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Hitler's Alpine Headquarters (Paperback)

Colour Books Military P&S History WWII > Hitler & the Third Reich

By James Wilson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 280
Illustrations: 300 colour & black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526782113
Published: 18th August 2020



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Hitler's Alpine Headquarters look at the development of the Obersalzberg from a small, long established farming community, into Hitler's country residence and the Nazis' southern headquarters. Introducing new images and additional text, this book is a much expanded sequel to the author's acclaimed Hitler's Alpine Retreat (P & S 2005). This book will appeal to those with a general interest in the Third Reich. It explains how and why Hitler chose this area to build a home and his connection to this region.

New chapters focus on buildings and individuals of Hitler's inner circle not covered in the earlier book. The development of the region is extensively covered by use of contemporary propaganda postcards and accompanying detailed text. Presenting the history of this region and the many associated important historical moments in contemporary postcards allows the reader to view the subject matter as it was presented to the masses at that time. With over 300 images and three maps, and the opportunity to compare a number of 'then and now' images, the story of Hitler's Southern Headquarters is brought to life through this extensive coverage.

Five seasons as an expert tour guide specializing in the history of the region during the Third Reich period allowed the author to carry out his own detailed research. There is an interview with a local man, who, as a small boy was photographed with Hitler, together with comments gathered during a recent meeting with Rochus Misch who served on Hitler's staff.

A remarkable book! As a student and author of a number of books about Hitler and his coterie, I found this work especially fascinating. The quality and rarity of the book's photographs makes this a spellbinding read and its maps make the topography of the sprawl of Hitler's alpine headquarters easy to understand.

I was taken by the wealth of contemporary photographs; many showed how strongly the German people adored Hitler - at least in his early days leading up to WWII. Having once had the privilege of being a guard commander at Spandau Prison (1961-4) I regularly saw and met with Hitler's senior wartime advisers; Rudolf Hess, Von Shirach and Albert Speer then all serving lengthy post-war prison sentences. I was intrigued to see photographs of these individuals in better times even though they were clearly lauding it over the Germans.

The book also deals with the effect of the Americans taking over southern Germany; in 1945/6 they obviously had little time for the vanquished German population and, perhaps understandably , Hitler's headquarters and similar Nazi properties were seriously plundered and looted - though not as badly as the appalling behaviour towards German and Austrian women by the occupying French, especially of those troops from France's north African colonies.

Highly recommended

Dr Adrian Greaves, The Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The author's experience as a tour guide in the area that Hitler chose to have his headquarters provided a lot of insight that the reader wouldn't be privy to with another author. This book was very detailed and gives a clear picture of the area for those that do not know much about it.

NetGalley, Cristie Underwood

This is a fascinating work of non-fiction, which I certainly learnt from. The narrative is engaging and accessible, and I would highly recommend it.

NetGalley, Kirsty H

Absolutely fascinating and a really informative read. The addition of lots of pictures helps the reader visualise people and places.

NetGalley, Julianne Freer

The book is a lesson in history, tells stories of A's inner circle the history and their fate - some I already knew, some new to me.
Detailed descriptions of locations in Berchtesgarden, Obersalzberg and other places underlined with postcards and photographs, described in detail, intriguing.
A lesson in history I enjoyed reading.
4,5 Stars.

Netalley, KDRBCK

'Hitler's Alpine Headquarters' mostly covers the development of the Obersalzberg, Germany, Hitler's mountain residence, but also goes into much more detail about Hitler's motivations and the games he was playing throughout his career, in particular his pre-war political career which is essential as it covers how he first discovered Obersalzberg which was later to become one of his favourite places to reside.

Throughout the book are hundreds of postcard photos which the author goes into much detail behind the scenes, to call them descriptions would be understating the work and effort James Wilson has spent with this project, he covers not only the history of the photos he includes but many of the biographies of the people and places in great detail. James mentions in the introduction that he spent time as a guide around the area covered in this book and it really shows; much of the detail could only be sourced from a lot of research.

With the amount of photos included in the book I'd highly recommend purchasing a physical copy of the book where possible, but regardless of which version you opt for I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to anyone who has even a passing interest in the war. The photo postcards in this book are fascinating and is a window to this dark period of world history.

NetGalley, Sheldon Mason

Really enjoyed reading this book. It gave a lot of insight and information that I didn’t know. The book was a wealth of knowledge. It was very well written. Nicely done.

NetGalley, Lisa Houston

As featured in.

The Express 31/3/17

As featured in.

The Mail Online 31/3/17

This book is a photographic history of the Nazi party's building works in Munich and in the Berchtesdagen and Obersalzberg, mainly using contemporary German postcards as its source. These postcards are fascinating, and give a good idea of the sort of propaganda that the German people were exposed to. They are generally well reproduced, and the author is clearly very knowledgeable about his topic.

History of War

About James Wilson

James Wilson has written Hitler’s Alpine Retreat, Propaganda Postcards of the Luftwaffe,The Nazis’ Nuremberg Rallies, and Hitler’s Alpine Headquarters. He is an expert on theBerchtesgaden area and an avid collector of postcards. He currently lives in Lancashire.

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