Like many (if not most) components of the Nazi system (and Nazis themselves), functional performance of Nazi Germany was decidedly black-and-white (and highly extreme at that).
Because Nazi Germany was at the same time an astounding success in civilian life and on the battlefield (one of the most astounding in human history) and a spectacular failure – arguably one of the worst disasters in history of a human civilization.
On the one hand, Nazis pulled off a genuine miracle – possibly the most impressive Quantensprung (Quantum Leap) in history. They did away with all humiliating restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles (including economically murderous reparations mandated by that monstrous crime – a true armed robbery); returned all lands taken from Germany at gunpoint by the “Versailles criminals”; united all German lands into Ein Reich; made Germany financially independent from the “outer world”; made Germany substantially more self-sufficient in foodstuffs and basic raw materials; achieved full employment of the German labor force (in 1937, there was actually a shortage of workers in the German economy while all other powers suffered from serious unemployment); radically improve financial, material and emotional well-being of Germans; achieved stable healthy economic growth and growth of German population and transformed Germany into the second most powerful nation in Europe (it was impossible for Germany to surpass the Soviet Union that had far, far more natural and human resources at its disposal) the global economic, political, financial and military superpower and made Germany safe, secure, prosperous, mighty and genuinely happy nation (I will analyze the “Judenrein” objective in the chapter on Holocaust).
In addition to these (already dazzling and magnificent) achievements, Nazis conducted not one, but two astonishingly successful military campaigns – probably the most successful in the history of mankind. First, they conquered almost all Europe – Czechoslovakia (albeit this was much more diplomatic than military conquest), Poland, France, Benelux countries, Denmark, Norway, Yugoslavia, Greece and Albania.
And then they achieved definitely the most brilliant and impressive military victory in human history – by defeating and destroying a 8-million Soviet invasion army (its “first strategic echelon”) and in just three months occupying enormous territories of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) – then parts of the gargantuan Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
We also must not forget a highly successful (albeit very messy) German Wunderwaffen program – during World War II Nazi Germany developed and deployed more revolutionary weapons than all other nations combined. And it were the Nazi rocket scientists (led by the SS-Sturmbannführer Wernher von Braun) that put a man on a moon…