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dc.contributor.authorCowling, Daniel Luke
dc.date.accessioned2019-01-30T10:06:50Z
dc.date.available2019-01-30T10:06:50Z
dc.date.issued2019-04-01
dc.date.submitted2018-06-14
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/288547
dc.description.abstractThe Allied Occupation of Germany, 1945-49, was intended to transform the war-torn Third Reich into a peaceable nation through a series of far-reaching political, economic, and social reforms. But amid the growing tensions between East and West these radical plans would be significantly altered, culminating in the formation of two German states in 1949. Historians have tended to view the occupation as a backdrop to the nascent Cold War or a transitional period in the history of modern Germany. Yet this thesis suggests that British participation in the Allied occupation was, in fact, much more than simply an exercise in political pragmatism or a contribution to the rebuilding of war-torn Europe. Rather, this undertaking catalysed Britain’s political and public confrontation with Nazism, laying some of the most significant and durable foundations of the postwar Anglo-German relationship. This research utilises contemporary mass media sources and official records to explore British images and perceptions of Germany under occupation, scrutinising the interactions of decision-makers, the media, and the public. It begins with an examination of the pervasive culture war that emerged in wartime Britain over the precise interpretation and resolution of the so-called ‘German problem’. The thesis then goes on to consider public portrayals of the occupation vis-à-vis the evolution of official policy, beginning in the summer of 1945 when British policymakers responded to popular demands for a ‘hard peace’ and approved a rigorous programme of denazification, re-education, and demilitarisation. In the coming years, scandals engulfed the public image of the British occupiers, threatening to undermine Britain’s claims on ‘winning the peace’ and even prompting an official public relations campaign. The mass market press led calls for an abrupt end to the occupation, fearing it was undermining the nation’s prestige while failing to adequately address the threat still posed by Germany. At around the same time, Britain’s political and military leaders reassessed their position in the face of the Cold War, turning towards the reconstruction and rehabilitation of western Germany. By 1949, a clear dichotomy had emerged, with implications reaching far beyond the immediate postwar period: while anxieties over the ‘German problem’ remained largely intact amongst substantial sections of the British press and public, with many regarding the occupation as an abject failure, policymakers were firmly set on the path towards Anglo-German reconciliation and alliance.
dc.description.sponsorshipAHRC DTP full scholarship
dc.language.isoen
dc.rightsAll rights reserved
dc.rightsAll Rights Reserveden
dc.rights.urihttps://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserved/en
dc.subjectAnglo-German relations
dc.subjectBritish Occupation of Germany
dc.subjectPostwar Germany
dc.subjectGermany 1945-49
dc.subjectPostwar Britain
dc.subjectBritain 1945-49
dc.subjectPublic Opinion
dc.subjectPublic Relations
dc.subjectControl Commission
dc.subjectBritish Army of the Rhine
dc.subjectFraternisation
dc.subjectManstein
dc.titleBritain and the Occupation of Germany, 1945-49
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoral
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridge
dc.publisher.departmentHistory
dc.date.updated2019-01-29T10:14:22Z
dc.identifier.doi10.17863/CAM.35832
dc.publisher.collegeWolfson
dc.type.qualificationtitlePhD in History
cam.supervisorGrunwald, Henning
cam.thesis.fundingtrue
rioxxterms.freetoread.startdate2020-01-30


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