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Nenonen
Oct 22, 2009



INTJ Mastermind posted:

So what was the closest the Allies came to losing the war? When Doenitz's U-Boat blockade was in its heyday?

Right after France fell - with only the British Empire left in the game, and Luftwaffe about to start an air campaign like never seen before in history, and the U-Boats had very few risks, things sure weren't rosy for the Allies.

Of course, Allies in that case doesn't include USSR and USA. If we want to include both of them in the question, there really wasn't any point where they were really in the danger of losing it - by December 1941 Soviets were preparing for their first winter offensive, and while the Japanese were advancing in Asia they were not really really a threat except for, you know, the Chinese, Philippinos etc...

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Ferrosol
Nov 8, 2010


Alchenar posted:

May 1940, when Lord Halifax almost became Prime Minister instead of Churchill.

Nope first of all Halifax had no intention of surrendering to Germany, the most he was prepared to countenance was a peace of Amiens style temporary truce to give Britain time to rebuild it armies and get ready for round 2 with the Germans. Besides Halifax's planned cabinet include one W.S Churchill as minister of Defence and Chamberlain is supposed to have urged Halifax that if he became leader he should put Churchill in charge of the war effort as he was the best man for the job.

Nenonen posted:

Right after France fell - with only the British Empire left in the game, and Luftwaffe about to start an air campaign like never seen before in history, and the U-Boats had very few risks, things sure weren't rosy for the Allies.

Of course, Allies in that case doesn't include USSR and USA. If we want to include both of them in the question, there really wasn't any point where they were really in the danger of losing it - by December 1941 Soviets were preparing for their first winter offensive, and while the Japanese were advancing in Asia they were not really really a threat except for, you know, the Chinese, Philippinos etc...

thing is though barring a political coup by a "peace faction" which did not really exist (most of the appeasers had either been discredited or had turned against Hitler after the post Munich "betrayal")Germany cannot defeat Britain. Its air force is badly suited to a cross channel campaign, its navy is practically non existent after the Norway campaign and its armies although good had no training in amphibious warfare and were not logistically equipped for a cross channel invasion. Yeah Britain will have a hard time defeating Germany but Germany has no chance of beating Britain.

Ferrosol fucked around with this message at Sep 24, 2011 around 23:39

Nenonen
Oct 22, 2009



Ferrosol posted:

Chamberlain is supposed to have urged Halifax that if he became leader he should put Churchill in charge of the war effort as he was the best man for the job.

Wow, Chamberlain really was the worst British PM of all time.

In the context of Churchill's penchant of coming up with terrible plans such as Gallipoli in WWI or invading Norway in 1942.

Ferrosol posted:

thing is though barring a political coup by a "peace faction" which did not really exist (most of the appeasers had either been discredited or had turned against Hitler after the post Munich "betrayal")Germany cannot defeat Britain. Its air force is badly suited to a cross channel campaign, its navy is practically non existent after the Norway campaign and its armies although good had no training in amphibious warfare and were not logistically equipped for a cross channel invasion. Yeah Britain will have a hard time defeating Germany but Germany has no chance of beating Britain.

Agreed. Still, I see it as the low point for Allies. Once the Blitz spectacularly failed and Germany got two of the world's greatest economic and military powers on the Allied side, it was absolutely impossible for the Allies to lose.

WebDog
Jun 14, 2006


My Grandfather grew up in Bavaria during this time and pretty much pointed out to me that part of the reason Hitler got to where he was because he generally portrayed he had the ability to pay off Germany's debts before 1998 and it was somewhat proven with the resulting economic boom in the late 1930's.

He joined the army simply because it paid better than the lagging farmer's life he lead, even his teachers were ending up in the army at that time.
He was subsequently put to work in the Ukraine working on huge farms used to provide food. He ultimately wound up serving in the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend sometime before the Battle of the Bulge where he was eventually captured by the Americans somewhere in Czechoslovakia after attempting to do failed skirmishes, such as one horrid instance where they had to take out a bridge with timed explosives that tragically co-coincided with an unknown nearby camp of prisoners who ran out onto the bridge to greet the advancing US army.
He has another story of blowing up weapon stores while on the run that also included a jet plane that was utterly useless as they had no fuel for it.
He was acquitted on war crimes charges (the Malmedy massacre) due to being under 17 on the insistence of the Red Cross.

