The Nazi regime was essentially a religious cult, relying on the hypnotic personality of one man, Adolf Hitler, and it was fated to die with him. But while it lasted, his closest lieutenants competed ferociously for power and position as his chosen successor. This deadly contest accounted for many of the regime's worst excesses, in which millions of people died, and which brought Western civilization to its knees. The Devil's Disciples is the first major book for a general readership to examine those lieutenants, not only as individuals but also as a group. It focuses on the three Nazi paladins closest to Hitler - Goring, Goebbels and Himmler - with their nearest rivals - Bormann, Speer and Ribbentrop in close attendance. Others who were removed in various ways - like Gregor Strasser, Ernst R-hm, Heydrich and Hess - play supporting roles. Perceptive and illuminating, The Devil's Disciples is above all a powerful chronological narrative, showing how the personalities of Hitler's inner circle developed and how their jealousies and constant intrigues affected the regime, the war, and Hitler himself.