Top 10 Reasons Hitler Was An Idiot

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A lot of people treat Adolf Hitler as if he was a military genius who was only done in by his own visions of unattainable excess.  This is incorrect.  He was actually a complete idiot who was done in by his own visions of unattainable excess.  Why?  Well:

10.  He Cancelled the Worlds’ First Assault Rifle

mp43

When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, a new weapon was needed to help soldiers deal with the vast expanses of the Russian tundra and the millions of enemy soldiers inhabiting it – a weapon that could take the accuracy, range, and penetrating power of a rifle, and combine it with the high rate of fire, quick reload time, and maneuverability of a sub-machine gun.  Developers went off to create such a weapon and the MbK 42, the world’s first assault rifle, was born.

And the initial results were astounding.  Units outfitted with these new weapons held a gigantic advantage over the hapless Russian defenders, and used them to cut deep into Soviet lines.  And then – during a political fight in Berlin, Hitler threw a hissy fit and decided to scrap the whole project.  He just threw it right out the window, along with all of its massive potential.  German commanders renamed it “MP43” (maschinenpistol 43) and continued to produce it behind Hitler’s back for a time but, when the Fuhrer found out about it, he cancelled it again.

By the time he listened to reason and finally brought it back, it was mid-1943 and the Russians were smashing the Germans back all along the front. Too little, too late.

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9.  He Cancelled the Me-262 Fighter Jets

Me262

Aviation in WWII was still dominated by propeller-driven aircraft.  But guess what?   That didn’t have to be the case.  The Germans invented the first jet-powered aircraft, called the Me-262, and could have had it flying by mid-1943.  However, in its early stages, the plane was designed as an interceptor – a fast-moving fighter.  And that made sense, seeing as the main advantage it had over less modern aircraft was its tremendous speed.

But Hitler didn’t want interceptors; they weren’t explode-y enough.  No, he wanted fighter-bombers.  And thus, the whole project was, you guessed it, tabled.  At least until he could get his fighter-bombers.

Few things here.  First of all, there’s no reason Hitler couldn’t have allowed the Luftwaffe to make these jets instead of whatever propeller-driven crap the Allies were smacking out of the sky with ease, even while they developed his fighter-bombers.  After all, the current models had been proven to be remarkably superior to whatever the Allies were flying.  But Hitler wanted it done his way and, by the time these beasts saw the light of day in spring 1945, they were outnumbered ten thousand to one, and the skies were blackened by the omnipresent swarms of American and British bombers.  Once again, too little, too late.

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8.  Never Allowed Retreat

nazis-retreat

Hitler was not a military strategist, which probably explains why he so fanatically enforced his absurd “no retreat, fight to the last man” policy to ridiculous ends.  Then again, you don’t have to be a military strategist to realize that sheer willpower won’t do much good when stacked up against a freaking howitzer, so maybe he was just insane.

And we’re only half-kidding about that – Hitler was living in a fantasy world.  He truly believed that the battlefield was a sappy Lifetime movie, where the honor and determination of his soldiers would see them through to victory, even if the enemy was every bit as determined and had a lot more men and firepower to back it up with.  He was boasting this propagandic nonsense, even as the Russians were smashing Germany to pieces.

He first made the call at Stalingrad, when he denied Frederich Paulus permission to fight his way out of a Soviet encirclement while the Russian lines were still relatively weak.  Instead, he told him to stay put and, as a result, the entire 6th Panzer Army was lost, as well as all hope of a German victory.

But even that didn’t teach Hitler didn’t a lesson.  He denied permission to his troops who wanted to fall back to and fortify the eastern bank of the Rhine River in 1945, blow the bridges, and dare the western Allies to cross.  This was clearly the smart choice, but Hitler sent them that same old message – “no retreat.”  The Allies gleefully seized this opportunity, and neatly mopped up a huge chunk of the remaining resistance in the west, making their job that much easier.  The Nazis that did finally retreat had no actual strategy in mind, aside from running as fast as possible and avoiding becoming worm food.

And not too much later, at Berlin itself, Hitler screwed himself over directly, by forcing his men to hold a helpless line against the Russians along the Oder River, rather than pulling them back to tighten up the inner defenses of the city itself.  When the Russians reached the city mere days later, there were only about 80,000 Germans left to defend it, half of which were civilians.  And that kind of sucked for Hitler, because there were 1.6 million Russians outside, and they were not in a good mood.

