[Barbarossa] Just a Stupid Idea or not? An Analysis

[Barbarossa] Just a Stupid Idea or not?  An Analysis


In June 1941, the German Army attacked the Soviet Union in the so-called Operation Barbarossa. Now, many people claim that this was Hitler’s greatest mistake. A lot of people also call it a really dumb decision basically saying “You don’t start a land war in Russia.” But this thinking is pretty flawed because most people now know that the Soviet Union was a superpower, but the Soviet Union wasn’t a superpower prior to World War II. Even in the late 1920s Germany helped the Soviet Union, modernizing its industry. We can’t just go from our post-war viewpoint, or even from the viewpoint from around 2000 and look back and say; “Oh well, that’s pretty obvious, yeah.” Now it is pretty obvious because we know how history played out. Where we need to look is actually, ‘What did people know in the 1930s and early 1940s?’ ‘What information wasn’t available for Hitler, and the German general staff?’ So, where do we start? We start with the last war because, after all, every General fights the last war. So let’s take a look at the war that didn’t end all wars: World War I. Germany, as in World War II, fought on the eastern and on the western front. On the western front there was trench warfare. It was static. It was a huge meat grinder. A lot of people died, and the front land didn’t change very much throughout all the four years. Now on the eastern front it was also a meat grinder but this meat grinder was a little bit more mobile. On the eastern front the vast amount of space allowed for mobile warfare. Now that the focus of the German army
was mostly on the western front throughout the war, but, nevertheless, the German army failed to achieve victory on the western front. On the eastern front, the Russian army attacked in 1914. Now east Prussia was defended by a small amount of german troops in comparison to the western front and also consisted of a lot of reserve troops. Nearly in every major engagement throughout the whole war on the eastern front, Germany won. Usually the Russians attacked the Austro-Hungarian troops and defeated them and then the German army came to rescue. And this is going on for several years until finally the Russian army and the Russian government, in the end, collapsed and a peace treaty
between Russia and Germany was signed. So basically the German army on the
eastern front achieved a victory with less effort than on the western front. So now let’s take a look at the situation in summer 1940. In 1939, Germany attacked Poland. It was mainly mobile warfare and Germany won. Then in 1940, Germany attacked the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Denmark, Norway, and fought also against the British Expeditionary Force. It was a highly mobile war and Germany won in a very short amount of time. Now let’s take a closer look at the numbers. Now in the invasion of Poland, Germany lost around 20,000 dead or missing, and about 50,000 in the Battle of France and the Low Countries, and around 5,000 in the battle against Norway and Denmark. Now let us compare these numbers to the
losses in World War I. In total, Germany lost two million
soldiers in World War I. On the western front,1.7 million, and 300,000 more men on the eastern front. So basically the victory in 1940 was not just a victory it was a tremendous victory. Especially in comparison to the
performance in World War I. Now if you think about it, the generation
that fought World War II achieved in a few months a very small amount of losses. Everything the previous generation couldn’t achieve in years and way more losses. Now at this point it is pretty hard for
anyone to not to start to believe their own bullshit. And yet there’s one significant factor we didn’t consider yet. The recent performance of the Soviet army on the battlefield. The Winter War in 1939 then the Soviet army attacked Finland. Now let’s take a look at the forces. These numbers are not totally exact because the amount of troops vary throughout the war and I took number from the start of the war and also the sources vary, of course. So, in the beginning, the Finnish army fielded about 250,000 men whereas the Russians fielded around 420,000 men. The Finnish had around 30 tanks whereas the Russian brought around 2,500 tanks. mostly consisting of T-26 and BT-5s but also some T-28s and the heavy tank KV-1 which was a very formidable enemy even in 1941 for the Germans. When it comes to Air Force the Finnish had around 100 planes, mostly fighter airplanes. whereas the Russians had about 2,500
planes. Due to the political situation, Germany prevented the delivery of arms to Finland. Basically Finland fought isolated. It was not at all a fair fight
but the Finnish didn’t care at all. They made the Russians pay for every snowflake they walked over and the Soviet army was humiliated. In the end, the Finnish line finally collapsed and the Finnish signed a peace treaty with the Soviet Union. Nevertheless the reputation of the Soviet army was severely tarnished. So now let’s conclude and go back to our
timeline. If we take a look at the information that was available in summer 1940 the performance of the Russian troops in World War I was way below the performance of the German army in World War I. The performance of the German army
so far in World War II was superb and the performance of the Soviet army in the Winter War was humiliating. So basically there are no indications
that the Soviet army would be a formidable enemy against the German army in 1941. Now, of course, this doesn’t mean that
Operation Barbarossa in itself was a flawless plan at all. It wasn’t. The German army and Hitler made many mistakes but this is a topic for another video. Thank you for watching. Please like comment and subscribe and see you next time.

