THE GERMAN WARS by D. J. Goodspeed


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Approaching the diplomatic and military history of World Wars I and II as a continuity, Colonel Goodspeed (History, Brock University, Ont.) presents an unorthodox, rather fixated outline of Western blunders. Britain mistakenly involved itself in a continental war that merely strengthened the noxious East, he claims, and the US mistakenly rescued it. After Germany foolishly tried--and failed--to defeat France with the Schlieffen Plan, it should have quickly made peace with the West, and defeated the Slavs outright. These errors were then compounded by Wilson's bull-in-a-china-shop Versailles settlements, which produced the Nazis. The French too receive blame for their policy of reparations and Ruhr annexation, allegedly intended to create economic chaos in the Weimar Republic, and for their bribes to Mussolini to help Italy enter WW I on the Allied side, creating a new monster. Goodspeed's military appraisals are controversial--including his dismissal of the Schlieffen Plan and his high estimate of Hitler's generals; and his diplomatic narratives fail to justify his Slavophobic fear for Western civilization. The book's thesis depends on the notion that, once defeated, Germany was doomed to succumb to Nazism--or ""beefsteak Nazis,"" as Goodspeed calls them, ""brown on the outside and red on the inside,"" virtually indistinguishable from the ""violent, doctrinaire, ruthless and inhuman Bolsheviks."" The book concludes that today the East sits ""secure in the knowledge that softness and corruption are the harbingers of death,"" while in the ""'liberal societies' of the West the eunuchs are inheriting the earth."" A sometimes intriguing but highly subjective and basically superfluous addition.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin