British Historian: "A pre-emptive German strike on the

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michael mills
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British Historian: "A pre-emptive German strike on the

Post by michael mills » 18 Nov 2002 13:28

The following quote is from the book "The Unholy Alliance: Stalin's Pact with Hitler", by the British historian Geoffrey Roberts. It occurs on page 194 of that book.
Moscow hoped the phoney war would not last and that eventually Germany would be drawn into a costly war of attrition with Britain and France. That hope was destroyed by the German Blitzkrieg in Western Europe. It now became vital for the Soviets to prepare to meet the threat posed by the new power and position of Germany. A number of steps were taken, but the most critical manoeuvre - a tripartite agreement on South-Eastern Europe - was unsuccessful. Its achievement had depended on German acceptance of a gratuitous extension of the Soviet presence in the Balkans [my emphasis]. Hitler's rebuff presented the Soviet Union with a dilemma that it never quite resolved: how to oppose further German encroachments into the Balkans, whilst at the same time avoiding a confrontation which might provoke a PRE-EMPTIVE German strike on the USSR [my emphasis]. Effective resistance to the spread of German power inevitably carried the risk of a confrontation which might lead to war. Equally, failure to take the risk would leave the field to Germany, and the stronger Hitler became the sooner and more likely he was to attack the Soviet Union.
Now Roberts is very much an orthodox historian, and he certainly does not believe in an impending Soviet attack in 1941. His book is in fact pro-Soviet in many ways.

However, he obviously does accept that a German attack on the Soviet Union, launched in response to Soviet provocation in the Balkans, would have been pre-emptive in nature. The question is whether the actual German attack launched on 22 June 1941 was in response to such provocation, and therefore justifiably described as a pre-emptive strike, in Roberts' terms.

It is a fact that many of the Soviet moves in 1940 and 1941 were attempts to penetrate into the Balkans, and hence provocative from the German point of view.

The first such move was the ultimatum to Romania in June 1940, demanding the handover of Bessarabia and Bukovina. In the secret additional protocol to the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of 23 August 1939, Germany had in fact recognised the Soviet interest in Bessarabia, but not to Bukovina. Although Germany did not resist the Soviet move, and counselled Romania to give in to the ultimatum, it nevertheless regarded the Soviet Union as taking more than had been agreed. The annexation of the Romanian territories brought Soviet forces within striking distance of the Romanian oilfields, on which Germany depended for the major part of its fuel supply, and hence constituted a potential mortal threat to Germany. Two months later, in August 1940, Germany gave a guarantee to Romania, which the Soviet Union regarded as an unfriendly act.

Though 1940 there were a number of attempts by the Soviet Union to bring Bulgaria into its orbit, including the establishment of military bases in that country. It also put pressure on Turkey to give it control over the straits leading into the Black Sea, and to allow it to set up bases on the Dardanelles.

Those demands of the Soviet Union were repeated during Molotov's visit to Berlin in November 1940, and included in the subsequent Soviet proposals for joining a four-power pact.

From the German point of view, allowing the Soviet Union to station troops in Bulgaria would have constituted a severe danger to Romania, and Germany's fuel supply. Soviet troops could swoop south from Bessarabia and north from Bulgaria, swiftly occupying Romania and cutting off the oil, thereby bringing Germany to its knees.

The Soviet demands for the right to establish military bases in Bulgaria therefore constituted an intolerable provocation to Germany, of the sort that would justify a pre-emptive strike in Germany's eyes. It is significant that Hitler issued the final go-ahead for the preparation of Operation barbarossa, the attack on the Soviet Union, on 18 December, about three weeks after the Soviet Union had issued its proposals for its occupation of Bulgaria on 25 November. All the previous planning for an attack on the Soviet Union had been of a contingent nature.

The last straw was Soviet connivance in the Serb nationalist coup of 27 March 1941, which overthrew the pro-German Government of Yugoslavia that had joined the Tripartite Pact on 25 March. The Soviet Union immediately signed an alliance with the new Yugoslav Government aimed against Germany, but it was nullified by the swift german conquest of Yugoslavia.

All the above-mentioned actions of the Soviet Union constituted a provocation to Germany, and a threat to its vital interests. Accordingly, the German attack on 22 June 1941 was a pre-emptive strike, in the sense in which Roberts defined that term.

The fact that the German attack was pre-emptive is also quite independent of the question of whether the Soviet Union was also planning an attack on Germany in 1941. Regardless of whether it was or was not planning such an attack, the German invasion in force was a pre-emptive strike.

