• '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Here’s an interesting item I came across today.  In October and November of 1940, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia seriously discussed the possibility of striking a deal under which the September 1940 Tripartite Pact between Germany, Italy and Japan would be extended to include the Soviet Union, thus making the USSR an Axis nation.  The negotiations were based on the premise that Britain would soon be defeated, and that Germany, Italy, Japan and the Soviet Union should therefore prepare for the orderly liquidation of the defunct British Empire by defining what their respective spheres of interest would be in this new post-British environment.  The negotiations ultimately collapsed because of irreconcilable differences over the Balkans.  There’s a Wikipedia article on this subject titled German-Soviet Axis Talks.

    One amusing detail about these discussions is that Ribbentrop and Molotov conducted some of their face-to-face talks in a Berlin bomb shelter because of an air raid by the supposedly almost-defeated British…an irony which wasn’t lost on Molotov.

  • Moderator 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    So a handful of Wellingtons saved Britain and Europe from a larger Axis alliance? Nice.
    Thanks Marc.


  • I read the Germans were attempting to lure the Soviets into the agreement by suggesting the Persian Gulf could be theirs. This was meant to cure the Russians age old lust for a warm water port.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Molotov ruined that opportunity as he insisted on Finland as the natural Soviet sphere of influence. Hitler would have none of that because it would potentially interfere with his Pig Iron and Iron Ore from Sweden.

    If things would have been different, they could have carved up the British middle east and got the Soviets a warm water port and made it impossible for UK to win. They would have carved out everything from UK and left a carcass for Churchill.

    That is how Hitler should have defeated UK…by alliance with Soviets, not war.


  • @CWO:

    Here’s an interesting item I came across today.  In October and November of 1940, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia seriously discussed the possibility of striking a deal under which the September 1940 Tripartite Pact between Germany, Italy and Japan would be extended to include the Soviet Union, thus making the USSR an Axis nation.  The negotiations were based on the premise that Britain would soon be defeated, and that Germany, Italy, Japan and the Soviet Union should therefore prepare for the orderly liquidation of the defunct British Empire by defining what their respective spheres of interest would be in this new post-British environment.  The negotiations ultimately collapsed because of irreconcilable differences over the Balkans.  There’s a Wikipedia article on this subject titled German-Soviet Axis Talks.

    One amusing detail about these discussions is that Ribbentrop and Molotov conducted some of their face-to-face talks in a Berlin bomb shelter because of an air raid by the supposedly almost-defeated British…an irony which wasn’t lost on Molotov.

    Molotov is quoted as saying “if the British are nearly defeated then why are we in this bunker and who’s bombs are those falling?”

  • Customizer

    So whatever negotiations were happening were irrelevant.  It was all a ploy to keep the Soviets sidelined until Germany was ready to strike at the Soviet Heartland

    This.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Remember he invaded USSR as a means to defeat UK, because UK would not agree to terms. Instead, he should have thought about defeating UK by carving out her Empire with the help of Stalin. He went against this solid approach because he didn’t want to destroy her Historical position of safeguarding the balance between nations. He felt that in postwar world to keep UK strong would help his efforts in the future and felt an accommodation of his conquests could be arranged. So Hitler reasoned to destroy the only potential ally UK could have as a means to forcing them to surrender.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Ok, do you have any evidence to support this?  I mean, there’s tons of books written about why Hitler invaded the Soviet Union (see Keith Payne’s work, Gerhard Weinberg, Martin Gilbert, etc.,), and it being part of his grand plan, but I’ve never seen anything saying that Hitler wanted to get bogged down in a million square mile fight with the Soviet Union as a negotiations ploy.

    This is basic knowledge. You should know it already. Hitler reasoned that he could defeat the Soviets and remove the one last remaining and potential Ally for Churchill still left in Europe.He further reasoned that he was avoiding a two front war because the British had been mauled in France and pushed into a corner. He didn’t want to invade directly, so the next best thing was to finish off the last remaining major power in Europe rendering UK totally alone. This would make the British surrender more likely.  Of course we all know better and their was still a two front war. Hitler also looked at the geopolitical stage and felt Stalin’s 5 year rebuilding plans would eventually bring the strength to a greater efficacy in 1942. As of 1940, Hitler saw the futility of Soviet efforts in Finland and rated the capabilities of the Red Army quite low and saw his chance that it was a better plan to knock out the potentially stronger adversary first. The dilemma was whether to defeat England first by defeating the only remaining power that could help her, or directly attacking England.

