Hitlers Soldiers The German Army In The Third Reich
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A penetrating study of the German army s military campaigns, relations with the Nazi regime, and complicity in Nazi crimes across occupied Europe "
For decades after 1945, it was generally believed that the German army, professional and morally decent, had largely stood apart from the SS, Gestapo, and other corps of the Nazi machine. Ben Shepherd draws on a wealth of primary sources and recent scholarship to convey a much darker, more complex picture. For the first time, the German army is examined throughout the Second World War, across all combat theaters and occupied regions, and from multiple perspectives: its battle performance, social composition, relationship with the Nazi state, and involvement in war crimes and military occupation. This was a true people’s army, drawn from across German society and reflecting that society as it existed under the Nazis. Without the army and its conquests abroad, Shepherd explains, the Nazi regime could not have perpetrated its crimes against Jews, prisoners of war, and civilians in occupied countries. The author examines how the army was complicit in these crimes and why some soldiers, units, and higher commands were more complicit than others. Shepherd also reveals the reasons for the army’s early battlefield successes and its mounting defeats up to 1945, the latter due not only to Allied superiority and Hitler’s mismanagement as commander-in-chief, but also to the failings—moral, political, economic, strategic, and operational—of the army’s own leadership.
Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History is a brief but comprehensive survey of the Third Reich based on current research findings that provides a balanced approach to the study of Hitler’s role in the history of the Third Reich. The book considers the economic, social, and political forces that made possible the rise and development of Nazism; the institutional, cultural, and social life of the Third Reich; World War II; and the Holocaust. World War II and the Holocaust are presented as logical outcomes of the ideology of Hitler and the Nazi movement. This new edition contains more information on the Kaiserreich (Imperial Germany), as well as Nazi complicity in the Reichstag Fire and increased discussion of consent and dissent during the Nazi attempt to create the ideal Volksgemeinschaft (people’s community). It takes a greater focus on the experiences of ordinary bystanders, perpetrators, and victims throughout the text, includes more discussion of race and space, and the final chapter has been completely revised. Fully updated, the book ensures that students gain a complete and thorough picture of the period and issues. Supported by maps, images, and thoroughly updated bibliographies that offer further reading suggestions for students to take their study further, the book offers the perfect overview of Hitler and the Third Reich.
What was it like to grow up German during Hitler’s Third Reich? In this extraordinary book, Frederic C. Tubach returns to the country of his roots to interview average Germans who, like him, came of age between 1933 and 1945. Tubach sets their recollections and his own memories into a broad historical overview of Nazism—a regime that shaped minds through persuasion (meetings, Nazi Party rallies, the 1936 Olympics, the new mass media of radio and film) and coercion (violence and political suppression). The voices of this long-overlooked population—ordinary people who were neither victims nor perpetrators—reveal the rich complexity of their attitudes and emotions. The book also presents selections from approximately 80,000 unpublished letters (now archived in Berlin) written during the war by civilians and German soldiers. Tubach powerfully provides new insights into Germany’s most tragic years, offering a nuanced response to the abiding question of how a nation made the quantum leap from anti-Semitism to systematic genocide.
The sensational international bestseller on the overwhelming role of drug-taking in the Third Reich 'The most brilliant and fascinating book I have read in my entire life' Dan Snow 'Extremely interesting ... a serious piece of scholarship, very well researched' Ian Kershaw The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler's gripping bestseller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops' resilience - even partly explaining German victory in 1940. The promiscuous use of drugs at the very highest levels also impaired and confused decision-making, with Hitler and his entourage taking refuge in potentially lethal cocktails of stimulants administered by the physician Dr Morell as the war turned against Germany. While drugs cannot on their own explain the events of the Second World War or its outcome, Ohler shows, they change our understanding of it. Blitzed forms a crucial missing piece of the story.
This discussion of the German military occupation of areas of Russia during the Second World War re-evaluates many critical interpretations of Wehrmacht activities and concentrates on the responses of the lower ranks to their policies.
In the Third Reich, political dissidents were not the only ones liable to be punished for their crimes. Their parents, siblings and relatives also risked reprisals. This concept - known as Sippenhaft – was based in ideas of blood and purity. This definitive study surveys the threats, fears and infliction of this part of the Nazi system of terror.
As the Cold War followed on the heels of the Second World War, as the Nuremburg Trials faded in the shadow of the Iron Curtain, both the Germans and the West were quick to accept the idea that Hitler's army had been no SS, no Gestapo, that it was a professional force little touched by Nazi politics. But in this compelling account Omer Bartov reveals a very different history, as he probes the experience of the average soldier to show just how thoroughly Nazi ideology permeated the army. In Hitler's Army, Bartov focuses on the titanic struggle between Germany and the Soviet Union--where the vast majority of German troops fought--to show how the savagery of war reshaped the army in Hitler's image. Both brutalized and brutalizing, these soldiers needed to see their bitter sacrifices as noble patriotism and to justify their own atrocities by seeing their victims as subhuman. In the unprecedented ferocity and catastrophic losses of the Eastrn front, he writes, soldiers embraced the idea that the war was a defense of civilization against Jewish/Bolshevik barbarism, a war of racial survival to be waged at all costs. Bartov describes the incredible scale and destruction of the invasion of Russia in horrific detail. Even in the first months--often depicted as a time of easy victories--undermanned and ill-equipped German units were stretched to the breaking point by vast distances and bitter Soviet resistance. Facing scarce supplies and enormous casualties, the average soldier sank to ta a primitive level of existence, re-experiencing the trench warfare of World War I under the most extreme weather conditions imaginable; the fighting itself was savage, and massacres of prisoners were common. Troops looted food and supplies from civilians with wild abandon; they mercilessly wiped out villages suspected of aiding partisans. Incredible losses led to recruits being thrown together in units that once had been filled with men from the same communities, making Nazi ideology even more important as a binding force. And they were further brutalized by a military justice system that executed almost 15,000 German soldiers during the war. Bartov goes on to explore letters, diaries, military reports, and other sources, showing how widespread Hitler's views became among common fighting men--men who grew up, he reminds us, under the Nazi regime. In the end, they truly became Hitler's army. In six years of warfare, the vast majority of German men passed through the Wehrmacht and almost every family had a relative who fought in the East. Bartov's powerful new account of how deeply Nazi ideology penetrated the army sheds new light on how deeply it penetrated the nation. Hitler's Army makes an important correction not merely to the historical record but to how we see the world today.
Each topic contains an overview of the Key Issues, which is investigated using a Key Skill of the A-Level History process. The text is reinforced by documents, sourcework, historiography, maps, illustrations and photographs, meaning that the student can gain a wider understanding of the topic.