The awesome (and chilling) genius of the Germans: From soccer to supermarkets, and factory floors to battlefields our European cousins are a force to be reckoned with | Mail Online
What is it about the Germans? Yes, yes, I know we are not meant to mention the war, or rather wars. But how can we not do so, when for centuries the world paid tribute to Germany’s prowess on the battlefield? The Roman writer Tacitus and the French revolutionary Mirabeau alike marvelled at the Germans as a society of supremely disciplined warriors.
Field-Marshal Sir Harold Alexander wrote ruefully from Italy in 1944, lamenting the difficulties of the Allied armies, struggling to make headway in mountainous terrain. ‘Unfortunately,’ he said, ‘we are fighting the best soldiers in the world. What men!’
Today, even if the warriors are gone, the national genius for disciplined pursuit of purpose persists. In the seven decades since Germany abandoned militarism and espoused democracy, it has brilliantly translated the skills that made its armies so often supreme on the battlefield into economic, industrial and indeed social success on an equally awesome scale.
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