The first two years of the World War had been free from the clashes between civilian and military authority which had marked the wars of Germany’s unification from 1864 to 1871. Moltke, and his successor Falkenhayn, had been too engrossed in the problems of military developments to think of political and economic affairs, and the Chancellor did not attempt to interfere in the military conduct of the war.1 The economic proposals of the new Supreme Command, however, heralded a complete change in the former situation and constituted, in fact, a desired first step in an effort to militarize the entire life of the nation.2 Indeed, one observer has depicted this demand for compulsory labor as“the first of the grand ‘totalitarian’ measures in our history”3 The Chancellor, Bethmann HoUweg, was cognizant of the political, economic, and social difficulties and dangers which the introduction of compulsory labor posed, and he made his opposition known.3
KeywordsMilitary Service Heavy Industry Hague Convention Occupied Territory Governor General
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