It diistracted the Russians from the potential of barbarosa, and secured his flank..
Every single Russian except for Stalin knew that Barbarossa was coming. Stalin had been getting personal warnings for months from diplomats, leaders, spies, defectors, and his own military that Germany was about to launch an invasion.
Hitler had no need to secure his flank. The only reason other than procrastination that he invaded the Balkans was he was hoping to goad Stalin into attacking first.
But just as in Iraq and Afghanistan; it is the job of the Generals to tell the leaders of the country the limitations of armies...
They DID tell him. The invasion of Russia was opposed by Goehring, who at the time was the second most powerful person in Nazi Germany; and some prominent generals like Halder and Guderian also opposed it. The virtual entirety of the generals in the east opposed Hitler's plan to halt Army Group Center rather than taking Moscow. You don't need to look very far to see examples of where Hitler overrode his generals.
You better show me some proof of this, because my understanding is that he never wanted to take stalingrad, and until the army got into it, and said they could take it, he did not support it...
It was never a major objective of his until he was nearby, but it afforded him an opportunity to seize the Volga, knock out several entire Soviet armies, and get a symbolic victory. When they were approaching Stalingrad Goebbels' propaganda was teeming with stories about Germany's imminent victory over Stalingrad.
It's immaterial, because Hitler DID try to take Stalingrad, he DID divide Army Group South in order to do so, and he DID forbid any retreat even though the salient created by the German 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army was plainly vulnerable.
And as much as you say that Paulus sucked, he was the one who wisely wanted to break out of Stalingrad once he was encircled. Hitler fell into Zhukov's and Chuikov's trap by pouring soldiers into street fighting while their entire army got encircled.
You say it yourself, late in the war
I did not say that Kursk was late in the war. Kursk was fought in the summer of 1943. The war had 2 years left to be fought, over 1000 miles of territory, and millions of lives. What I said was that the ultimate outcome was a foregone conclusion. Hitler knowingly
threw his army against the most heavily prepared and fortified defense in the history of warfare, just because he couldn't bear to order a strategic defensive, and despite the fact that Guderian implored him not to order an offensive after the debacle at Stalingrad.
What I have been told, is that the Germans lost many more men in the Balkans than in Russia...
That would be false by several millions of lives. The Germans lost a good 4 to 5 million soldiers in Russia. They probably didn't even deploy
half a million to the Balkans.
Those people are not so much different from the Russians, and they seem to love nothing better than an excuse to kill...
Please don't give us this "those people" crap... in the end, most of the soldiers on every side were young kids who were forced to fight, not some automatons with some intrinsic national character. And by the way, it wasn't the people of the Balkans or Russia who had national policies of mass extermination during that conflict...
Stalin learrned to listen to hes generals..Hitler leaarned to mistrust his...
You're right about Stalin, you're wrong about Hitler. Hitler sent his generals on an idiotic suicide mission based on his erroneous calculus that Russia would collapse like a deck of cards once invaded. When that failed, Hitler blamed
his generals, but Germany lost because of operational and strategic blunders, not tactical ones.