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Adolf Hitler - Blitzkrieg Tactics

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powerful and relentless leadership style was very successful in the beginning. Hitler directed

the "Blitzkrieg" tactics that dominated the first phase of World War II. These bold tactics included

sudden shock attacks against airfields, communications centers and military installations. He was the

inspiration behind great victories like the Battle of France in May 1940 and the Battle of Kharkov in

May 1942. It was Hitler's leadership style along with his inability to make decisions at critical times,

which lead to the undoing of Nazi Germany.

Beginning with the reoccupation of the Rhineland in March 1936, Hitler saw his senior officers

unwilling to take risks. As time went on, he came to believe that Germany's victories were his alone

and that most of his generals were narrow-minded and incapable. Near the end of the war, he ordered

that no unit could move without his express permission. He demanded lengthy reports on every

armored vehicle and position that his forces lost.

In his February 2002 article for the British Broadcasting Corporation's History Page, Geoffrey

Megargee describes Hitler as a meddler in military operations. He illustrates the effect this meddling

had on the prosecution of the War. Hitler distrusted his generals and relied too much on his own

instinct. According to his so-called "Leadership Principle", ultimate authority rested with him and

extended downward. Hitler had an incredible memory for detail. Every point had to be correct and

consistent with previous briefings. He would become annoyed at any discrepancies. Hitler combined

his insistence on personal control with a leadership style that often consisted of equal parts

stubbornness and indecisiveness (Megargee).

Hitler sometimes put off difficult decisions for weeks, especially as the military situation grew worse.

In 1943, for instance, his inability to make up his mind about an attack at Kursk, Russia eventually

pushed the attack back from April to July. By the time he made up his mind



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