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"German soldiers took drugs before fighting?" Topic

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1,068 hits since 27 Jan 2018
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2018 10:53 a.m. PST

Reading this old and interesting review of a book, took my attention…

"…One of the things that most surprised me was your contention that the use of crystal meth was widespread in the German army.

The Germans routinely encouraged their soldiers to take what we would now call crystal meth before battle. It would whip them up into a fury and may explain some of the excesses they committed. It's a way of motivating scared young men. And some of the Germans are very young indeed. I found lots of evidence of 16-year-olds being put into uniform and sent into battle.

So I think you're reaching for every possible technique to exaggerate your soldiers' combat performance. This wasn't just an SS thing. The German army was not below stooping to use drugs to increase its soldiers' effectiveness on the battlefield…."
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Fred Cartwright27 Jan 2018 12:51 p.m. PST

I have read that book and IMHO it is very poor. He has a whole chapter on the mythical significance of forests to the German Volk and Hitler's fascination with Wagner etc. Trouble is, he can't show a single piece of hard evidence to support it. Hitler himself when he briefed the generals on the upcoming offensive spoke at length about the military situation and his reasons for launching the offensive and his choice of battleground, but said nothing about the forests, Wagner or anything like it. He isn't able to give a single quote from any of Hitler's entourage from their memoirs or their post war debriefs by the allies. It remains therefore idle speculation on the authors part.

catavar27 Jan 2018 2:17 p.m. PST

I've heard claims that some were given stimulants to stay awake. Seems possible to me but then I wasn't there.

Old Peculiar27 Jan 2018 2:23 p.m. PST

The use of Pervitin by the German forces is pretty well documented, a fact that was rediscovered in 2016ish and republished with typical sensationalism. The Allies also issued drugs to troops, and were certainly still doing so during my service in the 80s

yankincan27 Jan 2018 3:22 p.m. PST

Yup, there was an account of it published in the Readers Digest "The Canadians at War" published 1969!

mikeda27 Jan 2018 11:05 p.m. PST

There was a show about it on the military channel/American hero's channel. The story I like was on the eastern front an ss company shot off all their ammunition durning a night attack that never happened.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Jan 2018 4:25 a.m. PST

Monty's 8th Army was supplied with drugs (amphetamines?) to keep them awake during major operations. (Or so it said in Rick Atkinson's "An Army at Dawn".)

Fred Cartwright28 Jan 2018 5:12 a.m. PST

Yes the use of Methamphetamine by the Germans is old news. The "new" perspectives in this book don't amount to anything.

Legion 428 Jan 2018 8:22 a.m. PST

Yes, I'd agree … pretty much very "old news" …

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2018 5:49 p.m. PST

I read it last year. It's ok. I am currently reading John Eisenhower's "The Bitter Woods". Much more enjoyable. "A Time For Trumpets" is up next .

GreenLeader28 Jan 2018 9:45 p.m. PST

Not really much different from giving the lads a swig of rum or whisky before ordering them to go 'over the top'. Same principal.

forrester30 Jan 2018 2:29 p.m. PST

The young soldiers of the 12th SS got chocolate…

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2018 3:33 p.m. PST

Probably part of the reason that the tobacco companies and the military made sure every soldiers kit included cigarettes. Giving uppers to soldiers is old news. I remember talking about it in a college history class back in the late 70s,

deephorse31 Jan 2018 2:50 a.m. PST

"Survival kit contents check. In them you'll find:

- One forty-five caliber automatic
- Two boxes of ammunition
- Four days' concentrated emergency rations
- One drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine,
vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills
- One miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible
- One hundred dollars in rubles
- One hundred dollars in gold
- Nine packs of chewing gum
- One issue of prophylactics
- Three lipsticks
- Three pair of nylon stockings.

Shoot, a fella' could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."

Legion 431 Jan 2018 6:51 a.m. PST

LOL !!!!

deephorse31 Jan 2018 8:46 a.m. PST

As I recall "Russian" was pronounced "Rooshian".

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2018 10:28 a.m. PST



Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2018 10:37 a.m. PST

Deephorse for the win…

Legion 401 Feb 2018 6:50 a.m. PST

As I recall "Russian" was pronounced "Rooshian".
Or "Russkie" … wink

deephorse01 Feb 2018 10:36 a.m. PST

Nope, it was "Rooshian", I just checked.

Legion 401 Feb 2018 3:26 p.m. PST

I've got to watch that movie again …

deephorse02 Feb 2018 1:58 a.m. PST

He said Russkie in a different scene.

Legion 402 Feb 2018 6:55 a.m. PST

Ah ! Got it ! Thanks ! old fart

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