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Hitler's mistakes

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Initial post: Feb 1, 2012 6:37:21 AM PST
There is a popular line of argumentation blaming Germany's crushing defeat in WW2 on Hitler's mistakes.

In your opinion, which important decisions made by Hitler from August 1939 onwards were mistakes? In order to qualify as Hitler's mistakes they must fulfill the following 2 criteria:

1 They must be shown to be mistakes based on information available to the German civilian and military leadership AT THE TIME the decision was made (in other words forget hindsight)

2 They must be shown to have gone against the position/wishes of a significant portion of the German civilian and military leadership (in other words if a majority was pushing for this decision then the decision cannot be blamed solely on Hitler)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2012 7:03:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2012 6:28:10 AM PDT
Ku says:
Sounds like you're trying to rig the enquiry to whitewash AH with your two criteria.

So I will ignore them.

The first big mistake he made was dabbling in politics.

The next mistake was trying to dominate the world based on a harebrained philosophy of Herrenvolk and Untermenschen.

The execution of that plan was the next big mistake: not handing over responsibility for overall strategy to a Wehrmacht C-in-C.

The outcome of the efforts in a ditch in Berlin in May 1945 was the logical conclusion of the preceding.

EDIT: 3 out of 8? 5 nays. Who are the pro-Nazis voting me down here?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2012 7:32:35 AM PST
>>>>>> Sounds like you're trying to rig the enquiry to whitewash AH with your two criteria. <<<<<

Nope. But I do hope that a single man with a weird mustache is not solely responsible for about 60 million deaths. Otherwise the world is really NOT a safe place

>>>>>>>>>>&gt;>> The first big mistake he made was dabbling in politics. <<<<<<<<<<&lt;<

Well that was before august 1939. As far as Adolf was concerned, that can't be called a mistake. For such a hitherto total loser to rise to the leadership of a country of which he was not initially a citizen (since he was Austrian by birth and if my info is correct amazingly acquired German citizenship only in 1932) is rather a big piece of luck

>>>>>> The next mistake was trying to dominate the world based on a harebrained philosophy of Herrenvolk and Untermenschen. <<<<<<<<<<

The industrial strength of Germany and that of her armed forces was rather the tool. The idiotic ideology would not have taken him far had he been the leader of Burkina Fasso or Bolivia

>>>>>> The execution of that plan was the next big mistake: not handing over responsibility for overall strategy to a Wehrmacht C-in-C. <<<<<

Like who ? I don't know of any german high ranking officer who had the beginning of the inkling of a plan that could secure a German victory (that is if you exclude Rommel's dream of linking up with the Japanese somewhere in India - of course he never explained how that could happen)

<<<<< The outcome of the efforts in a ditch in Berlin in May 1945 was the logical conclusion of the preceding. >>>>>>

Rather April. But he was 56 already and had achieved eternal fame as the ultimate villain. Not a bad career for a nobody. Not to mention that he outlived his many victims

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2012 7:49:11 AM PST
Ku says:
Do you like him?

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 1:30:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 1, 2012 2:06:29 PM PST
His biggest mistake was entering the Soviet Union as a conqueror rather than a liberator.

Based on their records, both Hitler and Stalin could have been on the same thursday night bowling team however nobody puts Stalin's atrocities on the same level as Hitler's simply because Stalin committed them against his own people. Had Hitler "kicked in the door" and proclaimed that the Russians were free of Stalin and the politburo then things would have gone much better for the Germans and much worse for the world.

As it stands the Soviets simply traded lives and land for time to reconstitute the Red Army, Then thanklessly recieved an immense amount of materials from the west including aluminum, guns, and spam--common referred as the second front by Red Army fodder, and the trucks that cruised the Red Army all the way into Berlin. The time also allowed old Adolf scrambled brains to meddle in all things military until he finally succeeded in screwing the pooch.

The world is indeed a lucky place that this egomaniac was allowed to screw-up as hard as he did, the Wehrmacht was one potent unit.

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 3:17:43 PM PST
Off the top of my head...

Stopping the tanks at Dunkirk
Bombing London
Splitting the forces out side of Moscow
Trying to make the 262 into a bomber

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 3:23:50 PM PST
KOP ESF says:
Your conditions are nonsensical as historical analysis, by its very nature, employs hindsight.