    I could post thousands of sources, but one will suffice.

    http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/articles/invadingrussia.aspx

  • '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Imperious:

    Hitler reasoned that he could defeat the Soviets and remove the one last remaining and potential Ally for Churchill still left in Europe.He further reasoned that he was avoiding a two front war because the British had been mauled in France and pushed into a corner. He didn’t want to invade directly, so the next best thing was to finish off the last remaining major power in Europe rendering UK totally alone. This would make the British surrender more likely.Â

    If that was Hitler’s rationale for attacking the USSR, then it would be fair to say that it utterly backfired.  Instead of eliminating from the scene a hypothetical potential ally of Great Britain, he turned the USSR – which up until Barbarossa wasn’t at war – into a real and active one.  (And it didn’t take long, either.  The invasion was just a few hours old when Churchill went on the BBC and proclaimed an alliance with the Russians against the Nazis.)  He turned a country with which he had a non-aggression pact – and perhaps more importantly a country which was a major trading partner supplying him with important resources – into an implacable enemy.  (If he had hopes of helping himself first-hand to those resources by gobbling up the USSR, they were dashed by the Russian policy of burning whatever they couldn’t carry eastward to safety.)  Instead of avoiding a two-front war – something which he himself had said in Mein Kampf was the gravest of military errors – he created one.  Instead of putting added pressures on Britain to surrender, he reduced those pressures by diverting against Russia resources that he could more profitably have used against Egypt, the Suez Canal (Britain’s imperial lifeline), and potentially against Iraq and Iran (both sources of British oil) and perhaps even the jewel of the Empire, India.  So all in all, a very sub-optimal outcome.  John Keegan once said that Hitler had a “café-terrace” approach to running the Second World War (alternating between working in the map room with his generals and schmoozing with his secretaries over tea and pastries), and I sometimes wonder how the war would have turned out if he’d had more of the professionalism and self-discipline of the Prussian officer class which he so despised.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    If that was Hitler’s rationale for attacking the USSR, then it would be fair to say that it utterly backfired.

    Correct. But remember he didn’t want to totally destroy the British and this approach at least allowed a way out. He figured the British were very high on the ladder of people who would remain after Hitler ended his conquests.

    Your source was written by someone while he was a sophomore in college. So, no, that’s not a source.

    Do you have any sources to back this claim up?

    The analysis that the USSR needed to be destroyed so as to deny the UK an ally is ridiculous, given that the USSR was selling raw materials to the Germans, and was not in fact an ally of the UK, which was led by Churchill, who was for decades an anti-Bolshevik.

    That is only part of what i posted. Try to look at the larger picture and read more than Mein Kampf or Wikipedia.

    GTG


  • The long-term goal of Soviet foreign policy was world conquest. As such, Stalin regarded both Nazi Germany and the Western democracies as natural long-term enemies of the Soviet Union. Stalin ordered communist parties in Western democracies to foster “anti-fascism” as a way of promoting war between the Nazis and the democracies. The object of this war–at least from the Soviet perspective–was to weaken both sides; thereby paving the way for Soviet conquest. By early September of 1939, Stalin had the war between the Nazis and the democracies that he’d wanted all along.

    The problem with that war–at least from the Nazi perspective–was that the combined industrial capacity of Britain and the U.S. greatly exceeded that of Germany. The U.S. was still technically neutral in 1940. Nonetheless, it set the goal of producing over 70,000 military aircraft per year. Half of that production was planned to go to Britain, to be used in the physical destruction of Germany. America’s production goal was achieved in 1944, when it produced over 96,000 military planes.

    To put all this into perspective, consider that Germany produced 11,000 military aircraft in 1940 and 41,000 military aircraft in 1944. This level of aircraft production was inadequate to protect Germany from the Anglo-American attacks against German cities and the German people.

    Under the Nazi-Soviet Pact, the Soviet Union agreed to send Germany food and raw materials. In exchange, Germany would send the Soviet Union manufactured goods. That arrangement was useful to Germany up to a point; and helped offset some of the effects of the Allied food blockade. But even with Soviet food shipments, Germany was still faced with a severe long-term food crisis. Also, there was not a viable long-term plan in place to protect German cities from the aircraft the U.S. and Britain planned to build in the mid-'40s.

    Hitler believed he could solve these problems by successfully invading the Soviet Union. The Russian Army had fought poorly in WWI; and the Red Army had performed abysmally when the Soviet Union invaded Finland. Seizing the western portion of the Soviet Union would give Germany access to vital food, oil, and raw materials supplies. It would greatly increase Germany’s available labor force. Soviet factories and industrial machinery could be seized and used to produce the aircraft absolutely necessary to defend Germany’s cities from Allied extermination bombing raids.

