A City Amputated, A Community Regenerated: Munich During and After the Allied Air War, 1939-1948
University of Kansas
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Cities do not exist in isolation. They sum up a complex web of connections between people and natural resources, knit together by transport systems. Cities are also connected to other cities, regions, and countries. Like an organism cut off from its food, a city amputated from its vital connections to natural resources--food and fuel--can suffer and even die. This study argues these connections and the transport system that bind them together make a city work. Warfare, especially strategic bombing, disrupts these connections, having huge impacts on citizens' lives. Urbanites are forced to confront their dependence on natural resources and vulnerability to natural forces such as weather. The subject of this study, Munich, experienced these changes both during and after WWII. Between 1939 and 1948, the city descended from thriving cultural metropole to isolated, burned-out wreck, then slowly rallied to become a city on the mend. This study analyzes how wartime bombing and postwar occupation policies damaged and often completely severed Munich's connections to coal, electricity, and food. It uses eyewitness accounts and memoirs to analyze the impacts of these changes in peoples' lives. It combines the ideas and insights of military, urban, and environmental history. By analyzing war's strike against a city's connections, we better appreciate warfare's place in the perennial relationship linking humans to nature.
- Dissertations 
- History Dissertations and Theses 
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