What was the craziest/stupidest thing Hitler did

  • I am sure I missed a ton, and the list is kind of broad.  Feel free to add to whatever I have forgotten.  Some will overlap I am sure.  Keep in mind I feel a war between Germany and Russia/America was inevitable, but Hitler CHOSE when to go to war with both of them.  Hitler could have put off the invasion of Russia for at least a year (w/o Stalin attacking him, and he could have used England as a chew time that whole time).  America is a bit tricky.  Pearl Harbor def. changed the isonolationist mentality in America, but what if (if even just words) Hitler would have condemned the attack?  Hell, he could have even declared war on Japan!  It’s not like Japan could attack him, or him them (unlike the US which could, and did).  That would have postponed war with America IMO.  And lets not forget the racist part of it.  Those F’n Japs snuck attacked us!  Renouncing his alliance with Japan would have cost Hitler nothing, but gained him time to beat up on Russia/England.

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Declaring war on the US.
    It was an arrogant and unnecessary act and brought about the early fall of his European ally, Italy. The 60000 infantry who landed in North Africa in late 42 made all the difference in unbalancing the African situation, as inevitably numbers increased.  After North Africa came Sicily and Salerno. The Germans found themselves in the unenviable position of fighting a three front war with all the complications that involved.
    The resources sent to the European theatre in 42 could not have been used in the same way against Japan in the Pacific and we know how quickly the Americans in Africa learnt from their experiences of fighting an experienced German Army. All lessons learnt were put to good use later.

  • I agree with Wittmann. Even though the USA was eventually going to enter the war there was no need to accelerate the process.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    The stupidest thing was trusting Göring, the craziest thing was the Holocaust…

  • '17 '16 '15 '14 '12

    As Germany progressed into Russia they could EASILY have convinced the local people that they were coming as liberators and not as invaders.  Not taking advantage of nationalist and anti-communist sentiment in Ukraine etc was where they lost the war.  People in the Soviet Union were practically begging for relief from Stalin’s horror regime.  The Germans should have lied to the people and come in bringing gifts, redistributing land, and give them their own puppet states to raise pro-axis forces like the SS Galicia division.  After the war was over part of the consolidation of liebensraum would have included the extermination of racially deviant elements in those areas, but that business could all be done in peacetime.

  • '17 '16 '13 '12

    Biggest mistake was to wait too long to put Albert Speer in charge of economy and war production.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    If we narrow down “most crazy/stupid” to mean “most counterproductive to Germany’s war effort”, I’d agree that declaring war on the US is certainly at or near the top of the list.  Germany was under no obligation to do so, and the last thing it neeeded was to add to its existing military problems by getting into an unnecessary war against the world’s greatest industrial power (and furthermore, against a nation which was separated from Germany by 3,000 miles of ocean, and thus which Germany’s land forces – which never even got across the English Channel in 1940 – could not invade).

    The relevant article of the Tripartite Pact of 1940 – the one which said that “Japan, Germany, and Italy […] undertake to assist one another with all political, economic and military means if one of the Contracting Powers is attacked by a Power at present not involved in the European War or in the Japanese-Chinese conflict” – was clearly aimed at the US, but it didn’t apply after Pearl Harbor because it was Japan which had attacked the US instead of the other way around.  And even if it had applied, Hitler could easily have ignored his Tripartite Pact obligations, given his long track record of tearing up treaties whenever it suited him.  Note that the phrase “all political, economic and military means” did not specifically require the signatories to declare war; Hitler could easily have interpreted it to mean “all aid short of war” – which was Roosevelt’s own phrase for his pre-war policy of supplying arms and other assistance to Britain.

    That said, a war with the US would probably have come sooner or later.  Roosevelt’s “all aid short of war” policy supported Britain to such an extent that it severely pushed the boundaries of nominal neutrality.  It included steps like helping Britain with the occupation of Iceland, and having US warships escort Britain-bound convoys as far east as Iceland.  A few US warships even got torpedoed in the process – so at sea, prior to Pearl Harbor, the US and Germany were already in an undeclared shooting war.  If Hitler hadn’t declared war against the US in December 1941, he probably wouldn’t have avoided a war with the US in the long term, but he might well have delayed it, thus gaining time which might have been used more productively.

