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In the 1930s Germany was one of the most economically developed countries in the world; its military might frightened international organizations and its neighbors. Hitler built probably the most powerful and technically equipped army of that time. However, his Millennial Reich existed for a little bit more than ten years. Hitler’s state collapsed with a lightning speed as well as it rose. Undoubtedly, Hitler provoked many countries to stand against him in the Second World War as his aggressive expansionism made anxious many world leaders. Nevertheless, it does not mean that the military power of the Allies was the only reason of his failure. Indeed, Germany was not able to fight on two fronts. At the same time, hasty, self-confident and unprofessional decisions of Adolf Hitler in military strategy on the Western and Eastern Fronts led to shattering fiasco of Wehrmacht, similarly to successful actions of the Allies.
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Undoubtedly, one of the reasons that urged Hitler to make these thoughtless decisions was his own-developed ideology about the invincible German army and superiority of the Aryan race. Additionally, his personal inability to respond adequately to tactical and strategic changes on the front was caused by his revanchist intentions after German failure in the First World War. At the initial stage of World War II it was justified, after easy victory over France, occupation of a large part of Europe and rapid advancement on the Eastern Front. The English Channel was the only barrier that prevented occupation of Great Britain by German forces. Even Operation Barbarossa seemed successful at first, and the Soviet forces had to retreat quickly up to Moscow, where Hitler’s army was first seriously defeated.
Basically, crucial serious defeats on the Eastern Front led to the total exhaustion of Wehrmacht. The Stalingrad battle became the most bloody and decisive for Hitler’s army. It showed that Germans could be defeated, although with high casualties. Moreover, Hitler still could not cross the English Channel, which was immensely harmful for maintenance of morale among soldiers. The failure of the German Africa Corps led to a more difficult strategic situation for Germany. All in all, Hitler was not ready to cover such a large area, and when the Allies opened the Western Front, occupied Italy and threw the regime of Mussolini, the defeat of Germany became closer.
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Additionally, Hitler did not take into account developments of Allies’ military equipment. American fighters equally competed with German Messerschmitts, and Tigers were no longer the most powerful tanks on the battlefield. At the same time, German opportunities to supply their forces with the newest units and fuel were decreased as soon as the Third Reich lost the Romanian source of oil. Soviet air defense became more effective and strong, which resulted in huge casualties for German Luftwaffe, which was previously invincible on the Eastern Front. Finally, ignorance about enemy’s developments and complete confidence in the strength of the German army led to collapse of Operation Barbarossa on the Eastern Front.
However, Operation Barbarossa, which led to the failure of Germany on the Eastern Front and the whole war, was not a personal mistake of Hitler and his staff. Basically, it was the only possible way for Germany to defeat the Soviet Union. Firstly, Germany did not have as many human resources as the Soviet Union to cover such a large area. Secondly, Hitler did not possesss such great sources of oil, iron and other important resources to supply his army for a long time. Therefore, the tactics of blitzkrieg was the only possible one for Hitler. Although Hitler had no choice except for Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union, he still had a choice not to wage the war against Soviets so early.
One of the greatest faults of Hitler as a military commander and leader of the nation was his inability to take into account opinions of other people. For instance, he removed Franz Halder because he protested against self-defeating operations such as battles of Kursk and Stalingrad. Hitler was not as professional military commander as Guderian or Manstein, but he mostly ignored their advice, even his decisions were initially wrong. These actions resulted in occupation of Germany and destruction of the country. These are the effects of totalitarian regime of power where no one could object the head of the state.
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Hitler’s ignorance about military strategy and his thoughtless commandment, in addition to personal self-confidence about invincibility of the German army and his regime led to his failure. Undoubtedly, the Allies played a crucial role in defeating Nazi Germany, but with Adolf Hitler as a head of the state, their objective was much easier. If Hitler had been a wise leader, he would not have attacked the Soviet Union so early and provoked the United States to join World War II. Also he would not have waged the war on two fronts with such powerful economic leaders as the United States and Soviet Union. Hitler could not adequately evaluate Germany’s people and natural resources needed for longtime warfare. All these disadvantages of Hitler’s leadership quality led to his fiasco in World War Two.
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