The British Army of the Rhine: Turning Nazi Enemies into Cold War Partners

Speiser, P. 2016. The British Army of the Rhine: Turning Nazi Enemies into Cold War Partners. Champaign, IL University of Illinois Press.

TitleThe British Army of the Rhine: Turning Nazi Enemies into Cold War Partners
AuthorsSpeiser, P.
Abstract

Between 1945 and 1957, West Germany made a dizzying pivot from Nazi bastion to Britain's Cold War ally against the Soviet Union. Successive London governments, though faced with bitter public and military opposition, tasked the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) to serve as a protecting force while strengthening West German integration into the Western defense structure.

Peter Speiser charts the BAOR's fraught transformation from occupier to ally by looking at the charged nexus where British troops and their families interacted with Germany's civilian population. Examining the relationship on many levels, Speiser ranges from how British mass media representations of Germany influenced BAOR troops to initiatives taken by the Army to improve relations. He also weighs German perceptions, surveying clashes between soldiers and civilians and comparing the popularity of the British services with that of the other occupying powers. As Speiser shows, the BAOR's presence did not improve the relationship between British servicemen and the German populace, but it did prevent further deterioration during a crucial and dangerous period of the early Cold War.

An incisive look at an under-researched episode, The British Army of the Rhine sheds new light on Anglo-German diplomatic, political, and social relations after 1945, and evaluates their impact on the wider context of European integration in the postwar era.

KeywordsBritish Army, Occupation, Anglo-German relations
Year2016
PublisherUniversity of Illinois Press
Publication dates
Published30 May 2016
Place of publicationChampaign, IL
ISBN9780252040160

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Botschafter in Uniform? Die Beziehungen der Britischen Rheinarmee zur Deutschen Zivilbevölkerung 1948-1957
Speiser, P. 2018. Botschafter in Uniform? Die Beziehungen der Britischen Rheinarmee zur Deutschen Zivilbevölkerung 1948-1957. Jahrestagung des Brauweiler Kreises. Vogelsang 08 - 09 Mar 2018 Klartext-Verlag Essen.

The British Army of the Rhine and the Germans in Westphalia (1948-1957): Obstacles to Rapprochement
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Speiser, P. 2017. Soho: The Heart of Bohemian London. London British Library Publishing.

The British army of the Rhine and the Germans (1948-1957): from enemies to partners
Speiser, P. 2012. The British army of the Rhine and the Germans (1948-1957): from enemies to partners. PhD thesis University of Westminster School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages

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