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THBT: The Third Reich lost WW2 because Hitler made bad wartime decisions

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All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

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2

With 2 votes and 8 points ahead, the winner is ...

Benjamin
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The focus will be on analysing history, not clever argumentation techniques. Unnecessary distractions like Kritiks and semantics are disallowed by rule.

Merriam-webster definitions:
-Good: effective in achieving the desired result (in our case, military victory)
-Bad: failing to reach an acceptable standard: POOR

The assumed goal is to win the war. A bad wartime decision is one that, contrary to good wartime decisions, fails to reach an acceptable standard of reason and rationale.

BoP is on PRO.

Round 1
Pro
THBT: The Third Reich lost WW2 because Hitler made bad wartime decisions

Thank you, Sum1hugme, for accepting this debate.


FRAMEWORK

Terms:
  • TTR = The Third Reich = Nazi Germany
  • Luftwaffe = the german airforce
  • Wehrmacht = the german armed forces

My BoP
The resolution demands evidence that Hitler's bad decisions during the war caused the loss of TTR. I do not have to prove that no other causes were involved, as that would literally be impossible to do. A car is fast because of its engine, yes; but also because of its wheels. Causes stack on top of each other and some are more impactful than others. The resolution asks me to prove a clear causality and correlation between Hitler's bad decisions during WW2 and the defeat of TTR. If I can do that then I have fulfilled my BoP.


General sourcing
The general source of mine is history.com, one of the most reliable historical sources there is. If I am using other sources it will be explicitly stated or quoted.
 


INTRODUCTORY 
On 1st September 1939 began the second war-ending great war, also known as the biggest war ever, World War 2 (WW2).

In only a few months The Third Reich managed to defeat and subdue Tjekoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands and France. The German army was the most modern of its day, and incorporated radio and combined arms warfare, meaning the enemies of Germany faced not only infantry but also tank divisions and aerial bombardment. With superior tactics and technology, the German army was able to use a strategy called "Blitzkrieg", in which every branch of the military put a combined and constant effort into pushing the enemies back, breaking their lines, surrounding and crushing them. No countermeasure existed at that time, meaning Europe was free real estate for The Third Reich. This was evidenced by the crushing of allied forces, and German victory seemed inevitable.



OF COURSE HITLER CAUSED THE LOSS OF THE THIRD REICH

Argument1 - TTR could not lose any other way
Germany had everything needed to win. From a superior-in-every-way airforce to arguably the first and most powerful tank divisions to ever exist, The "Wehrmacht" was the most advanced military in the world. The German nation had superior industry to every other nation but America, and also a central position on the European map with a functional and effective infrastructure. At this time The Third Reich was only facing two enemies who stood no chance against its might; one of them had already been conquered and the other one beaten and humiliated. Even with a perfect and incredible effort, Britain could not have defeated Germany. Literally speaking, the only thinkable way Nazi Germany could lose was by making huge mistakes. More specifically, only a German leader with enough power and stupidity, like HITLER, could cause the loss of The Third Reich.

Conclusion: From studying the situation early in the war one can comfortably state that IF Germany lost, THEN it was because of Hitlers bad decisions.
  • If CON denies this then he must explain another feasible way Germany loses that doesn't involve Hitler making bad decisions.



Argument2 - Hitler bears the guilt regardless of my analysis
Unless CON claims that Hitler's decisions had no impact on the war he can't deny that Hitler's decisions impacted the outcome. Since Hitler was the supreme leader of Nazi Germany, denying that Hitler caused its loss would be equally absurd as to claim that Alexander the Great and Napoleon didn't cause their respective victories and losses. Of course, leaders cause the victories and losses of those they lead. Denying this is impossible, as this statement is both a truism and an axiom.

Conclusion: Of course Hitler's decisions caused the result of the war, aka the loss of The Third Reich








HITLER'S BAD DECISIONS DIRECTLY CAUSED THE LOSS OF THE THIRD REICH
The source of mine for all of the quotes and claims I will make from this point on will be this article from history of yesterday .com, 10 Mistakes by Hitler that prove he was an idiot.

The Nazi dictator was not a military genius

The successes of National Socialism in the 1930s put Hitler in command of the Third Reich, but HIS mistakes quickly turned the tide against Germany.
Let me quickly go over the most blatant cases of Hitler's idiocracy. My claims are, as stated, backed by the above-mentioned source.


Battle of Britain
After successfully and quickly conquering France, the logical next step was to (1) Invade Britain, or (2) Make peace with Britain. The problem with the former, though, was British naval superiority which was preventing an invasion unless The Third Reich could achieve full air superiority. Luftwaffe, the strongest airforce in the world at that time, was ordered to "liquidate" the British. It started to put pressure on the Royal Air Force of Britain and began ruthlessly destroying crucial infrastructures like radars, supply lines, aircraft factories and airbases in Britain. "According to RAF leaders, the Nazis almost succeeded and, in fact, they were only two weeks away from destroying it and have absolute hegemony of the British skies." [ibid]. As a matter of fact, The Third Reich's new and modernised airforce was crushing the smaller RAF.

You do not need to be a military strategist to tell that when you are winning the battle you should continue fighting, that is the only good decision to make. Hitler was an arrogant idiot and did not think logically. A single bombing of Berlin carried out by the RAF got Hitler tilted. He ordered a switch from military onto civilian targets and cities. "The only thing that was achieved with this change of strategy was creating cohesion between British citizens and this gave the RAF a vital little truce in order to rebuild after being on the verge of collapse. True, the city of London was almost reduced to ashes, but the German casualties reached such a point that Hitler had to cancel the entire English campaign".

Germany was about to put a quick and decisive victory to WW2 when Hitler decided to switch strategy and thus he directly prevented an inevitable victory of Germany.

