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This is John Vincent Palatine’s Blog on European History of the Early 20th Century, roughly following the outline of his book “The Little Drummer Boy”. The posts are sorted thematically and/or chronologically and annotated extensively with links to original documents and/or Wikipedia references.

This blog revolves around Central European History of the early 20th Century – the youth of Adolf Hitler, the First World War and its aftermath until 1923.

We begin with a survey of European Imperialism from Caesar to Bismarck (including a few looks into Central European history from the Roman Empire through the Middle Ages until about AD 1871) before switching to young Adolf Hitler growing up in Austria. We proceed with a historia, an investigation, into the evolution of the European alliances, Triple Alliance, Entente Cordiale and Triple Entente, followed by the developments which preceded the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo and the diplomatic tomfoolery that eventually brought the outbreak of the Great War of 1914. The main part of the book is taken up by an analysis of major operations of the Great War and a look into the Russian Civil War of 1917 – 1924.

Meanwhile in Germany, we meet young Hitler moving to Munich in May 1913  and as Private First Class on the Western Front 1914 – 1918. We see him again on the eve of the Revolution in November 1918, which abolishes the monarchy and establishes the German Republic. After the short-lived experiment of the Bavarian Soviet Republic in the spring of 1919, Hitler works as an agent for the shady Major Karl Mayr,  head of Bavaria´s military intelligence unit.

In September 1919, Hitler is sent to a meeting of a small political party which counts about fifty members and calls itself “Deutsche Arbeiter Partei” (‘German Workers’ Party’, DAP). Despite the socialist label, the party is a right-wing, authoritarian and nationalist  group of petty bourgeois who suffer from the want of new ideas or popular orators while congregating in smoke-filled Munich beer taverns.

Adolf Hitler eventually joins the club, of which he subsequently becomes chairman in 1921. Through his adrenaline-filled sermons, the party gains attraction and the legend of the “Führer” is born. Two years later, by November 8-9, 1923 he has enlarged the party to membership numbers approaching 20.000 in Munich alone and attempts to grab power over Germany …

[All posts © John Vincent Palatine 2015 – 2019, except quotations where noted]