Wednesday, January 3, 2018

GERMANY BETWEEN THE WARS LEADING TO HITLERS RISE

                                 Alien saucer crash in 1937 Nazi Germany

 Fascinating pictures tell the story of how British troops tried and failed to prevent the feelings of discontent which led to Hitler's rise
'The British Army of the Rhine' shows British troops as they prepare to establish their section in Cologne
The new book by Michael Foley depicts how soldiers tried and failed to prevent feelings of discontent
Foley said the movement towards a dictatorship may well have happened after the war whatever the Allies did

In what was a broken Germany, these captivating images taken after the First World War reveal how British troops tried but failed to prevent the feelings of discontent that led to the rise of Hitler.

A new book tells the story of how the German public did not want UK soldiers in their country after the Great War - and in most cases didn't even want to be there themselves.

Following the signing of the armistice between the allies and Germany in 1918, British troops crossed the Rhine into Germany and entered a country torn by violence and unrest where revolution threatened and civil war seemed more likely every day.

There aim was to instill stability, with pictures in a book by Michael Foley titled 'The British Army of the Rhine after the First World War' revealing the moment they prepared to establish their section of the occupation area in Cologne.
The new secretary of state for war at the time, a young Winston Churchill MP, arrived in Germany in August 1919. Churchill who went on to serve as Prime Minister during the second world war arrived in Cologne to inspect the British Army of Occupation on the Rhine. Here he is pictured offering his hand to one of the official officers

The new secretary of state for war at the time, a young Winston Churchill MP, arrived in Germany in August 1919. Churchill who went on to serve as Prime Minister during the second world war arrived in Cologne to inspect the British Army of Occupation on the Rhine. Here he is pictured offering his hand to one of the official officers




British soldiers in 1928 with a pet dog and a baby outside a restaurant in Germany after the First World War where they tried to prevent the feelings of discontent which led to the rise of Hitler. The British Army of the Rhine was established at the end of the Great War in 1918 to instill stability into broken Germany




British soldiers in 1928 with a pet dog and a baby outside a restaurant in Germany after the First World War where they tried to prevent the feelings of discontent which led to the rise of Hitler. The British Army of the Rhine was established at the end of the Great War in 1918 to instill stability into broken Germany


The Allies are pictured competing against each other in an athletics meeting in Coblenz. The story of the Brits time in Germany after the first world war has been told in a new book 'The British Army of the Rhine after the First World War' by Michael Foley



The Allies are pictured competing against each other in an athletics meeting in Coblenz. The story of the Brits time in Germany after the first world war has been told in a new book 'The British Army of the Rhine after the First World War' by Michael Foley








Captivating images from the book show British troops crossing the Rhine as they prepare to establish their section of the occupation area in Cologne. 
Others show the German 'Brown Shirts' stood in formation shirtless after being banned from wearing the uniform by the Treaty of Versailles. 
And in another photo a fresh young Winston Churchill, then the newly appointed Secretary of State for War, arriving to inspect British troops during the occupation of Cologne. 
Following the signing of the armistice between the allies and Germany in 1918, British troops crossed the Rhine into Germany and entered a country torn by violence and unrest where revolution threatened and civil war seemed more likely every day.

The German public did not want them there and, in many cases, they did not want to be there, with most soldiers expecting to be discharged shortly after the war ended.
'It is important to have some level of understanding of the situation in Germany that the men of the occupation forces found themselves having to deal with,' writes Foley.
'They were not only going into a country that they had just beaten in the war (with all the resulting negative feelings that were going to be shown against them), but they also had to deal with the fact that the German population were going through a time of severe suffering and political upheaval in which the occupying forces often became

The British Army of the Rhine was initially established as an occupational force after World War One.
It was created to instill positivity into distressed Germany following the end of the Great War in 1918 and was later disbanded in 1929. Only 15 years later it would be back firmly in position at the end of World War Two.
The creation of the Twenty-first Army Group was assigned with the invasion of Europe.  It was formed in September 1943 in England and commanded by General (later Field Marshal) Sir Bernard Montgomery.
It initially controlled all ground forces in Operation Overlord. When sufficient American forces had landed, their own 12th Army Group was activated, under General Omar Bradley and 21st Army Group was left with British Second Army and First Canadian Army.
After the successful Normandy landings, the units of 21st Army Group crossed the river Rhine near the Germany city of Wesel on 23 March 1945. After an advance which was thoroughly resisted, the British formations, along with the Canadians and Americans advanced into the German counties of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Niedersachsen and Schleswig-Holstein . This established the British Army occupying the north of the country.
At the February 1945 Yalta Conference (and confirmed at the July 1945 Potsdam Conference) it was agreed that it should be divided into four with the addition of a small French Zone (adjacent to the Franco-German border). 
Similar arragements were agreed for Austria and the City of Berlin which was otherwise deep in East Germany (Russian Zone of Occupation). The earlier arrangement for the transfer of East Prussia and the move of the eastern border to the Oder Neisse Line remained unaltered. 
Three months after the war had ended, 21st Army Group was redesignated 'British Army of the Rhine'

