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Operation Barbarossa

 
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Operation Barbarossa - 5/5/2012 10:33:27 AM   
ilovestrategy


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I am currently reading Operation Barbarossa. One thing I am not clear on is why Hitler attacked Russia in the first place. If anyone can enlighten me I'd be grateful.

The book is detailed but seems a little biased. It makes the Germans seem like a bunch of infighting buffoons and I know that even though they had their issues they were not as incompetent as the book makes them out to be.

The Stalin purges of 37. Dang, that was brutal!

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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/5/2012 11:05:26 AM   
british exil


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Adolf Hilter called it a preventative measure. He stated he was no longer willing to watch the Bolschvik build up troops to fall into his back. He further stated he was no longer willing to watch the east border being threatened by Moscow. He "feared" the Soviets could threaten the National Sozialistic exsistence, by releasing the barbaric hordes to invade Germany.

According to information gathered by the security/infomation forces of the SS the government had no choice but to attack the Soviet Union.


In 1940 the Soviet forces had also marched into Romania (former russian province Bessarabia?) and were very close to the Romanian oilfields.

Hitler was also reckoning on the purge of Stalin, reducing the power of the Soviet armies. The German Armies were supperior to the Soviet's. The German generals felt that if they could capture the major cities, then the Soviet Union would pose no further threat.

Hitler was able to convince the Heer that the attack would no fail.

Mat

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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/5/2012 11:30:12 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ilovestrategy

I am currently reading Operation Barbarossa. One thing I am not clear on is why Hitler attacked Russia in the first place. If anyone can enlighten me I'd be grateful.

The book is detailed but seems a little biased. It makes the Germans seem like a bunch of infighting buffoons and I know that even though they had their issues they were not as incompetent as the book makes them out to be.

The Stalin purges of 37. Dang, that was brutal!
Warspite1

Hitler attacked the Soviet Union because he wanted Lebensraum "Living Space" for the German people. Hitler was not concerned with an overseas empire - he wanted a Greater Germany - and the Soviet Union would provide that - the Ukraine would be the bread basket, the oil fields of the caucasus would provide the power along with all the other raw materials that the Soviets had within their territory.

I have heard many people say "why did Hitler not just stop at France?" That question fails to understand Hitler's entire reason for being. The subjugation of France (and Britain had it been possible) were simply a means to an end; the end was the conquest of the Soviet Union as far as the Urals.

Whether Stalin was going to attack Germany is unimportant (and the jury is out on that one) - Hitler was always going to attack the Soviets regardless.

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 5/5/2012 11:32:03 AM >


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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/5/2012 11:30:29 AM   
SLAAKMAN


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The Hitler-Molotov Meetings, November 1940:
Catalyst for Barbarossa?

http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Hitler_Molotov_Meetings_November_194.html?id=dk0ItwAACAAJ

Before this negotiation, Hitler didnt know what to do about Britains continued resistance but believed that Churchill & FDR were secretly scheming to convince Stalin into attacking him. Molotov pissed him off so much that he decided that Russia needed to be crushed immediately.

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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/5/2012 3:12:54 PM   
Josh

 

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A bit OT here, but; "The Stalin purges of 37. Dang, that was brutal" You're right about that! I remember this story about a kid who betrayed his parents and got a statue for it...
Ofcourse, in the end even Beria wasn't safe.

(/edit, Wiki is your friend; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov )

< Message edited by Josh -- 5/5/2012 3:17:42 PM >

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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/5/2012 7:52:48 PM   
ilovestrategy


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Thanks guys!

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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/5/2012 8:53:58 PM   
sulla05

 

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It is also good to remember that many of the generals had fought on the eastern front in WWI and felt, rightly so, that Russia was a much easier opponent that France was in that war.

Most of the estimates of soviet military power were far off the mark. Two things illustrate this.

First, in 1944 hitler had a meeting with Mannerheim from Finland. It was taped and is actually on the web or at least the wriiten record is. hitler tells Mannerheim that he would have never invaded Russia had he known that they had 10K tanks.

Second, when the soviet army officers visited the German tank factories, part of the 1939 pact. They kept asking where the heavy tanks were. The soviets were under the impression that the Germans were hiding their best armor from them. Some German tank experts took this as a warning that the soviets might have much better equipment than they thought but their fears were brushed aside.

As other people have said the " Drang nach osten " was always a part of hitler's ideas. He brings it up in mein kampf.