Impacts of Hitler's bad decision:
  • Britain was not defeated as it should have been
    • This made D-Day possible
    • This made it possible for the allies to fight Italy in the Mediterranean
    • This made it possible for the allies to bomb German infrastructure and factories
    • This ensured America could provide supplies to the Soviet Union
    • This meant a huge number of German troops and aircraft were locked down in the west and the north rather than fighting in the war
  • The squadrons of the Luftwaffe was wasted and destroyed in pointless attacks on civilians
  • Allied boost of morale as well as more incentive to fight
In short, the allies would have had no chance in the war had Hitler not made a very emotional, impatient and irrational decision to redirect his forces to attack civilians.



War against the Soviet Union
Let me first make an uncontroversial statement. The Third Reich lost WW2 precisely because they went to war against the Soviet Union. No serious historian argues the opposite. Even though Britain was still at war with Germany, they in no way had the power to beat them. Only the Soviet Union could ever have beaten Nazi Germany at that point. Hitler was the man in charge of Nazi Germany, and he was the one to order an invasion against the country, despite their contemporary alliance. Thus, Hitler was directly responsible for creating the possibility of German defeat. Furthermore, Hitler made huge mistakes in the war against the soviet union.

"""
Adolf Hitler made several fatal mistakes in the campaign of the Eastern Front. The first one was the mere fact of believing in an easy conquest of the Soviet Union (it was an incredibly optimistic vision, to say the least, needless to remember the enormous extension of the territory). The second problem came with the six-week delay of Operation Barbarossa, a decision by the Nazi dictator to save Mussolini’s people in the Balkans. Likewise, the Germans were not prepared to fight a long war, since Hitler took for granted that Russia could be completely defeated by the summer.

He ordered the siege of Leningrad, but not its capture, and wrongly delayed the final advance on Moscow by ordering that their Panzers (battle tanks) help suffocated units in the south of the front. It should be noted that if Moscow had fallen, the Germans would have taken full control of the Russian rail connections and would have mined enormously using its supply routes. Certainly, a mistake that would cost the Third Reich dearly. 

In 1942, Adolf Hitler ordered his armies to capture the oil fields of the Caucasus and the city of Stalingrad, the Nazis spread out over the vast Soviet territory. As a result, his forces were unable to seize the oil fields and suffered enormous losses in the battle of Stalingrad.
"""

Additionally, the Luftwaffe was not focused on the eastern front; it was split between the western and eastern front due to Britain not being defeated. Russians were also having better morale because Britain was their ally. I could mention more, but lack of space prevents me from fleshing out the full scale of Hitler's incompetence in leading his military. The key takeaway is that Hitler's military decisions were generally bad, and most of them were catastrophic.



Idealistic orders which made no sense
"Probably the biggest mistake Hitler made in Russia. When things started to look bad for the Germans during the first winter, Hitler ordered his troops to never withdraw under any circumstances. It is a somewhat crazy measure since it doesn’t make much sense to let troops be massacred before an enemy who surpasses them in number and firepower.



War against the USA
Japan defeating the US would be impossible in the long run. Even more importantly, The Third Reich had no way to attack the US, so a declaration of war would be nonsensical in every aspect -- you do not during WW2 declare war on the very nation that swayed WW1 into the enemies favour. Hitler's idiotic decision to declare war on the USA led to an allied boost of morale as well as completely destroy any remaining chance of German victory. American supplies, as well as American ships, aeroplanes and soldiers, swayed the tide of war. The invasion of Italy, as well as D-Day, was the last spike in the coffin for Nazi Germany. Thus, Hitler's decision directly caused the loss of The Third Reich by declaring war on the USA.


These and many other mistakes were made directly by Hitler, as he had decided to be the supreme commander of the military.



SUMMARY
  • OF COURSE HITLER CAUSED THE DEFEAT OF NAZI GERMANY
    • Germany had the odds firmly stacked in its favour at the beginning of the war, and nothing except extreme incompetence could put Germany in such a bad position as 1945. Germany could only lose the war because of Hitler.
    • Basic logic tells us that the result of wars are caused by first and foremost the leaders
  • HITLERS BAD DECISIONS DIRECTLY CAUSED GERMANY TO LOSE THE WAR
    • The war would have been a quick and decisive victory for Nazi Germany;
      • Hitler's decision to change strategy meant that Germany actually lost the Battle of Britain; thus eventually causing the defeat of Germany 
    • Because of his arrogance, Hitler put Germany up against stronger and stronger enemies until he had removed any possibility of victory.
    • Hitler insisted on leading the armies despite being a stupid fool whose strategies and decisions time and time again caused the German military to lose battles they would otherwise have won. He basically wasted every opportunity for victory, which there were countless of.
    • Every bad strategical mistake that led to the defeat of The Third Reich was made by Hitler

CONCLUSION
The Third Reich lost WW2 because Hitler made bad wartime decisions. The resolution is proven correct. Good luck, CON.

Con
  The debate resolution states that Germany fell because of Hitler's bad decisions. This claim does not entail the burden of simply demonstrating that Hitler's bad decisions had anything at all to do with Germany's defeat, as my opponent has alluded. Rather, he must demonstrate that this was the predominant cause, otherwise it would be much more accurate to say that Germany was defeated because of some other more dominant factor. I will concede up front that Hitler's bad decisions made an impact on the outcome of the war, but I will be arguing that they were not the most influential cause. Inferior Equipment, Economic Inferiority, and being surrounded by enemies all played a much bigger part in Germany's defeat than Hitler's individual decisions. Furthermore, my opponent’s stance necessarily rests on a univariate analysis of history, which is always inadequate for building reliable historical narratives. 

  Much of my opponent's argument rests on the assumption that Germany's army was the best in the world. This assumption allows him to rule out other more impactful causes than Hitler's decisions. Unfortunately for my opponent's case this assumption is false. The Battle of Britain is a testament to this fact. Also, much of Germany's army was still horse drawn even into the invasion of Russia. "... about 600,000 motor vehicles and 625,000–700,000 horses. [13]" were massed for the invasion.

