Military history

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

Hitler boasted that The Third Reich would last a thousand years. It lasted only 12. But those 12 years contained some of the most catastrophic events Western civilization has ever known. In The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William L. Shirer gave us the definitive book on Hitler's German Empire. Based on his personal experiences as a war correspondent as well as the voluminous documents that came out of Germany after the war, this thrilling account of Hitler's reign is widely acclaimed to be one of the greatest historical works of our time. Now available as an exclusive anniversary edition, this volume is as compelling as ever. Everything about the period is explained to the fullest, beginning with Hitler's rise to power, the Nazification of Germany and the march to war. The accounts of how the United States got involved and how Hitler used Mussolini and Japan are astonishing, and the coverage of the war-from Germany's early successes to her eventual defeat-is must reading

FOREWORD

Book One - THE RISE OF ADOLF HITLER

Chapter 1. BIRTH OF THE THIRD REICH

THE ADVENT OF ADOLF HITLER

THE EARLY LIFE OF ADOLF HITLER

“THE SADDEST PERIOD OF MY LIFE”

THE BUDDING IDEAS OF ADOLF HITLER

Chapter 2. BIRTH OF THE NAZI PARTY

THE BEGINNING OF THE NAZI PARTY

ADVENT OF THE “FUEHRER”

Chapter 3. VERSAILLES, WEIMAR AND THE BEER HALL PUTSCH

THE SHADOW OF VERSAILLES

A HOUSE DIVIDED

REVOLT IN BAVARIA

THE BEER HALL PUTSCH

TRIAL FOR TREASON

Chapter 4. THE MIND OF HITLER AND THE ROOTS OF THE THIRD REICH

THE HISTORICAL ROOTS OF THE THIRD REICH

THE INTELLECTUAL ROOTS OF THE THIRD REICH

THE STRANGE LIFE AND WORKS OF H. S. CHAMBERLAIN

Book Two - TRIUMPH AND CONSOLIDATION

Chapter 5. THE ROAD TO POWER: 1925–31

THE EMERGENCE OF PAUL JOSEPH GOEBBELS

AN INTERLUDE OF REST AND ROMANCE FOR ADOLF HITLER

THE OPPORTUNITIES OF THE DEPRESSION

Chapter 6. THE LAST DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC: 1931–33

HITLER AGAINST HINDENBURG

FIASCO OF FRANZ VON PAPEN

SCHLEICHER: THE LAST CHANCELLOR OF THE REPUBLIC

Chapter 7. THE NAZIFICATION OF GERMANY: 1933–34

THE REICHSTAG FIRE

GLEICHSCHALTUNG: THE “CO-ORDINATION” OF THE REICH

“NO SECOND REVOLUTION!”

THE BEGINNINGS OF NAZI FOREIGN POLICY

THE BLOOD PURGE OF JUNE 30, 1934

THE DEATH OF HINDENBURG

Chapter 8. LIFE IN THE THIRD REICH: 1933–37

THE PERSECUTION OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES

THE NAZIFICATION OF CULTURE

THE CONTROL OF PRESS, RADIO, FILMS

EDUCATION IN THE THIRD REICH

THE FARMER IN THE THIRD REICH

THE ECONOMY OF THE THIRD REICH

THE SERFDOM OF LABOR

JUSTICE IN THE THIRD REICH

GOVERNMENT IN THE THIRD REICH

Book Three - THE ROAD TO WAR

Chapter 9. THE FIRST STEPS: 1934–37

THE BREACHING OF VERSAILLES

A SATURDAY SURPRISE

A COUP IN THE RHINELAND

1937: “NO SURPRISES”

