Book Review: Subhas Chandra Bose In Nazi Germany: Politics, Intelligence, and Propaganda 1941-43.

by Mitch on April 18, 2012 0 Comments

Romain Hayes. Subhas Chandra Bose In Nazi Germany: Politics, Intelligence, and Propaganda 1941-43. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011. xxx + 249 pp. $30.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-231-70234-8; ISBN 978-0-231-80018-1.

Reviewed by Jaideep Prabhu (Vanderbilt)
Published on H-War (April, 2012)
Commissioned by Margaret Sankey

Prabhu on Hayes

Why does a land that has had no history of anti-semitism revere a man who allied himself with the Third Reich and the Axis powers? The man in question, Subhas Chandra Bose, was everything that the Indian freedom movement and its leading figures was not--while Mohandas Gandhi eschewed violence, Bose was the founder of the Indian National Army (INA), and while Jawaharlal Nehru and Gandhi positioned the Indian National Congress (INC) largely in support of the democratic allies, Bose led the INA in concert with Axis troops against the Raj in Southeast Asia.

In this book, Romain Hayes takes up the task of analyzing ...

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Samoan Crisis (1889)

by Mitch on April 3, 2012 0 Comments

One beached warship (US Nipsic) being attended to by men in smaller boats, one almost submerged warship (US Vandalia) and one severely damaged warship (US Trenton) further out.

In March 1889 seven warships from three different countries had gathered in Apia, Samoa to claim political control there. The American ships were the Nipsic, Trenton and Vandalia. The German ships were the SMS Adler, SMS Eber and SMS Olga. The British were represented by the man-of-war HMS Calliope. On the 15th March a hurricane struck, trapping the American and German ships in the harbour. Calliope managed to steam her way out to sea early on the 16th March. All three German ships sank, as did the Trenton and Vandalia. Nipsic, though severely damaged, managed to beach and survive the storm.


A three-cornered diplomatic confrontation, involving competing American, British, and German claims to the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific west of ...

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Annexation Crisis (1908–1909)

by Mitch on December 4, 2011 0 Comments

Ferdinand I of Bulgaria. On 5 October 1908 (celebrated on 22 September), Ferdinand proclaimed Bulgaria's de jure independence from the Ottoman Empire (though the country had been basically independent since 1878). He also elevated Bulgaria to the status of a kingdom, and proclaimed himself tsar, or king. The Bulgarian Declaration of Independence was proclaimed by him at the Saint Forty Martyrs Church in Turnovo. It was accepted by Turkey and the other European powers

A diplomatic crisis occasioned by Austria-Hungary’s formal annexation of the Turkish provinces of Bosnia and Herzogovina that heightened Great Power tensions in the decade before the outbreak of World War I. The Congress of Berlin in 1878 authorized Austria-Hungary to occupy and administer Bosnia-Herzegovina, but officially the territory remained part of the Ottoman Empire. Supervised by a department within the common ministry of finance in Vienna, the administration was run by Austro-Hungarian civil servants ...

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Hitler’s Long-Term Aims

by Mitch on November 23, 2011 0 Comments

Did Hitler seek world conquest? The verdict is not entirely clear, but the evidence strongly suggests that he did, at least in some vague and distant sense. Hitler had once envisaged a two-phase strategy. His “Stufenplan” originally aimed at alliance with Britain, or at least to keep Britain neutral while he crushed France and the Soviet Union and created a Nazi superstate in control of Eurasia. That phase was to be completed by 1943–1945. Next, Hitler would implement his Z-Plan, framed in January 1939, which detailed a naval shipbuilding program for super battleships, aircraft carriers, and other blue water ships capable of defeating the Royal Navy. A critical point is that on July 11, 1940, he ordered work on a blue water navy theoretically capable of matching the U.S. Navy. At that moment he believed that the European war he started in Poland in 1939 was already won ...

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Carl Peters, (1856–1918)

by Mitch on August 28, 2011 0 Comments

Explorer, adventurer, and colonial enthusiast behind the colonization of German East Africa. Convinced that Germany’s economic survival depended on the acquisition of colonies, in March 1884 Peters helped found the Gesellschaftfür Deutsche Kolonisation (Society for German Colonization), a colonial lobby that was absorbed three years later by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft (German Colonial Society). Not content with Germany’s recent colonial acquisitions in South West Africa, Togo, and Cameroon, Peters carved out a German sphere of influence in East Africa in late 1884 by signing treaties with interior tribes. Although initially unsanctioned by the German government, in February 1885 Otto von Bismarck made Peters’s protectorate official and granted him and the newly created German East Africa Company a charter to administer the new colony. Over the next several years he took part in expeditions to explore the interior and extend the German protectorate deeper inland.


