Reading post 619323 in main thread: Germany lost the war in 1940
February 21st, 2012  
Originally Posted by 42RM
From a purely German point of view, I think you're right. Hitler lost the war for Germany and without his bungling, disasters such as the demise of the 6th army at Stalingrad, and failure to take Leningrad and Moscow would have been properly planned and carried out. Military geniuses such as Manstein, Hoth, Gunderian, and Rommel would not have been dismissed or forced to commit suicide because of Hitler's whim. However, I must say the General Staff was not perfect. The Battle of Kursk was an entirely OKH planned offensive, and was a complete failure.

But ultimately we should not only look to such factors in assessing Hitler or any other German role-player’s judgment in WW2 - in many ways this was in any case completely overshadowed by ULTRA, the real hidden hand of Allied success against Germany. As always, superior intelligence provides the critical advantage in any strategic process, and WWII was no exception.
Once Hitler took over from the high command, he became too involved as a supreme commander.
The modern term is "Micro manage"
He wouldn't just give the orders for an offensive, but he would give orders down to a tactical level, such as the placement of machine gun position, troop tactics etc, reducing his field commanders to nothing more than messengers.
The only way for commanders to exploit situations in combat was to disobey direct orders, and hope his gamble worked.
The role of Ultra was vital, most historians agree it took two years off the war.
If you ever get a chance to visit Bletchley Park, its well worth it. Such a fascinatining place, and sadly very run down, needing as much financial input as possible.

Sempre in merda profundum
(c)02-10 - Post # 619323