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"Hitler's Gladiator" by schwarzfeder

Discussion in 'ETO, MTO and the Eastern Front' started by schwarzfeder, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. schwarzfeder

    schwarzfeder Member

    Feb 22, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Book: "Hitler's Gladiator"
    By: Charles Messinger
    Pub.: Skyhorse

    Reviewer: schwarzfeder

    This is not only the story of Josef "Sepp" Dietrich, Hitler's famous "Everyman General", but it is a great study of the rise and fall of the Nazi empire as it regards this one man. The book has been around a while (originally published in 1988); the 2011 edition has only minor changes.

    Third Reich students/buffs/readers may have been like me until I found this book: Sepp Dietrich seems to be everywhere in TR photos, but finding info on him is sparse. Messinger's book lays out his life with detail and chronological sense. You learn much about the early days of the NSDAP in Munich especially. Of course, the famous/infamous Waffen SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, Dietrich's division, is covered here. The author gives it to the reader straight; the atrocities are covered, the battles, the many personalities of not only the LSSAH but of the Reich.

    What I like about this book is, the author does not get bogged down, but takes you through Dietrich's life chronologically. There is great detail, depth, and much to learn, yet it is fast reading. Messenger's style is concise but not pithy. Flambuoyant, the consumate beer hall and parade-ground blusterer (that is, b.s.er), Dietrich is portrayed as the man of humble origin who seemed to be everywhere in Nazi Germany, from the far-flung fronts where he spearheaded fearlessly, to the intrigues in the Nazi hierarchy. The bonus is learning more about the man personally, his family, marriages and children.

    It's a good read, and you will learn much, hopefully.
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    May 9, 2010
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    Thanks for another good, quick review.

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