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Leadership Styles of Hitler and Stalin

Compare and contrast the leadership styles and traits of these two leaders. Why this individual was a leader. Include (with rationale) the person's primary leadership style (s), the leader's source (s) of influence or power and an analysis of the individuals overall leadership prowess and skill.

Adolph Hitler Joseph Stalin

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1. Compare and contrast the leadership styles and traits of these two leaders. Why this individual was a leader. Include (with rationale) the person's primary leadership style (s), the leader's source (s) of influence or power and an analysis of the individuals overall leadership prowess and skill.

1. Stalin: Collectivisation, industrialisation, totalitarian leadership

Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (December 18 1878- March 5, 1953), better known by his adopted name, Joseph Stalin (alternatively transliterated Josef Stalin), was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee from 1922 until 1953. Despite his formal position being originally without significant influence, and his office being nominally but one of several Central Committee Secretaryships, Stalin's increasing control of the Party from 1928 onwards led to him becoming the de facto party leader and the dictator of his country.

The development and effect of Stalin's leadership style was established. The struggle for leadership BEGAN on Lenin's death in 1924, when he prevailed in a power struggle over Leon Trotsky. Stalin's leadership, concept and practice: collectivisation, industrialisation, totalitarian leadership.

How did Stalin maintain his power 1930-1945? As a totalitarian leader, Stalin maintains the totalitarian regime in political power by means of single-party state, secret police, propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, personality cult, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism, the use of mass surveillance, and widespread use of terror tactics (political purges and persecution of specific groups of people). For example, in the 1930s Stalin initiated the Great Purge, a campaign of political repression, persecution and executions that reached its peak in 1937. Thus, power was maintained through the suppression of opposition during the 1930s, the purges and show trials; World War II - a test for Stalin's leadership; the human cost

`Even after the war began, the nervousness and hysteria which Stalin demonstrated ... caused our Army serious damage.' However, others argue that Stalin still made his decisions `not only from data known provided by Headquarters, but also taking into account particularities of the given situation'. How did he do so? Stalin received all the important information that came from the offices of the Chief of Staff, the Minister of Defence and the Political Leadership of the Red Army. His knowledge of the particular situation on the different fronts came from two sources. First, the front commanders regularly sent him reports. Then, according to Zhukov:

`Stalin based his judgments of crucial issues on the reports furnished by General Headquarters representatives, whom he would send to the Fronts for on-the-spot assessment of the situation and consultations with respective commanders, on conclusions made at the General Headquarters and suggestions by Front commanders and on special reports.'

According to Zhukov (n.d.), the General Headquarters representatives were to send a report to Stalin every day. On August 16, 1943, the first day of an important operation near Kharkov, Vasilevsky did not send his report. Stalin immediately sent him the message:

`I warn you for the last time that if you ever fail to do your duty to the GHQ again you will be removed from your post as Chief of General Staff and recalled from the front ....' (pp. 282-283).

Clearly, Stalin took charge of business as it came up, but his personality had many faces. Click on the following for more detail:
· Stalin, the `dictator'
· Stalin, the `hysteric'
· Stalin, of `mediocre intelligence'
· Stalin's military merits (see response attached, which are hyperlinked).

(See more information on Stalin's personal style at

2. Hitler: Military and Nazi leadership

According to Hitler's Leader Principle (Führerprinzip), military leadership was such that ultimate authority rested with him and extended downward. The image of Hitler as a meddler in military operations is powerful and persistent. He was also stubborn, distrusted his generals and relied too much on his own instinct.

Similar to Stalin, Hitler maintained political and military power through propaganda, brainwashing the populace through manipulation and immoral actions, and through persecution and genocide. However, new research has controversially depicted a German people that, in general, were not coerced into political submission by the Gestapo (although many on the left, especially Communists, suffered notable persecution). The Nazis also never controlled the churches: indeed, Bishop von Galen could successfully preach openly from his wartime pulpit against the iniquities of the Nazis' 'euthanasia' policy. The fact that he did not preach against the treatment of Jews might indicate that there were limits to this power, though it can also be seen in terms of wider Catholic attitudes, including approval of the crusade against the 'Jewish' Soviet regime. These arguments clearly illustrate the dangers of not just equating Nazism wit Stalin's Soviet 'totalitarianism', but also with making too neat a line of division between Nazism and 'authoritarianism'.

Hitler's military leadership was also rooted in Nazi leadership techniques. For example, it is well documented that as a military leader, Hitler was determined to command personally. According to his so-called Leader Principle (Führerprinzip), ultimate authority rested with him and extended downward. At each level, the superior was to give the orders, the subordinates to follow them to the letter. In practice the command relationships were more subtle and complex, especially at the lower levels, but Hitler did have the final say on any subject in which he took a direct interest, including the details of military operations, that is, the actual direction of armies in the field. For example, as time went on he took over positions that gave him ever more direct control. From leader (Führer) of the German state in 1934, he went on to become commander-in-chief of the armed forces in 1938, then commander-in-chief of the army in 1941. Hitler wanted to be the Feldherr, the generalissimo, exercising direct control of the armies himself, in much the same sense that Wellington commanded at Waterloo, albeit at a distance.

For example, throughout World War Two Hitler worked from one of several field headquarters, in contrast to other heads of state, which remained in their capital cities. A small personal staff attended to Hitler, and the army high command also kept its headquarters, with a much more substantial staff, nearby. He held briefings with his senior military advisors, often in the company of Party officials and other hangers-on, each afternoon and late each night. His staff would present him with information on the ...

Solution Summary

This solution assists in a compare and contrast between two leadership styles and traits of these two leaders (Hitler and Stalin). It compares the two leaders on several dimensions, such as the person's primary leadership style (s), the leader's source (s) of influence or power and an analysis of the individuals overall leadership prowess and skill.