The Second World War was a German war like no other. The Nazi regime turned the conflict into the most horrific war in European history, resorting to genocidal methods well before building the first gas chambers in occupied Poland. The Third Reich was also unique in enacting its own "total defeat" in 1945, in the process expending and exhausting all the moral and physical reserves of German society. Even the Japanese did not fight to the gates of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo as the Germans fought for the Reich Chancellery in Berlin. To wage a war on this scale the Nazis had to harness levels of social mobilization and personal commitment which went far deeper than anything they had tried to achieve in the pre-war period. Yet, seventy years on - despite whole libraries of books about the war's origins, course and atrocities - we still do not know what Germans thought they were fighting for or how they managed to continue their war until the bitter end. This book is about how the German people experienced and sustained this war.
- From The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939 - 1945 by Nicholas Stargardt