german general mistake?

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daveshoup2MD
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Re: german general mistake?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 21 Feb 2022 01:54

aurelien wolff wrote:
03 Aug 2020 07:16
I often see the classic "hitler should have listen to his general" as if the general were some kind of genius who never did any mistake during the war ,so my question is :what mistake did the german general do? I remember that franz halder view were quite flawed per example (particulary the "drive to moscow" thing during barbarossa if I remember correctly)
Not putting Hitler and the rest of the 1923 putschers against a wall?

ChrisDR68
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Re: german general mistake?

Post by ChrisDR68 » 27 May 2022 20:46

Most of the really big strategic mistakes were Hitler's.

1. Not attempting an invasion of Britain in 1940 or 1941 thereby leaving his western flank vulnerable to Allied air attack and eventually an amphibious invasion of the continent. Ironically Hitler was overly cautious in this regard (although the evidence suggests he never wanted or expected to invade Britain given that planning for Operation Barbarossa started as early as July 1940).

2. Allowing himself to be persuaded by his generals to attempt a drive on Moscow in October 1941 when his instincts were to advance to the Caucasus on it's oil. A drive towards the Caucasus would have made good strategic sense given that the Germans already had 2 panzer groups in the south and the Soviets had just lost 600,000 POW's at Kiev the previous September.

3. Declaring war on the USA in December 1941 following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. This seems to have been done out of frustration in respect to FDR's beligerent attitude and actions towards Germany up until that point. Hitler therefore fell into the trap FDR set him given the president's difficulties with isolationists in the House Of Representatives at the time. In the long run Hitler surely lost the war with this decision.

4. During Operation Blue deviating from the plan with Fuhrer Directive 45 and attempting an advance into the Caucasus while at the same time advancing along the Don-Volga river lines with the aim of reaching Astrakhan. The Ost Heer had the logistical support (just) for one axis of advance but they didn't have it for two simultaneuosly. Get Army Group B set-up along it's planned defensive line with around 46 infantry, 3 panzer and 4 motorised divisions then attack into the Caucasus in the planned for phased approach with the remaining 29 infantry, 6 panzer and 3 motorised divisions .

5. Going against doctrine and attacking into the strength of the enemy's defences at Kursk. Previously the Germans had bypassed strong enemy positions and then wheeled around them from north and south surrounding the enemy formations and then destroying them. Generally this had worked well. Perhaps Hitler felt his strategic options in the east were few by this time so a brute force frontal assault against prepared defences with 2800 panzers was his best bet.

After Kursk Hitler was goosed whatever strategy he adopted given the American presence in the west and the fact that the Red Army had learned how to fight a modern mechanised war from the Germans themselves by this time.

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