Hitler’s strategy through mid-1940 was almost flawless

Friday, July 30th, 2021

Hitler’s war against Soviet Russia and perpetration of the Final Solution led straight to his destruction, Bevin Alexander argues, in How Hitler Could Have Won World War II:

Hitler’s strategy through mid-1940 was almost flawless. He isolated and absorbed state after state in Europe, gained the Soviet Union as a willing ally, destroyed France’s military power, threw the British off the Continent, and was left with only weak and vulnerable obstacles to an empire covering most of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. This empire not only would have been unassailable from the outside, but would have put him into the position, in time, to conquer the world.

This did not happen. Hitler’s paranoias overwhelmed his political sense. He abandoned the successful indirect strategy of attacking weakness, which he had followed up to the summer of 1940, and tried to grab Lebensraum directly and by main strength. He was unable to see that he could achieve these goals far more easily and with absolute certainty by indirection — by striking not what was strong but what was weak.

Even after Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, he might have gained a partial victory if he had not possessed two more lethal defects — insistence on offensive solutions to military problems when his strength was inadequate, and attempting to keep all the territory he had seized when retreat would have preserved his forces. These failings led to disastrous offensives — Stalingrad, Tunisia, Kursk, the Bulge — and “no retreat” orders that destroyed huge portions of his army.

The way to victory was not through a frontal attack on the Soviet Union but an indirect approach through North Africa. This route was so obvious that all the British leaders saw it, as did a number of the German leaders, including Alfred Jodl, chief of operations of the armed forces; Erich Raeder, commander of the German Navy, and Erwin Rommel, destined to gain fame in North Africa as the Desert Fox.

After the destruction of France’s military power in 1940, Britain was left with only a single armored division to protect Egypt and the Suez Canal. Germany had twenty armored divisions, none being used. If the Axis — Germany and its ally Italy — had used only four of these divisions to seize the Suez Canal, the British Royal Navy would have been compelled to abandon the Mediterranean Sea, turning it into an Axis lake. French North Africa — Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia — could have been occupied, and German forces could have seized Dakar in Senegal on the west coast of Africa, from which submarines and aircraft could have dominated the main South Atlantic sea routes.

With no hope of aid, Yugoslavia and Greece would have been forced to come to terms. Since Hitler gained the support of Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, Germany would have achieved control of all southeastern Europe without committing a single German soldier.

Once the Suez Canal was taken, the way would have been open to German armored columns to overrun Palestine, Transjordan, the Arabian peninsula, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. This would have given Germany unlimited supplies of the single commodity it needed most: oil.

As important as oil was for the conduct of modern war, the greatest advantages of German occupation of the Arab lands and Iran would have been to isolate Turkey, threaten British control of India, and place German tanks and guns within striking distance of Soviet oil fields in the Caucasus and along the shores of the Caspian Sea. Turkey would have been forced to become an ally or grant transit rights to German forces, Britain would have had to exert all its strength to protect India, and the Soviet Union would have gone to any lengths to preserve peace with Germany because of its perilous position.

Germany need not have launched a U-boat or air war against British shipping and cities, because British participation in the war would have become increasingly irrelevant. Britain could never have built enough military power to invade the Continent alone.

Unless the strength of the Soviet Union were added, the United States could not have projected sufficient military force across the Atlantic Ocean, even over a period of years, to reconquer Europe by amphibious invasion in the face of an untouched German war machine. Since the United States was increasingly preoccupied with the threat of Japan, it almost certainly would not have challenged Germany.

Thus, Germany would have been left with a virtually invincible empire and the leisure to develop defenses and resources that, in time, would permit it to match the strength of the United States. Though Britain might have refused to make peace, a de facto cease-fire would have ensued. The United States would have concentrated on defense of the Western Hemisphere and the Pacific. Even if the United States had proceeded with development of the atomic bomb, it would have hesitated to unleash it against Germany.


  1. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Prof Hanson’s assessment in The Second World Wars was that the Axis never had a chance — out-numbered, out-manufactured, out-resourced by the combination of the US, the USSR, and the British Empire. By implications, there could have been many different paths — but all would have led to the same eventual outcome of German defeat.

    President Hoover’s assessment at the time was that Hitler & Stalin were destined to clash, and the smart course would have been to let Germany continue to push east into the USSR. But FDR screwed that up by encouraging the English & French imprudently to declare war on Germany.

