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Thu Jan 18, 2018, 09:18 PM

Why Hitler Lost the War: German Strategic Mistakes in WWII



Listen to the ideology that guided Hitler as presented here, and see if it doesn't rhyme with today

11 replies, 843 views

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Hitler Lost the War: German Strategic Mistakes in WWII (Original post)
bucolic_frolic Jan 2018 OP
maxsolomon Jan 2018 #1
msongs Jan 2018 #3
TreasonousBastard Jan 2018 #2
ExciteBike66 Jan 2018 #4
aranthus Jan 2018 #5
Kaleva Feb 2018 #6
Paleologue Feb 2018 #7
Kaleva Feb 2018 #8
Paleologue Feb 2018 #9
thucythucy Mar 2018 #10
Steerpike May 2018 #11

Response to bucolic_frolic (Original post)

Thu Jan 18, 2018, 09:30 PM

1. 1. Never start a land war in Asia

I learned that from Wallace Shawn.

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Response to maxsolomon (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 18, 2018, 10:45 PM

3. unless that war's purpose is control at home: "we have always been at war with east asia" nt

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Original post)

Thu Jan 18, 2018, 10:17 PM

2. Yikes! The parallels are astounding.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Original post)

Fri Jan 19, 2018, 06:33 AM

4. A guy who thought he was smarter than his generals (on military matters)... nt

Not that I want our generals making decisions about when to go to war, but I concede they know more about it than I do.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Original post)

Tue Jan 23, 2018, 07:54 PM

5. Germany lost the war because it had almost no chance to win it.

"Winning" would have meant conquering or causing the Allies to agree to a peace on German terms. Germany had virtually no chance to conquer Britain given the size of the Royal Navy, and very little chance to conquer the USSR. The Soviets would have had to have been as foolish as the British and French leaders before Churchill, and they clearly weren't. A quick comparison of the huge disparity between the Allies and the Axis in war fighting ability shows why the Germans were doomed almost from the start. Population, finances, productive capacity, and even technology favored the Allies. Yes, Hitler's ideological fixation helped Germany lose, but some of his intuitive strategy (along with massive allied leadership incompetence) also helped put Germany in a position to conquer Europe. The real reason that Germany lost was that it started a war that it couldn't win.

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Response to aranthus (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 08:45 PM

6. Much like the South had little chance on defeating the North.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 25, 2018, 02:43 PM

7. Not really the same

 

The Confederacy didn't need a military victory in order to "win". They just needed to drag the war on long enough to convince the United States that it wasn't worth continuing to fight just to keep the Union together and to abolish slavery in the states that had it.

Germany DID need to win a military victory and force the surrender of all of the Allied powers, something it had very little chance to do, and none at all after the United States came into the war.

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Response to Paleologue (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 25, 2018, 05:03 PM

8. I say you are mistaken

Germany could have hoped to hold long enough in an effort to convince the Allies that defeating Germany wasn't worth the cost. Both the Axis and the Confederacy needed military victories in the field in order to stave off defeat and hopefully make the Allies and the North decide total victory wasn't worth the cost.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 25, 2018, 05:17 PM

9. No, they couldn't

 

Not with German troops occupying most of Europe. The Allies would have paid any cost to free those countries.

And while winning a few battles may have helped the Confederacy convince the United States more quickly that the war wasn't worth continuing, all they really needed to do was make the cost to the United States too high and the progress to victory too slow in order to get the United States to propose peace. They never needed to win a complete military victory of the type the United States had to win, involving the forced surrender of a defeated army.

Germany's was a war of conquest and control. The Confederacy was fighting to be left alone, and had no need to conquer or control the United States. Two very different things.

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Response to Paleologue (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 29, 2018, 11:05 PM

10. This might be slightly off topic, but I think one major reasons for the South's defeat

was the incompetence of its military leaders, particularly Robert E. Lee. Yes, Lee was a brilliant tactician, but his notion of "offensive defense"--which had him invading the North twice, both times with catastrophic results (Antietam, Gettysburg)--was simply absurd under the circumstances. Time and again he risked losing everything in a single battle, and escaped an earlier final defeat only because of the timidity of McClellan at Antietam, and Meade's unwillingness to try for a killing blow after Gettysburg.

Compare Lee's strategy to Washington's during the Revolution. By contrast, Washington avoided battles of attrition, avoided confrontations where all might be lost, rarely went on the offensive, traded territory for time, and with the odds against him far greater than those against Lee, managed to do just what you said--drag out resistance long enough so that the British finally just said, "the hell with it."

Of course, Washington benefited from foreign intervention--the French--and from the fact that Britain was engaged in other wars simultaneous to the Revolution--but the French only intervened because they saw Washington had a good chance of winning. The South might have been able to suck in foreign support--IF it had been willing to give up slavery early on. But that's a whole other discussion.

Just my armchair analysis here, is all.

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Response to Paleologue (Reply #7)

Wed May 2, 2018, 11:03 AM

11. With Military Leaders Like

Sherman and Grant that scenario was more than unlikely...

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