This is not a military history. This is a book about what Germans under Nazi leadership did and how that era was lived by Germans, both Nazis and their few surviving German victims. The story from the point of view of Hitler's military foes or of the peoples' of the lands overrun by Hitler's armies is a different one. (I've been reading some of that too and will write about it eventually.)
The pattern of war crimes was set from the German invasion of Poland in 1939:
People in the United States tend to be more aware of the far more limited atrocities carried out by the Gestapo in occupied France and other parts of western Europe -- that's where our troops eventually prevailed. And the Cold War ensured that eastern European events stayed opaque to us for many years. But Evans strives to reorient our awareness. World War II in Europe was won in the Soviet Union.
And it was in eastern Europe -- in the lands that had been Poland before Germany and the Soviet Union had dismembered that country, in Soviet Ukraine, in Soviet Belorussia -- that the Nazis carried out their program of murdering all European Jews and millions of other people they considered racially disposable. Evans traces the trajectory of mass murder through mass shootings, forced labor and gassing. He always has an eye on how apparently civilized men could have taken up this task.
For all Evans' emphasis on how easily most ordinary German troops allowed themselves to be drawn into systematic cruelty and mass murder, he nonetheless keeps returning to descriptions of German civilian opinion during the war that seem not to support any such general anti-Semitism. This book does little to resolve the apparent contradiction. Here's Evans description of attitudes from the German home front:
Evans thoroughly debunks the once common assertion that ordinary Germans "didn't know" what was being done by the Nazi rulers and their armies. He describes responses to unimaginable horror that seem quite insane in themselves.
Evans speculates about how carrying the knowledge of their country's criminal deeds actually kept some Germans fighting, though in a state of moral despair. The Nazi propaganda apparatus seems to exacerbated that reaction.
This entire three volume trilogy is a monumental attempt to capture an awful era. Evans has filled in thousands of details and achieved a narrative that may have blank spots, but which overwhelms this reader by its breadth and horror. Here's some of his summation; I can't do nearly as well:
Never again indeed.
The Coming of the Third Reich
The Third Reich in Power