Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > European History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

European History European History Forum - Western and Eastern Europe including the British Isles, Scandinavia, Russia


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old May 18th, 2017, 02:46 AM   #1
Citizen
 
Joined: May 2017
From: Small-town Nebraska
Posts: 5
Was Hitler Arrogant or Just Stupid to Think He Could Defeat the Soviets?


The greatest martial mistake Hiter did was attacking the Soviets in the Second World War, however, I never understood why he thought that was a good idea. Was he just arrogant, and believed that the German Army was superior to the Soviets? Or did he believe that the Soviets would retreat deep in Siberia they wouldn't be a threat? I've always been confused by his decision to attack the Soviets.
Thank you.
ManInOrange is offline  
Remove Ads
Old May 18th, 2017, 03:01 AM   #2
Scholar
 
Joined: Apr 2016
From: Netherlands
Posts: 830

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManInOrange View Post
The greatest martial mistake Hiter did was attacking the Soviets in the Second World War, however, I never understood why he thought that was a good idea. Was he just arrogant, and believed that the German Army was superior to the Soviets? Or did he believe that the Soviets would retreat deep in Siberia they wouldn't be a threat? I've always been confused by his decision to attack the Soviets.
Thank you.
German intelligence severely underestimated the Soviet military and that belief was only reinforced by the Soviet performance during the winter war.
CPTANT is offline  
Old May 18th, 2017, 03:47 AM   #3

johnincornwall's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Nov 2010
From: Cornwall
Posts: 6,001

Was he arrogant? Yes of course. But don't under-estimate the German war machine prior to the invasion. Russia hung on by the skin of it's teeth and the lives of it's people at Leningrad and Stalingrad. It's tempting to think of Germany and Russia as they are today, which certainly wasn't 1941.

He did underestimate the capacity to 'recover' and start churning out massive forces as the war progressed(with some convoy support). But then if all went to plan it should have all been over before that.
johnincornwall is offline  
Old May 18th, 2017, 03:56 AM   #4

Lucius's Avatar
the governed self
 
Joined: Jan 2007
From: Nebraska
Posts: 15,823

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManInOrange View Post
... Was he just arrogant,
Yes, he put the "gance" in arrogance, even his arrogance had arrogance.

When you look the word up in the dictionary, there's a little picture of Hitler next to the definition.
Lucius is offline  
Old May 18th, 2017, 03:58 AM   #5

sparky's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2017
From: Sydney
Posts: 1,264

.
The belief of the time was not 2017 but the late 1930ies
for the record ,one third of the kaiser army beat the best of the czar troops with some regular result .
While the best two third of German efforts foundered on the Western front
now the West was busted in a six weeks campaign
the full fury of a German war machine at it's peak was going against an incompetent and resented regime .
Victory was not in doubt
sparky is offline  
Old May 18th, 2017, 03:59 AM   #6
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,380

Many leaders in the west also had a very low opinion of the red Army., it was thought the purges had greatly weakened the red Army and it' spoor performance against Finland, many did not rate the Soviet war machine.
pugsville is online now  
Old May 18th, 2017, 04:10 AM   #7
Scholar
 
Joined: Jun 2013
From: Agraphur
Posts: 687

Not only Hitler but the consensus of the military leadership was that it would be relatively easy. Which quite ironic because several of these generals had great misgivings about the war with France and Britain.
It's a lot due to historic experiences. In WWI Germany defeated Russia with it's B-team, while the bulk of their best forces were tied up at the western front. Now virtually the entire army was available for the war, an army that defeated France in a month which the Imperial Germany couldn't do in 5 years. The Red army's abysmal performance in the recent Finnish winter war also suggested they were as poorly organized and led as ever.
Yezdigerd is offline  
Old May 18th, 2017, 05:34 AM   #8

zincwarrior's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: Texas
Posts: 4,867

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnincornwall View Post
Was he arrogant? Yes of course. But don't under-estimate the German war machine prior to the invasion. Russia hung on by the skin of it's teeth and the lives of it's people at Leningrad and Stalingrad. It's tempting to think of Germany and Russia as they are today, which certainly wasn't 1941.

He did underestimate the capacity to 'recover' and start churning out massive forces as the war progressed(with some convoy support). But then if all went to plan it should have all been over before that.
It should also be remembered, Germany defeated Russia in WWI. They didn't underestimate the USSR's military, they underestimated its will to fight, which was substantially stronger than WWI.
zincwarrior is offline  
Old May 18th, 2017, 05:37 AM   #9

zincwarrior's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jun 2012
From: Texas
Posts: 4,867

Quote:
Originally Posted by pugsville View Post
Many leaders in the west also had a very low opinion of the red Army., it was thought the purges had greatly weakened the red Army and it' spoor performance against Finland, many did not rate the Soviet war machine.
These views were accurate for the most part. The German army obliterated the Soviet armies in the theater in 1941.

As another poster noted above, they did completely underestimate the power of the USSR to continue despite casualties and recover. By all odds it should not have happened.
zincwarrior is offline  
Old May 18th, 2017, 05:47 AM   #10

Valens's Avatar
Imperfect Perfectionist
 
Joined: Feb 2014
From: Colonia Valensiana
Posts: 7,672
Blog Entries: 17

The military element is only a part of the story. The 'showdown' with Bolshevism was a key, and I'd say defining, point of his ideology, and it developed already during his years in prison, if not earlier.

And yes, there was a rationale behind the attack on USSR. But we often overlook the fact that is was not only Hitler who was confident there would be a quick and victorious campaign against the Soviets. Most German generals shared his sentiment.
Valens is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > European History

Tags
arrogant, borders, defeat, hitler, naive, soviet, soviets, stupid



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What would have happened to Hitler if the Soviets had captured him? grey fox European History 20 June 24th, 2016 06:58 AM
If Hitler never came to power, would the Allies have gone to the war with the Soviets HowlingWolf500 Speculative History 18 December 9th, 2015 04:51 AM
Did the Soviets single-handedly defeat Nazi Germany? RoyalHill1987 War and Military History 87 July 6th, 2014 03:40 AM
The Soviets Avoid Defeat in Afghanistan helix Speculative History 7 April 2nd, 2013 08:52 AM
Could the Soviets defeat Nazi Germany alone? napoleonteh1st European History 432 October 27th, 2012 04:40 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.