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The German's greatest mistake in WWII

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  • Also Hitler declaring war against the USA and not giving his generals more freedom
    "With foxes we must play the fox."
    -Thomas Fuller

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    • Originally posted by ljadw View Post
      1)The German DoW would only be stupid,if without this DoW the US would be /remain neutral
      Do you have proof (not opinion) that the US would have been any more belligerent without a DOW by Germany ?

      2)From Hitler's POV (and he was not entirely wrong) the US and Germany were already at war de facto
      Only in a limited sense

      3)The immediate negative results of the DoW were marginal
      Immediate yes

      4)If Hitler did not declare war after PH,when should he declare war ?A German declaration of war in january;march,may 1942 (or later) would be ridiculous ,
      Do you mean to say that DOW in Dec 41 is brilliant but if done in march or may '42 it would be a mistake ?

      and,meanwhile,FRD would intensify the de facto war against Germany .
      Do you have proof (not opinion) of this ?

      5)Saying that the German DoW was incredibily stupid is arguing with hindsight .
      This entire thread is based on arguments with hindsight.
      Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

      Comment


      • From the point of view of Hitler (not using hindsight),there was already a de facto war :
        Lend Lease,the meeting at New Foundland,the intervention of the US in the battle of the Atlantic,Roosevelt's order on the USN to shoot on sight when they encountered a U Boat,US troops on Iceland . .

        Hitler's POV was that this would be intensified,PH or no PH .A proof is not needed:this was the opinion of Hitler ,because,without the help of the US,Britain would give up (following Adolf),and,as Britain did not give up,this was the proof that the US would intervene.

        I never said that the DoW was something brilliant,only,that it can be defended as a reasonable policy,and that it was not an incredible blunder .He had (from his POV) enough reasons to declare war in december,he would have not more reasons in january,march,may 1942,or later .
        The alternative would mean that a mobilized America would defeat in a short time Japan,and than, NOT would demobilize,but would go after him .

        It would not be wise to do nothing,looking the other way,while the US was killing Japan,and wait as a defenceless lamb to the moment when FDR would go to Europe .
        United,Japan and Germany had a better chance in the war against Germany.

        On the first question:Hitler was convinced that the daily fighting between the U Boats and the USN (with dozens of American victims) inevitably would result in a DoW by the US .

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        • About the BoB: it is not so that on 25 august the LW was winning ,by destroying the airfiedls and that than Adolf (always him) was saying to Goering : No Hermann,we are winning,change the tactic and attack the cities .

          It never was : airfields OR cities : it was both .
          Already before september ,the Germans attacked the cities:

          Southampton: from june onwards
          Norwich : on 9 july (27 civilians killed)
          Coventry: in july and august,with several dozen of civilian losses.

          Comment


          • During the Tunisia Campaign why did Hitler not allow Rommel go back to there?
            "With foxes we must play the fox."
            -Thomas Fuller

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            • Sick and privately Hitler knew he was done for in Africa

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              • Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                From the point of view of Hitler (not using hindsight),there was already a de facto war :
                Lend Lease,the meeting at New Foundland,the intervention of the US in the battle of the Atlantic,Roosevelt's order on the USN to shoot on sight when they encountered a U Boat,US troops on Iceland . .

                Hitler's POV was that this would be intensified,PH or no PH .A proof is not needed:this was the opinion of Hitler ,because,without the help of the US,Britain would give up (following Adolf),and,as Britain did not give up,this was the proof that the US would intervene.

                I never said that the DoW was something brilliant,only,that it can be defended as a reasonable policy,and that it was not an incredible blunder .He had (from his POV) enough reasons to declare war in december,he would have not more reasons in january,march,may 1942,or later .
                The alternative would mean that a mobilized America would defeat in a short time Japan,and than, NOT would demobilize,but would go after him .

                It would not be wise to do nothing,looking the other way,while the US was killing Japan,and wait as a defenceless lamb to the moment when FDR would go to Europe .
                United,Japan and Germany had a better chance in the war against Germany.

