Why didn't the Nazis invade Malta?

Historian Andrew Roberts: With a strong Africa Corps, Hitler could have won the war

In England, educated men know the beautiful tradition of sitting in club chairs and brandy glasses in hand by the fireplace to philosophize about history, how it was and how it could have been. A well-known example is offered by the book “Wendpunkte. Key Choices in World War II ”by Ian Kershaw (2008). In it, the prominent historian answers counterfactual questions such as: What would have happened if Great Britain had made its peace with Hitler in 1940 or if Hitler hadn't attacked the Soviet Union in 1941.

This is the direction in which the final chapter, with which the British historian Andrew Roberts wrote his book “Feuersturm. A History of the Second World War ”concludes: Why did the Axis powers lose the war? It is a very English book because Roberts argues mainly militarily. The war would have developed differently if Hitler had not delayed the production of the Me 262 jet fighter in 1943, had held back his tanks during the advance on Dunkirk in 1940 or had not driven the 6th Army into the trap of Stalingrad.

The discussion of these questions is almost as old as the events themselves and now seems to belong more in the rooms of a club than in that of a historical seminar in which Hitler's war is analyzed as the outcome of a complex rule. Nonetheless, Roberts provides exciting questions because his perspective is not only different from the local one in terms of method.

One example is Roberts' judgment on the failed deployment of the German Africa Corps, led by Erwin Rommel, from 1941 to 1943. Instead of committing “his cardinal error”, the war against the Soviet Union, Hitler's goal with a massive advance in North Africa would be the overthrow of the British Empire, much easier and safer.