It has long been a facile judgment of semi-informed people that Hitler lost the war in the east because he was a megalomaniac who would not heed the advice of his experienced Prussian generals. “Hitler should have listened to his generals!” However, as the moral obligation to find fault with Hitler fades into the past, eroded by easily available historical truth in the Age of Internet, one begins to hear more and more that wisdom was on the side of Hitler in that disagreement, that Hitler’s strategic plan in Operation Barbarossa was quite sensible, and that it was the generals — specifically Halder and Bock — who fouled up a good plan.
Even with flawless execution of Hitler’s plan, a victory over the Soviet Union would have been remarkable, due to the enormous imbalance of quantities favoring the Soviet side, but it was some generals who made this difficult situation even worse.
Why invade the Soviet Union at all? Contrary to what the old propaganda says, Hitler’s fundamental motive in 1941 was not to gain the Lebensraum about which he had written in 1925. To the extent that people are willing to believe that Hitler undertook an unnecessary invasion of the USSR with the war against Britain still ongoing, they have assumed that Hitler was very foolish. Hitler was not so foolish, and the invasion of the USSR in 1941 was not optional. It was necessary. It had to be done because the Red Army was deployed for attack in 1941, and the best hope for saving the situation was a war of prevention. (See Hitler’s Policy toward the USSR Justified.)