  The plan to invade Britain (Operation Sea Lion) involved a two-part action. First, Germany had to win the war in the air, and second, after achieving air superiority, they would attempt a naval invasion with about 320,000 available troops [1 pdf-pg. 41 section 43]. If my opponent's assertion that German equipment was superior was true, then phase one of the attack should have been decisively in favor of the Germans. However this was not the case.

  When the first part of the plan went into action, the air war began. The Germans were using the messerschmitt bf 109, which was fast, mith a maximum speed of 588km/hr at 4,000 meters and had a lot of firepower [2]. The British however, had the Supermarine Spitfire, which was faster, with a maximum speed of 601km/hr at 4,000 meters, and a little less firepower [3]. This lighter armament helped give the Spitfire a faster speed, and a tighter turning radius [4].  This proved decisive, as shown by the statistics:

“Luftwaffe losses for August numbered 774 aircraft to all causes...Fighter Command's losses in August were 426 fighters destroyed…[5][6]”
“More than 1700 Luftwaffe (German air force) planes were destroyed. The 2662 German casualties included many experienced aircrew, and the Luftwaffe never fully recovered from the reverse it suffered in August-October 1940.  
The Royal Air Force (RAF) lost 1250 aircraft, including 1017 fighters. In all, 520 men were killed serving with Fighter Command. But with more than 700 fatalities during the period of the battle, Bomber Command suffered even more heavily. Another 200 men were killed flying with Coastal Command. [7]“

  Adlertag [8] failed because Germany had inferior dogfighters. When Adlertag failed, operation Sea Lion failed.

  The Second major reason for the loss of the Third Reich was German economic inferiority to the enemies it was facing. The allies GDP was always at least twice the size of the Axis’ [9]. That kind of economic imbalance played a huge factor in German defeat, as the allies were able to maintain their economies throughout a protracted war against the Axis powers. America joining the war in 1941 allowed for the USSR to receive aid from the industrious american economy in the form of:
“400,000 jeeps & trucks
  • 14,000 airplanes
  • 8,000 tractors
  • 13,000 tanks
  • 1.5 million blankets
  • 15 million pairs of army boots
  • 107,000 tons of cotton
  • 2.7 million tons of petrol products
  • 4.5 million tons of food [10]”
My opponent has claimed the following:

Japan defeating the US would be impossible in the long run. Even more importantly, The Third Reich had no way to attack the US, so a declaration of war would be nonsensical in every aspect -- you do not during WW2 declare war on the very nation that swayed WW1 into the enemies favour. Hitler's idiotic decision to declare war on the USA led to an allied boost of morale as well as completely destroy any remaining chance of German victory. American supplies, as well as American ships, aeroplanes and soldiers, swayed the tide of war. The invasion of Italy, as well as D-Day, was the last spike in the coffin for Nazi Germany. Thus, Hitler's decision directly caused the loss of The Third Reich by declaring war on the USA.
  It's important to note that Hitler declared war on the US because Japan was his ally. Japan launched the surprise offensive at Pearl Harbor and roped Germany into a war with the US. Therefore, it was Hirohito, not Hitler, that forced the US to join the Allies [14][15]. 

  Finally, the third reason I propose had more impact on the outcome of Germanic fortunes than any decisions Hitler made, was the fact that it was surrounded on all sides by enemies [11]. Facing dogged resistance in the East against the Russians, The British and Americans in the West, and the betrayal of a capitulated Italy in 1943 in the south [12], all spell doom for Germany to any objective strategist.

  In conclusion, the odds were always stacked against the Third Reich. Their technological, economic, and territorial disadvantages all tipped the scales against Germany's war effort; and my opponent's stance is a falsism, by virtue of being restricted to only analyzing one single factor in the overall strategic picture. I'll save further rebuttals for round two. Over to Pro.
Round 2
Pro
Thank you, Sum1hugme.



THBT: The Third Reich lost WW2 because Hitler made bad wartime decisions


CON's sources are questionable at best, and at worst does not even support his arguments --- as I will show an example of later on.


CON's fallacy:
A car is fast because of its engine -- this is not a falsism. Planes fly because of their wings -- this is not a falsism either. The word "because" does not mean that there is only a single cause.CON's claim that the resolution is a falsicism due to "only studying one cause among the strategic picture" is BS. This accusation falsely assumes that the resolution entails Hitlers bad decisions being the only reason for German defeat, which they obviously where not. Germany could not have been defeated had the allies not had any troops, or if they didn't have no supplies.

However, your enemies having the necisities of warfare does not really count as a valid "reason" for your defeat --- lest CON claims that every military strategist can avoid responsibility for their defeats and simply blame it on the country's economy. It is a fact that countries have lost wars even when having all of those advantages, take the war of Vietnam as an example. This proves that decisions, strategy and tactics is more impactfull than mere resources. CON blaming the defeat of Nazi Germany not on idiotic leadership but simply small differences in resources means he really does not understand, or at least ignores, the fact of the matter --- that wars are won and lost by strategy, tactic, politics --- in other words: decisions! 



As can be seen from this definition, CON is mistaken in his usage of the word "predominant". He claims that Hitlers bad decisions were not the most predominant causes of the German defeat in WW2, yet the very definition of the word suggests that he is wrong. Hitlers bad decisions were far more noticeable, important and numerous than some dubious and arbitrary factors CON claims caused the defeat of The Third Reich. Losing the battle of Britain, invading the Soviet Union unprepared, declaring war on the USA, ordering your soldiers to stay still while being slaughtered, and many more examples --- clearly, these were far more noticeable, important and numerous causes for the German defeat; and these were all problems created by Hitlers bad decisions. Moreover, the technological, numerical and strategical disadvantage of The Third Reich later in the world only came about as a long-term result of Hitlers decisions. Therefore, when CON claims that these late-stage disadvantages of Nazi Germany caused its defeat rather than Hitlers decisions, he is actually putting the cart before the horse.

