German Generals of World War II; Hitler's Generals

In This Review

German Generals of World War II

By F. W. von Mellenthin
University of Oklahoma Press, 1978
300 pp. $8.95
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Hitler's Generals

By Richard Brett-Smith
Presidio Press, 1978
306 pp. $12.95
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Von Mellenthin, a German major general, author of Panzer Battles, served with all of the 14 Wehrmacht generals he writes about. His accounts are historical, biographical, anecdotal. Brett-Smith, a former British officer, discussing 82 Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe generals, is more analytical, sketching a full range of contextual and sociological factors. His primary focus is on professionalism, the acceptance of moral responsibility. Many historians credit most of Hitler's military triumphs to the superb talent of his generals; these two authors scrutinize their talent and its characteristics, while stressing that the lack of a strong spirit of independence made them susceptible to Hitler's machinations.