Adam Tooze But, as THE WAGES OF DESTRUCTION makes clear, Hitler was never remotely strong enough to beat either Britain or the. An extraordinary mythology has grown up around the Third Reich that hovers over political and moral debate even today. Adam Tooze’s controversial new book. Buy The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy New Edition by Adam Tooze (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store.

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Read it Forward Read it first. Jun 03, Laurent Franckx rated it really liked it.

The Wages of Destruction is a brilliant contribution to our understanding of events in the s and s. The facts listed above also explain Hitler’s decision to start the war.

Jul 20, Gwern rated it it was amazing. Today, you can’t examine the US-China relationship without looking at the economic aspect.

In fact, why start a war at all with the countries around you, when every single one has an economy that’s at least a match for your own?

Since Wages of Destruction offers a materialist analysis of Nazi Germany — albeit one that ends up emphasizing the irreducible autonomy of political ideology — it is of particular interest for Marxist historians and historical social scientist. In particular, Germany had a persistent balance of payments problem, due to dependency on imports of key primary inputs iron ore, oil, wheat, etc.

Those imports came from territories like Poland and Ukraine, directly at the expense of the Polish and Ukrainians, which meant that the Polish and Ukrainians had a direct incentive to help kill Jews, who were merely extra mouths to feed out of the leftover food. It has been translated into more than 10 languages.

Hitler’s gold

There was nothing whatsoever that GB and France could accomplish by opposing the rending of Poland by Hitler and Stalin anyway. Hitler hoped that Ukraine would be the solution to the food problem, but Germany faced ada rationing pretty much from the outset of the war.


Tooze’s decision to look at the war from an economic viewpoint is very refreshing, and allows him to bust a truly impressive number of myths, most notably for me the idea that Germany had any chance at all to win the war. Slave labor, genocide, hunger plans, making neat entries in logbooks concerning the planned deaths from famine in the early months of your next invasion- these are treated by historians in apocalyptic and sensational ways that safely place what the Nazis did and what they were thinking in some kind of pointless realm beyond understanding.

The epithet which was generally attached to these products was Volk: By reassessing economic statistical data and archival sources, Tooze evaluates the performance of the Nazi economic efforts and the regime’s ability to wage war. The book makes the case for the economic impact of the British and then Anglo-American strategic bombing campaign though argues that the wrong targets were often selectedchallenges the idea of an economic miracle under Albert Speer and rejects the idea that the German economy could have mobilised significantly more women into the war economy.

A fair amount of that new knowledge is absolutely horrifying, which is no more than you expect when reading about the Nazis. A must read for World War II scholars. And is mostly focused on the economic part. There are some errors or dubious claims, but probably fewer than could be expected in a book with such a wide scope.

The Wages of Destruction – Wikipedia

Yooze wonders if Tooze has ever spoken to his parents about the war or to the men who fought those hard fights. Tooze suggests that it failed to appear in afam to destrruction the war not because of poor planning, or insufficient appreciation of its military value, but because of the limitations of Germany’s war economy.

Taking over Austria, yes; seizing the Sudetenland, sure; closing off the Polish Corridor, of course; but why go to war barely 6 years after taking power, way before For all its horrors, World War 2 is undeniably a really cool war to look at from a military perspective. Many of the people in eastern lands where, according to Nazi idealogy, inferior and needed to be eliminated, so on the heels of the advancing German army came specially indoctrinated killers.


Buy from Indie Bound. The destructoin of France was aages incredible gamble that paid off, but the myth of blitzkrieg has distorted our impression of what happened. I got it recommended because it demystifies the economic miracle under the nazis and it does a great job explaining the logic between ideology and policy-making. The conquest of France did nothing to improve Germany’s situation, because French industry depended on British coal and raw materials.

The Battle of Britain was, “in retrospect, an extremely one-sided affair”.

The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy

Overall, tooae magnificent book that applies top-notch academic study to the important but often overlooked subject of economics and economy in the Third Reich.

The subject is highly undervalued by authors writing about WW II.

So perhaps the overall message of the book is the momentum not of economics but of geography and demography. That provides a fictionalised portrait of the seeming paradox that Tooze analyses: There are many surprises and many comforting myths we have been telling ourselves are busted. Likewise in Germany needed the resource of Ukraine and western Russia to sustain its economy and war effort or else it too would have crumbled. The level of intervention used to shape this war economy is quite amazing.

The key thing the Germans had was more tactical initiative and a nervier leadership.