GIs in Germany
The Social, Economic, Cultural, and Political History of the American Military Presence
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- Thomas W. Maulucci, Jr, American International College
- Detlef Junker, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany
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The fifteen essays in this volume offer a comprehensive look at the role of American military forces in Germany. The American military forces in the Federal Republic of Germany after WWII played an important role not just in the NATO military alliance but also in German-American relations as a whole. Around twenty-two-million U.S. servicemen and their dependents have been stationed in Germany since WWII, and their presence has contributed to one of the few successful American attempts at democratic nation building in the twentieth century. In the social and cultural realm the GIs helped to Americanize Germany, and their own German experiences influenced the U.S. civil rights movement and soldier radicalism. The U.S. military presence also served as a bellwether for overall relations between the two countries.Read more
- Presents the first comprehensive history of the United States' military presence in Germany in twenty-five years
- Describes one of the most important international relationships of the last seventy-five years
- Includes fifteen contributions by leading scholars
Reviews & endorsements
"This book marks a great leap forward in our knowledge of a vast and important subject that is still missing from most history books on the Cold War. As someone who has worked in this area, off and on, for some thirty years I can assure you that this volume makes a most welcome contribution to a whole range of political, cultural, social, and, above all, military aspects of U.S. forces stationed in Germany since 1945."
Wolfgang Krieger, Marburg University, GermanySee more reviews
"Some 22 million American soldiers and their dependents spent a significant period of time in Germany during the Cold War era and after, a development that no one could have imagined at the end of World War II. This superb collection of essays addresses this history, examining the policies behind the deployment; the interaction between American GIs and German communities; the benefits, problems, and tensions this presence created; and the challenging years of the 1970s and 1980s, when the post-Vietnam American army was in transition and the German peace movement challenged the Cold War order. Provocative and informative in their own right, these essays should also stimulate even more questions and research on this little understood aspect of postwar American-German relations."
Thomas Schwartz, Vanderbilt University
"A significant contribution to the historiography on US-German relations during the Cold War, GIs in Germany broadens the transnational dialogue on a crucial point of intersection in the histories of the Federal Republic and the United States. It is a welcome addition to a new wave of scholarship on the wide-ranging repercussions of the global American military presence since World War II."
Martin Klimke, New York University Abu Dhabi
"… worth a read not just for its account of the cultural, political, and social history that created the relationship between Germany and the United States today, but also to serve as a lesson for the pitfalls that our military is sure to face as it changes how forces are postured in the years to come."
"This is a too-rare moment of genuine collaboration and cooperation between American and German scholars who bring together a range of perspectives on the American military presence in Germany … the editors and contributors who patiently assembled this book should be very proud. Any scholar whose work touches on America's Cold War Army or on postwar German history will benefit from this volume."
Journal of Military History
"The authors have made valuable contributions to the nation’s military history and to the study of international relations … scholars of American military history, international relations, and international social history will certainly find this volume to be a valuable addition to their reading lists."
"This diverse collection offers a nuanced assessment of whether and how the massive US military presence contributed to Americanization from above and below as well as to Americanism. It will be of interest to students of American military history, the Cold War, postwar West Germany, and the 1970s."
Mary Nolan, The Journal of American History
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- Date Published: September 2018
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781316047934
- contains: 2 tables
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
Introduction Thomas W. Maulucci, Jr
Part I. Strategy and Politics:
1. Guarantors of peace and freedom: the US forces in Germany, 1945–90 Hans-Joachim Harder
2. Deterrence and defense: the stationing of US troops in Germany and the implementation of forward strategy in Europe, 1950–67 Bruno Thosse
3. The war that was never fought: the US army, the Bundeswehr, and the NATO central front Dennis Showalter
4. Why they did not go home: the GIs and the battle over their presence in the 1960s and 1970s Hubert Zimmermann
Part II. Military Communities:
5. United States army military communities in Germany Thomas Leuerer
6. German-American relations at the local level: Heidelberg, 1948–55 Theodor Scharnholz
7. American military families in West Germany: social, cultural, and foreign relations, 1946–65 Donna Alvah
Part III. Tensions between Neighbors:
8. Insolent occupiers, aggressive protectors: policing GI delinquency in early 1950s Germany Gerhard Fürmetz
9. Protection from the protector: court-martial cases and the lawlessness of occupation in American-controlled Berlin, 1945–8 Jennifer V. Evans
Part IV. The German Armed Forces and the American Model:
10. The godfathers of Innere Führung? The American military model and the creation of the Bundeswehr Klaus Naumann
11. From Befehlsausgabe to 'briefing': the Americanization of the Luftwaffe Wolfgang Schmidt
Part V. The 1970s and 1980s:
12. 'Army in anguish': the United States army, Europe in the early 1970s Alexander Vazansky
13. The US military and dissenters in the ranks: Germany 1970–5 Howard J. De Nike
14. The US armed forces and the development of anti-NATO protests in West Germany, 1980–9 Anni Baker
15. GIs under seige: the German peace movement confronts the US military Lou Martin
Appendix: population statistics on the US armed forces in Germany, 1945–2000 Dewey Browder.
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