Hitler admired Stalin’s treatment of generals

Hitler admired Stalin's treatment of generalsA photo from open sources

The defeat in the battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943 gave rise to a deep crisis of confidence between Hitler and his military leaders. The latter had to realize that they were “miserable sausages ”

“The Fuhrer has repeatedly told me that he is disgusted by our generals … Stalin in this sense is easier – he is his ordered the generals to be shot on time, and now they can’t interfere. “In this way, the Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels substantiated the peculiar statement of the Nazi leader, who suddenly expressed himself about his worst enemy as a kind of model for imitation. After the disruption of the offensive campaign near Kursk in July 1943, Hitler called his commanders “moral losers. “It was them who he blamed for the failure of Operation Citadel, to which he himself at one time agreed only with great reluctance. After this, Hitler decided that all further decisions on maintenance the war will take personally.

Willingness to provide its senior officers after the disaster near Stalingrad there is room for maneuver so that the Wehrmacht still straightened his unstable position at the front, replaced determination “to take all military power into their own hands.” Internal the structure of the Nazi regime could already be described as “polycratic chaos”, which could only be controlled by the dictator. Now, this Machiavellian principle extended to warfare.

In the world of Berghof’s dreams

Upon appointment and removal from office, military commanders now had meaning not the experience and professionalism of the latter, but their fanaticism and loyalty to Hitler. In addition, a propaganda campaign, which the Soviet Union launched anti-fascist National Committee “Free Germany” and the German Union offensive, made Hitler more and more doubt loyalty to their field marshals. Biggest problem from the point view of the continuation of the war, according to the Nazi leadership, became Hitler’s attitude to his best strategist Erich von Manstein. “His weak leadership, his mistakes get on Hitler’s nerves,” – Goebbels wrote. All reserves of the Eastern Front abandoned on Kursk battle were exhausted. Thus, the leadership of the Wehrmacht finally lost the opportunity to somehow bring to life and Hitler’s impossible orders. Failure offensive the campaign was, however, not least due to the landing Americans and British to Sicily, because of which Hitler was scared for the position of his main ally Mussolini. Fuhrer in ultimatum demanded an urgent relocation of powerful forces from the Eastern Front to Italy.

Hitler insisted, and the withdrawal of forces from the east began. Besides he ignored the general’s demands that this operation held under a single leadership with the aim of better coordination military action. Instead, the Fuhrer concentrated all the levers control in their own hands and even more limited freedom actions of their commanders at the scene.

In this situation, Hitler preferred solitude in his residence Berghof or at headquarters in East Prussia. There he was in surrounded by generals William Keitel and Alfred Jodl, task which was to hide from the Fuhrer unpleasant news from the front and listen to his chimeras about the continuation of the war.

Footage of burning London

Instead of drawing conclusions from a complete loss of confidence, the consequence of which was the destruction of Hamburg and Cologne during Allied bombing shocking not only civilians Germany, but also their loved ones who were at the front, Hitler preferred watch at his headquarters in Rastenburg a chronicle of the outbreak of war when after the German attacks, Warsaw and London burned.

Historian Bernd Wegner likened this “hopelessness of war” to the situation in 1918. Then at the end of summer, higher leadership of the Kaiser troops after the breakthrough of the Entente forces through Siegfid’s line understood that the war “took on the character of irresponsible adventures “and that” a final defeat is inevitable. “After that the first quartermaster general Erich Ludendorff demanded from Reich political leadership immediately start armistice negotiations.

Therefore, many in 1943 had a sense of deja vu. In Vienna and Berlin, the streets appeared a lot of posters and leaflets with the date “1918.” But Hitler was not Ludendorff. First, how political the leader he would have to disentangle the porridge that he brewed as inept military strategist. But that was not even so important.

The war that Hitler unleashed in the east was “his” war – ideological war of extermination. For him the question was: to be or not to live or not live communism and its “Jewish” to the leaders. Behind the backs of Soviet soldiers Hitler imagined “Jewish liquidation brigades.” Therefore, for him, not even a speech could go about giving up. The Führer already saw the apocalypse the last battle: for a people who are not able to win in war will have to die.

Deep crisis of confidence

Although most Hitler’s generals understood that to win the war will not succeed, the officers did not have the opportunity to check own forces. There were several reasons for this: firstly, it contrary to their military identity. Secondly because Hitler had long been commander in chief and held all the threads of control in your own hands. And finally, thirdly, because many the warlords were blindly devoted to the Führer.

When the Wehrmacht led by Hitler led on the Eastern Front senseless battles and retreated, the commander in chief of the naval forces Karl Doenitz wrote in his diary: “The incredible power that the Fuhrer radiates, his astounding confidence, his perspicacious assessment of the situation in Italy made us realize that we are all just pathetic sausages compared to the Fuhrer, that us with our knowledge, with our vision of affairs a whole infinity separates him. ” Accordingly, the number of people who made this crisis of confidence the right conclusions and sided resistance.

Conversely, Hitler used his ability to be “perspicacious estimates “to step up action on another front, namely in the extermination of the Jews. If he was not destined to win Soviet Union, then he sought, at least, to get rid of his “allies.” The Holocaust has reached a new level.

Berthold Seewald

War Time Germany Italy Crisis Stalin

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