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Hitler's Mistakes: New Insights into What Made Hitler Tick Paperback – May, 1987


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (May 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688072895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688072896
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,327,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Reviewers are not often called on to defend the character or the military accomplishments of Adolf Hitler, but Lewin's one-sided blackwash is so insistent that one almost feels drawn to do so. Even setting aside the monstrous immorality of Hitler's strategy, no one will dispute that the invasion of Russia and the declaration of war on the U.S. were mistakes of the worst sort, or that Hitler's "grotesque overconfidence" led to an earlier victory for the Allies than would otherwise have been possible. Lewin all but argues, however, that the Nazi leader did everything wrong and that he had no character at all. For example, the author does not acknowledge even a modicum of strategic logic behind the Ardennes offensive. But it must be said that the very forcefulness of Lewin's opinion and of his writing style makes this short study compelling to read. The late author wrote Ultra Goes to War and numerous biographies of British military leaders.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Studies of Hitler's military blunders are not uncommon, but this slim book by one of England's premier military biographers discards traditional views of his personality and talents. Lewin performs a clinical and rigorous assessment of Hitler's failure to observe the classic rules of warfare, and concludes that the man was intellectually shallow rather than a diabolical military genius. The book is erudite and stimulating, and in passing Lewin challenges many of the conventional American views of the war. Not a substitute for traditional biographies, but highly recommended to public and academic libraries. Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog . , Los Angeles
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave Schranck on September 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I think of WWII, the tactical and sometimes the strategic land events consume my thoughts and it was this way when the book was ordered. I thought the author would list the many military mistakes Hitler propagated but this aspect was a minor aspect to the author. Mr Levin discusses to a large extent the high level, broad terms that Hitler in his fanatical, myopic way got wrong.

The author, a former veteran under Montgomery, begins his book discussing Hitler beginning around the end of WWI and how losing the war and going back to a broken and humiliated Germany motivated his actions into becoming the ruler of a strong, independent country. The author describes the process of Hitler's ascent as well as the Nazi's and the downfall of courts and governments in Germany, of personal freedom.

The first aspect the author mentions moving into the war effort was Hitler's lack of foresight when it came to science and innovation. His backing for atomic research was dismal and thence it didn't go far. His backing for the V1, V2 rockets and later the Me262 jet was subdued until he actually saw working prototypes. The next area of poor judgement of Hitler was the promoting of Goering as head of the Luftwaffe. The German air force under his direction failed terribly in regards to plane innovation, production and pilot training compared to the Allies. The author spends a lot of time in this area. Anti Semitic dealings at home, in Europe and in Russia had a major negative impact. In 1941 a large number of ethnic Russians were looking for a saviour from Stalin. Hitler could have been that saviour if he handled the Russian peasant better. He had a great opportunity to convert the Russian peasant if he could have overcome his hatred and fear of Communism.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M Quigg VINE VOICE on August 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was written in summary form. It makes the case that maybe Hitler was not such a genius after all. Lewin states that Hitler made many mistakes both political and militarily. His presecution of the Jews resulted in Jewish scientists taking their skills to the U.K. and U.S.A.
His stand fast policy on the battlefront resulted in million of dead German soldiers. His limitations on his generals resulted in additional losses of the battlefield. Hitler's leadership style resulted in conflicting domains for his underlings resulted in wasted effort and lost potential. The overall analysis was that Hitler was very intelligent, but his actions caused the Germans to lose the war. I thought the analysis was right on target.

This is a nice short read with very good analysis of why Hitler helped the Germans lose the war. I thought Lewin did a nice job of detailing all of Hitler's shortcomings as a military and political leader.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carla Eileen on April 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased Ronald Lewin's, "Hitler's Mistakes" as a source for a research paper I am writing for a course called "Nazi Germany". I found that Lewin and I concur that historians tend to view Hitler's mistakes from a military standpoint, while much of the all important human condition is overlooked. In his writing, Lewin addresses the many aspects of Adolf Hitler's personality that led to his military mistakes and the ultimate downfall of the Third Reich. He also points out that the First Reich and Second Reich were equally unsuccessful, opening a platform for discourse on the historical fabric of the German people in general. Though not a biography, much can be gleaned about Hitler's life, making this book an informative read for the historian and lay person alike.
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Format: Hardcover
A disgusting and worthless bit of trash from a "distinguished military historian" who unfortunately is sleeping the Big Sleep and thus can not be shamed for his pitiful excuse for an analysis of a major figure from World War II. In addition to the cheap moralizing and superficial journalistic narrative, he permits himself a dig at David Irving, who, contrary to Lewin, did do some serious research on the subject of Adolf Hitler, and, to note, Dr. Morell, something absent or present in blurb form in other writers. In no place is there any mention of the sabotaging of military plans by Guderian, Halder and von Bock. Zeitzler was hardly a puppet of Hitler's and was raised to chief of staff of OKH due to his energetic performance in the West. The impoverished and facile analysis of the "mistakes" given is just so much cheap armchair quarterbacking which proves once again how useful hindsight can be when passing judgement, especially on those who cannot defend themselves. Much of our understanding of World War II in Europe comes from a conventional wisdom which is best described as propaganda. Overlooked is the preponderant role of the Red Army and Red Air Force in defeating the Third Reich, and in retrospect, one may well think that for the Allies, certainly Churchill and the like, the Russians were merely so much cannon fodder to be discarded when they had outlived their usefulness. There is much more to the war in Europe than a thin tome such as this can possibly provide. Those who desire a better understanding of this important past had best look elsewhere.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Yes sir! on April 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Spends way to much time on his antipathy for Hitler and his regime and doesn't really detail his mistakes really at all in the book...the book is beyond difficult to follow and is written in the strangest english dialect...more confusing than helpful
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