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Technical advisers and technocrats in the corridors of power : the dialectic between science and technology in the building of an aerospace program in the Third Reich / by James J. Hurtak.

Publication | Digitized | Library Call Number: T26.G3 H87 1993

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    In the development of the German war machine there was, behind the scenes, a subtle internecine conflict that could be characterized as a struggle between the managerial professionals (with their scientists and engineers) and the people of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP, Nazi Party) and the military. The struggle was for control of armaments, supplies, and the productions of new weapons systems. Military strategy did not figure in most managerial decisions, although those decisions were supposed to be directed toward bringing about a victorious conclusion to the war. Owing to the crisis caused by fuel shortages and because leading party personalities pitted most of the Nazi Gauleiter against Reichsminister Albert Speer's armament organization, it was not until 1944 that the full force of German scientific creative powers was put to use in solving the problems in practical details of both armament and economic policies. By then it was too late, for the Fuehrer's and his party's catastrophic leadership had taken Germany beyond the possibility of recovery or even survival; Germany's fate was already sealed. This thesis seeks to examine the role played by the German technocrats and technical advisors who, as a group within the military-industrial establishment, were limited in what they could accomplish because of Hitler's neglect--or even opposition. Officers within the Armed Forces Economic and Armament Office were also prevented from fully gearing for preparation for war because of inter-service competition and imbalances of influence among the services. For these reasons the necessary far-reaching decisions and consequent measures were not taken in time to accomplish a successful aerospace program that might have enabled Germany to bring the war to a more favorable conclusion. This thesis contends that the commonly accepted view of Hitler as being on the leading strings of the German aerospace policy is in error. The technocrats and the majority of the youngest, brightest aerospace engineers were the people most ignored, not believed, and not supported with funds by the Nazi political powers until Albert Speer's driving leadership began to take effect. Although they had been continually frustrated in both their personal and professional aspirations and aims, the technocrats of wartime Germany nevertheless were able, under Speer's leadership, to exemplify a new, scientific kind of warrior in the modern concept of total war.
    Hurtak, James Joachim.
    Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Minnesota, 1993.
    Includes bibliographical references.
    Photocopy. Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI Dissertation Services, 1998. 22 cm.
    Dissertations and Theses

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    489 p.

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