From February 1933, when he told his generals in secret of his ambition to conquer the East, to September 3, 1939, when he left the Berlin Chancellery for the Polish front, Adolf Hitler had one obsessive goal - to wage war and achieve German revenge and hegemony. As he did in his controversial Hitler’s War, David Irving sets forth the events from behind Hitler’s desk, as it were, in order to things through his eyes. His use of original and unpublished firsthand material has led him across Europe in search of documents and correspondence.
After ten years of firsthand research involving unpublished diaries, journals, and recollections, countless interviews, previously unexplored archives in Europe and America, and a manuscript of more than three thousand pages, we have in this remarkable book a view of Hitler and his six-year war the world has never before seen. "Direct reference to the primary sources of the period" was the stringent directive the author set for himself, and in his decade of research he discovered that it is indeed a myth that most of the sources have been destroyed. Using many documents that have never been available before and have been entrusted to him alone, he fuses into the narrative hitherto unknown diaries of Canaris, Goebbels, Rommel; the Luftwaffe Papers of Field Marshal Milch; the war diary of the German naval staff; the diaries of Von Richthofen, Hewel, Von Manstein, Haider, Von Bock, and Weizsacker; the papers of Hitler's doctors, private secretaries, servants, and adjutants such as Von Below, Von Puttkamer, and Wunsche, and much more that gives us the uncanny feeling of having been there. This is not another study of Hitler drawing on the same tired, mutually supporting material, but a firsthand depiction of the man whose deeds and character, triumph and downfall will trouble the world for ages to come. Here is the war through Hitler's eyes-from behind his desk, from Chancellery and Berchtesgaden, from the Rastenburg redoubt, and finally from the Berlin bunker. Here is Hitler, at times a surprisingly hesitant Fuhrer, plotting his foreign-policy gambits, directing his war, often as much in conflict with his generals as with the enemy. Beyond all, here is Hitler, the "ordinary walking, talking human weighing 155 pounds, with graying hair, largely false teeth, and chronic digestive ailments," letting the reader know more of him from close up than most of his own contemporaries knew.
AT 10.10 P.M. ON THE NIGHT of February 13-14, 1945 the R.A.F. Master Bomber broadcast the cryptic order: 'Controller to Plate-Rack Force: Come in and bomb glow of red T.I.s as planned.' The ill-famed attack on Dresden had begun. The target city was among Germany's largest, but it alone had developed no single major war industry. The German authorities had made it a centre for the evacuation of wounded servicemen, and by February 1945 most schools, restaurants, and public buildings had been converted into military hospitals. In selecting Dresden for this purpose, the German government probably hoped that this, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, often compared with Florence for its graceful Baroque architectural style, would be spared the attentions of the allied bombers. By 1945, the legend was deeply entrenched in the population's mind that Dresden was a city that would never be bombed. It was not to be. In February 1945, with the Soviet armies making striking advances in their invasion of Silesia and East Prussia, and when the war's political and military directors were meeting at Yalta, Mr Winston Churchill was urgently in need of some display both of his offensive strength and of his willingness to assist the Russians in their drive westwards. Dresden, the 'virgin target' just seven miles behind the eastern Front, became the victim of Mr Churchill's desire for a spectacular blow. By a combination of delays and poor weather, the raid, the climax of the strategic air offensive against Germany, and the most crushing air-raid of the war, was not delivered until the day that Mr Churchill was departing from Yalta. The city was undefended -- it had no guns, and even the German night-fighter force was grounded by Bomber Command's brilliant tactics of deception and trickery. It had no proper air-raid shelters. On the night of the attack, Dresden was housing hundreds of thousands of refugees from Silesia, East Prussia, and from western Germany in addition to its own population of 630,000. Up to 100,000 people, perhaps more, were killed in two to three hours, burned alive, that night. Yet until the author's first book on it appeared in 1963 the raid on Dresden scarcely figured in any official indices of the war. A veil had been drawn across this tragedy. Why was there this official silence about the Dresden tragedy? Certainly little discredit reflected on the officers and men of the bomber forces; equally the two commanders, Sir Arthur Harris and General Carl Spaatz, were not acting out of hand. The directives and orders confronting them were painfully clear. Stung by foreign revulsion at this new St. Valentine's Day Massacre, the British Prime Minister - who had ordered it - penned an angry minute to his Chief of Staff, even before the war ended, rasping that, "The Destruction of Dresden remains a query against the conduct of Allied Bombing." It is from this remarkably forgetful minute that the subtitle of this documentary account is taken. For the first time, the full story, ommitting nothing, of the historical background to this cruel blow and of its unexpected political consequences, is told. First three, and now forty years' research in England, Germany, and the U.S.A., and the active cooperation of the military authorities in London, Washington, and Moscow, produce a detailed account of this tragedy.
This is an account of the years of Hitler's power and the build up to the Second World War. The author explores Hitler's achievements in rebuilding the economy and the armed forces, with the concurrent growth of racism and nationalism. This is the first of a 3-volume work on the subject. The companion volumes are "Hitler's War 1939-1942" and "Hitler's War 1942-1945". David Irving has also written "The Death of General Sikorski", "The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe" and "The Trail of the Fox - The Life of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel".
The War Between the Generals: Inside the Allied High Command
This is one of the great untold stories of our time - that of the little band of generals entrusted with a historic task: invading and liberating Nazi-occupied Europe. They were supposed to be fighting the Germans, but some of their fiercest battles were fought against each other. At the center was the Supreme Commander himself, Dwight D. Eisenhower - sincere, indecisive, desperate to hold the Alliance together. Against him was Field-Marshal Bernard Montgomery, who strove ceaselessly to gain authority. Cavilling against them both were the others - the outrageous Patton, the dogged Bradley, the bomber barons like Spaatz, Vandenberg, and Butcher Harris, and Trafford Leigh-Mallory. After the war, there was a cover-up. Not until David Irving began his research did the full truth emerge. Among his unexpected discoveries was the wickedly candid diary of the obscure general who was Eisenhower s eyes and ears . Through this and other private accounts we see the war as the generals lived it - squabbling over perks and preferences, taking their mistresses with them on to the battlefield, and there are revelations about General Patton that will amaze. There are other surprises - General de Gaulle s use of torture upon his fellow Frenchmen is one, and a clear attempt by the Allies to get rid of him is another. This book is a history of command. It shows how the ambitions and personalities of the men at the top affect the course of a war and the lives of the ordinary mortals in the field.
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