web site hit counter Hitler's Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Hitler's Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich

Availability: Ready to download

Harvard University Junior Fellow Omer Bartov delivers a detailed account of how Nazism penetrated the German Army during World War II. Bartov focuses on the barbaric struggle between Germany and the Soviet Union--where the vast majority of German troops fought--to show how the savagery of war reshaped the army into Hitler's image. Harvard University Junior Fellow Omer Bartov delivers a detailed account of how Nazism penetrated the German Army during World War II. Bartov focuses on the barbaric struggle between Germany and the Soviet Union--where the vast majority of German troops fought--to show how the savagery of war reshaped the army into Hitler's image.


Compare

Harvard University Junior Fellow Omer Bartov delivers a detailed account of how Nazism penetrated the German Army during World War II. Bartov focuses on the barbaric struggle between Germany and the Soviet Union--where the vast majority of German troops fought--to show how the savagery of war reshaped the army into Hitler's image. Harvard University Junior Fellow Omer Bartov delivers a detailed account of how Nazism penetrated the German Army during World War II. Bartov focuses on the barbaric struggle between Germany and the Soviet Union--where the vast majority of German troops fought--to show how the savagery of war reshaped the army into Hitler's image.

30 review for Hitler's Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich

  1. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Addison

    This book is obviously influenced by the Historikerstreit (as Dr. Bartov is the first to point out), as it is in large part a refutation of the German-soldiers-as-Hitler's-noble-and-innocent-victims thesis, that thesis being what started the argument in the first place. Bartov disproves this thesis with primary source evidence, particularly the letters of the soldiers on the Eastern front, and his evidence is horribly convincing. Bartov also offers something I have been longing for without knowi This book is obviously influenced by the Historikerstreit (as Dr. Bartov is the first to point out), as it is in large part a refutation of the German-soldiers-as-Hitler's-noble-and-innocent-victims thesis, that thesis being what started the argument in the first place. Bartov disproves this thesis with primary source evidence, particularly the letters of the soldiers on the Eastern front, and his evidence is horribly convincing. Bartov also offers something I have been longing for without knowing it, a nuanced non-binary model of the relationship between the individual and an ideology. He's modifying the "primary group" theory of military success: [...] some insight into the relationship between the people and the regime may be derived from the notion that while real "primary groups" do not fully explain combat motivation due to their unfortunate tendency to disintegrate just when they are most needed, the idea of attachment to an ideal "primary group," composed of a certain category of human beings, clearly does have a powerful integrating potential. This kind of "primary group," however, is in some respects the precise opposite of the one presented in the original theory, for it is very much the product not merely of social ties, but of ideological internalization, whereby humanity is divided into opposing groups of "us" and "them." Indeed, the sense of identification with one group, and the abhorrence of the other, are in both cases dependent on an abstraction; personal familiarity may only weaken the individual's commitment by revealing the less than ideal aspects of his own side, and the human face of his opponents (which is why armies dislike fraternization). This kind of categorization is of course just as applicable to civilians, and in both cases does not necessitate any profound understanding of whatever world-view one believes oneself to be fighting or working for. Instead, it calls for internalizing only those aspects of the regime's ideology based on previously prevalent prejudices, and most needed to legitimize one's sufferings, elevate one's own status, and denigrate one's enemies, be they real or imaginary. (Bartov 6) This formulation dovetails nicely with Ian Kershaw's work on the "Hitler myth," for Bartov shows that fanatical devotion to the Führer was one of the pieces of the Nazi world-view most readily internalized by soldiers on the Eastern front, just as Kershaw showed its operations in the civilian populace. They didn't have to understand what Hitler wanted in order to unite in worship of him. Bartov also shows the soldiers' belief in their own innate and immense superiority as Germans, and their belief that--as Hitler told them--the Jews had started the war; that if Germany hadn't attacked Russia, Russia would have attacked Germany; that the terrible slaughter of Jews and "commissars" and "partisans" was necessary and deserved; and that Germany was, in fact, heroically defending THE ENTIRE WORLD from the Judeo-Bolshevik menace which would otherwise destroy them all. The polar reversal characteristic of the Nazi worldview was in full operation on the Eastern front.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Damning work of scholarship on the German Army's psychological state in World War 2. The author shows how the German Army (not just the notorious SS units) was molded by Hitler's vision, and that the average soldier's faith in their leader enabled them to fight on when defeat was inevitable. This is one of the first books to re-examine the established picture of the German soldier as an apolitical warrior, painted by ex-German generals and cold warriors who wanted the Germans on their side durin Damning work of scholarship on the German Army's psychological state in World War 2. The author shows how the German Army (not just the notorious SS units) was molded by Hitler's vision, and that the average soldier's faith in their leader enabled them to fight on when defeat was inevitable. This is one of the first books to re-examine the established picture of the German soldier as an apolitical warrior, painted by ex-German generals and cold warriors who wanted the Germans on their side during the post-war struggle with the Soviet Union. Rather, after the defeats and brutality the army experienced in the invasion of Russia, propaganda and its twisting of reality motivated the German Army to continue fighting. This is one of the starting points of the new scholarship about the conduct of the German Army in World War 2 and you can see the author's influence in many recent works.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bobby Petricini

