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Hitler's mistakes

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In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 6:53:33 PM PDT
Gregory Mays says:
. Why these generals and colonels did not turn their tanks against him? Was there only one brave enough to die for eliminating the monster, while millions (including innocent civilians) sacrificed their lives even when it was clear that everything is lost?<<

How do you do that? The lineage of the German Army was mostly Prussian. They had no model at all for turning on the commander in chief. They had never had a leader that didn't have the best interest of the German people at heart. The strength of the German Army, going back to at least Bismarck, was adherence to discipline. Expecting them to wage a mutiny is asking too much.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 6:56:23 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
My ancestors were mostly from East Prussia, Gregory Mays. There is a tradition of loyalty, but I've never understood how a an Austrian draft dodger was able to con them into following him the way they'd follow a Kaiser.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 6:58:04 PM PDT
F. Gleaves says:
Stalin was unique in having warplanes designed by imprisoned aeronautical engineers. What became the fast Tu-2 bomber began when AN Tupolov was imprisoned in 1936 for supposedly passing to the Germans the design for the Me 110. Allowed the use of a drawing board in his cell in Lubyanka prison, work went slowly at first but by 1938 there were whole design teams working as slave labor. VM Petlyakov was arrested in 1937 and developed the Pe-2 bomber prototype in prison. NN Polikarpov likewise led an imprisoned design team 1929-33, as did DP Grigorovich 1930-33. Some of the most famous names in Soviet aviation.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 7:07:18 PM PDT
Gregory Mays says:
>>Austrian draft dodger was able to con them into following him the way they'd follow a Kaiser.<<

Well, we're looking at Hitler through 20/20 hindsight. Think about Germany in the 1920's and consider the desperation of finding a way out of the economic hole that the Treaty of Paris had put them in. The Nazis had a plan that got them to full employment and relative economic prosperity. It didn't really matter who was in charge. The result legitimized the technique, and the leader. Hitler brought prosperity. Despite his disturbing political rhetoric, his 'system' seemed to work.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 7:07:28 PM PDT
Joe Anthony says:
Gregory Mays says:

"The lineage of the German Army was mostly Prussian. They had no model at all for turning on the commander in chief. They had never had a leader that didn't have the best interest of the German people at heart. The strength of the German Army, going back to at least Bismarck, was adherence to discipline. Expecting them to wage a mutiny is asking too much."

I say:

To add to the disconnect between Germany's military and Hitler is the idea that Hitler seemed to not like the "Junkers" very much, that is the Prussian mililtary class. Indeed, Hitler was a man with MANY resentments.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 7:13:04 PM PDT
JB Frodsham. says:
I am convinced that Roosevelt knew the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor as the there is evidence that Churchill told him. The Americans could afford to loose a few old redundant battle ships but not the aircraft carriers. Yes I know; it is a conspiracy theory but a good one,lol. The attack on the part of the Japanese was a very stupid thing to do, as it awakened a sleeping giant. Hitler declaring war on the USA was even dumber; to Churchill it meant the war was won. The thing that one has to remember though is it was the Russians who beat Hitler, the allies only played a small part; one only has to look at casualties and material damage to see that. I have been enjoying the forum here, the Historians here are well read. Well done. :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 7:18:43 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
Admittedly, they didn't like the Versailles Diktat or the Weimar Republic, but they all knew Hindenburg's loathing for the "Bohemian Corporal" and the "breechloaders" who supported him (a reference to Roehm and the SA). East Prussia was reactionary insofar as I know. They favored a restoration of the Kaiser, not a flatulant Fuhrer.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 7:21:59 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
Hello JB Frodsham,

There were a lot of indications of aggressive intent by the Japanese, but nobody knew the specifics - least of all the main target.

Imperial Japan achieved a high degree of surprise by attacking Pearl Harbor, especially with aircraft. The conventional wisdom among military men was that the attack would fall in the Philippines or Southeastern Asia and that naval bases like Pearl Harbor were vulnerable mainly to battleships.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 7:31:03 PM PDT
Gregory Mays says:
>>To add to the disconnect between Germany's military and Hitler is the idea that Hitler seemed to not like the "Junkers" very much, that is the Prussian mililtary class. Indeed, Hitler was a man with MANY resentments.<<

In the final analysis, Hitler was not German. He could overcome that politically, but militarily? Much harder sale. I don't believe the military hierarchy ever trusted him. And he had to realize that. And sure enough, he took them down a path to total ruin.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 7:38:36 PM PDT
Leslie Funk says:
Hi Mikeber...

