Manual The Third Reich at War

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Only the poor organisation of the Nazi state and the interference of the military prevented higher levels of military output. Many of these chapters challenge the accepted view of the Third Reich.


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University Press Scholarship Online. Sign in. Not registered? Sign up. Publications Pages Publications Pages. Search my Subject Specializations: Select Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. War and Economy in the Third Reich R. Churchill, as much as he distrusted Stalin, argued this many times and turned a deaf ear to all alternatives. In your view, the attempted assassination significantly prolonged the war.


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Kershaw: The July 20 plot led to a strengthening of the regime, at least temporarily. There was a noticeable increase in Hitler's popularity with the public. The shock effect of the attack was enormous, as we can see from many private records. But even more important is the fact that a purge of the officer corps in the Wehrmacht ensued. Arch-loyalists replaced people who were considered unreliable. All resistance was ruled out as a result.

Why so late? Kershaw: Hitler needed the Wehrmacht more than any other part of the Nazi regime, which is why he was relatively cautious in his dealings with the leadership for so long. The July 20 assassination attempt prompted him to conclude that it was time to bring the army into line. Within the officer corps, there was a strong consensus with the Nazi state in terms of goals and mentality. SPIEGEL: In the summer of , most of Germany's major cities had been laid to waste, and since the defeat at Stalingrad, there had also been no news from the front of any decisive victories.

How was the mood within the population? Kershaw: Deeply concerned, anxious and oppressed. But confidence in Hitler hadn't vanished yet. It was only at the end of that his standing began to fall like a stone.

According to a report by the security service near Berchtesgaden, in March , on the so-called Heldengedenktag ed's note: a Nazi holiday to commemorate fallen heroes , no one was willing to return the Hitler salute anymore. Kershaw: The original reports from the base are relatively blunt in their statements.

In mid, Hitler's secretary, Martin Bormann, halted the further dissemination of the central summaries of these reports from the Reich, arguing that they painted the mood in too negative a light. The reports from the propaganda offices, which were sent to Joseph Goebbels, also reveal this decline in the general mood. There are often marks on the page where Goebbels had drawn a thick line with a green pen, because he had expected reports of victories.

The Third Reich at War: by Richard J. Evans, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Was Hitler much more cautious in this regard? Kershaw: Hitler always had a very sensitive ear for anything that could undermine the morale of the German people. It was a lesson he had learned from World War I, namely that it was important to keep the people in good spirits, or else there would be an uprising from below, as had occurred in That's why he made sure that the Bavarian farmers continued to get their beer. Goebbels saw much more clearly than Hitler that the German population was indeed prepared to accept tough measures, provided they affected everyone equally.

Only a few months before the end of the war, applications for building permits were being submitted and approved, and wages were being paid. The last concert of the Berlin Philharmonic took place on April 12, Kershaw: And the Soviet offensive on the German capital began four days later. Kershaw: Yes, they won When I read that, I was so shocked that I thought the date might be wrong.

But it was correct. Kershaw: The normality of routine, even if it's only a phony normality, is probably essential to the functioning of human order.

The Third Reich at War: 1939-1945

You go to your workplace to check your files, even if the work you do is completely useless. And when your office no longer exists, because it was bombed, you simply set yourself up somewhere else. Kershaw: It's true that this wouldn't have been possible without a well-trained civil service. The exemplary bureaucracy was the backbone of the regime.