The Nazi regime was essentially a religious cult relying on the hypnotic personality of 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 peculiar leadership dynamic resulted in millions of deaths and some of the worst excesses of World War II. 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 most important Nazi paladins--G#65533;ring, Goebbels, and Himmler--with their nearest rivals--Bormann, Speer, and Ribbentrop--in close attendance. Perceptive, illuminating, and grandly ambitious, 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.