    There are many different “what ifs” in something like WWII. The importance which Alexander puts on the Suez Canal seems misplaced. After all, during WWII the US was the world’s major oil producer and exporter and had no need of the Suez Canal.

  2. Cassander says:

    The idea that getting to Middle Eastern oil would have saved Hitler is nonsense. Other than Iran, which was occupied by Russia and the Brits, the rest of the Middle East didn’t produce very much oil yet. Extracting large amounts would have taken a huge amount of time, energy, and money that the Germans didn’t have. Then, once extracted, it needed to be transported back to Germany to be refined, with tankers they didn’t have and ports they didn’t have. The Axis did not have the ability to turn the Med into a German lake as long as the Royal Navy was still intact and the Germans had nowhere near enough force to sink it. This whole plan is a non-starter.


  3. Isegoria says:

    In his review of Victor Davis Hanson’s The Second World Wars, Thomas Ricks remarks that “Hanson notes, for instance, that both Germany and Japan probably would have won the war had they stopped early in 1941 and consolidated their gains in Europe and the western Pacific, without Germany attacking Russia and Japan pulling the United States into the conflict.”

  4. Isegoria says:

    I was able to find oil production numbers for 1940:

    USA 182.657 Mt
    USSR 29.700 Mt
    Venezuela 27.443 Mt
    Iran 10.426 Mt
    Indonesia 7.939 Mt
    Mexico 6.721 Mt
    Romania 5.764 Mt
    Columbia 3.636 Mt
    Iraq 3.438 Mt
    Argentina 2.871 Mt
    Trinidad 2.844 Mt
    Peru 1.776 Mt
    Burma 1.088 Mt
    Canada 1.082 Mt
    Egypt 0.929 Mt

    Germany was infamously oil-constrained, so a million tons of oil from Egypt could have made a difference, I assume, and three more from Iraq could have helped, too, even if Romania was a bigger, closer source.

  5. Albion says:

    Hitler’s paranoia may well have been a thing, but his belief he was the best general in Germany was destined, once the tide turned after his disastrous insistence that Stalingrad be won at all costs, to cost Germany dearly. The man’s experience in the trenches in WW1 did not make him a military genius and issuing orders to non-existent divisions proved futile.

    But had Germany’s forces, which weren’t unlimited, taken as much territory as Alexander imagines then not only would any supply lines been over-stretched but guerilla warfare in so many occupied countries would have put those supply lines under impossible pressure. Germany too lost a lot of experienced troops in Russia and replacing them fast was far from easy. Indeed, one factor in the failure of German air power in the Battle of Britain illustrated a valuable lesson about combat experience: the RAF lost pilots but they were downed over England and if they survived they could fly another fighter, while German airmen lost over Kent became prisoners of war and were no use to Germany.

  6. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Isegoria: “Hanson notes, for instance, that both Germany and Japan probably would have won the war had they stopped early in 1941…”

    Would it be impolite to point out that that would have been a very different war, not WWII?

    Ricks also implies that only Hitler wanted war, ignoring the inconvenient truth that England & France declared war on Germany. It assumes that Stalin had no plans to attack Germany — even though Stalin had been working assiduously to undermine Western capitalists for two decades. It also ignores FDR’s even more strenuous efforts to force Japan into a corner in which it would attack the US, thereby allowing FDR to renege on his promise to the American people to keep them out of the European war.

    Things could certainly have gone differently at many different points in the proceedings. It is noteworthy that the US House of Representatives Document No. 541 “Events Leading Up To World War II” (published in 1945) is subtitled “Chronological History, 1931 – 1944″. WWII had been building since the Allies overbearing Treaty of Versailles. However, Hanson’s overall conclusion seems solid — once Germany & Japan took on the much larger combination of USA, USSR, and British Empire simultaneously, the correlation of forces ensured their ultimate defeat.

    As a side note, there are of course events in history where the smaller side has prevailed. The Mongol conquest of China, Russia, and Europe in the 13th Century would be an example. But the Mongols had a technological advantage (mounted archers) which Germany in WWII did not. Further, the Mongols were not able to hold on to much of their conquests for long — which could well have been the German experience if they had succeeded in winning a much smaller version of WWII.

    All speculation, of course!

  7. Isegoria says:

    “Would it be impolite to point out that that would have been a very different war, not WWII?”

