Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Birth of the Nazis

Full title: A Brief History of the Birth of the Nazis: How the Freikorps Blazed a Trail for Hitler
Author Nigel H. Jones
Publisher: Carril & Graf Publishers
Published: 1987, 1995, 2004
329 pages; 13 photographs; 3 maps
Contents: Birth of the Stormtrooper; Collapse of an Empire; "Revolution or Republic?"; The First Freikorps; "Spartacus Week"; The Twin Murders: Liebknecht and Luxemburg; Maercker's March; Strikes and Street Fights; The Freebooting Spirit; The Baltic Campaign; The Munich Soviet; Versailles: Resistance or Submission; The Kapp Putsch; The Red Army of the Ruhr; The Politics of Murder; Enter Hitler: The Beerhall Putsch; Epilogue: The Fate of the Freikorps
     The book is a small trade sized volume. It is printed on standard paper stock with glossy pages for the photographs. The photographs themselves are clear and good qaulity. All maps are cleanly drawn. There are two appendicies, bibliography and an index included in the total page count. The chapters themselves are short making for a fast read, or easily broken up into smaller bits. The language used is easy to follow even during early portions where names and locations are the least familiar and most likely lost track of.
     The book provides a quick overview to the turbulent times from the last months of the Great War up until 1923. It includes additional information beyond this specific period, but it exists solely for refernce or context. The depth to which any one area is covered makes this book only a starting point for further research. Appendix A does provide some useful statistical data concerning the various Freikorp units and their total strength. The greater contribution to the wargamer is that the book provides a good feel for the turbulence and instabilities of Germany and her bordering territories. Pure inspiration!
     In short, if you want content for scenario generation, this is not the best book for anything substantial. If you simply want to get started with the period, and need to know the how and why events occured as they did, this is a great book.

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