                On the first question:Hitler was convinced that the daily fighting between the U Boats and the USN (with dozens of American victims) inevitably would result in a DoW by the US .
                Hitlers opinions almost always led to catastrophe as would his opinion or insight that Britain would have given up without American backing,why would we?
                So pull the Yankee rug out from under Merry old England and she'd fall on her bum?
                She would have staggered a bit but don't forget that as Hitler was marching East there was basically bugger all happening in W Europe,a few Commando raids and some fighter sweeps and one disastrous raid on Dieppe.
                There was a theatre of war in the Med but there was nothing at all to suggest that the UK would chuck their hand in at any point during the 4 years after the BoB.
                No mate,Hitler was off his rocker for starting on the Yanks,simple as!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                  About the BoB: it is not so that on 25 august the LW was winning ,by destroying the airfiedls and that than Adolf (always him) was saying to Goering : No Hermann,we are winning,change the tactic and attack the cities .

                  It never was : airfields OR cities : it was both .
                  Already before september ,the Germans attacked the cities:

                  Southampton: from june onwards
                  Norwich : on 9 july (27 civilians killed)
                  Coventry: in july and august,with several dozen of civilian losses.
                  The important thing to remember here is, that at no stage were the Germans 'winning' the Battle of Britain. Neither could they do so, no matter where they focussed their attacks.
                  "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                  Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                    From the point of view of Hitler (not using hindsight),there was already a de facto war :
                    Lend Lease,the meeting at New Foundland,the intervention of the US in the battle of the Atlantic,Roosevelt's order on the USN to shoot on sight when they encountered a U Boat,US troops on Iceland . .

                    Hitler's POV was that this would be intensified,PH or no PH .A proof is not needed:this was the opinion of Hitler ,because,without the help of the US,Britain would give up (following Adolf),and,as Britain did not give up,this was the proof that the US would intervene.

                    I never said that the DoW was something brilliant,only,that it can be defended as a reasonable policy,and that it was not an incredible blunder .He had (from his POV) enough reasons to declare war in december,he would have not more reasons in january,march,may 1942,or later .
                    The alternative would mean that a mobilized America would defeat in a short time Japan,and than, NOT would demobilize,but would go after him .

                    It would not be wise to do nothing,looking the other way,while the US was killing Japan,and wait as a defenceless lamb to the moment when FDR would go to Europe .
                    United,Japan and Germany had a better chance in the war against Germany.

                    On the first question:Hitler was convinced that the daily fighting between the U Boats and the USN (with dozens of American victims) inevitably would result in a DoW by the US .
                    I certainly agree that Hitler resented and feared the USA and regarded FDRs actions in the Battle of the Atlantic as acts of war. The entire DoW speech is full of citations of acts of this kind. However, I am not so sure that buying time would have not been to Hitler's benefit. The entire enlargement, conscription, training and organization of the US Army started at Pearl Harbor, not before. Would it not have been wise to wait and see what occurred in the Pacific before inviting attack? There were already significant disagreements between the US Joint Chiefs and the British. The DOW galvanized American public opinion, already strongly anti-German.
                    Will no one tell me what she sings?--
                    Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
                    For old, unhappy, far-off things,
                    And battles long ago:
                    -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

                    Comment


                    • The problem is that whe know what happened after 11 december (Germany's DOW),we know about Midway,Guadalcanal,etc,while this was a hidden future for Adolf .

                      Look on it on this way :Hitler was at war with Britain and the SU,and expected every day a war with the US.

                      :Japan was at war with the US and Britain.Both wars (Japan /US and Japan /Britain) were inextricably connected with each other.

                      Could Hitler say :Japan at war with the US ? Not my business.

                      The same people who are condemning Hitler for joining Japan in the war against the US,are saying that it was inevitable that the US would join Britain in her war against Germany .

                      Britain and the US allies against Japan,would result in Britain and the US being allies against Germany .

                      Japan and Germany allies in the war against Britain,would result in Japan and Germany being allies against the US .

