The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-1945 (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

A great business book for people (like me) that hate business books, Downs relates his experiences of running a small furniture making business for nearly 30 years, and his honesty about both the successes and failures are written in a very accessible manner that is often missing in traditional business books. Downs is a real business owner dealing with real employees and his book is no list of business platitudes, but rather an honest look at real situations he and his employees have faced. You may know Downs from his blog You're the Boss. If you do, you'll already know his approachable style - if not you'll want to dive into this book.  

— From Mitch's Picks

When World War II started in 1939 it was deeply unpopular, so how was it that the German people actively participated in a war that would last for six years? Stargardt eschews the usual assumptions about the German people, instead delving into the letters and diaries of a variety of ordinary citizens, and in the process creates a clearer understanding for us of how and why many could have supported the Nazis, as well as how they tried to oppose them. Seen through the eyes of those who lived through it—soldiers, teachers, housewives; Christians and Jews—Steingardt’s impeccable research into original source documents brings an important new look at this horrible period in history to life, making us all wonder how we might have reacted under those circumstances. ~ Mitch

— From 2015 History


As early as 1941, Allied victory in World War II seemed all but assured. How and why, then, did the Germans prolong the barbaric conflict for three and a half more years?

In The German War, acclaimed historian Nicholas Stargardt draws on an extraordinary range of primary source materials--personal diaries, court records, and military correspondence--to answer this question. He offers an unprecedented portrait of wartime Germany, bringing the hopes and expectations of the German people--from infantrymen and tank commanders on the Eastern front to civilians on the home front--to vivid life. While most historians identify the German defeat at Stalingrad as the moment when the average German citizen turned against the war effort, Stargardt demonstrates that the Wehrmacht in fact retained the staunch support of the patriotic German populace until the bitter end.

Astonishing in its breadth and humanity, The German War is a groundbreaking new interpretation of what drove the Germans to fight--and keep fighting--for a lost cause.

About the Author

Nicholas Stargardt is a professor of modern European history at Magdalen College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. The author of the award-winning Witnesses of War, Stargardt lives in Oxford, England.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780465018994
ISBN-10: 0465018998
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: October 13th, 2015
Pages: 760
Language: English