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The Desert Fox
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Very interesting evidence

Post by The Desert Fox » 18 Nov 2002 13:51

Greetings fellow Australian. Some very interesting pieces of evidence here, certainly provoke some thought.

regards
The Desert Fox

julian
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Icebreaker

Post by julian » 18 Nov 2002 14:11

This debate was fired into life by Suvorov's work 'Icebreaker', where Suvorov argued that Stalin had been beated to the 'punch' by Hitler's Operation Barbarossa. There was a speech on the 5th of May 1941 at the Kremlin by Stalin to military academy graduates that appears to confirm this theory:

'A peaceful policy is a good thing, For the time being, and for as long as our army was not rearmed, we have been following a policy of defence...But now that we have reconstructured our army, built up sufficient technology for contemporary warfare, become strong, now is the time to move from the defensive to the offensive'

But this theory has been debunked by Dimitri Volkogonov in his work 'Stalin', Volkogonov in his position, both as a Red Army General in charge of the Institute of Military History, and Yeltsin' assistant analysing the archives, had access to full documentation on this issue. Volkogonov makes the point that, since on 14th May 1941 Defence Commissar Timoshenko and Chief of the General Staff Zhukov sent orders detailing the commanders of Western, Baltic and Kiev military districts to work out detailed plans of defence, this ran contrary to a planned offensive. Volkogonov makes the point that an offensive of such a magnitude would need detailed and documented operational analysis, no documentation exists. The fact is the two powers, at oppposite ends ideologically, would see each other as a possible opponent and all that entails, it is most probable that Stalin wished to see Germany exhausted in battle with France and England, then a weakened Germany would be at the Soviet Unions mercy. The demands vis a vis Bukovina, were not indications of Stalin pushing for war, but rather the Soviet Union taking advantage of Germanys need for Soviet support at that period of time, with the western campaign, Germany still needed soviet support, and this was the Soviet Union making hay while the sun shined.

Cheers

Julian
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michael mills
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Post by michael mills » 18 Nov 2002 15:07

Julian,

You have introduced a red herring by dragging in the theses of Vladimir Bogdanovich Rezun, aka Viktor Suvorov.

I specifially wrote (in order to ward off such red herrings in advance):
The fact that the German attack was pre-emptive is also quite independent of the question of whether the Soviet Union was also planning an attack on Germany in 1941. Regardless of whether it was or was not planning such an attack, the German invasion in force was a pre-emptive strike.
The pre-emptive nature of the German attack is that it was a response to continued Soviet probing into the Balkans, which threatened German vital interests.

As to whether the Soviet Union was preparing its own pre-emptive strike against Germany, there are some Russian historians who think there was and others who think there was not. The late Dr Hoffmann refers to a book published in Russia in 1995, "Gotovil li Stalin nastupatel'nuiu voinu protiv Gitlera?", containing contributions from a number of historians, some in support and others against, as it would appear. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has read that book.

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Re: British Historian: "A pre-emptive German strike on

Post by Roberto » 18 Nov 2002 16:20

michael mills wrote:The following quote is from the book "The Unholy Alliance: Stalin's Pact with Hitler", by the British historian Geoffrey Roberts. It occurs on page 194 of that book.
Moscow hoped the phoney war would not last and that eventually Germany would be drawn into a costly war of attrition with Britain and France. That hope was destroyed by the German Blitzkrieg in Western Europe. It now became vital for the Soviets to prepare to meet the threat posed by the new power and position of Germany. A number of steps were taken, but the most critical manoeuvre - a tripartite agreement on South-Eastern Europe - was unsuccessful. Its achievement had depended on German acceptance of a gratuitous extension of the Soviet presence in the Balkans [my emphasis]. Hitler's rebuff presented the Soviet Union with a dilemma that it never quite resolved: how to oppose further German encroachments into the Balkans, whilst at the same time avoiding a confrontation which might provoke a PRE-EMPTIVE German strike on the USSR [my emphasis]. Effective resistance to the spread of German power inevitably carried the risk of a confrontation which might lead to war. Equally, failure to take the risk would leave the field to Germany, and the stronger Hitler became the sooner and more likely he was to attack the Soviet Union.
Now Roberts is very much an orthodox historian, and he certainly does not believe in an impending Soviet attack in 1941. His book is in fact pro-Soviet in many ways.

However, he obviously does accept that a German attack on the Soviet Union, launched in response to Soviet provocation in the Balkans, would have been pre-emptive in nature. The question is whether the actual German attack launched on 22 June 1941 was in response to such provocation, and therefore justifiably described as a pre-emptive strike, in Roberts' terms.