I am going to argue that Germany's disadvantages were a direct result of Hitler's bad decisions.




TECHNOLOGICAL INFERIORITY
CON claims that one of the major reasons Germany lost the second world war was because of their technological inferiority. Let us check what Britannica has to say.

It was the qualitative superiority of the German infantry divisions and the number of their armoured divisions that made the difference in 1939. Tested and well-trained in maneuvers, the German panzer divisions constituted a force with no equal in Europe. The German Air Force, or Luftwaffe, was also the best force of its kind in 1939. It was a ground-cooperation force designed to support the Army, but its planes were superior to nearly all Allied types.

The French and British armies were slow to introduce new weapons, methods, and doctrines. Consequently, in 1939 the British Army did not have a single armoured division, and the French tanks were distributed in small packets throughout the infantry divisions. The Germans, by contrast, began to develop large tank formations on an effective basis after their rearmament program began in 1935.

The German Army, or Wehrmacht, because of its armament, training, doctrinediscipline, and fighting spirit, was the most efficient and effective fighting force for its size in the world.


CON's claim that the allies were technologically superiority fails, because that was not the case at the beginning of the war. At the beginning of the war, Wehrmaght was indeed the best army in the world, it had the best equipment, training, tactics and weaponry. They easily crushed all allied forced in Europe, and easilly invaded France and won a quick and decive victory that forced France to surrender. It was then that Hitler started making bad decisions, and it was only long time after this that the tide of war started to turn. Firstly, Hitler did not prepare an invasion of Britain, as he in his arrogance couldn't realise the resillience of Britain even after a long time [Britannica]. Thus Hitler wasted a huge window of time wherein his airforce could have easilly defeated the inferior RAF. Furthermore:


After the fall of France in 1940, Adolf Hitler was so sure of the final German victory that he cancelled the majority of arms research programs, under the erroneous premise that the Third Reich had the weapons to win the Second World War. Two years later, with the Germans in serious trouble due to having to confront allied arms on all fronts, Hitler decided to restart the old arms research programs and development. The truth is that two years had been lost and, worse still, most of the best engineers had been killed by Russian soldiers. Despite everything, Nazi Germany managed to produce several impressive weapons. [history of yesterday]
Without this 2 year delay, thus without Hitlers decision to cancel research programs, The Third Reich would have continued having superior technology throughout the war. German technological inferiority was not an innate weakness of The Third Reich, rather it was a direct result of Hitlers decisions. Once again, with CON blaming the German defeat on German technological inferiority rather than Hitlers decisions, he is putting the cart before the horse.






THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
Remember that it was because of Hitler's delusion of a British surrender that the RAF had been given time to build up and modernize, and Germany was not even prepared for an invasion of Britain --- thus the invasion of Britain would have been much easier and quicker had Hitler not been in command. Moreover, even after modernicing its airforce, the RAF was still in no way superior to the Luftwaffe. The Spitfire only had a SITUATIONAL advantage, and even CON's source admits that in many cases the Messerschmitt had the advantage. The German strategy of diving into fights from above, which there was no countermeasure to, forced the RAF pilots to scatter. "Consequently the British pilots would be reduced from a group that had strength in numbers to isolated, individual fighters."[luftkrieg, CON's own source].

 According to this article on Britannica, the higher German losses early in the battle of Britain can be attributed mostly to Britian's better morale, defenders advantage and radar warning systems. Destroying radars as well as British airbases would have ensured German victory, and these were the targets of the initial airstrikes. The German Luftwaffe continued to tear down the much smaller british airforce by attacking these crucial links in the British defences. The British airforce, even with defenders advantage, was smaller, spread out thin and unable to replenish their losses [ibid]. Recall the fact that RAF was approximately 2 weeks away from being broken and torn down.

The battle of Britain was eventually going to succed, and thus the inevitable victory of The Third Reich was unavoidable from the allies's perspective. However, Hitler became impatient and ordered  a bombing of civilians; this led to RAF getting time to rebuild as well as Luftwaffe losing aircraft for no sensible strategical reason. After a while, Hitlers "Blitz" had been an incredible catastrophe. Luftwaffe, the initially far-superior airforce, had been torn down in nonsensical attacks on civilians and could not allow for a German invasion. Hitlers decision to bomb cities, and it alone, had turned a quick german victory over Britain into a long-term war.




WAR AGAINST THE USA
It was Hitler, not Hirohito, that ruled The Third Reich, and it was he who decided to declare war on the US. With claiming that Hirohity caused the war between Germany and the US, CON simply assumes that one must support one's ally even when it makes no sense and when one isn't obliged to do so. CON's own source contradicts his claim that Hitler was not responsible for the declaration of war against the US:

Germany was obliged to come to the aid of Japan if a third country attacked Japan, but not if Japan attacked a third country. Ribbentrop reminded Hitler of this, and pointed out that to declare war against the US would add to the number of enemies Germany was fighting, but Hitler dismissed this concern as not being important ... The decision to declare war was made by Adolf Hitler, apparently offhand, almost without consultation. It has been referred to as Hitler's "most puzzling" decision of World War II...the prospect of a worldwide war fed Hitler's tendency towards grandiose thinking, and reinforced his feeling that he was a world-historical figure of destiny[ibid].
Hitler had no sensible strategical reason to attack the US, and he willingly declared war without any obligation to do so and despite warnings from his ministers. So Germany had to fight the US not because of Hiroto, but because Hitler made bad decisions.




GERMAN ECONOMIC INFERIORITY
It is simply untrue that "The odds were always stacked against the Third Reich". Early in the war Germany crushed all opposition and within less than a year Hitler had near full controll of Europe from west to east. CON argues that the resolution is false because there was another reason, German economic inferiority. These arguments from CON are simply misleading. Only when Hitler decided to not invade Britain, invade the soviet union, declare war on the US and fail to help his allies in the south and east --- first then did the alies begin to surround, out-produce and outnumber the Germans; and it was excactly Hitlers fault that The Third Reich found itself in this unwinnable position CON describes. Hitlers bad decisions single-handedly turned the tide of war and moved Germany away from a glorious victory and into an unwinnable position. This is a fact CON has yet to dispute.