100 Comments on "[Barbarossa] Just a Stupid Idea or not? An Analysis"


  1. While the Soviet's reputation was trashed by Simo Häyhä and a bunch of other unimportant Finnish people, I feel Hitler severely underestimated not The Soviets but Russia herself.
    Despite Hitler knowing what happened to Sweden and Napoleon when the invaded Russia he did not pack winter supplie.
    I quote Darth Vader from Epic Rap Battles of History " Didn't Napoleon let you know, when conquer Russia better pack some fucking winter clothes!" Hitler's biggest problem (besides being absolutely bat shit insane) was he was incredibly careless, I don't mean marching troops into The Ardennes, I mean declaring war on The US for no reason other than Japan (the people who are the race you hate) did it and what not.
    Hitler knew his troops would be trapped in the Russian Winter but, he thought he could do it fast enough. He should have focused all troops on Britain with the exception of s few divisions of troops defending the east front. With England out of the way he could focus all forces on Russia and not go Stalingrad, we know what happens and was a horrible idea to go to stalingrad when you were so close to Moscow, so close a large artillery piece could hit the outskirts.

    Underestimate Russia? Whatever. Underestimate Russia's Geography? Suicide.

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  2. The irony here is that Hitler actually understood better the weakness of Nazi Germany: lack of fuel. The reason why Hitler opened Operation Barbarossa was oil. His generals were focusing only Moscow, Leningrad and other cities but Hitler focused more strategic critical resources. No need to wonder why Japan too "was forced" to penetrate deep to East Indian are. Oil, aluminium and other raw materials played vital role on WW2.

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  3. I love you video! While I agree with your assessment of the Russian army pre-barbarossa on the surface, where was the German intelligence services? Once they launched barbarossa the Germans were constantly surprised by the number of troops, tanks, guns and planes that kept appearing as if out of nowhere. If the German intelligence agencies had done their jobs the Germans may have thought twice about attacking Russia. Thanks again!

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  4. The idea of attacking the Soviet Union not stupid quite smart when the Soviet Union was going to attack them. Barbarossa as planned actually smart- the Soviet Union could have brought to its knees- the Soviet defence forces were a mess. Barabarossa as implemented a disaster.

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  5. You need to sound proof the room where you are recording this, there is an echo. Thanks for the videos, they're super interesting.

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  6. I've noticed that people often use the common wisdom of never invading Russia as a proscription, and that any who do so must have been in some way foolish.
    It's yet another indication, ubiquitous though they are, of people's willingness to compartmentalise everything into over-simplifications.

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  7. Considering it was an abject failure that led to the destruction of the Reich yeah it was a dreadful mistake.

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  8. Yes the Red Army performed poorly in the Winter War but they performed quite well in the 1939 Summer War decisively defeating Japan. Stalin had his best soldiers in the east and they were led by a then little know commander named Zhukov.

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  9. NO- you should start with NAPOLEON. He was a more successful commander & military thinker than Hitler- who followed his great mistake to the letter. Ineffective as USSR was it is still a huge country with all the resources it needed. Equally the Russian winter killed Hitler's challenge & more of his troops than the enemy, besides freezing all his armour.
    Blitzkrieg works well if the conditions are right- weather, supply lines & smaller countries. USSR- not so much.
    USSR was able to retreat into the vast hinterland, burning the land to deny German access to food & shelter, all the while building strength with it's industrial capacity.
    Would Germany have enough troops to control USSR even if they had conquered it-
    of course not!

    Hitler's decision was a foolish as Japan's.

