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Hitler’s Shattered Dreams of Empire (Hardback)

Crucial Battles of the Eastern and Western Front 1941-1944

Military WWII > Hitler & the Third Reich

By Rex Bashford
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 272
Illustrations: 30 mono
ISBN: 9781399070317
Published: 4th August 2023

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There have been many books on Adolf Hitler and specific military campaigns and battles during the time of the Third Reich. However, there has never been a comprehensive analysis of Hitler’s role as the supreme military leader of the Third Reich across all the major campaigns. He combined every senior position in government and the armed forces until he was at the same time Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Chancellor, Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the Army. He was involved in every aspect of the German war effort including new weapons development. How well did he perform these roles? He called himself a genius and was described as “the greatest German military leader of all time” by one of his most senior military leaders – was he? What does the evidence show? This book analyses each of the Third Reich’s military campaigns and the programs for the development of new weapons including the V1, V2 and the A bomb paying special attention to Hitler’s role in them. The book is based entirely on the evidence of the most senior military personnel who were there at the time, from their contemporaneous diaries and subsequent writings. The sources used include the diaries and recollections of three Chiefs of the Army General Staff, Field-Marshals Rommel, von Rundstedt, von Bock, von Kliest, von Manstein, numerous other senior generals, Hitler’s military adjutants, ministers of his government and evidence from the Trial of the Major War Criminals at Nuremberg. Is there a consistent thread in this evidence?

Hitler's Shattered Dreams of Empire is the second of a three part in depth study and deals with Hitler’s influence on the crucial battles on the eastern front resulting from the Nazi invasion of the USSR in 1941 'Operation Barbarossa' together with the allied invasions of 'Festung Europa' and the Ardennes Offensive in 1944-45.

A fascinating read for students of the war on the Eastern Front.

NetGalley, David Fleshbourne

Bashford does a fine job of explaining how the invasion of Russia, was fundamental in destroying Hitler's vision for Europe and the cause of the destruction of Nazi Germany.

NetGalley, zeb kantrowitz

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

An interesting look at the influence and mistakes Hitler had in directing his armies during WW2. The author focuses on several key battles where Hitler's inability to allow his experienced Generals direct the campaigns led to utter defeat and losses that were avoidable. His ego would not allow him to remain out of the picture resulting in horrendous decisions for Germany's troops. A very informative and well written novel. A great read for the military reader!

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

Five out of Five

A great overall assessment of Hitler , Feldeher , as a strategist and a war leader for the main land campaigns mainly the eastern front(Barbarossa, Stalingrad, Kursk and Bagration) and for the western European Front D Day and the Ardennes offensive.

Well documented using the sources and memoirs of officers who where there with the dictator. Shows why he made the mistakes and what solutions the dictator discarded that could have an impact on the war. Do use some counterfactuals as a tool to understand what impact the options Hitler was proposed by his officers corps. The counterfactuals used in understanding the impact of decisions mentioned to the self appointed commander in chief do respect the minimal rewrite of history book so the reader won't be lost in the realm of fantasy.

The books also offer an insight on Hitler reasoning and what logic did he use to justify some actions. Also dispel the myth that the Feldeher, who was thought was the greatest warlord of all time , saved the German army in the winter 1941-42 . It was a mistake of Stalin who didn't took the advice of Marshall Zhukov to concentrate only on the central front instead on all the length of the front so dispersing the forces instead of concentrating on one sector ironically the same mistake the Führer made.

GoodReads, Mathieu Gaudreault

About Rex Bashford

Rex Bashford has been an avid student of military history at all periods during the whole of his life. He has collected an extensive library with many source materials on a wide variety of historical subjects, especially the military history of WW1 and WW2. He was admitted the Supreme Court of NSW as a Barrister in 1985 and has practiced as a consultant to many of the largest companies in Australia and international concerning insurance programs.

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