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Was Hitler right to attack the USSR in 1941?

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe October 1939 to February 1943' started by British-Empire, Jan 16, 2010.

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Was Hitler right to attack the USSR in 1941?

  1. Yes

    8.9%
  2. No

    91.1%
  1. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    Was Hitler right to attack the USSR in 1941?

    Should he have waited till 1942 or not attacked them at all?

    Whats everyones thoughts on this?
     
  2. sniper1946

    sniper1946 Expert

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  3. sPzAbt 503

    sPzAbt 503 Member

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    Interesting thought… I think that this question has to take into account several items. First, that Germany could not invade Great Britain. By 6/1941, the ability to successfully invade Britain was beyond the technical means of Germany. Second, that Hitler had always intended to invade the Soviet Union. So it is not really a question of whether he should or should not have invaded, but whether 1941 was the appropriate time. In this I would have to argue “yes”. If he was going to attack, then there was no better time. The German Army and Luftwaffe were at the height of their power and experience. The US was not yet involved. There was no immediate fear of a 2nd front. The Russian purges had decimated the Red Army leadership, and their forces were echeloned poorly, making neither offense nor defense an attractive option. I think the better question is - did he attack Russia properly, with adequate intelligence, logistics and objectives? Clearly the answer was no. Attacking in the year 1942 would only have given the Soviet army and extra year of organization and production. For a Germany that was not on a total war footing, and could not compete with Soviet industrial production, I do not think an extra year would have made them additionally successful…
     
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  4. British-Empire

    British-Empire Member

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    I voted no but Im 50/50 on the matter to be honest.
    If the USSR was his goal they should have been no Battle of Britain instead the Germans and Italians should have launched Operation Fir Tree the invasion of Switzerland.
    This would have kept Mussolini from attacking Greece too and when complete allowed extra man power for the Italian and German armed forces drawn from the Swiss population.
    Malta too should have been secured in late 1940.
    The rest of 1940 and early 1941 should have been used to secure North Africa and Palestine.
    This may well have encouraged Turkey and Greece to join the Axis.
    Then Barbarossa itself should have been launched either May 15th (or if still too wet) June 1st allowing more campaign time.
    Meanwhile Japan should have been encouraged to stay neutral or move against only the British or USSR alone and not the USA.
     
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  5. marc780

    marc780 Member

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    In ideological terms, many say yes, in military terms - definitely a bad call. But we have hindsight and Hitler didn't, only the fog of war.
    I was surprised 75% of people here said yes, i thought it would be the other way around.
    My reasons are that Stalin and the communists were every bit as evil as Hitler said they were. But then so were the Nazis. (the situation is akin to the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980's, where nobody in western Europe or the USA is friendly with either side, and no one got too excited since two brutal and hostile regimes were busy destroying each other).

    After 1945, the Nazis were destroyed, but the communists became almost as bad as the Nazis in their zeal to impose their ideology on the world (and in fact Stalin killed more Soviet citizens than Hitler could ever dream of.)
     
  6. sPzAbt 503

    sPzAbt 503 Member

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    I sort of interpreted this question not based on the moral and philosophical reasons of whether Hitler should or should not have attacked, but at what point was the attack most advantageous to Germany, offering the greatest chance of success. Stalin was desperate to buy time, and I think in most military situations, time is a precious commodity for both attacked and defender. In June of 1941, it could be argued that Germany had a technological and tactically superiority over the Soviets. While its’ panzers were in many ways obsolete, the combined arms theories honed under combat in Poland and France gave it a decisive edge over a purged Soviet army spread over a vast distance trying to defend everything. The Luftwaffe was clearly superior to anything the Soviets could field, and if it weren’t for its’ diversion to combat US bombers, the case could be argued that even the reborn Soviet air force of 1943 – 1945 would not have been able to rest control of the skies from the Germans.
    I personally believe the deeper into 1941 and even 1942 you go, the more Soviet industry would have been able to better equip its’ existing forces. How much of a shock would have it been to have met the Soviets head-on, fully equipped with T-34’s instead of BT-7’s? What if the Soviets had been able to strengthen the occupied areas of Poland and Lithuania for an entire year more? And remember, the Panthers and Tigers were a direct result of meeting the T-34, so it wasn’t like waiting a year or so would have brought these units on line.
    As I said, I see this question as more of “if you gotta fight, when was the best time to do it?” And I think 1941 offered the best, even if remotest, possibility of victory… Looking forward to the responses!
     