    During the summer and fall of '41, the German Army achieved a 10:1 exchange ratio in engagements against the Soviets. As a result of this staggering success, Germany conquered a large part of the Soviet Union; and captured enough men to constitute an army for a more normal-sized country. By 1943, the Soviets had reduced the exchange ratio to 3:1. In the Battle of Stalingrad, the Soviet Union came close to achieving a 1:1 ratio. In 1942, the Soviets produced three to four times as many land weapons as Germany, and nearly twice as many military aircraft.

    The time to have invaded the Soviet Union would have been 1940. However, a pro-communist French government had signed a defensive alliance with the Soviets back in 1935. Had Germany invaded the U.S.S.R. in 1940, it would also have found itself at war with France. Daladier was eager for war with Germany, but felt that France needed at least one major ally in such a conflict. He would gladly have helped the Soviet Union conquer Germany. For Germany to focus on an anti-Soviet land war in 1940, it would have needed to conquer France in 1939. However, Germany was probably not ready for such a war in '39.

    In hindsight, Hitler should probably have invaded the Soviet Union in '41 (as he did); followed by a peace agreement in the fall of ‘41. Stalin would probably have agreed to peace. He wanted to keep the U.S.S.R. out of the early and middle stages of the conflict to give the Nazis and the Western democracies maximum opportunity to sap each others’ strength. Under those circumstances, it’s likely that Stalin would have waited at least five years before resuming military operations against Germany.

    During those five years, Germany could use most of its industrial strength to defend itself against the Western democratic bombing effort. Its capture of large swaths of Soviet manpower and territory would allow it to sustain an increased level of military production. This would buy Germany time to use jet aircraft, Type XXI U-boats, and other advanced technology to finally force the British and American leaders to abandon their demands for unconditional surrender.

    However, the United States began producing atomic bombs in late ‘45. There is every reason to believe that British and American leaders would have been delighted to use such weapons on German cities. To defend against this, Germany would have needed large numbers of jet aircraft. Or, it could have used chemical weapons to destroy a British or American city for each German city destroyed. German chemical weapons technology was at least ten years ahead of the Western democracies’. It would have required long range rockets to deliver chemical weapons to American cities.

    I admit the above does not constitute a great plan for protecting Germany against communist or Western democratic invasion. But at least it would have been more likely to work than the plan Germany actually used.


  • about 15 years ago I played a game of World at War and seeing as in that game there was nothing stopping me (russia) from doing it. I decided to let the Axis bribe me into joining the Axis. Oh that was a fun game. Next game we played the Allies were sure to make sure I had there backs

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I like how you say “try looking at the larger picture beyond just Mein Kampf (you know, Hitler’s personal manifesto where he lays out his political, economic, racial, and geostrategic goals) and Wikipedia (which you love, and I laid out to mock you),” all while I’m the one talking about Taylor, Hart, Weinberg, Gilbert, Payne, and Marc’s referencing Keegan.  And you come out with a sophomore in college.  Nice.

    Well between us you quote Wikipedia. Mein Kampf is only a book. It does not account for how Hitler reasoned in the late months of 1940. The events took over what he might have done. It’s really stupid to argue what Hitler was deciding in late 1940. He just didn’t pull a “what would Main Kampf do?”

    And you didn’t bring up all those authors. So don’t hide behind the apron’s of prominent Historians without even proving or disproving any facts.  Go read something from Glantz.

    About the author:
    Andrew Wright is attending his second year at the University of Regina, majoring in History and minoring in Political Science. His hobbies include reading, writing, politics, history, Halo (X-Box) and other strategy games like Chess, Axis and Allies etc. He has lived in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada most of his life, but have also lived in London England for a year and travelled around Europe including: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Greece. He has an extensive military history book collection (500 or more books). He is the author of After Iraq: A Year in the Middle East.

    Published online: 8/26/2007.

    Do I have a source that your source is a college kid?  Um, yes.  It’s from “About the Author” piece at the bottom of the webpage you sourced, which reads:  “Andrew Wright is attending his second year at the University of Regina, majoring in History and minoring in Political Science. His hobbies include reading, writing, politics, history, Halo (X-Box) and other strategy games like Chess, Axis and Allies etc.”

    So, yes, you sourced a 19 year old.

    What i sourced is somebody who knows more than you, which is about as easy as breathing. Also, he wrote that in 2007. I guess he is still 19 because people don’t age and when they get older they don’t post a revised essay. Plus he writes books and you don’t. Instead you just bring up names but not what they said that validates anything you say.

    Here let me try.

