Hitler's Ambivalent Attach?: Lt. Gen. Friedrich Von Boetticher in America, 1933-1941

Overview

Friedrich von Boetticher was Germany’s only military attaché accredited to the United States between the world wars. As such, he was Germany’s official military observer in the capital of the nation whose potential as an ally of those powers arrayed against Adolf Hitler in the 1930s might have given the dictator pause in any predatory plans he harbored against his neighbors. Though von Boetticher produced a rich and detailed commentary on military and political affairs in Washington in the eight years prior to ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $13.77   
  • Used (5) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Friedrich von Boetticher was Germany’s only military attaché accredited to the United States between the world wars. As such, he was Germany’s official military observer in the capital of the nation whose potential as an ally of those powers arrayed against Adolf Hitler in the 1930s might have given the dictator pause in any predatory plans he harbored against his neighbors. Though von Boetticher produced a rich and detailed commentary on military and political affairs in Washington in the eight years prior to the outbreak of war between Germany and the United States in 1941, he was nonetheless accused after the war of misjudging America’s productive potential and misleading Hitler with overly optimistic reports. As Alfred M. Beck points out, what he actually told German authorities in Berlin is strikingly different from what his detractors later claimed. Von Boetticher “permits a glimpse into the sociology of a conservative officer caste at once assailed by the politics of a regime and the impossibilities imposed on it, its weaknesses in resisting its evils, and its eventual failure to present an alternative to National Socialism’s illusory attractions.”

A loyal German, von Boetticher had strong ties to America. His mother was American-born, he spoke English fluently, and he was enamored of American military history. He was also anti-Semitic and believed that “Jewish wire-pullers” had undue influence over the U.S. government and its policies. His professional ties to U.S. Army officers in the War Department were so strong—supplying them, for example, with details on German air strength and operations during the Battle of Britain in 1940—that they survived until August 1941 and long after the German ambassador himself had been recalled. Torn between his duty to Germany (though the Nazi regime had attempted to harm his son) and his deep affection for America, von Boetticher stood among the broad middle range of German officials who were neither perpetrator nor victim.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Beck has written a fine, ambitious book that persuades through the density of its research…a fine addition to the existing literature on pre-1941 diplomatic relations between the United States and Germany, a fascinating glimpse into prewar Washington, an interesting read on the role of military attachés and a[n] engaging investigation into the role and conduct of a high-ranking, but second-row military official, his worldview and justification, in Nazi Germany.”

"A well-written, detached, and balanced biography . . . Beck's study makes significant contributions to German as well as U.S. military and diplomatic history"

"Alfred M. Beck's Hitler's Ambivalent Attaché fills in many details of this crucial era in American and European history. . . ."

"The relative insouciance with which Adolf Hitler and the German High Command accepted war with the U.S. in 1941 continues to puzzle historians. In this comprehensively researched, well-written study, Alfred Beck shows this fatal decision was not made from ignorance. Friedrich von Boetticher, the Third Reich's military attaché in Washington from 1933, possessed both a remarkable grasp of America's prewar military problems and deep respect for an American military potential still untapped at the time of Pearl Harbor. At the same time, Boetticher believed the U.S. could not win a short war--the kind of war Hitler was still proposing to fight as his tanks stalled in the outskirts of Moscow. The ambivalent nature of Boetticher's reports contributed a full share to Hitler’s conviction that this time, unlike 1917, when the Americans came it would be too late. It was arguably the Führer's greatest miscalculation."

"The role of the military attachés in providing analysis to the German leadership has been hitherto largely ignored. . . . This book not only adds to the literature, it is the major work on the subject of German attachés and their role in the interwar era. The author fulfills his purpose admirably. This is a well-written biography about an important man who has, until now, not been given the attention he deserves."

"Fred Beck deftly reconstructs for the first time the diplomatic odyssey of General Friedrich von Boetticher, Nazi Germany’s military attaché to the United States. No cardboard figure, von Boetticher embodied all the ambiguities and dilemmas faced by the old German officer corps in dealing with the Nazi state in both peace and war. Masterfully researched, richly textured, and well-written, Beck’s portrayal of Germany’s 'ambivalent attaché' offers perceptive insights on the interaction of the German embassy with the American military establishment and the Washington diplomatic community on the eve of World War II."

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574888782
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/30/2006
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Alfred M. Beck, Ph.D., served over twenty-five years as a historian and publisher in various U.S. Department of Defense historical programs. He has published several major works that draw on his wide research experience in German archives, including The Corps of Engineers in the War Against Germany. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)