The German War

A Nation Under Arms, 1939-1945


By Nicholas Stargardt

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A groundbreaking history of what drove the Germans to fight — and keep fighting — for a lost cause in World War II

In The German War, acclaimed historian Nicholas Stargardt draws on an extraordinary range of firsthand testimony — personal diaries, court records, and military correspondence — to explore how the German people experienced the Second World War.

When war broke out in September 1939, it was deeply unpopular in Germany. Yet without the active participation and commitment of the German people, it could not have continued for almost six years. What, then, was the war the Germans thought they were fighting? How did the changing course of the conflict — the victories of the Blitzkrieg, the first defeats in the east, the bombing of German cities — alter their views and expectations? And when did Germans first realize they were fighting a genocidal war?

Told from the perspective of those who lived through it — soldiers, schoolteachers, and housewives; Nazis, Christians, and Jews — this masterful historical narrative sheds fresh and disturbing light on the beliefs and fears of a people who embarked on and fought to the end a brutal war of conquest and genocide.
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On Sale
Oct 13, 2015
Page Count
760 pages
Basic Books

Nicholas Stargardt

About the Author

Nicholas Stargardt is one of Britain’s foremost scholars of Nazi Germany. He is a professor of modern European history at Magdalen College, Oxford, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. The author of Witnesses of War: Children’s Lives Under the Nazis, Stargardt lives in Oxford, England.

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