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Customer Review

on 3 November 2010
I really enjoyed this book not that I condone war except that in a war defeating the Nazis and only then could it have been nipped in the bud either economically or politically.

The fact that this book was written by an ex-major general is a welcome relief that someone in charge of a division and above can place some insights into the mind of this master of operations. He was not a master of tactics this is not alluded to, but it is suggested that he was very creative in this manner. His real genius was planning operations that succeeded in most cases.

The book boxes this man as a man of honour, willing to do his duty to serve his country first and foremost. In his memoirs that if directly asked if he would support the killing of Hitler, declined saying that it would break his oath to Hitler and would weaken the country and hence the war effort. After WW2 he was also indicted for war crimes, mainly that of omission, of not knowing or not doing anything against by the SD etc.

I better not say too much about his operations as that would endanger the enjoyment of the book but for the things he will be remembered is the double scythe attack strategy across France, which used the tactics of the Blitzkrieg (created by the British btw). He was also instrumental in Kursk which betrayed his operational principles and had a hand in the decision of the 6th Army besieged and captured in Stalingrad.

Overall an exceptional general, this tells you how good he was, Rommel even admitted that he would be glad to serve under him, Guderian thought well of him, Hitler knew he was talented but distrusted his roots plus his forwardness, Hoth was his 4th Panzer Army commander and after WW2 he was allowed to give his recommendations on the Bundeswehr Army formations of which the brigade formation became the standard for German and British forces in the 70's.

There are several anecdotes that will make you smile if not laugh as well such as his troops confrontations with the SA, Hitler's dog and the situation where Manstein met Rommel for the first time.

Read this book you won't be disappointed especially with the maps and strategies involved.
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