This volume tells the story of how the German Army, having survived the disaster of 1918, proceeded to dominate the political life of the German Republic, exercising a virtually paramount degree of power and influence by its very withdrawal from the active arena of politics: and of how, when later it was mistaken enough to play politics instead of controlling them, it began a descent which only ended in abject defeat militarily, politically and spiritually. The author reveals the extent of the responsibility of the Army for bringing the Nazi regime to power, for tolerating the infamies of that regime once it had attained power, and for not taking the measures at a time when only the Army could have taken them to remove it from power. In this second edition, a new foreword by Professor Richard Overy of King's College London, sets Wheeler-Bennett's classic text in a modern context.
SIR JOHN W. WHEELER-BENNETT died in 1975. He was Historical Adviser to the Royal Archives, Fellow of St. Antony's College, Oxford, UK and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Arizona. He wrote biographies of King George VI, Hindenburg and Viscount Waverley and several works on Modern German history. His three-volume autobiography is published under the titles Knaves, Fools and Heroes: In Europe Between the Wars, Special Relationships: America in Peace and War and Friends, Enemies and Sovereigns. - RICHARD OVERY is Professor of Modern European History in the Department of History, King's College London, UK.