How 1 Mistake Cost Hitler Victory During World War II

David T. Pyne

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of five articles providing critical analysis as to how Germany Might Have Won World War Two.

In our last article, we examined some of the actions that Germany might have taken to achieve its territorial objectives without having to fight the Western Powers of Britain, France and the United States of America in World War Two. Some of the most important ways for Germany to have won the war would have been to have waited until German industries had recovered from the limitations imposed by the Versailles Treaty to maximize Germany’s military potential. It would have entailed a more prudent utilization of Germany’s limited military-industrial resources, better organization and increased mobility of her army. Here are some examples:

Don’t risk war with Allies until 1941 or 1943

Due to the fact that the German rearmament program was not projected to be completed until 1943, Hitler expected the outbreak of war would not occur until then or until 1941 at the earliest. Accordingly, Hitler was completely caught off guard when Britain and France declared war against him on September 3, 1939 over his invasion of Poland. Germany’s generals warned Hitler that the army was not ready for war in 1939. Not only were one-third of Germany’s army divisions still seriously underequipped, but there was a major shortage of officers due to the massive expansion of the German Army from seven to 103 divisions during a five year period.  Due to the serious shortage of tanks armed with 37mm guns or above, the German Army was forced to employ 2,000 obsolete Panzer I and Panzer II training tanks which the Germans had never intended to use in war. While the punitive Treaty of Versailles did not end up accomplishing its purpose in keeping Germany economically destitute, militarily powerless, divided and downtrodden, let alone prevent a Second World War, its ban on Germany building tanks actually contribute toward Nazi Germany losing World War Two. 

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