Requiem for an Army: The Case of the East German Military

Overview

Building on a strong foundation of primary sources, this unique study traces the role of East Germany's military (NVA) in the country's unification with West Germany. Utilizing interviews with and questionnaires from NVA officers, Herspring unravels the puzzle of the NVA's decision against using force to save the political system it was sworn to serve. The author also examines the integration of a select minority of officers and NC's into the Bundeswehr. Illuminating the problems encountered by the Bundeswehr as ...

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Overview

Building on a strong foundation of primary sources, this unique study traces the role of East Germany's military (NVA) in the country's unification with West Germany. Utilizing interviews with and questionnaires from NVA officers, Herspring unravels the puzzle of the NVA's decision against using force to save the political system it was sworn to serve. The author also examines the integration of a select minority of officers and NC's into the Bundeswehr. Illuminating the problems encountered by the Bundeswehr as it incorporated these individuals, Herspring constructs an ideal type of officer in one of the most politicized and tightly controlled of all communist militaries. His findings will be invaluable for all military-political specialists and for anyone interested in the process of transition from authoritarian/totalitarian to democratic systems.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal Of Conflict Studies
In Requiem for an Army, Dale R. Herspring offers a useful English summary of the events surrounding the collapse of the East German military. Professor Herspring contribution is to have identified the key actors as well as the questions we should ask them to determine why the NVA permitted a peaceful transition to democracy and reunification.
Contemporary Security Policy
The remarkable materials assembled in the Herspring volume in the desintegration of the NVA will make this book the point of departure for analysis of a military-political event that had no precedent as of 1989.
Political Studies Review
All in all a fascinating account; it is hard to fault the thorough treatment of the topic. It fills an important gap in the publications on German unification available in English.
Ronald A. Francisco
Dale Herspring has uncovered a fascinating story about the conduct and collapse of the East German army during both the protest against the East German government and also the reunification of Germany.
Colonel Hans-Werner Weber
This is a brilliant book, combining scholarly rigor at its best with compassionate understanding of the complex social problems caused by the downfall of East Germany's political system and its military structure. A masterpiece of contemporary historical writing: carefully researched, thoroughly analyzed, judiciously concluded, and well-written. Excellent!
CHOICE, October 1999 - H. Krisch
[Herspring's] book fills important gaps in our understanding of Germany's unification.
Ronald A. Francisco
Dale Herspring has uncovered a fascinating story about the conduct and collapse of the East German army during both the protest against the East German government and also the reunification of Germany..
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847687183
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Edition number: 272
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Dale R. Herspring is University Distinguished Professor at Kansas State University.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Part I: Background to Crisis Chapter 2 The NVA: The Key to the GDR's Soviet Policy Part 3 Part II: The End of the NVA Chapter 4 The Beginning of the End: Honecker Is Ousted Chapter 5 Krenz Picks Up the Pieces: The NVA Is Depoliticized Chapter 6 Modrow Tries to Salvage Socialism: The Military on the Verge of Collapse Chapter 7 The First Democratically Elected Government: Epplemann Crusades for Two German Armies Part 8 Part III: Integrating the NVA into the Bundeswehr Chapter 9 Integrating NVA Personnel into a Democratic Military: The Machinery Chapter 10 The NVA Professional: Making the Transition Chapter 11 Lessons from the NVA Chapter 12 Appendix 1: Key East German Military Leaders Chapter 13 Apendix 2: Questionnaire Answered by Former NVA Officers Chapter 14 Notes Chapter 15 Index

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