How the Nazis waged war with the help of illegal drugs.
When Germany was planning an invasion of France in the 1940s, they decided to go ahead with the Ardennes approach, which is surrounded by hills, forests, and rough terrain. This resulted in the majority of the commanders going through fatigue. Hence, the soldiers had a tough time dealing with the allies and after having covered a significant distance during the day, they would have a tough time while resting in the night, making them highly vulnerable.
To overcome this, the commanders came up with a solution: they started distributing Pervitin, which is a Nazi-made pill variant of crystal meth, and soldiers were supplied with it in ample quantities. Norman Ohler, the author of Blitzed, wrote about how these drugs made way into the Nazi army.
This way, the soldiers could stay awake for three days and three nights continuously. All thanks to the drugs and the superior tanks, they could make progress.
“No drugs, no invasion,” Ohler told the Guardian. “That enabled them to stay awake for three days and three nights. Rommel [who then led one of the panzer divisions] and all those tank commanders were high—and without the tanks, they certainly wouldn’t have won.”
However, it was not only the soldiers that were getting a dose of these drugs, said Ohler. Even Adolf Hitler took shots of oxycodone and cocaine when the war was on. The Allies bombed the pharmaceutical plants that were used for the manufacture of drugs, due to which there was a severe shortage and there were withdrawal symptoms throughout the army. Which led to an epic case of withdrawal.
Although people say that Hitler was down with Parkinson’s disease, it could also have been the case that he experienced withdrawal symptoms.
“Everyone describes the bad health of Hitler in those final days [in the Führerbunker in Berlin] … But there’s no clear explanation for it. It has been suggested that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. To me, though, it’s pretty clear that it was partly withdrawal.” Ohler told the Guardian. “Yeah, it must have been pretty awful. He’s losing a world war, and he’s coming off drugs.”
Which was about the least of what he deserved…