It is a fact that many of the Soviet moves in 1940 and 1941 were attempts to penetrate into the Balkans, and hence provocative from the German point of view.

The first such move was the ultimatum to Romania in June 1940, demanding the handover of Bessarabia and Bukovina. In the secret additional protocol to the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of 23 August 1939, Germany had in fact recognised the Soviet interest in Bessarabia, but not to Bukovina. Although Germany did not resist the Soviet move, and counselled Romania to give in to the ultimatum, it nevertheless regarded the Soviet Union as taking more than had been agreed. The annexation of the Romanian territories brought Soviet forces within striking distance of the Romanian oilfields, on which Germany depended for the major part of its fuel supply, and hence constituted a potential mortal threat to Germany. Two months later, in August 1940, Germany gave a guarantee to Romania, which the Soviet Union regarded as an unfriendly act.

Though 1940 there were a number of attempts by the Soviet Union to bring Bulgaria into its orbit, including the establishment of military bases in that country. It also put pressure on Turkey to give it control over the straits leading into the Black Sea, and to allow it to set up bases on the Dardanelles.

Those demands of the Soviet Union were repeated during Molotov's visit to Berlin in November 1940, and included in the subsequent Soviet proposals for joining a four-power pact.

From the German point of view, allowing the Soviet Union to station troops in Bulgaria would have constituted a severe danger to Romania, and Germany's fuel supply. Soviet troops could swoop south from Bessarabia and north from Bulgaria, swiftly occupying Romania and cutting off the oil, thereby bringing Germany to its knees.

The Soviet demands for the right to establish military bases in Bulgaria therefore constituted an intolerable provocation to Germany, of the sort that would justify a pre-emptive strike in Germany's eyes. It is significant that Hitler issued the final go-ahead for the preparation of Operation barbarossa, the attack on the Soviet Union, on 18 December, about three weeks after the Soviet Union had issued its proposals for its occupation of Bulgaria on 25 November. All the previous planning for an attack on the Soviet Union had been of a contingent nature.

The last straw was Soviet connivance in the Serb nationalist coup of 27 March 1941, which overthrew the pro-German Government of Yugoslavia that had joined the Tripartite Pact on 25 March. The Soviet Union immediately signed an alliance with the new Yugoslav Government aimed against Germany, but it was nullified by the swift german conquest of Yugoslavia.

All the above-mentioned actions of the Soviet Union constituted a provocation to Germany, and a threat to its vital interests. Accordingly, the German attack on 22 June 1941 was a pre-emptive strike, in the sense in which Roberts defined that term.

