Heroes or Traitors: The German Replacement Army, the July Plot, and Adolf Hitler

Overview

When a German victory became impossible, the July 1944 conspirators plotted to bring a quick end to the war, hoping to negotiate a peace with the Western allies and possibly to join them in a war against Russia. Because the Allies would not negotiate with Hitler, the plotters planned to assassinate him and seize control of the government, using the Replacement Army to overcome the S.S. and the Nazi Party.

This army would also maintain order within Germany, a task that would ...

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Overview

When a German victory became impossible, the July 1944 conspirators plotted to bring a quick end to the war, hoping to negotiate a peace with the Western allies and possibly to join them in a war against Russia. Because the Allies would not negotiate with Hitler, the plotters planned to assassinate him and seize control of the government, using the Replacement Army to overcome the S.S. and the Nazi Party.

This army would also maintain order within Germany, a task that would require more than half-a-million trained men. The conspirators convinced key Replacement Army officers to withhold men from the Field Army in the spring of 1944 in preparation for taking over the country. The result was a German army that lacked enough reserve divisions to counter the invasion of France and the Red Army attack in Russia. Although the plotters failed to kill Hitler, they hastened the war's end by weakening the German army. Dunn examines the 1944 July Plot from a manpower and logistics perspective to demonstrate that the conspirators did, in fact, achieve their goal of hastening the war's end.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Dunn carefully examines the 1944 July Plot from a manpower and logistics perspective to demonstrate that the conspirators did, in fact, achieve their goal of hastening the war's end."

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Lt. Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard

"The concept of a replacement army is still little known, so this is a welcome addition to the literature. Suitable for academic libraries."

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Library Journal

"Dunn is the first historian to make such extensive use of the Wehrmacht's personnel files in this fashion and deserves kudos for doing so….[o]ne can compliment Dunn for opening our gaze to data that previously have been given cursory attention, and applaud the challenge his research poses for World War II history."

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H-German

Library Journal
The story here is that the German army officers who plotted to kill Hitler with a bomb on July 20, 1944, had for several months been holding back troops from the front lines. They needed these units to defeat the Nazi SS and seize control of power centers to negotiate a quick end to the war. Understandably, the plotters left little direct reference to this "replacement army," so Dunn (former director, Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society) uses other sources to document statistically that fighting divisions were being denied desperately needed troops from November 1943 to July 1944. But the plotters' actions still helped shorten the war and save lives, since the weakened German armies could not stop the 1944 Allied summer offensives until the troops were sent off to fight after the failed coup. The author thinks that British Intelligence was much more involved in the July plot than they have so far let on. The concept of a replacement army is still little known, so this is a welcome addition to the literature. Suitable for academic libraries. (Index not seen.) [Military Book Club alternate selection.]-Daniel K. Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275977153
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/2003
  • Pages: 202
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

WALTER S. DUNN JR. is an independent writer and researcher. He had a 40-year career directing museums, including the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society and the Iowa Science Center. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His latest book is Opening New Markets: The British Army and the American Frontier, 1764-1768 (2002).

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
1 The Replacement Army 1
2 The Strategic Reserve in 1942 15
3 Buildup for Kursk, February 1943 to June 1943 27
4 The Ukraine and Italy, June 1943 to February 1944 45
5 Calm before the Storm, February 1944 to June 1944 69
6 The Catastrophe in France 89
7 The Catastrophe in the East 113
8 Conclusion 155
Bibliography 169
Index 173
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