Reich. But if Hitler acted recklessly, he would surely bring Britain, France, and perhaps even the Soviet Union into a war against Germany. And that would be a war , Beck strongly implied, that Germany could not win.

    Beck made two other memoranda in May 5, 1938, and May 28,1938, after hearing of Hitler´s announced plan to invade Czechoslovakia.

    In May 1938 Hitler was growing tired of this cautious chief of the General staff. He told his aides that Beck was Fritsch´s "evil spirit" because it was Beck who put the brakes on and Beck who presented memoranda that he considered lies, When one of his adjutants asked what he meant by lies, Hitler replied that Beck had exaggerated the size of the French Army by including their reserves, while he had underestimated the size of the German forces by not including the SA and SS. "In my eyes", the Führer said, "that is a lie".

    The Oster conspiracy 1938, by Terry Parssinen
     
  2. harolds

    harolds Member

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    As far as the French were concerned, Hitler was right on. Beck was correct as far as the Brits were concerned. I believe Beck understood totally that war was, "...the provence of uncertainty" and that once war was started, who knows what was going to happen. Germany would have been much better off if they had given Hitler a few billion Reichmarks and sent him to a posh cassino in the south of France to do his gambling there.
     
  3. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    Wasn't Beck one of the July 20 conspirators?
     
  4. scipio

    scipio Member

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    German Generals 1938 Conspiracy to oust Hitler Regime

    1938 conspiracy against Hitler was led by Beck - not July 20th.

    Seemed to think that he had his superior Commander-in-Chief of the German Army, General von Brauchitsch on side and the trigger would be that Chamberlain rejected Hitler's grab of the Sudetenland at Munich. Beck had passed all his documents on to Halder who took over his post. However Chamberlain's appeasement at Munich resulted in no action. Debatable whether the German Generals had the Cojones to depose Hitler and the Nazis.
     
  5. harolds

    harolds Member

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    scipio,

    Are you sure? I thought Beck was suicided/executed at the Bendler Block along with Staffenberg. In fact, one of the main plotters.
     
  6. scipio

    scipio Member

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    Sorry Harolds - yes you are right - Beck was a July 20th plotter. Took some guts to continue to oppose Hitler for 6 years.
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I think it was incredible that Beck was saying "No" to Hitler publicly even when Hitler was gaining his massive political victories in the mid and late 1930´s...
     
  8. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    As we have said on other threads concerning the 'Beck Clique'. replacing Hitler in 1938 would most certainly not have gone down very well with the ordinary German.

    Beck's assertions that Munich cost the German officer Corps it's golden opportunity to replace hitler with one of their own was so much whitewash for the inaction of the Beck Conspiritors at this stage. Excuses such as this for their own failure to act don't wash with me or other site members, period.

    Ludwig Beck was a brave man, no doubt. But he was just as much guilty of failing to bring Hitler to justice as the other Generals. They had already fingered Hitler as their man, in the "Deutschland Pact" before the Rohm Affair. Rohm and the "Brown Trash" were even more unpopular than Hitler at this stage, and the SS were an unknown and untested element. The industrialists that backed Hitler with the generals didn't like Rohm or the SA either, so the Army had alreadymade it's choice.

    Besides, "Time" magazine had already declared Adolf Hitler as their "Man of the Year" for 1938. How could you replace him with that sort of publicity?, (however tongue in cheek 'Time' magazine was).
     
  9. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    Klaus Von Stauffenberg was a brave man, too, but without the courage of his earlier convictions. He had stated that he would sacrifice his life, if necessary, to remove Adolf, but when it came down to the wire, he couldn't bring himself to do anything more than attempt to escape after the July 20 plot was set in motion. If Stauffenberg had the courage, he would have stuck around in the conference room to make damned sure that briefcase was right where he left it. This, and the open windows, saved Adolf, and left the conspiritors in a no win situation. Hitler's death would have brought the whole lot crashing down. Goebbels would have been totally unable to 'reprogramme' Major Remmer. Indeed, the German government would have been forced to accept Hermann Goring as the new Fuhrer, and Goring was on record as not wanting to prosecute the war from the beginning. Goring's appointment would have, most likely, resulted in an instant cease fire, and he would have been smart enough to let the Western Allies march into Berlin unopposed, while throwing everything at the Soviets to make this possible.

    Goring was a drug addict, and out of touch with modern warfare, but he was also rich enough to want to maintain this state of affairs from a personal point of view, keeping his fortune intact whilst taking the crdit for stopping the war and saving the German people from the tender mercies of the Soviets.
     
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I agree Stauffenberg was not strong enough to finish the job. However, if all the July 20th Plotters had been strong enough themselves, I believe they could have put the SS in jail, keep Hitler out of publicity, and take the power. They had the moment to act and the power in their hands but once they heard Hitler was not dead,most of them ran out of "gas" and willingly walked to their own end. There would be no change to unconditional surrender, but probably less dead people on both sides.
     
  11. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I1) A correction :Beck was not present at the Hossbach conference.I even doubt he ever was meeting Hitler.

    2)The importance of Beck has become a myth (for obvous reasons,as he was shot on the 20 july):

    -his military role between 1933/1938 (as chief of staff) is an enigma,and,as his fanboys never were able to produce proofs that he was the number one of the army,it is logical to start from the POV that his importance was negligible.

    -his opposition against Adolf was mainly a myth

    -his role in the resistance :idem (he was an old and sick man in 1944 and only a figurehead)
     
  12. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Stauffenberg left because he rightly had doubts about his other conspiritors acting.
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    As Stauffenberg was leaving the HQ on the 20th July there was an alarm on. The only one to let him go on the phone must have been Himmler is there evidence who gave the order? If Himmler did it why would he do that? He could not know if Hitler dies or survives. Just minutes of the blasr, I think.
     

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