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Cross of Iron: The Rise and Fall of the German Military Machine, 1918-1945

(Holt, 2006)

Cross of Iron is more than a simple account of the tactical evolution of the German Army after 1918. It weaves usually disparate strands of German social and intellectual history into an account of this important institution, from the philosophy of Martin Heidegger (an unabashed supporter of Hitler) to the paradoxical treatment of Jewish officers in the Third Reich. Building on his previous work, The Blitzkrieg Myth (HarperCollins, 2003), it shows how historians have fundamentally misunderstood the German offensives of April and May 1940. It also lays bare the war crimes committed by regular German soldiers from the very start of the war.

"An important, superbly researched reappraisal of the fabled Wehrmacht in both wars. From the battlefields of France during World War I through history’s most devastating war, John Mosier shatters a long-held mythology about the German army, and reveals how its officers permitted one of the world’s greatest armies to lose its honor and become the willing tool of Adolf Hitler. Those who believe we have learned everything there is to know about World War 2 will view the legendary German war machine and its history in an entirely new light after reading this provocative book."

--Carlo D’Este, author of Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life and Patton: A Genius for War