Terrifying and intriguing article in the NYTimes, reviewing Norman Ohler's new book Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/09/books/high-on-hitler-and-meth-book-says-nazis-were-fueled-by-drugs.html
From the review:
“Blitzed” begins with Germany’s success in the 19th century as the world’s pre-eminent inventors, manufacturers and exporters of drugs, ranging from the benign (aspirin) to the infamous (heroin). One of those drugs was meth, which was initially marketed over the counter to the German public as an all-purpose upper that beat back everything from depression to hay fever.
Red, white and blue tubes of pills, sold under the trade name Pervitin, caught the attention of a doctor at the Academy of Military Medicine in Berlin, who would oversee the logistics of ferrying millions of pills to troops. Hopped-up soldiers would sprint tirelessly through the Ardennes at the onset of war, an adrenalized performance that left Winston Churchill “dumbfounded,” as he wrote in his memoirs. A German general would later gloat that his men had stayed awake for 17 straight days.
“I think that’s an exaggeration,” Mr. Ohler said, “but meth was crucial to that campaign.”