Biggest Strategic Mistakes of World War II
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Old 06-27-2014, 12:26 PM   #1
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Default Biggest Strategic Mistakes of World War II

What would you guys consider the biggest strategic mistakes of World War 2?

Here are 4 that I think are key:
1. Germany's Invasion of Russia
2. Germany's Declaration of War on U.S.
3. Japanese Pearl Harbor Attack
4. Germany's Failure to Eliminate the RAF

Here's why:
The Four Biggest Strategic Mistakes of World War 2

What do you guys think? Are there some other big blunders that come to mind? Any Allied strategic blunders of note?

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Old 06-27-2014, 12:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by GatorDude View Post
What would you guys consider the biggest strategic mistakes of World War 2?

Here are 4 that I think are key:
1. Germany's Invasion of Russia
2. Germany's Declaration of War on U.S.
3. Japanese Pearl Harbor Attack
4. Germany's Failure to Eliminate the RAF

Here's why:
The Four Biggest Strategic Mistakes of World War 2

What do you guys think? Are there some other big blunders that come to mind? Any Allied strategic blunders of note?
I think Germany invading Russia was hands down the biggest mistake. Hitler got cocky.

I'm not sure the Japanese Pearl Harbor attack was a strategic mistake. We would have starved Japan of the needed industrial resources such as steel in the long term. The US could afford to play the long game while Japan couldn't so they basically risked everything on the hope that a surprise attack would weaken us enough to make us ineffective on the water or crush our will to fight.

It could be argued that a huge strategic mistake on the part of the Allies was the US not joining in sooner. We could have prevented a lot of suffering if we were involved sooner.
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Old 06-27-2014, 01:03 PM   #3
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Yep. Definitely Germany's invasion of Russia. The Wehrmacht wasn't supplied with winter clothes, the Russians had huge numbers of troops, Hitler's decision to drive towards Stalingrad and not focusing on Moscow, equipment that wasn't suited to a sub zero temps, the list goes on and on....

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Old 06-27-2014, 01:11 PM   #4
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Germany's invasion of Russia and Hitler's unwillingness to commit any resources to long-range bombers. Thank God!

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Old 06-27-2014, 03:36 PM   #5
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Hands down the invasion of Russia. If Hitler had not invaded Russia, I doubt that the allies would have ever gained access to main-land Europe.

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Old 06-27-2014, 04:03 PM   #6
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To several posters above: it was not that simple. Germany an the USSR were de facto allies and co-conspirators in starting WW2. Hitler, however, did not trust Stalin, for a good reason. Stalin could strike Germany in the back when the time was right for him. Hitler hit him first when Stalin didn't expect it.

Waiting for the Soviet Union to complete its massive rearmament program, and for the Red Army to recover from the near-catastrophe of Stalin's purges, was seen by Germany as a gamble it could not afford.

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Old 06-27-2014, 04:04 PM   #7
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At Pearl Harbor- 1. NOT getting the carriers. 2. NOT getting the fuel stores

Germany- allowing the British to evacuate troops at Dunkirk.

US- Invasion of Italy- NOT pushing the advance immediately. They waited, the Germans showed up.

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Old 06-27-2014, 04:14 PM   #8
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By most historians, there was no strategic decision to allow the Dunkirk bailout. There was the decision to halt the panzer advance. The reasons are debated to this day. One prosaic explanation is that Goering pledged to Hitler to let him finish off the Expeditionary force from the air. He failed.

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Old 06-27-2014, 06:41 PM   #9
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... Waiting for the Soviet Union to complete its massive rearmament program, and for the Red Army to recover from the near-catastrophe of Stalin's purges, was seen by Germany as a gamble it could not afford.
This^^. The 1st of Uncle Joe's five year plans was infrastructure, the 2nd five year plan was manufacturing technology, facilities & capabilities, the 3rd would've been armament production, among other things.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
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This^^. The 1st of Uncle Joe's five year plans was infrastructure, the 2nd five year plan was manufacturing technology, facilities & capabilities, the 3rd would've been armament production, among other things.
Still a tactical blunder. He had nukes in development along with fast long range bombers. By committing his forces while unprepared for conditions and without the necessary support he made it impossible to take Russia. If he had consolidated Europe and built his advanced weapons, he would have had the upper hand in Russia. Russia was on a series of 5 year plans which would have given him the necessary time to build.
Hitlers biggest blunder was relying on his cronies instead of the excellent military leaders he had.
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