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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard work rewarded, 22 Dec. 2002
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This review is from: Hitler's Panzers East: World War II Reinterpreted (Paperback)
On first reading I found this book both heavy going and badly flawed. There is a lot of repetition which obscures the arguments, and the "what if" sections are written in the past tense, which I found both confusing and dangerous when using this work as a reference. For example "By 10 October, the Germans commanded most Soviet territory up to the Volga River. The seizure of Moscow, the advance beyond it, ...". Of course the Germans didn't seize Moscow - so be careful when reading the chapter "Constructing an alternative historical past".
I think the book would be better without this chapter, as it is self-defeating to argue that the Germans could have won, when the rest of the book argues convincingly that Hitler's psychology would prevent the German forces from fully exploiting their advantage in military doctrine that might otherwise have provided the means to achieve final victory.
Having said all this, the book also contains some highly original insights into Hitler's psychology, that provide convincing explanations for those of Hitler's actions that are considered inexplicable blunders in conventional historical thinking.
The repetition has to be forgiven if the book is to survive sustained academic scrutiny. I am not sure that the book's theories will necessarily prevail over the conventional. However, the book did provide a key to unlock Hitler's reasons for confronting the Allied powers and the decisions that provoked the declaration of war in 1939.
I think that for its originality, if not its readability, this book deserves its five stars.
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Location: Cambridge UK

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