Humble, Richard.


1st ed., 1973. 167 pp., photo-plates. D.j., 22 x 14cm. FINE. This study of Hitler and his generals assesses their military achievements and the strengths and weaknesses of the Nazi system of command. He describes the effect on the conduct of the war of Hitler's role as supreme commander of all the armed forces and shows how the Oath of Allegiance taken by the German General Staff at the time of his rise to power severely limited their later freedom of action. Although Hitler is often regarded as having lacked understanding of sea power, the author shows that when the occasion arose he could and did fully grasp the potential of naval warfare. In considering the abilities of Hitler's generals, the author looks first at the hardcore professional soldiers such as von Rundstedt and discusses how far their adherence to traditional military virtues brought them into conflict with the new Nazi hierarchy. The contribution of the Panzer Generals is considered and that of the more unconventional commanders whose personal dash and brilliance achieved such remarkable results - Rommel in his North African campaign and Kesselring, the Luftwaffe marshal given command of operations on the Italian Front.

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