Fat Boy and the Champagne Salesman
Göring, Ribbentrop, and the Nazi Invasion of Poland
Published by: Indiana University Press
Fat Boy and the Champagne Salesman offers a compelling behind-the-scenes exploration of the road to World War II and the invasion of Poland by the Hitler's Third Reich. Focusing on the personal power plays within Hitler's inner circle, author Rush Loving details the struggle for Hitler's approval, long before the battle for Poland had begun.
The rivalry was between "Fat Boy," the moniker given to Hermann Göring by his fellow Nazi generals, and "the Champagne Salesman," Joachim von Ribbentrop, nicknamed for his previous career, and it was at the heart of Germany's plans for the expansion of the Reich into Poland. Göring, founder of the Lüftwaffe and the man who oversaw the armaments industry, was convinced that any invasion of Poland would lead to war with England and France, who were committed to its defense. Von Ribbentrop, Hitler's foreign minister, argued that the Allies would stand down and continue their policy of appeasement. Only one would be proved correct.
An engrossing and dramatic tale, Fat Boy and the Champagne Salesman shows Göring and Ribbentrop playing a tug-of-war with Hitler's will. Loving's vivid narrative of the struggle between the two advisers lends a new understanding of the events leading to the opening days of World War II.
1. Kaiser Wilhelm's Legacy
2. The Community Organizer
3. The Champagne Salesman
4. Fat Boy's Swedish Friend
5. 'Close Your Hearts to Pity!'
6. A Performance of Bombast and Threats
7. 'A Second Bismark'
8. Et Tu, Bruté?
9. 'It's Enough to Kill a Bull'
10. The Speech That Fell Flat
11. Into the Wee Hours
12. A Shouting Match
13. 'Where Is the Pole?'
14. The Intercepted Telegram
With a reporter's time-honed instinct for unearthing a great story, and a raconteur's sense of description and timing, Loving gives us this scene-by-scene portrayal of Hitler compelling his high command – using his voice and his insanity as his sole resources – to arrive at the only counsel he would accept: blitzkrieg against Poland. The "fog of war" would come later. First, there was utter chaos as Hitler started the biggest one ever.~Walter Wells, former executive editor of the International Herald-Tribune
Fat Boy and the Champagne Salesman is a wonderfully researched, written, and fast-paced book about the inevitable march toward World War II, and the personalities who made it a reality.~Fred Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun