The Halder War Diary, 1939-1942

Charles B. Burdick, Editor, Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Editor, Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Editor Presidio Press $35 (716p) ISBN 978-0-89141-302-8
General Franz Halder served as chief of the German general staff from 1938 to 1942, supervising the planning of the Blitzkrieg campaigns and the invasion of Russia. Dismissed over disagreements with Hitler, he was arrested later for suspected involvement in an assassination conspiracy against Hitler and held prisoner until war's end. His diary, published in a rough English version after the war and in German in the early '60s, has long been regarded as a rich source of high-level military information from the point of view of the German general staff. More notebook than diary, most of the entries are either very general (``Treaty with Slovakia signed'') or obscure (``Mass production of first-class self-propelled vessels''). There are summaries of unit-strength reports, notations of comings and goings, highly compressed situation reports from various fronts and summaries of staff conferences. About the only thing that might catch the lay reader's eye is an occasional summary of Hitler's harangues. The book is for specialists only. Burdick is Dean of Social Science at San Jose State; Jocobsen heads the Political Science Department at the University of Bonn. Maps. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 11/01/1988
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