A Russian attack on Germany is talked about in many books but they do not go past 1941 in discussing it. Most authors say that Russia had no intention to attack Germany and give their reasons for the years 1940 and 1941.However I believe that there is no doubt that once the Russian army was equipped with newer wepaons ( T-34s etc. ) and the purge effects were gone they would have launched an attack, say 1943 or 1944.

< Message edited by sulla05 -- 5/5/2012 9:00:36 PM >


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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 12:28:23 AM   
rogo727


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sulla05,
You are right. What people don't realize is that Hitler thought the war would not last much longer than six months. I doubt very much Hitler would have attacted if he knew that the war would lasted four long years and the end result would be the end of the Third Reich.

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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 12:30:46 AM   
rogo727


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Josh

A bit OT here, but; "The Stalin purges of 37. Dang, that was brutal" You're right about that! I remember this story about a kid who betrayed his parents and got a statue for it...
Ofcourse, in the end even Beria wasn't safe.

(/edit, Wiki is your friend; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov )

Can you ever imagine a purge like that in America or the UK?

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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 12:48:13 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727


quote:

ORIGINAL: Josh

A bit OT here, but; "The Stalin purges of 37. Dang, that was brutal" You're right about that! I remember this story about a kid who betrayed his parents and got a statue for it...
Ofcourse, in the end even Beria wasn't safe.

(/edit, Wiki is your friend; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov )

Can you ever imagine a purge like that in America or the UK?
Warspite1

No. Not really, but then if you are to carry off something like that - the killing off or banishing to Siberia of so many people - then it really helps to be a dictatorial, paranoid, homicidal, sociopathic loon (as well as being in charge of said country). As much as we may dislike our leaders on both sides of the pond from time to time, none of them, I think, can be accused of being a budding Uncle Joe.....


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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 2:02:20 AM   
wodin


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I also believe Russia at some point would have invaded Germany.

The problem was Germany wasn't ready to take on Russia in '41. They had squandered the Luftwaffe over Britain and needed time to replace loses from the previous campaigns, plus their tanks where not upto the mark to take on Russian tanks, maybe in '43 they'd have been far better prepared, however if Russia was building up for an attack in the near future they might not have had that amount of time.

I feel though if they had held off for a year or so and given Rommel more support instead in Africa and they managed to push up through Iraq\Iran things would have been different as they'd be close to their furthest point they got to in the attack against Russia with probably far fewer casualties. Russia would have been in a tricky position then from the West and South. The Germans may have brought Turkey into the War on their side aswell at that point. I'm sure Hitler was peeved with Japan for attacking the USA instead of helping him with Russia, as soon as they did that even in this scenario he would be in trouble no matter what.

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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 2:21:15 AM   
parusski


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

I also believe Russia at some point would have invaded Germany.

The problem was Germany wasn't ready to take on Russia in '41. They had squandered the Luftwaffe over Britain and needed time to replace loses from the previous campaigns, plus their tanks where not upto the mark to take on Russian tanks, maybe in '43 they'd have been far better prepared, however if Russia was building up for an attack in the near future they might not have had that amount of time.

I feel though if they had held off for a year or so and given Rommel more support instead in Africa and they managed to push up through Iraq\Iran things would have been different as they'd be close to their furthest point they got to in the attack against Russia with probably far fewer casualties. Russia would have been in a tricky position then from the West and South. The Germans may have brought Turkey into the War on their side aswell at that point. I'm sure Hitler was peeved with Japan for attacking the USA instead of helping him with Russia, as soon as they did that even in this scenario he would be in trouble no matter what.


I think you are correct that Russia would have invaded Germany. Hitler was only seeing want he wanted over the Japanese attack on America. He wanted to embarrass Roosevelt, in his speech declaring war on the U.S. Hitler said:

"National Socialism came to power in Germany in the same year as Roosevelt was elected President…While an unprecedented revival of economic life, culture and art took place in Germany under National Socialist leadership, President Roosevelt did not succeed in bringing about even the slightest improvement in his own country."

Hitler also thought, foolishly, that America would go after Japan first, diverting it's shipping to the Pacific. Apparently he thought this would make his war in Europe easier.

These things just give you a glimpse into Hitler's way of thinking, which is in indicative of how he thought of Russia.

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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 2:37:24 AM   
rogo727


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727


quote:

ORIGINAL: Josh

A bit OT here, but; "The Stalin purges of 37. Dang, that was brutal" You're right about that! I remember this story about a kid who betrayed his parents and got a statue for it...
Ofcourse, in the end even Beria wasn't safe.

