The professional evaluation

“With the decision to invade the Soviet Union, confirmed in the directive of 18 December 1940, Hitler had closed off his strategic options. In his anxiety not to concede the initiative in the war, he had shifted the entire focus of the German war effort to the aim of inflicting comprehensive military defeat on the Soviet Union—and obliterating it as a political entity—within a matter of months. He was backed by his military leaders, who, even if some had private reservations, at no point raised serious objections to his proposed course of action. In retrospect, it seems sheer idiocy.” – Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis

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