Hitler as a military leader Simply by mentioning Adolf Hitler’s has the instantaneous effect of conjuring up images of a monstrous force. Surprisingly, there was been little said about his ability as a military leader. Was the man simply conveniently described by his staff as ‘one of the greatest generals of all time’ or were the victories that the man takes responsibility for just a stroke of luck? This paper aims to evaluate and analyze the key strengths which made Hitler a successful leader and the weaknesses that constituted to flaws in his leadership style. Despite the fact that his atrocities during World War 2 will always be remembered one cannot overlook the fact that Hitler did possess military strength as a leader.
His uncanny ability to be able to store precise details regarding historical information, technical facts, statistics and past details, to memory served as a primary asset to plot his military strategy (Schramm, 1971). This uncanny ability combined with his excessive reading hobby compensated for his lack of education. Irving, who highlights this enhanced retentive ability that Hitler possessed and how advantageous it was by giving an example: After he would read through the Red Book of arms, that he received he each month, he would write down figures and run his eyes over the columns.
It was after this that he would throw away the paper however the numbers stayed indelibly in his memory, year after year. One incident is reported where he was able to correct a printing error made in a current Red Book: where an eight was printed instead of a three. These columns of figures he was able to recall from the previous month’s edition. This technical ability further served him well as far as comprehending technical incidents and issues with armaments was concerned.
His extensive knowledge and capabilities of weaponry benefited Germany. This can be seen in the way the idea of mounting long barrel guns in tanks was Hitler’s idea. Also he was able to point out several flaws in Germany’s warship design, particularly because it was built so low that it would have sunk below the waves in heavy seas.
Furthermore his knowledge of armament, the velocity at which warships travelled, demolition, fortification and a variety of guns was an asset and great contribution to the war effort, which was even more amazing considering he had no prior education in technology. It was due to this knowledge that he could, in mere instances, analyze the enemy’s weapon systems, calculate the impact they would have and compare it to figures pertaining to their own war production (Ibid and Schramm, 1958).
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