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Naval Officers Under Hitler: The Story of Crew 34 [Hardcover]

by Eric Rust
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 30, 1991 0275937097 978-0275937096 First American Edition

This book is the collective biography of 318 men who joined the German Navy in 1934 to become professional officers. Eric C. Rust traces the lives and mentality of these men from their upbringing in the Weimar Republic through their post-war careers. Unique in its subject matter and methodology in both German and international military historiography, Naval Officers under Hitler is a professional, political, and psychological group portrait based on personal interviews and correspondence as well as on archival material. Well documented and thoroughly researched, this book will prove invaluable to the scholar of German history and fascinating reading for the general reader interested in World War II.

Naval Officers under Hitler stresses the drama of recent German history as closely as anyone would wish--these naval officers were observers, witnesses, participants, victims, and sometimes, beneficiaries. The book argues that the vast majority of junior naval officers under Hitler, while well trained and prepared to defend Volk and Vaterland as good patriots, felt no profound or lasting attachment to Nazi ideology. Instead their ideological preferences remained with patriotic, conservative groups such as the German National People's Party and its successor organizations after World War II. Otherwise love of the sea and of the naval profession lay at the center of their overall mentality and priorities.

Editorial Reviews


?In a well-knit sequence of thoughtful chapters, Rust traces his subjects from their early apprenticeship to the navy through their often sterling wartime careers. He examines their human responses to the grim realities of war, ponders their readjustment during the often desperate years of Germany's reconstruction, and analyzes their current reflections on Germany's past and present. What makes the study particularly valuable is the author's care in setting his data in the correct historical and personal context.?-THE AMERICAN NEPTUNE

Book Description

This book is a collective biography, based largely on personal interviews and correspondence, of 318 men who joined the German Navy in 1934 to become professional officers.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; First American Edition edition (March 30, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275937097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275937096
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,378,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A suberb book. February 24, 1999
By A Customer
This book is very interesting in it's content. The details in it are a amazing. At first it seems as if you are being besieged by details but then a clearer picture emerges of a group of men who are trying to live out their lives as their culture has laid out for them. The tribulations that they go thorugh as far as personal honor are throughly examined. They are born and bred leaders the best of the best of the german navy but yet they hold back against speaking against Hitler. Rust examines their motives in not speaking up. It was also very interesting to find so much on the German Navy after WWII this is a subject which is hardly ever touched upoun. The question of what happened after is evrpresent on many history readers minds. He examines the lives of the men in their new surroundings and what has happened to them over the years.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book July 30, 2003
By A Customer
This Book is probaly the best book I have ever read on the cultural history of post WWII Germany. It also raises the question of where was the dissent against Hitler? Amazing in it's scope.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Story of Crew 34 May 31, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an expensive book. It is directed to scholars of the era but has a level of detail that myself as an inquisitive bystander reader in 2013 finds hard. I want to understand but the prose is so obscure I am unable to intellectually associate myself with the content of the literature or find it entertaining. It is very factual thus it is probably a book more suited to academics or persons wanting to research the era rather than appeal to me as a casual reader. I am wading through it simply because I have bought it. There are no personal stories or descriptions of personal experiences. It is more a documentary (but very accurate in content) in writing without the pictures.

I have not read it cover to cover as yet but it is hard work trying to continue to match the threads as we progress. I am sure that the content for some may be fantastic. I have read volumes of books from the WWII era from the Thetis submarine to the final chapters of 1945 including the cracking of the encryption code devices in place. I will continue to read it, but it is very complicated to a casual reader who simply wants to understand the circumstances.
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