    A great look into how the army on the Eastern front remained loyal to Hitler even while staring defeat in the face.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sean Chick

    This book shattered my perception of World War II. I grew up with the idea of the German army as victim, as an organization that unwittingly served an evil cause and was destroyed in the process. Bartov destroyed that illusion, pointing towards an army that, given heavy losses in 1941 and infrequent purges by Hitler, became a willing tool of Nazism by war's end. Of course more could be said and has been said since this book came out. As for myself, in the last 20 years I have become an adherent This book shattered my perception of World War II. I grew up with the idea of the German army as victim, as an organization that unwittingly served an evil cause and was destroyed in the process. Bartov destroyed that illusion, pointing towards an army that, given heavy losses in 1941 and infrequent purges by Hitler, became a willing tool of Nazism by war's end. Of course more could be said and has been said since this book came out. As for myself, in the last 20 years I have become an adherent to the Fritz Fischer thesis of German history and foreign policy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Extremely well written, informative, and important in WWII/Nazi Germany studies. It provides some psychoanalytical analysis on the behavior and actions of the soldiers and takes a look at military strategy and training, the bond formed between soldiers, and government propaganda and the effect it has on perceptions of reality. A tough and interesting read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Clarke Wood

    For many years, histories of the German Army in World War 2 maintained that it was largely apolitical, and performed well in battle due to its fostering of primary groups. This book really destroys this point of view. The reality was that National Socialism thinking and its philosophy and world view permeated the institution at all levels, and many German soldiers were true believers who kept faith with Hitler long after a lot of the civilian population had lost hope. The primary group theory o For many years, histories of the German Army in World War 2 maintained that it was largely apolitical, and performed well in battle due to its fostering of primary groups. This book really destroys this point of view. The reality was that National Socialism thinking and its philosophy and world view permeated the institution at all levels, and many German soldiers were true believers who kept faith with Hitler long after a lot of the civilian population had lost hope. The primary group theory of effectiveness has been popular in miltary history for a while, but Bartov points out that in light of the massive and ongoing casualties on the Eastern Front, any primary groups formed usually would not last very long. Units often had a new commander every week, and 100% turnover over a few months due to attrition was not unusual. The book also at length discusses how the Wehrmacht also adopted a perverse system of military justice, where harsh punishments were meted out for failing to perform in combat, but criminal conduct towards civilians and soldiers was tolerated and even encouraged. While there has been considerable work on the deplorable behavior of Russian troops in Germany in 1945, the author points out that German soldiers in the east behaved worse as a matter of routine. Crimes against POWs or civilians were simply not punished, and there were often orders that soldiers should increase levels of violence towards the civilian population. Anti-partisan operations usually involved high body counts but few German casualties or weapons recovered. German forces in Russia were supposed to live off the land, and this invariably involved widespread looting of foodstuffs, clothing, livestock, and shelter from the civilian population. Official reports mention how entire regions are emptied of provisions, and civilians are either killed, forced into labor units, or sent into the countryside often in the middle of winter. This is well researched and is a great addition to any library of world war 2 books.

  7. 5 out of 5

    John E

    An excellent study of the "Nazi-fication" of the Germany Army during World War II. A bit difficult to read because of the style (very long paragraphs) it is well worth the effort. An excellent study of the "Nazi-fication" of the Germany Army during World War II. A bit difficult to read because of the style (very long paragraphs) it is well worth the effort.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Santiago Diez

    4.5

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jochen Träm

    Probably one of the best single-volume analyses of the Wehrmacht, and its relation to and function in the Third Reich.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Wulfsohn

    Completely explodes the myth of the “ good “ German army as opposed to the “ bad “ Waffen SS.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Stieb

    A dark and disturbing book about the Wehrmacht's complicity in the crimes and ideology of the 3rd Reich. Bartov argues that their upbringing in Nazi society made the young men of the Wehrmacht predisposed to buy into Nazi ideology. On the Eastern Front, they experienced the "demodernization" of warfare as the high-tech, highly mobile warfare of the blitzkrieg bogged down by the fall of 1941 into trench and urban warfare. These soldiers experienced horrendous conditions and casualty rates that to A dark and disturbing book about the Wehrmacht's complicity in the crimes and ideology of the 3rd Reich. Bartov argues that their upbringing in Nazi society made the young men of the Wehrmacht predisposed to buy into Nazi ideology. On the Eastern Front, they experienced the "demodernization" of warfare as the high-tech, highly mobile warfare of the blitzkrieg bogged down by the fall of 1941 into trench and urban warfare. These soldiers experienced horrendous conditions and casualty rates that tore apart their primary groups, which are usually considered to be a key part of an Army's ability to function. As the primary group collapsed, soldiers came under stricter discipline and more ideological bombardment from the regime. They became more fanatically attached to Nazism and Hitler in particular, adopting more of the regime's worldview than the average German at the time. They also experienced a bizarre reversal of discipline in which they were subject to extreme discipline for infractions (especially desertion) but ordered and encouraged to take out their hatred and frustration on the sub-human Slavic and Jewish populations. Bartov details the horrific abuses the Wehrmacht took part it, demolishing the myth that they were apolitical and separate from Nazism. The soldiers seemed to genuinely believe that they were in an absolute racial war against the subhuman races, and that if they didn't destroy these enemies Germany and all of civilization would be destroyed. The Nazis' unleashing of their soldiers' anger and constant ideological indoctrination brutalized the soldiers to the point where it became impossible for the regime to rein in their atrocities, even when those atrocities became counterproductive by either destroying the economy of the places the Germans occupied or inspiring further resistance from Soviet soldiers and partisans. Bartov argues that these soldiers held onto their perverse, distorted, violent worldview until the bitter end. He is highly skeptical of their latter testimonies of skepticism towards Nazism and distance from war crimes, arguing that these were mainly self-serving reminiscences that don't match the historical record. The myth of the good Wehrmacht went a long way in postwar Germany. It convinced many Germans that the war against the USSR was partially justified as a sort of preventative attack against Eastern barbarism and communism. It also facilitated the rebuilding of the Bundeswehr by distancing the German military from Nazism. It's good that Bartov has struck down this usable past. This book is also a great argument against universal soldier type arguments, especially the buddy theory of unit and army cohesion. It seems that the buddy theory relies heavily on a certain casualty rate and that soldiers can and will look elsewhere for meaning and motivation when that rate gets too high. This book also lends credence to the Goldhagen school of thought about the Holocaust that envisions ordinary Germans as willing supporters of the regime's crimes . The main caveat in this book was that the soldiers at the boundaries of the Nazi empire became some of the regime's biggest die-hards, although this was not just an expression of German culture but a process of brutalization deeply linked with the conditions of the front. I highly recommend this short, well-argued book to students of European history, the Holocaust, and human psychology in historical context.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Schopfi