The fact that the German attack was pre-emptive is also quite independent of the question of whether the Soviet Union was also planning an attack on Germany in 1941. Regardless of whether it was or was not planning such an attack, the German invasion in force was a pre-emptive strike.
All very wonderful, but where's the evidence that all these menacing Soviet moves were the Führer's main motivation for attacking the Soviet Union and not just one of several reasons that included overcoming the resistance of Great Britain by destroying its last hope on the European mainland and pursuing his long-cherished dream of conquering "living space" for the German people at the expense of the Judeo-Bolshevik sub-humans ?
Richard Overy ([i]Russia's War[/i], Penguin Books 1998, pages 60 and following) wrote:[….] The sudden expansion of Soviet territory westward, although conceded in principle in 1939, produced fresh anxieties in Berlin. The Soviet-Finnish war had left Germany in a difficult position, for her sympathies were with the Finns. After the end of the war German troops were stationed in Finland. The deliveries of machinery and weapons to the Soviet Union agreed upon in the pact were slow and irregular, in sharp contrast with the scrupulous provision by the Soviet side of materials and food. Despite constant Soviet complaints, the German suppliers dragged their heels whenever they could rather than allow the latest technology fall into Russian hands. From Hitler’s point of view the most unfortunate consequence of the pact was the rapid forward deployment of the Red Army in Eastern Europe. He was embroiled in a major war, which he had not wanted and which the pact had been supposed to avert. Now, instead of a powerful Germany dominating Eastern and Central Europe following Poland’s defeat, Germany was engaged in an unpredictable war against the British Empire, while the Soviet Union was free to extend its influence unchecked. The occupation of Bessarabia was a final blow. A few weeks later Goebbels wrote in his diary: ‘Perhaps we shall be forced to take steps against all this, despite everything, and drive this Asiatic spirit back out of Europe and into Asia, where it belongs.’
Hitler had anticipated him. On July 3 [1940],instructions were issued to the German armed forces, under the code name ‘Fritz’, to begin preliminary studies for an operation against the Soviet Union.[emphasis mine] At first the army believed that Hitler wanted to inflict only a local defeat on Soviet forces so as to push back the frontier between them and force Stalin to recognize ‘Germany’s dominant position in Europe’. The army told Hitler on July 21 that a limited campaign could be launched in four to six weeks. But Hitler’s ideas, which had at first been uncertain, hardened over the course of the month, as a stream of intelligence information came in showing how Soviet diplomats were now pushing into the Balkans in their efforts to spread Soviet influence. When Hitler’s Operations Chief, General Alfred Jodl, called together his senior colleagues on July 29, he had the most startling news. After making sure that every door and window in the conference room aboard a specially converted train was tightly sealed, he announced that Hitler had decided to rid the world ‘once and for all’ of the Soviet menace by a surprise attack scheduled for May 1941.[emphasis mine]
[….]
There can be no doubt that practical strategic issues did push Hitler towards the most radical of military solutions. But a great war in the East had always been part of his thinking. Here was the real stuff of Lebensraum – living space.[emphasis mine] Hitler’s plans assumed fantastic proportions. By August he had decided to seize the whole vast area stretching from Archangel to Astrakhan (the ‘A-A Line’) and to populate it with fortified garrison cities, keeping the population under the permanent control of the master race, while a rump Asian state beyond the Urals, the Slavlands, would accommodate the rest of the Soviet people. Planning moved forward on this basis. By the spring of 1941 comprehensive programmes for the racial, political and economic exploitation of the new empire had been drawn up. ‘Russia’, Hitler is reported as saying, ‘will be our India!’.[emphasis mine]
Every effort was made to keep the whole enterprise camouflaged. Hitler maintained relations with his Soviet ally, although they became acutely strained. On 27 September 1940 he signed the Tripartite Pact with Japan and Italy, which divided the world into separate spheres of interest – ‘New Orders’ in the Mediterranean, eastern Asia and Europe. This realignment was read with unease in Moscow. The some month German troops appeared in Romania for the first time, and in Finland. Hungary and Romania joined the Tripartite Pact. In October Italy, which had joined the war on the German side in June, invaded Greece and opened up the prospect of fascist expansion into the Balkans. The on October 13 Stalin received a long, rambling letter from Ribbentrop which ended with a tantalizing invitation to join the Tripartite Pace and revise the world order together.
It is not entirely clear why Hitler authorized Ribbentrop to send the invitation. He may have hoped that the growing threat of the Soviet Union might be neutralized by agreement after all. He may have used it as an opportunity to find out just what Soviet ambitions were. But for Ribbentrop there was reason enough. He hoped that he could create a powerful bloc opposing the Anglo-Saxon powers and pull off another remarkable diplomatic coup. Stalin gave a cautious reply. It was arranged that Molotov go to Berlin in November. The object of the visit, according to General Alexander Vasilevsky, who accompanied him, was ‘to define Hitler’s intentions’ and to ‘hold off German aggression for as long as possible’. The evidence now suggests that Molotov was pursuing more than this, that Stalin wanted a second pact defining spheres of influence in Eastern Europe.
Molotov arrived by train on November 12. Two days of discussion followed which satisfied neither party. Molotov was so abrupt with Hitler that their meeting on the first afternoon became heated, and Hitler refused to attend the evening dinner to welcome the Soviet party. Hitler and Ribbentrop hinted that the Soviet Union should turn away from Europe towards British India. They talked in generalities, Molotov in details. His instructions were to discuss points that closely concerned Soviet security in Europe, but he found that the Germans were trying to get the Soviet Union embroiled in the war with Britain. There could be no agreement on this basis. In the middle of an embassy banquet on the 13th, Molotov found himself forced to take shelter from a British bombing raid. Taking advantage of the interruption, Ribbentrop presented Molotov with a draft treaty delimiting the Soviet ‘New Order’ ‘in the direction of the Indian Ocean’. With the noise of guns and bombs in the background, Molotov dismissed the suggestion and told Ribbentrop that what the Soviet Union really wanted was hard talking about Bulgaria, Turkey, Sweden, Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Greece. The following day Molotov returned to Moscow. On November 25 he filed with the German ambassador a list of demands that represented the Soviet price for extending the alliance: German withdrawal from Finland, a free hand for the Soviet Union in Iran and the Persian Gulf and Soviet bases in Bulgaria and Turkey. Hitler ordered Ribbentrop not to reply.[emphasis mine]
Agreement had always been unlikely, as both sides recognized. Goebbels watched Molotov and the Soviet delegation breakfasting with Hitler in the Chancellery. ‘Bolshevist subhumans’, he wrote in his diary, ‘not a single man of stature.’ On the very day of Molotov’s departure, Hitler ordered preparations ‘to settle accounts with Russia’. [emphasis mine] On December 15 he told his military staff that by the spring German ‘leadership, equipment and troops will visibly be at their zenith, the Russians at an unmistakable nadir’. On December 18 he signed War Directive Number 21 ordering the preparation for war on the Soviet Union, ‘Operation Barbarossa’. A date was set for the following May, ‘the first fine days’. [emphasis mine] On January 9, at his retreat in Berchtesgaden, he gave a speech on the future of Germany. ‘Russia must now be smashed,’ one witness recalled him saying. ‘The gigantic territory of Russia conceals immeasurable riches … Germany will have all means possible for waging war against continents … If this operation is carried through, Europe will hold its breath.’[...]
William Shirer ([i]The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich[/i], New York 1960, pages 795 and following) wrote:[...] It is clear from his acts and from the secret German papers that though Stalin was out to get all he could in Eastern Europe while the Germans were tied down in the West, he did not wish or contemplate a break with Hitler.
Toward the end of June [1940] Churchill had tried to warn Stalin in a personal letter of the danger of the German conquests to Russia as well as to Britain. The Soviet dictator did not bother to answer; probably, like everyone else, he thought Britain was finished. So he tattled to the Germans what the British government was up to. Sir Stafford Cripps, a left-wing Labor Party leader, whom the Prime Minister had rushed to Moscow as the new British ambassador in the hope of striking a more responsive chord among the Bolsheviks - a forlorn hope, as he later ruefully admitted - was received by Stalin early in July in an interview that Churchill described as “formal and rigid.” On July 13 Molotov, on Stalin’s instructions, handed the German ambassador a written memorandum of his confidential conversation.
It is an interesting document. It reveals, as no other source does, the severe limitations of the Soviet dicator in his cold calculations of foreign affairs. Schulenburg sped it to Berlin “most urgent” and, of course, “secret”, and Ribbentrop was so grateful for its contents that he told the Soviet government he “greatly appreciated this information”. Cripps had pressed Stalin, the memorandum said, for his attitude on this principal question, among others:

