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Hitler's Mistakes [Paperback]

Ronald Lewin

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Book by Lewin Ronald

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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Little Corporal made too many mistakes, too shortsighted 1 Oct 2009
By Dave Schranck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I think of WWII, the tactical and sometimes the strategic land events consume my thoughts and it was this way when the book was ordered. I thought the author would list the many military mistakes Hitler propagated but this aspect was a minor aspect to the author. Mr Levin discusses to a large extent the high level, broad terms that Hitler in his fanatical, myopic way got wrong.

The author, a former veteran under Montgomery, begins his book discussing Hitler beginning around the end of WWI and how losing the war and going back to a broken and humiliated Germany motivated his actions into becoming the ruler of a strong, independent country. The author describes the process of Hitler's ascent as well as the Nazi's and the downfall of courts and governments in Germany, of personal freedom.

The first aspect the author mentions moving into the war effort was Hitler's lack of foresight when it came to science and innovation. His backing for atomic research was dismal and thence it didn't go far. His backing for the V1, V2 rockets and later the Me262 jet was subdued until he actually saw working prototypes. The next area of poor judgement of Hitler was the promoting of Goering as head of the Luftwaffe. The German air force under his direction failed terribly in regards to plane innovation, production and pilot training compared to the Allies. The author spends a lot of time in this area. Anti Semitic dealings at home, in Europe and in Russia had a major negative impact. In 1941 a large number of ethnic Russians were looking for a saviour from Stalin. Hitler could have been that saviour if he handled the Russian peasant better. He had a great opportunity to convert the Russian peasant if he could have overcome his hatred and fear of Communism.

Another area of relative poor performance was German intelligence. The German armies were often working in the dark due to faulty, incomplete or late intelligence.
The failure to gain control of the Med in the first years of the war was also critical. Gaining control of the Med in the early years would have been devastating to the British. Invasion of Sicily and Italy may never have happened or at least deferred years later. Hitler wouldn't have lost 250,000 men in May of 1943. Italy wouldn't have surrendered. And Hitler could have had control of Egypt, the Suez and probably the Middle East. Extending this line of thought is mind blowing. If Hitler had gained control of this region before invading Russia, the history of the Eastern Front would have been written much differently.

On military terms, the events at Alamein, Stalingrad, Kursk and Ardennes were discussed, showing where Hitler, due to his poor judgement and fanatical ways, caused many thousands of deaths and a quicker defeat.

This is just a sampling of what Mr Lewin presents. The author displays good insight on this Grand Strategy topic and you can learn a lot from this small book. This would be an excellent starter book and if you wanted to expand your reading the Bibliography is good though a little dated.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A devil genius was not so smart after all. 7 Aug 2008
By Kevin M Quigg - Published on Amazon.com
This book was written in summary form. It makes the case that maybe Hitler was not such a genius after all. Lewin states that Hitler made many mistakes both political and militarily. His presecution of the Jews resulted in Jewish scientists taking their skills to the U.K. and U.S.A.
His stand fast policy on the battlefront resulted in million of dead German soldiers. His limitations on his generals resulted in additional losses of the battlefield. Hitler's leadership style resulted in conflicting domains for his underlings resulted in wasted effort and lost potential. The overall analysis was that Hitler was very intelligent, but his actions caused the Germans to lose the war. I thought the analysis was right on target.

This is a nice short read with very good analysis of why Hitler helped the Germans lose the war. I thought Lewin did a nice job of detailing all of Hitler's shortcomings as a military and political leader.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitler's Mistakes 18 April 2011
By Carla Eileen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I purchased Ronald Lewin's, "Hitler's Mistakes" as a source for a research paper I am writing for a course called "Nazi Germany". I found that Lewin and I concur that historians tend to view Hitler's mistakes from a military standpoint, while much of the all important human condition is overlooked. In his writing, Lewin addresses the many aspects of Adolf Hitler's personality that led to his military mistakes and the ultimate downfall of the Third Reich. He also points out that the First Reich and Second Reich were equally unsuccessful, opening a platform for discourse on the historical fabric of the German people in general. Though not a biography, much can be gleaned about Hitler's life, making this book an informative read for the historian and lay person alike.
1.0 out of 5 stars A disgusting and worthless bit of trash from a "distinguished military ... 6 Aug 2014
By Richard Nash Creel - Published on Amazon.com
A disgusting and worthless bit of trash from a "distinguished military historian" who unfortunately is sleeping the Big Sleep and thus can not be shamed for his pitiful excuse for an analysis of a major figure from World War II. In addition to the cheap moralizing and superficial journalistic narrative, he permits himself a dig at David Irving, who, contrary to Lewin, did do some serious research on the subject of Adolf Hitler, and, to note, Dr. Morell, something absent or present in blurb form in other writers. In no place is there any mention of the sabotaging of military plans by Guderian, Halder and von Bock. Zeitzler was hardly a puppet of Hitler's and was raised to chief of staff of OKH due to his energetic performance in the West. The impoverished and facile analysis of the "mistakes" given is just so much cheap armchair quarterbacking which proves once again how useful hindsight can be when passing judgement, especially on those who cannot defend themselves. Much of our understanding of World War II in Europe comes from a conventional wisdom which is best described as propaganda. Overlooked is the preponderant role of the Red Army and Red Air Force in defeating the Third Reich, and in retrospect, one may well think that for the Allies, certainly Churchill and the like, the Russians were merely so much cannon fodder to be discarded when they had outlived their usefulness. There is much more to the war in Europe than a thin tome such as this can possibly provide. Those who desire a better understanding of this important past had best look elsewhere.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Painful Reading 12 April 2014
By Yes sir! - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Spends way to much time on his antipathy for Hitler and his regime and doesn't really detail his mistakes really at all in the book...the book is beyond difficult to follow and is written in the strangest english dialect...more confusing than helpful
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