Then read the same author's book on the fall of Berlin for the other side of the coin. Harrowing stuff.If you want to be given shivers that last for months, read 'Stalingrad' by Antony Beevor. The best account I've ever read of Barbarossa - phenomenal research, but reads so easily.
My own take is that WW2 was essentially a battle of factories. Blitzkrieg is fine as a quick-kill technique provided you don't have too large an enemy and much terrain to cover. The Wehrmacht did brilliantly in Russia during the first few months - caught the enemy napping, lots of pincer encirclements, hundreds of thousands of prisoners bagged. But German tanks could move only so far and so fast before wearing out. By the time the Germany army reached Moscow it had lost half its armor through sheer wear and tear. And no matter how much the Germans took, the Russians still had millions of recruitable citizens in the rear along with most of their factories. This gave them time to learn Blitzkrieg tactics, counter them (no Russian army was encircled during the 1942 German offensive) and eventually master them. In the end it came down to a slugfest, who could outproduce who, and once the US entered the war it was all over for Germany.
Check out the Landkreuzer P1000, obviously the inspiration for some of the monsterous vehicles in Thunderbirds. (It was to be powered by 2 U-boat engines)Even had Hitler taken Moscow and the oilfields in the south , there is just no way he could occupied the vast expanse that his Russia.
I read an article a while back (can't remember where) about the psychological effects advancing through Russia had on the German infantryman. From what I remember, the vast, unchanging terrain in the south in particular had a pretty detrimental effect on their mental health. So, even if everything else went well for Hitler, the plummeting morale (and susequent loss of unit efficiency) may have been something that was impossible to predict or plan for.
I read an article a while back (can't remember where) about the psychological effects advancing through Russia had on the German infantryman.
The German high command chose to believe their own propaganda and thought the Soviets were so inferior that they would simply roll over. There was also the paranoia that Stalin would sneak attack Germany if they game him time and that now was a great time to attack seeing as Stalin had murdered all of his experienced officers. Besides, Germany desperately needed the oil.
And they almost pulled it off. Stalin was on the verge of fleeing Moscow and if he had and perhaos fled East across the Urals then Western Russia would have been at the mercy of the Nazis. But the Soviets dug in , and a freezing winter coupled with an enormous effort on behalf of the Russian people to produce tanks and planes in vast quantities turned Barbarossa into a war of attrition from which there could only ever be one winner.
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