At the end of the summer of 1940, Adolf Hitler was the master of Continental Europe. The Armed Forces of the Third Reich, whose Supreme Commander he was, had conquered an Empire which ran from the Channel coast to the river Bug in Poland and from the Coast to the Alps (Lucas, 1998, 2).
Of course, this is because he draws from letters, diaries, oral histories and related accounts to depict the war at the everyday level. As a result, there is no discussion of strategic or tactical events in the war, even though it would have helped immensely to have the briefest of summaries since the impact of the observations becomes weaker without a perspective. Observations in the book suggests that the individual experiences with the personal (death, missing of loved ones, the lost cause, etc.) and physical (combat, weather, marching, etc.) hardships on the front lines seem to impact the Germans more than the Russians.
This is perhaps due to the bias that Lucas developed, where he tends to admire the Germans more than the Russians, and therefore tends to focus on the bases of comradeship and the intensity of the personal/unit bonds that form in training/combat. But Lucas does not let us get inside the mind (or heart or soul) of the foot soldier. Possibly this is because he is incapable of this level of understanding. Consider the lack of reality in the first few words of his book.
Of course, it is possible that he does see Hitler as a hero, and all of Hitler's soldiers as heroes, fighting the good fight and trying to conquer Europe. Such a consideration is frightening, since it suggests a level of revisionistic history that is mind boggling. One can imagine Lucas writing about Osama Bin Laden as having conquered the infidels. Of course, Osama and Hitler did share the unifying bond of hatred. They both hated Jews, they both hated homosexuals, they both hated intellectuals, and they both hated anyone who disagreed with them.
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