Friday, November 6, 2015

WW2: Nov. 6–Wehrmacht Frozen by a Forgetful Fuehrer

Within a year, the Wehrmacht
was decimated at Stalingrad.
This day in 1941, frostbite began to make its appearance among German troops fighting in the Soviet Union. The troops were not dressed for the Russian winter.

The next day, Joseph Stalin made a speech during the October Revolution anniversary celebration (it was still October under the old calendar) predicting correctly that German troops, 100 miles from Moscow, were facing disaster.

The advance on Moscow was worse a worse call for German soldiers than the Charge of the Light Brigade in Balaclava. In Berlin, under orders from Hitler, the German Army High Command ordered the  continued advance despite up to 80 Soviet Army divisions in front of them.

Bernard Shaw said that the lesson of history is that people forget the lessons of history. Hitler could have:
  • Remembered the decision of Alexander the Great, who resisted invading India, because he feared that his troops were not familiar with the Indian climate. 
  • Remembered that Napoleon's dream of worldwide domination by France ended in Russia. The Romans and Brits learned a lot from Alexander the Great.
Hitler didn't get the message from either. Lucky for England and the rest of the world that he didn't.

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