He wasn't pro Nazi, his father hated what was happening to the point where he arranged for his former Captain, a Jewish store owner, and his family to get out into Switzerland in 1938. Somehow they arrived into the US and one of them ended up in the Army and consequently wound up back in Bavaria and ran bang smack into my Great-Uncle who was in disguise as a French soldier having legged it from Berlin. As a result their family being saved he US soldier arranged for him to skip the POW camp and consequently got my grandfather out of another one based on a small note he'd dropped out of a convoy truck.

For US military goons, are there any online records that I might be able to use to find the name of that soldier?

Somehow my Great-grandfather survived Stalingrad, serving as an Anti-aircraft operator during both wars. although he was presumed dead for a while before turning up a somewhat shattered individual.

While I might be humanizing a few things, I don't for one doubt how horrific Hitler's dictatorship turned out to be.

Nenonen
Oct 22, 2009



WebDog posted:

For US military goons, are there any online records that I might be able to use to find the name of that soldier?

Hello there! Sure there are, here are a few pointers:

http://tinyurl.com/65jpud5
http://tinyurl.com/5tj8fcf

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

Kemper Boyd
Aug 6, 2007

no kings, no gods, no masters but a comfy chair and no socks


INTJ Mastermind posted:

So what was the closest the Allies came to losing the war? When Doenitz's U-Boat blockade was in its heyday?

Summer 1941: if Stalin never gets out of his funk, the Germans might have well won. Of course, this has more to do with the personality of Stalin and less with anything the Germans did.

Summer 1940: the funniest way of getting a counterfactual scenario where Germany wins is that by that time, Hitler could have gotten the bright idea of taking his ball and going home from Western Europe. If the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Denmark and Norway are left alone, most of the UK's momentum of keeping the war going with Germany is lost.

Rabhadh
Aug 26, 2007


Nenonen posted:

Hello there! Sure there are, here are a few pointers:

http://tinyurl.com/65jpud5
http://tinyurl.com/5tj8fcf

what the hell is this

Nude Bog Lurker
Jan 2, 2007

King Kong of Megadongs

Gobblin' them mega schlongs

Makin' sure they mega long

Stroke 'em if they mega strong


Nenonen posted:

Agreed. Still, I see it as the low point for Allies. Once the Blitz spectacularly failed and Germany got two of the world's greatest economic and military powers on the Allied side, it was absolutely impossible for the Allies to lose.

There's that old chestnut that Germany's prospects were very bad by the end of 1939, extremely bad by the end of 1940 and hopeless by the end of 1941.

Rodrigo Diaz
Apr 16, 2007

Knights who are at the wars eat their bread in sorrow;
their ease is weariness and sweat;
they have one good day after many bad

WebDog posted:

For US military goons, are there any online records that I might be able to use to find the name of that soldier?

No. Not only did a huge chunk of WWII service records go up in smoke in the 70s, they wouldn't include the kind of information that would make your man identifiable if you only have what you've told us to go off of.

Unless he came forward for some kind of project to record his experiences, and told the truth, or wrote a memoir, you will never find him without a name.

Bagheera
Oct 30, 2003


I don't think Chamberlain was a bad prime minister, and in fact I think he made the right decision in the Munich Agreement.

Chamberlain had no illusions that Hitler wanted a war, and a Europe-wide war at that. He knew full well that Germany wouldn't stop at annexing the Sudatenland, that Germany would eventually attack France and perhaps all of Europe.

He also knew that the UK military was far too weak to pose any threat to Hitler in 1938. The British public, like that of France and the US, had fresh memories of World War I and wanted no part in any continental conflict. The army was short on material, weapons, people, and training. It had spent most of its inter-war years fighting a guerilla war in Ireland, and it was completely unprepared for a full-scale war.

So Chamberlain did the only thing he could do: he signed the Munich Agreement and sacrificed Czechoslovakia for a little more time. After the agreement, UK military production ramped up. The country slowly prepared for war. By the time Hitler invaded France, the British were, at the very least, able to put an expiditionary force onto the Continent. They couldn't have done that in 1938.