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  10. 4:20 "Now at this point, anyone would start to believe their own bullshit"

    Bold claims about history like that have earned you a loyal suscriber

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  11. Operation Barborosa was not a bad idea. Nazis could get victory if they didn't divert their panzer to North and south instead of Moscow or if they didn't waste time on attacking greece

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  12. They had to go through Russia to get to the oil. They simply didn't have a choice of they wanted to continue the war

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  13. The Finns are the only country adjacent to the USSR in the West which was undefeated by them, and after fighting the twice. The Finns inflicted casualties 5:1 against the Russians, compared to the Axis only 2:1.

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  14. The issue cannot be understood just by comparing tanks and jets and competency of the armed forces. I would venture a guess that had WWII been fought with ideas from WWI – meaning tactical gains for blood-related empires that were willing to let other empires continue to exist after defeat with onerous peace terms- then Germany would've won WWII after encircling Leningrad and defeating USSR armies around Ukraine and Belorussia. But, of course, leaders of Germany and USSR were different as were their goals – their goals were ideological and requiring annihilation of the enemy, not just victory via loss of some territory and repatriations. In that sense, USSR was simply too strategically deep and populous to be defeated.

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  15. A good analysis but incomplete – you haven't touched at all on the Soviet-Japanese engagements on the Eastern Borders , skipped Zhukov and Khalkin-Gol. All in 1938-39 but Germany didn't want to consider that performance.

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  16. hitler just wanted to continue the operation when he shouldve listened to the generals, like manstein… thats why they lost.

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  17. It's not entirely stupid if US didn't lend-lease on Soviet. Hitler can defeat Soviet even though he's facing 2 fronts

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  18. Soviets were about to invade, Hitler invaded to stymie them.

    https://www.wintersonnenwende.com/scriptorium/english/archives/articles/stalwarplans.html

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  19. What about ideology? USSR wanted attack Europe and Nazi German and Nazi German wanted attack USSR. They knew they would fight between themselves. Other thinks is rope, gas and other resources what have USSR and don't have Nazi. Hitler could have been too confident more than the rest of people(he was not a general, not realistic man). What about Polish-Soviet war in 1919-1921 was small additional argument to attack weak USSR?

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  20. you don't start a land war in russia, no, you don't start a land war when you have 2 other super powers mad at you and are fighting land wars on 2 other fronts.

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  21. For a FAR improved Version go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQdjGJJktfk

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  22. This may seem weird but this operation saved my Grandma's family from being deported to Siberia as their names where on Stalin's lists to be sent to the Gulags they would have been deported in the fall of '41 but when the Germans came it saved their lives but in '45 during the Russian advance my Grandma her parents and her two brothers were forced to flee because if they stayed they most definitely would have been sent to the Gulag but sadly it didn't come without losses my Grandma's aunt was sent to Siberia and came back but her health was ruined and died not too long after her husband was tortured to death by the KGB and and another lost his two sons when the refugee boat was torpedoed and sunked by the Russians

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  23. You described the subject in a great way! I would of talked about the resources they deeply needed I think

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  24. Hitler should have conquered Middle East, which was totally doable, before a full frontal attack on USSR. Germany made a big mistake of not sufficiently supporting Finland and the Baltic States against USSR. Germany could even have sent troops to those countries. Those are very valuable bridgeheads.

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  25. Germany didn’t help the USSR industrialize. Wtf. The planned economy of the USSR was amazingly successful. Soviet tank design was far superior to Germany. That’s one big reason germany lost. Soviet tanks were better. Eat it German bitch

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  26. The Soviet Army was not prepared for war and the German Army was well prepared for war. They battle harden.

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  27. Cool Video, but japan being modern army didn't managed to conquest much military inferior china. And all territorial gains in ww 1 were small.

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  28. Adolf was a meth fueled gambler…if he kept his army groups together and taken leningrade and moscow then went south he probably would have pulled it off…

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  29. Germany had no 4-engine bombers to reach beyond the Urals and attack Russian industry. You can't beat an enemy whose home land you cannot reach. Hitler told Mannerheim in 1943 that he was totally surprised about the Russians ability to turn out tanks in such numbers the Germans could not defeat them. He said, if he had known that, he wouldn't have invaded the USSR.

