This new and authoritative book provides new insights and also covers some familiar ground. The rise of the Nazi Party and its role in plunging the world into a terrible war is primarily the story of the relationship between one man, Adolph Hitler, and the German General Staff.
NAME: Twilight of the Gods, The Decline and Fall of the German General Staff in World War II
CLASSIFICATION: Book reviews
AUTHOR: David Stone
BINDING: Hard back
SUBJECT: World War II.WWII, World War 2, 1939-1945, German Forces, General Staff
DESCRIPTION: With all of the books published on every aspect of the German war of aggression, there is still room for important new insights. This new and authoritative book provides new insights and also covers some familiar ground. The rise of the Nazi Party and its role in plunging the world into a terrible war is primarily the story of the relationship between one man, Adolph Hitler, and the German General Staff. From the early days of the rise of the Nazi Party, the German General Staff regarded Hitler as someone they could control and they considered him an Austrian upstart who spoke poor German. They warmed to him as he poured money into re-arming the German Forces and ignored the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles. They were concerned that he was moving too fast as he sent German troops to reoccupy the Rhineland but when the rest of Europe failed to react, they began to think of him as a lucky leader they should support. The annexing of Czechoslovakia and Austria saw Europe continuing to appease German expansionism and won more supporters amongst the German officer class, but there were always those who considered removing Hitler from power. Their resolve wavered as each new aggression went unchallenged. Then Hitler gambled one step too far by invading Poland as Britain and France moved to honour their commitment to the Poles. New plots began to develop against Hitler, but the triumphs of the Blitz Krieg again weakened the resolve of plotters as German forces controlled the European western coastline from North Cape to the Spanish border, where Franco lead a pro-German neutrality. It was only when the reverses in North Africa and at Stalingrad and Kursk that the plotters were again motivated as it became apparent that the period of German expansion was ended and the only eventual outcome was total German defeat or possible armistice. The author has covered this period of decent to defeat very effectively and dispels many widely-held myths. He has analysed and evaluated the army’s involvement in the ineffective German resistance movement that led to the failed plot to kill Hitler, take over government and attempt to obtain a negotiated peace. What aided Hitler was the Allied demand for unconditional surrender because it demonstrated that a negotiated peace was not a viable solution. There were still German officers who hoped that they might reach a peace with Britain and the US to join them in an assault against the Soviets and there would be officers who again claimed that they had not been defeated but betrayed by their own politicians. The author studies these conflicting views and pressures and shows how the General Staff was marginalized by the Nazis. This is a timely publication as Germany again moves to expand across Europe at the expense of its neighbours, replicating key elements of that Nazi era. The removal of the Italian and Greek elected Prime Ministers, and their replacement with German nominees has demonstrated that Germany still believes itself the master race and shows that the posturing EU politicians claims, that the EU has held the peace in Europe, are false and that peace was secured only by unconditional defeat of Germany, its division and its occupation by Allied Forces. The situation now and then shows why the German General staff were so ineffective in controlling Hitler, they simply had no real desire to risk a successful German expansion across Europe and into Russia.