SUMMARY
  • Germany would have won the war early had Hitler not decided to switch strategy in the battle of Britain
  • Germany would not have lost the war had Hitler not decided to attack the Soviet Union
  • Hitlers decisions and general orders caused a lot of critical military losses in the war against the soviet union, and prevented a lot of easy victories
    • Germany was very close to taking Moscow and defeating the Soviet Union when Hitler halted the invasion --- thus preventing a German victory
  • Without Hitlers declaration of war against the US, the allied invasions of Greece, Italy and France would not have been possible
    • Also, the Soviet Union would not have gotten necesary supplies
  • Hitler, being the supreme leader, is of course the most influential factor in the defeat of his country
    • Germany, dominating everyone in the early stages of the wars, and having nearly all of its major defeats caused by Hitlers bad decisions, it could not feasibly have lost in the abscence of said decisions. (I remember challenging CON specifically to deny this claim, which he did not do)
I extend all arguments.



CONCLUSION
The Third Reich lost WW2 because Hitler made bad wartime decisions. The resolution stands, and my BoP has been fulfilled.

Good luck, CON.
Con
  Thank you for your response.

REBUTTALS

1.
A car is fast because of its engine -- this is not a falsism...The word "because" does not mean that there is only a single cause.CON's claim that the resolution is a falsicism due to "only studying one cause among the strategic picture" is BS. This accusation falsely assumes that the resolution entails Hitlers bad decisions being the only reason for German defeat, which they obviously where not
   A car is not fast just because of its engine. Its fast because of the engine, the wheels, the axles, the driveshaft, etc. To simply say, a car is fast because of its engine, is a univariate analysis, and inadequate for constructing an accurate analysis of what propels a car. I was upfront that there are multiple reasons for Germany's defeat, however, I argue that Hitler's Leadership was not the predominant factor.  I never claimed that the resolution demanded that there was only a single cause, only that you alluded to that being the case in your opening, and that it was a falsism because his decisions could not possibly be the predominant factor. 

2.
However, your enemies having the necisities of warfare... and simply blame it on the country's economy.
  It is not my claim that only the economy, or only the inferior technology amounted to German defeat, but rather that all the factors taken together constitute more impactful reasons than Hitler's bad decisions.

 It is a fact that countries have lost wars even when having all of those advantages, take the war of Vietnam as an example.
  The Vietnam war was a completely different kind of war than WW2. In WW2, it was a war between industrial powers, where carpet bombing industrial zones was an extremely effective strategy. Vietnam was not an industrial power, and therefore the strategies that worked in WW2 didn't work in the jungle, like carpet bombing. My opponent is making a false comparison. We are talking about the context of a war between industrial powers, where economy and technology are hugely important.

CON blaming the defeat of Nazi Germany not on idiotic leadership but simply small differences in resources means he really does not understand, or at least ignores, the fact of the matter --- that wars are won and lost by strategy, tactic, politics --- in other words: decisions! 
  Decisions play a huge role in war of course. But even good strategy cannot always overcome the fundamental disadvantages of being outnumbered, outgunned, and surrounded. In chess, a position from which one can make no move without a serious loss of advantage is called Zugzwang. In the war, this was Germany's position.

3.

As can be seen from this definition, CON is mistaken in his usage of the word "predominant"....Hitlers bad decisions were far more noticeable, important and numerous than some dubious and arbitrary factors CON claims caused the defeat of The Third Reich.
  This was precisely the definition I was assuming. I have tried to make clear the situation: Germany was never in a realistic position to create an empire through military conquest. The technological deficiencies, severe economic discrepancies, and geographic disadvantages, all play a larger passive role against any military strategy of conquest.

 Moreover, the technological, numerical and strategical disadvantage of The Third Reich later in the world only came about as a long-term result of Hitlers decisions.
  This is untrue, since the Battle of Britain was at the beginning of the war, and it was German technological inferiority that was majorly decisive then as well.

4.
 At the beginning of the war, Wehrmaght was indeed the best army in the world, it had the best equipment, training, tactics and weaponry. 
  My opponent has not shown this to be the case outside of baseless assertion. To quote a Wehrmacht Soldier, "The German soldier was taught to view retreat solely as a defeat, with no advantages forthcoming. Even in the early years, in the Reichswehr, the study of retreat, to include using this often necessary tactic to our advantage, was discouraged. After 1936 even the lesson plans for the teaching of a fighting withdrawal were stricken from the curriculum. “Attack” and “halt” were the only two methods of warfare hammered into us. In this regard, the Wehrmacht had entered into the war unprepared. " [2]
  
  Even German training left them at a disadvantage.

 They easily crushed all allied forced in Europe, and easilly invaded France and won a quick and decive victory that forced France to surrender. 
  It was more a failure of the French, rather than the might of the Germans, that allowed for a quick victory over the French. "Gamelin clearly did not intend an offensive, but in seeking the most advantageous defensive line, he sent his best units hurtling into Belgium and Southern Holland in an effort to engage and halt the advancing Germans as far from French soil as possible. When German Panzers unexpectedly penetrated the weak French defenses in the Ardennes though and turned West across Northern France, the best French units found themselves cut off". [3 p.102]. 

  The French overcommitment to the defense in the northern part of the front, with the confidence that no tanks could cross the Ardennes, resulted in French capitulation rather than any kind of technical inferiority. 

5.
Without this 2 year delay, thus without Hitlers decision to cancel research programs, The Third Reich would have continued having superior technology throughout the war. German technological inferiority was not an innate weakness of The Third Reich, rather it was a direct result of Hitlers decisions.
  My opponent's source doesn't have a source to verify that this even happened. And I can't find anything confirming the truth of this statement. I request that my opponent substantiate this claim with something other than the baseless claims of a random internet magazine article. Furthermore, this claim appears to be false, since the V-2 rocket was put into use in 1942, and fired against Paris in 1944, well into the war, and killed around 5,000 people in total [4].

