Hitler's Generals in America: Nazi POWs and Allied Military Intelligence

Title

Hitler's Generals in America: Nazi POWs and Allied Military Intelligence

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Description

The book examines the evolution of the relationship between American officials and the fifty-five Wehrmacht general officers who were held as prisoners of war in the United States between June 1943 and August 1946. The transformation of this relationship, wrought by the developments of the war and the national security concerns of the immediate postwar era, illustrates two important points. First, despite some similarities, the respective priorities of British and American authorities regarding their POW general officers differed significantly. British officials consistently interrogated and eavesdropped on all of their senior officer prisoners, primarily seeking operational and tactical intelligence to aid the Allied war effort. Once the war had been won, the operation was immediately discontinued. In sharp contrast to their British allies, the Americans initially had little regard for the value of Wehrmacht general officer POWs. Only after the success of the Allied invasion of Normandy did American authorities began to evaluate what, if any, role the generals in their custody might play in the reconstruction of postwar Germany. Second, following the German surrender, American authorities reconceptualized their German prisoner-of-war generals as potential “allies.” The needs of the war in the Pacific, American admiration for the German military model, and Western Allied fears of Soviet intentions transformed Washington’s relationship with Wehrmacht general officers in the immediate postwar era.

Publication Date

2013

Publisher

The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY

ISBN

978-0-8131-4251-7

eISBN

978-0-8131-4253-1 (pdf version)

eISBN

978-0-8131-4252-4 (epub version)

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813142517.001.0001

Keywords

prisoners of war, generals, Wehrmacht, Trent Park, Byron Hot Springs, Camp Mexia, Camp Clinton, Camp Dermott, Hans Jürgen von Arnim

Disciplines

History | Military History