Gustav Krupp

From Kaiserreich

Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (born Gustav von Bohlen und Halbach on August, 7 1870 in The Hague, Netherlands) is a German industrialist and businessman, who became chairman of the prominent heavy industry conglomerate Friedrich Krupp AG Hoesch-Krupp, due to his wedding to Bertha Krupp, heiress of Friedrich Krupp. A noticed Pan-Germanist and one of the most powerful men on German economics, he's also the best representative of the interests of the militaro-industrial complex, the IHK-Mitteleuropa.


Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach was born Gustav von Bohlen und Halbach, the son of a German diplomat (also called Gustav) working in the Hague. The elder Gustav had made his family fortune in the coal and iron fields of Pennsylvania, and had decided to return home once Germany became a unified nation. Gustav the younger became a diplomat too, serving in Washington D.C., Peking and Vatican City.

He married Bertha Krupp in October 1906. Bertha had inherited her family's company in 1902 at age 16 when her father, Friedrich Krupp had committed suicide. Kaiser Wilhelm II personally led a search for a suitable spouse for Bertha, as it was considered unthinkable for the Krupp empire to be headed by a woman. The Kaiser announced at the wedding that Gustav would be allowed to add the Krupp name to his own. Gustav became company chairman in 1909.

After 1910, The Krupp company became a member and major funder of the Pan German League (Alldeutscher Verband) which mobilised popular support in favour of two army bills, in 1912 and 1913, to raise Germany's standing army to 738,000 men. Krupp's sole proviso in providing the finance was that the rank and file should never know who was paying the bills.

By the Weltkrieg, the company had a near monopoly in heavy arms manufacture in Germany. At the start of the war, the company lost access to most of its overseas markets, but this was more than offset by increased demand for weapons by Germany and her allies. One of the company's products was a 94-ton howitzer named Big Bertha, after Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach's wife. Gustav also won the lucrative contract for Germany's U-boats, which were built at the family's shipyard in Kiel.

After the war, Krupp was widely criticised within Germany for the profits he had made from the fighting. In 1902, before Krupp's marriage, the company leased a fuse patent to Vickers Limited of the United Kingdom--thus placing Krupp in the odd position of profiting from Germany's casualties.

However, after the war, Gustav Krupp managed to maintain its company as one of the most important of German economy, specialized in war economy. By 1936, Friedrich Krupp AG Hoesch-Krupp is still the almost exclusive supplier of the German army, of all the armies concerned by the Mitteleuropa system and of various others throughout the world. Denying allegations that suppose that weapons had been sold to Syndicalist rebellions, Krupp replied that "business is business". Among all, he is a staunch Pan-Germanist, financing various nationalist groups and providing grants for German settlers in the United Baltic Duchy. Krupp has made of his company the perfect example of the German militaro-industrial complex.

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