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  30. Let me tell you, honorable sir, no channel in this world had ever taught me so much about the Second World War, your videos helped me understand every aspect and details including the tactics, the logistics and how the war is not as simple as the war games I played on Steam.
    Going through many paradigm shifts, I finally know the truth behind the many decisions that the generals made, I thought they were fools that refuse to go with the obvious "solutions", but now you have led me out of my blind and naive mind, you have opened my mind. I thank you for all that you have done to educate others!

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  31. Stupid video. Russia has ALWAYS been the superpower. Fucking dumbasses name a time when russia was conqured by anyone but russians. Fuck thank them for getting rid of the mongol hordes. Nobody has ever won an offencive war against russia

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  32. So the Finns lured Hitler into a decision that cost Germany the war ( that and declaring War on the US).

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  33. Stalin didnt give a fuck about his people and mass produced shitty weapons and "ok" tanks Stalin ordered no retreat killing those who would sent out hundred of thousands to die to give them time to mass produced more tanks that we're easier to build then German tanks I think the one thing that would of won the war in the Eastern front was if Japan didn't attack pearl harbor and went with Hitler's plan to cause a two fronts war with the solviets there would be a completely different timeline the war would of still been won since we were close to having nukes a lot more would of been dropped and the allies would of won no doubt but it would but such a different world we lived in, but Japan of all people during ww2 were scared of the solviets after BEATING them in the russo-japanese war but Hitler was no dummy is allies were just dumbasses

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  34. It actually wasn't a bad Idea. The implementation had some flaws. They should have concentrated every effort to seize the oil field quickly and worry about Moscow after the oilfields were under Nazi control.

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  35. The finnish line didnt collapse in winter war but the goverment and the generals estimated that the finnish defences wouldnt last for two weeks

    Greetings from finland

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  36. The German attack on Russia was irrational because Hitler despised the Communists but he also feared them and he quite rightly understood that he was going to have to deal with them sooner or later… The idea was to crush them because he had the element of surprise and because he knew that they were not prepared… Too bad that he was not real good at math…

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  37. Germany didn't win in the west.. They were beaten. They pissed away their numerical advantage from the east. The war was unpopular by 1918 in Germany . People in Germany avoided the draft and mutinied and rioted . Pershing did not want an armistice .. he said the Germans don't think they are beaten.. we will have another war with them. (paraphrase).
    The Finns were under appreciated its true. They knew their homeland and had made a defense in depth. They knew where their weaknesses were and knew where the enemy would have to attack. But they couldn't sustaine losses forever.
    I would agree that those who did not look closely at the Finnish War could think that Russia was weak… but they did win..that should have been a clue.Hitler admitted he under valued the German estimates of SU tank and aircraft figures. Guderian said the General staff were so enamored with success , they thought they could do anything…warnings were not allowed. I agree it was easy to under- evaluate the Finns and Russia. Ultimately.. Hitler didn't have much choice..about when he was going to attack.. it would have taken a lot of courage and long term thinking to not invade. While it was part of the Mein Kamp dogma he must have felt he had not choice but to attack when he did. More sober thought might have warned him off…but I doubt it.

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  38. Barbarossa was an 8 nation PRE EMPTIVE strike against Bolshevik Soviet Union.Actually, just 3 weeks prior to Stains planned invasion of Europe( Operation Thunderstorm) Its in the Soviet archives if you know where to look

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  39. I think Hitler thought Japan would attack Sowjet Union in the east but they did not. I read some reasons why like, war vs china was hard and the past Japan vs Russia/ Sowjet Union was very bloody. Afaik this lead to the massive troop increase at Stalingrad or Kursk. If the Japanese declared war on Sowjet Union the sowjets should be in fear of a Japanese attack in the east and they would be unable to move troops from east to west even without fighting. I think the germans didn`t liked the decision japanese attacked USA like the japanese didn`t liked the attack on Sowjet Union.

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  40. If the Nazis had used chemical weapons to reduce the large encircled formations, would this saved them significant periods of time?

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  41. The Germans felt they easily won the war in the East in WW1, it was the greatest source of treaty resentment.

