How Hitler Could Have Won World War II: The Fatal Errors That Led to Nazi Defeat
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Most of us rally around the glory of the Allies' victory over the Nazis in World War II. The story is often told of how the good fight was won by an astonishing array of manpower and stunning tactics. However, what is often overlooked is how the intersection between Adolf Hitler's influential personality and his military strategy was critical in causing Germany to lose the war.
With an acute eye for detail and his use of clear prose, acclaimed military historian Bevin Alexander goes beyond counterfactual "What if?" history and explores for the first time just how close the Allies were to losing the war. Using beautifully detailed, newly designed maps, How Hitler Could Have Won World War II exquisitely illustrates the important battles and how certain key movements and mistakes by Germany were crucial in determining the war's outcome. Alexander's harrowing study shows how only minor tactical changes in Hitler's military approach could have changed the world we live in today.
How Hitler Could Have Won World War II untangles some of the war's most confounding strategic questions, such as:
Why didn't the Nazis concentrate their enormous military power on the only three beaches upon which the Allies could launch their attack into Europe?
Why did the terrifying German panzers, on the brink of driving the British army into the sea in May 1940, halt their advance and allow the British to regroup and evacuate at Dunkirk?
With the chance to cut off the Soviet lifeline of oil, and therefore any hope of Allied victory from the east, why did Hitler insist on dividing and weakening his army, which ultimately led to the horrible battle of Stalingrad?
Ultimately, Alexander probes deeply into the crucial intersection between Hitler's psyche and military strategy and how his paranoia fatally overwhelmed his acute political shrewdness to answer the most terrifying question: Just how close were the Nazis to victory?
Why did Hitler insist on terror bombing London in the late summer of 1940, when the German air force was on the verge of destroying all of the RAF sector stations, England's last defense?
With the opportunity to drive the British out of Egypt and the Suez Canal and occupy all of the Middle East, therefore opening a Nazi door to the vast oil resources of the region, why did Hitler fail to move in just a few panzer divisions to handle such an easy but crucial maneuver?
On the verge of a last monumental effort and concentration of German power to seize Moscow and end Stalin's grip over the Eastern front, why did the Nazis divert their strength to bring about the far less important surrender of Kiev, thereby destroying any chance of ever conquering the Soviets?
From the Hardcover edition.
before finally being taken prisoner. Other 82nd Airborne men assembled outside the village, and drove the Germans out by dawn. In the British sector, Montgomery held up the landing for an hour and a half after the Americans landed in order to bombard the landing sites for two hours, four times as long as at Omaha. Large numbers of American B-17s and B-24s dropped their bomb loads on the targets, protected by some of the nearly 5,000 fighters the Allies had committed to the D-Day landings. The
Fuehrer on the subject. As Guderian departed, Ribbentrop said, “We will keep this conversation to ourselves, won’t we?” Guderian assured him he would do so. But Ribbentrop tattled to Hitler, and that evening the Fuehrer accused Guderian of treason. Meanwhile Russian forces continued to advance on all fronts, reaching the German frontier in Silesia on January 19, and soon overrunning upper Silesia. Zhukov’s troops captured Lodz, bypassed Posen (Poznan), crossed the German frontier, and on January
embarked on a course that led to the destruction of the “Thousand-year Reich” in only five years. A number of high-command German officers saw the opportunities open in 1940 and urged Hitler to seize them. Hitler considered them, but in the end turned them down. After the victory over France, Hitler focused his attention on destruction of the Soviet Union and carrying forward his schemes to destroy the Jews and other peoples he hated. Hitler came to this decision by an incredibly convoluted and
lanes to them thereafter. The Royal Navy would erect an iron blockade in days. German garrisons would be cut off from supplies, except driblets that might be flown in. Few attacks on British convoys— much less air attacks on the United States—could be mounted, because the Germans could get little fuel to the islands. Raeder’s logic was overwhelming and should have ended the matter right there. But it didn’t. Hitler continued to agitate for capture of the Atlantic islands on into the fall and
quarter of a million soldiers to rush west to fight the Germans at a crucial moment. Although Moscow was the only target the Germans might have gained in 1941, neither Brauchitsch nor Halder was willing to confront Hitler on the point. They hoped, when the time came, they could convince him to keep the panzers in the middle, change his ideas about shifting them, and continue the drive on Moscow. They were wrong. The concept of caldron battles appears on the surface to be a highly dangerous