    I think that’s the point, Gavin. Hitler could have consolidated his remarkable gains without pulling the Soviets and the Americans into the war before he was ready.

  8. Isegoria says:

    Albion, Alexander’s plan has Hitler forego the Battle of Britain and the doomed invasion of Russia to seize the Suez and turn the Mediterranean into an Axis-controlled lake.

  9. Gavin Longmuir says:

    “turn the Mediterranean into an Axis-controlled lake.”

    It is hard to see how shipping a German army to Egypt and seizing the Suez Canal would have turned the Mediterranean into an Axis-controlled lake.

    At this point in 1940, the Germans had to deal with occupying France and Britain was at war with them, however ineffectually. Britain still held Gibraltar. And let’s not forget Faith Hope & Charity on Malta. The British Navy would still have been in the Med, and still a combatant.

    Certainly, in actual history, it proved very difficult for Germany to resupply Rommel in North Africa across the Mediterranean because of Allied activity. What would have been different if Germany had held Suez?

    But the biggest weakness in Alexander’s scenario is the assumption that Hitler could wait until he was ready to take on the USSR and the US. There is a good case that both FDR and Stalin were itching for the opportunity to attack Germany. There is no guarantee that either of them would have waited quietly on the sidelines while Hitler focused on the Suez Canal.

    It was not Sun Tsu who said it, but it is still profound — No plan survives contact with the enemy. Not even Alexander’s.

  10. Paul from Canada says:

    Not to mention that after Norway, the Kriegsmarine had only around half a dozen destroyers, and their capital ships were outnumbered and ultimately hunted down and neutralized. Hard to get past Gibraltar and turn the Med into “an Axis controlled lake” with that — even with Italian support, which was somewhat diminished after Taranto…

  11. Chedolf says:

    “Hitler could have consolidated his remarkable gains without pulling the Soviets and the Americans into the war before he was ready.”

    It’s kind of funny that you have a Viktor Suvorov tag, but you state (or state the writer’s assertion) that Germany could have indefinitely put off war with the USSR as though it’s uncontroversial.

  12. VXXC says:

    This thread needs some more spicy:

    Let’s try this: in 1940 Franco gives in to Hitler’s demand that he be allowed to transit from France to Spain to conquer Gibraltar. From there Africa is much easier to supply and even conquer, and the Med becomes far less tenable for the British.

    Franco was able to bluff his way high at table so it didn’t happen, but if it had? Hitler had 50 divisions on the border of Spain, BTW.

    Totally different war. In that war Hitler has the resources of Africa at his feet, and De Gaulle’s fight north from Free French Africa [beginning in Brazzaville BTW] probably doesn’t happen.

  13. VXXC says:

    More Spicy: The French had an equal number of fighters to the Luftwaffe in 1940, but not enough fighter pilots to get more than a 25% sortie, due to 1930s convulsions of the French Military and Polity.

    The Luftwaffe was basically out of gas, and of course in 1940 the Ground columns of the Germans were paper thin until the Infantry caught up.

    What if the French had united to fight on from Southern France and Africa? Admiral Darlan refused the low ranking DeGaulle, but he would not have refused a united French Government. It is not likely they could have held France, but the entire Med could have become the new theater of War with French and English navies and forces united, the Italian’s, god bless them, could not have held for long. This would have saved both England and the USSR a lot of trouble.

  14. VXXC says:

    “The Luftwaffe was basically out of gas” in June 1940.

    I don’t mean literally. I mean they were nearing exhaustion.

  15. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Scary Spicy: Is there another way Hitler could have won a different version of WWII, more of a European war?

    Let’s look at the timeline:
    Aug 23, 1939 – Molotov-Ribbentrop pact
    Sep 1, 1939 – German invasion of Poland
    Sep 3, 1939 – English & French declaration of war
    Sep 17, 1939 – USSR invasion of Poland

    Suppose Hitler had played his cards differently — no immediate reaction to the foolish (but strategic situation-altering) English/French declaration of war. Suppose he had waited two weeks until Stalin finally lived up to his commitment under Molotov-Ribbentrop and also invaded Poland.

    Then Hitler sends his most convincing aides to Paris and London for super-secret talks. Hitler alleges that he had earlier learned from spies that Stalin was preparing to invade Poland. Germany “invaded” Poland to try to save it from the dastardly Communists, but was only able to protect half of the country.