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  7. tovarisch

    tovarisch Member

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    Well, 1941, 1942 or later, I don't think that really matters. The root of his demise lies in the fact that he wanted to attack the USSR at all. It doesn't matter when he would have attacked, the same thing would have happened, due to the amazing patriotism of the Soviet nation, and whether you like it or not, the decisons of the Soviet High Command and Mr. Stalin himself. Napoleon made the same mistake : after an amazingly successful campaign in Europe he turned to Russia, and, well... everything went a bit pear-shaped if you know what I mean. Of course, that's just my opinion.
     
  8. Koenig

    Koenig recruit

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    Adolf Hitler took a political decision in a context of a war and he acted in order to a social motivation also, against the untermench and finding the lebensraum, putting these reasons before the leading of the war. Moreover, Hitler took some decisions during the conflict and mainly in the Russian campaign, some of them in an economic way interfering in military operations. I think it doesn't matter when attacked Russia. It was the greatest mistake in WWII. My answer is an emphatic no.
    Herr
     
  9. Karma

    Karma Member

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    From an non-ideological perspective, and assuming Hitler had to attack the USSR, I think that 1941 was a prime time to invade. Anytime later and the Soviets would have outproduced them enough to significantly bolster their defenses. Hitler attacked a tad bit too late though I think.
     
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  10. panzer kampf gruppen 6

    panzer kampf gruppen 6 Dishonorably Discharged

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    It dosent matter his army navy and the Luftwaffe was unprepared for the invasion of poland and France he should had not attacked at all.............
     
  11. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    At the time to Hitler his Army won in the west, Russia made a pigs ear with the winter war with Finland and then looked right. Only problem was the planning of Barbarossa was pants and the long term planning was, well was there any?
     
  12. sdf

    sdf Member

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    His only chance for success was to unite his force with Japans. Fortunately this haven`t occur.
     
  13. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    He lost ww2 eventually because he attacked russia so my answer has to be he shouldnt have attacked them at all. As to what happens then, I'll leave it to what if officionadoes.
     
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  14. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I don't see any other options for Hitler :he couldn't defeat Britain and the British blockade would eventually starve Germany (like in WW I )
     
  15. panzer kampf gruppen 6

    panzer kampf gruppen 6 Dishonorably Discharged

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    Lol he was lucky he even defeated France..
     
  16. olegbabich

    olegbabich Member

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    This was his only choice in 1941.
     
  17. sunny971

    sunny971 Ace

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    my choice was no... they lost the war because they attacked the soviets.

    Then again it's a good thing the nazis lost the war.
     
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  18. panzer kampf gruppen 6

    panzer kampf gruppen 6 Dishonorably Discharged

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    WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE WHY YES???
     
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  19. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    And the Russians were in the same state.
     
  20. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    What needs to be looked at is that Hitler always intended to attack Eastward. He never intended to be involved in a war against the French, the British and the US. It was a set of consequences that derived from his invasion of Poland (we all know that). At that point, should he have continued with his push Eastwards, in his shoes I would say yes as long as long as the following apply:

    1. He would not declare war on the US
    2. He would limit his advance into the USSR. Declare a line and not cross it.
    3. Allow the Generals freedom to perform operations w/o intervention on his part.
    4. Have the Kriegsmarine focus on conducting an embargo operation on the UK.
    5. Treat Russian POWs better resulting in more defections and less 'fight to the last man' battles.
    6. Once he would have achieved his goals, gear up for a defensive war.

    The reason the Germans had such a rough time was due to Hitler's interference. Take that away and the Germans could have been successful. It would have taken a long while before the war would truly be over and won but there would have been more successes.
     
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