(/edit, Wiki is your friend; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov )

Can you ever imagine a purge like that in America or the UK?
Warspite1

No. Not really, but then if you are to carry off something like that - the killing off or banishing to Siberia of so many people - then it really helps to be a dictatorial, paranoid, homicidal, sociopathic loon (as well as being in charge of said country). As much as we may dislike our leaders on both sides of the pond from time to time, none of them, I think, can be accused of being a budding Uncle Joe.....


Thank goodness for that!

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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 2:39:29 AM   
rogo727


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quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski


quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

I also believe Russia at some point would have invaded Germany.

The problem was Germany wasn't ready to take on Russia in '41. They had squandered the Luftwaffe over Britain and needed time to replace loses from the previous campaigns, plus their tanks where not upto the mark to take on Russian tanks, maybe in '43 they'd have been far better prepared, however if Russia was building up for an attack in the near future they might not have had that amount of time.

I feel though if they had held off for a year or so and given Rommel more support instead in Africa and they managed to push up through Iraq\Iran things would have been different as they'd be close to their furthest point they got to in the attack against Russia with probably far fewer casualties. Russia would have been in a tricky position then from the West and South. The Germans may have brought Turkey into the War on their side aswell at that point. I'm sure Hitler was peeved with Japan for attacking the USA instead of helping him with Russia, as soon as they did that even in this scenario he would be in trouble no matter what.


I think you are correct that Russia would have invaded Germany. Hitler was only seeing want he wanted over the Japanese attack on America. He wanted to embarrass Roosevelt, in his speech declaring war on the U.S. Hitler said:

"National Socialism came to power in Germany in the same year as Roosevelt was elected President…While an unprecedented revival of economic life, culture and art took place in Germany under National Socialist leadership, President Roosevelt did not succeed in bringing about even the slightest improvement in his own country."

Hitler also thought, foolishly, that America would go after Japan first, diverting it's shipping to the Pacific. Apparently he thought this would make his war in Europe easier.

These things just give you a glimpse into Hitler's way of thinking, which is in indicative of how he thought of Russia.

well said.

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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 2:46:00 AM   
parusski


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From: Wyoming, Even Liberals Welcome
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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727


quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski


quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

I also believe Russia at some point would have invaded Germany.

The problem was Germany wasn't ready to take on Russia in '41. They had squandered the Luftwaffe over Britain and needed time to replace loses from the previous campaigns, plus their tanks where not upto the mark to take on Russian tanks, maybe in '43 they'd have been far better prepared, however if Russia was building up for an attack in the near future they might not have had that amount of time.

I feel though if they had held off for a year or so and given Rommel more support instead in Africa and they managed to push up through Iraq\Iran things would have been different as they'd be close to their furthest point they got to in the attack against Russia with probably far fewer casualties. Russia would have been in a tricky position then from the West and South. The Germans may have brought Turkey into the War on their side aswell at that point. I'm sure Hitler was peeved with Japan for attacking the USA instead of helping him with Russia, as soon as they did that even in this scenario he would be in trouble no matter what.


I think you are correct that Russia would have invaded Germany. Hitler was only seeing want he wanted over the Japanese attack on America. He wanted to embarrass Roosevelt, in his speech declaring war on the U.S. Hitler said:

"National Socialism came to power in Germany in the same year as Roosevelt was elected President…While an unprecedented revival of economic life, culture and art took place in Germany under National Socialist leadership, President Roosevelt did not succeed in bringing about even the slightest improvement in his own country."

Hitler also thought, foolishly, that America would go after Japan first, diverting it's shipping to the Pacific. Apparently he thought this would make his war in Europe easier.

These things just give you a glimpse into Hitler's way of thinking, which is in indicative of how he thought of Russia.

well said.


Ah, a moment of glory for me to bask in...it's over though.



_____________________________

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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 3:08:31 AM   
parusski


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ilovestrategy

I am currently reading Operation Barbarossa. One thing I am not clear on is why Hitler attacked Russia in the first place. If anyone can enlighten me I'd be grateful.

The book is detailed but seems a little biased. It makes the Germans seem like a bunch of infighting buffoons and I know that even though they had their issues they were not as incompetent as the book makes them out to be.

The Stalin purges of 37. Dang, that was brutal!


