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How Convincing Is The Evidence That Hitler Was Preparing For An Aggressive War Between The Years 1936 39?

3481 words - 14 pages

The argument whether Hitler was preparing an aggressive war between 1936 and 1939 has been an ongoing debate between historians mainly due to the fact that Hitler said many contrasting statements depending on who he was addressing, for example his book 'Mein Kampf' published in 1925 he stated that 'Germany would either be a world power or there will be no Germany' , but then later in 1933 when he became Chancellor he claimed that 'Nobody wishes peace more than I' These contradictory comments from Hitler are interpreted by historians in order to build an argument, and it is combined with their perception and understanding of the events that took place between these years, and a conclusion is ...view middle of the document...

Historians are also divided as to what type of ruler Hitler was. Some historians like Bracher, Hildebrand and Jackel consider that Hitler had and followed a 'programme' and that all his actions were influenced by his radical ideology, in this case, that being that he wanted Germany to be the strongest nation in the world, and this concept suggests that Hitler adapted his foreign policy in order for him to achieve his desire. Other historians suggest that Hitler was a structuralist who unlike in the intentionalist argument, do not base as much of the argument on Hitler's personal role, and acknowledges the evidence revealing the 'leadership chaos ' within Nazi Germany. The historian Broszat disagrees with the views held by Bracher, and does not agree that the chaos was a skillfully deployed method of 'divide and rule' but instead it was an obvious result of the way that Hitler ruled with his 'unwillingness and inability' to put the state into order. This argument is developed by the historian Mommsen who went on to say that Hitler's main ideas were extremely radical therefore logical decision making would be impossible and therefore he lacked consistent planning which could then suggest that Hitler was not planning an aggressive war form such an early stage as he was actually unable to. The final alternate view of the way in which Hitler ran the country is the more complex consensus view that seems to be a combination of both the alternate views. Its suggested that Hitler was a vital figure within policy making and did follow a deliberate policy to create chaos, and if this was the case then for it be maintained he could not be involved in the more menial tasks but it was him that granted power to those that did make decisions for him and it was his ability to react and adapt quickly when circumstances arose that was vital which would contribute to an argument that suggested that Hitler was an opportunist within foreign policy.The insight into the way in which Hitler ran the country provides a frame for the answer to the question as to whether he had been planning an aggressive war from an early stage as historians who agree that Hitler was an 'intentionalist' would present the view that he had been planning the war and would see a significant larger amount of intent within his actions, whereas those that would argue that he was more of a 'structuralist' may be inclined to suggest that he did not plan it deliberately and that his actions were not preconceived. Those presenting the 'consensus' view may think that it was Hitler's ability to adapt to situations quickly with an aim in mind that lead to the series of events.Though the question looks at the evidence between 1936 and 1939 earlier events also need to be taken into account, as it is essential to see how Hitler progressed or remained the same in order to decide whether he was planning an aggressive war from such an early stage. Before Hitler became Chancellor in 1933 he had already made...

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