EDIT: I recommend reading Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945. Though it focuses on the US experience in World War II (but ironically published by Oxford University), it describes very well how desperate the US and UK were to avoid a world war. Roosevelt had plenty of causus bellis against Nazi Germany well before Pearl Harbor, but Congress wouldn't grant him a decalaration of war or even allow US ships to escort convoys across the Atlantic.

Bagheera fucked around with this message at Sep 25, 2011 around 13:02

WebDog
Jun 14, 2006


Rodrigo Diaz posted:

You will never find him without a name.
I do have a name, Nussbaum (Nußbaum), but that's a family name not the actual soldier. Enlistment records are vague as they just state the country not anywhere specific.
I know if I find a WWI Haubtmann with a missing leg who possibly served in anti air then I'm on the right track. Of course there's always the factor of them changing their name from something German to English.

At best all I can do is comb through passenger records and hope to find a whole family that matches around 1938/9 or get a name out of my grandfather.

Nenonen
Oct 22, 2009



One of the less discussed what-ifs of WW2 is the stance of Mussolini's Italy on Germany. Old Ben didn't have a very appraising view of Hitler, and was quite alarmed with Nazi intentions to annex Austria (especially after the murder of Austrian dictator Dollfuss in 1934), as there were still some old border disputes between Austria and Italy which Nazis might bring onto table. But Italy's own military adventures in Ethiopia led into political isolation, with only support coming from Germany.

But what if ol' Mussy actually had the clairvoyance of not invading Ethiopia nor sending 'volunteers' to Spain, and rather staying in a united front with France and UK against German expansionism? It would have changed the setting quite a bit: first of all, Anschluss would have been much riskier, maybe even impossible as the Austrofascist government could rely on Italy's backing. Either way there would have been no Munich agreement, and either Germany would have had to go to war with the Czechoslovakian army or Hitler would have focused on other matters. With no Munich agreement Soviets would have been less likely to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, in which case an invasion of Poland would have been harder to pull (especially if Czechoslovakia was not annexed), not to mention how Stalin's reactions would have been unknown.

And let's suppose that things still went more or less along the historic route - Germany annexes Czechoslovakia, invades Poland, then Denmark and Norway and knocks out France and Benelux. From there on things would have differed drastically, as there would have been no Mediterranean theater for Germans to get involved in - no Afrika Korps and no invasion of Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete. Could Operation Barbarossa have started in May? The most important thing for Benito himself would have been that he wasn't killed by partisans in 1945, he could easily have lived for ten to twenty more years like Franco.

It's a lot of speculation, but it illustrates how great implications the actions of an often ignored - nay, even ridiculed - player (Mussolini) could have. The guy was like some chaos butterfly flapping around.

SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


Since we're waffling on about what ifs, how would Italian armour fare against the Japanese tanks?

Nenonen
Oct 22, 2009



Poorly, as the tankers would have been shedding so many tears of joy over the fact that they actually faced an opponent that could be defeated that the gunners wouldn't have seen a thing. Apart from that the Japanese 57mm tank gun would not have been able to penetrate the Italian M13/40 frontal armour, while the Italian 47mm guns would have perforated the Japanese 'medium' tanks quite easily. It would have been one sided.

Ghost of Mussolini
Jun 26, 2011


Nenonen posted:

Italy was totally unprepared for war. More so than any other of the "major" nations. Hilariously enough though, had Italy gone to war with Germany instead of everyone else, and assuming the fighting takes place on the Austrian border (where else would they fight?), then the Italian military would have preformed better. After all, the mountain units were still quite good, as was light/specialized infantry in general. Fighting in mountainous terrain would've seen these units be the core formations in any fighting, rather than the masses of ill-equipped infantry in North Africa and the lackluster tanks than accompanied them. Also no ridiculous Regia Marina hijinks.

Tab8715
May 20, 2006


With the on-going World War II discussion what would you say are the most common misunderstandings or "Top 10 Myths" about World War II.

SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


Nenonen posted:

Poorly, as the tankers would have been shedding so many tears of joy over the fact that they actually faced an opponent that could be defeated that the gunners wouldn't have seen a thing. Apart from that the Japanese 57mm tank gun would not have been able to penetrate the Italian M13/40 frontal armour, while the Italian 47mm guns would have perforated the Japanese 'medium' tanks quite easily. It would have been one sided.

So in other words, only balanced if each side brought its adorable tankettes?

Tab8715 posted:

With the on-going World War II discussion what would you say are the most common misunderstandings or "Top 10 Myths" about World War II.

The stupid Italian and French coward accusations. The Italian and French soldier could fight like the devil, their equipment and officer staff usually let them down though.

Throatwarbler
Nov 17, 2008

Both my hands are capable of moving a stick up and down 5 inches. No extra practice or training was needed.


I suppose the Japanese navy probably has the edge over the Italian med fleet, how about the Italian air force vs the Japanese air force?

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new wallpaper tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

Tab8715 posted:

With the on-going World War II discussion what would you say are the most common misunderstandings or "Top 10 Myths" about World War II.

That the Spitfire was a 'wonder fighter'.

More generally; in the West a complete lack of comprehension of the scale of the land war in the USSR and in China/SE Asia which dwarfed anything the Western Allies were involved in.

e: oh, that the German Panzer forces were mostly Tigers and Panthers or at all modern. The TOE at the start of Barbarossa was full of Pz 2's and Czech tanks, all with low velocity guns.

Alchenar fucked around with this message at Sep 25, 2011 around 14:51

gohuskies
Oct 23, 2010


Alchenar posted:

e: oh, that the German Panzer forces were mostly Tigers and Panthers or at all modern. The TOE at the start of Barbarossa was full of Pz 2's and Czech tanks, all with low velocity guns.

Even at Kursk, 1/6th of the Panzer fleet was Panzer IIIs, Pz IVs with the hilariously lovely 75mm/L24 gun, or worse.

Acebuckeye13
Nov 2, 2010

IT GOT HOT


Throatwarbler posted:

I suppose the Japanese navy probably has the edge over the Italian med fleet, how about the Italian air force vs the Japanese air force?

The Italians wouldn't have had a chance. While they had a few good planes and pilots, they didn't have nearly enough of either to be effective even in the Med. Against an experienced AF such as Japan's they would have been slaughtered.

WHOLE DIK AND NUTS
Aug 17, 2011

by Duchess Gummybuns


Tab8715 posted:

With the on-going World War II discussion what would you say are the most common misunderstandings or "Top 10 Myths" about World War II.

D-Day won the war. It was actually Stalin.

WebDog
Jun 14, 2006


There's one I've read that I've never been able to find elsewhere; the VW Beetle was able to be converted into a light tank.

Boiled Water
Apr 5, 2006

YOU ARE A BRAIN
IN A BUNKER


WHOLE DIK AND NUTS posted:

D-Day won the war. It was actually Stalin.

The victory of WWII is built upon the bones of millions of red army soldiers.

Edit: Thinking about that particular war, could Japan have done something to keep out of the war. Like say not attacking the US or would they still have been drawn into it?

Panzeh
Nov 27, 2006

Wargames pretty much make you Hitler. It's awesome being Hitler.

The double-penetration of Bagration and Overlord demolished the Germans and their axis partners in an insanely expedient fashion. While the Eastern front made the West and Italian fronts pale in comparison, the draw of very valuable armored divisions away from the East was definitely felt. Keep in mind at this time the German infantry is really stripped down to try to keep the panzer and panzer-grenadiers replaced.

SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


Boiled Water posted:

The victory of WWII is built upon the bones of millions of red army soldiers.

Edit: Thinking about that particular war, could Japan have done something to keep out of the war. Like say not attacking the US or would they still have been drawn into it?

The moment Militarists seized power over the Japanese Parliament conflict either with US, China or the Colonial Powers was unavoidable.

Saint Celestine
Dec 17, 2008

Lay a fire within your soul and another between your hands, and let both be your weapons.
For one is faith and the other is victory and neither may ever be put out.