    Then Germany offers England/France a secret plan — Polish government control of everything in German-occupied Poland except for military matters; democratic elections’ international supervision, etc. Following this apparent backdown by a supposedly-frightened Germany, a Non-Aggression Pact between Germany and France/England. Meanwhile Germany with surreptitious support from France/England prepares to invade USSR-occupied eastern Poland in the spring of 1940 — and to carry on to Moscow to extinguish the Communist threat to Western Europe.

    Would it have worked? I guess not. The primary objective of FDR and his band of fellow travelers seems to have been to make the world safe for Communism. FDR would have moved heaven & earth to get the allies to reject this secret German proposal.

  16. Cassander says:


    A million tons of oil only helps once it’s transported back to Germany and refined into fuel, and then you have to account for the cost of that whole operation. The North Africa campaign that we got in actual history was disproportionately expensive for Germany in the three things they were most short on, aircraft, fuel, and pilots, and enlarging it would have made the cost higher. How many Med-based oil tankers did the Reich even have access to in 1941? And how many railcars for transporting that oil from Italian ports to German refineries?

    And while the Suvorov thesis is nonsense, it is true that Stalin wasn’t just going to sit there forever while German strength waxed. The Brits would work furiously to entice him (and probably get American money to do so), and at some point his strategic interests would mandate intervention. Stalin was not dumb.

  17. Cassander says:


    Hitler had proven himself an utterly unreliable partner by then. Only a fool would have cut a deal with him.

  18. Bert says:


    Since Hitler explicitly stated in Mein Kampf that morality was irrelevant, only power counted, it would have been foolish to ever trust him.

  19. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Cassander: “And while the Suvorov thesis is nonsense …”

    Please expand on what influences you on reaching this conclusion. This is an honest question — I found Suvorov’s books made a lot of good points; but I am prepared to change my assessment in the light of additional information.

    Clearly, any alternative history of WWII has to address the question of Stalin’s long-term aims. Was he just a peace-loving cuddly teddy bear who had no plans for conquest of the capitalists? If Hitler had not started the conflict, would Stalin have sat on his hands? The same Stalin who “cut a deal” with Hitler and invaded Poland?

  20. Cassander says:


    You can’t blame them, really. How could they possibly think that a politician would actually believe his election manifesto and try to follow it!?!


    Suvorvov is wrong that Stalin was imminently going to attack Germany. For what I consider a far more realistic (if still a little over the top) take on Stalin’s thinking, you should look at Stalin’s War, which looks at the diplomacy through his eyes. There is also a very interesting look at Hitler’s appeasement of Russia in The Power to Divide.

    Stalin did not have a plan. He was a ruthless, but cautious, opportunist who took full advantage of Hitler’s march to war to grab what he could wherever he had the chance. He had gains of his own to digest, and he knew that as the uncommitted party in a 3-player game, he had enormous leverage. In the short run he wanted to use that leverage to placate Hitler, because after Finland and France, he knew his army was in terrible shape and Hitler’s was excellent. Longer term he would absolutely have played one side off against the other to get the better deal, but would never have attacked Hitler until he had gotten his pound of flesh from the Allies. Given the poor handling of Soviet-UK relations in the 1930s and Stalin’s paranoia, those would have had to be extremely valuable concessions.

  21. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Cassander, thanks for the recommendation on “Stalin’s War”; I will check it out.

    Still, you are not explaining why you reject Suvorov’s claim that Stalin was moving to attack German forces at the same time as Hitler was moving to attack USSR forces (both of them in Poland, which they had both invaded and occupied). Suvorov points to elements such as the Red Army moving out of prepared defensive positions and the offensively-oriented equipment & planes that the USSR was building.

    Suvorov’s thesis is that the Germans were initially able to make mincemeat of the Red Army because USSR forces were on the move and caught off-balance. Given how effective the Red Army was later in the war once it had regained its balance, it seems hard to dismiss Suvorov’s thesis out of hand.

  22. McChuck says:

    Suvorov’s thesis was confirmed when the US gained access to the complete archives of the KGB in the early 1990′s. Of course, we also learned that McCarthy was correct, and that the Rosenbergs were guilty, so the NYT never published the news.

  23. Cassander says:

    Later Soviet success does not need explanation. The army had been through a very hard school, was dramatically better equipped, and the Germans were getting weaker, especially the Luftwaffe, as it was almost entirely devoted to anti-bombing work by late 1943. The Soviets were definitely moving forward to defend their new gains, but that doesn’t mean an attack was imminent. It would have been massively out of character for Stalin to willingly join the western allies with no assurances of aid or gain. If he had wanted to do that, he could have done it before the fall of France with far more safety.

