Not So Fast, Fritzie

Sayeth Victor Davis Hanson:

Every 20 to 50 years in Germany, things start unraveling.  Germans feel aggrieved.  Ideas and movements gyrate wildly between far left and far right extremes.  And the Germans finally find consensus in a sense of victimhood paradoxically expressed as national chauvinism.  Germany’s neighbors in 1870, 1914, 1939 — and increasingly in the present — usually bear the brunt of this national meltdown.

Well, yeah;  except that in 1870 they had just unified Prussia’s army with those of the other German states, in 1914 they had the Imperial German Army and in 1939 they had Hitler’s Nazi war machine to boss their neighbors around.

Nowadays?  LOL.  The Alabama National Guard could whip the Bundeswehr and still be home in time for dinner.

This time, the Germans should direct all their energies inward, to fix their festering immigration population, the unions’ stranglehold on industry and the country’s  1920s-style social decadence — but they don’t have the balls to do that, even.  And I don’t see anywhere a potential  Bismarck to try it all, let alone a Hitler.

It’s not often I disagree with VDH, but this is one time I do.


  1. Having dealt with several German concerns for my work, my impression is, if the Germans, as a nation, decided that they needed an army they would gin one up with frightening efficiency. Germans don’t seem to do half measures, in my experience they overdeliver (on budget…well…) when they get behind a goal to achieve. Of course, my brother, 20 years USMC, having served with German’s in Afghanistan said of their ROE’s he really has no idea what it takes to get Germans into a fight these days.

    1. That’s what I was thinking as I read the article. All those efficient factories and fighting-age immigrants could be redirected into something very frightening.

      They had to army to speak of in 1930 either.

      I trained with some German tanker NCOs about a decade ago. Smart and motivated. I got the impression they were on a very tight leash when it came to dealing with their soldiers. Take them off the leash and they would motivate their soldiers.

  2. J Glackin is right.

    I’m first generation Canadian of German origin. After the war my 15 aunts and uncles from both sides of the family wound up in Germany, but also Switzerland, France and England, married to citizens of those countries. I speak Krautish well and French passably, stay in touch and get over often, twice a year now I’m retired.

    The non-German half German cousins are unanimous: German Germans not so steady as the world believes, but rather are mercurial and monomaiacal about their fad of the day.

    My father, a true blue Nazi for many years, Hitler youth, the whole deal, agreed with that assessment. After being here in Canada for 10 years he had become wiser and an admirer of the English, their culture, relative political calmness and lack of fanaticism.

    Right now the Germans are pacifist eco-nuts. Have you ever noticed how aggressive they are about those things?

    Ah well, the thought of an aggressive pacifist amuses me so much I must arrange a visit to cousin David in the UK so we can make mock of the German side of the family.

  3. Is this why we’ve been defending Germany and Japan since WWII? If we’re doing the defense, they don’t need to spend to keep their own defenders (or offenders).

    There were articles a a few weeks ago about the lack of combat worthiness of the German military. Zero Subs, a fraction of Tornado airplanes, half their tanks, etc.

  4. Medicine and Culture is an amusing essay on medical anthropology from the ’70s or so. Lynn Payer, the author (whose work and health had led her into doctor’s offices in many countries,) observed that if you go to a doctor with symptoms not conducive to a precise diagnosis

    • in the US you were likely to be told “You have a virus,”
    • in England “Perhaps you’re constipated,”
    • in France, “It’s your liver,” and
    • in Germany the symptoms would likely be ascribed to “cardiac insufficiency.”

    She thought this was probably because the Germans view themselves as Romantics: passion is important. The French, as we know, are supremely rational.

    There was a thought provoking podcast over at MidRats. It’s #437, Commander Salamander is a good resource. The highlights: WWI was due to German internal politics.

    “Lesser breeds without the Law” indeed.

  5. Note that VDH said “things start unraveling” and that they would have some kind of melt down.

    He didn’t say they’d do a walkabout Europe like they did 3 of the last 4 times (also note that there was SORT of a melt down in 1990–reunification. Which is partially leading to THIS meltdown–29 years later).

  6. I believe VDH addressed that with the note, “from the Waffen SS to Potemkin divisions and gossamer air wings.”

  7. If they get the “remove kebab” idea going in time, it just might save Europe.

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