The Third Reich at War: 1939-1945

The Third Reich at War: 1939-1945

by Richard J. Evans


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A New York Times bestseller!

An absorbing, revelatory, and definitive account of one of the greatest tragedies in human history

Adroitly blending narrative, description, and analysis, Richard J. Evans portrays a society rushing headlong to self-destruction and taking much of Europe with it. Interweaving a broad narrative of the war's progress from a wide range of people, Evans reveals the dynamics of a society plunged into war at every level. The great battles and events of the conflict are here, but just as telling is Evans's re- creation of the daily experience of ordinary Germans in wartime. At the center of the book is the Nazi extermi­nation of the Jews. The final book in Richard J. Evan's three-volume history of Hitler's Germany, hailed "a masterpiece" by The New York Times, The Third Reich at War lays bare the most momentous and tragic years of the Nazi regime.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143116714
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/23/2010
Series: History of the Third Reich , #3
Pages: 944
Sales rank: 227,076
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Richard J. Evans was born in London and educated at Oxford University. He has taught at Columbia University and Birkbeck, University of London, and since 2014 has been the Regius Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Cambridge. His many publications include an acclaimed three-volume history of the Third Reich and a recent collection of essays, The Third Reich in History and Memory. A Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature, he is a past winner of the Wolfson History Prize, and was twice a History Honoree at the Los Angeles Times Book Awards. In 2012 he was appointed Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s birthday honors list, for services to scholarship.

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The Third Reich at War, 1939-1945 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Willp More than 1 year ago
This magnificent book completes Evans¿ trilogy on the Third Reich. It covers all aspects of the war including the home front: morale, the role of women, the effect of the bombing, food, wages and conditions. He also examines the roles of the air force, navy and army, and gives us shrewd portraits of the leading personalities in the Nazi state.

Nazi ideology blamed the Jews for all ills, including the Second World War itself, and saw communism and socialism as essentially Jewish. Hitler created a genocidal mentality and justified a genocidal policy.

The Nazis committed countless atrocities. They killed thousands of handicapped children. They killed as many Gypsies as they could. They deported Jews from all the countries they occupied to death camps like Auschwitz. They murdered six million Jews and four million Soviet prisoners of war. The war they started killed 50 million people.

Evans nails the lie that Nazism was in some sense socialist; he shows how ¿Germany was still a capitalist economy, dominated by private enterprise.¿ Hitler¿s policies were not `autarchic¿, which means `self-sufficiency as an economic system¿. Nazism was not contained in one country but expansionist, predatory and aggressive. It never relied on its own national resources but on stealing other people¿s equipment and materials. Nazi Germany extracted more than 30% of the wartime national production in the occupied countries of Western Europe.

Nazi Germany ¿invaded Russia, unprovoked, and caused an almost unimaginable degree of death, suffering and destruction.¿ But Hitler¿s invasion of the Soviet Union caused his downfall.

