A whole lot of people in Nazi Germany were blitzed on crystal meth during World War II, apparently.
And it may explain why Hitler’s armies were so fearless.
A new book about the Nazis’ use of drugs during the Second World War explains how the Fuhrer’s armies carried out their ‘Blitzkrieg’ invasions of Poland and France while high on a version of crystal meth – keeping them wide awake, feeling euphoric and invincible.
In Der Totale Rausch (Total Rush), which was published in Germany last week, Norman Ohler reveals the key strategic role of the methamphetamine-based drug, manufactured from 1937 onwards by the Nazis under the brand name of ‘Pervitin’ and distributed among the armed forces.
According to Ohler, the drug was marketed as a pick-up pill which was designed to combat stress and tiredness and created feelings of euphoria. He explains: “In the beginning the army didn’t realise Pervitin was a drug: soldiers thought it was just like drinking coffee.”
The Nazis even made chocolates containing the drug.
But the Nazi leadership was well aware of Pervitin’s value as stimulant during combat. After having tried it in 1939 during the German invasion of Poland, the German army subsequently ordered 35 million tablets of Pervitin for soldiers before advancing on France in the spring of 1940.
That was the invasion that shocked the world. In four days, Hitler’s tanks captured more French territory than German troops had managed to secure in four years of the First World War – no doubt thanks to Pervitin.
Ohler bases his findings on months of research at military archives in Germany and the United States, the Independent reports. And historians say his revelations will change current perceptions of Germany’s wartime military.
German historian Hans Mommsen said: “The fact that the Blitzkrieg was a war fuelled by drugs, once again debunks the theory that the German army was clean.”
The fact that they were blitzed on meth 24/7 doesn’t make excuses for them, but it definitely sheds light on why Nazi Germany was so successful in war.