1. Hitler’s Mistakes With Super Weapons Helped Hasten His Defeat
The Maus was intended to spearhead German attacks by smashing through opposition and destroying all enemy armor it came across, while impervious to damage from enemy tanks. With 9.4 inches of turret armor, 8 inches of hull front armor, 7 inches of hull side armor, and 6 inches of rear armor, the Maus was immune from Allied tanks, whose shells would simply bounce off the behemoth. However, it was built in 1944, by which time the Allies had complete aerial supremacy over the battlefield. The Maus did not have sufficient armor up top to protect it from armor piercing bombs or rockets from above.
Ultimately, the Maus was symptomatic of Hitler’s irrational obsession with big things and super weapons. He was indifferent to, or unable to understand, the concept of relative cost effectiveness. He had trouble grasping other “normal” weapons could accomplish the same task at a fraction of the cost. Using such normal weapons instead of turning to super weapons would have freed up scarce resources for other uses that could have better served the German war effort. Fortunately, Hitler persisted with his mistakes, which only helped to hasten his defeat.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading