Journal Article

The Reichswehr, the Republic and the Primacy of Foreign Policy, 1918–1923

William Mulligan

in German History

Published on behalf of German History Society

Volume 21, issue 3, pages 347-368
Published in print July 2003 | ISSN: 0266-3554
Published online July 2003 | e-ISSN: 1477-089X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/0266355403gh288oa
The Reichswehr, the Republic and the Primacy of Foreign Policy, 1918–1923

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This article contends that the relationship between the Reichswehr and the Republic was shaped by the primacy of foreign policy between 1918 and 1923. In this period the major concern of the officers was the stabilization of the German Reich, which would preserve Germany as a Machtfaktor in Europe and serve as the basis for a revisionist and militarized foreign policy. Foreign policy matters and aims shaped their attitude to domestic politics. Cooperation with the Republic enabled the officers to achieve the stabilization of the Reich by 1923. They were also able to introduce important reforms in the military structure of the Reich, which showed that cooperation with the Republic could pay dividends. In terms of the substance of foreign policy the Reichswehr followed a pragmatic, unideological approach by developing links with the Red Army. By examining the relationship between the Reichswehr and the Republic from the perspective of the primacy of foreign policy, it is possible to come to a fuller understanding of the shifting nature of civil-military affairs in the Weimar Republic.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: European History

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