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The Military in World History


The Falsest of Truisms: Who Writes History

Richard L. DiNardo


     There are all manner of activities in which we engage that are filled with clichés, or, for the purposes of this paper, truisms. Baseball, for example, is a sport that has an infinite number of truisms. Politics has its share of truisms as well, such as "the party in power always loses seats in Congress in off year elections." When it comes to history, perhaps the most common truism concerns the matter of who writes it. "History is written by the victors," is a statement attributed to Napoleon, Winston Churchill, and others.

     In a good number of cases, this is quite true. Yet, especially when it comes to military history, the opposite is actually the case, at least more often than one would think. To some degree, however, the notion that losers write history should not surprise us. Failure is an important part of life. At a personal level, it is well known that prior failure is an important part of subsequent success. In addition, failure in war is a traumatic thing. The reasons for writing about failure in war are numerous and complex. But they also have implications for us, in the sense that how we look at historical events can be shaped by this. Let's consider four examples of history as written by the losers and the impact this has, both on us a professional historians and the broader public we profess to serve as educators. The examples in question are the Peloponnesian War, the American Civil War, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II in Europe.

     We start with the Peloponnesian War. That the history of war so remote was written by the losers should not surprise us. When one asks about the greatest playwright of Sparta, one might think that the Sparta referred to was Sparta, New Jersey, as opposed to ancient Greece. Simply put, Sparta was not a society inclined towards literary pursuits, while Athens was.1 Thus, all of the voices that speak to us of this conflict are Athenian. The principal one of these was, of course, Thucydides. Although scholars universally give Thucydides high marks for his relatively objective approach, his work does have an unmistakably Athenian flavor.2 All of the most famous scenes in the book, such as Pericles' funeral oration, the debates in the Athenian assembly over Mytilene, the Melian dialogue, and the Sicilian expeditions, all have an Athenian emphasis. Indeed, one could argue that one of the unspoken themes in the book is why Athens lost. This is tied in turn to one of the most plainly stated themes in the book, namely what Thucydides sees as the decline in Athenian leadership from his hero Pericles to second raters such as Nicias, and reckless demagogues such as Cleon. Indeed, the decline in Athenian leadership could be traced by looking at the career of Alcibiades, a man whose undoubted abilities were matched by his equally outsize flaws in character.3

     The other historical voices that survive from this war are also Athenian. After Thucydides halted his work in 411 BCE, the story was picked up another Athenian, Xenophon, in his work, History of My Times. Xenophon covers the rest of the war, including the climactic naval battles at Argusinae in 406 and the final Athenian defeat at Aegospotami two years later. While Xenophon was a faithful witness to events, his treatment lacks the intellectual acuity of Thucydides. Two other histories that survive only in fragmentary form were written by two other Athenians, Theopompus and Cratippus. Finally, the cultural references to the war come from the pens of Athenian playwrights, most notably Euripides and Aristophanes.4

     Although one can establish clearly that the history of the Peloponnesian War was written by the losers, there is not much consequence here for us as historians. After all, the war is so remote, and it has effectively disappeared from college curricula, with the occasional exception of professional military institutions, most notably the Naval War College, and to a lesser extent, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College.5 Nonetheless, now that we have established the precedent for losers writing history, let us move on to three other cases where the fact that the losers write the history has impacted how we look at the events in question.

     The first of these events is the most well-known to an American audience, namely the American Civil War. That southerners would seek to write the history of the war should not surprise.6 To be sure, each side sent hundreds of thousands and even millions of men to fight and die on countless battlefields. Many of the field commanders at levels ranging from brigade to army survived to engage in various controversies about the war. There was, however, one major difference. Union veterans, be they privates or generals, came home from the Civil War. Thus, the north had its share of people who wanted to write about the war and their own experiences in it, but they also had other things to do. There was still a western frontier to be tamed, Indian tribes to be fought, a transcontinental railroad to be built, and so on. The war was over, and it was time to move on.

