Posts Tagged ‘wwii’

Hitler’s biggest mistake?

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Watching the preview for Valkryie has got me diving back into my WWII library: am (re)reading Bevin Alexander’s How Hitler Could Have Won World War II (I love titles that get straight to the point). The core of the argument is essentially a rehash of the advice that Raeder gave Hitler in 1940: delay a reckoning with Russia and turn south instead by taking Gibraltar and turning the Mediterranean into an Axis lake. By dedicating a fraction of the forces earmarked for Barbarossa, Germany could have driven into Egypt and onward into the MidEast oil fields. At that point, Russia could have been attacked from both the west AND south, and Britain might have thrown in the towel anyway.

And with 20/20 hindsight, that’s kinda hard to argue with. (Though I should note I tried wargaming this approach in Third Reich a few years back, and it was a complete disaster. Then again, most of these “strategy” games are designed to make it very difficult to stray from the actual way events unfolded.) Still, I gotta admit I’ve always thought that Germany’s decision to go east in 1941 wasn’t anywhere near as mad as the results would seem to indicate. Most of the people saying it was an Incredibly Dumb Idea miss some all-too-basic points, but I’ll save those for a later post. . .