I often wonder why Paulus didn't ignore Hitlers orders, and break out of Stalingrad when he had the chance, and face the music later. The writing was on the wall, when there was still a chance to save his army, yet he stayed his ground and doomed the majority of the survivors to captivity or death. He ultimately surrendered, in defience of Hitlers orders, and his promotion to Field Marshal did nothing to sway his decision to capitulate to the Russians.

Cheers, Les

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 7:53:11 PM PDT
Gregory Mays says:
>>Imperial Japan achieved a high degree of surprise by attacking Pearl Harbor, especially with aircraft. The conventional wisdom among military men was that the attack would fall in the Philippines or Southeastern Asia and that naval bases like Pearl Harbor were vulnerable mainly to battleships.<<

I'm not so sure about that. Remember that the US put two infantry divisions on Oahu in the 1920's, the 24th and 25th Infantry Divisions. And if you look at their doctrine, they were designed to counter a landing by hostile forces at Pearl Harbor. The highway which became H2 was so that the army forces at Scofield Barracks could quickly move to Pearl Harbor to repulse an attack by hostile forces. Which hostile forces? Clearly the Japanese. And this was in the 1920's!! So, the Japanese attacking Pearl Harbor was clearly no surprise, from a strategic standpoint anyway.
I think the big surprise at Pearl Harbor was an attack with no attempt of occupation. The US was totally prepared for an occupation attempt. What we weren't prepared for was essentially a terrorist attack. Destruction for destruction's sake.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 8:11:19 PM PDT
Gregory Mays says:
>>I often wonder why Paulus didn't ignore Hitlers orders, and break out of Stalingrad when he had the chance, and face the music later. <<
The 'music' as you put it, is certain shame and execution. With a high probability of starvation and freezing among his troops. How would that look preferable to Paulus? 'Breaking out of Stalingrad', is desertion from the point of view of Germany.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 8:12:53 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
You're right. I'd forgotten about the deployment.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 8:20:56 PM PDT
Leslie Funk says:
Hi G.M.

During Hitlers reign of terror, there were many asasination attempts on his life, and some were orchistrated by German officers of high rank, while some were attempted by subversive groups.
Stauffenberg, Canaris, Beck, Fromm, Oster, and many others join this group of officers who were willing to put their lives on the line , and ultimately did, to end Hitlers destructive rule of Germany. While there was no model for this type of behaviour, these men made a decision to buck the traditional Prussian discipline, and try to preserve, and save, Germanys future. Hitler, and the Nazi Party, were to be no part of this.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 8:31:07 PM PDT
Leslie Funk says:
Shame and /or execution...Paulus did surrender, and only a handful of prisoners made it back to Germany years later. If Palus did break out when he had the chance, thousands of his men would have been given a chance to survive. Besides, Goerings airlifts would have had a better chance of success in friendly territory...that is, not being in Stalingrad.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 8:37:02 PM PDT
Gregory Mays says:
>>During Hitlers reign of terror, there were many asasination attempts on his life, and some were orchistrated by German officers of high rank, while some were attempted by subversive groups. Stauffenberg, Canaris, Beck, Fromm, Oster, and many others join this group of officers who were willing to put their lives on the line.<<

OK. That's revisionist thinking. Many assassination attempts? I don't think so. Stauffenberg is well documented, but the rest is urban legend. And I suspect an attempt to rehabilitate the German people and Army on the subject of Hitler.
I submit that if there was such opposition to Hitler. who after all wasn't even German, and his ideas, then he would have never commanded the popular support that was necessary to bring him to power.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 8:49:43 PM PDT
Gregory Mays says:
>>If Palus did break out when he had the chance, thousands of his men would have been given a chance to survive. <<

Again, that's hindsight. I was in the Army for a long time, and it's difficult to see how things will turn out anyway. To risk opposing orders in the hope that it will improve your situation, is almost too much to ask. Disciplined armies simply don't do it.
I was a Russian Linguist in the Army, and we spent a whole week on the Russian account of the Paulus dilemma. It seemed hopeless to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 8:59:55 PM PDT
JB Frodsham. says:
Hello John M. Lane: You are more than likely right but:

"Betrayal at Pearl Harbor by James Rusbridger and Eric Nave traces the history of the American and British breaking of the Japanese secret codes. They show how, from the 1920s on, both the British and Americans were able to intercept and translate most of the Japanese diplomatic and military messages. Therefore, Britain and the U.S. had direct and inside information about practically all the Japanese plans and strategies leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

But the British had been able to break some codes that the Americans had not. As a result, the British were able to track both the departure of the Japanese fleet that had left the Kurile Islands for the attack on Pearl Harbor and its refueling point in the North Pacific half-way to Hawaii. It was clear to both the British intelligence agents reading the codes and to Winston Churchill (who received all the Japanese code information every day) that the Japanese were planning to attack, that the attack would be against Pearl Harbor, and that the attack would be on the weekend of December 7. This information was not passed on to either Roosevelt or U.S. military intelligence.