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A Christmas meeting of anti-Spartacists in defence of Bremen in the Red Gymnasium. The Spartacist uprising, also known as the January uprising, was a general strike in Germany from 4 to 15 January 1919
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 in the Red Gymnasium. The Spartacist uprising, also known as the January uprising, was a general strike in Germany from 4 to 15 January 1919





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The Domplatz was the site of many military parades by the British troops during their time in Germany. Following the signing of the armistice between the allies and Germany in 1918, British troops crossed the Rhine into Germany




The Domplatz was the site of many military parades by the British troops during their time in Germany. Following the signing of the armistice between the allies and Germany in 1918, British troops crossed the Rhine into Germany


Boat trips on the Rhine were a popular leisure activity organised by the British Empire Leave Club. A group of soldiers are pictured packed onto a boat surrounding a table covered in what appears to be refreshments 



Boat trips on the Rhine were a popular leisure activity organised by the British Empire Leave Club. A group of soldiers are pictured packed onto a boat surrounding a table covered in what appears to be refreshments



This photograph was taken by one of the members of the occupation force of men in the showers. The German public did not want them there and, in many cases, they did not want to be there, with most soldiers expecting to be discharged shortly after the war ended

This photograph was taken by one of the members of the occupation force of men in the showers. The German public did not want them there and, in many cases, they did not want to be there, with most soldiers expecting to be discharged shortly after the war ended



'As the end of the war approached, it was to have a major effect on Germany. It was not only the fact that they had lost the war that upset the German population. Many, but not all, of the German people had already been suffering for many years from a shortage of food. What was to come after the war was to be an even bigger shock for the population.
'From the way the country went after the withdrawal of the occupation forces, it would seem that the presence of the Allied troops were keeping the lid on an underlying move towards extremism by the population. Whether this was caused by Allied policy during the occupation and in the harsh sanctions enforced by Versailles is debatable.

A squad of Brownshirts who, at this time, had been banned from wearing their uniform by the Treaty of Versailles and so appeared bare-chested. The men instead sported trousers, braces, a tie and their helmets  




A squad of Brownshirts (SA) who, at this time, had been banned from wearing their uniform by the Treaty of Versailles and so appeared bare-chested. The men instead sported trousers, braces, a tie and their helmets
 Although the majority of the German Army was disbanded after the war, many of the men still wore their uniforms and followed a military life, often as part of volunteer forces
Although the majority of the German Army was disbanded after the war, many of the men still wore their uniforms and followed a military life, often as part of volunteer forces

A parade of French troops on the street, which seems to be lined with British soldiers. Foley states that it is important to have some level of understanding of the situation in Germany that the men of the occupation forces found themselves having to deal with

A parade of French troops on the street, which seems to be lined with British soldiers. Foley states that it is important to have some level of understanding of the situation in Germany that the men of the occupation forces found themselves having to deal with



'The movement towards a dictatorship may well have happened after the war whatever the Allies did. There is little doubt that Germany did not have a background of democracy and although there may well have been many Germans who believed in this political system and wanted peace there were many others who did not.

'Rather than being the reason for the rise of Adolf Hitler, it could be said that the occupation actually delayed the rise of the Nazis rather than caused it. Whatever the truth of the matter, it seems obvious that the First World War did little to solve the problems of Europe. The results of the post-war decisions by the politicians were the reason for this and, in some cases, may have made the situation in post-war Europe even worse than they had been before.'
The British Army of the Rhine after the First World War by Michael Foley is published by Fonthill Media, and can be purchased here.


British troops posing for a soldier alongside a German anti-aircraft gun. The men were  going into a country that they had just beaten in the war with all the resulting negative feelings that were going to be shown against them
British troops posing for a soldier alongside a German anti-aircraft gun. The men were going into a country that they had just beaten in the war with all the resulting negative feelings that were going to be shown against them



The area around the Rhine often flooded during the winter months. This was the flood that occurred in 1919 while the British troops were there 




The area around the Rhine often flooded during the winter months. This was the flood that occurred in 1919 while the British troops were there
During the early days of the occupation, clear signs of military were visible, as can be seen from the guns along the bank of the Rhine

During the early days of the occupation, clear signs of military were visible, as can be seen from the guns along the bank of the Rhine


British troops crossing the Rhine as they prepare to establish their section of the occupation area in Cologne. From the way the country went after the withdrawal of the occupation forces, it would seem that the presence of the Allied troops were keeping the lid on an underlying move towards extremism by the population


British troops crossing the Rhine as they prepare to establish their section of the occupation area in Cologne. From the way the country went after the withdrawal of the occupation forces, it would seem that the presence of the Allied troops were keeping the lid on an underlying move towards extremism by the populatio






The use of black troops caused a number of complaints during the occupation. This shows a unit of colonial cavalry on the streets of Germany

The use of black troops caused a number of complaints during the occupation. This shows a unit of colonial cavalry on the streets of German









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