Wehrmacht

Article

July 6, 2022

Wehrmacht (German Wehrmacht [ˈveːɐ̯maxt] listen - “armed forces” from Wehr “weapon; defense, resistance” + Macht “strength, power; power, influence; army”) - the armed forces of Nazi Germany in 1935-1945. Historically, the word "Wehrmacht" in German-speaking countries denoted the armed forces of any country. The concept of "Wehrmacht" received its current meaning during the coming to power in Germany of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. The Law on the Creation of the Armed Forces (German „Gesetz über den Aufbau der Wehrmacht”) was adopted on March 16, 1935 (two years after Adolf Hitler came to power) and consisted of ground forces (Heer German Heer), the navy (Kriegsmarine; German Kriegsmarine) and the air force (Luftwaffe; German Luftwaffe). At the head of them, the corresponding governing bodies were created - the Supreme Commands.

History

After the First World War, the Treaty of Versailles forbade Germany from having a full-fledged armed forces: the size of the army was limited to 100,000 troops plus 15,000 sailors, there was no provision for heavy artillery, tank troops and air force (navy). In 1921, under these conditions, the so-called Reichswehr (imperial defense forces) was created. The Defense Law of March 23, 1921 established that the armed forces of the German Republic were the Reichswehr, consisting of the army and naval forces (German: "Die Wehrmacht der Deutschen Republik ist die Reichswehr. Sie wird gebildet aus dem Reichsheer und der Reichsmarine ..." ). Almost immediately, Germany began to actively build up its military power, going beyond the limits. This became really possible after the conclusion of the Rapallo agreement between Weimar Germany and the USSR, which brought Germany out of a state of international isolation. Of particular importance for the revival of German military power were the agreements that followed the agreement, in which the Soviet Union undertook to assist Germany in the revival of its armed forces outside the framework of the Versailles Treaty (the School of military pilots in Lipetsk, the school of tankers in Kazan, the school of chemists in Volsk, created with money and using German resources; providing territory (Ukraine) for joint maneuvers of tank formations). With the advent of Hitler to power, military cont