Herr Johnson, “I will do whatever’s needed, including bringing my marriage forward a year, to avoid my having to make difficult decisions that will make me personally unpopular.”


“There are three possible reasons why Hitler evaded these risks in the military field. First, he may secretly have felt that he lacked the military ability to cope with them. This being so, he was even less likely to credit his generals with having it. The second reason was the fear, common to all dictators, that his prestige would be shaken by any setbacks … Thirdly, there was Hitler’s intense dislike, rooted in his lust for power, of giving up anything on which he had once laid hands.”

Field Marshal Erich von Manstein , Lost Victories.

“There was, as Manstein went on to describe, another factor. When confronted with a difficult decision, particularly where the only real option was to do something that he did not wish to do, Hitler would prevaricate and put off the decision for as long as he could, perhaps in the hope that circumstances would change and make the decision unnecessary. This was such an occasion: all of the professional opinion suggested that it was foolhardy in the extreme to leave Sixth Army in Stalingrad, but withdrawal was so contrary to Hitler’s instincts that, even before he had discussed matters with Luftwaffe commanders, he was already thinking in terms of keeping the surrounded army alive by supplying it by air.”

Prit Buttar, On a Knife’s Edge.

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