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  42. It was dumb, the Ukrainians and Russians hated each other, and when German army entered Ukraine hitlers mistake was taking millions of Ukrainians to slave work when instead he could of made them allies since later more then 4 million Ukrainians joined the Russian army to fight the nazi's

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  43. Now returning from Lend-Lease video, what if USA didn't provided soviets with all those supplies? May be Wehrmacht couldn't imagine why Capitalist USA will help Socialist USSR.

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  44. The Finnish made the Russians pay for every snowflake they walked over….. oh hell yeah they did! Simo Häyhä seen to that!

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  45. You cannot compare Napoleons invasion of Russia to this
    1. Armies were much much smaller back then, their numbers ranged in the thousands not in the millions.
    2. Warfare was primitive and much more simplistic, and they used simple weapons that weren’t produced in factories.
    3. Tanks, Trucks, Aircraft, Trains, Automatic Rifles, Etc did not exist at the time which made cities less important because they did not need factories and massive industry in order to fuel their war, they only needed food for the troops and a bunch of muskets and clothing and that’s about it.
    4. Russia may look big but the only part of it that actually matters is the part that borders Europe which is where all of their population and industry is located so once all of that has been taken (which it almost was) they are completely fucked.
    The Third Reich, Hungary, Romania, Finland, Bulgaria, all invaded the Soviet Union and were inches away from Moscow.
    Operation Barbarossa failed because of D-Day, The Axis could not fight on both The Eastern and The Western Front at the same time and slowly got pushed back worn down and then destroyed.

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  46. Yes Russia was a Communist Criminal Stalin Superpower that Will Attack and Plunder Rich Christian West .

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  47. You are forgetting one point that most historians overlook about the German Blitzkrieg victories of 1940. Except for France, none of the other countries were better than a fourth rate military power, and far behind Germany in modern planes, tanks, and weaponry – and France had a series of internal crises affecting it's civilian and military leadership that severely handicapped it. Germany (in short) was lucky. Shortly, in the escape from Dunkirk, and the "Battle of Britain", the severe limitation of the Nazi war machine became apparent. As for the "Winter War", the Finns under Karl Mannerheim knew they would be beaten were determined to show they would not willingly fall down to Stalin and his army. And they won the admiration of the world – an admiration that lasted in the second Winter War of 1943-44 against the Soviet Union (when technically Mannerheim had to ally with the Axis, which he hated). In the end he and Stalin reached an agreement, he willingly switched sides and allied with Stalin against Hitler, and proved that he was not a typical Axis ally. By the way, when Stalin invaded Poland in 1939, he did quite as well as Hitler had in his invasion of Poland. It's always easy against a weak or severely handicapped enemy. And Hitler probably dismissed Stalin's victory against Japan in 1938 – despite being an Axis partner of Japan, Hitler did not think highly of the Japanese for racial reasons, and actually thought of sending assistance to the British defending Singapore if the British and Germany reached an accord about Europe. .

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  48. Russian : Super offensive for every snowflake they stepped on!
    Germany : Get to dă chaaapper!

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  49. Honestly if hittler was removed from making the final calls and left it to his general's Germany probably would of defeated the Soviets.

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  50. Of course, the definition of what a superpower is depends on who is doing the defining. The soviets spent most all of their budget on military matters, and never built up their civilian infrastructure. This is true after the war as well. Eastern Europe was supplying the soviets with much needed goods. It was more of a colonial situation than partners in a pact.

    Once the eastern governments had little to give, the economic situation became dire. The soviets began an economic collapse. Attempting to keep up with our naval modernization program in the 1980’s also proved too much.

    After the Soviet Union fell in the early 1990’s, Izvestia had an article which used the now open (for a while anyway) Soviet economic files. It stated that while the CIA economic reports, which estimates the size and strength of worldwide economies, had given the Soviet economy as about 34% of the size of the US economy, at no time was it ever larger than 15% of the size, and that about two thirds was involved in military matters. Realistically then, and even today, most of the region is a third world country, with just a few large cities as providing most of the economic strength, such as it is.

    Even oil production, large as it is these days, is as it is because of foreign investment, and not internal technological innovation. In fact, with much of the foreign investments taken and given to corrupt Russian companies, Siberian oil production is in danger of long term collapse.

