Book Review: Hitler Directs His War: The Secret Records of His Daily Military Conferences

AuthorC. P. Stacey
Publication Date01 September 1951
Date01 September 1951
DOI10.1177/002070205100600328
SubjectBook Review
262
INTERNATIONAL
JOURNAL
"Perth
is
a
friend.
Scores
of
his
reports
in
our
hands
testify
to
it."
"He
...
has
come
to
understand
Fascismo
and
even
to
love
it."
(p.
119).
As
for
amateur
diplomacy:
"In
London,
Chamberlain
was
in
con-
stant
touch
with
Grandi
through
unofficial
intermediaries,
behind
Mr.
Eden"s
back.
But
even
in
Rome
....
he
thought
fit
to
transact
business
of
state
through
his
sister-in-law.
...
Ciano
sat
at
lunch
next
to
Lady
(Austen)
Chamberlain.
...
He
notes:
"Lady
Chamberlain
wears
a
Fascist
badge.
I
am
too
much
a
patriot
to
appreciate
such
a
gesture
in
an
Englishwoman at
such
a
time."
However,
apart
from
such
inter-
ludes,
this
book
is
always
serious and
often
tragic.
Vancouver,
May
1951.
S.
Mack
Eastman
HITLER
DIRECTS
HIS WAR:
THE
SECRET
RECORDS
OF
His
DAILY
MILITARY
CONFERENCES.
Selected
and
Annotated
by
Felix
Gilbert.
1950.
(New
York,
Toronto:
Oxford
University
Press.
xxxi,
187
pp.
$3.75,
members
$3.00.)
In
May
1945
an American
intelligence
sergeant
found
near
Berchtes-
gaden
the
spot
where
Hitler's
own copies
of
the
minutes
of
his
daily
conferences
had
been
burned;
he
found
also
that
some
complete
sets
of
minutes,
and
some
fragments,
had
escaped
the
holocaust.
He
rescued
these
and,
with
the
assistance
of
ex-members
of
Hitler's
own steno-
graphic
staff,
prepared
careful
copies-six
copies.
He
turned
in
five
and
prudently
kept the
sixth
himself.
That
copy
is
now
in
the
possession
of
the
University
of
Pennsylvania,
and
large
extracts
from
it,
translated
into
idiomatic
American
and
carefully
and
skilfully
edited
by
Felix
Gilbert,
are
the
matter
of
this
book.
Since
the
salvaged
pages
amounted
to
only
about
800
out
of
an
original
total
of
some 200,000,
it
will
be
apparent
that
we
cannot
write
the
history
of
Hitler's
direction
of
his
war
from
this
source
alone.
(There
were
other
sets
of
copies
of
these conference
minutes,
but
these
apparently
have
perished
completely.)
These
fragments
throw
light
only
on
isolated incidents. Several
deal
with
the
fall
of
Mussolini and
the
Sicilian
campaign.
Fortunately,
we
are not
entirely
dependent
on
these
papers
for
information
concerning
Hitler's
influence
on
German
stra-
tegy.
A
much
more
complete
and
significant
collection
of
strategic
records,
the
Fuehrer
Conferences
on
Naval Affairs,
translated
and
re-
leased
by
the
Admiralty
and
the
U.S.
Navy
Department,
is
available
to
students
in
Brassey's
Naval Annual,
1948;
and
there are
many
other
Hitler
documents
in
the
great
collection
of
German
records
now in
Allied
hands.
What
the
present
group
of
verbatim
transcripts
does
give
us
is
a
striking
personal
portrait
of
Hitler
at
work.
It
is
a
fascinating
picture
if
not
a
pleasant
one.
As the
editor
points
out,
the
vulgarity,
meanness,

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