Pervitin, the Wehrmacht’s Methylamphetamine.
The Nazis went into Poland and France high as a kite, quite literally. Without tracking the reaction to drugs, German officers administered alcohol, and the German equivalent of methamphetamine called Pervitin to soldiers, all to ensure that the Germans would win the war. This was a bit odd simply because the Nazis viewed drunkenness and addiction with some opprobrium. Officers could be punished or even killed if they were inebriated at the wrong time. After the fall of France, Hitler apparently heard that Wehrmacht soldiers and officers were enjoying the fruits of French vintners and cognac as well. Teetotaler Adolph Hitler was ecstatic over the winds but in high dudgeon over the news that Nazi officers were not comporting themselves properly and issued the following missive: “I expect that members of the Wehrmacht who allow themselves to be tempted to engage in criminal acts as a result of alcohol abuse will be severely punished.”
Otto Ranke was a doctor and he served as the Director of the Institute for General and Defense Physiology at Berlin’s Academy of Military Medicine. He experimented with Pervitin and found it was a great way for soldiers to avoid fatigue during the blitzkrieg. After months he issued the following observation and recommendation: “Two tablets taken once eliminate the need to sleep for three to eight hours, and two doses of two tablets each are normally effective for 24 hours.”
One Wehrmacht infantryman, the famous writer Heinrich Boell, wrote to hos family in Cologne: “It’s tough out here, and I hope you’ll understand if I’m only able to write to you once every two to four days soon. Today I’m writing you mainly to ask for some Pervitin …; Love, Hein.”
Not only was Hitler a junkie, many of his soldiers were too. Thirty million vials were prepared and distributed during the early portion of Germany’s invasions.
Sources: Wiki, Speigel