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Posted March 25, 2006
The Rise and Fall of Hitler's Military Machine
This is a fast-moving and immensely readable book about Germany's military rebirth after Versailles under Hitler's aggressive leadership. WWII enthusiasts should be familiar with many of the chapters within the book, but it also examines some of the Third Reich's lesser known military operations (e.g. the invasion of Norway, the helter-skelter airborne operation at Rotterdam, the Kriegsmarine's surface raiding activites, and the conquests of Yugoslavia/Greece/Crete). This 619-page book moves fast, just like the Third Reich's Wehrmacht from background info on Germany to the final bunker scene in Berlin and ending with the discovery of Hitler's maliciously horrific 'final solution' throughout Central Europe. Michael Veranov's book is organized into 15 chapters, including: Germany's Three Empires, The Irresistible Rise of Adolf Hitler, The Forging of the Third Reich, Blitzkrieg, Conquest of the Balkans, The Invasion of Russia, The Desert War, The Struggle for Italy, War at Sea: The Surface Fleet, War at Sea: The U-Boats, Stalingrad and the Retreat from Russia, The Liberation of France, The Final Reckoning, The Death-Throes of the Reich, and The Greatest Crime in World History. There are thankfully numerous maps to assist the reader in understanding the many battles and campaigns. Having read numerous books on WWII, I still managed to learn several new things from reading Veranov's book. I thought the airborne invasion of Rotterdam was especially interesting. The Allies persistent early failures against Germany were the result of caution, indecisiveness, amateurism, and lack of total commitment. German leadership, despite being vastly outnumbered as usual, was totally committed, agressive, and decisive. However, with Hitler's increasing military interference and failing sense of reality resulting in numerous debacles (e.g. huge winter 1941 frostbite casualties, Stalingrad, Tunisia, Kursk, Normandy to name but a few) the Third Reich began rapidly declining. At the same time, the Allies had gained confidence and became totally committed to victory, but still suffered from often mediocre military leadership. I read this book very quickly - perhaps in about a week or two. This is a interesting and fast-moving overview of WWII in Europe. I certainly recommend it to any student of WWII - it will fill in a few knowledge gaps regarding the lesser known campaigns.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 7, 2009
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