THE FATEFUL DECISION OF NOVEMBER 5, 1937

Chapter 10. STRANGE, FATEFUL INTERLUDE: THE FALL OF BLOMBERG, FRITSCH, NEURATH AND SCHACHT

THE FALL OF FIELD MARSHAL VON BLOMBERG

THE FALL OF GENERAL FREIHERR WERNER VON FRITSCH

Chapter 11. ANSCHLUSS: THE RAPE OF AUSTRIA

THE MEETING AT BERCHTESGADEN: FEBRUARY 12, 1938

THE FOUR WEEKS’ AGONY: FEBRUARY 12–MARCH 11, 1938

THE COLLAPSE OF SCHUSCHNIGG

Chapter 12. THE ROAD TO MUNICH

THE FIRST CRISIS: MAY 1938

WAVERING OF THE GENERALS

BIRTH OF A CONSPIRACY AGAINST HITLER

CHAMBERLAIN AT BERCHTESGADEN: SEPTEMBER 15, 1938

CHAMBERLAIN AT GODESBERG: SEPTEMBER 22–23

THE ELEVENTH HOUR

“BLACK WEDNESDAY” AND THE HALDER PLOT AGAINST HITLER

THE SURRENDER AT MUNICH: SEPTEMBER 29–30, 1938

THE CONSEQUENCES OF MUNICH

Chapter 13. CZECHOSLOVAKIA CEASES TO EXIST

THE WEEK OF THE BROKEN GLASS

SLOVAKIA “WINS” ITS “INDEPENDENCE”

THE ORDEAL OF DR. HÁCHA

Chapter 14. THE TURN OF POLAND

A SLIGHT AGGRESSION BY THE BY

THE HEAT ON POLAND

CASE WHITE

HITLER’S REPLY TO ROOSEVELT

THE INTERVENTION OF RUSSIA: I

THE PACT OF STEEL

HITLER BURNS HIS BOATS: MAY 23, 1939

THE INTERVENTION OF RUSSIA: II

PLANS FOR TOTAL WAR

THE INTERVENTION OF RUSSIA: III

THE HESITATION OF GERMANY’S ALLIES

CIANO AT SALZBURG AND OBERSALZBERG: AUGUST 11, 12, 13

Chapter 15. THE NAZI-SOVIET PACT

THE MILITARY CONFERENCE AT OBERSALZBERG: AUGUST 14

THE NAZI-SOVIET TALKS: AUGUST 15–21, 1939

THE MILITARY CONFERENCE OF AUGUST 22, 1939

ALLIED STALEMATE IN MOSCOW

RIBBENTROP IN MOSCOW: AUGUST 23, 1939

Chapter 16. THE LAST DAYS OF PEACE

MUSSOLINI GETS COLD FEET

JOY AND CONFUSION OF THE “CONSPIRATORS”

THE LAST SIX DAYS OF PEACE

GERMANY AND GREAT BRITAIN AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR

THE LAST DAY OF PEACE

Chapter 17. THE LAUNCHING OF WORLD WAR II

THE LAST-MINUTE INTERVENTION OF MUSSOLINI

THE POLISH WAR BECOMES WORLD WAR II

GERMAN MEMORANDUM PROVES ENGLAND’S GUILT

Book Four - WAR: EARLY VICTORIES AND THE TURNING POINT

Chapter 18. THE FALL OF POLAND

THE RUSSIANS INVADE POLAND

Chapter 19. SITZKRIEG IN THE WEST

THE SINKING OF THE ATHENIA

HITLER PROPOSES PEACE

THE ZOSSEN “CONSPIRACY” TO OVERTHROW HITLER

A NAZI KIDNAPING AND A BEERHOUSE BOMB

HITLER TALKS TO HIS GENERALS

NAZI TERROR IN POLAND: FIRST PHASE

FRICTION BETWEEN THE TOTALITARIANS

Chapter 20. THE CONQUEST OF DENMARK AND NORWAY

THE EMERGENCE OF VIDKUN QUISLING

HITLER MEETS WITH SUMNER WELLES AND MUSSOLINI

THE CONSPIRATORS AGAIN FRUSTRATED

THE TAKING OF DENMARK AND NORWAY

THE NORWEGIANS RESIST

THE BATTLES FOR NORWAY

Chapter 21. VICTORY IN THE WEST

THE RIVAL PLANS

THE SIX WEEKS’ WAR: MAY 10–JUNE 25, 1940

THE CONQUEST OF THE NETHERLANDS

THE FALL OF BELGIUM AND THE TRAPPING OF THE ANGLO–FRENCH ARMIES

THE CAPITULATION OF KING LEOPOLD

MIRACLE AT DUNKIRK

THE COLLAPSE OF FRANCE

THE DUCE PLUNGES HIS SMALL DAGGER INTO FRANCE’S BACK

THE SECOND ARMISTICE AT COMPIEGNE

HITLER PLAYS FOR PEACE

Chapter 22. OPERATION SEA LION: THE THWARTED INVASION OF BRITAIN

THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN

IF THE INVASION HAD SUCCEEDED

POSTSCRIPT: THE NAZI PLOT TO KIDNAP THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF WINDSOR

Chapter 23. BARBAROSSA: THE TURN OF RUSSIA

MOLOTOV IN BERLIN

SIX MONTHS OF FRUSTRATION

“THE WORLD WILL HOLD ITS BREATH!”