                      Comment


                      • The last thing that Hitler needed was for Germany to be at war with the United States, regardless of what the U.S. was doing to aid the British. The fact is that covert aid under the banner of neutrality- no matter how agressive toward Nazi Germany- was far better than a state of outright war. Outright war with the United States meant that sooner- rather than later- U.S. ground and air forces would be arrayed against the Reich in ever increasing force. Regardless of how inevitable that war with the United States was (and it was inevitable), every single month, week, and day that Germany was not at war with the U.S. was more time for the Germans to possibly- possibly- defeat the Soviet Union and all but clear their eastern flank.

                        Yet, instead of remaining at peace with America and not allowing himself to be provoked into a declaration of war- which is exactly what Roosevelt was attempting to get Hitler to do, and something that Hitler had conciously avoided doing for months- Hitler foolishly declared war for practically no initial gain and deliberately placed his nation at war with the two greatest naval and industrial powers on Earth. It was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made and alone, it was sufficient to cause the defeat of Nazi Germany.
                        Sgt.

                        Comment


                        • Often ignored is the effect the "undeclared war" in the North Atlantic was having on German operations.

                          The US government kept moving the demarcation line of the "protection zone" further east. USN ships west of this line were engaged in "neutrality patrols". U-boats prowling the "protection zone" were ordered not to attack escort ships running without lights. USN units were unlighted as well as enemy RN and RCN vessels. In fact, USN ships were freely mixing with RN and RCN escort groups, further complicating identification problems.

                          Sinking unidentified merchant ships came under similar restrictions.

                          In order to prevent an incident, U-boat operations were forbidden in a large portion of the eastern Atlantic. All of this had a severely debilitating effect on Donitz' attempt to cut the life lines to the UK.

                          I would say that part of Hitler's motivation was to placate the Kreigsmarine's concerns about US efforts to circumvent the blockade.

                          Another may have been a fanciful hope that Japan would reciprocate with a declaration of war on the USSR.
                          Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

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                          • It also allows Hitler to appear "great" by declaring before the US declare war. It gives him control and authority.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Desiree Clary View Post
                              I certainly agree that Hitler resented and feared the USA and regarded FDR's actions in the Battle of the Atlantic as acts of war. The entire DoW speech is full of citations of acts of this kind. However, I am not so sure that buying time would have not been to Hitler's benefit. The entire enlargement, conscription, training and organization of the US Army started at Pearl Harbor, not before. Would it not have been wise to wait and see what occurred in the Pacific before inviting attack? There were already significant disagreements between the US Joint Chiefs and the British. The DOW galvanized American public opinion, already strongly anti-German.
                              Hitler had been promising his support to Japan if they attacked the USA since the spring of 1941.
                              It has to be remembered that Hitler knew his attack on the Soviet Union needed to be a short campaign for him to win, so therefore declaring war on the USA in order to disrupt the supplies in the short term reaching Britain and the Soviet Union was a risk worth taking.
                              After all, if he didn't defeat the Soviets in the next year or so, he was going to lose, whether the USA was in the war or not and he knew this. However, if he did win in the Soviet Union he considered that the USA and Britain would then be unable to seriously threaten him.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                                Hitler had been promising his support to Japan if they attacked the USA since the spring of 1941.
                                It has to be remembered that Hitler knew his attack on the Soviet Union needed to be a short campaign for him to win, so therefore declaring war on the USA in order to disrupt the supplies in the short term reaching Britain and the Soviet Union was a risk worth taking.
                                After all, if he didn't defeat the Soviets in the next year or so, he was going to lose, whether the USA was in the war or not and he knew this. However, if he did win in the Soviet Union he considered that the USA and Britain would then be unable to seriously threaten him.
                                Certainly makes sense, but do you think Hitler was rational enough to think that if he didn't win a short war against the Soviet Union, he was going to lose? If so, what would be the point of all the murders of the Slavs and the Jewish people? Most of that was done after December 1941. If he seriously thought he was going to lose, wouldn't it have made more sense to moderate his racial policies?
                                Will no one tell me what she sings?--
                                Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
                                For old, unhappy, far-off things,
                                And battles long ago:
                                -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

                                Comment

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