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The German's greatest mistake in WWII

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  • [QUOTE=eagle101;114690]What was the biggest blunder the Germans made during WWII?

    There were many, just a few examples

    Failure of operation sea lion. Failure to fully support Rommel in Africa, Invasion of the Balkans (Greece) to support Il Duce.

    Death bed last words. Always pay the Legions, Septimius Severus.

    http://www.greatmilitarybattles.com/...d_war_two.html

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    • I have another definition for blunder.

      As SL was not possible,it could not be a blunder .

      It is also wrong to say that Rommel was not fully supplied,and also irrelevant .

      And,why would the German intervention in the Balkans be a blunder ?

      Comment


      • Originally posted by ljadw View Post
        And,why would the German intervention in the Balkans be a blunder ?
        I agree here. German intervention in the Balkans became necessary, to stabilize the region. Apparently IIRC, the instability was fomented at least in part by the British. But the Germans could not have simply let this slide, IMO.
        "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.

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        • Not only was the attack on Yugoslavia necessary,it also had no influence on the outcome of Barbarossa (which , I am suspecting,is what the OP is alluding on) .

          1)When the decision was made,in april 1941,to attack Yugoslavia,the date for Barbarossa was not yet fixed :it would be somewhere in the first half of may,but this would depend on the weather.

          2)Because of the weather,the first half of may would not be feasible,it would be end may or beginning of july.

          3)Because of Yugoslavia,the whole thing was even farther delayed :22 june .

          4)As we know that the Germans had a lot of good weather in the summer,and still failed,two weeks of extra good weather would not have made any difference .

          BTW:IIRC,not only the British were making problems in the Balkans,but also the US :Bill Donovan was travelling in the Balkans with as baggage a lot of US $

          Comment


          • Originally posted by ljadw View Post
            Not only was the attack on Yugoslavia necessary,it also had no influence on the outcome of Barbarossa (which , I am suspecting,is what the OP is alluding on) .

            1)When the decision was made,in april 1941,to attack Yugoslavia,the date for Barbarossa was not yet fixed :it would be somewhere in the first half of may,but this would depend on the weather.

            2)Because of the weather,the first half of may would not be feasible,it would be end may or beginning of july.

            3)Because of Yugoslavia,the whole thing was even farther delayed :22 june .

            4)As we know that the Germans had a lot of good weather in the summer,and still failed,two weeks of extra good weather would not have made any difference .

            BTW:IIRC,not only the British were making problems in the Balkans,but also the US :Bill Donovan was travelling in the Balkans with as baggage a lot of US $
            I agree, the impact on Barbarossa was not significant.
            "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.

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            • Thanks for the recommendations.

              So WW2 economic scholarship has a couple of volumes while differing interpretations of the last economic crisis numbers 100+ volumes..

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              • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                Thanks for the recommendations.

                So WW2 economic scholarship has a couple of volumes while differing interpretations of the last economic crisis numbers 100+ volumes..
                Almost. There is certainly information from Allied government archives since there were entire ministries in charge of wartime production, although I doubt if Nazi records are intact. The main problem, as I see it, is that the combination of talents required to sift though the minutiae and produce a coherent economic analysis is very rare.

                Regarding the Soviet economy, Mark Harrison is generally considered the best English-language source. Personally, I am struck by how little he knows about armoured vehicles, for example, which were central to the Soviet wartime economy. He is also writing fifteen years ago, so does not benefit from more recent information, including Tooze. I found some good essays online, but they are in Russian.

                Н.С. Симонов:
                Военно-промышленный комплекс СССР в 1920–1950-е годы
                http://militera.lib.ru/research/simonov_ns/index.html

                Н. Вознесенский:
                Военная экономика СССР в период Отечественной войны
                http://militera.lib.ru/h/voznesensky_n/index.html

                Regards
                Scott Fraser
                Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                A contentedly cantankerous old fart

                Comment


                • Sources...

                  Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                  Thanks for the recommendations.

                  So WW2 economic scholarship has a couple of volumes while differing interpretations of the last economic crisis numbers 100+ volumes..
                  Do what I did...dig into the published sources that Tooze cites in the footnotes/bibliography at the back of WOD. While many are archival and thus inaccessible to us mere mortals, many are available (if you have access to a university library) and some are commonly available at any well stocked library, if you're located in a major city.

                  One of these days I am going to advance my facility in the German language beyond the ability to order a dinner and find a bathroom!...Some day!

                  It's all down to how you approach the matter of searching for "the rest of the story"...

                  Cheers, Ron
                  48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
                  __________________________________________________ __________________

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Roughrider View Post
                    Allowing Hitler to become Supreme Commander of the armed forces.
                    Apart from the obvious.

                    A: Not finishing off the English and Dunkirk.