    Should i send you some books from Shirer? What’s your address? Then you could post it on the internet publicly and argue that I don’t live there, didn’t go to Stanford, and whatever other nonsense as long as you don’t make a cogent argument. That’s what you did with a private messages. So who has any credit here? Certainly not you.

    here are his sources BTW: ( note- he used one of your own sources)

    Alexander, Bevin. How Hitler Could Have Won World War II: The Fatal Errors that led to Nazi Defeat. New York: Crown Publishers, 2000.

    Churchill, Winston. The Second World War, Volume 3: The Grand Alliance. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1950.

    Clausewitz, Carl Von. On War. New York: Everyman’s Library, 1993.

    Deighton, Len. Blood, Tears and Folly: An Objective Look at World War 2. New York: Castle Books, 1999.

    Macksey, Kenneth, ed. The Hitler Options: Alternate Decisions of World War 2. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing, 1995.

    Overy, Richard. Russia’s War: A History of the Soviet War Effort: 1941-45. New York: Penguin Books, 1998.

    Overy, Richard. Why the Allies Won. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1995.

    Warner, Philip. World War 2: The Untold Story. London: Cassell, 2002.

    Werth, Alexander. Russia At War, 1941-45. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2000.

    Wragg, David. Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory: 20th Century Military Blunders. Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 2000.

    Wikipedia Article on Operation Barbarossa: [Online] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Barbarossa [2007, August]

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    And since you love to bring up Hitlers own words here is a speech where he outlines his decision to attack Russia…

    http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1941/410621a.html

    “On the contrary. England will be all the less ready for peace, for it will be able to pin its hopes on the Russian partner. Indeed, this hope must naturally even grow with the progress in preparedness of the Russian armed forces. And behind this is the mass delivery of war material from America which they hope to get in 1942.”

    “The situation in England itself is bad; the provision of food and raw materials is growing steadily more difficult. The martial spirit to make war, after all, lives only on hopes. These hopes are based solely on two assumptions: Russia and America. We have no chance of eliminating America. But it does lie in our power to exclude Russia. The elimination of Russia means, at the same time, a tremendous relief for Japan in East Asia, and thereby the possibility of a much stronger threat to American activities through Japanese intervention.”

    Busted…

    I knew i was right anyway. Thanks Stanford!

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    From General Von Bock:

    “There are said to be contacts between Russia and America; a Russia-England link is therefore also likely. To wait for the outcome of such a development is dangerous. But if the Russians were eliminated, England would have no hope left of defeating us on the continent, especially since an effective intervention by America would be complicated by Japan, which would keep our rear free.”

    From General Halder:

    Britain’s hope lies in Russia and the United States. If Russia drops out of the picture, America, too, is lost for Britain, because elimination of Russia would tremendously increase Japan’s power in the Far East.

    http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/articles/turningeast.aspx

    Hitler’s intuition told him that Britain’s only hope would be a falling out between him and Stalin and time was on both the British and the Soviet sides. They would become stronger and their combined power would be too much for Germany to overcome. The time was now to take from Britain her last hope, the Soviet Union. As late as one week before the invasion of the USSR the Fuehrer spoke at the Reich Chancellery to his top generals. Present was General Field-Marshall von Bock who writes:

    “The more he had thought about the decision to attack Russia during the months, the more determined he became. Russia posed a grave threat to Germany’s back and we now have to have our back free; as soon as she is cast down, England will have no ally left to win over the continent, and Germany can only be beaten on the continent…. England will see all this, and it is to be assumed that it will then abandon the hopeless struggle. The Fuehrer hopes that this will come to pass in the first months after the end of the eastern operation”

    Just like i said all along. Thanks.


  • “Britain’s hope lies in Russia and the United States. If Russia drops out of the picture, America, too, is lost for Britain, because the elimination of Russia would greatly increase Japan’s power in the Far East. Decision: Russia’s destruction must be made part of this struggle– the sooner Russia is crushed the better.” ~Adolf Hitler winter 1940. source Barbarossa The Russian-German Conflict, 1941-1945 by Alan Clark.

    “The situation: England has lost this war. With the right of the drowning person, she grasps at every straw which, in her imagination, might serve as a sheet anchor. Nevertheless, some of her hopes are naturally not without a certain logic. England has thus far always conducted her wars with help from the Continent. The destruction of France�fact, the elimination of all west-European positions�directing the glances of the British warmongers continually to the place from which they tried to start the war: to Soviet Russia.”
    “The situation in England itself is bad; the provision of food and raw materials is growing steadily more difficult. The martial spirit to make war, after all, lives only on hopes. These hopes are based solely on two assumptions: Russia and America. We have no chance of eliminating America. But it does lie in our power to exclude Russia. The elimination of Russia means, at the same time, a tremendous relief for Japan in East Asia, and thereby the possibility of a much stronger threat to American activities through Japanese intervention.” ~Adolf Hitler June 21, 1941 source: United States, Department of State, Publication No. 3023, Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941. Documents from the Archives of the German Foreign Office (Government Printing Office, Washington, 1948), pp. 349-353.

