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Customer Review

on 18 November 2013
Having just read this book as a historian studying Hitler's career for over 30 years I was dissapointed at the blatant self-serving glorifications of the writer and his - all too typical - claims that he knew nothing of the Nazi attrocities. He worked several years on the periphery of Hitler's inner circles but never even heard of the extermination camps until after the war. (yeah, right!). He carefully avoids comment on the plight of the Jews!

Two aspects of this book destroy the writers credibility: Firstly the Valkyrie plot. He knew Stauffenberg and admits his own cousin and closest friend got him into the armed forces. The SAME cousin who he would have tacit meetings with by walking in woodlands at lunchtime prior to the Valkyrie attack. The same cousin who made the detonator for Stauffenberg's bomb! Yet the writer knew nothing of the plot whatsoever, despite working with and belonging to the 'old guard' military officers of the old upper class. All his friends are "Vons", all those worthy of his praise are "Vons" and all his political sympathies are with the "Vons". Do I detect a strong bias??

The other condemnation of this book, in his own words, are his several claims early in the book when recounting his involvement in the fighting in Russia. How many times did he alone miraculously save 'his' troops by finding 'the only bridge left to run escape over' or the only tiny gap in Russian lines to sneak through??!! How many times did he have brilliant ideas that hisgenerals had never considered??!! Audie Murphy won the war for the Yanks: this guy is the German Audie Murphy. Some of his claims would make great Monty Python sketches.

Once credibility is destroyed, (quite early on in the book), it becomes tiresome to read. The serious historian will garner only a few small factoids from the book, otherwise it is about as useful as a "Ladybird Book Of Hitler's Bunker". If the tagline was "everyone with a Von in their name is great like me and everyone else was a naughty Nazi" then you would know what to expect.
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