I like to think of myself as someone who once he sets his mind on something becomes fanatical (and systematic) in reaching that goal.

My goal is to read 100 German in quick succession.

Today, the 18th of November, I have just finished a book about the effect of drugs on the Nazi war machine.

In short:

The first Ardennes offensive was such a success because of drugs.

The use of amphetamines used on a massive scale helped to overwhelm the western allies. This coupled with total surprise, a spirit of defeatism and an inflexible clinging to purely defensive tactics.

Later the use of amphetamines became a problem. When an offensive needs to go on and on no drugs can prevent soldiers from falling asleep. During the invasion of the Soviet-Union the positive effects of the drug was not so clear. On the defense it seems to only have helped when retreating as quickly as possible. Drugs could not prevent the German Reich from collapsing.

Pretty disturbing is the fact that concentration camp inmates were used to test new drugs. Not just to test drugs to boost physical endurance, but also drugs to interrogate people more easily, such as mescalin.

I enjoyed the style of this book. The author describes everything vividly and his analysis is convincing.

I also think that Hitler’s drug use has not been given the proper attention.

Not that Hitler’s mistakes or criminal decisions can be blamed on his drug uses, but it’s highly probably some of his most irrational, delusional strategic decisions were a result of his drug use. It’s also likely that it was thanks to drugs that he was able to keep his generals spell-bound. Especially in the later stages of the war.

One of the best books concerning World War Two I have ever read.