Combat and Genocide on the Eastern Front: The German Infantry's War, 1941–1944

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Cambridge University Press, 10.07.2014 - 423 Seiten
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By 1944, the overwhelming majority of the German Army had participated in the German war of annihilation in the Soviet Union and historians continue to debate the motivations behind the violence unleashed in the east. Jeff Rutherford offers an important new contribution to this debate through a study of combat and the occupation policies of three frontline infantry divisions. He shows that while Nazi racial ideology provided a legitimizing context in which violence was not only accepted but encouraged, it was the Wehrmacht's adherence to a doctrine of military necessity which is critical in explaining why German soldiers fought as they did. This meant that the German Army would do whatever was necessary to emerge victorious on the battlefield. Periods of brutality were intermixed with conciliation as the army's view and treatment of the civilian population evolved based on its appreciation of the larger context of war in the east.
 

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Inhalt

The Wehrmacht and German society
34
Preparations for war
56
Attack with a ruthless offensive spirit
84
Will the continuation of this attack be worth it?
115
the fusion
197
Demiansk and
217
The population shouted out to the interpreter that
240
war of attrition
280
combat
305
A more rational occupation? The contradictions
330
As miserable representatives of the miserable
357
Conclusion
374
Bibliography
389
Index
415
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Über den Autor (2014)

Jeff Rutherford is Assistant Professor of History at Wheeling Jesuit University.

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