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Why did both Napoleon and Hitler fail to defeat Russia?

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  • #16
    They did not have the Will to Power.
    Blog | Civ2 Scenario League | leo.petr at gmail.com

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    • #17
      Yes, because of logistics they lost early...but both would have most likely lost anyways, even with proper winter equipment.
      DULCE BELLUM INEXPERTIS

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      • #18
        hitler:

        He didn't prepare for the harsh winter.

        He made some errors in judgement IMO as to where to goto next.

        He waited too long to attack. If he had attacked several months earlier - he would have won.

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        • #19
          Not mentioned but deserving was Hitler's growing role in military leadership. He made some very poor decisions. He did not allow his commanders at the front the freedom of manuever. He identified objectives and stubbornly refused to listen to his generals if they suggested that circumstances dictated changing those goals. He refused to allow tactical retreat or defensive measures.

          Not to be disrespectful of the Soviet performance, but German generals recognized that elements of the Wehrmacht was in danger of being cut off and told Hitler so. Hitler was not fully rational and had decided that the general staff was full of incompetents and cowards. His decisions reflected his fantasies more than strategic or tactical reality and this is what doomed the German invasion.

          (above is my opinion based on my personal research...I was not there)

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          • #20
            It's too dam cold to fight there. The Russians burned crops to starve both armies.

            jimmy is right too Hitler made some dumb decisions that lead to failure too.
            Read Blessed be the Peacemakers | Read Political Freedom | Read Pax Germania: A Story of Redemption | Read Unrelated Matters | Read Stains of Blood and Ash | Read Ripper: A Glimpse into the Life of Gen. Jack Sterling | Read Deutschland Erwachte! | Read The Best Friend | Read A Mothers Day Poem | Read Deliver us From Evil | Read The Promised Land

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            • #21
              Excellent analysis JT.
              (wow, I never thought I would say it.)

              Germany *did* have some excellent field commanders on the eastern front, such as Guderian and Manstein. Even despite Hitler's many blunders on a more macro-level (lack of preparation for "General Winter", etc), if the generals were given more direct command, and were not subject to Hitler's fanatical whims, Germany still could have possibly emerged victorious. Of course, Hitler had a nasty habit of firing some of his best generals when they didn't live up to his impossible expectations (Guderian, the master of armored tactics, was fired and reappointed twice if I recall correctly).
              http://monkspider.blogspot.com/

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              • #22
                General Winter, obviously, played a significant role in Nazi Germany's defeat in Russia, but let's not forget Muddy Spring. She, too, staved a few German heads in (figuratively speaking).

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                • #23
                  Napolean should have retreated from Moscow right after he arrived and found it burned out. The five weeks he spent there waiting for Alexander to capitulate spelled doom for his army.

                  Hitlers failure could attributed to the failure of the pro-German Yugoslav government to maintain power. Germany had to invade Yugoslavia pushing back the Russian invasion five weeks. With those five weeks, the Germans would have surely taken Moscow. Stalin would have been forced to sue for peace.
                  "The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved - loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves."--Victor Hugo

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                  • #24
                    I know this is a bit sidetracking, but it seems so obvious to everybody in WW2 nothing could possibly withstand the German invasion...
                    Let's not forget that the Russian forces faced a similar loony at the top of the Ranks: Stalin is reported to have been 'incommunicado' for days if not weeks, while his generals where 'waiting' for his orders. The purges Stalin had made in the 30's were still in the memories of the surviving militairy top-brass, and they were very afraid to act on their own.

                    I think that the answer to why both failed is in that they both had multiple Fronts to fight: Napoleon more or less invaded Russia because he wanted Russia on HIS side against the Brits ( ), and there are quite some reports that Russia was about to attack the Nazi's (a very large portion of the Red Army was amassed at the border!), and that Hitler may have not been so keen on invading Russia this early in the war, but had to strike first. The lack of winter equipment supports this theory.

                    So, in the end the answer is:

                    The UK.
                    "post reported"Winston, on the barricades for freedom of speech
                    "I don't like laws all over the world. Doesn't mean I am going to do anything but post about it."Jon Miller :b:

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                    • #25
                      Wasn't Hitler obsessed with invading SU at the same moment as Napoleon did?

                      He had opportunity enough to go earlier, but wanted to do it Napoleon-style...and he also failed Napoleon-style.

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                      • #26
                        Napoleon took Moscow, yet Russia didn't surrender. It is very hard to say whether the Soviet Union would sue for peace if the Germans had managed to capture Moscow.
                        (\__/) 07/07/1937 - Never forget
                        (='.'=) "Claims demand evidence; extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence." -- Carl Sagan
                        (")_(") "Starting the fire from within."

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by germanos

                          So, in the end the answer is:

                          The UK.
                          There is actually more truth in this statement than most would know.

                          Napolean's invasion of Russia was provoked by Alexander's rejection of the "Continetal System" which prohibited trade with England. The Russian were not an active ally of France or England, as they were embroiled in a war with the Ottomans. Napolean could not take such a slap in the face, so invaded thinking that defeat of the Russian army would bring Alexander back in line.

                          The German's lost the bulk of their airborne forces, both men and transports, in the invasion of Crete. The English used their Enigma machine, provided by the Poles who intercepted one before the war make a copy and sent it back to it's destination, to decipher German plans for the invasion. While the Commonwealth forces on Crete didn't win out in the end, the information probably caused a greater amount of German casulties especially in the transport aircraft. The Germans went into Russia with very limited airborne capability and great shortage in transport aircraft which could have been used to resupply forward elements of the breakthrough units.
                          "The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved - loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves."--Victor Hugo

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by germanos

                            I think that the answer to why both failed is in that they both had multiple Fronts to fight: Napoleon more or less invaded Russia because he wanted Russia on HIS side against the Brits ( ), and there are quite some reports that Russia was about to attack the Nazi's (a very large portion of the Red Army was amassed at the border!), and that Hitler may have not been so keen on invading Russia this early in the war, but had to strike first. The lack of winter equipment supports this theory.

                            So, in the end the answer is:

                            The UK.
                            The theory of a planned Soviet attack aganist the Germans has been disproven by historians that have looked through the Red Army archives. As for the Soviets having the bulk of their forces close to the border: well, were else would you put them if you have Nazi germany as a neighbor? In Siberia?
                            If you don't like reality, change it! me
                            "Oh no! I am bested!" Drake :(
                            "it is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong" Voltaire
                            "Patriotism is a pernecious, psychopathic form of idiocy" George Bernard Shaw

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                            • #29
                              That is true Swissy. But the crop burning was a significant part. When Napoleon retreated to find Smolensk (his hoped for winter camp) all deprived of food, he had no chance. His troops died, and the Russian crop burning eventually deprived the French of local food, so they couldn't stay.

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                              • #30
                                What would have happened if Napoleon had advanced up the coast to St. Petersburg instead of to Moscow?

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