     The three major Union commanders at the end of the war, for example, moved on to other things. Ulysses Grant became president, and wrote his memoirs late in life in an attempt to rescue the Grant family's financial situation before his death. Sherman became general in chief of the army, holding the position from 1869 until his effective retirement in 1883. Philip Sheridan had spent the post war period fighting Indians in the west, before succeeding Sherman as general in chief. The first edition of Sherman's memoirs appeared in 1875, while Sheridan's memoirs came out in 1888.7

     Beyond the memoirs mentioned above, very few of the officers who exercised high command for the north wrote much. None of the commanders of the Army of the Potomac ever wrote a memoir. The only one to come closest was George McClellan, but in 1881 a fire destroyed the manuscript. Neither Ambrose Burnside nor Joseph Hooker wrote a memoir, while a collection of George Meade's letters was published only in 1913, forty-one years after his death.8 Likewise, the principal Union commanders in the west, William Rosecrans and George Thomas, did not write memoirs, although Rosecrans did write some articles.9

     For southerners it was different. Southern veterans, regardless of rank, left the devastated battlefields of Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia, only to return to a Confederate heartland that had been destroyed by the Union raiders commanded by Sherman and Sheridan. Thus former Confederates, sitting in the ruins of what had been the Confederacy, had plenty of time to ruminate on the defeat and its causes.10

     Most of the surviving Confederate leaders wrote memoirs, including Jefferson Davis, Joseph Johnston, John B. Hood, P.G.T. Beauregard, Jubal Early, and most notably James Longstreet, all wrote memoirs, along with a number of staff officers. Robert E. Lee considered writing a memoir, but gave up the project in 1868, perhaps to his good fortune. The other major Confederate commander who did not write a memoir was Edmund Kirby Smith. A number of people, including those mentioned above, frequently authored articles published in Century magazine that were later packaged in a four volume series by Robert U. Johnson and Clarence C. Buel under the title of Battles and Leaders of the Civil War.11

     In addition, former Confederates had another vehicle through which they could re-fight the controversies of the war and shape the development of the broader narrative of the history, namely the Southern Historical Society Papers. Southern Historical Society, which had been founded by former Confederate officers in 1868, put out the first volume of the Southern Historical Society Papers in 1876. By the late 1870s both the society and the Papers were in the control of officers associated with the Army of Northern Virginia. The most notable members of this group were William Nelson Pendleton and Jubal Early. These two men were most famously associated with the carefully planned and ultimately successful attempt to turn the now dead Lee into a southern saint. The other part of Pendleton's and Early's plan was the equally successful effort to demonize James Longstreet, who had dared to criticize Lee in print.12

     The efforts of the these men, plus the writings of skilled writers such as Edward Pollard, who produced perhaps the first encomium to Robert E. Lee in 1867, accomplished two things that are of interest to us. First, the fact that former Confederates wrote early and often allowed them to shape the narrative, which resulted ultimately in the creation of the "lost cause" mythology, with its "moonlight and magnolias" image of the Confederacy, captured first in literature and later films such as D.W. Griffith's cringe inducing Birth of a Nation and later Gone With the Wind.13

     Second, the creation of the "lost cause" mythology helped shape the writing of a generation of popular historians of the Civil War, the most influential of which was Douglas Southall Freeman. The prolific editor of The Richmond News Leader and a diligent researcher, Freeman led the way with his four volume biography R.E. Lee, published in 1934-1935, followed by his three volume command study Lee's Lieutenants, which appeared between 1942 and 1944.14 Other popular historians included the likes of Fairfax Downey, Clifford Dowdey, Shelby Foote and Burke Davis. The focus of these writers, most notably Freeman, was on the theater of war where the Confederates were most successful, namely the east. Just consider, for example, how many books have been produced that deal with even minute aspects of Civil War battles. The vast majority of these works deal with eastern subjects, including the fight for Chinn Ridge (Second Manassas), the Sunken Road (Antietam), Prospect Hill (Fredericksburg), or particular days of Gettysburg, to cover even part of the gamut.15

     This imbalance extends also to the field of biography. Bookshelves sag under the weight of innumerable biographies of Confederate leaders, most notably Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart, which range in quality from excellent to execrable. Here again Freeman led the way, with his four volume biography of Lee. Jackson and Stuart have also been the subjects of generally laudable biographies, while the treatment of Longstreet, for a long time almost entirely negative, has improved over the last two decades.16 By comparison, Confederate commanders who fought mainly in the west have gotten short shrift, with one or two exceptions. Biographies of Union commanders still lag well behind. The most recent biographies of Hooker and Rosecrans, for example, date from 1944 and 1961, respectively, although a short monograph on Rosecrans' wartime service appeared in 2014.17

     Finally, the influence of losers writing history in the Civil War extends to popular culture. One of the best examples of this is Ken Burns' highly praised documentary, The Civil War. Although I would hardly characterize it as a "pack of Yankee lies," as some of my more ardent friends from south of the Mason-Dixon Line claim, it does have its flaws. The prime of these is its eastern focus. The Civil War in the west appears only as it relates to the career of Ulysses Grant. The Tullahoma campaign, for example, one of the critical campaigns of the war, is covered in about ten seconds. People who draw their knowledge of the war only from watching the series might have been surprised to learn that there was a war fought west of the Mississippi. Thus it is clear that the fact that the losers' writing the history of the Civil War has shaped how we look at the event now. Even today, a full 151 years after, people still look at Gettysburg as the battle that Robert E. Lee lost, not the battle that George Gordon Meade won.