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7.  The German Army Was Unprepared for Winter War.  In Russia.

russian-winter

When you hear the word “Russia”, snow should be one of the first things to come to mind.  Well, that and potato vodka, but snow first and foremost.  And that makes sense, since the Russian winter is notoriously violent and lasts much longer than the American one.  So needless to say, if you’re planning on invading the place, at least bring a jacket, or some long johns, or something.

Hitler could have used this information in June 1941, when the invasion of Russia began.  However, he didn’t feel like his mighty Wehrmacht needed winter gear, what with all their being unstoppable Aryan supermen and all that.  He felt that all he needed to do was “kick in the front door and watch the whole rotten structure come crumbling down.”  He literally thought he could bring down the Russians in as little as a month or two, and that everyone would be sipping tea back in Berlin by September.  Did we mention Hitler was insane?

Six months later, the Germans had made some incredible gains, but had by no means beaten the Red Army.  But they were so close – the German was at the outskirts of Moscow, and some forward positions even reported seeing the towers of the Kremlin from their field glasses.  If Moscow fell, Russia would follow.  And if Russia fell, the rest of the Allies would follow.  The fate of the world hung in the balance.

But then, the advance stopped.  Why?  Old Man Winter.  The Germans were inexcusably unprepared for the harsh cold of the Russian north – tanks froze in their tracks, men froze in their sleep, supply lines bogged down, and the whole mess came screeching to a four-month halt.  Meanwhile, while it was by no means easy for them either, the Russians’ supply lines were much shorter, and they were fighting on their homeland, meaning the Russians used the lull in the fighting to recover as much as possible.

By Spring 1942, when the Germans renewed their offensive, it was too late – the Russians had recovered just enough during the winter to hold them over for year, after which the tide turned and the Germans would never again regain the initiative in the east.  All because the winter stopped them outside Moscow.

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6.  He Misused the V1 and V2 Rockets

v2-rocket

The German army in WW2 was responsible for a whole pantheon of revolutionary breakthroughs like the assault rifle, jet aircraft, and yes, even ballistic missiles.  All of these inventions, seeing as how we’re still using variations of them 70 years later, would have been invaluable to the German war effort in the 1940’s, had they been placed in the right hands.

Unfortunately, they were placed in Hitler’s.  We’ve already covered how this genius undermined the mammoth potential of both the MP43 assault rifle and the Me-262 jet fighter.  But how could he take something as incredible as ballistic missile tech, and piss it away?  How can you not take advantage of the ability to rain unholy Hellfire down upon your enemies from a control tower a hundred miles to the east?

Well, for starters, you could not use them against enemy troop formations or supply lines or other military targets, and instead use them against civilian populations far enough away to render the machines’ primitive targeting mechanisms moot.  Which is exactly what Hitler did.  Rather than striking at the Russian or the American soldiers massing along Germany’s borders, Hitler thought it would be a good idea to send them over to London, where they were either shot down with ease by the RAF, or just exploded on someone’s roof and inconvenienced the fire brigade for an afternoon.  Oh, the sad, wasted potential.

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5.  Never Listened To His Generals

erwin-rommel

Not listening to your generals is such a waste.  Why do you even have them if you don’t trust them to lead the troops on their own?  Maybe, just maybe, they know a little better about strategics than you do since, you know, they put in years of hard work, and had the necessary talent and intelligence, to become a freaking general in the first place!

And the thing is – Hitler did listen to his generals early on.  France, for example, fell when Field Marshall Rundstedt brilliantly tore through the Ardennes forest and circled around the Maginot line.  A lot of people attribute that move to Hitler, when in fact, it was his commanders.  And that worked brilliantly – France fell without much of a fight at all, and set themselves up for who-knows-how-many decades of “coward” jokes.

But as the war drew on, and Hitler grew less and less confident in Germany’s ability to win, he began controlling every little aspect of every little front.  Keep in mind that he was not a military strategist, so his micromanaging helped exactly no one.

But not only did he micromanage – he didn’t listen to his generals when they begged him for permission to do things only an insane person wouldn’t do.  Such as protecting Normandy – General Erwin Rommel suggested that the Allies would strike at Normandy and not Calais and, when it happened, he wanted to move his troops north to counter the attack.  Hitler refused, because he moronically thought the real attack was still coming, even though hundreds of thousands of Allied troops were pouring ashore.  By the time he finally listened to the generals that he hired, it was too late.  France was lost.

