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Inside Hitler's High Command

Megargee, Geoffrey P.

Published by Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.: Univ Pr of Kansas, 2000, Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A., 2000
ISBN 10: 0700610154 / ISBN 13: 9780700610150
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Inside Hitler's High Command

Publisher: Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.: Univ Pr of Kansas, 2000, Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good+

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good+

Edition: First Edition


Hard Cover. Very Good+/Very Good+. First Edition. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. 327pp/illus. This book challenges the myth that German generals would have prevailed in WWII if only Hitler had not meddled in their decisions. It reveals that whilst Hitler was central to many military decisions, his generals were partners in Germany's catastrophic defeat, & how Germany's presumed battlefield superiority was undermined by poor strategic & operational planning at the highest levels. Bookseller Inventory # 004306

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Synopsis: Challenging previous accounts, Geoffrey Megargee shatters the myth that German generals would have prevailed in World War II if only Hitler had not meddled in their affairs. Indeed, Megargee argues, the German high command was much more flawed than many have suspected or acknowledged. Inside Hitler's High Command reveals that while Hitler was the central figure in many military decisions, his generals were equal partners in Germany's catastrophic defeat.

Megargee exposes the structure, processes, and personalities that governed the Third Reich's military decision making and shows how Germany's presumed battlefield superiority was undermined by poor strategic and operational planning at the highest levels. His study tracks the evolution of German military leadership under the Nazis from 1933 to 1945 and expands our understanding of the balance of power within the high command, the role of personalities in its organizational development, and the influence of German military intellectuals on its structure and function. He also shows how the organization of the high command was plagued by ambition, stubbornness, political intrigue, and overworked staff officers. And his "a week in the life" chapter puts the high command under a magnifying glass to reveal its inner workings during the fierce fighting on the Russian Front in December 1941.

Megargee also offers new insights into the high command crises of 1938 and shows how German general staff made fatal mistakes in their planning for Operation Barbarossa in 1941. Their arrogant dismissal of the Soviet military's ability to defend its homeland and virtual disregard for the extensive intelligence and sound logistics that undergird successful large-scale military campaigns ultimately came back to haunt them.

In the final assessment, observes Megargee, the generals' strategic ideas were no better than Hitler's and often worse. Heinz Guderian, Franz Halder, and the rest were as guilty of self-deception as their Führer, believing that innate German superiority and strength of will were enough to overcome nearly any obstacle. Inside Hitler's High Command exposes these surprising flaws and illuminates the process of strategy and decision making in the Third Reich.

This book is part of the Modern War Studies series.

From the Back Cover: "How does one explain the mind set of the high command and the strategic framework within which the Germans lost the war? How did the high command reach and implement its decisions? No one has answered these questions systematically before. This extraordinary and fascinating book fills that gap in the literature on World War II."--Williamson Murray, author of The Luftwaffe, 193345

"Comprehensive, well written, important. Megargee does a first-rate job in describing the personalities of the high command and their relationships."-- James S. Corum, author of The Roots of Blitzkrieg

"Megargee permits us a fresh perspective on both the magnetic figure of Adolf Hitler and his military advisers."--Jürgen Förster, Militargeschichtliches Forschungsamt

"Hitler emerges from these pages as an adept manipulator. He took full advantage of the tensions in the command structure to divide it and focus it on himself. But he took the officers nowhere they were not at least ready, if not immediately willing, to go."--Dennis Showalter, author of Tannenberg: Clash of Empire

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