Except that the Germans did not lose the war at Kursk, or Stalingrad or even outside Moscow in 1941. Germany lost in August '41, at Smolensk. It was during the Battle for Smolensk that the Russians first implemented determined coordinated counter attacks. This was proof that the Russians were far from defeated and this was recognized by some German generals. Guderian, Hoth and Bock all realized that German units should not be overstretched and all three wanted to push on to Moscow then. Hitler pushed for action against Kiev, which did lead to 650,000 prisoners, but it diluted and weakened the Germans in front of Moscow. Oh, and it delayed the start of Typhoon for weeks, critical time the Germans could ill afford. So that is how I see it, and of course I am always correct. Hitler should have listened to Guderian and company and went straight for Stalin's Kremlin in August 1941.

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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 3:15:27 AM   
rogo727


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One could say Germany lost the war the day they declared war on the united states.

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Post #: 17
RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 3:28:46 AM   
parusski


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

One could say Germany lost the war the day they declared war on the united states.


Only in a marginal way. I am ready for the attacks this will bring, but here goes. The Soviet Union defeated Germany. Utterly and completely. Soviet losses in human life was about 70 times that of America. Yes, America did help the Soviets with material, but it was not a decisive factor. Nothing the United States did assisted the Russians in stopping the Germans before Moscow. American aid only started arriving in meaningful numbers in 1942. Germany was toast by then.

I mean, the Russians outproduced Germany 4-1 in tanks. With lend-lease the Russians had about a 5/6-1 advantage in tanks(after early 42). Not that big a difference.

Edit for additional thought:

The one area that was vital for the Soviets was the supply of American trucks. These vehicles accounted for about 50% of all Soviet transport, but again NOT in 1941 or even part of '42.

< Message edited by parusski -- 5/6/2012 3:39:50 AM >


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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 3:51:50 AM   
rogo727


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That's why I said one could say. Who knows. I can't disagree with some of the things you said. I don't think Germany was toast in 1942 like you said. I have read the soviets where at their end of reserves in 1945. That's one reason I think they did not push west. Soviet union alone did not defeat Germany. To say so I feel dishonors all those allied men and women who helped bring down perhaps the most evil empire the world has ever seen.

< Message edited by rogo727 -- 5/6/2012 3:52:30 AM >


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RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 4:15:49 AM   
parusski


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

That's why I said one could say. Who knows. I can't disagree with some of the things you said. I don't think Germany was toast in 1942 like you said. I have read the soviets where at their end of reserves in 1945. That's one reason I think they did not push west. Soviet union alone did not defeat Germany. To say so I feel dishonors all those allied men and women who helped bring down perhaps the most evil empire the world has ever seen.


Yes, the Soviets were scrapping the bottom of the manpower barrel by 45. It SHOULD go without saying that Britain did it's part my defying Hitler and standing firm. America did it's part by supplying the world with arms and food, and of course with war dead. Australia did it's part, Canada helped...France, er...we know what France did. It gets old having to say "I do not dishonor anyone". Discussions should take place without ever qualifying any statement. I qualify that by saying, for the most part.

Anyway, the Soviets defeated the Germans. Do you think Britain and America would have tolerated 25 million causalities?? NOPE.

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Post #: 20
RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 4:24:35 AM   
rogo727


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I respect your point of view.

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Post #: 21
RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 4:29:13 AM   
parusski


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

I respect your point of view.


Thank goodness, cause I don't.

_____________________________

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Post #: 22
RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 4:38:07 AM   
rogo727


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Frankly that's why I love history. There is always a debate. Different points of views.

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Post #: 23
RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 4:44:39 AM   
parusski


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

Frankly that's why I love history. There is always a debate. Different points of views.


What, that I don't respect my views??

Yes, that is why I said I dislike having to qualify things. I just like to throw things against the wall and see what sticks. Problem is it sticks to my face quiet often.

_____________________________

"I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast."- W.T. Sherman

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Post #: 24
RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 4:53:06 AM   
rogo727


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Lol I have no response to that corporal errrr sargent Steiner!

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Post #: 25
RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 4:54:42 AM   
parusski


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

Lol I have no response to that corporal errrr sargent Steiner!


Of course not. Exit stage left...

_____________________________

"I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast."- W.T. Sherman

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Post #: 26
RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 10:05:34 AM   
wodin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: parusski


quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

I also believe Russia at some point would have invaded Germany.

