Occupation and Insurgency: A Selective Examination of The Hague and Geneva Conventions on the Eastern Front, 1939-1945
Occupation and Insurgency: A Selective Examination of the Hague and Geneva Conventions on the Eastern Front, 1939-1945
Author: Colin D. Heaton
Publisher: Algora Publishing (2008)
Binding: Hardcover, 274 pages
A cause and effect analysis of how Nazi domestic policy and philosophy as applied to Eastern European lands conquered from 1941 to 1944 affected the outcome of the war by creating an insurgency. Hitler gave implementation of Nazi policy in occupied territories a higher priority than the fight against Stalin. Nazi mistreatment of civilians turned millions of disillusioned Soviet communists, soldiers and civilians, into an efficient guerilla fighters who disrupted Wehrmacht supply and communications. Had Hitler followed the accepted rules of war, he might have won the support of the occupied population and defeated Stalin.
Colin D. Heaton, a professor of military history, examines the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe and Russia in light of The Hague and Geneva Conventions. Heaton compares two historical viewpoints on how Adolf Hitler influenced the dynamics of WWII. Functionalists believe that Hitler's presence, even after WWII began, was not a necessary component in either starting or continuing the war. Intentionalists argue Hitler was the primary character and catalyst in the rise of National Socialism, and was the primary force behind the political a military machine.
While the historical points of view arguments have interest to historians, the real meat in this book is the author's excellent presentation of facts demonstrating that Germany's mistreatment of the population in conquered lands sparked the insurgency that ultimately contributed greatly to Germany's defeat. A large portion of the Soviet Union's population hated Stalin, and would have rallied to support Germany had they been well treated. Nazi idealism (the master race) blinded Hitler and his cronies, preventing those officers who demonstrated that humane treatment resulted in a cooperative population from being heard.
A glossary of German terms and names would increase the value of this work.
I recommend this book for all officers and senior enlisted. The information presented will prove invaluable to any man or woman who commands troops in an occupied land.
Reviewed by: Lee Boyland (2009)