How much power did Kaiser Wilhelm II have over the German Empire’s day to day function and military?

Oct 2014
49
Toronto
I was just curious as to how much power the Kaiser really had in Germany during the 1910s? Is it comparable to how much Hitler had in the 1930s and 1940s?
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
I've heard Michael Mills previously saw somewhere (I'm not sure whether here or on the Axis History Forum) that the powers of the German Kaiser before World War I were roughly comparable to the powers of the US President today. So, certainly not a full-on autocrat like the Russian Tsar was before 1905-1906, but still having significant power.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,629
There's legal power, offical on papaer power, then there is the power in real terms with willing instruments, organizations to carry out your will.

As the war went on in 1914-18 the German army sidelined the Kaiser, the institution of the army had immense power, and whatever legal power teh Kaiser had it had enough internal belief to ignore him and there was no other orgaization capable of imposing upon the German army in 1914-18.

Hitler had personal forces with which he could just murder people he did not like. Hitler power was beyond the law, the police, courts, parliament where either captured or ineffective. Hitler had considerable more effective power and influence than the Russian Tsar before 1905-1906.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
There's legal power, offical on papaer power, then there is the power in real terms with willing instruments, organizations to carry out your will.

As the war went on in 1914-18 the German army sidelined the Kaiser, the institution of the army had immense power, and whatever legal power teh Kaiser had it had enough internal belief to ignore him and there was no other orgaization capable of imposing upon the German army in 1914-18.
Technically speaking, the German Kaiser could still fire generals even during WWI, no?

Hitler had personal forces with which he could just murder people he did not like. Hitler power was beyond the law, the police, courts, parliament where either captured or ineffective. Hitler had considerable more effective power and influence than the Russian Tsar before 1905-1906.
Yeah, Nazi Germany was bound by the Fuhrerprinzip--as in, the principle that the Fuhrer's word trumps all written law. :(
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,629
Technically speaking, the German Kaiser could still fire generals even during WWI, no?
Maybe but in reality the Geenrals fired the Kiaser. You no longer have the support of the army,.

Yeah, Nazi Germany was bound by the Fuhrerprinzip--as in, the principle that the Fuhrer's word trumps all written law. :(
But its also that that Hitler had various orgizations the SS, the Nazi Party and thad managed co-opt/neutralizse other major civil oraganizations , courts, parliament. And fetter the Army.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
Maybe but in reality the Geenrals fired the Kiaser. You no longer have the support of the army,.
Pugsville, did you forget to write the last part of your sentence here?

Also, are you suggesting that H & L would have launched a coup against the Kaiser had he tried to fire one or both of them?

But its also that that Hitler had various orgizations the SS, the Nazi Party and thad managed co-opt/neutralizse other major civil oraganizations , courts, parliament. And fetter the Army.
*Better, not fetter.

Anyway, though, Yes, you certainly appear to be correct here.
 
Jan 2019
147
Finland
Pugsville, did you forget to write the last part of your sentence here?

Also, are you suggesting that H & L would have launched a coup against the Kaiser had he tried to fire one or both of them?
Didn't Hindenburg and Ludendorf threaten resignation multiple times, or at least offer it? By late 1917 they probably knew that no one else could run the war as well as they could and they knew that everyone else knew as much too.



*Better, not fetter.

Anyway, though, Yes, you certainly appear to be correct here.
In the context it's probably "fetter" as in "shackled". "Better" wouldn't make any sense.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
Didn't Hindenburg and Ludendorf threaten resignation multiple times, or at least offer it?
Very possibly, Yes.

By late 1917 they probably knew that no one else could run the war as well as they could and they knew that everyone else knew as much too.
Did the entire German military have no better generals than those two?

In the context it's probably "fetter" as in "shackled". "Better" wouldn't make any sense.
Thanks; gotcha!