Cover image for Hitler's war : German military strategy, 1940-1945
Hitler's war : German military strategy, 1940-1945
Magenheimer, Heinz.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Arms and Armour, 1998.
Physical Description:
352 pages, maps ; 25 cm
General Note:
"Substantially revised and extended edition of Turns of the war in Europe, 1939-1945" - preface.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
D757 .M3413 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This is a closely argued and wide-ranging assessment of just how, with so many alternatives open, the German High Command chose the path that led, ultimately, to its own destruction. Heinz Magenheimer examines in detail the options that were open to the Germans as the war progressed. He identifies the crucial moments at which fateful decisions needed to be taken and considers how decisions different from those actually taken could have propelled the conflict in entirely different directions. Using the very latest source material, in particular new research from Soviet/Russian sources, the author analyses motives and objectives and considers the opportunities taken or rejected, concentrating especially on specific phases of the conflict.

Author Notes

Heinz Magenheimer is one of Austria¿s most respected historians and commentators. Since 1972 he has been a member of the Academy of National Defence, Vienna, and since 1993 a permanent member of the editorial staff of the Austrian military periodical OMZ. In addition to five books, he has written more than a hundred articles in periodical and compendia on the subjects of military strategy, security politics and the history of warfare.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Playing the game of historical what-if is often derided as futile, but it serves as a mental exercise that can be both provocative and enjoyable. Magenheimer, an Austrian military historian, has utilized newly available source material from Russian archives to offer a fresh perspective on an old debate. He examines most of the key decisions by Hitler and his general staff from 1940 to 1945, with particular emphasis on the Russian front. His research suggests that German defeat was certainly not foreordained, despite obvious logistical problems. The general reader will struggle with the military jargon, but military history buffs can have a field day here. --Jay Freeman

Library Journal Review

With yet another look at the "what if's" of World War II, Magenheimer, an Austrian military historian with five books and hundreds of articles to his credit, expends considerable energy exploring key strategic decisions that might have won the war for the Third Reich. In this rather dry and scholarly work, he analyzes turning points in the war from the perspective of the German leadership, focusing on Germany's missed opportunities and their consequences. Supported by an exhaustive bibliography and lengthy notes, his study reviews German options involving military, political, economic, and technological factors. He offers no new revelations, instead simply rehashing the uncertain variables of the "fog of war" that impacted German decision-making. Certainly, Germany could have won the war if it had not made so many geopolitical and strategic mistakes, but then such miscalculations are often the cause of defeat in war. Recommended only for academic libraries.ÄCol. William D. Bushnell, USMC (ret.), Brunswick, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.