Osprey Men-at-Arms 124 : German Commanders of World War II
Anthony Kemp outlines the careers and character of a number of the senior German commanders during the Second World War. To those who read military history many of the names are familiar. It is a paradox, however, that few biographies have been written except in the case of popular generals like Rommel. The impression still exists today of German generals as stiff-necked, scar-faced, monocled Prussians. Whist in a few cases this was certainly true, the fact remains that all of them were men, some more ordinary than others. It would be fair to say that most senior officers welcomed the advent of Hitler, with the proviso that they imagined that they would be able to control him. Indeed, most of them despised the jumped-up corporal, but he was dedicated to rebuilding the German armed forces. However, like the genie released from the bottle, he ended up controlling them. Kemp covers in an engaging and absorbing style the biographies of 22 German commanders, men such as Colonel-General Josef 'Sepp' Dietrich, whose earlier career as a butcher's apprentice ominously foreshadowed his future role as founder member of the SS. A swaggering braggart who had been dragged up from the gutter, the very worst type of SS bully, he was nevertheless possessed of an earthy charm and openness of character and proved himself fanatically brave during the conflict. This book provides plenty of photographs throughout, plus eight full page colour plates by Angus McBride accompanied by ten pages of commentaries detailing uniforms.
- The German Armed Forces
- The Commanders
- The Plates