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Old 09-08-2012, 11:12 PM   #1
SinePari
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Hitler's Mistakes

I'm interested to hear opinions on the specific decisions Hitler made during WWII that ultimately led to his downfall and the defeat of Germany. Obviously his inability to successfully wage a two-front war, in combination with his perplexing decision to declare war on the U.S., are among the most crucial.

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:25 AM   #2
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

1)Switching the objective of bombing RAF air fields and radio towers to that of cities is a major one.

2)I'm not to well studied on history so I don't know if attacking Greece was necessary, but their 6 week war with Greece that delayed the SU invasion for 6 weeks may of well cost them a victory in the SU.

3)Constantly overriding his general staff, which honestly might of been the best general staff in military history. At least until he started sacking them for disagreeing with his nonsense.

4) Not committing the germany economy to a full war economy until late 1942. It wasn't until 1943 that germanys production went to full swing, and by then it was too late. Despite his cities being bombed to oblivion, when Albert Speer took over as Minister of Armaments, the Germany production of Tanks increased dramatically. Which is pretty incredible. By then the war was already lost though. If they had done this earlier at around 1941 before attacking the Soviet Union, they might of been much more successful.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:34 AM   #3
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

Seems to me like your two examples are nowhere near his most crucial mistakes. De facto the US were already at a war-like state with Germany and a formal declaration of war from either side after Pearl Harbor seems inevitable to me.
And while it's nitpicking it was not so much his inability to successfully wage a 2-front war but that he even attempted it that's the bigger mistake imo.

As for really crucial mistakes Stalingrad and Dunkirk come to mind.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:39 PM   #4
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

Going too far into Russia unprepared for Winter.

Basically trying to take on two Giants USA and USSR when you are at best a strong Medium sized Country.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:13 AM   #5
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

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Originally Posted by SooperFish24 View Post
Going too far into Russia unprepared for Winter.

Basically trying to take on two Giants USA and USSR when you are at best a strong Medium sized Country.
At the time Germany was most certainly a superpower.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:03 AM   #6
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

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At the time Germany was most certainly a superpower.
Definitely agree with this.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:39 AM   #7
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

Repressions against civilians in USSR.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

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Repressions against civilians in USSR.
A good point when you consider the treatment of those populations who had no love of Stalin or Russia and actually welcomed the Germans. They could have been useful but to Hitler they were all just part of an inferior race.
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:07 PM   #9
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

He ignored this:


Last edited by Wamy Einehouse; 09-12-2012 at 05:08 PM. Reason: Full explanation of the image here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Joseph_Minard
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:14 PM   #10
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

Ignoring advice from his generals. He became too complacent and arrogant following early military successes - Czechoslovakia, Austria, France.

Ordering no retreat in Russia. Its pointless if you are completely outnumbered and getting destroyed and down right suicidal arrogance.

Declaring war on the USA.

The halt order at Dunkirk.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:10 PM   #11
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

Overextending into Russia was a huge mistake, as others have mentioned. IMO Hitlers greatest failure was in his approach to the battle of Britain. He overestimated strategic bombing while simultaneously underestimating British resolve. Furthermore, he was incapable of overwhelming a much smaller RAF due to the superiority of British pilots/Spitfires and his inability to exploit the shortcomings of the "Big Wing" formation.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:21 PM   #12
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

Hitler started the war prematurely. His war cabinet suggested Germany's rearmament would not be complete until at lease 1943.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:05 AM   #13
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

Not have a realistic plan for Russia. Instead of setting up a fascist 5th column to take over Russia after a few major victories he wanted to do a Genghis khan and take everything.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:02 PM   #14
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

The assault on Russia was a realistic plan, but poorly executed in some areas.
Hitler invaded Russia with around 3 million German troops (plus several other armies), 3,500 tanks, 7,000 guns and 2,000 aircraft.

The advance of the mech infantry and tanks outpaced the logistics. Coupled with the indecisiveness of shuttling forces up and down the vast front between Leningrad and Moscow.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:28 AM   #15
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

Indeed it was a realistic plan, he was 40KM from Moscow, almost captured Stalingrad, blockade of Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) for 872 days, almost conquered Azerbaijans oil, e.t.c.
But, he didn't expected that resistance, and so strong partisan movement.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:50 AM   #16
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

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Originally Posted by abcyrillic View Post
Indeed it was a realistic plan, he was 40KM from Moscow, almost captured Stalingrad, blockade of Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) for 872 days, almost conquered Azerbaijans oil, e.t.c.
But, he didn't expected that resistance, and so strong partisan movement.
This is my point taking all of European USSR was unrealistic. Napoleon had tried less and still failed. "Liberating" Ukraine, Baltic states et al and breaking apart the USSR should have been the goal.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:09 PM   #17
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

I would say not going back to gold standard. Hitler made Germany a top down socialist country. After a while it will weaken a country. Furthermore he was a sociopath and had a disgruntled upbringing. He took it out on people that did no harm to him. At least not directly. France has some blame for making war repatriations on Germany, which fueled the fire.

His biggest mistake was he was not a peace loving person.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:20 AM   #18
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

abcyrillic, totally agree with you.
steelhouse, Ok, and what about war mistakes?
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:39 PM   #19
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

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Originally Posted by iloveMarina View Post
abcyrillic, totally agree with you.
steelhouse, Ok, and what about war mistakes?
Please do not feed the steeeeeelhooooouuuuuuse. I don't want politarding cluttering up the only good sub-forum left.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:52 AM   #20
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

It is likely Hitlers biggest mistake was injecting Crystal Meth daily. He was a meth addict and this is likely the reasoning behind his biggest mistakes. Hitler showed clear thinking and planning at the beginning of the war. As his addiction increased, his judgement and decision making went down hill. He became agitated and had no patience. This is what likely lead to him not listening to his generals and opening up the war on multiple fronts without a clear plan.

