Hitler: Downfall: 1939-1945

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by Volker Ullrich

Hitler was at his most powerful in the summer of 1939. Having established political dominance in Germany, he was now in a position to accomplish his lifetime goal of assisting the German people in thriving and eliminating those who stood in their way. He was now in charge of a recently restored significant world power. Hitler was able to carry out the mass murder of millions of people with the full knowledge of the German government and the assistance of the SS once a war had been declared, allowing him to pursue his ideological obsessions to inconceivable lengths. Nevertheless, despite a string of incredible early victories, Hitler's fatal decision to invade the Soviet Union in 1941 changed the course of the war in the Allies' favor.

Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939 author Volker Ullrich now provides fascinating fresh insight into Hitler's psychology and behavior. He illustrates with great detail Hitler's insecurity, fixation with details, and narcissistic propensity for gambling, which caused him to overrule his subordinates and then impute failure to them. Hitler began the devastation of Germany itself after realizing the war could not be won in order to punish the people he believed had failed to bring him victory. Ullrich's portrayal of Hitler's final years is a crucial contribution to our knowledge of the dictator and the direction of the Second World War. It is a superb and captivating narrative of a dramatic fall.

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— Volker Ullrich, Hitler: Downfall: 1939-1945