Disobeying Hitler: German Resistance After Valkyrie

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Oxford University Press, 2014 - History - 480 pages
3 Reviews
On July 20, 1944, Colonel Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg was executed in the courtyard of the Third Reich's military headquarters in Berlin for attempting to assassinate Adolf Hitler. A member of the unsuccessful plot to overthrow the Nazi government -- codenamed Operation Valkyrie -- Stauffenberg was shot by a firing squad along with his co-conspirators, and their bodies were dumped in a shallow grave.

Most discussions of German resistance during World War II end here, with the failed July 20 plot and the subsequent execution of its leaders. And yet this was far from the last act of disobedience carried out against the Nazi regime, as Randall Hansen reveals in his fascinating new book. Although "resistance" as a commitment to regime change all but ended with Stauffenberg, Hansen shows that if we consider resistance as disobedience -- of orders to detonate a bridge, to wreck a factory, to destroy a harbor or to defend a city to the last man -- then a very different picture emerges. Resistance-as-disobedience continued, and indeed increased, throughout late 1944 and early 1945. And it had a more profound and lasting material effect on the war and its aftermath than did the military resistance culminating in Stauffenberg's attempt on Hitler's life. From the refusal to destroy Paris and key locations in southern France to the unwillingness to implement a scorched earth policy on German soil, disobedience in the Third Reich manifested in numerous ways after 1944, and ultimately impacted the course of the war by saving thousands of Allied and German lives, keeping supply lines open, and preserving cities and infrastructure.

In a period of thorough and at times fanatical obedience, the few instances of disobedience against the Nazi regime become all the more striking. Considering various forms of oppostion across the Western Front, Disobeying Hitler is a significant contribution to the literature on German resistance.
  

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Review: Disobeying Hitler: German Resistance After Operation Valkyrie

User Review  - Peter Owens - Goodreads

Interesting, but it was tough to find a strong through-line. It was more like a series of historical vignettes. A decent read nonetheless. Read full review

Review: Disobeying Hitler: German Resistance After Operation Valkyrie

User Review  - Paul Childs - Goodreads

Excellent history of the concluding months of WWII and some of the surprising things that happened. Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
WAR ATROCITIES RESISTANCE
3
THE COUP AGAINST HITLER
25
FROM FAILING HANDS The Coup in Paris
30
PARIS JULY 20 1944 The SS Locked Down
38
THE RESISTANCES LAST HOPE Rommel against Hitler
45
HITLERS REVENGE
59
DID A PRUSSIAN SAVE PARIS?
73
THE SIEGE OF DÜSSELDORF
205
DYING SO THAT THEY MAY LIVE Central Germany
232
NUREMBERGS DESTRUCTION HEIDELBERGS SALVATION Southern Germany
245
A CITIZENS REVOLT Augsburg
257
WE THE WOMEN OF FREIBURG BEG YOU The French Occupation of Southern Germany
269
A HOUSE OF CARDS The Soviet Assault on the Reich
280
SAVING CASPAR DAVID FRIEDRICHS CITY
290
FINISHING THE JOB THAT BOMBER HARRIS STARTED Hamburg
298

TO DESTROY THE CITY OF LIGHT
84
PARIS IN REVOLT
99
PARIS LIBERATED PARIS SPARED
108
NORMANDY SOUTH The Invasion of Southern France
121
FORTS AND FORTRESSES Toulon
134
EUROPES LIFELINE Marseille
142
VIOLENCE COMES HOME Preparing the Defence of the Reich
153
TO DESTROY GERMANY Hitler and Scorched Earth
161
FIGHTING TO THE LAST MAN The Allies at the Rhine
172
HITLER RAGES
188
ESCAPING THE SOVIET NET Walther Wenck and the Flight across the Elbe
314
CONCLUSION
324
NOTE ON APPROACH SOURCES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
333
NOTES
338
THE DEFENSE AND SURRENDER OF GERMANY CITIES IN 1945
427
GLOSSARY
435
WORKS CITED
438
INDEX
455
Copyright

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About the author (2014)


Randall Hansen is a Professor of Politics and holds a Research Chair at the University of Toronto. He is the author or editor of five books, including a bestselling narrative history of the Allied bombing of Germany during the Second World War, Fire and Fury.

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