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Journal Article

Hitler's War and the German Economy: A Reinterpretation

R. J. Overy
The Economic History Review
New Series, Vol. 35, No. 2 (May, 1982), pp. 272-291
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Economic History Society
DOI: 10.2307/2595019
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2595019
Page Count: 20
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Hitler's War and the German Economy: A Reinterpretation
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Abstract

The prevailing view of the German economy and the Second World War is that of the 'Blitzkrieg economy' - short wars and short bursts of economic activity to avoid reducing civilian consumption. The article shows first that pre-war planning was for a long war and for a high level of mobilization, and thus demonstrates that the facts of economic life do not fit the Blitzkrieg model. Second, the article argues that Hitler's diplomacy and economic preparations fitted a long-term aim, and that the low level of mobilization in 1939-41 was a result of the premature outbreak of war which caught the economy only partly prepared. This fact, coupled with resource and organizational constraints, and a poor level of co-ordination and communication, led to a much lower output than Hitler intended.

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