The British government was convinced that Germany was striving for hegemony in Europe . . . This was dangerous to the Soviet Union as well as England. Therefore both countries ought to agree on a common policy of self-protection against Germany and on the re-establishment of the European balance of power ...

Stalin’s answers are given as follows:

He did not see any danger of the hegemony of any one country in Europe and still less any danger that Europe might be engulfed by Germany. Stalin observed the policy of Germany, and knew several leading German statesmen well. He had not discovered any desire on their part to engulf European countries. Stalin was not of the opinion that German military successes menaced the Soviet Union and her friendly relations with Germany ...

Such staggering smugness, such abysmal ignorance leave one breathless. The Russian tyrant did not know, of course, the secrets of Hitler’s turgid mind, but the Führer’s past behavior, his known ambitions and the unexpectedly rapid Nazi conquests ought to have been enough to warn him of the dire danger the Soviet Union was now in. But, incomprehensibly, they were not enough.

From the captured Nazi documents and from the testimony of many leading German figures in the great drama that was being played over the vast expanse of Western Europe that year, it is plain that at the very moment of Stalin’s monumental complacency Hitler had in fact been mulling over in his mind the idea of turning on the Soviet Union and destroying her.

The basic idea went back much further, at least fifteen years - to Mein Kampf.

And so we National Socialists [Hitler wrote] take up where we broke off six hundred years ago. We stop the endless German movement toward the south and west of Europe and turn our gaze toward the lands of the East ... when we speak of new territory in Europe today we must think principally of Russia and her border vassal states. Destiny itself seems to wish to point our the way to us here ... This colossal empire in the East is ripe for dissolution, and the end of the Jewish domination in Russia will also be the end of Russia as a state.