6.
Remember that it was because of Hitler's delusion of a British surrender that the RAF had been given time to build up and modernize...Moreover, even after modernicing its airforce, the RAF was still in no way superior to the Luftwaffe.
  My opponent is contradicting himself here. If the RAF was not superior to the Luftwaffe, then Germany would have been prepared for an invasion of Britain. 

The Spitfire only had a SITUATIONAL advantage, and even CON's source admits that in many cases the Messerschmitt had the advantage. The German strategy of diving into fights from above, which there was no countermeasure to, forced the RAF pilots to scatter.
  The diving strategy of the Messerschmitt worked until the RAF switched from Fighter Area Attack tactics to Finger-Four tactics [5]. The result was the RAF consistently outclassed the inferior German dogfighters. As told by the numbers I provided last round: 1700 German planes to 1250 RAF planes lost. 

 Recall the fact that RAF was approximately 2 weeks away from being broken and torn down.
  My opponent has not shown this to be true, instead merely asserting it to be so.

7.
The battle of Britain was eventually going to succed, and thus the inevitable victory of The Third Reich was unavoidable from the allies's perspective.
  My opponent has not shown this to be true. Working against him is the fact that the Luftwaffe was losing more planes from the beginning of the battle, all the way to the end.

Luftwaffe, the initially far-superior airforce, had been torn down in nonsensical attacks on civilians and could not allow for a German invasion.
  First, the attacks on industries and harbors, "the Blitz" was headed by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring. Secondly, "The German air offensive failed because the Luftwaffe High Command (Oberkommando der LuftwaffeOKL) did not develop a methodical strategy for destroying British war industry. Poor intelligence about British industry and economic efficiency led to OKL concentrating on tactics rather than strategy. The bombing effort was diluted by attacks against several sets of industries instead of constant pressure on the most vital [6]." In short, again it was a multitude of factors contributing to German defeat, rather than the simplistic univariate analysis my opponent has brought forth.

8.
Hitler had no sensible strategical reason to attack the US, and he willingly declared war without any obligation to do so and despite warnings from his ministers. So Germany had to fight the US not because of Hiroto, but because Hitler made bad decisions.
  "He was convinced that the United States would soon beat him to the punch and declare war on Germany. The U.S. Navy was already attacking German U-boats, and Hitler despised Roosevelt for his repeated verbal attacks against his Nazi ideology. He also believed that Japan was much stronger than it was, that once it had defeated the United States, it would turn and help Germany defeat Russia [7]" So actually, Hitler did have reasons for declaring war. 

9.
GERMAN ECONOMIC INFERIORITY...
  Nowhere in this response does my opponent even attempt to address the fact that the Allies' GDP was always at least twice the size of the Axis'.

CONCLUSION

  In conclusion, my opponent is attempting to blame the result of one the most complex and unpredictable things, war, on the decisions of a single man. A powerful man, but just one man. No historical analysis can be accurate if it only examines one single cause for the outcome of something as huge and complex as a world war.
Round 3
Pro
GERMAN MILITARY SUPERIORITY - A SOURCES BATTLE
In my last round I showed that the German military was the most formiddable fighting force in the world. CON dares call this fact "baseless assertions". He ignores the fact that I directly quoted this article from Britannica in showing the absolute superiority of the German military in 1939, both in technology, tactics, equipment and training. CON's sources are mostly wikipedia articles and non-secure, non-reliable sites like zuljan.info. My sources, mostly Britannica and History.com, are far more reliable and trustworthy in comparrison. CON makes a lot of other claims about sources, facts and likewise. I simply don't have enough space to debunk all of his claims, like his claim that history of yesterday is a random magazine; which it obviously isn't, its dedicated specifically to histroy. I even believe that this source is more reliable that most of CON's sources. But even if not, its still a better sources as it doesn't contradict my argument like CON's sources do.

CON claims the German army received worse training than the armies of its enemies. He then sources a book called "A German Soldier's Memoir of the Eastern Front" in trying to prove this point. I can't help but notice how the soldier fought on the eastern front, not the western, which means that CON's source is malplaced. The German army received better training than other armies (as supported by Brittanica); it was only Hitlers order of no retreat that led to the catastrophical lack of German flexibility in the eastern front, which is what CON's source complains about. Hitler ordered the soldiers to stand their ground unless attacking --- an order that led to Stalingrad and many other humiliating and unnecesary German defeats. However, CON's claim that German army was worse than that of the allies early in the war, is some BS right there.




TECHNOLOGICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
CON claims that the Luftwaffe was inferior to RAF, because they were not prepared to attack Britain. While we can both agree that a single British airplane had feats that made dogfits easier, the fact is, that the Luftwaffe was a force without comparrison, and their impact as squads far outweighted that of British squads. The noteworthy factor in German higher losses wasn't an overwhelming British technological advantage --- it was simply defenders advantage. Refueling takes time, especially when you must cross the english channel to do so. Many other such advantages helped the British to stand so long against the much larger and superior Luftwaffe. Yet CON conveniently ignores the fact that the British airforce, even with defenders advantage, was smaller, spread out thin and unable to replenish their losses [ Britannica]. "the RAF was losing badly needed fighters and experienced pilots at too great a rate, and its effectiveness was further hampered by bombing damage done to the radar stations" [ibid]. The British Airforce was running out of time, and their 12th air division was about to crumble.

