Erich Raeder

por Bird, Keith W.

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Resumen del libro

Erich Raeder led the German navy from 1928 to 1943, a period that included the last turbulent years of the Weimar Republic, the rise of Hitler, and World War II. Yet until now, no full-length biography has been written about this extraordinary naval figure. While most historians have viewed Raeder as a product of the Wilhelmian era and heir to Admiral von Tirpitzs sea power ideology, this work clearly demonstrates Raeders affinity with Hitlers fascism. Keith Bird refutes Admiral Raeders own argument that his navy was nonpolitical and independent; Bird shows him to be a political activist and the architect of German naval policy. Drawing on archival resources and the rich scholarship of German naval history over the past five decades, Bird examines the evolution of Raeders concept of naval strategy and his attempts to achieve the political and military means necessary to attain the navys global naval ambitions. He describes the admiral as ultimately being defeated by the contradictions in his own policies as well as Hitlers and by the realities of Germanys resources and military necessities. Here for the first time, Raeders strict leadership of the navy after 1928 and his relationship to Hitler and the National Socialist state are placed in the context of Raeders formative years as an Imperial naval officer, his World War I combat experience, and his critical role in the survival and development of the postwar Reichsmarine. The impact of Hitlers influence on both the pace and the nature of naval rearmament and the conduct of the Kriegsmarine in war are also examined here, as are Raeders furtive attempts to influence Germanys strategic thinking in favor of a maritime

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