Leadership styles: Hitler vs. Stalin

IIRC Stalin delegated a lot of his authority during the war, while Hitler almost literally tried to run everything.

According to Wikipedia,

That is a horrible figure. But it is not even close to the Six Million Jews and 20 Million other civilians killed by Hitler’s regime.

After he decimated his officers due to his paranoia in the 30s.

The fact that J Stalin executed his officers is inexcusable. But it was his only chance of retaining his power. In order to prevent a revolution against him he had to execute those who dethroned Nicholas II.

One doesn’t get to lead countries as large as Germany and Russia for over 10 years and for over 30 years (respectively) unless one has some competence as a leader. You can certainly argue that you disagree with their actions as leader, but both of them led their nations unto their deaths. I don’t think you can argue that they were not competent leaders.

I would really, really cautious about assuming that the official figures are accurate.

Also, I notice that they didn’t bother to count the famine victims. Stalin killed those people just as surely as he killed the ones noted in the records.

IMHO one thing that sealed the fate of Hitler was the example that Stalin made when the Nazis were close to taking over Moscow late in 1941. Stalin showed the he had nerve and confidence when he appeared in public to make the speech to celebrate the anniversary of the revolution, it showed to all that the supreme commander did not run away, it told all Russian commanders and soldiers that Stalin was there himself to defend the city.

I think that thanks to that Hitler thought that he could do the same in 1945. Problem for him was that by then the war was in two fronts and there were no troops to spare and his army was decimated. The Allies still feared that Hitler would hold out for years in the mountains around Salzburg. But I think that Hitler’s ego and the example made by his arch enemy when defending his capital city told him to reject that idea.

As alluded to by Flyer, the numbers tighten up a bit if you include the millions who died in the Holodomor.

Being competent at getting into power is not the same thing as being competent at being powerful.

Hitler’s rise was partly based on luck. The economic collapse, and Hindenberg underestimating him helped and Hitler couldn’t control either.

I don’t recall all the details of the Stalin v. Trotsky fighting in the USSR, but again being good at giving speeches, or winning elections, or building political alliances, or running the secret police is not the same thing as being good at running the economy or military or industrial base. Saddam Hussein was very good at coming to power and staying in power, but he did a terrible job running Iraq.

Churchill, too, got overly involved in minor details, sometimes telling his generals where to position troops. But Hitler was obsessive about it, making the most minute and detailed plans, solely from reading maps, and he had a habit of sacking people for questioning his commands. The Allies were, ultimately, pretty lucky in having Hitler as an enemy, as his military incompetence likely shortened the war.