May's books were a series of young-adult adventure novels written about thrilling conflicts in a distant and exotic land: the Old West. For Hitler, they might as well have been the works of R.A. Salvatore or J.K. Rowling. It was the kind of books young kids read to distract themselves from the fact that the real world is way less interesting than gallivanting around a fantastic land with weapons and awesome hats. Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, whatever ridiculous name it happened to be, we all had at least one heroic character we obsessed over as kids.
Hitler's obsession never ended. Once he wound up in command of the world's most powerful military, his obsession went well beyond simple fandom and into true nerdy obsession. For his entire life, the Fuhrer was utterly convinced that May was an unrivaled genius. He considered this pacifist young-adult fiction author with no military experience to be a strategic mastermind. Hitler's attitudes toward the Blitzkrieg and even the invasion of Russia were based in part on this fucking guy:
See? It's not just my crazy ass drawing these conclusions. When that whole "invading Russia during the winter" thing turned out to be exactly as bad an idea as it's been for everyone but the Mongols, Hitler doubled down on his ridiculous fantasy novels, demanding that his generals read more of these children's books so they could finally grasp the tactical genius of a man whose actual fighting experience didn't extend beyond the common cold.
Heinrich Himmler, meanwhile, was obsessed with knights and magic. He turned Hitler's bodyguard and fearsome instrument of genocide, the SS, into a mock knightly order, complete with their own castle and round table. Inside his (admittedly kind of cool) medieval fortress, Himmler would hold bizarre magical rituals and presumably scream "LIGHTNING BOLT" while throwing Koosh balls at his trusted adjutants. Yes, at the heart of the Third Reich was a goddamn LARP.
Why do evil madmen get all the best fortresses?
Joseph Goebbels, on the third horrible mutant hand, was an A/V geek. You might have guessed that from the whole "He was the Nazi propaganda minister" thing, but his love of film went a little beyond normal interest. As Russian soldiers drank Berlin down like a big, shrapnely glass of vodka, Goebbels urged his employees to die horribly because in a hundred years, it'd make a sweet-ass movie. His last words to them were, in essence, "If you die well, they'll pick Ryan Gosling to play you in the movie version of this. If you die poorly, I dunno ... Nicolas Cage, probably."
Hermann Goring is the only Nazi high official who doesn't fit cleanly into a nerdy stereotype. And he was fat, so I'd say we're at least halfway there.
Mountain Dew: Code Red was his thirstenfuhrer.
Robert Evans runs Cracked's personal experience article team, and does a bunch of other stuff too. Here are more of his Internet writings.