For the first time in Trade Paperback the massive, compelling book in which William Manchester brings to life Europe's richest, most powerful family, a 400-year dynasty that armed Germany in three major wars. Their cannon won the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. In 1871 they invented the first anti-aircraft gun to shoot down observation balloons. In WWI their mammoth weapons shelled Paris at a range of 81 miles. For 40 years they manufactured submarines, beginning with the U-1 that menaced Allied shipping. In 1940 their cannon actually shelled England from across the channel. The Krupps armed the forces of the Kaiser and financed Hitler's 'Terror Election' of 1933. Hitler honoured their loyalty by decreeing special tax exemptions that continued to bind a post-war West Germany. The Krupps even survived a Nuremberg conviction to become the dynamo behind the 'Common Market'.
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(233mm x 150mm x 39mm)
Little, Brown & Company
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
The very name Krupp is formidable, doom-laden, and intrinsically linked with the German war machine. As H.G. Wells put it, they were 'at the very core of evil'. A succession of sons bore the name and the reputation of ruthless power, and acted appropriately. In William Manchester's truly massive work, the industrialist family, smokestack barons of the Ruhr, are traced from the medieval period through to the Wagnerian orgy of destruction in 1945, and the eventual demise of the firm in the late sixties. For four centuries the Krupps armed the state, at their lowest point using concentration camp workers at Auschwitz as slave labour to produce automatic weapons. Bismarck and the Kaiser owed the Krupp dynasty a debt, and even Hitler was enthralled by the vulpine and tyrannical Gustav Krupp. Originally published in 1968, this is a daunting, intensely detailed and complex history of a deadly family business. Inevitably it is also the story of a nation's obsessive expansionist desire from 1870 through to the catastrophe of World War Two. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - William Manchester
William Manchester is professor of History Emeritus at Wesleyan University. His biography of Winston Churchill, The Last Lion, is considered definitive.