A new book has claimed that Hitler was a heavy drug user during the Second World War, and Nazi troops invaded Poland and France high on a version of crystal meth which kept them wide awake, feeling euphoric and invincible.
In Der Totale Rausch - Total Rush - published in Germany last week, writer Norman Ohler says the Nazis manufactured a methamphetamine-based drug called 'Pervitin' from 1937 onwards and distributed it among the armed forces.
The author, who spent months scouring US and German archives, claims soldiers took the drug believing it was comparable to a cup of coffee, designed to combat stress and tiredness.
But Nazi leaders knew of Pervitin's value as stimulant during combat. After testing it in 1939 during the invasion of Poland, the German army ordered 35 million tablets of Pervitin for soldiers before advancing on France in the spring of 1940.
Hitler a regular drug taker
The book claims Hitler didn't take much Pervitin, but according to extensive notes taken by his personal physician, he took regular injections of methamphetamine and opiates. "Throughout his reign of terror, he shot up anything from steroids to heroin," writes Mr Ohler.
The Third Reich's chemists were encouraged to find an alternative stimulant more suited to an Aryan Master Race. The Nazi chemist Fritz Hauschild came up with Pervitin.