    several preconceived notions about the german wehrmacht, born of a limited western perspective on military history infused with certain ideological continuities are being revised in this short study, bearing some interesting results. the idea of war pragmatism for instance, the image of a soldier on the front line, facing realities of war, immune to ideological and propagandist notions, is shown to be quite wrong. the horrors of war, the perversion of discipline through the criminal orders of a several preconceived notions about the german wehrmacht, born of a limited western perspective on military history infused with certain ideological continuities are being revised in this short study, bearing some interesting results. the idea of war pragmatism for instance, the image of a soldier on the front line, facing realities of war, immune to ideological and propagandist notions, is shown to be quite wrong. the horrors of war, the perversion of discipline through the criminal orders of a war of extermination, fear, guilt, aggression and frustration actually formed a fertile soil for indoctrination. the ideology of national socialism was actually most effective precisely where the darkest reality was most directly felt. ideology served a psychological need for the soldiers on the eastern front, and the more it became the dominant conceptual lens, it steered the actions of soldiers towards war crimes, brutalizing the war, which resulted in a self fulfilling prophecy and vicious circle. bartovs study is focused very much on the inner workings of hitlers army, which makes mechanisms visible that have for long been overlooked, but results in a slightly mono-causal mode of explanation.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    The author contends that the army was brainwashed -- but what army isn't brainwashed? How else do soldiers participate in the horrors of war? He refutes the notion -- commonly held, he says -- that the army, especially the officers, were professional soldiers who were not swayed by Nazism. Bartov provides much interesting detail on the invasion of the USSR -- it was doomed from the start. The German losses, in terms of both manpower and equipment, could not be sustained for long. It's a dark rea The author contends that the army was brainwashed -- but what army isn't brainwashed? How else do soldiers participate in the horrors of war? He refutes the notion -- commonly held, he says -- that the army, especially the officers, were professional soldiers who were not swayed by Nazism. Bartov provides much interesting detail on the invasion of the USSR -- it was doomed from the start. The German losses, in terms of both manpower and equipment, could not be sustained for long. It's a dark read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin

    Very weak from a historical point of view, filled with the author subjective opinions, coloured by the fact that he is an israeli jew. Terms like barbarism, demonization, and similar are threw around. So instead of an in depth and impartial analysis of the Wehrmacht, what we have is a backwards narrative to why things happened the way they did. Any sane person know that history is written by the victorious, and that such moral and ethical judgements are subjective.

  15. 5 out of 5

    I'Mdoggo

    While book is important in its own right as a contribution to a about the nature of nazi Germany, should indicate that it also has implications for the study of armies and warfare beyond the period of the Third Reich.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gerad Ryan

    Classic which revolutionized post-Cold War understandings of World War II and the Wehrmacht in particular

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie

    Wonderful insight on the psychological and other factors of the Nazi soldiers who followed Hitler's orders. Wonderful insight on the psychological and other factors of the Nazi soldiers who followed Hitler's orders.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Fascinating.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chastonie

    Great book. Answers to a degree how normal men ended up committing some of the WWII most heinous crimes.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brian M. Lennen

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  23. 4 out of 5

    ErrBookErrDay

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sjkdfhs;Df;S

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mac

  26. 4 out of 5

    Theodorine Mokgotla Dumisa

  27. 5 out of 5

    kuriakose thannickel George

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Stuart

  29. 4 out of 5

    Magnus Carlstedt

  30. 5 out of 5

    Guanmei Liang

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.