WWII Axis Powers: 3 Leadership Styles Analyzed - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1069 Words
Date:  2023-03-10


The use of effective leadership styles is always important regardless of the job responsibilities it entails. In World War II, the leaders, generals, and commanders of both the Axis and Allied powers expressed different leadership skills that either brought success or failure in the war. From the beginning to the end of World War II, there are three common leadership styles that were used by Axis powers. The Axis powers included Germany, Hungary, Japan, and Italy. The overall leader of the Axis powers was Adolf Hitler. Adolf Hitler employed leadership styles that included the autocratic leadership style, charismatic leadership style, and transformational leadership style.

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Firstly, as a leader of the Axis powers, Adolf Hitler used the autocratic leadership style. The Autocratic leadership style is where leaders have full authority over the subordinates. In autocratic leadership, leaders make decisions without consulting the team members. The Axis powers believed in Adolf Hitler and this made him the overall leader of the Axis. "Hitler wanted to be the Feldherr, the generalissimo, exercising direct controls of the armies himself, in much the same sense that Wellington commanded at Waterloo, albeit at a distance." During the war, Hitler made the major decisions and gave the orders to his superiors for the subordinates to follow them. "The fighting inflicted heavy casualties on the Germans, reducing their operational reserves. But Hitler wanted the landing force destroyed, and his subordinates had little c choice but to obey the Unrealistic Orders." Although the Axis generals contributed to some ideas about the war, Hitler did not trust them and wanted only his decision to be implemented. The use of autocratic leadership style was not effective for the Axis as it led to confusion and lack of proper strategies leading to their defeat.

Another leadership style that prevailed in the Axis powers was the charismatic leadership style. Charismatic leadership style is where leaders use charm and charisma to attract and motivate their subordinates. As the leader of the Axis powers, Hitler had used his charm to convince his generals and commanders that he was smart and politically equipped to win World War II. As a result, the Axis commanders and generals did not question Hitler's decision although they seemed difficult and risky to implement. Although the charismatic leadership style allowed Hitler to gain the confidence of the Axis members, this leadership style failed to work because it lacked teamwork.

Additionally, The Axis Powers, through Adolf Hitler used a transformational leadership style. Transformational leadership style is where leaders create a winning culture within an organization. Hitler used the transformational leadership style to motivate and strengthen the bond between Axis powers in fighting against the Allied powers. Hitler created the perception that the Axis was in a position to win World War II, thus stimulating his armies to fight with aggressiveness. The transformational leadership style was effective for the Axis powers because it motivated its armies in achieving a common goal, which was winning the War.

Disadvantages for the Allies in the Early Years of the War

The World War II tensions began as early as in 1939. Germany and other members of the Axis such as Japan were ready to go into war. By 1939, Germany and Japan had begun patrolling the pacific waters and had already launched attacks in New Zealand, and Japan had launched an attack in Perl Harbor, United States. "The planes roared over the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor at 7:55 a.m. Hawaiian time with the bright rays of the rising sun behind them." This triggered the Allied powers to join the war against the Axis. However, prior to 1942, the Allied were disadvantaged in that they lacked proper preparations, Germany formed a blockade that cut is supplies, and lacked an experienced army.

The first disadvantages that faced the Allied powers were that they lacked time to prepare for World War II. Germany and its Axis member were ready for the war and had already formed a blocked in the pacific. However, when the Axis began invading the Allied Powers such as France, the Allied powers were forced to join the war immediately without much preparation. As such, the Allied powers such as the United States were forced to recruit and train its military personnel's within a short period of time. Additionally, the Allied powers were not well prepared in financing World War II and this created economic depression, when they tried to convert most of their resources to fund the war. The lack of proper preparations before joining the war made the Allied powers vulnerable to attacks.

Another disadvantage faced the Allies powers was the lack of accessibility to important supplies such as food and weapons. At the begging of the war, Germany and Japan had strategically positioned themselves in the Pacific, forming a blockade that sunk the Allied ships. "In 1940 the United States, which barely produced a million tons of merchant's vessels that year, recognized that the German assault on world shipping posed a significant threat to its own strategic position." This resulted to short in supply of food and important equipment giving Germany and its members a better hand into the War.

Moreover, at the beginning of the war, the Allied powers were disadvantaged because they lacked an experienced army. By 1939, Germany had raised a large, well trained, and experienced military troops. The Axis Troops were more experienced because they had fought in a worldly battle during the First World War 1. On the hand, the Allied were disadvantaged because, despite having a large army, their army was not experienced and well trained to fight in a world battle. For instance, the United States faced difficulties in training troops to fight at a large war that required the movement of troops from location to another. The lack of experienced and well-trained troops gave disadvantaged the Allied when it came into joining World War II.


"7 Common Leadership Styles: Which Type Of A Leader Are You?" Medium, Last modified 2018. https://blog.proofhub.com/7-common-leadership-styles-which-type-of-a-leader-are-you-ef23c93bc706.

Megargee, Geoffrey. "BBC - History - World Wars: Hitler's Leadership Style". Bbc.Co.Uk, Last modified 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/hitler_commander_01.shtml.

Morton, Louis. Germany First: The Basic Concept of Allied Strategy in World War II. Vol. 70. Center of Military History, US Army, 1960.Murray, Williamson, and Allan, Reed Millett. A war to be won: fighting the Second World War. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2000.

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