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On June 22, 1941, Hitler began what would be the most important campaign of the European theater. The war against the Soviet Union would leave tens of millions of Soviet citizens dead and large parts of the country in ruins. The death and destruction would result not just from military operations but also from the systematic killing and abuse that the German army, police, and SS directed against Jews, Communists, and ordinary citizens.
In War of Annihilation, noted military historian Geoffrey P. Megargee provides a clear, concise history of the Germans' opening campaign of conquest and genocide in 1941. By drawing on the best of military and Holocaust scholarship, Megargee dispels the myths that have distorted the role of Germany's military leadership in both the military operations themselves and the unthinkable crimes that were part of them.
Chapter 1: The Roots of the War of Annihilation
Chapter 2: Plans and Preparations, 1940–1941
Chapter 3: Initial Victories and Atrocities, June to August
Chapter 4: The Second Phase: Expanding Conquests and Genocide, August to October
Chapter 5: The Final Drive on Moscow and Systematic Killing, October to December
Chapter 6: Failure and Its Consequences, to Early 1942
Appendix 1: The Levels of Command
Appendix 2: Principal German Army Commands and Staffs on June 22, 1941