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Militarism in a Global AgeNaval Ambitions in Germany and the United States before World War I$
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Dirk Bönker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450402

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450402.001.0001

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Between Leadership and Intraservice Conflict

Between Leadership and Intraservice Conflict

(p.275) Chapter 11 Between Leadership and Intraservice Conflict
Militarism in a Global Age

Dirk Bönker

Cornell University Press

This chapter shows that the U.S. and German pursuit of their navalist project was riddled, in varying ways, by conflict over turf and policy priorities. In his memoirs, written in 1918, Alfred von Tirpitz stressed the harmonious relationship among the navy, nation, and parliament that had existed during his tenure as secretary of the navy before World War I. Yet according to his account, conflict among the naval elite itself had created clear obstacles on the road to German sea power. Unknown to the public, continuous divisions within Tirpitz's own service had sapped much of his energies as the policy maker in charge. Tirpitz set the image of a fractured and multivocal intraservice politics against his own decisive leadership from above. This chapter examines the militarism of the U.S. and German navies in relation to the dialectics of leadership, professional cohesion, intraservice conflict, and disunity.

Keywords:   intraservice conflict, Alfred von Tirpitz, navy, sea power, intraservice politics, leadership, militarism, professional cohesion, disunity

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