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4.  Gave Control of the Luftwaffe to Goering

hermann-goering

Most of you know about the Battle of Britain – when the RAF miraculously beat back the mighty German Luftwaffe over England, and saved the Allied cause.  Well, it wasn’t just because the RAF were phenomenal pilots, or even because whenever a plane went down in battle, it was on their turf, meaning they could repair it and send it back into the fight, an advantage the Germans didn’t have.  These factors were monumental, but the real reason England didn’t get bombed into oblivion is because Hitler let Reich President Hermann Goering take command of the Air Force.

Goering, like Hitler, had exactly zero commanding experience.  So, when the time came and Hitler ordered him to bring England to its knees from the skies, Goering royally screwed up literally every chance they had.  He switched targets too frequently, rather than concentrating on a single village or radar station until it was destroyed.  This allowed the British to repair nearly all the damage the Luftwaffe did manage to do, before it become catastrophic.

Even as the casualty list mounted, and even as the British began outnumbering the Germans (due to the aforementioned ability to repair downed planes on both sides and send them to fight for the RAF), Hitler never stripped Goering of his command and hired a capable strategist.  As a result, England beat the tar out of the Germans, and stayed in the war. And that brings us to the next point…

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3.  He Blundered Germany Into A Two-Front War.  Again.

england-vs-nazi-germany

One of the things that did Germany in in the first World War was it being a two-front war, which was a scenario Hitler intended to avoid at all costs. Unfortunately, he wanted to invade Russia a whole lot more.

We just talked about the Battle of Britain, which was a fight Hitler started in an attempt to bring England (the last of the Western Allies) to its knees so he could concentrate on his primary goal – Russia.  But then England actually won the battle.  What Hitler should have done was to learn from the mistakes that were made, press the attack under improved leadership, and maybe even do what he hated and train the Luftwaffe to attack the RAF so he could get a land invasion going.  He should have persevered until England was out of the fight completely.  But instead, he said, “meh,” and decided to invade Russia anyway.  England might have won that one little battle, but that didn’t mean they were a serious threat to Germany on mainland Europe or anything.  He’d just deal with them later.

Of course, this didn’t work out – Russia didn’t fall, and England got stronger.  In other words – Hitler had a legitimate two-front war, and it did Germany in.

Again.

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2.  He Declared War on the United States

us-enters-ww-2

When Japan attacked the United States in December 1941, Hitler followed through on his Tripartite agreement, and declared war on America as well.  This was an idiotic move.  For one thing, he didn’t have much of a reputation to uphold – he regularly signed contracts with countries and then stabbed them in the back.  So honoring a commitment he made to Japan didn’t help anyone.

But of course, Hitler didn’t know that America could turn its weak army into a colossal military juggernaut the likes of which the planet had never seen, did he?  So you can’t really blame him for taking that “oh, they’re not much of a threat” approach to America, the same way he did to England and to Russia.

Actually, you kind of can.  America wasn’t exactly a third-world nation, even in the midst of the Great Depression.  It still had tremendous industrial strength, and a gigantic resource pool to fuel it.  Yes, their military was as small as it had ever been up to that point, but it still shouldn’t have surprised an economic and political genius like Hitler (this is true; we just said he was a military moron) that the US turned on the war machine, combined it with master political marketing and propaganda, and came out with a huge military advantage.  Hitler, above all others, should have seen it coming when the Americans entered the war, and soon drowned their enemies in a sea of seemingly endless men and materials.

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1.  Obsession with Stalingrad

hitler-stalingrad

In October 1942, Hitler slightly changed the objectives for Army Group South in Russia.  Their original destination was the Caucasus oil fields to the south of mainland Russia.  If captured, the gigantic oil reserves would turn Germany’s already-formidable economy into an empire.  However, the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd), the last bastion of Russian troops on the eastern front, still stood not too far out of Army Group South’s way.  Hitler decided to knock two birds out with one stone: divert a large chunk of Army Group South to capture Stalingrad, and have everyone home by Christmas.

