Given Germany’s military situation in 1941, was Hitler’s decision to invade the Soviet Union based on sound strategic judgment?
History tends to discolor events based on the outcome of a decision or battle. Examining Germany's (Hitler’s) decision to invade the Soviet Union can easily be critiqued by the flaws that resulted in his defeat, but is this an accurate way of looking at Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union. Wars are won and lost by the decisions made and the decision to proceed with the attack named 'Operation Barbarossa' in the early summer of 1941 was not based on sound strategic judgment.
Beginning early on in his life and exemplified in his book Mein Kampf, Hitler had a hatred of Russia and her people.
We terminate the endless German drive to the south and the west of Europe, and direct our gaze towards the lands in the east…If we talk about new soil and territory in Europe today, we can think primarily only of Russia and its vassal border states.
With his mind already set on exterminating the Slavs and Jews long before becoming the fuehrer of Germany, his rise to power gave him a reason to carry out his plan. Hitler foresaw Barbarossa as the key to accomplish many of his vital strategic objectives. Due to bad strategic decisions, limited resources, no intelligence and clouded vision, Germany should not have invaded Russia (Operation Barbarossa).
The invasion on the Soviet Union was not a good strategic decision. While Hitler had secured quick and decisive victories against France, Czechoslovakia, Holland and Belgium, he did not take into account the importance of the British and never believed the United States would play a role in the war. These two serious underestimat...
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...one circumstance caused the failure in Russia. Hitler’s strategy to invade the Soviet Union could have been successful had he taken the war one step at a time. Instead he spread his troops too thin and did not reevaluate the strategy once problems started to arise. Had he continually updated his strategy and listened to his advisers, Operation Barbarossa could have had an alternate outcome.
Gonalski, Robert and Freeburg, Russell W., Oil and War.
William Morrow and Co. Inc, New York, New York. 1987
Lecture and discussion NW 3023, Professor Hal Blanton
Mein Kampf, Hitler. 1924
Weinberg, A World At Arms, Cambridge University Press. New
York, New York. 1994
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