Killing Hitler’s Reich: The Battle for Austria 1945, is of course, a military history book. It is a book for a reader who is interested in the Russian-German War of W.W. II, also known as the Eastern Front. Author, William Alan Webb, fills a void with this book by illuminating one of the very last campaigns of W.W. II. I appreciate this book very much. It held my interest from the first to last page. The book is composed like a diary. The days of the campaign are assigned to different chapters. The important events and combat of that day are recorded and analyzed. It covers from April 1, 1945 to May 25, 1945. This book has 567 pages and 10 maps, but no photographs. Killing Hitler’s Reich is in my personal library and I consider it a valued acquisition.
The scale and intensity of combat on the Eastern Front is well described. All German units were very short of food, ammunition and fuel. The supply system had broken down. The reader will be informed of the many skirmishes where friendly units to either side could not be found. There were Russian troops already in the rear areas. Basically, the only tactic left to the battered, understrength German units was to react and counter-attack quickly. Of course, this was a further drain on troops and weapons that were irreplaceable. At this very late stage of the war, German soldiers were not fighting for the Fatherland. Their motivation was not to abandon fellow German soldiers and civilians. The Soviet Union was winning this war and everyone knew it. Germany’s ability to hold out was disappearing rapidly.
I would be hesitant to recommend Killing Hitler’s Reich to anyone unless I knew their interests. Eastern Front books are an acquired taste. I do not see people caring about their own US history, let alone world history. Even though I believe that World War II is the most cataclysmic event in recorded history, I see no current interest in it among US citizens. I personally hope that William Alan Webb is not finished writing the history of WW II. I would eagerly anticipate any new offerings from him, especially concerning the Eastern Front.
Review by Jim G.