The Disarmament School: US Policy for the Disarmament and Demobilization of the Germany Army, November-December 1944
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World War II was waged on an unprecedented scale, and the peace which followed was equally unprecedented. The Allies did more than simply call for an armistice; they made their goal the complete destruction of the German Wehrmacht and the German Military Tradition. This demilitarization of Germany was the chief goal of victory and means of ensuring lasting peace in Europe. In November and December of 1944, the US Army hosted the Disarmament School, a series of lectures by experts in the field of demilitarization planning. Based in London, these lectures familiarized US staff officers with the history of planning for the disarmament, demobilization, and final disposal of the Wehrmacht, as well as the current state of those plans. By accessing the transcripts of these lectures as well as original documents and memoranda of US post-hostilities planning staffs, I demonstrate that these groups at the SHAEF and USGCC levels were caught between the need for post-war security and the call for unconditional surrender as they planned for the control and disposal of the doomed German military machine. Though much would change between the time of the Disarmament School and the final defeat of Nazi Germany, the lectures of the Disarmament School nonetheless provide a valuable insight into the assumptions upon which Allied planning rested during a crucial stage of the war in Europe.
German General Staff
World War II
Wilkerson, Joseph Jr (2009). The Disarmament School: US Policy for the Disarmament and Demobilization of the Germany Army, November-December 1944. Available electronically from