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Most mistaken decision of WW2

LAURENCE REES: What do you think was the single most mistaken decision?

ANDREW ROBERTS: I’m afraid it’s the same as everybody else is going to come out with. Hitler’s decision to declare war on America was quite the most, if we’re assuming that Operation Barbarossa itself is of course..

LAURENCE REES: …the single most mistaken decision?

ANDREW ROBERTS: Oh, Hitler invading Russia, yes, no, absolutely. Hitler invading Russia in June 1941: Hitler should have attacked us in Egypt and the Middle East and should have knocked us out of Iraq, Syria and Iran. He should have snaffled the oil in the Middle East and then should have attacked Russia from the South through the Caucuses and taken all of Russia’s oil from that direction and not tried to send an army 1000 miles to Stalingrad from the west. He should have attacked from the south and the west simultaneously. And he should have timed it differently and he shouldn’t have done it until we had been knocked out of the war.

LAURENCE REES: Wasn’t the war unwinnable for Hitler because of their lack of industrial capacity?

ANDREW ROBERTS: No, I don’t agree with that, I don’t obviously know anything like as much as Adam Tooze about the German industrial capacity, but it seems to me that they took on industrial capacity from their victories from France, and if they’d managed to force Stalin behind the Urals and he had got the train ready on the 16th of October 1941, then he’d have made the economics work for him.