Hitler Strikes Poland: Blitzkrieg, Ideology, and Atrocity / Edition 1

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Overview

"Usually given short shrift in most histories of World War II, the invasion of Poland was more than a series of opening salvos; it was a testing ground for German brutalities to come. In this first intensive study of the invasion, Alexander Rossino provides a comprehensive study of the Polish campaign, including disturbing new insights into its racist and ideological underpinnings." "Rossino tells how this invasion melded the ideology of the Nazi Party with Germany's military yearning for empire in the East. The Polish campaign was important as the first step in Hitler's drive for "living space" for Germans in Eastern Europe, and as the blitzkrieg decimated urban residential areas, civilians soon became indistinguishable from combatants. In addition to describing military operations, Rossino also provides a close analysis of SS plans to murder Polish leaders, German army reprisal policies, and the close collaboration of Wehrmacht and SS forces in the subjugation and execution of Polish citizens." Rossino considers both top-level decision making and the experiences of German soldiers as he explores the mentality of those who perpetrated crimes against civilians. He particularly investigates the links between Nazi racial-political policies and military action to show that Poland was merely the German army's dress rehearsal for the later slaughter of other Slavs and Jews during the Russian campaign. By providing a detailed examination of atrocities committed by both military and SS personnel, he shows that the Wehrmacht's criminality was clearly evident at the beginning of the war.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Drawing on a plethora of primary source materials both in the United States and Germany, Rossino, research historian at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, has written a powerful book describing Operation Tannenburg, the code name for the Nazi assault on Poland in 1939. An excellent companion volume to Christopher Browning's Ordinary Men and Richard Rhodes's Masters of Death, the book illustrates the extent of cooperation between the military and the police to initiate Germany's policies of genocide and ethnic cleansing. Rossino discusses the experiences of these policies at all levels, from the high command to the soldier in the ranks. Studded with capsule biographies of the unit commanders, the book successfully characterizes the type of German soldier involved in the initiation of the brutal policies pursued by the military throughout the war. An apt documentation of an ethnic war of extreme brutality, it is essential reading for everyone interested in this type of ideology and total war. Recommended for large history collections.-David Lee Poremba, Detroit P.L. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700613922
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 4/15/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Abbreviations

Acknowledgments

1. The Ideological Dimensions of War with Poland

2. Nazi Radicals and SS Killers

3. The German Army and the Opening Phase of Operation TANNENBERG

4. Nazi Anti-Jewish Policy during the Polish Campaign

5. Institutional Brutality and German Army Reprisal Policy

6. From Retaliation to Atrocity: Wehrmacht Soldiers and Irregular Warfare

7. Explaining German Brutality

Conclusion

Notes

Glossary

Bibliography

Index

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