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Title: Reforming the Bundeswehr : a study of Graf von Baudissin's ideological principles and ideas for the democratisation of German society and the armed forces 1951-1956
Author: Gatos, Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 086X
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis investigates the intellectual foundations of the thinking of the father of the modern West German armed forces, Wolf Graf von Baudissin, during their establishment between 1951 and 1956. Its aim is to identify the main areas of reform as advocated by Baudissin as well as to shed light on central features of Baudissin's character and ideas, primarily his ideas on the role and impact of democracy in a modern society. The thesis demonstrates how the environment in which Baudissin operated was characterised by strong opposition to new ideas by former Wehrmacht soldiers, whose ideas belonged to a traditionalist movement of military thinking. It also reveals how Baudissin's ideas were to a large extent the product of collaboration with a great number of politicians, academics and intellectuals, some of whom dominated the intellectual scene of the early post-1945 Federal Republic. The thesis demonstrates how Baudissin's thinking was influenced by certain polarities, out of which he developed three historical types of soldiers as an intellectual response to opposition. Baudissin's proposals for reform were directed towards the German youth as those who were to build the new West German post-war society. He stressed the extensive democratic rights allocated by the Federal Republic's constitution and the positive educational value of the proposed reforms, all in the face of accusations that they were utopian. Investigating Baudissin's intellectual foundations, the thesis stresses Baudissin's positive image of occidental culture, with a strong attachment to ethical and communitarian values, and a negative image of Russia as the exponent of communism and authoritarianism. Looking specifically at democracy, the thesis highlights Baudissin's emphasis on democracy by proclaiming that his conversion to democracy was the product of amalgamation of pre-war conservative thinking with modern democratic liberalism. The thesis finally argues that the overall image of an ethical-democratic citizensoldier, the 'Staatsbürger in Uniform' negates the historical antinomy between the condition of being a soldier and a citizen.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Democratization ; Bundeswehr