I have often wondered about the incredible military blunders attributed to Hitler. From Dunkirk, the too broad attack on Russia, the diversion to Kiev, declaring war on US, Stalingrad, going with Kursk after delays, and knowing the Soviets knew/were ready, etc. My suspicion is that someone was manipulating him, pulling his chain, to do these things. Of course, it is very plausible that he, being a political animal, did these things from a purely misguided political mind. However, he was surrounded by brilliant military minds, especially Guderian, who not only warned him on the above, but argued with him fiercely about them, and the likely disastrous outcomes. For me, Hitler's two most puzzling blunders are the diversion to Kiev in '41, which essentially, and predictably, cost him the taking of Moscow, and the direct attack on Stalingrad. The thing about the Kiev diversion is that Hitler had a detailed economic purpose for the diversion--a detailed purpose that presupposes someone else's hand in the decision. Guderian says that he, and another, I cannot remember who, argued very strongly against the Kiev diversion, and even warned as to what would probably happen later when efforts resumed toward Moscow. And Stalingrad is THE stupidest battle in the history of warfare. Before Stalingrad, German SOP was to bypass cities, concentrate on the military units, and the cities would then just about fall, de facto like, into German hands. To divert one's military into a frontal assault on an already evacuated (militarily) city is just ludicrous. I read a quote by one of Hitler's generals, cannot remember which, that said that during planning and early operations, "Stalingrad was just a name on a map." That is, as per SOP, not of consequence, as the Soviet's military units were the primary concern, not a city that would probably fall into German hands by default. We know that Hitler considered the taking of Stalingrad as a political coup, but this did not materialize until after Case Blue had been in operation for some time. He was told that Stalingrad would be, as always at that time, be evacuated by the Soviets, and captured with little effort once the Germans gave chase to the Soviets across the river. However, despite what he was told, and knew would happen, the inevitable capture of Stalingrad, he chose to send the Sixth Army full frontal into the city. So, my suspicion that someone was pulling the strings of his ego, especially political ego, in order to get him to do, and make, self-defeating, and disastrous, decisions. Once again, for clarity, mine is only a suspicion, supposition, not an opinion, uninformed, or otherwise. I only post this so as to foster discussion, and possibly reveal information for or against.