Germany's Secret Masterplan, Chris McNab

Germany's Secret Masterplan, Chris McNab

How the Nazis Planned to Shape the World After Victory in World War II

It must be said the sub-title is a little misleading. Much of the book looks at what the Nazis actually did, both in Germany and in the areas they conquered, and the methods they used to achieve their political and military victories rather than their plans for the post-war world. The introduction text is more accurate, focusing on Hitler's post-conquest plans, many of which were implemented in the areas that fell to the Nazis.

The book is very well presented, with lots of useful graphs, charts and map. These can be very informative - I hadn't realised just how big Hitler's Reich Chancellery had been - photos normally show one exterior shot, but there was a bigger complex of buildings and even a sizable garden. The plan also shows where the Fuhrer bunker was located. These charts also make it easier to visualize Speer's production miracle, or the layout of the Autobahn network.

The contents are a bit mixed. The first chapter looks at the Nazi rise to power, and briefly examines the structure of Hitler's government. The second looks at German rearmament, including the more ambitions plans that were never implemented (including a section on the increasingly daft plans for massive battleships - the 1941 designs would have been bigger than the Japanese Yamato class, the biggest battleships ever completed, and the H-44 class would have had double the displacement of the Yamato and carried 20in guns). Some of this material would have been better placed in the final chapter, on the Tools of War.

Creating the German Empire looks at how the Nazis gained control of such a large area (but not at the military campaigns), how they ruled the areas they conquered and how they planned to rule the areas they never reached (including Britain and much of the Soviet Union).

The next two chapters look at Nazi policies within Germany. The Physical Reich looks at their architectural plans within Germany, including the grand plans for Berlin, and more mundane plans for housing. The Culture of Nazism looks at areas such as music and the theatre, to see how the Nazis tried to control all cultural activities in the Reich.

Racial War takes us the heart of the Nazi regime, and its genocidal efforts against the Jews and other groups. This is a chilling reminder of the evil at the heart of the Nazi regime, and what they would have tried to carry do if their conquests had continued to expand.

Servants of the Reich focuses on the non-military organisations that played a part in keeping the Nazis in power - the SS, SA, Hitler Youth and other similar groups. Finally Tools of War looks at the more advanced weapons under development in Germany - this is an interesting chapter, even if it doesn’t entirely fit with the stated theme of the book.

Absolute Power
Destiny in War
Creating the German Empire
The Physical Reich
The Culture of Nazism
Racial War
Servants of the Reich
Tools of War

Author: Chris McNab
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 224
Publisher: Amber
Year: 2015

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