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The most mistaken decision of WW2

LAURENCE REES: And the single most mistaken decision of the war?

ANTONY BEEVOR: I don’t think there can be any doubt about the single most mistaken decision of the war, and that was Hitler’s decision to invade the Soviet Union. It was a huge gamble, even allowing for the fact that almost all his generals and his intelligence staff and even British, American and French military observers were all convinced that somehow the Red Army would collapse. But they had focused only on the Soviet-Finnish War, the Winter War, and seen the pathetic performance of the Red Army troops then.
The Japanese, on the other hand, took a different opinion because they had experienced the fighting in the Far East in ’39, and there they saw what the Red Army was capable of. That may well have been one of the major reasons why Japan preferred to turn South rather than turn North against Russia.