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.