 The strategy changed in September 1940, after the RAF launched a retaliatory raid against Berlin. The strike sent Hitler into a fit of rage. He demanded they shift their focus toward “erasing” British cities from the map. While the bombings took a sobering toll on British civilians, they also temporarily relieved pressure on the RAF, allowing it to repair its crippled airfields and refresh its pilots. The respite proved critical --- Hitler’s decision to bomb London turned the battle in Britain’s favor. [history.com]
It was indeed Hitler's bad decision to shift focus that made it possible for the RAF to recover and beat back Luftwaffe --- there can be no denial.



GERMAN ABILITY TO WIN THE WAR
CON has claimed that "Germany was never in a realistic position to create an empire through military conquest". This statement simply fails on a factual level, seing as by 1939 Germany had already created an empire that looked like  this, consisting of Germany, Austria, Tsjekoslovakia and even western Poland. So in fact, Germany was in a realistic position to create an empire through military conquest, and it did so in 1939. Later the same year, the German military rolled into Europe and conquered Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg --- even France, all this in just a few months. Germany and its allies had controll of practically the entirety of Europe; only Britain (after the Blitz) remained out of their reach, but Germany was also out of Britains reach.

The only reason Germany lost the war was the introduction of new enemies, the Soviet Union and the USA. Hitler introduced these enemies by invading the Soviet Union despite their contemporary alliance, and later by declaring war on the USA with no strategical reason or diplomatic obligation to do so. It was the Soviet Union and the USA that brough the fight to Europe, and it was their overwhelming power that led to the defeat of The Third Reich. Without these nations entering the war, The Third Reich would have won the war. These nations did not want to go to war against Germany, but Hitler forced them to, effectively ensuring German defeat. Without Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union and declaration of war on the USA, The Third Reich would have won the war, a point CON does not even touch on.



ALLIED ECONOMIC SUPERIORITY
The major pillar of CON's argument is that the GDP of the allies was always twice as large as that of the axis. This is a major pillar, because only economics is an advantage the allied could have regardless of Hitlers decisions. But his argument, and his statement that "The allies GDP was always at least twice the size of the Axis" is litarally a lie --- even his own source disagress: "This analysis shows that while by 1942 there was a substantial Allied economic advantage, measured in GDP, this did not exist at the beginning of the war in 1939. In fact for a period of time the Axis commanded greater GDP than the Allies. Suggesting that the Allies had a GDP superiority from the start is wrong and misses the dynamics of World War II" [CON's own source]. Germany was indeed economically superior to Britain after the fall of France, and it was first after Hitler decided to innitiate war with the Soviet Union and the USA, first then did the allies get a noteworthy economic advantage. CON claims that I dropped the economics argument. However, I have tried multiple times to explain for CON that the axis were economically superior in the beginning of the war, to no avail. CON's claim that the "Allies' GDP was always at least twice the size of the Axis'." is patently false.




CON'S FALLACY
CON is mistakenly assuming that one man cannot be the single most predominant reason for victory or defeat in war; that one man cannot be such a huge factor as to justify attributing the end result to that man. This assumption is false. From Napoleon to Djengis Khan to Alexander the Great, individual men have single-handedly assumed leadership of people and drastically changed the course of history. Sure, other causes exist, like their armies and the armies of their enemies; but these individuals were so impactfull that they deserve being called THE REASON for their respective defeats and victories.

Hitler is no different. Once he came to power he single-handedly threw the world into a war by rebuilding the military and starting to attack other nations. Nobody denies that without Hitler, the second world war as we know it would never have happened. Even though there was a historical context, and Hitler was not the only cause, it is not a falcism to claim that "the second world war started because of Hitler's aggressive policy". Similarly, the existence of other causes for the defeat of Nazi Germany does not debunk the resolution. CON even admitted this much:

I never claimed that the resolution demanded that there was only a single cause
Since CON has already admitted that Hitler was a reason for German defeat, he has now conceded the debate. Since Hitler is at least A REASON for the defeat of Nazi Germany, and there can be multiple reasons, it is not wrong to say that The Third Reich lost WW2 because of Hitlers bad decisions. An explanation is not wrong simply because it focuses on a specific factor; thus CON's argument fails to debunk the truth of the resolution.



ANALOGIES
The car analogy is heavily misrepresented by CON. He says that "A car is not fast JUST because of its engine". He forgets that for something to be called a car, it must have an engine, wheels and everything else. The analogy states that a car is fast --- as opposed to slow --- because of the specific engine. A good engine makes a car fast, and a bad engine makes a car slow. Similarly, wars are won or lost by first and foremost strategical and political decisions.

Let me also present another analogy. A car crash is the fault of the driver. By CON's logic one would deny this fact and rather blame it on "the children inside the car talking to the driver, the GPS and the non-optimal breaks" as a more accurate description of the crash. While possible technically true, this does not take away from the fact that the driver is responsible for the car, and that had he been more focused, the crash would have been avoided. On the other hand, children speak all the time, yet most people don't crash --- so to attribute a car crash to talking children is unreasonable; as is blaming the crash on the GPS. Not even the slightly damaged breaks is a valid excuse for the driver; had he not been so careless he would have never come into a situation where he needed them.Sure, better breaks could help, but it is still the driver that is responsible for not knowing the limitations of his car and not driving safely.

Similarly, I claim that Hitler caused the loss of The Third Reich, by not knowing (or caring about) the limitations of Germany. He alone was the biggest factor in the defeat of Nazi Germany --- well more than a factor, we was the controller of factors, the driver. His fatal decision making in war led to multiple grave military defeats where there could have been massive German victories. He declared war on nation after nation untill they had technological advantage in addition to outnumbering, outproducing and surrounding The Third Reich. Like a careless driver, he brought doom over himself and his nation. 


To deny the resolution is equally absurd as to deny that car crashes are caused by careless drivers.




DROPPED ARGUMENTS
  • Germany lost WW2 because they invaded the Soviet Union
    • Germany didn't conquer the Soviet Union because Hitler made multiple bad strategical decisions at crucial points in the war
These two arguments have gonne completely under CON's radar, despite being maybe the most powerfull arguments for my side.