    So yes the crazy man had the crazy idea of knocking Russia out of a war that it wasn’t in would cause Britain to surrender.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Good Job! and note Hitler felt the British were relying on having another major power join them which they used as a crutch since getting pushed off the continent at Dunkirk. He didn’t want to destroy them outright and didn’t view them as a real threat for a second front, which Hitler told his people that he would avoid the mistakes of the Great War. If he could defeat USSR in 1941, England would have no way to pin any hope on having any help and Hitler reasoned would necessitate her agreeing to terms and allowing Germany a free hand in Europe. The British could still be around to fight her concerns but not in Europe. That was Hitlers vision in the fall of 1940.


  • The second one came from the communication from Hitler to Mussolini. There was a lot of stuff in there I just posted the 2 paragraphs that relate to the current conversation. I can post the link if you would like so you can read the whole thing.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Good Lord IL, sometimes I just don’t know if you’re this dumb, honestly, of if you’re being willfully obtuse.  I mean, you quoted a kid who wrote a piece while he was a sophomore in college.  The fact that he’s in his mid-20s now doesn’t change the fact that you quoted the writings of a 19 year old.

    I know you don’t like me, because I’m one of the ones who got your position on these boards reduced from moderator or liaison or whatever it was to just another poster, but please try to check your emotions when you type.

    Honestly, I never excluded that Hitler saw a benefit in securing his Eastern Flank and knocking out a potential UK ally.  Of course those would be operational benefits.

    My point is that the invasion of the Soviet Union was the entire point of Hitler’s war, to secure lands for German expansion on the Eurasian plains (I know you discount Mein Kampf because “things changed in 1940”, even though you don’t say how they changed, and despite the fact that Hitler executed all the major ideas he raised in Mein Kampf, but for some reason, not what he wrote about the Soviets, according to you).

    Let me put it another way:  What, in your mind, was the strategic objective of Hitler invading Poland?  Was it just simply to secure Poland, but he was forced into a fight by the Western democracies, and once committed to that fight, he had to defeat the Soviets in order to bring the UK to the peace table?  Is that how you see it?  That Hitler would have been happy with just the 2/3rds of Poland he conquered, and being recognized as the most powerful leader in Europe?  Is that it?  If not, what was Hitler’s grand strategic vision for World War II?

    Blah Blah Blah…just skip over the fact that Hitlers and his generals own words describe the situation just like i did. Concentrate on some 19 year old whom you have no idea about his age and is much smarter than you, then deliberately skip over dozens of quoted sources. You don’t have a freaking point, you asked for me to back up my post and i did that multiple times. I could care less what you posted, im not making any arguments about anything you said. Rather you don’t believe that Hitler considered in late 1940 the prospects of how to defeat England by removing the only remaining and potential major player. This was a consideration made with the situation of late 1940. Hitler does not consult a book written around 1923 for every decision he made since 1939. That is a most ridiculous statement.

    As far as your new proposed arguments since confronting the previous ones meet with disaster, I could care less because i didn’t post anything about Poland. You see this is what you do when i showed you that i was 100% correct… you create new arguments to deflect the failure so you don’t look bad. Well you do.

    Here is your argument:

    > The analysis that the USSR needed to be destroyed so as to deny the UK an ally is ridiculous

    Then you write a typical flip flop:

    Honestly, I never excluded that Hitler saw a benefit in securing his Eastern Flank and knocking out a potential UK ally.

    Here are replies from primary sources which prove that wrong… ( including a speech from Hitler)

    From General Von Bock:

    “There are said to be contacts between Russia and America; a Russia-England link is therefore also likely. To wait for the outcome of such a development is dangerous. But if the Russians were eliminated, England would have no hope left of defeating us on the continent, especially since an effective intervention by America would be complicated by Japan, which would keep our rear free.”

    From General Halder:

    “Britains hope lies in Russia and the United States. If Russia drops out of the picture, America, too, is lost for Britain, because elimination of Russia would tremendously increase Japans power in the Far East.”

    http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/articles/turningeast.aspx

    Hitlers intuition told him that Britains only hope would be a falling out between him and Stalin and time was on both the British and the Soviet sides. They would become stronger and their combined power would be too much for Germany to overcome. The time was now to take from Britain her last hope, the Soviet Union. As late as one week before the invasion of the USSR the Fuehrer spoke at the Reich Chancellery to his top generals.

