Historic miscalculation day

June 22?

This is the anniversary of the World War II invasion of the Soviet Union by the forces of Nazi Germany, under Adolf Hitler.

Hitler thought the USSR would fall quickly, and he could get back to the issue of breaking and controlling Britain.

In the history of the world, this has to be one of the greatest of miscalculations.

Could history have offered a lesson?  Napoleon invaded Russia on June 24, 1812, with similarly disastrous results for many of the same reasons.

Santayana’s Ghost looks on in bemused bewilderment.


2 Responses to Historic miscalculation day

  1. Porlock Junior says:

    Well, when you’ve made one of the world’s most stupendous blunders, what do you do for an encore?

    Declare war on the United States!

    I think it’s the pairing of these that locks up the all-time world championship.


  2. jsojourner says:

    Funny how the Bohemian Corporal and the Little Corporal made the same mistake. And not merely in invading, but in invading with such bravado as to not expect a protracted fight in heavy snow. Did they really expect to have pushed the stubborn Russians back across the Urals before the November snows?

    One can understand at least some of Hitler’s hubris based, not so much on the success of blitzkrieg (which was substantial), but based more upon the purges of competent military officers in the USSR for the previous 15 years or so.

    Uncle Joe found his Marshal Zukhov, however, and Hitler became the crazed lunatic who began dispatching anyone with a shred of tactical prudence. How the worm does turn.

    It is fun (well, fun may not be the correct word) to wonder how things might have been different had the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact held for a few more years and the Germans had used that time to take the Suez Canal and pummel the British Isles. And had the Germans the prescience NOT to declare war on the United States, thereby forcing Roosevelt’s hand. What would have happened?

    Well, it’s all armchair speculation now. We won, thank God. And for all the evil the Soviets did, thank God they were on the right side of that war at least. They, and the Chinese. Without the sacrifice and contributions of Russia and China, victory might still have been possible…but at what price and on what timetable?

    Great thread idea, Ed.



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