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The German Army 1933 –1945 Its Political and Military Failure

By: Matthew Cooper (432.1/36097)
Publisher: Macdonald and Jane’s
From the John Laffin Library

No armed force has ever presented the historian with such a tangle of truths, half-truths and myths to cope with when analysing the political and military events of the time, than has the German Army of Hitler’s Third Reich. No other army since Napoleon’s Grande Armée has begun a war with such resounding conquests, and ended in such total defeat, and no other force has had to endure such an unpleasant and disastrous relationship with its Head of State and Commanders-in-Chief.

Why, after so many startling successes, was the German Army beaten so completely? In attempting to answer this, the author has come to a number of novel conclusions concerning the political and military attitudes and actions of the Army and its master, Adolf Hitler. He rejects any idea that Hitler was anything other than a total liability to the army he led; he shows that the usual interpretation of the relationship between the dictator and his generals, at any rate until 1938, is in need of considerable revision; and perhaps most important of all, he contends that Blitzkrieg is a myth: far from practising its hitherto-accepted concepts, the German Army deliberately pursued a form of war that was directly contradictory to the revolutionary principles of the so-called ‘lightning war’.

A readable, forceful, thought-provoking, well researched and well illustrated major work. It will cause everyone interested in the history of Hitler’s Army to rethink their attitudes to many important issues.

April 2009


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