The Disarmament of Germany after the Second World War
In striking contrast to the situation after the First World War, Germany offered virtually no resistance to its forced disarmament by the allies in 1945. Effective opposition would have been much more difficult than in the 1920s because the allies occupied every part of the country, the German armed forced were utterly crushed, and the power available to the allies was far greater than it had been twenty-five years earlier. There was no central German government or clandestine general staff to plan resistance. Unlike Japan, Germany was allowed no government of its own in 1945 and was divided into four occupation zones. From 1945 to 1947, the allies tried to reduce German power in three ways: destruction of German military equipment, demobilization of armed forces, and undermining of the country's industrial capacity to make war. This chapter looks at the forced disarmament of Germany after the Second World War.
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