Invading the Soviet Union was Hitler's great mistake and would ultimately spell the end for him.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2012 3:30:53 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 1, 2012 3:33:04 PM PST
KOP ESF says:
@Doug Maliszewski-You have a very novel interpretation of Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union. What makes you think that the Russians would ever greet Hitler's forces as liberators? In the Ukraine some people initially did....until the Germans started killing them! I think, on the face of it, your assertion is pure nonsense! Farcical! Greet the Germans as liberators? Paul Wolfowitz thought the Iraqi populace would greet U.S. and British troops as liberators too.........they didn't!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 6:37:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 2, 2012 6:37:40 AM PST
Doug Maliszewski:

Yes, it would have been extremely difficult for Hitler to pose of the liberator as the Russians after he had spent the better part of 20 years referring to ethnic Russians as "Unternmenschen" (inferior, or sub- humans) and as "Dreck-Bolschevisten" (rubbish Bolsheviks). The Germans did make the argument that they were liberators to the Latvians and Lithuanians as well as to some Ukrainians. There were some of those groups who jumped sides or served as fifth-columnists, but as Eric Sierra-Franco points out, the Nazi treatment of all these peoples soon soured their enthusiasm for their "liberators". (Although some Latvians and other non-Slavic groups later escaped to Germany as the Red Army started rolling in.)

Posted on Feb 2, 2012 8:40:21 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 2, 2012 8:46:25 AM PST
Eric Sierra-Franco

First of all lets not compare Iraq with the Great Partriotic war, if there were any lessons learned from Barbarossa they certainly went undheeded in the years after Bush declared victory. Therein lies the true farce of history. A war that really was merely a police action, that cost more that WWII and, judging by how volitile Iraq continues to be, was not as definitive upon its conclusion as the Great patriotic War.

Secondly, you obviously didn't completely comprehend the sentence which which read:
His biggest mistake was entering the Soviet Union as a conqueror rather than a liberator.

Because you went on with the assertion:

"In the Ukraine some people initially did....until the Germans started killing them!"

You actually verified my conclusion both why it should have worked--be a liberator--and what happened when they didn't--the third reich was smashed to bits and beaten like no other army yet chronicled in history.

This implies that after the initial flail in which 4 million men attacked the SU on an 1800 mile front, took 3.5 miliion Red Army soldiers out of the picture, and had Stalin crapping in his pants to the point where he had a nervous breakdown, that instead of murdering peasant outfight, that he simply feed them. Stalin had already murdered between 30 and 40 milllion people in the great purges and I am sure that the Ukrainians who had been ground under since 1917 most certainly would have.

My mentor was a man named Victor Rugala. He was adjutant to Lucius Clay while military governor of Germany. He spoke fluent Russian, was very busy in Berlin upon the conclusion of the war for he was a translater between the US and the Red Army. He spent his free time fraternizing with members of the Red Army until Stalin decreed that there would be no more of this which is why many of the Red Army liberators of Berlin spent years in the gulag with their Wehrmacht counterparts.

He also gave Eleanor Roosevelt a tour of Hilters bunker and went to his grave quite convinced that had Hitler entered the Soviet Union as a liberator rather than a conquorer that the Great patiotic war and WWII would have gone far differently.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 9:01:02 AM PST
His biggest mistake occurred when he decided to gain control of the German Government--well before 1939.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 11:50:54 AM PST
Had Hitler been a 'liberator' there would have been no nazi Party, no Third Reich and no war. So, your reasoning is flawed.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 11:56:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 2, 2012 12:06:56 PM PST
- Rundstedt stopped the tanks, Hitler simply approved of the decision. Tank strength had declined as much as 60% in some divisions and the German command still knew they had the rest of France to conquer.
- London had already been hit by German raids for a full a week before the incident in question. Women and children had already been killed in their hundreds .
- If you mean sending Guderian to Kiev it was actually the correct move. AG centre was out of gas and ammuntion, under heavy counter attack, disjointed (its armies facing different directions and in different locations). The Germans did not have the logistics means to set off to Moscow in the required strength until the rail lines caught up in any case
- a large myth. The development did nothing to significantly delay the deployment of the jet. The engines were extremely poor and had a life of only about 10 hours. It was the engines and lack of fuel that delayed the deployment.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 12:05:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 2, 2012 12:05:48 PM PST
<<quote>>This implies that after the initial flail in which 4 million men attacked the SU on an 1800 mile front, took 3.5 miliion Red Army soldiers out of the picture, and had Stalin crapping in his pants to the point where he had a nervous breakdown, that instead of murdering peasant outfight, that he simply feed them. Stalin had already murdered between 30 and 40 milllion people in the great purges and I am sure that the Ukrainians who had been ground under since 1917 most certainly would have. <<end>>

