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Second Thoughts!

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Richard, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    Interesting point here some time back I watched a programme about the war in Russia, they showed a interesting bit of footage Hitler talking to Marshal Mannerheim.

    "If I knew they had that many tanks I would have thought twice about invading"

    This conversation took place in autumn 1941

    I wonder what would have happen if Hitler had that information before he attacked would he had really thought twice?

    [ 21. January 2006, 08:46 AM: Message edited by: Richard42 ]
     
  2. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    Interesting idea-

    Early on, he wasn't quite as... well, deluded and bonkers as he got to be in the last years of the war, so one could maybe see him having some reasonable thoughts about the logistics and possible problems of invading Russia and facing the overwhelming numbers the Russians could field.

    But then again, from the beginning, even before the war started, (correct me if I'm wrong)- he had an INTENSE hatred of Bolshevism, and saw the lands in Russia as really the only feasible area which could provide germany with the space, food, and resources for continued growth and expansion.

    Personally? I'd tend to think the second one would have won out. His hatred for the Russians, plus the expansion aspect, would have taken precedence over any fears of russian strength and possible problems beating them. Maybe he would have waited until the german army was more prepared- but that scenario also somewhat hinges on the events happening before- invasion of France and the low countries, and the Air War with England. Even at an early point, when Hitler's psyche wasn't as deranged as the last years of the war- I'd think he would not easily tend towards biding his time or delaying action.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    I think your right Hitler's belief in a master race and his hatred of the Communists so would he have laid out a different plan of attack?
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I think Hitler had the info as I recall in Guderians memoirs that Hitler said to him " If I had believed the Russians had 20,000 tanks etc etc" So it was just that he did not believe the Red Army had the number of planes, tanks and men. As a matter of fact they figured the Russians had some 160-170 divisions when in Aug 1941 ( not totally sure about the month ) they had fought against some 300 divisions and more was on its way...
     
  5. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    It seems to me this was Hitler's last gamble all or nothing a bad call clearly Hitler's ego got the better of him. [​IMG]
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Hitler also believed by winning in Russia Britain would be left alone to fight in Europe and then they would have to accept his peace offers.
     
  7. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    He could have had it all if he stopped and not attacked Russia it's clear this was the fatal error that would cost him in the long term.
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Hitler might have ruled a while longer if he had not attacked in 1941 but the war between Germany and USSR would become reality sooner or later. And they both ( Hitler, Stalin ) knew it. And it seems 1941 was Hitler´s best chance as well. In 1942 Stalin would have had some 5,000 or more T-34´s...!
     
  9. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    One thing has not been mentioned here: Hitler's view that the war was a racial war, directed not against the nations of Great Britain or the Soviet Union, but against world Jewry and the Bloshevik plague. The war of extermination of the races (Slavs included, of course) was Hitler's main aim, not having victory parades in either Moscow or London. :rolleyes:

    He would have invaded the USSR no matter what, and his best chances (which didn't include victory possibilities at all) were in 1941.
     
  10. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    True if more people had a go at reading Hitler's book granted a lot of waffle in it, and saw what was between the lines they would have seen something, which should have made them stop and think and get the alarm bells ringing, but no they went along with the dream that became a illusion and turned in to a nightmare. [​IMG]
     
  11. Hands

    Hands Member

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    Perhaps Hitler could have 5,000 or more Panzer IVs by then as well. No reason to think that Hitler would not try to crank up his military production. Especially now with the entire resource of europe behind him, could he have outproduced Stalin ?
     
  12. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    Sorry No
     
  13. ColGen Heinrici

    ColGen Heinrici Member

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    There are only two recorded incidents where Hitler actually spoke out expressing his reservations to my knowledge. One was the above quote, the second was to Guderian before Kursk. "Whenever I think of this attack it makes my stomach turn" he supposedly said, to which Guderian replied "Then your instinct is right, abort the attack"
     
  14. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    I always found that to be an interesting remark, did Hitler wonder in the back of his mind to call it off. I suspect that thought only lasted a short time, and we all know what happen to that attack don't we.
     
  15. Miller

    Miller Member

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    I doubt Hitler would have thought twice about what he was going to do. He would have his way no matter what. His arrogance prevailed over what minimal tactical knowledge he had.
     
  16. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    I wonder if Hitler would had stop to think to take in to account the number of Soviet tanks he was facing when he invaded. Most likely he did not stop to think, ego got the better of him and the myth of German invincibly. And of cause his real war aims the extermination of the Jews and Communists.
     
  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    After the victory in France 1940 (and the Balkans 1941) Hitler was definitely a very different man even to the Hitler in May 1940, I think. Hitler was shaking about the "Sichelschnitt" part of the operation and was expecting it could be attacked from both sides and in the worst case destroyed. After these successes though he was thinking he could make no wrong decisions and decided on the operation Barbarossa. I also believe the wording to Guderian in 1941 " If I had known they had 20,000 tanks.." was just Hitler´s frustration that armies could not get moving and more or less he put the blame on his generals that some Russian tanks could stop his armies.

    For Kursk Hitler knew that it was high time to get a victory after Kharkov or Germany would lose the trust of its allies. So he might have been in the situation of " You´re damned if you do, you´re damned if you don´t " and he decided to push his luck.
     
  18. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Curiously Glantz overlooks this exchange in his Battle of Kursk book, he may have considered it irrelevant.

    Heinrici, welcome to the Troll Free WW2 forum ;) We need people like you!
     
  19. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    No wonder Za you left the site after this.I liked you before.
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    whery are you CrazyD?
     

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