Downing, David.


BCA ed., 1977. 256 pp., 12 photo-plates + 22 maps. D.j., 21 x 14cm. Repair to d.j., o/w Nr.FINE. In this study of the Second World War, the author has examined the decisive European campaigns from the viewpoint of those German generals who exercised the greatest influence on their planning, direction and outcome. First and foremost among the generals mentioned are three men: Guderian, who dared to shout back at Hitler and who forged the panzer force and led it through Poland, France and the gates of Moscow; Manstein, the master strategist, who planned the French campaign and declined to join the anti-Hitler conspiracy; and Rommel, the bold panzer commander, who won laurels in France and fame in Africa, yet ended his career tragically trying to defeat the Allies in Normandy and Hitler in Berlin. Other generals who figure prominently in this book include von Kluge, Model, von Rundstedt and von Bock. Above all, Downing demonstrates that ultimately the generals’ strengths became their weaknesses.

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