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The Wehrmacht: History, Myth, Reality
This book is a profound reexamination of the role of the German army, the Wehrmacht, in World War II. Until very recently, the standard story avowed that the ordinary German soldier in World War II was a good soldier, distinct from Hitler's rapacious SS troops, and not an accomplice to the massacres of civilians. Wolfram Wette, a preeminent German military historian, explo ...more
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published May 15th 2006 by Harvard University Press
(first published May 15th 2002)
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One of the most educational books on World War II I have read. It was so frightening to know that the violent prejudice and hate could be translated to the army. We are used to thinking of that only took orders and that the SS was the worst violators of human life. But it was not and how cheaply these generals considered the jewish and Russian populace was nightmarish.
Nov 22, 2012 Santiago Granados rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Interesante como relato histórico de un tema que, como muy bien lo explica el autor, solo hasta ahora ha sido indagado gracias a la voluntad de las nuevas generaciones en Alemania de saber la verdad. Sin embargo, en algunos de los apartes parece volverse repetitivo y eso, sumado al gran número de nombres mencionados, hace que la lectura a veces se velva pesada y tediosa.
This book is a great summation of the literature about the degree to which the wehrmacht participated in the criminal activity of the Nazi regime, including war crimes, executions, and the process of the Holocaust. What I found particularly interesting was how Wette showed that certain attitudes were not a new thing brought on by the Nazis (although Hitler certainly intensified trends), but antisemitism, militarism, the view that war was a (if not the) solution to problems, and extreme nationali ...more
When I first started learning about world war 2, the common view was that while the Nazis and the SS were bad, the regular Germany Wehrmacht behaved differently. As well, the antisemitism and racism was something Hitler had pushed onto the Germans. At lot of more recent work has managed to pretty much demolish these assumptions. While one might criticize the German generals of WW2 for being Nazis, and over-rated in terms of their abilities, they did run a public relations campaign after the war ...more
Because of the Cold War, the Americans wanted to understand their Sovjet foe, and asked German generals to publish their war memoirs. In doing so, they provided unlimited access to German war documentation - far before official historians could get the same access. That enabled these generals, their leader being Halder, the former chief of the German army, to rewrite the legend of the Wehrmacht into an army that only fought bravely, without being involved in the murder of the Jews and other war ...more