  24. Adar says:

    “the Kriegsmarine had only around half a dozen destroyers, and their capital ships were outnumbered and ultimately hunted down and neutralized.”

    Destroying those French capital ships as was done by the British during the war then seems to have been the correct course of action.

  25. Gavin Longmuir says:


    Still, you are not explaining why you reject Suvorov’s claim that Stalin was moving to attack German forces at the same time as Hitler was moving to attack USSR forces (both of them in Poland, which they had both invaded and occupied).

  26. Goober says:

    There’s so much wrong with all of this, but let’s start here:

    How the hell were the Germans planning to supply 4 armored divisions in North Africa, when they struggled mightily to supply what was there, in reality?

    You don’t have open supply lines to North Africa until you’ve kicked the British Royal Navy out of the Mediterranean, and the only way that happens, given German Naval prowess (or lack thereof), is if the British just give up and go home, because reasons.

    Suez was not the lynchpin for the Med. The MED was the lynchpin for the entire British southern strategy, they weren’t just going to let Germany have it. And Germany was unable to take it from them. This entire analysis just hand-waves away the Royal Navy like they don’t exist.

    It’s like saying Operation Sealion could work if only the Germans managed to get air and naval superiority. Yes, that’s true. But there’s no goddamn way the Germans were going to get either. There’s no difference in the Med.

    This guy wrote an entire book that just kind of “dismisses” the Royal Navy and the British southern strategy as if losing a single canal would just have them take their ball and go home. Seriously? WTF?

  27. Isegoria says:

    We’re looking at a paragraph from his book’s introduction, so we shouldn’t draw too many conclusions, but Hitler did not fully endorse the Africa campaign and did not send as large a force as he could have early on, when they could have overwhelmed the British.

  28. Cassander says:


    Because attacking Germany made no sense at the time strategically, because it would have been wildly out of character for Stalin to do so, because a lot of Suvorov’s evidence (like calling certain weapons “offensive”) is meaningless, and because no one at the time saw them doing it, while all sorts of people saw the Germans prepare to attack the Russians.

  29. Gavin Longmuir says:


    It seems you are putting a lot of emphasis on your interpretation that Stalin was a cautious character who would not have attacked Germany. Maybe you are right, but it seems unlikely that Stalin, who was not even Russian, could have outmaneuvered genuine revolutionaries like Trotsky to climb to the top of the slippery pole if he were so cautious.

    Two weeks after England & France declared war on Germany over Poland, Stalin also invaded Poland. Logically & morally, the English & French should have also declared war on him — but Stalin took that risk. Shortly after that, in Nov 1939, Stalin invaded Finland in winter — albeit without a whole lot of success; again, a risky operation. In mid-1940, Stalin invaded and occupied the Baltic countries — further risking any future hopes of cooperating with the Allies who were supposedly making the world safe for democracy.

    Stalin was a risk-taker! He had to be.

    But the main reason for giving credibility to Suvorov’s hypothesis is simple observation. Since the beginning of time, warfare has swung back & forth between Advantage Aggressor & Advantage Defender. World War I showed that the advantage was clearly with the defender with the technologies available in the early 1940s.

    Stalin had invaded Poland in Sep 1939 and moved his forces up to the line of demarcation with German forces. By June 1941 when Germany launched Barbarossa, Stalin had had about a year & a half for his forces to dig in. Operation Barbarossa should have been very difficult for German forces attacking a well-entrenched defending USSR army — instead it was a turkey shoot. Why?

    Simplest explanation is Suvorov’s. Stalin’s forces had been ordered out of their prepared positions and were on the move to launch their own attack on German positions — minefields cleared, troops on one train & equipment on another, etc. Plus it was very difficult for USSR commanders to respond by exercising their initiative when the situation on the ground departed from plan — they had to wait for orders from Stalin.

    I find Suvorov’s explanation for the initial failure of the Red Army to be the most logical & consistent alternative. Of course, that does not prove Suvorov was right.

  30. VXXC says:

    Nothing will ever prove Suvorov wrong, either.