  • While I agree that Hitler shouldn’t have declared war on the United States after Pearl Harbor, and if he waited he may have gained some time;  however- the Western Allies didn’t actually invade Europe until June 1944- something they may have done anyway if Hitler waited until 1942.

  • The biggest mistake was going to war at all.

  • @Pacific:

    The biggest mistake was going to war at all.

    War is almost always the worst decision. 
    However it seems that Hitler overestimated the ability of his armed forces after the fall of France.  And underestimated how frigging big Russia is.

  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16


    …however- the Western Allies didn’t actually invade Europe until June 1944- …

    Oh ,Oh, just don´t let Wittmann see this line. Itlay is part of Europe as well!

  • lol, ok ok.  You are right!  Don’t tell wittman!  Yes the allies invaded Italy in 1943.  And North Africa 1942.

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12


  • @wittmann:



  • 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16


    1. Not having better intelligence of the Soviet Army in 1941. He was so surprised how prepared they were for war.

    German Intelligence was well aware of the situation in Russia but simply either, overestimated them selfs or simply ignored valueable facts.

    For example, during the time of peace and the Non - Agressive pact with Russia, many exchange officers visited Russian Universitys ,located somewhere towards Siberia and were debriefed when they came back home.
    The OKW was well informed about the T-34 but didn´t simply give it to much credit. During the war when the Wehrmacht captured some of these T-34 they were about to figure out that the slope shape and the wide tracks give the Tank the upper hand on soviet ground.
    They also knew about the bad roads and had been warned but overestimated them selfs and said they will deal with it when it comes up, thinking that at least the Rollbahnen roads would be allready finished. (at least to Minsk or Kiev)

    Maybe astound that the Soviets fought to the bitter end and rather died in their trench holes then surrender…

  • It’s very forgetful and prideful on the Germans part when planning for the invasion of the USSR to discount the Eastern Front experiences of WWI. The Germans won that war front in WWI only after dividing the Russians politically and having them take up arms againist each other.

  • The Germans were victims of their own propaganda placing ultimate faith in the abilities of the “master race” and the complete ineptitude of the untermenschen.

  • @Last:

    The Germans were victims of their own propaganda placing ultimate faith in the abilities of the “master race” and the complete ineptitude of the untermenschen.

    True, but in some ways how can you blame them?  They were at war with the rest of the world and almost won.  Hard not to get a big head when you conquer all of Europe, large parts of Russia, and North Africa, when you are outnumbered 10 to 1.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Hitler didn’t use the same trick as the Kaiser: Sending over somebody to cause turmoil and overthrow Stalin. From the invasion, somebody should have come in to represent and liberate the people from the communist yoke. It could have been fake until the war was won, but the people found they had nothing to turn too and stuck with Stalin since Hitler showed his hand what he was going to do before he won. It’s the classic failure in any play or movie where the villain tells you his ultimate plan before he actually carries it out. That allows anybody on the sidelines to choose to go against him.

    The Russian people wanted new leadership and the army would have supported it. Heck then 80% of the German war machine could have been turned against UK again.

  • Yes, but the germans voted on him in the 1933 election because he promised they could loot Russia and kill jews. The average german dont volunteer for war just to liberate slaves.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Another funny post. Awesome!  I love how you put it…lol

  • '12


    It’s the classic failure in any play or movie where the villain tells you his ultimate plan before he actually carries it out. That allows anybody on the sidelines to choose to go against him.

    It’s even funnier when you remember that he reveals his plans even before the war started, it’s all there in Mein Kampf.

  • Declaring war on america, splitting at stalingrad, not invading malta, attacking at kursk, not equipping his allies with good stuff.

    All of these could make a difference if he had chosen to do it. (or not do it)

  • Quit artschool?

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10


    Quit artschool?

    Probably a good career move, since he wasn’t much of an artist.  As I recall, he didn’t actually get admitted to the art academy (I think in Vienna) to which he applied.

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