The problem was Germany wasn't ready to take on Russia in '41. They had squandered the Luftwaffe over Britain and needed time to replace loses from the previous campaigns, plus their tanks where not upto the mark to take on Russian tanks, maybe in '43 they'd have been far better prepared, however if Russia was building up for an attack in the near future they might not have had that amount of time.

I feel though if they had held off for a year or so and given Rommel more support instead in Africa and they managed to push up through Iraq\Iran things would have been different as they'd be close to their furthest point they got to in the attack against Russia with probably far fewer casualties. Russia would have been in a tricky position then from the West and South. The Germans may have brought Turkey into the War on their side aswell at that point. I'm sure Hitler was peeved with Japan for attacking the USA instead of helping him with Russia, as soon as they did that even in this scenario he would be in trouble no matter what.


I think you are correct that Russia would have invaded Germany. Hitler was only seeing want he wanted over the Japanese attack on America. He wanted to embarrass Roosevelt, in his speech declaring war on the U.S. Hitler said:

"National Socialism came to power in Germany in the same year as Roosevelt was elected President…While an unprecedented revival of economic life, culture and art took place in Germany under National Socialist leadership, President Roosevelt did not succeed in bringing about even the slightest improvement in his own country."

Hitler also thought, foolishly, that America would go after Japan first, diverting it's shipping to the Pacific. Apparently he thought this would make his war in Europe easier.

These things just give you a glimpse into Hitler's way of thinking, which is in indicative of how he thought of Russia.


If Hitlers gambles hadn't pulled off so well as they did in Poland and the War in the West maybe he wouldn't have ended up thinking he was a military genius and his Generals where on the whole incompetent. His messiah complex hindered Germany from '42 onwards, you could say it got in the way in the first winter in Russia aswell. I's all if's and but's and you have a dominoe effect if you change an event.

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(in reply to parusski)
Post #: 27
RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 12:04:46 PM   
british exil


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If Hitler had not been so obsessed with his Ayran idealogies, the people living in the east were worth nothing in his point of view, then he might have seen the benefits of using the men in his "freed" territories, the Baltic states and Ukraine would have been more than willing to fight against the Soviet forces.

But due to his complex he felt it better to make a possible ally into a competent partisan force. Depleting forces to protect the rear areas.


Hindsight is always nice, but I'm sure if he had listened to his generals, history as we know it, would have been different.

Mat

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(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 28
RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 12:21:52 PM   
parusski


Posts: 4689
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From: Wyoming, Even Liberals Welcome
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quote:

If Hitlers gambles hadn't pulled off so well as they did in Poland and the War in the West maybe he wouldn't have ended up thinking he was a military genius and his Generals where on the whole incompetent. His messiah complex hindered Germany from '42 onwards, you could say it got in the way in the first winter in Russia aswell. I's all if's and but's and you have a dominoe effect if you change an event.


Yeah and I usually love to simply though out "Hilter was craaaazy". And he was. Poland, Norway, France...they all made Hitler think he was God.

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(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 29
RE: Operation Barbarossa - 5/6/2012 1:12:47 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: british exil

If Hitler had not been so obsessed with his Ayran idealogies, the people living in the east were worth nothing in his point of view, then he might have seen the benefits of using the men in his "freed" territories, the Baltic states and Ukraine would have been more than willing to fight against the Soviet forces.

But due to his complex he felt it better to make a possible ally into a competent partisan force. Depleting forces to protect the rear areas.


Hindsight is always nice, but I'm sure if he had listened to his generals, history as we know it, would have been different.

Mat
Warspite1

quote:

If Hitler had not been so obsessed with his Ayran idealogies, the people living in the east were worth nothing in his point of view, then he might have seen the benefits of using the men in his "freed" territories, the Baltic states and Ukraine would have been more than willing to fight against the Soviet forces.


True, but as with Hitler's decision to invade the USSR, it was never going to happen; its like wondering what would have happened if Hitler had used Jewish scientists to help with his rocket and nuclear programs....

quote:

.....but I'm sure if he had listened to his generals, history as we know it, would have been different.


I'm not sure I agree with that line of thinking. There were some top quality generals of course, but I do not think the General Staff was the "paragon of virtue" that some make out. After all, as just one example, if Hitler had given a free reign to his generals in May 1940 - and the plan they wanted to use - how would the war in the west have panned out, with no attack through the Ardennes?

Interesting stuff nonetheless.

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(in reply to british exil)
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