Tuesday, September 02, 2014
The Men Most Responsible for the Fall of France
Generals Heinz Guderian (left) and Hermann Hoth chat pleasantly during the early part of Case Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of the USSR, in 1941. Guderian was stripped of command after he failed to take Moscow and bitched about Hitler's interference in Russia with the successful style of Blitzkrieg he had invented and used so well in France the year before. That was ultimately a good thing as he was never charged with any war crimes after the war. Hoth, in charge of part of Army Group C in the Ukraine and Southeast Russia, on the other hand, was only relieved later in the war and his successful campaigning necessarily involved war crimes because many of his troops were Nazis which meant they killed prisoners and took hostages and murdered civilians in reprisals for the killing of German soldiers. He was sentenced in 1948 to 15 years but was released in 1954 and lived until 1971. Guderian died in 1954.