Magazine article National Defense

Hitler 'Etceteras'-A Flurry of New Books

Magazine article National Defense

Hitler 'Etceteras'-A Flurry of New Books

Article excerpt

I seems that authors and publishers, writing about World War II, appear to be stuck on titles for their books. This is not to say that any of the books that we are about to review are anything but excellent historical works, but rather that the titles seem repetitive, geared more to marketing gimmicks rather than scholarly creativity.

Let's start with "How Hitler Could Have Won World War II: The Fatal Errors that Led to Nazi Defeat," by Bevin Alexander, from Crown Publishers, in New York.

This book addresses the intersection between Hitler's overpowering personality and his version of military strategy. "What If" seems to be the basis for this scholarly work. Important battles and key movements, combined with mistakes attributed directly to Hitler, were the determining factors in the outcome of the war.

Bevin attempts to show that minor tactical changes could have changed the world that we live in today. The specific examples, covered in some detail, include:

* Hitler's refusal to cover the only three beaches from which the Allies could launch their attack on the European continent.

* The German dictator's decision to halt his Panzers at Dunkirk.

* With the chance to cut the Soviets' oil lifeline, Hitler's move to divide and weaken his army by going after Stalingrad.

Hitler's paranoia was the fatal flaw, Bevin believes.

The book is valuable for the analysis that it provides. Perhaps, you wouldn't agree with every example. Scholars rarely do! But the book is valuable for strategists and would be a valuable asset in your military library.

"Hitler's Thirty Days to Power: January 1933," by Henry Ashby Turner Jr., from Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., in New York. Price: $25. The author, a Yale historian, believes that Hitler could have been stopped in the few days after he took power. He cites facts that call into question history's view of Hitler ascending to power via a democratically elected process.

Nazi rhetoric was waning with the emergence of the world from a massive global depression. The Nazis' foothold had begun to slip, and many thought that Hitler simply would fall into obscurity.

Turner indicates that three men influenced the fate of Germany: President Von Hindenburg, Chancellor Von Schleicher and former Chancellor Von Papen. Political machinations and naivete played into Hitler's hand and thrust him into power.

Interesting theory--that's really all it could be, but it illustrates how small, seemingly unrelated political events, can telescope men such as Himmler, Heydrich and Eichmann into key players rather than history's forgotten, malicious nobodies.

"Hitler's Commanders: Officers of the Wehrmacht, the Luftwaffe, the Kriegsmarine, and the Waffen-SS," by Samuel W. …

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