Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945
Knopf Doubleday, 2004
For all the tactical genius displayed by German soldiers fighting on the battlefield, they could never escape the consequences of serving under the direction of a man who rejected rationality. Hitler believed that his own military skills and judgment were superior to those of any of his professional advisers. He immersed the leadership in a morass of detail, wasting countless hours of his commanders’ time, about armament design and the movements of trifling numbers of men and tanks. He allowed Goring, his old political crony, to remain leader of the Luftwaffe even when it was plain that it was collapsing as a fighting force through huge errors of policy and management [and that Goring was a drug addict]. He gave Himmler a battlefield command which caused that master of mass murder to suffer a nervous collapse. His insistence upon sustaining to the end of the war heavily garrisoned German “fortresses” in the Channel Islands, Scandinavia and the Aegean for reasons of prestige deprived Germany of prodigious numbers of men and quantities of precious arms and materiel, which might significantly have influenced the battles of if they had been withdrawn to Germany while there was still time.