word. there were Russians willing to defect to the German side. However, Hitler wanted Lebensraum in the east from the beginning, and saw Slavs as inferior. this completely alienated a possible base of support, which contributed to the absolutely tenacious Russian resistance. that's why I said that the authors conjecture, in which the Soviets would collapse after the fall of Moscow, was an underestimation. they also launched the invasion a bit too late in the year. the mud slowed their advance, clogged engines, etc. Even with a better execution, I still see Operation Barbarossa as a major strategic risk. I've always believed that the Mediterranean option was best. fortify the Eastern Front, and concentrate forces under the Afrika Korps. rely on the Desert Fox Rommel to consolidate gains in North Africa and the Middle East. there were many Arabs sympathetic to the Nazis, which would've helped. with Middle Eastern oil, Germany could've fueled their Panzers and Junkers as long as needed. this would've given them secure footing, and the capability to defend against a Soviet invasion and/or make further gains.