     The next example of the losers writing history is also an internecine struggle, with consequences a bit different from that of the civil war just examined. The civil war fought between Francisco Franco's Nationalist forces, supported by both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy against the leftist republic with its Soviet and non-communist anti-fascist supporters, was much more than just an event peculiar to the Iberian peninsula. Some saw it as the confirmation of the rising tide of fascism in Europe.18
From the standpoint of this paper, losers writing history in the English speaking world, it is this international aspect that comes most into play. The experiences of the international brigades that fought for the republican side have done much to shape how we look at the Spanish Civil War.19 In addition, the republican side also enjoyed the support of literary lights such as George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway. The influence of the latter writer was magnified by the fact that For Whom the Bell Tolls was later made into a popular film in 1943, starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman. Finally, the memoirs of communist leaders such as Dolores Ibarruri (La Pasionaria) and Julio Alvarez del Vayo have also made their way into the English speaking world. Ibarruri has also been the subject of numerous laudatory biographies in both Spanish and English.20

     The overwhelming influence of many writers, be they journalists, participants, public intellectuals or historians, penning works from the perspective of the losers in the case of the Spanish Civil War has had a profound effect, especially in how we look at the outcome of the war. It is now common to look at the Spanish Civil War as a precursor to World War II, in the sense that it marked the further rise of fascism in Europe, a view held by both professional and popular historians.21 Related to this is the common conclusion that is often reached that it was a terrible thing that Franco won. To be sure, this notion is understandable, to a degree. Yet, this view overlooks the arc of Spanish history after the civil war. Franco, after all, as his biographer Brian Crozier noted, "was unwilling to allow Spain to become a satellite of Germany or Italy."22 The Caudillo was able to keep Spain out of the war, with Adolf Hitler famously saying that having two teeth extracted was preferable to negotiating with Franco. The commitment of the Blue Division to the Russian front was something of a sop to Hitler, as well as a convenient way for Franco to get rid of his more ideologically zealous troublemakers.23

     Frankly, it is difficult to see how Spain could have avoided being dragged into the vortex of the war if the loyalist side, increasingly dominated by Stalinist communists, won the war. Ibarruri and Vayo, for example, were reliable Stalinist drones who could be counted on doing the great helmsman's bidding with the requisite lack of moral compunction and utter bloodthirstiness. Indeed, in the middle of the war the Spanish Communist Party, aided by Stalin's NKVD, carried out a purge aimed at the anarchist POUM, as well as other non-communist elements. Ibarruri was involved in this, transmitting the order from Stalin to the party organization in Catalonia to arrest the POUM leadership. This, of course, was the heart of Orwell's critique of the republican defeat in Homage to Catalonia.24

     Thus, because of the influence of the losers in shaping how the history of the war was written, we too easily dismiss a perhaps an uncomfortable but plausible view; namely that from the standpoint of subsequent Spanish history, perhaps Franco's victory was the best outcome possible for Spain.

     The final example of the losers writing history is perhaps the most famous, or infamous. That is the writing of the history of World War II during the first twenty years after the war. To be sure, the victors had their say, in the forms of memoirs written (or ghosted) by the leading participants, including Dwight Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, Winston Churchill, Bernard Montgomery, and others. There were also official histories prepared by the various services of both Britain and the United States.

     The victors, however, all went on to do other things. Eisenhower went on to further success in both the military and political fields. Omar Bradley eventually became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, while his colleague and antagonist Montgomery became Chief of the Imperial General Staff.

     The losers, at least those who were able to avoid the docket in Nuremberg, had several different tasks to accomplish. First, they had to ingratiate themselves with the new management, so to speak, under whom western Germany was now placed. They also had to minimize their activities under the Nazi regime, and sell themselves as experts on the looming Soviet threat in Europe with the onset of the Cold War.

