Saturday, 27 October 2012

Hitler's first strategic mistake

As early as 1914, when a rumour swept his regiment that they were to land in England, Hitler had turned his mind to considering invading Britain. The rumour turned out to be false and Hitler spent the next four years in the trenches in France. But in 1940 he was faced with the prospect of fighting a war against Britain and was forced to try to find a way to defeat that country.

The main problem he confronted was that neither he nor anyone in the German military had expected to face a war against a Britain determined to resist. Hitler had never had any intention of attacking Britain nor any part of her empire, it simply was not part of his plan for conquest in the East. Although he had expected Britain to object to his aggresion and, perhaps, even to declare war, Hitler had believed that Britain’s essential interests were not threatened by his actions. He had reasoned, therefore, that Britain would make peace once his conquests were an established fact.

It was the first real strategic failure that Hitler made in his military career. He had expected Britain to make peace. When she did not he had no pre-planned brilliant operation ready to knock her out of the war. The second, and much greater, strategic mistake was to follow the next year. With Britain still unsubdued, Hitler expanded the war by invading Russia. He had said before the conflict started that he would first have to ensure peace in the West before attacking East. He did not do so. Arguably this cost him his victory.

from "Hitler - Military Commander" by Rupert Matthews
buy your copy HERE

Product Description


Offering an entirely new perspective on one of the world's most notorious dictators, HITLER Military Commander breaks new ground in this pithy and revealing analysis by Rupert Matthews, one of the foremost military history experts on this period. Containing previously unpublished accounts of Hitler's apparent descent into madness, it examines the relationship between Hitler the man and Hitler the leader, and charts the spectacular rise and fall of the Axis fighting force under the control of the non-German former corporal.

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