The other principal difference between 1917 and 1941 is that Germany’s actions in the former weren’t as insane as Germany’s actions in the latter. While Operation Barbarossa was an initial success, it was ultimately the beginning of a predictable catastrophe. Had Hitler adopted the more cautious approach of his predecessors in the previous war he wouldn’t have committed his troops to massively over-extended supply lines and, ultimately, to the folly of Stalingrad. Stalin was a psychopathic moron who bungled much and did little of merit, and had he faced a more professional and emotionally adequate adversary the story could have ended very differently indeed. There’s significant documentary evidence to suggest that if the invading German troops had announced themselves as “liberators” rather than appalling brutal invaders, a significant percentage of Russians would have welcomed them in preference to continuing under Stalin’s jackboot. Unfortunately, Hitler’s mad notions of “the master race” and the “untermenschen” ensured that ordinary Russian opposition quickly became absolute.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.