This is a groundbreaking English-language examination of the final period of Nazi rule in Germany's eastern provinces at the end of the Second World War. It outlines the wartime role of this region and assesses the impact of Nazi 'popular mobilisation' initiatives during the closing months of the conflict. Major projects such as the preparation of the Ostwall defences and the raising of the Volkssturm (Home Guard) are examined in depth. The book concludes by weighing up the importance of propaganda and coercion to the Nazi regime as it attempted to prolong its existence in the face of crushing military defeats. "The Darkest Hour" incorporates a unique synthesis of archival and printed source material from the English-speaking world, Germany, Poland and Russia. The eastern German Nazi leadership, their crimes and their corruption, are covered collectively to a greater extent in this book than in any English-language account hitherto. As the Third Reich was on the brink of defeat, its leader and lackeys wielded life or death powers and were loathed by the civilian population as much as the advancing Soviets were feared. This extensive account of this important historical period and circumstance is essential reading for all scholars and students of the Third Reich and European military history.