Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Speer was hardly a disinterested commentator on this, and I seem to remember his book has more than a few problems, and isn't Keegan's book rather general in its scope?

My current source is the relatively new economic history of Nazi Germany, The Wages of Destruction by Adam Tooze (http://www.amazon.com/The-Wages-Destruction-Breaking-Economy...). It's very good, and shows how economics were vitally important from beginning to end.

E.g. part of the motivation in invading the Soviet Union was to address the crippling loss of productivity in their "Greater Western European Co-Prosperity Sphere" from the end of British coal imports. They needed to get enough food to the miners of the Lowlands etc., and the scheme was to starve the USSR cities and redirect the agricultural surplus east. Of course it didn't work out, but they did have a plan that wasn't entirely irrational.

No, certainly not. The context of who Speer was -- despite escaping the hangman at Nuremberg -- should absolutely be kept in mind. I felt his memoirs were written, at least in part, to improve his own legacy, at one point remarking: “one seldom recognizes the devil when he is putting his hand on your shoulder.” I'm not sure I buy that but his unique view of the moving parts and gears of the economy were probably mostly accurate.

Yes, I recommend Keegan's book as my favorite "big picture" book regarding the second world war. For an inside look at the third reich in general, I enjoyed Richard J Evan's trilogy.

I have not read The Wages of Destruction, thank you for the recommendation.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact