Adolf Hitler rejected any retreat not actually forced on him by the Red Army

Saturday, November 25th, 2023

By January 1944, Bevin Alexander explains (in How Hitler Could Have Won World War II), the Red Army had twice the men and tanks as the German army:

The only possibility for Germany to avoid total defeat was immediate withdrawal to the 1941 frontier and construction of a deep mine-strewn defensive line studded with antitank guns, advocated by Erwin Rommel.

Heinz Guderian and Erich von Manstein recommended a similar approach, but Adolf Hitler rejected any retreat not actually forced on him by the Red Army, and on March 30 ousted Manstein. Consequently, throughout 1944, German forces in the east conducted one pointless defensive stand and one retreat after another.


  1. Cassander says:

    How on earth could that have saved the Germans?

    Their air force was still on the verge of death, they would still be facing enemies massively stronger than they were, and they would have given those enemies hundreds of miles of free advancement. There would be no time to build those defenses if the Germans weren’t holding the line further out, and they would lose the ability to extract resources from those areas.

  2. Bob Sykes says:

    Germany did have the resources and population of all of occupied Europe, and the active cooperation of the comprador leaders of those countries. Stalingrad had military units from nearly all of occupied Europe.

    With those resources and populations a stand against Russia might have succeeded. But that required peace with Britain, which Churchill would not allow.

  3. Jim says:

    The map is not the territory, but try telling a charismatic wehrfürher that.

  4. VXXC says:

    The idea that WW2 was a foregone conclusion is very popular now with the hindsight of a history of peace, meaning that if you’ve never known war and look back smugly — you have the hindsight of the ass, meaning the civilian.

    This wouldn’t be worth mentioning except the relatively low-cost victory of the Cold War has conditioned people to believe — in the finest spirit of Marxist conditioning about “history” and “inevitable” and “invisible hands” — that our present problems will take care of themselves.

    They won’t. In fact the “problems” are presently taking care of us, the “problems” being considerably more motivated.

    Perhaps someday the grandchildren or pod creatures of the problem will also be told our fate was inevitable, as way of explaining the mystery of why we did nothing to defend ourselves.

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