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Adenauer, Amt Blank, And The Founding Of The Bundeswehr 1950–1956

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Chapter Summary

The establishment of the Bundeswehr between 1950 and 1965 offers a case study in overcoming obstacles of all types. There were external obstacles in the form of negotiating a new status with the Western powers. The various obstacles to rearmament meant that a process that was supposed to be mostly complete in three years took a full decade. This chapter focuses on the leadership of the Bundeswehr in its first years, 1950 to 1956 - from the time that the German Federal Republic possessed only a shadow defense staff and defense minister to the creation of the Bundeswehr and its first official defense ministry. Adenauer's interest in West German rearmament predates the establishment of the Federal Republic. Amt Blank was grossly undermanned for the multitude of tasks that it had to perform to create new armed forces virtually from scratch.

Keywords: Adenauer; Amt Blank; Bundeswehr; West German rearmament



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