  31. Lucklucky says:

    The Royal Navy had zero capital ships in the Mediterranean between December, 1941 (after Italian frogmen heavily damaged 2 battleships in Alexandria) and Operation Torch in November, 1942. It was effectively an Axis lake with British submarines being dangerous opponents.

    Oil could be collected in Egypt and Tripoli (Lebanon) or Haifa (both oil terminal of Iraq pipeline) and sent to Romania and Italian refineries. What is the point of sending it to Germany? If Tripoli, Haifa and Egypt refineries were not destroyed a big part of it could be even processed in place.

    But that is irrelevant if both USA and USSR are against Germany. Hitler could have only reach a stalemate with one of them out. That mean USSR. Which might mean accepting USSR in the Axis.


  32. Lucklucky says:

    SOVIET-AXIS TALKS ON UNITY EXPECTED; Russian, German and Italian Foreign Ministers to Meet Next Week, Rome Believes RELATIONS ARE IMPROVED Berne Observers Think Moscow Will Not Agree to Accept Balkan Concessions

    By Camille Cianfarra By Telephone To the New York Times.
    Nov. 9, 1940

    New York Times

  33. Cassander says:


    The simplest explanation is that the same army that was so inept in Finland was just as inept a year later when the Germans attacked. No conspiracy is required, and you’re still ignoring the diplomatic history.

  34. Gavin Longmuir says:


    What part of the diplomatic history am I ignoring? That is a serious question. I want to learn.

    In my personal journey through history, I have gone from accepting the “Good War” narrative to paying attention to the Hoover “warmonger FDR” and the Suvorov “warmonger Stalin” elements, which seem to be credible. I will gladly accept other elements if they make sense.

    Thinking about diplomatic elements, let’s not forget that Stalin & Hitler had actively assisted opposite sides in the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War. It was very unlikely that the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact represented the former proxy enemies becoming friends for life. Betrayal was always in the air, from both sides. It seems hardly credible that USSR forces were entirely unprepared for the 1941 German attack even after they had had over 18 months to prepare.

    From memory (always fallible!), the key points of Suvorov’s evaluation of Stalin’s 1939 invasion of Finland included:
    (a) Finnish forces had the defender’s great advantage (as USSR forces should have had vis-à-vis Barbarossa);
    (b) Stalin sent in forces from southern USSR who were not properly equipped & trained for winter warfare, resulting in very high deaths & equipment failures; and
    (c) Stalin anyway got what he mainly wanted from the Winter War, namely pushing the USSR-Finland border further away from Leningrad.

  35. Sam J. says:

    “If” Suvorov is not making up the facts he uses and “if” he is not failing to report on other equipment that doesn’t fit his interpretation of events then he is most certainly right that Stalin planned all along to wait til the Germans, British and French were bleeding themselves to death, then attack. The breathe of facts he marshals to confirm this are extraordinary and “if” he’s not lying then I don’t see how anyone can not agree with him. I’ve read both his books on the situation. It hard to deny his facts because if Stalin’s goals were defensive Stalin would have built defenses and he did not. A vast amount of all their planes and equipment were right on the border and were captured or destroyed. If they were acting defensively all these planes would not have been there.

    Finland. It’s covered with trees, swamps, bogs and has very few roads to attack so when the Russians attacked the Finns moved through the woods and attacked their columns in the front and rear then massacred everyone in the middle. It’s a terrible place to attack no matter how large the army because there’s no way to transport them.

    Stalingrad. I do NOT blame Hitler for the loss there. I read David Irving’s book on Goring and from first hand references he wrote that Goring when asked by Hitler directly “could you deliver so and so many tons of supplies” Goring lied and told him he could when he definitely knew he could not. By the time Hitler found out about this lie and how no supplies were getting through and if I remember correctly something like 25% or less it was too late.

    Hitler’s generals, if I remember correctly, wanted to go straight to Moscow with all their forces. That would have been a mistake because Stalin had already moved a huge amount of industrial capacity far away. and when the Germans took Moscow they would have not really had much. Hitler was right and his generals were wrong.

    I personally do not think Hitler was wrong about Stalingrad because it was a major hub and he was also not wrong about splitting his armies to go after the oil fields. These things had to be done for him to be successful. The Germans had NO OIL. They were running out, fast. Hitler was obsessed with supply as any good general is and made all the right moves but events and people let him down and…they lost.

    What if the Italians had not gotten in trouble and Hitler didn’t have to bail them out, delaying his attack of Russia? The slightly longer period of good weather may have very well made the difference.

