We have detected that you are using an older version of Internet Explorer and to have access to all the features on this site, you will need to update your browser to Internet Explorer 8. Alternatively, download Mozilla Firefox or Chrome.

Most overrated leader of WW2

LAURENCE REES: And the single most overrated leader of the war?

SIMON SEBAG-MONTEFIORE: I think Hitler’s hugely overrated actually. Because I think he didn’t learn anything from this. He got incredibly lucky, and Poland was not a great achievement. After all, Poland was a tiny country which depended on cavalry. I think he got incredibly lucky with France. The invasion was courageous but he got incredibly lucky and even he didn’t expect the French to collapse that quickly. And after that he thought he was absolutely unbeatable which was a disastrous mistake, and after that he made more and more mistakes and became less and less educable. While if you look at someone like Stalin he became more and more educable as the war went on which is unexpected from the man of steel, but by the end, after 1942-43, he actually became quite a competent Commander In Chief.