After the creation of ...

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German Colonial Wars (1884–1919)

by Mitch on May 23, 2011 0 Comments

Battle of Waterberg

A short-lived “place in the sun.” The young German Empire did not establish colonies until 1884, and then mostly in areas of little economic or strategic value. It took the expenditure of military resources both to found and to maintain Germany’s place in the sun.


Beginning in 1884 the German flag was raised over several territories in Africa: Togo, Cameroon, German Southwest Africa (Namibia), and German East Africa (Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi). In the Pacific, Germany also claimed possession of northeast New Guinea and the Marshall and Solomon Islands, with the close support of the German navy.


The first military action was in Cameroon in December 1884, when a naval landing party of 350 men defeated the forces of a pro-British chieftain. One of the leaders of this party was Lieutenant Reinhard Scheer, later commander of the High Seas Fleet during World War I.


The creation ...

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German World War I Aims – The ‘September Programme’

by Mitch on May 15, 2011 0 Comments


On 9 September 1914 Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg announced Germany’s ‘September Programme’ of war aims. Whether this statement of territorial demands and military and economic ambitions was a triumphant response to early victories, or a pragmatic recognition that the war would not be short, and that the German people had to be made aware of what they were fighting for in a lengthy life-or-death struggle, the pre-emptive formulation of war aims was and remains controversial.


Although couched in defensive terminology, Germany’s war aims were expansionistic. Territorial annexations, economic domination and military control would provide, Bethmann Hollweg promised, ‘security for the German Reich in west and east for all imaginable time’. As such, Germany’s war aims were an expression of the social-Darwinist philosophy of imperialistic competition which had underpinned pre-war arms races and colonial rivalries. Weltpolitik may have failed in peacetime, but war presented an opportunity to achieve Germany ...

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'Tangier crisis' and Morocco

by Mitch on November 27, 2010 0 Comments

Colonel Charles Mangin greets the new French Resident General of Morocco, General Hubert Lyautey, at the gates of Marrakesh in 1912. Lyautey instructed Mangin to seize Marrakesh despite strict orders from Paris to the contrary.


The short-term causes of what became known as the 'Tangier crisis' resided in the equally ill-fated attempt on the part of von Bulow to isolate France diplomatically. France's major ally, Russia, was already engaged in a catastrophic war with Japan. If Germany supported Moroccan independence, the German chancellor calculated, Britain would back off from her alliance with France. It was a neat plan, but it contained at least one fallacy - it assumed that Britain would desert her new ally. This was unlikely. For the British, the Fashoda crisis followed by the Second South African War had demonstrated all too painfully how friendless Britain was in the world. The German naval laws of 1898 and ...

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by Mitch on November 18, 2010 1 Comment

Maji Maji Rebellion (1905-1907) is celebrated on February 27th every year in Tanzania. It was an uprising by several African indigenous communities in Tanzania against the Germany colonial rule in response to a German policy designed to force African peoples to grow cotton for export


The Maji Maji Revolt (1905–1907) was a pivotal event in the history of early colonial Tanzania. The revolt was the first manifestation of a united, interethnic opposition to colonial rule in Africa. Though the rebellion failed to oust the Germans from East Africa, it led the colonial administration to implement a series of reforms. The Maji Maji Revolt further engendered a protonationalist tradition that was tapped into in the 1950s during the country’s modern nationalist period.


Following the Berlin Conference (1884–1885), Germany acquired several colonies in Africa, including the present-day countries of Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and part of Mozambique. Like other colonial ...

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Warfare in Africa WWI

by Mitch on October 5, 2010 0 Comments

For the Great War in Africa, although the product of European devices and desires, was fought principally by the Africans themselves. In all, somewhere over 2 million Africans served in the First World War as soldiers or labourers, and upwards of 200,000 of them died or were killed in action. By comparison with Europe such figures are low—the first represents between 1 and 2 per cent of the total population of Africa. But in a local context a comparison with twentieth-century industrialized nation states is inappropriate; never before in the history of Africa had manpower been mobilized on such a scale.

Both during the war and after it, British and French propaganda accused the Germans of militarizing Africa: they had, said Lloyd George on 24 January 1919, ‘raised native troops and encouraged these troops to behave in a manner that would even disgrace the Bolsheviks’. Such rhetoric was ...

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