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Customer Review

14 February 2014
This is a highly detailed account of the latter part of World War 2 with regards to Hitler's involvement. Somewhat controversially, it is written from the point of view of both Hitler and the Germans. However, this point of view is somewhat refreshing and makes the book all the more interesting and unique. If, like me, you have read several biographies of Hitler's life one eventually gets bored with endless and monotonous diatribes in some of these biographies which have a tendency to labour the anti-Hitler point of view. 'Hitler was evil, the Nazis were evil, they did everything wrong and nobody else involved with the war did anything wrong or dishonourable' blah, blah, blah. etc. Yes, we know all that and need not read it over and over again. Thankfully, there is very little of that sort of judgmental speechmaking in the book.

The author Irving is somewhat notorious these days as being an alleged Nazi sympathiser and holocaust denier. I have only read two of Irving's books (both parts of Hitler's War) and I have found nothing in these two books which would lead me to draw any such conclusions about the author. The book is a well written fascinating account full of amusing and informative anecdotes and incidents which I have never read in other such biographies.

However, the book does attempt to portray the attack on Russia as purely a defensive war. The Russians secretly having the largest and most powerful armed forces in the world, obviously intended to be used against Germany in the near future and the Germans having no choice but to attack as soon as possible before the Russians were ready to turn upon them and invade the west. Unfortunately, this point of view fails to address the fact that Hitler had openly declared many years before in his book 'Mein Kampf' that he had every intention of attacking Russia to gain 'Lebensraum' (living space for Germans) if he ever came to power. The book also appears to hint that Himmler was in fact responsible for initiating the holocaust without Hitler's knowledge or order. Yes, we all know there is no concrete documentary evidence or eyewitnesses to prove Hitler's personal involvement in that decision, but trying to hint that Hitler is not ultimately responsible for what occurred in a regime in which he had absolute power is somewhat stretching credibility.

The book does detail the many attempts by Hitler and Germany to appease the British and make peace and the utter determination of Churchill to continue the war against Germany at all costs. The book also relates the occasions in which the British betrayed their ally France, by leaving her in the lurch on her own to fight Germany having been given an opportunity to evacuate the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in a secret act of conciliation on the Germans part which was kept from the British public in case they lost their will to carry on fighting. Also the British attack and destruction of the French Navy in Algeria in which the British killed thousands of their French allies. The book puts forward, with plenty of evidence, that Hitler never seriously contemplated an invasion of Great Britain owing the vastly superior power of the Royal Navy and suggests that the air Battle of Britain and operation Sealion where simply attempts to bring Britain to the peace table.

This book continues the account of the war against Russia and the allies and details the utter failure of the German Intelligence to properly assess just how powerful the Russian War Machine was and the ability of Russia to accept and absorb such calamitous casualties.

All in all an excellent book with some very unique and interesting points of view.
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4.7 out of 5 stars