It wasn't the Allies who beat the Nazi generals in Normandy. It was Hitler himself... A great historian's gripping account of how the Fuhrer's bloodlust doomed his troops

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tags: Hitler, Normandy



Adapted from "D-Day" by Antony Beevor.

Ten days after D-Day, Adolf Hitler was in an unforgiving mood.

He had reacted with glee when the Allies launched their invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, convinced that the enemy would be so utterly smashed on the beaches that the defeat would knock the British and Americans out of the war. Then he could concentrate all his armies on the eastern front against Stalin.

But now he was in a rage. His orders to sweep the Allies back into the sea had not been carried out and he regarded his senior commanders in the west as defeatist.

He complained openly that Field Marshal Erwin Rommel — the legendary tank commander known as the Desert Fox who was now directing the battle in the west — 'is a great and inspiring leader in victory, but as soon as there is the slightest difficulty, he becomes a complete pessimist'.

Rommel, for his part, did not conceal his dissatisfaction with the way the Fuhrer constantly interfered in military matters.

Hitler was obsessed with detail and drove his senior officers to distraction at headquarters back in Germany, where he insisted on having 1:25,000 maps with every single emplacement marked. With these in front of him, he issued orders.

Though he had never been to Caen, the city in Normandy now besieged by the British, he continually pestered his staff about the precise positioning of two mortar brigades...





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