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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."