BALKAN PRELUDE

THE PLANNING OF THE TERROR

THE FLIGHT OF RUDOLF HESS

THE PLIGHT OF THE KREMLIN

Chapter 24. A TURN OF THE TIDE

THE GREAT DRIVE ON MOSCOW

Chapter 25. THE TURN OF THE UNITED STATES

“AVOID INCIDENTS WITH THE U.S.A.!”

JAPAN PLAYS ITS OWN GAME

ON THE EVE OF PEARL HARBOR

HITLER DECLARES WAR

HITLER IN THE REICHSTAG: DECEMBER 11

Chapter 26. THE CONSPIRATORS COME BACK TO LIFE

THE LAST GREAT GERMAN OFFENSIVES OF THE WAR

THE GERMAN SUMMER OFFENSIVE IN RUSSIA: 1942

THE FIRST BLOW: EL ALAMEIN AND THE ANGLO–AMERICAN LANDINGS

DISASTER AT STALINGRAD

Book Five - BEGINNING OF THE END

Chapter 27. THE NEW ORDER

THE NAZI PLUNDER OF EUROPE

SLAVE LABOR IN THE NEW ORDER

THE PRISONERS OF WAR

NAZI TERROR IN THE CONQUERED LANDS

THE “FINAL SOLUTION”

THE EXTERMINATION CAMPS

“THE WARSAW GHETTO IS NO MORE”

THE MEDICAL EXPERIMENTS

THE DEATH OF HEYDRICH AND THE END OF LIDICE

Chapter 28. THE FALL OF MUSSOLINI

Chapter 29. THE ALLIED INVASION OF WESTERN EUROPE AND THE ATTEMPT TO KILL HITLER

OPERATION FLASH

THE MISSION OF COUNT VON STAUFFENBERG

THE ANGLO–AMERICAN INVASION, JUNE 6, 1944

THE CONSPIRACY AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR

THE COUP OF JULY 20, 1944

JULY 20, 1944

BLOODY VENGEANCE

Book Six - THE FALL OF THE THIRD REICH

Chapter 30. THE CONQUEST OF GERMANY

HITLER’S LAST DESPERATE GAMBLE

THE COLLAPSE OF THE GERMAN ARMIES

Chapter 31. GOETTERDAEMMERUNG: THE LAST DAYS OF THE THIRD REICH

HITLER’S LAST GREAT DECISION

GOERING AND HIMMLER TRY TO TAKE OVER

THE LAST TWO VISITORS TO THE BUNKER

HITLER’S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

THE DEATH OF HITLER AND HIS BRIDE

THE END OF THE THIRD REICH

A BRIEF EPILOGUE

AFTERWORD

NOTES

Abbreviations used in these notes

NOTES - CHAPTER 1

NOTES - CHAPTER 2

NOTES - CHAPTER 3

NOTES - CHAPTER 4

NOTES - CHAPTER 5

NOTES - CHAPTER 6

NOTES - CHAPTER 7

NOTES - CHAPTER 8

NOTES - CHAPTER 9

NOTES - CHAPTER 10

NOTES - CHAPTER 11

NOTES - CHAPTER 12

NOTES - CHAPTER 13

NOTES - CHAPTER 14

NOTES - CHAPTER 15

NOTES - CHAPTER 16

NOTES - CHAPTER 17

NOTES - CHAPTER 18

NOTES - CHAPTER 19

NOTES - CHAPTER 20

NOTES - CHAPTER 21

NOTES - CHAPTER 22

NOTES - CHAPTER 23

NOTES - CHAPTER 24

NOTES - CHAPTER 25

NOTES - CHAPTER 26

NOTES - CHAPTER 27

NOTES - CHAPTER 28

NOTES - CHAPTER 29

NOTES - CHAPTER 30

NOTES - CHAPTER 31

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

BIBLIOGRAPHY

PUBLISHED DOCUMENTARY MATERIAL

HITLER’S SPEECHES

GENERAL WORKS

PERIODICALS