Building on a strong foundation of primary sources, this unique study traces the role of East Germany's military (NVA) in the country's unification with West Germany. Utilizing interviews with and questionnaires from NVA officers, Herspring unravels the puzzle of the NVA's decision against using force to save the political system it was sworn to serve. The author also examines the integration of a select minority of officers and NCOs into the Bundeswehr. Illuminating the problems encountered by the Bundeswehr as it incorporated these individuals, Herspring constructs an ideal type of officer in one of the most politicized and tightly controlled of all communist militaries. His findings will be invaluable for all military-political specialists and for anyone interested in the process of transition from authoritarian/totalitarian to democratic systems.