- Saint Sabbat, Lessons

Did the Italians do anything competently during WW2?

Edit: Submarine raid on Alexandria is the only thing I can think of

SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


Saint Celestine posted:

Did the Italians do anything competently during WW2?

Edit: Submarine raid on Alexandria is the only thing I can think of

Well, they were good at occupying locations and taking the brunt of some of the Soviets with volunteers with the Germans during Barbarossa .

Throatwarbler
Nov 17, 2008

Both my hands are capable of moving a stick up and down 5 inches. No extra practice or training was needed.


SeanBeansShako posted:

Well, they were good at occupying locations and taking the brunt of some of the Soviets with volunteers with the Germans during Barbarossa .

The threat of being captured by the Red Army really makes you think about your priorities in life.

Amused to Death
Aug 10, 2009

google "The Night Witches", and prepare for

Saint Celestine posted:

Did the Italians do anything competently during WW2?

Edit: Submarine raid on Alexandria is the only thing I can think of

They get some pretty decent respect at trying to defend Keren despite losing the battle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Keren

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002

This could be too paranoid to be effective, but it's a thought.

...

See, stuff like that make me confident in my decision to convert a Jovian moon mine shaft into a survival bunker!

If Patton had stubbed his toe on a mild winter day in 1937, how would the war have turned out? Would this have started a long chain of events where Panthers have been as effe-

Since we have to discuss WWII, it seems, consider this: Italy used poison gas during their invasion of Ethiopia, as a retaliation against war crimes by the Ethiopians. It seems that, after WWI, chemical warfare has mostly been relatively infrequent, due to fears of retaliation in kind. Is it possible that we would have ever seen large scale chemical warfare again, such as in WWI? Or in wars against reasonably similar strength belligerents, the threat of chemical warfare's devastating effect on everyone, especially noncombatants, made it too dangerous to use?

gohuskies
Oct 23, 2010


Volmarias posted:

Since we have to discuss WWII, it seems, consider this: Italy used poison gas during their invasion of Ethiopia, as a retaliation against war crimes by the Ethiopians. It seems that, after WWI, chemical warfare has mostly been relatively infrequent, due to fears of retaliation in kind. Is it possible that we would have ever seen large scale chemical warfare again, such as in WWI? Or in wars against reasonably similar strength belligerents, the threat of chemical warfare's devastating effect on everyone, especially noncombatants, made it too dangerous to use?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-I...weapons_by_Iraq

Amused to Death
Aug 10, 2009

google "The Night Witches", and prepare for

We don't have to discuss WW2. One thing I've always wondered, is there any proof from the era on what Britain's demands may have been if it had won a decisive victory in the War of 1812. We like to portray it as the second war of independence, but given Britain's commitments elsewhere as well as the fact the Americans had now enjoyed over 30 years of independence and had expanded greatly both in area and population(I think the population near tripled going by census figures), the cost in both economics and manpower to try to reestablish British control over the states again would've been asinine and probably aren't realistic.

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002

This could be too paranoid to be effective, but it's a thought.

...

See, stuff like that make me confident in my decision to convert a Jovian moon mine shaft into a survival bunker!


Good point

Volmarias fucked around with this message at Sep 25, 2011 around 18:43

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new wallpaper tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

Amused to Death posted:

We don't have to discuss WW2. One thing I've always wondered, is there any proof from the era on what Britain's demands may have been if it had won a decisive victory in the War of 1812. We like to portray it as the second war of independence, but given Britain's commitments elsewhere as well as the fact the Americans had now enjoyed over 30 years of independence and had expanded greatly both in area and population(I think the population near tripled going by census figures), the cost in both economics and manpower to try to reestablish British control over the states again would've been asinine and probably aren't realistic.

Probably little different, other than perhaps some demand for reparations. British demands were never anything other than 'status quo ante', also maybe stop trading with France.

The reason nobody in the UK learns or cares about the war of 1812 is because Europe was preoccupied with a real war at the time.

e: i mean 'commitments elsewhere' is a bit of an understatement for 'the high water mark of France's power in the Napoleonic wars'.