    So, yes, they have nuclear weapons, and still a fair number of people, and if that’s all it takes to define what a superpower is, I suppose they are one. But otherwise, by most other measurements, they are not.

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  51. There are two stupid decisions on this operation
    -Not go straight to Moscow before winter
    -Make Ukranian their slaves insteas their friend (ally)

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  52. German superiority = Pervitin.

    Pervitin – ( Russian Winter + Soviet Guerrilla + Hitler not reading about Napoleon ) = Hitler sucking his thumb calling for his mommy.

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  53. Operation Barbarossa was flawed from the beginning and overzealous!! Rather than trying to have 3 armies North, Center, and South attacking in such a HUGE and vast areas, the Nazi Germany should have realized the prize of the Caucasus (oil fields) in the south as the primary goal. As phase 1. Using Armies North and Center to cover Army South flanks…in defensive positions. No drive to Moscow or Leningrad in Phase 1. That could come later…

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  54. Hitler could have won. He was not so wrong at invading Russia in 1941 cos Russia was at its weakest state. In Spring 1941 Hitler had three choices. 1.Get Japan to send entire fleet to invade the British Isles together with Italian and French Vicci navy. After Britain fell Japan could take all European colonies in Asia without fighting. 2. Dispatch large Panzer army and Luftwaffe force to North Africa for Rommel to conquer all the way to Iran and take the Middle East and the Mediterranean. 3. Invade Russia systematically. Hitler must communicate with Japan not to abandon Eastern Russia and Mongolia and not to attack the USA. For #3 choice-make plan for 3 consecutive summer offence. June 1941, bomb strategic targets, destroy Russian airforce, Kriegsmarine hit Russian Baltic and North Sea ports. Army Group North liberate Baltic states, Army Group South liberate Ukraine, Army Group Center act as a decoy drawing Russian troops to defend Moscow but swing back south to pincer and capture Russian troops. Army Group South to dispatch reserve panzer divisions and Luftwaffe to proceed to take Stalingrad by end of September and cut off oil and grain supplies. Autumn 1941 halt offences; use Nazi propaganda and training to create Baltic and Ukranian infantry units. Give Russian POWs 3 choices, Stalin bad Hitler good, fight for Germany, hard labor, or die. Give them food and warmth to convince them. Winter 1941, set up defences along occupied zones, mines and booby traps, 75/88 guns, mass produce Panzer 4 tanks and assault guns, Fokke Wulf fighters, M42 machine guns, design and test big tanks and 4 engine bombers. Bomb and destroy Crimea airfields and facilities to safeguard Romanian oil fields. May 1942 reinforce Stalingrad with Panzer divisions and Ukrainian infantrymen. Use Stalingrad airfields to bomb Ural mountain Siberian railways to diminish Russian troops and weapons transportation. Blitzkreig Lenningrad with Lithunian infantry units. Cut off Its supplies to Moscow. Encircle Lenningrad, push Army Group Center northward, use Russian POWs for construction and logistic labor, send plenty of winter supplies. Winter 1942, send all new tanks and assault guns and machine guns to bulk up Army Group North and Center. Mass production of Tiger tanks, 4 engine bombers, new infantry assault rifles, panzerfausts, Start production of ME 262 jet fighters and Type XXI submarines to fight Britain. Summer 1943 send all new tanks to blitzkreig Moscow and encirclement. With 2 years of planning ahead systematically bomb Moscow to submission. Send all available POW infantry into the city to sacrifice for Germany. Wehrmacht to enter Moscow end of summer to set up occupation zones for prolonged winter war and final annihilation.

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  55. The reason German had to go the offensive first was very simple. Oil, Germany did not have the natural resources needed to fight a defensive war. Barbarossa hinged on securing the oil refinery's in the Caucasus mountains, and taking Moscow. Well, Germany failed to reach every one of there objectives. Not to mention they lost a million men at Stalingrad alone. Then suffering more even more losses in operation blue, and again, failing to secure oil. They had no choice but to go on the offensive, even then there chances were slim.

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  56. Why do people think germany was a stupid undersupplied country it was very strong possibly the strongest ever on earth i mean holing back every army in the world and six nations for six years is no easy task

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  57. He had no choice. He needed food and oil. He ran out of time. It was the only play he had left. Or sue for peace.

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