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Hitler's First War: Adolf Hitler, the Men of the List Regiment, and the First World War (Paperback)
  • Hitler's First War: Adolf Hitler, the Men of the List Regiment, and the First World War (Paperback)
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Hitler's First War: Adolf Hitler, the Men of the List Regiment, and the First World War (Paperback)

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Paperback 480 Pages / Published: 29/09/2011
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Hitler claimed that his years as a soldier in the First World War were the most formative years of his life. However, for the six decades since his death in the ruins of Berlin, Hitler's time as a soldier on the Western Front has, remarkably, remained a blank spot. Until now, all that we knew about Hitler's life in these years and the regiment in which he served came from his own account in Mein Kampf and the equally mythical accounts of his comrades. Hitler's First War for the first time looks at what really happened to Private Hitler and the men of the Bavarian List Regiment of which he was a member. It is a radical revision of the period of Hitler's life that is said to have made him. Looking at the stories of his fellow regimental veterans - an officer who became Hitler's personal adjutant in the 1930s but then offered himself to British intelligence, a soldier-turned-Concentration Camp Commander, Jewish veterans who fell victim to the Holocaust, and others who simply returned to their lives in Bavaria - Thomas Weber presents a Private Hitler very different from the one portrayed in his own self-mythologizing account. Instead, we find a man who was shunned by the frontline soldiers of his regiment as a 'rear area pig' and who was still unsure of his political ideology even at the end of the war in 1918. In looking at the post-war lives of Hitler's fellow veterans back in Bavaria, Thomas Weber also challenges the commonly accepted notion that the First World War was somehow a 'seminal catastrophe' in twentieth century German history - and even questions just how deep-seated Nazi ideology really was in its home state.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199226382
Number of pages: 480
Weight: 602 g
Dimensions: 209 x 133 x 38 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
One of the 10 best books on the First World War ever published * Die Welt *
engaging and well researched * Sunday Business Post *
terrifically interesting book * Sunday Herald (Glasgow) *
mighty but highly readable piece of research * The Independent *
groundbreaking study * History Today 'Book of the Month' *
here is some very accurate scholarship indeed * The Guardian *
Review from previous edition A well-researched exploration, raising some interesting questions about Hitler's beliefs and attitudes during the First World War. * Advance Praise from Sir Ian Kershaw *
Once in a while a truly original book comes along, forcing us to rethink our understanding of the past. Weber's book is such a work. He has ferreted out a wealth of new evidence from the archives and turned received wisdom on Hitlers life story and the wider impact of the Great War on its head. This is essential reading for specialists and a fascinating tale for the general reader. * Advance Praise from Conan Fischer *
[A] superb new work of history...eye-opening material. * Andrew Roberts, Commentary Magazine, *
The title of this book is accurate and comprehensive, but gives no idea of the scope and importance of its contents... formidably impressive researches... * Sir Michael Howard, TLS *
An enterprising and thoughful new study based on skilful research in the archives and elsewhere... Weber's discoveries have enabled him to write a very informative and readable new analysis. * The Spectator *
A triumph of original research... He fundamentally alters our understanding of one of the most studied figures of the 20th century. * Norman Stone, Wall Street Journal *
Groundbreaking and minutely detailed study. * Military Times *
An impressive piece of detective work. * Sunday Times, *
Fans of 20th-century history and specifically World War I will love this book * Canadian Jewish News *

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“Dug Out”

The one thing about Adolf Hitler that everyone concedes, however grudgingly, is that he had what used to be called a good war. The first one, obviously. Granted, Hitler the brave soldier and Hitler the genocidal... More

Paperback edition
7th November 2011
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