By Stephen F. Szabo
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Extra info for The Bundeswehr and Western Security
Occupation by American, Soviet, British, and French forces. Breakdown of Four Power governance. Establishment of Western economic 'Bizonia'. Initial discussions in Germany and in allied capitals on German rearmament. Federal Republic of Germany established under provisional Basic Law. Adenauer of CDU defeats Schumacher of SPD to become first chancellor. Formal American proposal within NATO for German military contribution. French counter-proposal (Pleven plan) for European Defence Community (EDC).
Their first concern was military security, the protection of German citizens and the state from external threat, a threat faced on every border. The exposed geopolitical position of Germany, its lack of natural frontiers, its multiple neighbours and close relations have throughout the last three centuries been a source of central concern for every type of German leadership - autocratic, aristocratic, totalitarian, and democratic. The second goal, a particular form of peacetime political security, was defined in positive rather than negative terms.
Theodor Blank becomes first defence minister First German forces inducted under Volunteers Bill. Conscription system established. Franz Josef Strauss becomes defence minister. Public and parliamentary debate over armament of German forces with dual-capable weapons under NATO control. Agreement in 1958. Germany becomes member of NATO Standing Group. Berlin crisis. Strauss forced out of office in Spiegel scandal. Kai Uwe von Hassel becomes defence minister. Adenauer replaced by Erhard as chancellor.