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This is a closely argued and wide-ranging assessment of just how, with so many alternatives open, the German High Command chose the path that led, ultimately, to its own destruction. Heinz Magenheimer examines in detail the options that were open to the Germans as the war progressed. He identifies the crucial moments at which fateful decisions needed to be made, and considers how decisions different from those actually taken could have propelled the conflict in entirely different directions. Using the very latest source material, in particular new research from Soviet Russian sources, the author analyses motives and objectives and considers the opportunities acted upon or rejected, concentrating especially on specific phases of the conflict.