Soldiers, Civilians, and the Death of the Third Reich
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
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In assessing the dissolution of Hitler’s regime, the prominent German historian Hans Mommsen has claimed that from 1943 on, the Third Reich was in an accelerating process of internal dissolution, a situation that prompted the most radical members of the party, state, and military increasingly to assert control and assume new tasks. Further, Mommsen...
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With German forces reeling back to the Reich in disarray following the hammer blows of the Normandy and Southern France campaigns, the end of the war in Europe seemed tantalizingly near in autumn 1944. Readers of the New York Times thus might be forgiven if, on November 12, they read with skepticism two items that suggested other-wise. In an article entitled “The Nazis Still Hope for a Miracle,” George...
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By the spring of 1945, Adolf Hitler’s much vaunted Thousand Year Reich had become a vast battleground, a swarm of enemy tanks, jeeps,trucks, and soldiers, as Allied troops battered in from both east and west.The dead lay unburied in forests, or under the rubble of ancient cities, or in damp frontline trenches. The detritus of a disintegrating society lay remorselessly exposed: smashed boxcars, smoking locomotives, twisted...
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Pursued relentlessly through the Odenwald, where legend had it that the heroic Siegfried perished at the hands of a traitor, the weakened and demoralized remnants of a once formidable army straggled toward the Tauber River. Hoping for reinforcements from the last mustering of local Franconians, German commanders sought to establish a new defensive line at K
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Having crossed the Tauber, units of the Twelfth Armored Division,primarily the Seventeenth Armored Infantry Battalion and the Twenty-third Tank Battalion, now moved rapidly eastward toward Aub, Uffenheim, and Ippesheim, hoping to skirt the ridges along the southern edge of the Steigerwald before turning south toward the Aisch River and the towns of Bad Windsheim and Neustadt, which controlled access to...
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With the American breakthrough, the Germans could no longer maintain the Steigerwald line, so now began a hasty withdrawal south-east to the next line of defense, which ran along the Frankenh
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Having broken the Steigerwald defense line at both its eastern and western ends, American troops noted a steady withdrawal of scattered German units under cover of the rain-soaked darkness during the night of April 12–13. As GIs of the Twenty-third Tank Battalion and 101stCavalry Reconnaissance Squadron set out in pursuit on the morning of April 13, however, two German infantry companies, supported by eight...
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During the Thirty Years War, that disastrous period of chaos and calamity between 1618 and 1648, German peasants grew increasingly weary of having their farms plundered and burned, their wives and daughters raped, and their sons taken away by the various marauding bands who fought in the service of one or another of the Great Powers of Europe. To the long-suffering peasant, it seemed irrelevant...
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Speaking with a Military Government official in the peaceful town of Heidelberg in mid-May 1945, a correspondent for the New York Times, skeptical of the many reports of looting and violence by former displaced persons, suddenly heard a woman’s scream. Going outside, he saw a middle-aged woman “running down the tree-lined street with blood pouring from a gash in her arm. . . . She had been halted by a former...
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Attempting to come to grips with the demon of National Socialism, Tho-mas Mann in his anguished novel from exile, Doctor Faustus (1947), reflected once again on a theme that haunted him his entire life, the dangerous German fascination with the darkly creative. Mann interspersed his tale of the composer Adrian Leverk
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Page Count: 416
Publication Year: 2004