20 years ago in my University course on WW2 history. The professor told us that Hitler's Meth addiction likely played a big role his poor decision making the last 2 years of the war. I have heard very little about this until this thread reminded me. A quick search and it seams to have some truth to it.



Quoted from wiki on meth:
"One of the earliest uses of methamphetamine was during World War II, when it was used by Axis and Allied forces.[93] .............. More than 35 million three-milligram doses of Pervitin and the closely related Isophan were manufactured for the German army and air force between April and July 1940.[96] From 1942 until his death in 1945, Adolf Hitler may have been given intravenous injections of methamphetamine by his personal physician Theodor Morell."


Quoted from amphetamines.com-
"From 1942, the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler received daily injections of methamphetamine from his personal physician, Dr Theodor Morell. The Führer was also familiar with cocaine. Hitler's ailments have been attributed to everything from tertiary syphilis to Parkinson's disease. But many of The Führer's clinical signs and symptoms may have been caused by his exotic drug regimen."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-hzQCvYj6o

Last edited by powder_8s; 09-23-2012 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:49 AM   #21
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Quote:
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The halt order at Dunkirk.
This and going for kiev instead of Moscow in the late summer of 41.
Basically not listening to Guderian.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:05 PM   #22
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

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Originally Posted by abcyrillic View Post
Indeed it was a realistic plan, he was 40KM from Moscow, almost captured Stalingrad, blockade of Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) for 872 days, almost conquered Azerbaijans oil, e.t.c.
But, he didn't expected that resistance, and so strong partisan movement.
His fixation on taking Stalingrad is also most definitely a weakness and had severe detrimental consequences.

Quote:
It is likely Hitlers biggest mistake was injecting Crystal Meth daily.
You can blame Morell for Hitlers drug addiction. He was pumping him every morning with more than just meth for several years, when it was clear as day he had a problem.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:41 PM   #23
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

other then offing himself after 1943 for the good of Germany... in the war some of Hitlers mistakes were

-Ordering the death of Gen. Erwin Rommel late in the war

- Removing the SA from power and ousting Ernest Rohm in 1934 (Night of the Long Knives) ... Rohm was a capable soldier with strong leadership. Without Rohm, Hitler would have never taken power. Although there were early reports of the SA wanting to oust Hitler from power, these were very well false and created by Himmler and Goering.. it is not clear enough imo that Rohm's death and the expulsion of the SA was needed. It was more over Himmler and Goreing convincing Hitler because they feared Rohm would rise up beyond them in the ranks

I feel the decision to take out Rohm was Hitlers biggest mistake and one that is hardly mentioned. The stormtroopers were a fierce force, and possibly more brutal and capable then the SS.

Many Germans had family or friends in the SA leadership, and when Hitler executed Rohm it angered them. If Hitler had left Rohm alone and combined the SS and SA by all means his army would be stronger. Possibly strong enough to defeat the Soviets

-I also felt Hitler should have gone for an alliance with the British, of course with Hitler wiping out "non aryans" this probably could have never been the case

- oh and of course Hitler ousting the jews who would help to build the atom bomb

Last edited by thekid345; 11-08-2012 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:29 AM   #24
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

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Originally Posted by madlondoner View Post
At the time Germany was most certainly a superpower.
At the time Germany had become and Britain was still a superpower. It was the mutual destruction among European Nations which ushered in American hegemony fo' sho.

Dunno about Hitler but one of the major mistakes of the era was on the part of the British who would not countenance an increase in military production in the lead up to the war. France made the same mistake too. The notion of "Peace at any price" emboldened Hitler tremendously. Clearly the experience of the Fisrst World War was a great influence in that regard.

In the grand scheme of things I think that was a mistake bigger than any of Adolf's military faux pas.

Vis Hitler, I reckon his biggest mistake was that terrible comb-over and 'tache combination.

Last edited by Jack 0' Clubs; 11-09-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:49 PM   #25
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Re: Hitler's Mistakes

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Originally Posted by thekid345 View Post
other then offing himself after 1943 for the good of Germany... in the war some of Hitlers mistakes were

-Ordering the death of Gen. Erwin Rommel late in the war

- Removing the SA from power and ousting Ernest Rohm in 1934 (Night of the Long Knives) ... Rohm was a capable soldier with strong leadership. Without Rohm, Hitler would have never taken power. Although there were early reports of the SA wanting to oust Hitler from power, these were very well false and created by Himmler and Goering.. it is not clear enough imo that Rohm's death and the expulsion of the SA was needed. It was more over Himmler and Goreing convincing Hitler because they feared Rohm would rise up beyond them in the ranks

I feel the decision to take out Rohm was Hitlers biggest mistake and one that is hardly mentioned. The stormtroopers were a fierce force, and possibly more brutal and capable then the SS.

Many Germans had family or friends in the SA leadership, and when Hitler executed Rohm it angered them. If Hitler had left Rohm alone and combined the SS and SA by all means his army would be stronger. Possibly strong enough to defeat the Soviets
Even if all this were true which i dont think is the case (but would be tedious to prove either way) the way you connect an event in '34 with the eventual downfall is flimsy at best. It's not like the SA and its members were shunned or refused to cooperate after the purge of a few hundred officers or that a lack of public support for Hitler/Germany was an even minor cause for the loss against Russia and the Allies.

And calling the SA 'possibly more brutal and capable than the SS' is just strange considering the latter started out as an elite group within the former.
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