Unfortunately, and this seems to be a theme with Hitler, his target did not give in to defeat as quickly or as easily as he thought it would.  The Russian 69th army took tremendous casualties in the battle, but they held their ground and would not surrender the city.  But rather than pulling his men back to capture the far more important Caucasus region, with plans to return to the city once they were re-strengthened, Hitler actually stripped troops already in the Caucasus away from their positions and sent them to Stalingrad.  It didn’t help – the Germans simply could not break the Russian army in and around the city.  Still, Hitler’s obsession with the fight cost him the Caucusus, which was the entire reason he invaded Russia in the first place.

What a maroon.

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Written By David Clark


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52 Comments

  1. Obligatory nit picker here.

    For #9

    The only advantage the Me 262 had over existing piston driven fighters was speed. The 262’s maneuverability and fuel consumption was markedly inferior. Because of their thirsty Jumo 004’s the 262’s had a short operational range and the majority of 262’s shot down by allied aircraft were those trying to land because their fuel ran out so quickly and they were sitting ducks. The Allied fighters that shot them down had flown all the way from England, had fuel to fight the good fight and still had enough fuel to return to England. The 262 was was a marvel but not marvel enough to beat the best Allied piston fighters on all counts. Perhaps if Hitler had seen the fighter potential immediately the Germans may have been able to advance their jet technology to the point that the 262 could have competed more favorably on fuel consumption, maneuverability and acceleration.

    Also as far as German piston driven aircraft the Me-109 (although aged) and especially the Fw-190 weren’t crap. The Fw-190 was an especially feared aircraft towards the end of the war and its biggest shortcoming was the lack of experienced pilots at the end.

    #5

    You stated Hitler’s micromanaging helped exactly no one when it actually fundamentally benefited the Allies. Every mistake he made was a boon to the Allied campaign.

    Other than my couple of nitpicks this is without a doubt the best list pertaining to the Second World War I’ve ever read. I read several list sites daily and this is the first list I’ve ever responded to and it’s in large part because it is an outstanding and very factual one. Kudos to the author.

        • Seriously there’s no need to be a douchebag to everyone who doesn’t like your lists. I get that you can’t always be perfect but take some criticism and stop being a baby.

        • I like how you turned my insult into a joke. I withdraw what I said on the grounds that you will probably do the same thing again. Thanks for blowing the intensity of the situation.

        • Clive, so I offended you by not taking offense to your (unfounded) insult? I can’t win – people are upset with I argue and when I don’t. And you accuse me of blowing the “intensity of the situation?” I’m not sure what intensity you perceived, but I think you “blew” that when you called me a “douchebag baby,” don’t you?

  2. Jonathan Reiter on

    The doodle bugs(V1) and its bigger relative the V2 weren’t anything to sneeze at either…
    They could have been developed into something to really be afraid of, but because of the psychotic goof in charge, weren’t. Pride goes before the hardest falls, it seems.

    • The V-1, essentially a pilot-less, ram-jet equipped airplane, was possible to be shot down. the V-2 was a true ballistic missile. It’s high speed and high attack angle made shooting it down a hopeless task. As the article indicates. the guidance was not good enough; the Germans were essentially just lobbing them across the Channel

        • I’m sorry, I don’t see where. Not that it matters. The point is, that while the article seems to lump the two v-type weapons into one, and of course they weren’t. The V-1’s were vulnerable, the V -2’s simply weren’t. The only successful countermeasures were to (1) bomb the launch sites, and (2) ‘leak’ false intelligence that the rockets had overshot their targets As the war progressed, German accuracy improved; the damage from a v-2 was devastating, and some 3000-4000 Britons were killed.

        • Jonathan Reiter on

          Okay, I’ll give you that one. I will agree that the V-1’s were vulnerable to detection and being shot down: the V-2’s simply weren’t…

  3. A good article but couldn’t read this without feeling insulted by your use of England to decribe the British forces, it was called the Battle of Britain for a reason.

  4. I’ve been reading quite a bit about Hitler’s (and his associates) decisions and would like to add another here: his obsession with eradicating the Jews of Europe. Not only evil, but stupid as well. Many resources were committed to the Holocaust instead of to war efforts. For example, during the Russian campaign, trains that could have moved materiel to the front were busy shipping Jews to concentration camps. An idiotic monster.

