During the invasion of Poland in September 1939, medical officers reported back enthusiastically to Ranke on the effects of the Pervitin distributed in their units:
Everyone fresh and cheerful, excellent discipline. Slight euphoria and increased thirst for action. Mental encouragement, very stimulated. No accidents. Long-lasting effect. After taking four tablets, double vision and seeing colors.
Double vision was hardly a beneficial effect for tank gunners, and yet panzer divisions were uniformly excited by the drug’s possibilities. Apart from banishing hunger and stimulating physical and mental activity, it also seemed to reduce inhibitions and fear.Back in the Reich, however, the minister of health, Leo Conti, became concerned at the way the entire nation seemed to be addicted. Conti made Pervitin available only by prescription starting in November 1939. But the Wehrmacht high command saw no disadvantages, especially for the strategy being developed for the invasion of France and the Low Countries in May 1940.
General Heinz Guderian told his troops before the attack: “I demand that you do not sleep for at least three days and nights, if that is required.”