    Present was General Field-Marshall von Bock who writes:

    “The more he had thought about the decision to attack Russia during the months, the more determined he became. Russia posed a grave threat to Germanys back and we now have to have our back free; as soon as she is cast down, England will have no ally left to win over the continent, and Germany can only be beaten on the continent. England will see all this, and it is to be assumed that it will then abandon the hopeless struggle. The Fuehrer hopes that this will come to pass in the first months after the end of the eastern operation”

    "On the contrary. England will be all the less ready for peace, for it will be able to pin its hopes on the Russian partner. Indeed, this hope must naturally even grow with the progress in preparedness of the Russian armed forces. And behind this is the mass delivery of war material from America which they hope to get in 1942."

    A speech from Hitler:

    “The situation in England itself is bad; the provision of food and raw materials is growing steadily more difficult. The martial spirit to make war, after all, lives only on hopes. These hopes are based solely on two assumptions: Russia and America. We have no chance of eliminating America. But it does lie in our power to exclude Russia. The elimination of Russia means, at the same time, a tremendous relief for Japan in East Asia, and thereby the possibility of a much stronger threat to American activities through Japanese intervention.”

    Just like i said all along. Thanks. One of the points of Hitler’s decision to attack USSR in 1941 was among other things to deny a potential major ally on the European continent. The reasoning is rightfully or not that following a collapse of the Soviets, the British Empire would come to terms since no other player could help her.

    And i asked you before to not reply to my posts.

    I understand you see now that facts destroyed your argument yet again.


  • @rjpeters70:

    Good Lord IL, sometimes I just don’t know if you’re this dumb, honestly, of if you’re being willfully obtuse.� I mean, you quoted a kid who wrote a piece while he was a sophomore in college.� The fact that he’s in his mid-20s now doesn’t change the fact that you quoted the writings of a 19 year old.

    I know you don’t like me, because I’m one of the ones who got your position on these boards reduced from moderator or liaison or whatever it was to just another poster, but please try to check your emotions when you type.

    Honestly, I never excluded that Hitler saw a benefit in securing his Eastern Flank and knocking out a potential UK ally.� Of course those would be operational benefits.

    My point is that the invasion of the Soviet Union was the entire point of Hitler’s war, to secure lands for German expansion on the Eurasian plains (I know you discount Mein Kampf because “things changed in 1940”, even though you don’t say how they changed, and despite the fact that Hitler executed all the major ideas he raised in Mein Kampf, but for some reason, not what he wrote about the Soviets, according to you).�

    Let me put it another way:� What, in your mind, was the strategic objective of Hitler invading Poland?� Was it just simply to secure Poland, but he was forced into a fight by the Western democracies, and once committed to that fight, he had to defeat the Soviets in order to bring the UK to the peace table?� Is that how you see it?� That Hitler would have been happy with just the 2/3rds of Poland he conquered, and being recognized as the most powerful leader in Europe?� Is that it?� If not, what was Hitler’s grand strategic vision for World War II?

    I don’t want to get involved in the disagreement between you and IL. But you asked a very good question at the end of your post. What was Hitler’s strategic vision for WWII?

    Hitler’s political philosophy was in many ways a reaction to the Versailles Treaty. Germany ran at a net food deficit. Under normal peacetime circumstances, it would export manufactured goods; and use the money from said exports to pay for food imports and raw materials imports. But that balance of payments was thrown out of whack by the massive reparations payments demanded under Versailles. In the '20s, Britain and France closed themselves and their empires to German imports. The United States did the same in '29 under the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. Together, these factors meant that there were times during the '20s and early '30s when large numbers of Germans went hungry due to Germany’s inability to pay for food imports. Just as many Germans went hungry during WWI due to the Anglo-French food blockade.

    Also under Versailles, Germany was not allowed to have more than a token military. During the '20s, the Soviet Union embarked on a massive program of industrialization–industrialization intended to lay the foundation for a subsequent militarization. It was absolutely clear that the Western democracies would do precisely nothing to stop a westward Soviet push. Had there been any doubt about that at all, it was resolved in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919 - ‘20. Other than a few French military advisors, the Western democracies did nothing to prevent Poland from becoming the newest Soviet Socialist Republic. The Western democracies’ pro-Soviet attitudes were confirmed in 1935; when both France and Czechoslovakia signed defensive alliances with the U.S.S.R.

