Adam Tooze But, as THE WAGES OF DESTRUCTION makes clear, Hitler was never remotely strong enough to beat either Britain or the. An extraordinary mythology has grown up around the Third Reich that hovers over political and moral debate even today. Adam Tooze’s controversial new book. Buy The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy New Edition by Adam Tooze (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store.

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Once the war was evidently lost, Speer continued to claim in propaganda that a miracle technology – new tanks, jet aircraft, V2s – would turn the tide. There is a very widespread view that strategic bombing was unworkable. I can therefore only applaud the increasing number of books that discuss the second world war from the perspective of logistics, and, more broadly, the industrial and economic po The saying “The amateurs discuss tactics: The author is well spoken and his writing is engaging.

It was on the book of the year lists of both the Financial Times and the Economist. Tooze shows adsm this fact drove all Nazi planning: Account Options Sign in. Tooze thinks that if the RAF had just concentrated on the Destriction ininstead of diverting resources to longer-range raids on Berlin, that they could have brought Germany to a halt. Though it’s hard to appreciate now, Germany in the s was not a very rich or developed country at all.

As it turns out the way to write real history is by taking things seriously. Tooze documents how Hitler’s government was driven to some of its most desperate actions by economic constraints, and highlights how cold economic logic was c The Wages of Destruction is a brilliant contribution to our understanding of events in the s and s.


But the leadership of the lumpen Nazi movement didn’t suffer from mass insanity an As it turns out the way to write real history is by dfstruction things seriously. I had not realised the range of quota-setting, price-fixing, and export-limiting that took place, on top of the close political relationships between heads of industry and the Reich. By comparison with a German ration of 2, calories in earlythe ‘ration’ for the inhabitants of Poland’s major cities was set at calories.

Review: The Wages of Destruction by Adam Tooze | Books | The Guardian

Please do not cite without permission. Only those capable of work were of any interest to the Germans For Tooze, there was after a “compromise”, or rather a succession of them, between exterminating people and setting them to make ammunition or aircraft. Well worth a read. A fair amount of that new knowledge is absolutely horrifying, which is no more than you expect when reading about the Nazis.

Economic historiography has thrown rays of haggard light into some of the blackest corners of the Third Reich, even where, as in the case of the memoirs of Hitler’s last minister of armaments, Albert Speer, much was concealed or distorted. The conquest of France did nothing to improve Germany’s situation, because French industry depended on British coal and raw materials.

Tooze’s book describes in detail how this worked out. Selected concentration camp inmates were murdered through labour, while industrialists complained that they worked too slowly and died too often to be productive.

It should be taken no less seriously than the program outlined by Heydrich at wagfs Wannsee conference. It is much more rare to see an analysis of the economic situation facing leaders and how this constrains their behavior. Because leaders like FDR made it clear that they were Hitler’s implacable enemies, despite any clear gain from being so. Germany was short of several key resources, namely food and petroleum, as well key industrial inputs for heavy industries.


The disaster that consumed Germany at the end of the war is not examined destructiob any great detail. Tooze points out destrucrion the balance was struck on the basis of scarce food.

Because America was so large it had a massive domestic market which supported large, highly efficient factories to supply it. But the persistent reader will be rewarded by a book which confirms that the final word on one of the defining events of the 20th century has probably not yet been written.

It seems to have been the older bureaucracies like army procurement that were condemned, whilst in the latter years of the war Speer was given more and more power over economic activity. Faced with this situation, Germany could have ada, the liberal approach of becoming more integrated within the world trade systems, and, at the same time, obtaining a writedown of a part of its external debt.

Hitler’s gold

The only reason I don’t give it 5 stars is well I don’t like economic books or WWII history so despite how destructioon it was in the end it was still that. This book also requires the reader to have an established grasp of the history vestruction covered, and also deals with many complex charts, figures, and explanations.

There are some errors or dubious claims, but probably fewer than could be expected in a book with such a wide scope. So what was the point in giving Germany an excuse to start the war, especially when delay was the best strategy?