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Customer Review

on 2 October 1998
Liddell Hart's interviews with German generals immediately after WW II ended provides the reader with a essential perspective from inside the defeated military command. The author candidly calls Hitler "too brilliant" a strategist when criticizing the traditional Allied view that all Germany's mistakes were Hitler's and all her success were due to the German generals. Hart points out the political ineptitude of the German generals when assessing their military prowess. Politics are not divorced from military affairs in this study. The superb blend of Eisenhower's political skills and solid military judgement is contrasted with the utter failure of the German military to address political issues in the Reich. Hart lets the vanquished foes tell their own stories in an easy to read narrative form. He allows the German perspective to point out strengths and weaknesses in the British, American, and Russian militarys. An example is the German disregard of any threat of allied invasion along the French Bay of Biscay coastline because they correctly judged the Allied invasion of the European continent would never be carried out outside of the range of air cover. After Sicily, Salerno, and Anzio the Germans were able to use allied predictability against them. Hart uses this example to champion his "strategy of the indirect approach" that has become his hallmark, and surmise about what might have been if bolder leadership had prevailed in England in 1944. An easy read with some of the great minds that opposed the allies in World War II. Never pretentious or overloaded with unit designations or historical snobbery. A straight forward view from the "other side of the hill" that is presented to help the allied military and the lay reader learn from history.
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