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Cross of Iron Hardcover – 20 Jun 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company Inc (20 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805075771
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805075779
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,529,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


""Cross of Iron" is an important, superbly researched reappraisal of the fabled Wehrmacht in both world wars. From the battlefields of France during World War I, through history's most devastating war, John Mosier shatters a long-held mythology about the German Army, and reveals how its officers permitted one of the world's greatest armies to lose its honor and become the willing tool of Adolf Hitler. Those who believe that we have learned everything there is to know about World War II will view the legendary German war machine and its history in an entirely new light after reading this provocative book."--""Carlo D'Este, author of "Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life" and "Patton: A Genius For War""" "This is a book that will confound almost everyone's assumptions about both world wars. The squawks will be loudest in London, Paris and Moscow. It also explains how and why the German army consistently outfought its enemies--and ultimately lost."--Thomas Fleming, author of "The Illusion of Victory: America in World War I""""In smooth, economical prose, [Mosier] incorporates a number of thought provoking insights and hypotheses. . . . This is a stimulating overview of a war machine incorporating both outstanding capacities and tragic flaws."--"Publisher's Weekly""Mosier continues the myth busting even as it strays into a historical minefield or two. . . . Combined with Mosier's willingness to boldly charge down prevailing assumptions, this approach to the tactical side of World War II is both a provocative argument and a lively read. . . . At least as controversial as his other works, this book will further cement Mosier's position among military historians."--"Booklist"

About the Author

A former film critic and member of the Camera d'Or jury at the Cannes Film Festival, John Mosier is currently a professor of English at Loyola University, New Orleans. His background as a military historian dates from his role in developing an interdisciplinary curriculum for the study of the two world wars in 1969, a program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the author of "The Blitzkrieg Myth "and "The Myth of the Great War" and lives in Jefferson, Louisiana.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I don't in any way have a problem with `revisionist' historians. Sometimes real new insight can be gained from a re-examination of the evidence and applying different methods of analysis.
The other reviews of this book seem to be grateful from a `finally the truth' perspective.
However to add in a different point of view, I have been left with my head in my hands at the standards of analysis applied by the author.
According to John Mosier, the only reason the Germans lost the war was down to the Americans. He also argues that they lost WWI for exactly the same reason.
This is a rather simplistic view. I certainly wouldn't argue against the assertion the US input was crucial, but Mosier doesn't really nail down any great arguments to back his claim up, apart from the arctic convoys which brought the Russians aid, most crucially, trucks.
He is also rather dismissive of some big names in the German higher command. Rommel is described as a failure because he suffered something approaching a mental breakdown after working at an incredible tempo in Africa for 18 months, and performing miracles on the battlefield with forces far inferior to his enemies. Mosier also names some German officers who were dismissive of Rommel's talents in interviews after the war, although the fact that envy of the much heralded Field Marshal's high profile might colour their views is not explored. Heinz Guderian also comes in for some stick, with Mosier attacking his memoirs (quoted many times by eminent historians, it must be pointed out) as self serving fiction. The sweeping rather florid language continues with Ernst Udet, who was leading the aircraft manufacturing process pre war, described as knowing as much about strategic bombing as `a goat'.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
British and American aid was not simply supplementary; it was the root cause of the Red Army's success. The figures make the point: Britain shipped 4,020 trucks and 5,218 tanks; the United States shipped 375,883 trucks, 51,503 jeeps, 8,701 tractors, and 7,537 tanks. By 1945, two out of every three trucks in the Red Army were American, while Allied armored vehicles constituted about one tank out of every two in service.
I watched many documentaries about WW2 but I never spoted any Sherman american tank with the red army. Anyway, I think they shipped thouse numbers just on the papers. Considering the difficulties of crossing the arctic ocean,under constant attacks from germans U Boats and german airplanes on top of the very bad weather, how much would get through? America was a big economic power,but they had to provide for their army in the Pacific, in North Africa,in UK where they started tu build up their forces and also for british and french armies,let alone the civil population of America and UK and their allays. Only Jesus Christ managed to feed thousands of people with 2 fishes. Maybe they managed to send some tined food,jeeps and other equipment but this was more symbolic and propagandistic,not because they didn't want to help,but because they couldn't. And regarding tanks,both germans and russians had better tanks. Russians managed to relocate over 1500 factories in the Ural mountins and Siberia where they produced over 20000 T34 tanks.
"The Russian railroad system could not have functioned without the 11,155 railroad cars and 1,981 locomotives the United States provided."
This is another enormity. Perhaps the americans created a special production line,custom made for Russia,because their rail ways are wider then standard. That was actually a big problem the germans had to overcome.
Of course the americans played an important roll,decisive in my opinion,but to say the american supplies "it was the root cause of the Red Army's success" is too much.
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Format: Paperback
I won't make this review a long one so I will just keep it shortish. John Mosier strips away the mysticism of the German army of WW1 and WW2 and shows the German rearmament of the 1930's and the Condor legion involvement in the Spanish civil war as not the earth shattering events that history would like us to believe. Mosier shows that the tanks that the germans used were quite backward, undergunned, under-armoured and underpowered. The civil war should have made an impact on german thinking but did not seem to after the first contact with Soviet made armour!

Mosier goes into the formation of the Reichswehr and its first commander, Von Seekt who primarily selected aristocratic east germans when he recruited new officers who were receptive to his east looking perception of where a future army should go and ultimately how his "chaimanship" made a deep impression on Reichswehr and so on to the Wehrmacht, i.e. Heer.

Leisurely German production levels are also brought to the fore as one would think that their industries were on a peacetime footing in WW2 with little sense of urgency being displayed as the replacement of lost and destroyed equipment appears to have been replaced at a snails pace until 1943/1944.

Mosier goes into the heavy losses inflicted onto the Luftwaffe over Poland, then the low countries and France in the 1939-1940 period as quite appaling losses over these theatres reveal. One is surprised that their was enough aircraft for the Battle of Britain!

As in most good books, mosier has a large pool of information that he says he has drawn from so at least he can back up his claims and allows the reader to question if he has got his facts right or even if he has any at all.
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