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Germany at War: 400 Years of Military History

 by David T. Zabecki, editor; William H. Van Husen, Carl O. Shuster and Marcus O. Jones, assistant editors; foreword by Dennis Showalter (ABC-CLIO, 2014).

Weider History Group chief military historian and frequent ACG contributor David Zabecki, along with his team of assistant editors, has produced a stunningly comprehensive, four-volume encyclopedia probing Germany’s “Genius for War” over a period of four centuries. From the Thirty Years’ War (1618- 48), through both World Wars and the Cold War, to today’s military operations, the country’s battles, leaders, tactics, organizations and weapons are covered in more than 1,000 entries comprising the most complete overview of German military history ever to appear in the English language.


The Other Custer (The One Who Got the Medals): A Novel

by retired Judge Albert J. Mestemaker (Prong Horn Press, 2014).

George Armstrong Custer remains famous even today; yet George’s younger brother, Thomas Ward Custer, although less recognized, was a Civil War hero who received two Medals of Honor. Judge Mestemaker takes a (quite literally) novel approach in his fascinating new biography of “the other Custer,” writing it as if it were Tom’s personal journal. The novel is based on extensive research of the facts of the younger Custer’s life and the most authoritative sources on the seminal event of both brothers’ lives – the June 25, 1876, Battle of the Little Bighorn. Mestemaker cleverly weaves into the story an ahistorical “twist” that allows Tom to relate his version of how the battle unfolded.


The Devils’ Alliance: Hitler’s Pact With Stalin, 1939-1941

by Roger Moorhouse (Basic Books, 2014).

Known variously as the Hitler-Stalin Pact, Nazi-Soviet Pact, and Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, the August 23, 1939, nonaggression treaty between two bitter enemies shocked the world and paved the way for the outbreak of World War II in Europe. Moorhouse reveals that both cynical dictators eagerly sought the pact – Hitler to ensure that Germany would not face a two-front war at World War II’s outset, and Stalin to recover all the territory Russia lost in World War I. The book also examines the treaty’s impact on its principal victims – Poland, Finland and Romania, and the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which suffered brutally at the hands of both Germany and the USSR.


Originally published in the March 2015 issue of Armchair General.