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Thread: What Happen to the German Military Name: Wehrmacht?

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    Senior Member hyidi's Avatar
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    What Happen to the German Military Name: Wehrmacht?

    Please place this thread where appropiate, I have no idea where too place it,sorry.

    My interest: German wwII Werhmacht.
    I realised that thee current German military today is called 'Bundeswehr', what happen to the 'Werhmacht' name
    The Allies took over Germany 1945,did the Allies force the Germans to change there brilliant military name Werhmacht after the war or was it Germany years later change Werhmacht name to Bundeswehr name or should I say Alien governments had something to do with the change of name?
    How long did the Werhmacht military name last for after wwII
    Anything related to WWII Germany was wipe out of Germany's history,everything including her famous Werhmacht.

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    Senior Member thoughtcrime's Avatar
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    Please place this thread where appropiate, I have no idea where too place it,sorry.

    My interest: German wwII Werhmacht.
    I realised that thee current German military today is called 'Bundeswehr', what happen to the 'Werhmacht' name
    The Allies took over Germany 1945,did the Allies force the Germans to change there brilliant military name Werhmacht after the war or was it Germany years later change Werhmacht name to Bundeswehr name or should I say Alien governments had something to do with the change of name?
    How long did the Werhmacht military name last for after wwII
    Anything related to WWII Germany was wipe out of Germany's history,everything including her famous Werhmacht.
    Greetings,
    the Wehrmacht (in english roughly "defence force") was disbanded in 1946 by the allies after already being disarmed in 1945, shortly after capitulation. When the Bundeswehr was established in the 50s, the german government seeked to tie in with the military tradition of the earlier german republic, the "deutsches Reich" (english: german Empire/Realm, aka "Republic of Weimar") where the army was called "Reichswehr" (Empire's defense). Since Germany technically wasn't a Reich anymore but a federation, they chose the name "Bundeswehr" (federation's defense).

    So no, I don't think the german government was forced to use another name, but since the name Wehrmacht didn't have a tradition in itself (it only existed for about 10 years, even in the early NS times the army still was called Reichswehr) and was associated with the war and the "third reich", it wasn't an option for them, anyways.

    Though, the Bundeswehr in it's early stages wasn't too different from the Wehrmacht: It was built from the scratch by Reichswehr and/or Wehrmacht veterans and the most military traditions (grey uniforms, marches...) were preserved.
    "Lever dot as slav."

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    Senior Member hyidi's Avatar
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    When the Bundeswehr was established in the 50s, the german government seeked to tie in with the military tradition of the earlier german republic, the "deutsches Reich"
    Thanks.
    Just not too sure on something.
    There was no german government,more like western allied Government running Germany until 1980's,is that right?
    So the Bundeswehr was the idea of the Allies,right?

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    Senior Member thoughtcrime's Avatar
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    Thanks.
    Just not too sure on something.
    There was no german government,more like western allied Government running Germany until 1980's,is that right?
    So the Bundeswehr was the idea of the Allies,right?
    Yes and no. The federal and state governments were in fact elected by the german people, but the FRG itself was (and partially still is) some kind of allied vassal state. While the western powers successively allowed more and more german self-administration, they still had the last word (veto) in all important questions. Thus, while the Bundeswehr was indeed built by germans, that development wouldn't have been possible without the west's approval. In fact, the western allies encouraged western germany to swiftly build an army to provide a "shield" against the soviet union.

    On the other side of the border, the GDR and soviet union made a similar deal with the "Nationale Volksarmee" (National People's Army), so in case of a war, german soldiers would have been sent to the slaughter against each other. On the other hand, both sides didn't really have a choice assuming that germany would need to have a vital military defence in the future.

    Luckily, we were spared with such a scenario and today the Bundeswehr is as independant as a NATO-Army can be (how independant this would be is debatable, though).
    "Lever dot as slav."

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    The eastern german army was taking care to keep continuity with former german armies in dress and symbols. The russians even wanted them to build up a strong submarine force according to tradition. But that was never done because of lack of funds.

    Anyway as already mentioned Bundeswehr is remiscend of Reichswehr or medieval Reichsarmee. It's basically the name of the state + army/defense force. Wehrmacht I would translate "mighty defense force". A bit of a jinx for my taste.

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