Reading post 619287 in main thread: Germany lost the war in 1940
February 20th, 2012  
Originally Posted by Der Alte
The more I study the German war effort, the more convinced I become that Dunkirk laid the foundations for the German defeat.

For Germany´s military leadership Dunkirk was the first great turning-point in the Second World War. Hitler was confident that with this battle he had demonstrated his “military invincibility” to the world. Had not the victory been won, to some extent at least, in accordance with his own ideas?

The campaign also confirmed his belief in his own military genius, while National Socialist propaganda went to reckless lengths to develop a single instance into a myth of invincibility. This was the original source of Hitler’s military hubris; the psychological factor which as time went on was to exercise a more and more deleterious effect on Germany’s conduct of the war. Further, it was during the Dunkirk campaign that Hitler first forced OKH to accept his own military views, by short-circuiting it at a critical juncture of the fighting and transferring a decision of far-reaching importance to a subordinate command whose views happened to coincide with his own.

In the last resort this was an important step towards the confusion which later so confounded Germany’s military leadership. What now developed was a gradual inner dissolution of the chain of command; the actual military instrument of leadership, the OKH, was undermined, overruled, and finally abolished altogether – with terrible consequences for the German people.

The course was laid and just like the Titanic Germany was on the way to her destiny.
While I can see merit in the argument and I do not disagree with your points I am going to disagree with your conclusion.

Just for fun lets take Russia out of the picture all together make it Sweden, it is still supplying Germany with raw materials and oil but it isn't going to attack Germany and vice versa, with the full weight of the German Army, Navy and Air Force focused on defending the gains of 1939-1940 could Britain and the Commonwealth have ever regained a foothold in Europe personally I don't think so, sure the RAF would have done there thing but eventually the losses there would have eventually become crippling.

The only outcome in this scenario in my opinion is a stalemate, the RAF and RN preventing Germany from crossing the Channel to attack Britain and the Luftwaffe and a very powerful army (not bogged down in Russia) preventing Britain from landing in France.

So yes mistakes were made at Dunkirk and yes it gave Hitler an aura of invincibility but no it wasn't a turning point in the war as the result in the West had been achieved with or without Britain being conquered as Britain could not successfully roll back Germany gains without US resources and the Russians tying down 2/3 of the German armed forces.

Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices. - Voltaire 1694-1778

Last edited by MontyB; February 20th, 2012 at 20:43..
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