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4.3 out of 5 stars
115
4.3 out of 5 stars
Das Reich (Pan Military Classics)
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 26 April 2017
Let me declare self interest here. I rate Max Hastings above most others.He has few peers , few who can match his craft.,This is another tremendous addition to his catalogue of military writings. He is honest in his appraisal of Das Reich, whilst paying them their military dues for what they achieved in battle. His description of their march north - post D-Day, is not for the faint hearted. Their unwavering brutality in the face of resistance makes for hard reading for the uninitiated. Oradour-Sur-Glan is the eternal stain on the reputation of the Waffen SS. One of many it must be said.
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on 7 June 2017
Not really about the SS. This book is not at all focused on the SS as I was led to believe. It's more of an overall picture of what happened at areas where the SS were situated. If anything it goes into almost monotonous detail of the resistance.
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on 19 April 2017
Well researched, & well written - but MH always did have the gift of entertaining his readers.
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on 21 March 2017
You get what you expect from Max Hastings. Excellent!
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on 13 August 2017
Bought as a gift for another
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on 5 March 2017
Good Read
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on 1 December 2012
Typical Hastings well researches and a good read but not enough breaks ie paragraphs you tend to go on reading and start to lose interest and concentration a fault with many Hastings works hence just four stars
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on 29 August 2017
Not finished reading it yet
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on 19 August 2017
interesting and well written
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on 31 October 2009
This is a superb book by one of Britain's foremost military historians. The author expressly states that he assumes the reader has a certain level of knowledge of Vichy, the Nazi empire and the SS and this enables him to concentrate on the events he describes rather than rehashing material available elsewhere. The title does scant justice to the scope of the book. While Das Reich itself is, of course, central to the narrative, the author deals in depth with the maquis and the other factions of the French Resistance, their politics, their bravery and their stupidity. His descriptions are not always flattering although he is always scrupulously objective. The SOE, the SAS and the OSS are similarly treated. The two seminal events, the massacres at Tulle and Oradour-sur-Glane, are described and discussed at some length. The former may have had some slight justification; the latter - much the better known outside France - had none whatever. My blood ran cold when the the author quoted without comment a father's description of finding the partially charred body of one of his children in the smoking, burnt out church, and searching unsuccessfully for his other son among bullet-riddled prams and the bodies of at least twenty small children who had unsuccessfully sought safety behind the altar.

The paperback edition which I read suffers from sloppy proof-reading and irritating typographical errors: the surname of Major Kampfe (whose abduction was the catalyst for the events at Oradour) is rendered as "Kampie" in a couple of places, "farmers" is given as "fanners" and so on. It is this alone which stops me giving the book five stars.
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