    There’s one thing I think he may could have done and it would have helped a great deal. Attacked Gibraltar as soon as possible and defeat it at whatever cost then starve out the British while building up the oil supplies in the middle east.

    Rommel if he had had supplies was doing wonders but when they would send supplies they would be sunk or shot down. If the med. was German then this would not have happened.

  36. Sam J. says:

    Cassander says, “Stalin did not have a plan. He was a ruthless, but cautious, opportunist who took full advantage of Hitler’s march to war to grab what he could wherever he had the chance. He had gains of his own to digest, and he knew that as the uncommitted party in a 3-player game, he had enormous leverage.”

    I don’t agree with this because I think that you are either not able or are misunderstanding of certain segments of humanities mentality. I say that,[humanity], very loosely and would prefer another word like “animal, reptile, etc.”. This segment of the population are psychopaths.

    Psychopaths are very, very frequently involved in the most audacious and rash sort of enterprises. They are are also perfect liars and are very convincing in whatever role they have taken on.

    Saying that Stalin was a psychopath can not be definitively ascribed but it would not be a stretch to do so. Waiting until the west was tied down in war then attacking would be right down a psychopaths likely plan of action.

    Other psychopaths have done similar things. One most definitely a psychopath was Alcibiades.

    In this case the actions of a psychopath destroyed a whole civilization. Athens.

    Alcibiades was almost certainly a psychopath. Some had an intense hatred for him, some great love. It was Alcibiades that pushed the great idea of attacking Syracuse on the Athenians. The failed Syracuse attack was THE downfall of Athens. The failed attack destroyed them completely. The same Alcibiades went from city to city in the ancient world. In Sparta he was more Spartan than the Spartans. Changing his chameleon skin every time he moved somewhere else and betraying everyone he came in contact with. Alcibiades killed Athens with risky schemes to glorify himself.

    What did Plutarch have to say about him.


    “…He had, as they say, one power which transcended all others, and proved an implement of his chase for men: that of assimilating and adapting himself to the pursuits and lives of others, thereby assuming more violent changes than the chameleon. That animal, however, as it is said, is utterly unable to assume one colour, namely, white; but Alcibiades could associate with good and bad alike, and found naught that he could not imitate and practice. 5 In Sparta, he was all for bodily training, simplicity of life, and severity of countenance; in Ionia, for p65 luxurious ease and pleasure; in Thrace, for drinking deep; in Thessaly, for riding hard; and when he was thrown with Tissaphernes the satrap, he outdid even Persian magnificence in his pomp and lavishness. It was not that he could so easily pass entirely from one manner of man to another, nor that he actually underwent in every case a change in his real character; but when he saw that his natural manners were likely to be annoying to his associates, he was quick to assume any counterfeit exterior which might in each case be suitable for them…”


    One thing not widely known is King Agis of Sparta hated Alcibiades because Alcibiades had a child by the Kings wife. Can you imagine being a refuge from another city where they wanted your head and then having an affair with the Kings wife where you were taking refuge??? Total Spath behavior.

    Another clear case is the Jew Trotsky and half-Jew Lenin. They took several tens of millions of dollars from another Jew in New York and a lot of Jews from New York and over threw the State of Russia. What a totally Spath thing to do.

  37. Zinjanthropus says:

    “Hitler’s strategy through mid-1940 was almost flawless. He isolated and absorbed state after state in Europe, gained the Soviet Union as a willing ally, destroyed France’s military power”

    The German high command certainly did not think Hitler’s strategy through mid-1940 was flawless. They thought it was absolutely disastrous that he had gotten them into a war with the British and French empires simultaneously. They bailed him out, partially, by unexpectedly defeating France in six weeks.

    In early 1939 the expectation was that the USSR would team up with Britain and France to contain Hitler — of course that would have been even worse for Germany. Ultimately Stalin decided to go the other way (temporarily) but I don’t see why Hitler gets credit for that.

    Hitler launched a series of gambles from 1936 on. The early ones paid off. The later ones failed catastrophically. That’s not brilliant strategy. That’s a gambler’s lucky streak coming to its inevitable end.

    A book you might like is _The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy_ by Adam Tooze. It explains why Hitler felt compelled to keep taking ever bigger and crazier gambles. The short answer: he was committed to achieving his goals by force, but Germany’s enemies were much stronger than Nazi Germany was.

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