    It was fairly obvious to most people–including Hitler–that the Western democracies simply weren’t interested in stopping Soviet expansionism. That meant that Germany had to get out from under the Versailles Treaty to defend itself against Soviet aggression. But simply escaping the treaty was not enough. Germany had a pre-war population of 69 million; as compared to 169 million for the U.S.S.R. Moreover, France had pursued an anti-German foreign policy for the last several centuries; and demonstrated no signs of changing any time soon.

    The object of Hitler’s foreign policy was to build a Germany too strong to be conquered by the Soviet Union, and too strong for the Western democracies to impose another Versailles Treaty on it. This new, Greater Germany would have enough Lebensraum with which to feed its own people; regardless of Allied food blockades or trade embargoes.


  • I personally think after France fell and England didn’t surrender he really had no plan and started just winging it. This lead to the hair brain idea if he attacked his own allie his enemy will surrender.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Yea that could be argued. Hitler didn’t figure on defeating France in six weeks. He also wasted a year from 6/40-6/41 really a year of indecision. Stalin was hoping both sides would bleed white and the Soviets could just step in and turn Western Europe communist. That is why he ordered plans to attack Hitler in the future in that event.


  • yeah look at how indecisive he was after France fell. should I invade Malta? nah, what about Gibraltar, nah hey I got an idea lets get Spain involved. crap that didn’t work. oh look Yugoslavia did something stupid lets invade them. There was a real lack of direction after France fell. Egypt and Greece was only Hitler helping out Mussolini. It really doesn’t appear Hitler had much of a plan on how to get UK to surrender. Thus I’ll invade my Allie that could, but probably won’t, Allie themselves with my enemy. Much as been written on Hitler’s desire to drive England to the negotiation table but, after France fell, there really wasn’t alot of action, save for Sealion and the Battle of Britain, with the goal of getting England to have a seat at that table.

  • '17 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    The victorious armies that defeated France just sat down on the job. His only commitment was bailing out Italy in Greece and sending a Panzer corps to Africa.

    He was waiting on UK to surrender and they never did. One reason is that their still remained the Soviets and Churchill knew eventually Hitler would fight them and the British would have a real formidable ally. Hitler figured to avoid a direct invasion of UK and remove this potential ally. Of course, there are other reasons too but it was a strong motivation. Hitler viewed his time was running against him and he had to act quickly for a decision because among other things, The Americans would enter the stage.


  • @rjpeters70:

    How are those mutually exclusive points?  Just because something is ridiculous (that the USSR needed to be destroyed as a ploy to bring the UK to the negotiating table, when the UK had stood alone against Hitler for over a year) doesn’t mean that a madman would not have seen a benefit to doing exactly that.  The first point is analytical about a specific operational course of action, the second point is about understanding Hitler’s belief. So how are those two points mutually exclusive?

    I do note that you haven’t answered my basic question:  What was Hitler’s grand strategic goal for initiating World War II?  Or do you believe he was just making it up as he went along, and had no grand strategic goal?

    No, I’m not going to “not reply” to threads that you post in.  Sorry.

    You wrote:  you “don’t believe that Hitler considered in late 1940 the prospects of how to defeat England by removing the only remaining and potential major player.”  Um, no.  I write that the primary, motivating factor for Hitler invading Russia was based upon his long term desire to secure Lebensraum in the Eurasian plains, specifically the Western portions of the Soviet Union.

    It is flat out weird to me that you discount Hitler’s desire for Lebensraum in the Soviet Union (and it seems to escape you that Hitler and his top Generals making an operational argument in favor of such an invasion in no way invalidates or undermines the broader underlying desire for Hitler to secure these areas for German expansion and settlement).  I mean, you ask for sources.  That is easy to do.

    Here’s the opening paragraph from the BBC page on Lebensraum:  “Between 1921 and 1925 Adolf Hitler developed the belief that Germany required Lebensraum (‘living space’) in order to survive. The conviction that this living space could be gained only in the east, and specifically from Russia, formed the core of this idea, and shaped his policy after his take-over of power in Germany in 1933.”  Read the whole thing:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/hitler_lebensraum_01.shtml

    Or, here:  “All of Hitler’s actions in Western Europe thus far, including the subjugation of France and the now-failed attack on Britain, were simply a prelude to achieving his principal goal as Führer, the acquisition of Lebensraum (Living Space) in the East. He had moved against the French, British and others in the West only as a necessary measure to secure Germany’s western border, thereby freeing him to attack in the East with full force.” http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/defeat/attack-russia.htm