    • History is written by the victors!
      If he is an idiot because “his obsession with eradicating the Jews of Europe”, how to call people that eradicate Indians (Native Americans)?
      Or people who eradicate Incas?
      P.S.-Calling someone idiot is inappropriate slang for content of this list or medical diagnosis (Hitler didn’t have an IQ below 30).

      • The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines idiot as:
        1: a person affected with extreme mental retardation
        2: a foolish or stupid person

        I think Hitler could easily be defined as a foolish person.

        And since the definition of idiot includes the word stupid, we can find that stupid is defined as: given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless manner

        This also describes Hitler’s actions. So this title is correct.

      • How about the Native Americans that eradicated the other Native Americans as well as the Incas before the Europeans arrived.

  5. Another point: Hitler’s insistence and policy of treating all conquered people who weren’t “Germanic” as subhuman. For instance, on the Russian front, many locals had bad experiences with the Soviet government and were ready to work with, maybe even fight for, or at least tolerate the German invaders. They soon learned, however, that the relatively good treatment remembered from the WWI Germans was long gone. Every crime including murder turned them against the Germans quickly. And when the same awful treatment was extended to the millions of Russian prisoners, and word got back to the Russian armies, the Germans were faced with vicious partisans and Russian soldiers who would fight fanatically, knowing any loss would be unthinkable.

  6. Hitler is crazy not an idiot.He is evil but you have to give it to him he is smart and saved his country from France and England from taxes at that time

  7. jennifer stewart on

    my mom was born on his birthday and since then she’s celebrated it but i just think it’s creepy maybe that’s me bye

  8. If Hitler was such an idiot, then why are there endless programmes, and books wrote about him? You don`t write books about an idiot. I mean, the History Channel is sometimes called “The Hitler channel,” because it shows that many programmes about him. Only Henry VIII has probably more programmes made about him. I mean, we all know Hitler was off his rocker and Henry VIII was a fat womaniser. Why not make programmes about Stalin and King John instead?

  9. Well thats one point of view… after all his generals claimed, that Wermacht is unprepared for the war with Poland, and then Belgium, Netherland and France and they were wrong… Hitler didn’t listen to them and won. Fight to the last man tactic also had it’s reasons, just look how the same tactic work with the Red Army. It is only a hipotetical question if Wermacht would be as efficient if were allowed to retreat. Anyway IMO it’s a way too complicated issue then you show it:)

  10. Uncle Joe Stalin was not anywhere near the filmable, high budget propaganda rock stars that hitler & his nazi metrosexuals were.. Gotta hand to the nazi’s, whoever was in charge of wardrobe & propaganda aesthetics were spot on.. I’m mean jeez, how many F’n elaborately adorned parade daggers does an army need.. Still über collectible.. & don’t get me started on nazi china & stem ware. Still loony toon nut cases, but nazi parade rally beats anything Russian choreographically speaking any day of the week

  11. You know, I don`t get that. Hitler as we all know was one of the most ruthless people who ever lived. So, why the hell didn`t he fire Goering? Hitler hated failure, and he still kept that fat idiot around? it`s like in transformers, where for some reason, Megatron kept Starscream as second in command, even he was a total moron.

  12. Hitler was an idiot through and through, and even politically so, as it hardly took intelligence to become the demagogue that the German masses were so obviously aching for — just someone who was sick enough to exploit the situation. Besides, he was heavily supported by that other confused moron, Goebbels, who had to attend no less than five different universities just to obtain a humanities degree, allowing the worst of philosophy to rot his brain along the way. We’re talking “dumber than dumb” here but rare, unfortunate circumstances that made for success anyway à la talebian “Fooled by Randomness”.

  13. I really enjoyed reading this. I have been studying the Nazis and the Holocaust and about “the people who defied Hitler” for quite some time now and have even visited a lot of the places involved to gain a better understanding. The reason I started doing so was because like a lot of people, it dumbfounds me not so much how people like this can gain control but how they gain such wide support.
    When you get right into it, Hitler was a complete failure at almost everything he ever did. School, Art, Women, military tactics, authoring, the list goes on and if not actually being German wasn’t bad enough, he was almost certainly of Jewish bloodline. The Nazi leaders he surrounded himself with were of a similar calibre, all of them failures and bullies with a very warped sense of reality.
    Am I any closer to understanding how they gained such tremendous support? No, I must admit that no matter how many times I listen to their speeches, I can’t see past how ridiculous they sound. They contain no reason nor sanity and more than a hint of propaganda and pure evil. Yet thunderous, fanatical applause abounds all the same. I’m just glad that a small percentage of the German population did see through all the BS and risked everything to try to stop it.
    Hitler’s only talent was that he had a knack for reading people and what they craved the most even though he had no idea how to provide it. Mostly, even today, that’s all a politician needs.