Passing on this information might very well have provided the time for the U.S. to prepare defensive measures - including a counterattack - against the Japanese. And if these defensive plans, in turn had been discovered by the Japanese, they might have precipitated a decision by the Japanese to call off the attack. War thereby would have been prevented or delayed in the Pacific, and the "back door" to America's entering the war as Britain's ally may have been closed shut.

Thus, the British kept the information to themselves; the Japanese attacked; and Winston Churchill got what he wanted - but at the cost of thousands of American lives."

Churchill did tell Roosevelt, whether he said Pearl Harbor" I do not know. Even if it were true, it would have to go down in History as a huge military secret, and at any rate any records would have been destroyed. On needs to remember that the whole final solution was communicated from Hitler to Himmler in their little walks. I wonder sometimes on the little fireside chats with a fine brandy between Roosevelt and Churchill.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 9:23:01 PM PDT
Gregory Mays says:
>>Passing on this information might very well have provided the me for the U.S. to prepare defensive measures - including a counterattack - against the Japanese. And if these defensive plans, in turn had been discovered by the Japanese, they might have precipitated a decision by the Japanese to call off the attack. War thereby would have been prevented or delayed in the Pacific, and the "back door" to America's entering the war as Britain's ally may have been closed shut.<<

The essential point is. who was ' American MIlitary Intelligence' ? Before WWII, there was no such thing. No apparatus, no entity. So, it's a false argument. There was no channel of intelligence that could affect America's involvement in the War.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 9:30:59 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
Thanks for your interesting post, JB Frodsham. It is my recollection that the Imperial Japanese fleet maintained strict radio silence after they left the Home Islands just to prevent such tracking.

John Toland claimed that they were tracked by radio signals, but other sources (David Bergamini, I think) said they never used their radios until after Pearl Harbor was under attack.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 9:32:38 PM PDT
Jeff Marzano says:
JB Frodsham. says:

[The thing that one has to remember though is it was the Russians who beat Hitler, the allies only played a small part]

The allies had a role though, especially with the round the clock bombing campaigns.

Jeff Marzano

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 9:37:39 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
I think you're right, Jeff Marzano. The Nazis pulled two of their strongest divisions out of Stalingrad and moved them west after the Dieppe Raid. That weakened Paulus' just enough for the Red Army to move to the offensive, or so some authorities claim.

Without the Western Allies, the Soviets would have lost.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 9:38:03 PM PDT
Jeff Marzano says:
Leslie Funk says:

[During Hitlers reign of terror, there were many asasination attempts on his life, and some were orchistrated by German officers of high rank, while some were attempted by subversive groups.]

Yes Rommel got implicated in one of these plots and was forced to commit suicide.

I watched a TV show about this recently that I had seen before.

It wasn't clear to me that Rommel was really one of the conspirators.

He may have been aware of the plot I'm not even clear on that. But he had talked to someone who knew about it and this other guy implicated Rommel.

Those guys who tried to blow up Hitler with the briefcase bomb got the piano wire treatment.

Ironically they had a second charge of explosives but they didn't have time to wire it up in the case. They were interrupted.

Testing has shown that all they would have had to do is put the second charge in the case without wiring it. It would have detonated anyway and Hitler along with everyone else in the room would have most likely been killed.

Jeff Marzano

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 9:40:54 PM PDT
Jeff Marzano says:
Gregory Mays says:

[OK. That's revisionist thinking. Many assassination attempts? I don't think so.]

I think there were others besides the briefcase bomb.

One was a time bomb that was put in the podium where Hitler gave a speech. He left the meeting earlier than expected before it went off.

Somebody in one of these discussions suggested that the British thought about taking Hitler out but thought it was in their best interest to leave him in power.

That is true !

Jeff Marzano

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2012 12:38:55 AM PDT
JB Frodsham. says:
John M Lane:"It is my recollection that the Imperial Japanese fleet maintained strict radio silence after they left the Home Islands just to prevent such tracking."

Yes you are correct.

I will attempt to find the proof of British knowledge of the attack by the Japanese of: An American base in the Pacific. :-)

I must say I am impressed with the knowledge of people on this forum, I think are some highly read Historians here. I thought I was one, lol, not so sure now. I do enjoy the learning.
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