John Laffin, soldier, traveler and writer of military history, believed that for too long the image of the German soldier has been distorted by the political crimes and atrocities of the Nazis. It is time that the ordinary German soldier was given his due. Such is the aim of Jackboot, the story that traces the background and influences that have shaped the character of the German soldier from the time of Frederick the Great to the end of the last war. 'Every German,' declares John Laffin, 'is a born soldier. He breathes war, he is imbued with it, he glorifies it. He has the virus quality of aggression and fortitude in his blood.' These and other qualities, such as manliness, courage, and an unfailing response to discipline, even his arrogance, are based on a military tradition that owes its origin to Frederick the Great. For he was the man who made Prussia into a strong military nation, who trained and built up an immensely powerful army without equal in Europe. He was also the man Hitler most wanted to be like. The ability of Frederick's army to recover and hit back in the face of tremendous odds is one of the chief qualities inherited by the German army and one which, as at Amiens in 1918 and the Ardennes in 1945, has been demonstrated time and again.