This introductory chapter provides a review of the political and social impact of the British attempt to transform the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) from an occupation force of the defeated Nazi Germany to an alliance partner of the Federal Republic of Germany. The study begins in 1948, when it became increasingly evident that the western zones of Germany would merge into a semi-sovereign state; it ends in 1957, when the generally good political, economic, and cultural cooperation that had been established between Britain and Germany in the postwar decade began to deteriorate. The study seeks to establish the extent to which the BAOR provided an effective tool for the improvement of Anglo-German relations in a crucial period of the Cold War.
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