Top 10 reasons why Hitler lost WWII

Joris Nieuwint

Adolf Hitler, a man who swept the Germans up to incredible victories, was also the main reason Germany ultimately lost the war. He refused to accept reality, took no advice from his Generals and then made poor decisions. This way he ensured a relatively quick end of Nazi Germany.

Here follow ten other reasons why he lost the war.

10. His Allies in the Axis of Evil

On 25 October 1936, an Axis was declared between Italy and Germany. (Bundesarchiv)

Having no luck in enticing England to join in the fight against the USSR Hitler had to look for other, less powerful countries.

Italy was a natural choice, having an ideology similar to the Nazis, but when WWII started their military equipment was already outdated.

Other countries like Romania and Hungary were enticed into the Axis, but neither could provide high-quality military assistance. In the case of Italy, Hitler had to bail out his ally who started more than one ill-fated attack.

9 The Not One Step Back policy

Hitler saved the German army from catastrophic defeat in the winter of 1941 – 1942 when he ordered his troops to stand and fight against the Russian counter attacks after their failed operation to capture Moscow. At that point, a decision to withdraw could well have caused a total collapse of the German front and an early defeat in Russia.

After this, feeling vindicated, he took this policy too far and allowed not a single unit to withdraw. He went so far as to give orders down to regimental and even company level, bypassing normal military channels.

His decision to deny the German 6th Army at Stalingrad to withdraw caused its complete destruction. In later battles, he denied the army to pull out to more favorable terrain or to shorten the lines. This caused the German Army countless casualties that it could ill afford.

8 The right technology used incorrectly

King Tigers on parade (Bundesarchiv)

The Germans were well in advance of the Allies when it came to Military Technology. Having vastly superior tanks and jet airplanes being mass produced and correctly employed should have given the Germans an edge in any battle.

However, the quest for ever heavier tanks instead of concentrating on the mass production of the good designs like the Panther tank left the Germans with a wide array of tanks, each requiring different spare parts and expertise.

Also, the reliance on forced labor meant that quality control was a big issue, causing more frequent breakdowns which required more spares, etc.

7 Declaring War on the USA

Die vernichtende Rede des Führers über Roosevelt. Am Donnerstag nachmittag hielt der Führer vor den Männern des Deutschen Reichtags die grosse und mit fieberhafter Spannung erwartete Rede zu dem von dem Kriegshetzer Roosevelt heraufbeschworenen Krieg im Pazifik. Auf der Regierungsbank (von rechts nach links) sieht man den Führer, neben ihm Reichsaussenminister v. Ribbentrop, Grossadmiral Reader, Generalfeldmarschall v. Brauchitsch, Generalfeldmarschall Keitel und die Reichsminister Dr. Frick und Dr. Goebbels. In der zweiten Reihe (von rechts): Die Reichsminister Graf Schwerin-Krosigk, Funk, Darré, Rust, Kerrl, Dr. Frank, Dr. Dorpmüller, Dr. Seyss-Inquart und Dr. Todt. Dahinter (von rechts): Reichsminister Rosenberg und die Staatsminister Dr. Meissner und Dr. Popitz. AV 65979
Hitler declares war on the United States on December 11, 1941, from the Krolloper’s stage (Bundesarchiv)

On December 11, 1941, Germany declared war on the United States, in response to what was claimed to be a series of provocations by the United States when they were still neutral. This occurred 4 days after December 7, 1941 when the Empire of Japan launched its surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

According to the terms of the Anti-Comintern Pact signed with Japan, Germany was obligated to come to the aid of Japan if a third country attacked Japan, but not if Japan was the aggressor. Nevertheless, the German government (Hitler) chose to declare war on the United States.

This proved to be a godsend for both Churchill and Roosevelt who soon agreed on a Germany First strategy which meant the destruction of Germany took precedent over Japan.

6. Hitler taking over as Commander-in-Chief

Russland, Lagebesprechung mit Hitler

In December 1941 when the attack on Moscow stalled, the Soviets launched a massive counterattack which threatened to rout the Germans bringing them to the brink of disaster.

Hitler did not wish to accept the facts, and he began removing officers from their command for not obeying orders or when they proposed to withdraw.

Hitler did not believe in giving back captured territory (see reason 9), so in the biggest shake-up of Germany’s military high command, he declared himself commander in chief of the army.

He would train it “in a National Socialist way”—that is, by personal fiat. He would compose the strategies, and the officers would dance to his tune. (

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