     A number of German officers were able to do just this. Many captured German officers went to work for the historical division of the US Army, writing manuscripts on various aspects of the war, especially the eastern front. The supervisor of the project was none other than Franz Halder, the former chief of the German General Staff.25 A number of high ranking officers wrote memoirs, the most notable of which were Heinz Guderian's Panzer Leader and Erich von Manstein's Lost Victories (which may have better been titled Boy, was I Brilliant). A number of other memoirs were written by officers associated with the west's (and Hollywood's) favorite German general, Erwin Rommel. Perhaps the best known of these was The Rommel Papers, edited by B.H. Liddell Hart. Another work that enjoyed considerable popularity was F.W. von Mellenthin's Panzer Battles, which was published in a cheap paperback edition and thus widely available.26

     The version of recent German history and World War II that emerged from the efforts of these German officers was very simple. First, any connection between the absolutely apolitical Wehrmacht and the Nazi regime was purely coincidental.27 Second, anything that went wrong for Germany militarily in the war was solely the fault of Adolf Hitler, who was now conveniently no longer around to defend himself. This theme, which might be called the "if only the Führer had listened to me" approach, was a central point of Liddell Hart's book, as well as the memoirs of Manstein, Guderian and Kesselring.28 Finally, the generals all denied any connection with the crimes of the Nazi Regime, especially the Holocaust, as well as the mass murders that were committed on the eastern front. The responsibility for this was laid off to SS chief Heinrich Himmler, also conveniently no longer around, having committed suicide immediately after his capture by the British.29

     The generals were able to bring this off for a long time. First of all, many of the memoirists proved most adept at pandering to western audiences. Guderian's Panzer Leader set the standard here, crediting Liddell-Hart, J.F.C. Fuller and other British theorists for inspiring his ideas on armored warfare in a paragraph that somehow never appeared in the original German version.30 Another excellent example of this was B.H. Liddell-Hart's The Other Side of the Hill, published in the United States as The German Generals Talk.31 The interviews conducted by Liddell-Hart, with the aide of an interpreter, emphasized the first two themes outlined above. The holocaust, and the German Army's role in it, was never mentioned. Likewise the behavior of the German Army in Russia never made it into the book. Perhaps a better title for the book would have been The German Generals Excuse.

     Also aiding the generals in their rewriting of history were popular historians. As James Corum has noted, there are any number of military historians in America who have written tome after tome about the German military in World War II, even though they are only fleetingly familiar with German, and thus unable (or unwilling) to utilize the very accessible massive collection of records on microfilm that are located in the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, let alone archives in Germany.32 If one peruses the bibliographies of works such as Edwin Hoyt's Angels of Death: Goering's Luftwaffe or Ronald Lewin's Rommel as Military Commander, to use just two examples, one sees a list of books, almost all of which are in English, with maybe a smattering of German titles.33 Specific documentary or archival references are missing entirely. With no real knowledge of German and severely limited in the range of sources available to them, these authors often simply end up regurgitating the half-truths and even falsehoods put out by mendacious memoirists.

     This kind of sloppy methodology and thinking also extended to the US Army, especially during the 1970s and 1980s, when German terms, most notably "Auftragstaktik," were thrown around with reckless abandon by people who had no real understanding of what such terms meant in the German context.34

     Fortunately for the sake of history itself, professional scholars with intimate knowledge of the original sources have been able to correct the record. Gerhard Weinberg and Norman Goda, for example, showed how Hitler was able to keep his generals in line with the systematic paying of cash bribes right down to the end of the war.35 Other scholars, such as Weinberg, Geoff Megargee, Jürgen Förster, Charles Sydnor and others have clearly documented the criminal behavior of the German Army and Waffen SS, especially on the eastern front.36 Finally, other scholars who have mined the documentary record have shown that, while not letting Hitler off the hook for his own mistakes, the German generals, although able tacticians, were often every bit as strategically clueless as their Führer.37 Perhaps the final nail in the coffin of the narrative crafted by German generals after the war was driven home by Sönke Neitzel. Using the transcripts of surreptitiously recorded conversations of German generals in their cells, he was able to demonstrate how captured German officers were saying privately precisely the opposite of what they were writing publicly.38

     So as we have seen, it is not always the winners who write history. For a variety of reasons, sometimes the losers write the history, or at least write it first. Nathan Bedford Forrest once said that the key to battlefield success was to get there "firstest with the mostest." Perhaps the key to shaping history is, to paraphrase Forrest, to write the mostest firstest. By writing first, one gets to frame the issues, regardless of who won. There is an old cliché in youth sports that goes "it's not whether you win or lose; it's how you play the game." When it comes to history, it's not whether you win or lose; it's how quickly you can write about it afterward.


