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As absolute as Hitler's control over the German war machine was, it depended on the ability, judgment and unquestioning loyalty of the senior officers charged with putting his ideas, however difficult, into effect.
Top military historian James Lucas examines the stories of fourteen of these men: all of different rank, from varied backgrounds, and highly awarded, they exemplify German military prowess at its most dangerous. Among his subjects are Eduard Dietl, the commander of German forces in Norway and Eastern Europe; Werner Kampf, one of the most successful Panzer commanders of the war; and Kurt Meyer, commander of the Hitler Youth Division and one of Germany's youngest general officers.
The author, one of the leading experts on all aspects of German military conduct of the Second World War, offers the reader a rare look into the nature of the German Army – a curious mix of individual strength, petty officialdom and pragmatic action.