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Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944–1945 by Max Hastings

By Max Hastings

Armageddon is the epic tale of the final 8 months of worldwide conflict II in Europe by way of Max Hastings–one of Britain’s such a lot extremely popular army historians, whose bills of previous battles John Keegan has defined as precious “to stand with that of the easiest reporters and writers” (New York occasions booklet Review).

In September 1944, the Allies believed that Hitler’s military was once crushed, and anticipated that the conflict will be over through Christmas. however the disastrous Allied airborne touchdown in Holland, American setbacks at the German border and within the Hürtgen woodland, including the sour conflict of the Bulge, vastly altered that timetable. Hastings tells the tale of either the japanese and Western Fronts, and paints a vibrant portrait of the pink Army’s onslaught on Hitler’s empire. He has searched the records of the main warring parties and interviewed one hundred seventy survivors to offer us an remarkable figuring out of the way the nice battles have been fought, and in their human effect on American, British, German, and Russian infantrymen and civilians.

Hastings increases provocative questions: have been the Western Allied reason and crusade compromised through a wish to get the Soviets to do many of the combating? Why have been the Russians and Germans greater infantrymen than the americans and British? Why did the bombing of Germany’s towns proceed till the final weeks of the conflict, while it might probably now not impression the end result? Why did the Germans turn out extra fanatical foes than the japanese, combating to the sour finish? This e-book additionally includes bright snap shots of Stalin, Churchill, Eisenhower, Montgomery, and the opposite giants of the fight.

The an important ultimate months of the 20th century’s maximum international clash come alive during this rousing and revelatory chronicle.

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Hitler was already a confirmed anti-Semite when he went to Vienna. ” Preoccupied by the abundance of my impressions . . oppressed by the hardship of my own lot, I gained at first no insight into the inner stratification of the people in this gigantic city. Notwithstanding that Vienna in those days counted nearly two hundred thousand Jews among its two million inhabitants, I did not see them . . The Jew was still characterized for me by nothing but his religion, and therefore on grounds of human tolerance I maintained my rejection of religious attacks in this case as in others.

52 22 THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH There was, to be sure, little resemblance between Hitler as he later became and this big, bluff, genial idol of the Viennese lower middle classes. It is true that Lueger became the most powerful politician in Austria as the head of a party which was drawn from the disgruntled petty bourgeoisie and which made political capital, as Hitler later did, out of a raucous anti-Semitism. But Lueger, who had risen from modest circumstances and worked his way through the university, was a man of considerable intellectual attainments, and his opponents, including the Jews, readily conceded that he was at heart a decent, chivalrous, generous and tolerant man.

Wolfgang Kapp∗ , a mediocre politician of the extreme Right, to proclaim himself Chancellor. The Regular Army, under General von Seeckt, had stood by while the President of the Republic and the government fled in disarray to western Germany. Only a general strike by the trade unions restored the republican government. In Munich at the same time a different kind of military coup d’etat was more successful. On March 14,1920, the Reichswehr overthrew the Hoffmann Socialist government and installed a right-wing regime under Gustav von Kahr.

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