This study explores an exemplary instance of the close interaction between private and official interests in planning and executing the programs of the Nazi government, namely the acquisition in 1941 of the Rombach steel works in Lorraine by German industrialist Friedrich Flick. Historian Marcus O. Jones examines the actions of the industrial concern headed by Flick, one of the largest and most influential steel producers and manufacturers of war material in Germany during World War II . Jones contends that the Nazi regime actively sought the collusion of the German industrial community in mobilizing the productive capacity of occupied territories and that Flick gained control of Rombach mostly because of his position within the Nazi economic system. His investigation of Nazi economic and occupation policies has much to say to today’s readers reflecting on the relationship between political and corporate power.
Marcus O. Jones is a history professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and consultant for the Institute for Defense Analyses.
Advance Praise for Nazi Steel
“Marcus Jones has written a fascinating study on how the Germans stumbled over themselves in attempting to incorporate the steel industry in Lorraine that they seized after their great victory of 1940. In clear and forthright fashion Jones lays out the complexities of the contest between the various components that made up a less than perfect Fuehrer state. Nazi Steel represents a major contribution to our understanding of how Hitler's Reich did, or did not, function.”
—Williamson Murray, Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University
“Marcus Jones' carefully researched account of the effort by an ambitious German industrialist to acquire control of an expropriated French steel works in conquered Lorraine reveals the extent to which racist ideology, bureaucratic politics, commercial greed, and the exigencies of war collided in Nazi industrial policy. Scholars and others interested in the economic peculiarities of Hitler's Germany will find it both a valuable resource and a revealing case study in institutionalized kleptocracy.”
—Richard Hart Sinnreich, defense consultant and columnist
“Almost sixty-five years after the end of World War II the world continues to be fascinated with the German military, for better or worse. But any military force is only the tip of the bayonet, so to speak. Behind that bayonet the force requires a powerful national economy, industry, and political structure to equip and sustain it. Marcus Jones’ Nazi Steel is a penetrating study of one key segment of German industry that contributed to making the Wehrmacht arguably the best and most powerful army the world had ever seen by 1940. Yet Jones’ analysis also explores Germany’s moral and political corruption that in the long run made it impossible for that nation to maintain and prevail with its military might.”
—Maj. Gen. David T. Zabecki, AUS (Ret.), editor of Chief of Staff: Volumes 1 & 2