1 Victor Davis Hanson, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and the Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War (New York: Random House, 2005), p. 6.

2 Donald Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1969), p. 373, Hanson, A War Like No Other, p. 7 and Williamson Murray, "Thucydides: Theorist of War," Naval War College Review Vol. 66, No. 4 (Autumn 2013): p. 31.

3 Hanson, A War Like No Other, p. 48 and Donald Kagan, The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981), pp. 190-191.

4 Murray, "Thucydides," p. 41 and Hanson, A War Like No Other, p. 31.

5 Murray, "Thucydides," p. 31.

6 William C. Davis, The Cause Lost: Myths and Realities of the Confederacy (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1996), p. 175.

7 Albert Castel (with Brooks D. Simpson), Victors in Blue: How Union Generals Fought the Confederates, Battled Each Other, and Won the Civil War (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2011), p. 312, John F. Marszalek, Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order (New York: The Free Press, 1993), p. 445, and Paul Andrew Hutton, Phil Sheridan and His Army (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1985), p. 346.

8 Stephen W. Sears, George B. McClellan: The Young Napoleon (New York: Ticknor and Fields, 1988), p. 398, William Marvel, Burnside (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1991), p. xii, and Stephen W. Sears, "In Defense of Fighting Joe Hooker," Civil War Generals in Defeat (Steven E. Woodworth, ed.).

9 William Lamers, The Edge of Glory: A Biography of William S. Rosecrans, U.S.A. (Reprinted Edition) (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1999), p. 446.

10 Thomas L. Connelly and Barbara L. Bellows, God and General Longstreet: The Lost Cause and the Southern Mind (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1982), p. 8.

11 William Garrett Piston, Lee's Tarnished Lieutenant: James Longstreet and His Place in Southern History (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1987), p. 100, Emory M. Thomas, Robert E. Lee: A Biography (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1995), p. 373 and Joseph H. Parks, General Edmund Kirby Smith, C.S.A. (Reprinted Edition) (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1982), pp. 506-507.

12 Piston, Lee's Tarnished Lieutenant, p. 129, Connelly and Bellows, God and General Longstreet, pp. 33-34 and William Garrett Piston, "Marked in Bronze: James Longstreet and Southern History," James Longstreet: The Man, the Soldier and the Controversy (R.L. DiNardo and Albert A. Nofi, eds.) (Conshohocken, PA: Combined Books, 1998), p. 204.

13 Davis, The Cause Lost, p. 194 and Piston, Lee's Tarnished Lieutenant, pp. 112-113.

14 Thomas, Robert E. Lee, p. 13 and Piston, Lee's Tarnished Lieutenant, pp. 174-177. Donald Pfanz, the biographer of Richard Ewell, once noted on a panel in 1998 that Civil War scholars were trying to bring the history of the Army of Northern Virginia out from the shadow of Douglas Southall Freeman.

15 Just a few examples here include Scott C. Patchan, Second Manassas: Longstreet's Attack and the Struggle for Chinn Ridge (Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2011), Marion V. Armstrong, Unfurl Those Colors!: McClellan, Sumner and the Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign (Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2008), Frank O'Reilly, "Stonewall" Jackson at Fredericksburg: The Battle of Prospect Hill December 13, 1862 (Lynchburg, VA: H.E. Howard, Inc., 1993) and Harry W. Pfanz, Gettysburg: The Second Day (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1987).

16 Douglas Southall Freeman, R.E. Lee 4 Vols. (New York: Scribner's, 1934-1935), James I. Robertson, Jr., Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend (New York: Macmillan, 1997), Emory Thomas, Bold Dragoon: The Life of J.E.B. Stuart (New York: Vintage Books, 1988), Jeffry D. Wert, General James Longstreet: The Confederacy's Most Controversial Soldier – A Biography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993) and R.L. DiNardo, "James Longstreet, the Modern Soldier," James Longstreet, pp. 31-52.

17 Walter Hebert, Fighting Joe Hooker (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1944), William M. Lamers, The Edge of Glory: A Biography of General William S. Rosecrans, (USA) (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1961) and David G. Moore, William S. Rosecrans and the Union Victory: A Civil War Biography (Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Co., Inc., 2014).

18 Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich in Power (New York: Penguin Books, 2005), p. 641.

19 See for example Arthur H. Landis, The Abraham Lincoln Brigade (New York: The Citadel Press, 1967).

20 Dolores Ibarruri, They Shall Not Pass: The Autobiography of La Pasionaria (New York: International Publishers, 1966) and Julio Alvarez del Vayo, Give Me Combat: The Memoirs of Julio Alvarez del Vayo (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1973).

