I'm an Expert on Hitler. Ask Me Anything.

Johnstown

Dominant Poster
Jun 4, 2013
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Also for what it's worth my undergraduate degree is Pol Sci with a minor in history...

It would have been a dual major in History... but I needed one more class in Asian history...but I couldn't stand the prof...

So just got the minor.
 
May 22, 2013
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Operation Barbarossa (the attack on Russia) was launched at the end of June (22nd).

Hitler should have went in about a month earlier...that would have given him a extra month of advancement. With that he likely would have taken Moscow and gotten at least a few hundred more miles into Russia across the front.

One thing I read in a John Keegan book was interesting as to why Hitler launched it late.

Mussolini had insisted on going into Greece.... Hitler tried to talk him out of it as there was little strategic advantage to taking Italy....but Mussolini went anyhow...

Italy struggled...and Hitler ended up having to send German troops to help.

This delayed the build up on the Eastern front.

Had Mussolini not went in Hitler could have hit Russia earlier...also would have had a few more German troops (as some died/injured in Greece) as well as Italian troops (italy wasnt that useful obviously but they still would be good to have as background support and to hold captured territory).

Some other factors that made a difference...

Japan refused to attack Russia from the rear..
Understandable...they had struggled fighting the Russians in some border disputes in the 30s. Also it didn't really serve their tactical or strategic objectives.


Hitler also got unlikely in so far as winter "started early" and was more intense than it had been in decades.


A final comment...

Attacking Russia at all has often been used as justification for the argument that Hitler was an idiot.

Hitler's justification to his staff was Russia was going to attack eventually...and it was better to attack first.


In fact evidence seems to side with Hitler....after the dissolution of the Soviet Union documents came out that showed the Soviets did indeed seem to be planning on attacking Germany...probably by 42 or 43.


So all in all I don't think you can fault Hitler much on attacking Russia.
Interesting!
Nice post! thank you sir
 
Reactions: Johnstown
Nov 14, 2015
9,606
9,767
Operation Barbarossa (the attack on Russia) was launched at the end of June (22nd).

Hitler should have went in about a month earlier...that would have given him a extra month of advancement. With that he likely would have taken Moscow and gotten at least a few hundred more miles into Russia across the front.

One thing I read in a John Keegan book was interesting as to why Hitler launched it late.

Mussolini had insisted on going into Greece.... Hitler tried to talk him out of it as there was little strategic advantage to taking Italy....but Mussolini went anyhow...

Italy struggled...and Hitler ended up having to send German troops to help.

This delayed the build up on the Eastern front.

Had Mussolini not went in Hitler could have hit Russia earlier...also would have had a few more German troops (as some died/injured in Greece) as well as Italian troops (italy wasnt that useful obviously but they still would be good to have as background support and to hold captured territory).

Some other factors that made a difference...

Japan refused to attack Russia from the rear..
Understandable...they had struggled fighting the Russians in some border disputes in the 30s. Also it didn't really serve their tactical or strategic objectives.


Hitler also got unlikely in so far as winter "started early" and was more intense than it had been in decades.


A final comment...

Attacking Russia at all has often been used as justification for the argument that Hitler was an idiot.

Hitler's justification to his staff was Russia was going to attack eventually...and it was better to attack first.


In fact evidence seems to side with Hitler....after the dissolution of the Soviet Union documents came out that showed the Soviets did indeed seem to be planning on attacking Germany...probably by 42 or 43.


So all in all I don't think you can fault Hitler much on attacking Russia.
Keegan seems to have missed a critical point in the timeline. The delay was caused by the coup that took place in Yugoslavia. Hitler had everything in place for Barbarossa after the Yugoslav govt joined the Axis. A couple of days later the Serbs overthrew the Yugoslav govt, taking to the streets chanting "better war than pact". Hitler was so angered by what the Serbs had done he diverted his immediate attention away from Barbarossa and onto punishing the Serbs. By the time the Nazis occupied Yugoslavia they'd lost the precious time needed to make the most out of Barbarossa.

Had the Serbs not revolted, the Axis would have deployed hundreds of thousands of extra troops to the Eastern and Western Fronts during the course of the war.
 

TheBoxingMadMan

Just here for the chat...
Mar 24, 2018
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@Drunkenboat

Do you think Hitler was a good leader? I've seen stuff written before that he did wonders for the German economy, before of course he started invading countries, starting wars and killing millions.
 

Johnstown

Dominant Poster
Jun 4, 2013
16,230
1,844
I believe that is because the WWI reparations were so restrictive that as soon as he ignored them, the money stayed in Germany very quickly. They were limited to 100,000 troops one minute and next thing their industry was creating a massive war machine.
He also began many public work projects as well as pouring tons into the military.


Like a New Deal on steroids
 
Reactions: Nigelbro
@Drunkenboat

Do you think Hitler was a good leader? I've seen stuff written before that he did wonders for the German economy, before of course he started invading countries, starting wars and killing millions.
No. If you read Ian Kershaw he goes into depth of the myth of the Nazi economy. The economy did boom but wages didnt raise and work hours lengthened. It was basically a corrupt capitalist dream. The economy was entirely dependent on plans for war.
It is also morally reprehensible to say Hitler was a good leader because the economy did well for a select few while thousands were being beaten and murdered through out the country.
It should also be noted that separating Pre- and post-war Hitler assumes an interruption to peaceful plans that Hitler may have had. This is ofcourse nonsense. Hitler always planned on war. He was, in fact, highly upset when he didn't get his war over the Sudetenland when Chamberlain chose appeasement over fighting.