The Invasion Of Russia Was In Hitler’s Plans From The Start

by Daniel Russ on September 28, 2018

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For a man who prided himself on his historical knowledge, Hitler learned little from the past, quipped Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm of War, a scholarly look at World War II.


Historians question everything, and they pride themselves for popping balloons and shattering myths. Among the most discussed topics is why Hitler invaded Russia before he finished the British off. The two front war is one of the most ubiquitous errors in military history. Some countries fight and win two front wars. Israel in the late twentieth century, and Britain did for a thousand years. Also Napoleanic France, was a good example. The earliest reference to invading Russia came from Mein Kampft. At some point the image of a furiously brutal and willful Fuhrer would smash through the enemies of the empire and “crush all resistance”.


Roberts makes the point that Hitler invaded Russian in part because of the notion of his own mortality. He felt he would die young and did not want to put off a struggle that he might not live through, particularly one laden with all the weight of his pride for the mysticism and honor in lush German history.


“I know I will never reach the ripe old age of the ordinary citizen.” Hitler also made the point that his death would be the first act of the final victory for Germany. “I won’t be there to see this, but in twenty years’ time the Ukraine will be the home of 20 million inhabitants besides the natives”.


“When I suffered my beerhall putsch, and subsequent imprisonment at Landsberg setback in1923, I had only one idea: get back in the saddle. Today I would no longer be capable of the effort which that implies.”


He was slowing down. He knew it.


Three giant memes ruled his thinking. Germany should be the dominant force in Europe. Then find the living space for millions more Germans, and the third was a final reckoning with the Jews.


Between 1939 and 1944 the available manpower labor market in Germany dropped from 25.4 million to 13.5 million. His idea was to find slave labor in Russia and these would be the laborers  for the Wehrmacht  but only after Russia was conquered. In 1941, Japanese minister Yosuke Matsuoka visited with Hitler in Berlin. It was there that he could have asked Japan to attack Russia in Siberia. It would have drawn off enough forces to allow the Wehrmacht to take the Soviet in one extended campaign. He didn’t and that would have changed history completely.


Not finishing the defeat of England was massive error. Hitler felt conquered and occupied France on his flank would be enough. He forgot that the British Armies were not in Britain anymore. They were in Southeast Asia attacking Axis assets and they were in North Africa battling Rommel.


The Wehrmacht would have to fight the perfect fight to win over the world.


And as I have written before, Germany would never have won the Second World War because there are some reasons to fight to the bitter end. Like when a tiger kills someone in a village,  the villagers arm themselves and hunt it down.




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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Louis Kolkman September 28, 2018 at 2:08 am

Also he knew that the buildup of the Red Army was going against him. Although he did not have much appreciation, or respect, for the Red Army, he did know that they would outnumber his armies in a few years. And as Stalin used to say: Quantitiy has a Quality of its own. So strike now, when he still had some advantages, or be forced to strike at a later date, and then at a disadvantage.

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