The Germans never planned on feeding the Ukrainians or Belorussians. In fact they planned on taking the food from occuppied territories to feed the German population and armed forces. The Germans were already facing food shortages with the conquests of Poland and the west. The Soviet population was to be 'exploited' either as slave labour or servants for colonists. Those who were surplus to these requirements were to be exterminated.

Again,... the idea that The Nazis could have entiered Slavic territory as liberators is nonsense. The German view of Slavic populations pre-dates the Nazis and 'Drang nacht Osten' is a philosophy that dates back to the 19th C at least.

Posted on Feb 2, 2012 12:58:05 PM PST
Yo says:
"His biggest mistake was entering the Soviet Union as a conqueror rather than a liberator."

Then he would have had no reason to enter the Soviet Union. The whole point was to loot and enslave as much as possible.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 1:26:17 PM PST
His whole point was he wanted a bigger living room. At least that's the excuse he gave his girlfriend.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 1:30:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 2, 2012 1:30:43 PM PST
Okay GAD, after looking at your nice wish list (wish I had the time to read all those) I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you have read more about it than I. Except that Hitler should have steered them back to bombing the RAF airfields as they were at their breaking point.

Why don't we just leave it at; Hitler's mistake was playing general.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 5:29:43 PM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
Eric Sierra-Franco says:

[Invading the Soviet Union was Hitler's great mistake and would ultimately spell the end for him.]

I thought I heard on a TV show that Germany was dependent on Russia for many natural resources. There was no guarantee that these resources would continue to be forthcoming in the future so Germany decided to invade them.

Jeff Marzano

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 7:37:16 PM PST
J. Schwarz says:
I agree Doug. Discussed it today in the Holocaust course. If Hitler had been perceived as a liberator many Russians would have joined him. Many historians have argued this particular point.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 9:51:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 2, 2012 9:53:57 PM PST
It would have been extremely difficult if not impossible for Hitler to enter the Soviet Union as a liberator because of the large number of Jews that were in the countryside.He felt it necessary to continue his extermination on Russian territory.That is hardly what a liberator would do but then again the allies,when they liberated the camps and conquered Nazi held territory,starved over a million people to death because of a lack of adequate supply lines.That plus the over the top bombing of Germany at the very end.

My first wife's father served in the German Army in the Soviet campaign and after the war was formerly ceased,the German units were trudging back home when the British strafed them causing many more illegal deaths and him to be shot in the back quite seriously.He hated the British after that and I can't say I blame him any.Surprisingly he had no qualms over his daughter marrying an American but that's another story.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 10:26:16 PM PST
Susanna says:
Lawrence, any nazi would be proud to have you as a son in law.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012 12:22:34 AM PST
J. Schwarz says:
Ditto. Why the guy hangs around the history discussions is a mystery when he never took a history course and only got his knowledge from reading racist websites.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012 9:23:46 AM PST
OldAmazonian says:
Schwartz, I personally have met a survivor who, just as Lawrence noted, bore hatred of the British for their actions in WWII, yet none for Americans. The strafing was something I didn't know about, but I've heard similar surprising tales from an old Latvian friend who survived the horrors of those years. In allying itself with Stalin, Britain made a pact with the devil himself.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012 11:07:41 AM PST
Suet says:
Lawrence says: "Surprisingly he had no qualms over his daughter marrying an American"

Baldur von Shirach, head of the Hitler Youth, was half American. That could be it.

Otoh, no top Nazis were British; although Hitler's mentor, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, unfortunately was.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012 11:10:51 AM PST
Suet says:
OldAmazonian,
Didn't America also ally itslf with Stalin, and for the same reasons?
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Discussion in:  History forum
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Initial post:  Feb 1, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 13, 2013

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