Jackboot Paperback – 20 Nov 2003
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About the Author
John Laffin, a veteran writer on war, wrote over 70 books on most aspects of military history. He is a well-known and respected military author.
Top Customer Reviews
Would recommend to anybody with an interest in german(PrussIan) military through the ages
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The best parts of this book, and those worth reading, were written by someone else. The chapters on WWI and WWII are full of excerpts from soldier diaries and letters and are absolutely fascinating. So, if you read this book, realize you will have to wade through a lot of opinionated garbledy-gook on your way to the good stuff. And, in Laffin's favor, he does make some effort to portray the German soldier as a patriot, instead of simply a Nazi stooge as too many historians are likely to do. On the other hand, he does at times lapse into all kinds of steretypes about Germany and Germans.
Some reviewers have criticized Laffin's use of generalizations to describe certain aspects of German militarism and it's soldiers. I would argue that if there was ever a case for generalizations to be legitimate, the German military would qualify. For centuries, the German was bred for war, and the single-minded warrior spirit was drilled into them from an early age. They were an honor-driven and martial society that had essentially one way of doing things, and individualism was not a trait that was encouraged. And while there are exceptions to every rule, it seems evident that the average German readily accepted his soldierly fate and eagerly sought the glorious "death of heroes."
Previous reviewers have also criticized Laffin's conclusions that the Germans will one day march again. And while I agree that this seems unlikely at the moment, I wouldn't dismiss it arbitrarily. In another book I've recently read; Fuhrer-Ex:: Memoirs of a Former Neo-Nazi(1996) the author claims that the Bundeswehr is still trained in terms of "racial enemies" and is particularly indoctrinated with fear of a "yellow flood" from China. Just some food for thought. On a side note, am I the only one that thinks its funny that the soldier on the front cover looks like a black guy? Anyhow, I found this to be a solid look into German militarism and the German soldier. Definitely worth the read for anyone interested in the subject.
I did have some problems with the book like how they only talked about the Prussian army and not the other german armies out there like Austria's. Another thing that really bothered me is that the author wants you not to think about the Germans as Jew hating Nazis but as a war loving people. The author goes on about how all the Germans love war and that's all they want in life, including todays Germans. It is true that the Germans loved war but that was a long time ago and I think that things have changed after all a lot of Germanic cultures also loved war a long time ago but you don't hear anything about the Scandinavians still wanting to go on Viking raids or about the English trying to takeover the seas again.
This book might turn people off to the Germans if they think that they all love and want war until each and every one of them is dead, but if you can ignore the author's personal beliefs about Germans loving war then I'm sure that you'll enjoy this informative book.
John Laffin has over a hundred books to his credit. “Jackboot” tells the story of the German soldier over a period of more than two centuries, from 1713 to 1945. The heavy hand of Fredrick the Great continued to influence German military affairs and the minds of the Prussian officer class long after his death. He did have the virtue of success, something that his would be imitator, Adolf Hitler, cannot claim.
Author Laffin brushes over the campaigns and battles, the tactics and weapons to focus on the mind of the German soldier and of his leaders. I found the sections on modern day psychological evaluation to be fascinating. The Germans did not evaluate future combat leaders in the same way that other nations do, not by a long shot.
If you are looking for a different sort of a look at the German Army, a long hard look that goes a long way to explain how it was able to withstand the whole of Europe and America in World War II, take a gander at “Jackboot”. You will not be disappointed.
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- Books > History > World History > World War II 1939-1945 > Origins
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