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By Erich Von Manstein

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HITLER - V. BRAUCHITSCH - HALDER The main reason for the trend discussed above lay in the personality of Hitler, in his insatiable thirst for power and his excessive self-esteem, which was engendered by his undeniable successes and encouraged by the lick-spittling of his party bosses and certain members of his retinue. Vis-a-vis his military opponents he was greatly aided by the fact of being not only the Head of State but also, as Commander-in-Chief of the Wehrmacht, their military superior. Moreover, he had a genius for suddenly confronting his military collaborators with political and economic arguments which they could not immediately refute and of whose value, in any case, the statesman must perforce be considered the better judge.

Personality who had to deal direct with Hitler after Beck's dismissal, Colonel-General Halder, was Field-Marshal v. Brauchitsch's equal as regards military qualifications. At all events, the two men worked together on terms of close confidence, and I am inclined to believe that when v. Brauchitsch agreed with Halder's recommendations he did so from conviction. Like most of the officers who had begun their careers on the Bavarian General Staff, Halder had a remarkable grasp of every aspect of staff duties and was a tireless worker into the bargain.

Most of all, by the time v. , from the one he had had in former years. There is no doubt that when he originally came to power he had shown the military leaders a certain deference and respected their professional abilities. It was an attitude he retained until the last in the case of a man like Field-Marshal v. Rundstedt, despite having twice relieved him of his command during the war. There were two points in particular which led Hitler to change his view of the army in the last years of peace.

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