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About this product
- DescriptionPressed by advancing enemy armies on both fronts, Adolf Hitler played his final card in World War II by mobilizing all German civilian males between 16 and 60 and indoctrinating them for a final apocalyptic defence of the Reich. The Volkssturm, created as much to boost national morale as to bolster sagging defences, has been viewed as a negligible factor in the war. David Yelton counters that view with insights into why the German high command sought this means to prolong an unwinnable war - and why so many civilians chose to fight to the bitter end. This work on the German militia aims to illuminate its role and contributions to the Nazi war effort and shed light on the last days of the Third Reich. It examines the militia's strategic purpose, organization, training, and combat performance on both war fronts and explores factors contributing to its sporadic tactical successes and its overall failure. David Yelton reveals why the Nazi leadership chose to assemble such last-ditch units rather than negotiating for peace and also why civilians in these units were more than willing to serve. The Volkssturm was, in fact, part of a broader, ideologically based strategy intended to turn the tide of the war. Yelton tracks the impact of this ideology on Nazi decision-making throughout the war's final year and illustrates how ideological assumptions were often a major reason for the failure of Nazi policies and strategies. Examining the Volkssturm at the local level, Yelton also shows the negative impact of national power struggles and demonstrates how the Wehrmacht, industry and public opinion exerted influence on the militia in ways often contrary to its official objectives. The text stresses the factional lines and conflicting centres of power within the Nazi bureaucracy, clarifies policy formulation and implementation in the late Third Reich, and assesses the shifting power relationships among various groups and individuals. Ultimately, it seeks to offer a complete portrait of the Third Reich during the final phase of a devastating war.
- Author BiographyDavid K. Yelton is professor of history at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina.
- Author(s)David K. Yelton
- PublisherUniversity Press of Kansas
- Date of Publication31/10/2002
- SubjectMilitary History
- Series TitleModern War Studies
- Place of PublicationKansas
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity Press of Kansas
- Content Note34 photographs
- Weight680 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine30 mm
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