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Hitler's Panzer Generals

Hitler's Panzer Generals
Guderian, Hoepner, Reinhardt and Schmidt Unguarded

AUD$47.95 inc GST

  • Author: David Stahel, University of New South Wales, Canberra
  • Date Published: May 2023
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781009282819

AUD$ 47.95 inc GST

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About the Authors
  • Germany's success in the Second World War was built upon its tank forces; however, many of its leading generals, with the notable exception of Heinz Guderian, are largely unknown. This biographical study of four German panzer army commanders serving on the Eastern Front is based upon their unpublished wartime letters to their wives. David Stahel offers a complete picture of the men conducting Hitler's war in the East, with an emphasis on the private fears and public pressures they operated under. He also illuminates their response to the criminal dimension of the war as well as their role as leading military commanders conducting large-scale operations. While the focus is on four of Germany's most important panzer generals - Guderian, Hoepner, Reinhardt and Schmidt - the evidence from their private correspondence sheds new light on the broader institutional norms and cultural ethos of the Wehrmacht's Panzertruppe.

    • Reveals the inner lives of four of Germany's key panzer commanders on the Eastern Front through their intimate letters
    • Provides a deeper insight into the generals and the role they played in the Barbarossa campaign and in German criminality in the east
    • Sheds new light on the wider culture within the Panzertruppe
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Already renowned for his brilliant studies of the war on the Eastern Front, David Stahel has once again used his forensic skills to great effect. Drawing on original research - notably a treasure trove of intimate correspondence, much of it never before published - Stahel has produced a revelatory portrait of the four Panzer commanders who spearheaded Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. These military giants of historical myth re-emerge as complex, vulnerable and often deeply troubled human beings, who loved their families and their country but were also unswervingly loyal to the Nazi cause. This is revisionist history of the highest order. It is also a superb read.' Jonathan Dimbleby, author of Barbarossa: How Hitler Lost the War

    'In this penetrating, first-of-its-kind study, David Stahel critically examines the personal letters of the panzer generals. He skillfully strips away the layers of myth and exaggeration to reveal an intimate portrait of the men beneath-their personal lives, quirks, and flaws, as well as their complicity in Hitler's genocidal project. Readers will come away with a deeper understanding not only of Germany's command culture but the social world of the Third Reich.' David A. Harrisville, author of The Virtuous Wehrmacht: Crafting the Myth of the German Soldier on the Eastern Front, 1941–1944

    'Superb. David Stahel has become the foremost historian chronicling the war on the Eastern Front and this new study of four of the panzer generals is a major contribution to our understanding of how and why the German Army fought as it did and the consequences of their approach. Completely original in its study, this marks the first time any historian has so meticulously peeled back the layers of German high command in the war. The result is revelatory, immensely thought-provoking, compelling, and, frankly, eye-opening. It is a quite brilliant piece of work and deserves to be widely read for generations to come.' James Holland, author of Brothers in Arms

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2023
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781009282819
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 159 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • contains: 25 b/w illus. 10 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The letters of the Panzer generals: validity, veracity and verification
    2. The private generals: embracing family and war
    body, mind and soul
    Burdens of the heart
    Burdens of command
    3. The public generals: military celebrity
    Charm offensives
    Status symbols
    The power of privilege
    4. The criminal generals: enemy in the East
    Criminal orders
    The war behind the front
    War of annihilation
    5. The military generals: Delusion and disclosure
    Discord and dysfunction
    Operational silences
    Narcissistic command

  • Author

    David Stahel, University of New South Wales, Canberra
    David Stahel is a leading authority on German military history in the Second World War. He is a senior lecturer in history at the University of New South Wales in Australia. His previous publications include Operation Barbarossa and Germany's Defeat in the East (2009), Kiev 1941 (2012), The Battle for Moscow (2015) and Retreat from Moscow (2019).

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