    Or, this, from the Holocaust Research Project:  “Adolf Hitler had decided to attack the Soviet Union as early as July 1940, directly after the victory over the French, and Allied Forces, but for once he listened to the objections of his Generals and decided to delay the invasion, due to concerns over the weather and the need to build up the Wehrmacht  and Luftwaffe forces.
    Hitler’s decision to attack the Soviet Union under the title of Barbarossa, named after Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, one of the heroes of German history, who at the close of the 12th century marched with his knights against the infidel in the Holy Land, was designed to give the German people “Lebensraum” – Living Space.”  http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/nazioccupation/sovietunion.html

    Or, this, from the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington:  “The destruction of the Soviet Union by military force, the permanent elimination of the perceived Communist threat to Germany, and the seizure of prime land within Soviet borders for long-term German settlement had been a core policy of the Nazi movement since the 1920s. Adolf Hitler had always regarded the German-Soviet nonaggression pact, signed on August 23, 1939, as a temporary tactical maneuver. In July 1940, just weeks after the German conquest of France and the Low Countries, Hitler decided to attack the Soviet Union within the following year. On December 18, 1940, he signed Directive 21 (code-named Operation “Barbarossa”), the first operational order for the invasion of the Soviet Union.”  http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005164

    I could go on and on and on.  Did Hitler and his generals provide an operational justification for invading Russia?  Sure.  Was it “necessary” to bring the UK to the peace table?  No (and in fact, was demonstrably ridiculous to achieve in actuality, as things played out).  Was the invasion of the Soviet Union so as to secure living space in the East a core tenant of Nazi ideology and the personal mission of Hitler for decades and the entire reason for initiating World War II?  Yes.

    Look, if you don’t understand these things, you simply don’t understand World War II or German strategic objectives.

    You are correct to assert that gaining Lebensraum was a central part of Hitler’s long-term strategic vision. The British food blockade against Germany (imposed in September of '39) lent an added sense of urgency to the Lebensraum question. Unless Germany could break the food blockade or seize additional farmland, Western Europe would have been beset with famine conditions as early as 1941. “We need to grab that Lebensraum sooner or later anyway,” the logic went, “so why not take it now to solve our food problems?”

    However, most territory in the western Soviet Union ran at a food deficit. The exception was the Ukraine; but even that region didn’t run at as large a food surplus in the early '40s as it had back in the '20s. Capturing the western parts of the Soviet Union would make Germany’s overall food deficit worse. But it would allow Germany to transfer starvation out of Western Europe and into Soviet territory.

    Another factor creating a sense of urgency was the Red Army’s abysmal performance in its invasion of Finland. If–as Hitler believed–war between Germany and the U.S.S.R. was inevitable, why not begin the war before the Soviet Union was ready? The fact that the German Army achieved a 10:1 exchange ratio against communist forces in the summer and fall of '41 confirms that the Soviet Union was not yet ready for war.

    Unfortunately–at least from the German perspective–the Soviet Union was far more ready for war in '42 than '41. But suppose Germany’s territorial gains in '42 had equaled those achieved in '41. Hitler could then have negotiated peace with the Soviets; knowing that this new, smaller Soviet Union would represent a greatly diminished existential threat to Germany. Hitler would also have multiplied Germany’s oil supply via the Caucasus oilfields, and would have greatly increased his access to food and raw materials. Millions of Soviet POWs, and potentially tens of millions of captured Soviet citizens, would work in German-controlled weapons factories; producing the aircraft needed to defend German cities from the Anglo-American bomber offensive. They would also produce large numbers of u-boats. These u-boats would sink food shipments to the U.K. As the British people became increasingly discontent with their food situation, they would force their leaders to negotiate an end to the war.

    You are correct to say that war against the Soviet Union was part of Hitler’s ideology. But a successful invasion of the Soviet Union also represented a potentially viable exit strategy. Given British politicians’ unwillingness to negotiate with Germany, Hitler didn’t have very many other viable exit strategies available to him. An Operation Sea Lion was impractical due to Germany’s naval weakness, its lack of transport capacity; and the fact that Anglo-American aircraft production greatly exceeded Germany’s. A similar argument could be made about any plan to invade across the Mediterranean. The only other option I can see would have been to add Turkey to the Axis, either via invasion, arm-twisting, or proffered territorial rewards. From there, German armies could have spread to Persia, Iraq, Trans-Jordan; and eventually the Suez Canal. The Germans could quite possibly have taken India and Egypt under this plan.

    However, all of that would have taken at least one, and possibly as many as three, years to achieve. By that time the Soviet Union would have solved the problems which plagued the Red Army back in 1940. Also, the German Army would have suffered significant losses taking all that British territory. Hitler would have strongly preferred to negotiate peace with the British without having to go through all that.

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