While he is usually referred to in less then endearing terms, on a number of occasions I have heard American veterans of World War 2 refer to him as “…our greatest ally.” His real name? Why, it was Adolph Hitler!
While there is little disagreement as to Der Fuhrer’s political astuteness and his ability to mesmerize crowds with his oratory skills, as a military strategist he was a flop! The fact that the German army was able to conquer all of Europe along with large parts of Russia and North Africa speaks more of the abilities of the Deutsche soldaten then it does their deranged leader.
Before and during World War 2 the Germans made great technological advances in the areas of military aircraft, artillery, tanks and rocketry but, with few exceptions, their small arms were little more then updated versions of the same weapons used during the mass bloodletting of 1914-1918. One of the reasons for this was that in some cases Hitler actually forbade the development of more modern small arms. He apparently had no qualms about the issue of better machine guns, submachine guns and pistols – after all, he himself had used such weapons during the Great War. But whenever the Heereswaffenamt (army ordnance department) brought up the idea of a self-loading rifle, the Fuhrer quickly squashed such radical notions. The bolt action, 98 Mauser had been good enough for Adolph, so it would be good enough for the Wehrmacht. Period – end of discussion!!!