Historia Moderna y Contemporánea I, L 13:00, grupo 91
17 de noviembre de 2010
Andrés Cárdenas Molinar, A01014778
Proyecto Parcial Final
Hitler’s greatest mistakes on WWII
Hitler was a political genius, an icon to millions of Germans, but when the war came, he proved to be an amateur general. His charms and vigorous speeches moved themasses, but all of his charisma could not replace military skills, which he lacked. Even though he had fought heroically at World War I, his military career was not one of strategy, he had no military education, and didn’t get promoted to any high position in the army. During WWII, again and again he showed that he was not only bad at taking decisions, he also didn’t listen to his generals. Heusually clung onto an idea, and never let it go. His initial victories in France and Eastern Europe made him think he was some kind of military genius, and that his generals were far too “blind” to se the “big picture”.
The purpose of this essay is to compare the consequences of Hitler’s mistakes with those of the Allies to determine which side’s mistakes were more costly; analyze theconsequences that would have ensued if Hitler had not committed those mistakes, in order to determine the chances Germany had of winning the war; and to discuss if the Germans had a real opportunity to win the war regardless of these mistakes and identify the importance of certain crucial battles. Therefore, the hypothesis of this essay is the following:
Hitler made many grave mistakes during the war,and those bad decisions eventually cost him the war. His mistakes brought the demise of Germany.
I. Introduction to the Wehrmacht
4. Waffen SS
II. Political and military clumsiness
1. The separation of fronts
III. Mistakes on the air war
1. The Battle of Britain
2. Productionof airplanes and weapons
IV. Worst battlefield decisions
1. Eastern Front - Stalingrad
VI. Works cited
I. Introduction to the Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht was Germany’s armed forces, it was formed by the Kriegsmarine, which was its naval force; the Luftwaffe, its aerial force; the Heer, the main army; and the Waffen SS, the fanatical elite land forces. Some estimatethat during the war, the Wehrmacht had between 5 and 7.5 million men (Hastings 53). Some historians believed it to be the best army in the war: “ ... there's no doubt that man for man, the German army was the greatest fighting force of the second world war.” (Hastings 53).
“On 1939, Germany had about 4,000,000 soldiers in the Army, all of them professionally trained. . . . theyhad professional training, devotion, and discipline.” (Overy 133). Panzer (tank) divisions were unstoppable; tanks such as the Panzer IV and Tiger tank were immensely superior to Americans’ weak Sherman tanks or even Soviets’ solid T-34s (Overy 133). The Blitzkrieg was a tactic they used, based on quickness and coordinated attacks. (Hastings 60). Due to its quickness, this method allowed Germanforces to attack and disrupt enemy forces larger than them without many casualties.
Having proven their worth during the Spanish Civil War, Germany had about 10,000 trained pilots, and about 2,800 planes—900 fighters and 1,900 bombers divided in three fleets. Germany was able to produce 140 ME109s and 90 ME110s per month.” (“The Battle of Britain” par. 5).
3. Kriegsmarine“With 50,000+ men serving in the Kriegsmarine, it was not a navy bigger than the British Navy, but the German ships were far more powerful than British or American ships.” (Overy 114). The only problem with German battleships was that there were too few of them, since they were costly and took too much time to make (Speer 122). Another important element for the German navy was the U-boat...