                    B: Kursk. Attacking a fortified position head on is something you should neverdo, they could have waited an entire year letting the Russians attack them. Yes, they did break through the Russian lines, true, but they could not take advantage of it because at that point they had no reserves. Hitler destroyed the flower of his armed forces at Kursk, bleeding the army dry.

                    PS: I have not read all 14 pages (which I should have) so hese points may be been mentioned already.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by walle View Post
                      Apart from the obvious.

                      A: Not finishing off the English and Dunkirk.

                      B: Kursk. Attacking a fortified position head on is something you should neverdo, they could have waited an entire year letting the Russians attack them. Yes, they did break through the Russian lines, true, but they could not take advantage of it because at that point they had no reserves. Hitler destroyed the flower of his armed forces at Kursk, bleeding the army dry.

                      PS: I have not read all 14 pages (which I should have) so hese points may be been mentioned already.
                      So how exactly do you propose that Hitler removes the British Empire from the fight?
                      Herein lies the problem...they're NOT giving up. Period. "Bagging the BEF" was not possible with the available forces, despite what others may tell you. Read Hugh Sebag-Montefiore and draw you own conclusion. The infamous Rundstat "halt" order, was based on sound logistical reasoning.


                      The UK are waiting for the US to get involved and they know they have the time to do so. All of Churchill's posturing was just that...posturing for a political outcome which would solve his problem. It was a foregone conclusion unless Hitler secured the resources of European Russia. I'd argue that even if he did, the USA would still squash him like the miserable cockroach he was...it would just take longer.
                      For the time being, they UK are going to be a pain in the *ss to you until they can come back across the channel and kick your butt.
                      What do you do..Mein Fuhrer?

                      Cheers, Ron
                      48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
                      __________________________________________________ __________________

                      Comment


                      • I'd say the biggest German mistake of the war was Fall Blau in 1942, which failed to break the Red Army and ideally set up the Germans for a decisive Soviet counter-attack.

                        I believe the Germans should have struck north, toward Moscow and Vologda, to maximize casualty infliction as well as shorten the length of the front.
                        Last edited by KDF33; 08 Apr 13, 21:11.

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                        • Originally posted by iron View Post
                          ...The infamous Rundstedt "halt" order, was based on sound logistical reasoning...
                          I'm not so sure of that. If they'd had sound logistics, they wouldn't have run out of gas.

                          One cannot blame Rundstedt for that though, any more than one can blame Rommel for running out of gas in Africa or Guderian for running out of gas in Russia. There wasn't much logic in their logistics... LOL!

                          Regards
                          Scott Fraser
                          Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                          A contentedly cantankerous old fart

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by iron View Post
                            So how exactly do you propose that Hitler removes the British Empire from the fight?
                            With England out of the equation the English would have been finished, and with England out of the equation there would have been no foothold in Europe for the Americans to establish a forward base. It would also have bought Germany the time they needed to keep working on their military-tech. As for Russia they could have beaten them, but Hitler's interference of military decisions made sure it never happened. Another point to raise, as far as the eastern front goes, is that the Ukrainians approached the Germans wanting to ally themselves with Germany in war against Russia. But National Socialists (read: Nazi cadre/party members) Racial views made them decline the offer.

                            As for the United States beating Germany in case they had taken England out of the equation whilst beating Russia? I don't think so. The Germans were soooo far ahead of everyone else when it came to military-tech (even though Hitler hampered this too with his interference) and with German factories not being bombed they would have been able to focus on production without any interruptions.

                            There are researchers who suggest that if Albert Speer hadn't interfered Germany would have had the A Bomb in 1945, but apparently he thought the war would be won much sooner, and in Germanys favour, so not enough resources was invested.

                            Lastly, no need to be aggressive and seek argumentation when people state what they believe to be the biggest blunders made by Hitler.

                            Take a chill pill...mein Führer.

                            Cheers
                            Eric.
                            Last edited by walle; 09 Apr 13, 07:48.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by walle View Post
                              " ... With England out of the equation the English would have been finished, and with England out of the equation there would have been no foothold in Europe for the Americans to establish a forward base. ... "
                              I could not see the British allowing any major part of their nation to fall to the Germans; nor could I see the Germans ever taking any major part of it by force. Even if the English decided they were finished (which would never happen), the Nazis still have to deal with Scotland, Wales and maybe Ireland. Hitler either takes the UK down completely, or he does not take it at all. And he is never going to take the UK down.
                              "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 panther3485 View Post
                                I could not see the British allowing any major part of their nation to fall to the Germans; nor could I see the Germans ever taking any major part of it by force. Even if the English decided they were finished (which would never happen), the Nazis still have to deal with Scotland, Wales and maybe Ireland. Hitler either takes the UK down completely, or he does not take it at all. And he is never going to take the UK down.
                                He would've had to postpone the invasion of Russia for another year at least, but then I think it definitely would've been possible.

                                England quite simply didn't interest Hitler enough though, who saw the Soviet Union as the real enemy.

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