Alchenar fucked around with this message at Sep 25, 2011 around 19:11

Amused to Death
Aug 10, 2009

google "The Night Witches", and prepare for

True but I mean Britain still had troops elsewhere aside from just battling Napoleon too. What I was referring to is even in peace the idea of Britain trying to reestablish authority over the colonies just seems like a massive, expensive headache give that the empire had begun its expansion into Africa and Asia.

Rapey Joe Stalin
Jun 12, 2007

This is not the pleasure planet I was promised!


Alchenar posted:


The reason nobody in the UK learns or cares about the war of 1812 is because Europe was preoccupied with a real war at the time.


It really was just another lovely brushfire war, bread and butter for empires.

I do think we should play more on the bragging rights of burning down the capitol, because if you're not going to at least do that, then what is the point of a shameful imperialist past ?

Oxford Comma
Jun 26, 2011
Oxford Comma: Hey guys I want a cool big dog to show off! I want it to be ~special~ like Thor but more couch potato-like because I got babbies in the house!
Everybody: GET A LAB.
Oxford Comma: OK! (gets a a pit/catahoula mix)


SeanBeansShako posted:

The stupid Italian and French coward accusations. The Italian and French soldier could fight like the devil, their equipment and officer staff usually let them down though.

Someone once wrote a war-by-war rebuttalnof the "lol france surrenders" stereotype. Does anyone have a link to this. Wanna say it was published in the last 5 years in a newspaper but I'm not certain.

Edit: if the British listened to William Pitt in the 1760s, would America probably not have declared independence?

Oxford Comma fucked around with this message at Sep 25, 2011 around 20:01

Dopilsya
Apr 3, 2010


^^^^^^^^^
EDIT: I think there was an article in the Exile a few years back that might be what you're thinking of. The site seems down right this moment, though, I will see if I can find it. EDIT 2: Electric Boogaloo: I'm almost certain it was one of Gary Brecher's "War Nerd" articles from the eXile hth. EDIT 3: Son of the Revenge of Edit: I'm about 100% certain the article you're looking for is "The French" by Gary Brecher aka War Nerd of the eXile. Using the eXile's search function if you type in war nerd "the french" the article is on page 9 of that, but the link is broken. And btw, because my google-fu is weak, I got this information because google led me to a thread on loving Stormfront talking about it. Reading that is worse than Botham spies dying for that information, so I hope you're goddamn happy.


Tab8715 posted:

With the on-going World War II discussion what would you say are the most common misunderstandings or "Top 10 Myths" about World War II.

Probably some of the myths involving the Waffen SS--especially the idea that they were all amazing super soldiers. That's mostly Nazi propaganda, some units were very good, but most were a mixed bag ranging from decent to downright terrible.


For content:

Japan's military after the closing is oft-times described in fairly regressive terms; for instance, they had early guns from the Portuguese, but after the closing they did not improve on any designs and, in fact turned to more primitive weaponry as somehow more honourable. Is this true or a myth?

Also, did any European leaders/countries (such as they were at the time) resist adoption of the gun and cling to idealised notions of chivalry? If so, I can only assume they were cut to pieces by their neighbours, but I would love to hear their stories if there are any.

I should say that I'm aware that melee weapons played a large role in military conflicts for practical purposes (i.e. they were better suited for many situations than guns) even after guns were adopted, but what I'm curious about is if anyone consciously chose to not use guns to the detriment of their own military power.

Dopilsya fucked around with this message at Sep 26, 2011 around 00:30

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A Stranger
Sep 14, 2010


gohuskies posted:

Germany was done the moment they decided to enter a war of total annihilation with Russia without putting their economy on a 100% war footing. Hitler thought he could have guns and butter, and ended up with neither. Germany produced more tanks in 1944 than in 1941, and there's no reason for that except that at first they chose to fight with a hand behind their backs to try to keep the civilians at home happy. Taking this city or that city are minor details in comparison.

Actually, this point is completely refuted by modern historiography, see: http://www.amazon.com/Wages-Destruc...16985359&sr=8-1
Hitler most certainly did not lose the war because he spent too much money/materials on civilian goods, germany had a far larger % of their economy dedicated to warfare than the allies during the run-up to and most of the time during world war 2.

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