CONCLUSION
The Third Reich lost WW2 because Hitler made bad wartime decisions. The resolution holds logically; CON has technically conceded; and further denial lacks value.









Con
  Thank you for this debate.

Rebuttals

1.
In my last round I showed that the German military was the most formiddable fighting force in the world. CON dares call this fact "baseless assertions". He ignores the fact that I directly quoted this article from Britannica in showing the absolute superiority of the German military in 1939, both in technology, tactics, equipment and training. 
  My opponent's argument is literally, "the German army was the best army because Britannica said so." He ignores my direct comparison of German to British dogfighters specs, and explanation of how the British exploited their slight advantage by using modified dogfighting formations. Furthermore, remember the German army had more horses than it had tanks for the invasion of the USSR. 

2.
CON claims the German army received worse training than the armies of its enemies. He then sources a book called "A German Soldier's Memoir of the Eastern Front" in trying to prove this point. I can't help but notice how the soldier fought on the eastern front, not the western, which means that CON's source is malplaced. 
  The quote speaks of a curriculum change in 1936 that removed a critical element of fighting tactics from the German training curriculum. My opponent's argument that this somehow doesn't apply because this particular soldier fought the Russians, doesn't make any sense. It was a change in the curriculum before the war even started that hindered German fighting ability. Therefore, My opponent's claim that Germans had the best tactics  and training in the world, are simply false. Simply arguing Britannica says so, In no way refutes this hard fact from the pen of a German soldier himself.

3.
CON claims that the Luftwaffe was inferior to RAF, because they were not prepared to attack Britain. While we can both agree that a single British airplane had feats that made dogfits easier, the fact is, that the Luftwaffe was a force without comparrison, and their impact as squads far outweighted that of British squads...defenders advantage...
  The plane with a technological edge, the spitfire, beat out the German dogfighters. While there is an advantage to defending, I have shown that it was the tighter turning radius of the spitfire that allowed them to kill more German planes than they lost.

It was indeed Hitler's bad decision to shift focus that made it possible for the RAF to recover and beat back Luftwaffe --- there can be no denial.
  My opponent consistently ignores the fact that German losses were higher during all stages of the battle, including the very beginning.

4.
...by 1939 Germany had already created an empire that looked like this, consisting of Germany, Austria, Tsjekoslovakia and even western Poland. So in fact, Germany was in a realistic position to create an empire through military conquest, and it did so in 1939. Later the same year, the German military rolled into Europe and conquered Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg --- even France, all this in just a few months.
  Austria accepted the Anschluss with open arms. The capitulation of minor powers like Denmark aren't surprising, since they are tiny. Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia were conquered because the soviets helped invade to establish the secretly agreed upon borders in the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact [1]. France fell quickly because, as I have shown, their defense got cut off thanks to a surprise attack by Panzers through the Ardennes.

5.
The only reason Germany lost the war was the introduction of new enemies, the Soviet Union and the USA. Hitler introduced these enemies by invading the Soviet Union despite their contemporary alliance, and later by declaring war on the USA with no strategical reason or diplomatic obligation to do so. 
  Germany could probably have beaten the Soviet Union if they were on their own. However, American aid, the stubbornness of your individual red soldier, with the inclusion of an unexpected delay before the invasion, meaning the Germans would end up slogging through the Russian fall and winter, added up to a German defeat on the eastern front. 

  In short it was not the decision to invade, but a number of problems after the invasion began, that spelled German defeat. 

  Additionally, Germany declared war on the US for reasons I've already mentioned above, that my opponent simply ignores.

6.
The major pillar of CON's argument is that the GDP of the allies was always twice as large as that of the axis. This is a major pillar, because only economics is an advantage the allied could have regardless of Hitlers decisions. But his argument, and his statement that "The allies GDP was always at least twice the size of the Axis" is litarally a lie...
  It is not a lie, I read the chart. The chart clearly shows that allied GDP was always at least twice the size of the axis. Regardless what the source's commentary states, the numbers don't lie. 

7.
Sure, other causes exist, like their armies and the armies of their enemies; but these individuals were so impactfull that they deserve being called THE REASON for their respective defeats and victories.
  Calling leaders "the reason" for the victories of their armies ignores every other important factor. Alexander the Great is a perfect example. If his father hadn't completely revamped Macedonian military and supply capabilities, we probably would have never even heard about Alexander of Macedon. My opponent's argument is a falsism, predicated on building a historical narrative on  a univariate analysis. 

8.
Nobody denies that without Hitler, the second world war as we know it would never have happened.
  My opponent cannot argue that, "without Hitler the war wouldn't have even happened," because we're arguing within the context of the war already taking place.

9.
Since CON has already admitted that Hitler was a reason for German defeat, he has now conceded the debate. Since Hitler is at least A REASON for the defeat of Nazi Germany, and there can be multiple reasons, it is not wrong to say that The Third Reich lost WW2 because of Hitlers bad decisions.
  I refuted this in my opening: "The debate resolution states that Germany fell because of Hitler's bad decisions. This claim does not entail the burden of simply demonstrating that Hitler's bad decisions had anything at all to do with Germany's defeat, as my opponent has alluded. Rather, he must demonstrate that this was the predominant cause, otherwise it would be much more accurate to say that Germany was defeated because of some other more dominant factor."

  My opponent can't seem to make up his mind, was Hitler THE reason, or A reason? He cannot decide. And if he was merely a reason, then his decisions may be overshadowed by more dominant factors.

10.
A car crash is the fault of the driver. By CON's logic one would deny this fact and rather blame it on "the children inside the car talking to the driver, the GPS and the non-optimal breaks" as a more accurate description of the crash.
  If a car crashes because the brakes fail, that's not the fault of the driver. All of my opponent's analogies have been fundamentally flawed.

CONCLUSION

  In conclusion, Germany lost WW2 because they had technological, tactical, numeric, economic, and geographical disadvantages. The outcome of WW2 was not determined by the decisions of one single of it's military leaders.