View Full Version : Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
09-26-2005, 07:33 PM
Just picked up a older edition of "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" by Wlm Shirer and was wondering if there is any other books of this scope on the subject? In particular more on the underlying Nazi influance over the war effort and their influance on each service that burdened their function. (For example what was with Hitler's decision to build the Panzer Maus? Commision plans for the H44 super heavy BB's? The Graf Zepplin CV? The mismanagement of the Walter U-Boats? The mismanagement of the Me 262? The development of Panzer VI when the Panzer V in significant numbers would have turned the tide?)
Excellent book though, I just dont have anything to compare it too, about 1/4 through so far...
Despite my time spent studying history it still amazes me what Hitler, Stalin and even Napoleon managed to do with their respective countries. Now I know they each had their own motivation I just find it interesting that the situation that they were in allowed them to accomplish what they did when they did.
09-27-2005, 02:30 PM
A very good two volume set is "Hitler: Hubris" and "Hitler: Nemesis" by Ian Kershaw. Although it does not go into highly detailed specifics of particular program or weapons, it does detail the massisve mis-management and incompetence of the Nazi leadership. Infighting, patronism, and lack of real leadership or focus was the reality behind the illusion of Nazi "efficiency" and "politcal genius". It is astonishing that the Nazis didn't implode earlier in their reign.
Also good is John Toland's book "Adolph Hitler" as an earlier, more condensed (but still lengthy) coverage of Kershaw's subject matter.
Finally, you may also wish to rent or buy "The Nazis: A Warning from History" on DVD. This is a Laurence Rees BBC multipart production which gives a good insight into the rise and rule of the Nazis. I hope you find this helpful.
09-27-2005, 09:07 PM
Ok thank you for the reply, I will check out both. Toland's work seemed a bit dry to me, how would you rate Kershaw compared to Toland?
I just ordered Jane's Fighting Ships of WW I & II for $8 each! Its my hope that within the next few years I'll have a decent libary of naval books and general history that I can focus on among other things.
It depends on your definition of dry; to me, straightforward recitation of dates, people, places is dry. Add a bit of analysis for seasoning and it is all much easier to digest. Kershaw is a professor of history at Sheffield and has been Knighted for his works. The Hitler biography is not what I would call dry; but it is a bit of a read. You will have to give some time to complete it but I feel it is well worth the effort. The research behind the formation of the NSDAP and Hitler's involvement, and the involvement of other factions of German society, still speaks loudly today when one sees dangerous similarities in some of the actions and activities of current world goverments and leaders. No matter where you are, "it can happen here"...
Yes, I rate it better than Toland.
09-28-2005, 03:43 PM
Depth of study is not the issue when the subject is interesting and the author can keep the topics flowing, I'd just rather make the informed decision in book purchases as money is finite.
Thank you for your insight.
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