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Biggest mistake of WW2

LAURENCE REES:   And the single biggest mistake in the war?

CONRAD CRANE: Well, it goes back to Pearl Harbour. I think the whole idea to attack Pearl Harbour not only brought the United States into the war, but brought a fairly divided country into the war in such a way where it was no longer divided. I mean, you not only brought the US into the war, you made it mad. They didn’t do the second raid in Pearl Harbour that would have taken out the facilities, so you’ve taken out the American fleet, given yourself a couple of months, but you’ve left the capacity there to rebuild and come at you again. I just think it wasn’t well thought out strategically what the impact of that was going to be. Another similar decision which is very close is Barbarossa, Hitler’s attack of the Soviet Union, which kind of does the same thing. Overconfidence is a dangerous trait in any strategic decision making and I think in both these cases they were just not thought out well enough.