The battle of Stalingrad was the decisive turning-point of the whole war. As Evans writes, ¿What happened on the Soviet Front dwarfed anything seen in France, Denmark, Norway or the Low Countries. From 22 June 1941 onwards, at least two-thirds of the German armed forces were always engaged on the Eastern Front. More people fought and died on and behind the Eastern Front than in all the other theatres of war in 1939-45 put together, including the Far East¿ It was in the end on the Eastern Front, more than any other, that the fortunes of war were decided.¿
wildbill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is the third volume in Richard J. Evans history of Nazi Germany. The Third Reich in Power told how Adolf Hitler fashioned Germany into a totalitarian state where life was lived according to Nazi ideology and whose sole purpose was waging war. This volume tells what happened when Germany waged their planned war and used mass murder to implement the Nazi principles of eugenics and racism throughout Europe. Like the whole series it is written for the general reader and should replace The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich as the authoritative history of this era. The book is a history of Germany during World War II and not a history of World War II. Selected excerpts of the history of the war are discussed in depth when their effect on life in Germany was pronounced. The fall of France revenged the shame of 1918 and filled the German people with pride. The goal of Adolf Hitler formed in a hospital bed after he learned of the German surrender in World war I was realized. Two years later the battle of Stalingrad, with an estimated two million total casualties, was a disastrous defeat that marked the the beginning of the end for Germany and her allies. As the defeat became obvious Hitler's speeches no longer thrilled the masses.The author shows a complete command of the source material for his topic. The footnotes and bibliography list a wide variety of contemporary and secondary sources in English and German. Diary excerpts convey the experiences of individuals and numerous statistics illustrate the breadth and depth of events.The combination of war, genocide and repression produced an era of death and destruction on a scale unrivaled in human history. The author's thorough and detailed narration conveys to the reader the day to day events that combined to produce an epic of horror that belied the concept of the banality of evil. Reading over and over again, he was executed by being shot in the back of the neck, fails to reduce the emotional impact of that statement1939 brought the beginnings of mass murder and genocide but it was the war with Russia that brought wholesale slaughter. It is estimated that the civilian and military casualties of the Russians were a total of twenty million people. The German Army suffered seventy percent of their casualties on the Eastern front, thirty percent of those in 1945, and the Russian invasion of Germany exacted revenge for the suffering of the Russian people. The mass murder of eastern European Jews began in the summer of 1941.The author makes it clear that the genocide was done on the specific orders of Adolf Hitler. In a speech on January 30, 1939 Hitler said that if a world war started it would be the fault of the Jews and they would be killed in retribution. There are numerous references to this speech in the discussion of the genocide of the Jews. The genocide continued up to the end of the war. As late as March of 1945 trainloads of Jews were being deported from Slovokia to the extermination camps.Another important theme of the book is the destruction of Germany as the war was fought to the bitter end. The bombing of Germany day and night often created fire storms. These tornadoes of flame destroyed large portions of major cities and one in February of 1945 killed 35,000 people in the city of Dresden. As the Allied troops moved into Germany Hitler called for a scorched earth policy of destruction of everything in their path. This was resisted by Albert Speer who saw the need to preserve the ability of the German people to provide for themselves after the end of the war.The taking of Berlin and Hitler's suicide ended the war. Germany was defeated and the ideas that had led her to war in 1914 and 1939 were destroyed as thoroughly as her bombed out cities. All that was left was her collective guilt and knowledge for future generations described by the author as follows:" The Third Reich raises in the most acute form the possibilities and consequences of the human hatred and dest
RTS1942 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The final volume in Evans' trilogy of World War II. This is a long, but readable, book of suffering, on all sides. The subject matter is arranged thematically rather than chronologically which results in a thorough reporting and analysis of each topic. Copious statistics and data but these do not generally interfere with the flow of the narrative.
Narboink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Three thick volumes is the new minimum for a survey of Nazi Germany geared toward the general reader. The final installment of this series seamlessly continues the story to its conclusion, which is welcome indeed. Being steeped in Nazi history for the duration of three long books is a fatiguing exercise in misery; one can only imagine what it must have been like to actually live (or die) amongst the carnage of such a hideous moral vacuum. "The Third Reich at War" does a spectacular job answering the basic questions of how and why the Nazi regime (and greater Germany itself) was able to indulge in genocide, unprecedented levels of military violence, and all other manner of horrors. Highly specific geopolitical considerations and deep analysis of military tactics are largely glossed over in favor of a wider (and more inclusive) cultural perspective; this is principally an effort to illuminate the forest without entirely dispensing with the trees. The pace and style throughout is consistent, smoothly erudite, and unflaggingly interesting. It is especially helpful to have previous histories and perspectives reevaluated and subtly adjusted (or refuted) by diligent and meticulous data mining. The overall effect is one of volatile history settling - at long last - into a semblance of substantiated truth.
CliffBurns on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Superlative account of the descent into World War II--the Nazis instigated the conflict and were determined to truly make this one "the war to end all wars". And as the tide turned and the mighty Wehrmacht was driven back, utterly defeated, Hitler vented his rageon the Jews, Communists, Gypsies, homosexuals, enemies of the state, employing an industrial era killing machine (whose levers he silently and invisibly operated) to do its cruel work right up to the closing days of the war.This is the third book of Mr. Evans' weighty trilogy but there's not a word wasted. A solid, perhaps even indispensable addition to Second World War scholarship, to be read alongside Bullock's biography of Hitler and Shirer's RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH.
jorgearanda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As Evans says in his introduction, this is not a book about World War II, or about the Holocaust, but the final volume on his history of the Third Reich, which covers the period of 1939-1945 and necessarily deals with war and genocide since these were the two overwhelming themes of Nazi Germany in this period. But there are many other intertwined stories in this book as well: the perception of Hitler by ordinary Germans of the time, the unethical experimentation with prisoners, particularly Jews and Gypsies, the dynamics and internal conflicts of the Nazi government and the military, corruption, art smuggling, propaganda, and much more.It is a thoroughly researched book. It is also accessible for the general public, and although it is deeply depressing and horrifying it carries an important message. I see it as a single piece along with Evans' two previous volumes, adding to 2000+ pages that altogether deal with the captivating and cohesive story of the rise and fall of the Third Reich.
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Well researched, gripping, terrifying telling of WWII.
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Bosshog More than 1 year ago
Evans final third book of his series on The Third Reich is a masterpiece!!! Evans explains in detail of the nazis military succeses and ultimate deat in WW2. Anyone studying or loves WW2 history has to read Evans three part series. In this particular book, Evans brings you into the heart and minds of the Nazis, ordinary German citizens, and victims of the nazis. I came away with a real understanding of WW2 from reading from a great professor and author as Evans!!!
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