Musing on where I believe Adolf Hitler made some basic errors in his conduct of WW2

Musing on where I believe Adolf Hitler made some basic errors in his conduct of WW2.

Hitler confounded the world with his pact with Russia, his lightning disposal of Poland, and then the quick overcoming of the Allies in France.

It was then I believe he made a cardinal error in ordering a halt to the rush of German armour to the channel which was to cut off the British Army around Dunkirk.

British troops wade out to waiting ships at Dunkirk
British troops wade out to waiting ships at Dunkirk.

This halt allowed the British to evacuate over 300,000 troops back to Britain, if these troops had been captured, and Sea Lion (the proposed cross channel invasion of Britain) carried out, Germany may well have been successful in invading and controlling the United Kingdom.

Pearl Harbor.

US battleship Arizona at Pearl Harbour
US battleship Arizona at Pearl Harbour.

After Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941, Hitler had no basic reason to declare war on the United States, he had no agreement with the Japanese to do so.

Hitler without doubt totally underestimated the strength and capability of the industrial might of the US. Roosevelt quickly geared up his country for war, and the US became the arsenal for the Allies, as well as supplying millions of men for their Armed Services to fight alongside Britain and Russia.

As Andrew Roberts notes in his history of WW2, The Storm of War, Britain provided the time, and Russia suffered grivous casualities with millions dead, but it was the United States that provided the sinews of war that allowed the Allies to be victorious over the Axis forces.

Hitler’s greatest tactical error in WW2.
I believe Hitler’s greatest tactical error was to order Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia,
thus forcing Germany to fight on two fronts.

Ukraine in early days of Barbarossa
Ukraine in early days of Barbarossa.

Both the inexhaustable supply of troops and the Russian winter eventually won out to defeat the German Army in this sphere.

In the Mediterranean, Hitler neglected to invade Malta, he should have knocked it out to prevent its use as a supply base for the British forces in North Africa. Without Malta it is hard to see how Britain could have both sustained its North African Army and won the battle against Rommel’s Africa Corps.

Valetta bomb damage May 1,1942
Valetta bomb damage May 1,1942.

Notwithstanding Hitler’s early victories when he appeared to be a military genius and the master of Europe, his poor judgement in vital areas finally brought his country and himself undone.


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