    Love the “Scissors, paper ” picture !

    • Very impressive and informative list David Clark. I’m sorry you had to deal with idiot Clive but it added to the entertainment.
      To Jon, nice perspective and all the best for your further studies.
      Scissors/paper picture is perfect, indeed.

  14. Good list. Clueless Clive. Triparite treaty in affect only in cases where member was attacked so Germany was no bound to declare war on US after Pearl Harbor.

  15. Thanks to David Clark for writing this fascinating list. I don’t know if Nazi Germany is on the curriculum in schools, it’s been a long time since I attended. Personally, I think every student of history should study the differences between a professional soldier like Rommel, and a dangerous meglomaniac like Hitler. Rommel refused to commit war crimes in the way the SS did. This eventually cost him his life.

    We have to understand that the SS was Hitler’s private, powerful militia and a kind of police force. It was a branch of the SS that ran the extermination camps. Rommel was never part of this. We can thank our lucky stars, Hitler was too arrogant to listen carefully to soldiers as gifted as Rommel. If he had, the Allied forces may have made fewer gains during WW2. In fact, the Allies tried to assassinate Rommel twice without success. For any students or researchers who feel inclined, I’d highly recommend watching “Desert Fox: Story Of Rommel” 1951 feature film (based on an allied commander’s indepth research) and “The Rommel Papers” that include Rommel’s personal notes on his campaigns and career.

  16. Adolf Hitler was not an idiot. He was a smart man that used his intelligence, knowledge, wisdom and understanding to do evil things. He was an evil genius… The real idiots are those who think that people like Adolf Hitler and others like Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong are idiots. These people are monsters, murderous killing machines, you morons! Destroyers of worlds!! And yet you dumb asses still think they are the idiots!!! Not me, I think they are evil geniuses!!!!

    • One can argue (as J Clay does) that Hitler was an “evil genius”. But this belief must be tempered by the facts. Hitler’s policy of “no surrender”, fighting a war on two fronts (East and West) and taking Stalingrad at any cost was disasterous for the German army. 850,000 German and Axis troops were lost and injured at the conclusion of Stalingrad. Hitler’s 6th Army was totally surrounded by the Soviets, leading to a decisive Soviet victory. Effectively, Hitler’s decision to push the entire 6th Army forward lost him the war on the Eastern Front. This kind of military lunacy cannot be described as the work of a “genius”. But it can easily be described as “evil”. After the Eastern Front fell to the Soviets, high-ranking German generals and officers realised Hitler was prepared to slaughter complete armies, leading to the decision that Hitler must be assassinated to save Germany.

  17. Allan Ritchie on

    I dont think Hitler was stupid he was just filled with destructive forces over which he had no control of and these in the end affected the Germans themselves ven more then even the jews

  18. Don’t know who David Clark is,but he should do a bit more research before going on a rant.He mentions the brilliant Rundstedt,when it was in fact Manstein.It was he pushed for the offensive to be put back,as it was to close to winter.The plan came originally from Hitler.Not sure what a maroon is,a colour maybe.Oh and he can’t spell Caucasus.

  19. Hitler wasn’t intelligent, he was far from being a genius. He just was a very crazy guy with too much power and because of his poor intelligence he screwed almost all the time.

  20. If Generals, like Manstein and Guderian, had been unimpeded in prosecuting the war, the world today would be much different. Thankfully, Hitler was a blundering Maniac. There’s a preponderance of reasons why Stalin and Hitler would both qualify as fools. Difference is, Stalin could afford to lose more and he was also the more flexible of the two. Competent Generals were constantly overruled or ignored (Manstein and Guderian, for example). The priority should have been to knock Britain out of the war– America’s potential involvement would have been neutralised. Failure to open a second front, by having the Japanese invade through Manchuria, meant Soviet commanders could concentrate forces fighting the Germans. There’s a long list of military errors that led to defeat for the Germans. I can’t get into all right now because I’m young and I’ve got a party to attend.

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