Hitler's 'suicidal urge' prolonged war by three years, German historians say

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Germany would have accepted surrender in the Second World War as early as 1943 if it were not for Adolf Hitler's fanaticism, the country's new definitive history of the conflict has suggested.

The work, which comprises 12,000 pages in 13 tomes, has taken academics from the military history centre of the German armed forces 30 years to finish. It says that the conflict was lost as early as 1942. However, the Führer's"suicidal urge" to enforce a final confrontation helped prolong the war.

"It will be impossible to write a history of the Second World War without reference to this work," said Col Winfried Heinemann, the head of research at the centre."It is a history of the whole of German society, not just a military account of the battles."

He said that Hitler was advised three years before the defeat in Berlin that the war was lost.

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