21 See for example Peter Wyden, The Passionate War: The Narrative History of the Spanish Civil War (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983), p. 523.

22 Brian Crozier, Franco (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1967), p. 299.

23 Norman J. W. Goda, Tomorrow the World: Hitler, Northwest Africa and the Path toward America (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1998), pp. 103-105, Richard L. DiNardo, Germany and the Axis Powers: From Coalition to Collapse (Lawrence: The University Press of Kansas, 2005), p. 51 and Stanley G. Payne, The Franco Regime 1936-1975 (London: Phoenix Press, 2000), p. 282

24 Hugh Thomas, The Spanish Civil War (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1961), pp. 522-523, Stephane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartošek and Jean-Louis Margolin, The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (Jonathan Murphy and Mark Kramer trans.) (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999), p. 343 and Robert Conquest, The Great Terror: A Reassessment (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 410. For an analysis of Ibarruri's time in the Soviet Union, see Lisa A. Kirschenbaum, "Exile, Gender, and Communist Self-Fashioning: Dolores Ibárruri (La Pasionaria) in the Soviet Union," Slavic Review Vol. 71, No. 3 (Fall 2012): pp. 566-589.

25 James A. Wood, "Captive Historians, Captivated Audience: The German Military History Program, 1945 – 1961," The Journal of Military History Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2005): p. 124.

26 Heinz Guderian, Panzer Leader (New York: Dutton, 1952), Erich von Manstein, Lost Victories (Reprinted Edition) (Novato, CA: Presidio, 1981), B.H. Liddell-Hart, ed., The Rommel Papers (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1953) and Maj. Gen. F.W. von Mellenthin, Panzer Battles (Reprinted Edition) (New York: Ballantine Books, 1971).

27 The notion of the "non-political" Wehrmacht was especially stressed in Kesselring's memoir. Albert Kesselring, The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Kesselring (Reprinted Edition) (London: Greenhill Books, 1997), p. 21.

28 Liddell Hart, The German Generals Talk, p. 9, Kesselring, The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Kesselring, p. 139, Guderian, Panzer Leader, pp. 440-441 and Manstein, Lost Victories, pp. 124-125.

29 Guderian, Panzer Leader, p. 446 and Mellenthin, Panzer Battles, p. 423.

30 Guderian, Panzer Leader, p. 20 and Richard L. DiNardo, Germany's Panzer Arm (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997), p. 74.

31 B.H. Liddell-Hart, The German Generals Talk (New York: William Morrow and Co., 1948).

32 James S. Corum, Luftwaffe: Creating the Operational Air War, 1918-1940 (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1997), p. 8.

33 Edwin P. Hoyt, Angels of Death: Goering's Luftwaffe (New York: Forge, 1994), pp. 291-293 and Ronald Lewin, Rommel as Military Commander (London: B.T. Batsford, Ltd, 1968), pp. 253-255.

34 For two cautionary notes in this regard, see Robert M. Citino, The German Way of War: From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2005), pp. 310-311 and Daniel J. Hughes, "Abuses of German Military History," Military Review Vol. 66, No. 12 (December 1986): pp. 66-76.

35 Gerhard L. Weinberg, A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 110 and Norman J.W. Goda, "Black Marks: Hitler's Bribery of His Senior Officers during World War II," The Journal of Military History Vol. 79, No. 2 (June 2000): pp. 413-452.

36 Weinberg, A World at Arms, pp. 302-304, Geoffrey P. Megargee, War of Annihilation: Combat and Genocide on the Eastern Front, 1941 (Boston: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007), Jürgen Förster, "Das Unternehmen 'Barbarossa' als Eroberungs und Vernichtungskrieg," Militärgeschichtlichen Forschungsamt, Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags Anstalt, 1983), Vol. 4, pp. 413-450 (This series is in English translation under the title Germany and the Second World War.) and Charles W. Sydnor, Soldiers of Destruction: The SS Death's Head Division, 1944-1945 (Reprinted Edition) (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), pp. 313-342.

37 Gerhard L. Weinberg, "Some Myths of World War II," The Journal of Military History Vol. 75, No. 3 (July 2011): p. 705, Robert M. Citino, Death of the Wehrmacht (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2007), pp. 152-156 and DiNardo, Germany and the Axis Powers, pp. 196-197.

38 Sönke Neitzel, Tapping Hitler's Generals: Transcripts of Secret Conversations, 1942-1945 (London: Frontline Books, 2007).

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