This idea lay like bedrock in Hitler’s mind, and his pact with Stalin had not changed it at all, but merely postponed acting on it. And but briefly. In fact, less than two months after the deal was signed and had been utilized to destroy Poland, the Führer instructed the Army that the conquered Polish territory was to be regarded “as an assembly area for future German operations.” The date was October 18, 1939, and Halder recorded that day in his diary.
Five weeks later, on November 22, when he harangued his reluctant generals about attacking in the West, Russia was by no means out of his mind. “We can oppose Russia,” he declared, “only when we are free in the West.”
At that time the two-front war, the nightmare of German generals for a century, was very much on Hitler’s mind, and he spoke of it at length on this occasion. He would not repeat the mistake of former German rulers; he could continue to see to it that the Army had one front at a time.
It was only natural, then, that with the fall of France, the chasing of the British Army across the Channel and the prospects of Britain’s imminent collapse, Hitler’s thoughts should turn once again to Russia. For he now supposed himself to be free in the West and thereby to have achieved the one condition he had laid down in order to be in a position to “oppose Russia.” the rapidity with which Stalin seized the Baltic States and the two Romanian provinces in June spurred Hitler to a decision.
The moment of its making can now be traced. Jodl says that the “fundamental decision” was taken “as far back as during the Western Campaign.” Colonel Walter Warlimont, Jodl’s deputy at OKW, remembered that on July 29 Jodl announced at a meeting of Operations Staff officers that “Hitler intended to attack the U.S.S.R. in the spring of 1941.” Sometime previous to this meeting, Jodl related, Hitler had told Keitel “that he intended to launch the attack against the U.S.S.R. during the fall of 1940.” But this was too much even for Keitel and he had argued Hitler out of it by contending that not only the bad weather in the autumn but the difficulties of transferring the bulk of the Army from the West to the East made it impossible. By the time of this conference on July 29, Warlimont relates, “the date for the intended attack [against Russia] had been moved back to the spring of 1941.”
Only a week before, we know from Halder’s diary, the Führer had still held to a possible campaign in Russia for the autumn if Britain were not invaded. At a military conference in Berlin on July 21 he told Brauchitsch to get busy on the preparations for it.
That the Army Commander in Chief had already given the problem some thought - but not enough thought - is evident from his response to Hitler. Brauchitsch told the Leader that the campaign “would last four to six weeks” and that the aim would be “to defeat the Russian Army or at least to occupy enough Russian territory so that Soviet bombers could not reach Berlin or the Silesian industrial area while, on the other hand, the Luftwaffe bombers could reach all important objectives in the Soviet Union.” Brauchitsch thought that from eighty to a hundred German divisions could do the job; he assessed Russian strength at “fifty to seventy-five good divisions.” Halder’s notes on what Brauchitsch told him of the meeting show that Hitler had been stung by Stalin’s grabs in the East, that he thought the Soviet dictator was “coquetting with England” in order to encourage her to hold out, but that he had seen no signs that Russia was preparing to enter the war against Germany.
At a further conference at the Berghof on the last day of July 1940, the receding prospects of an invasion of Britain prompted Hitler to announce for the first time to his Army chiefs his decision on Russia. Halder was personally present this time and jotted down his shorthand notes of exactly what the warlord said. They reveal not only that Hitler had made a definite decision to attack Russia in the following spring but that he had already worked out in his mind the major strategic aims.

Britain’s hope [Hitler said] lies in Russia and America. If that hope in Russia is destroyed then it will be destroyed for America too because elimination of Russia will enormously increase Japan’s power in the Far East.

The more he thought of it the more convinced he was, Hitler said, that Britain’s stubborn determination to continue the war was due to its counting on the Soviet Union.

Something strange [he explained] has happened in Britain! The British were already completely down. Now they are back on their feet. Intercepted conversations. Russia unpleasantly disturbed by the swift development in Western Europe.
Russia needs only to hint to England that she does not wish to see Germany too strong and the English, like a drowning man, will regain hope that the situation in six to eight months will have completely changed.
But if Russia is smashed, Britain’s last hope will be shattered. Then Germany will be master of Europe and the Balkans.
Decision: In view of these considerations Russia must be liquidated. Spring, 1941.

The sooner Russia is smashed, the better.


The Nazi warlord then elaborated on his strategic plans which, it was obvious to the generals, had been ripening in his mind for some time despite all his preoccupations with the fighting in the West. The operation, he said, would be worth carrying out only if its aim was to shatter the Soviet nation in one great blow. Conquering a lot of Russian territory would not be enough. “Wiping out the very power to exist of Russia! That is the goal!” Hitler emphasized. There would be two initial drives: one in the south to Kiev and the Dnieper River, the second in the north up through the Baltic States and then toward Moscow. There the two armies would make a junction. After that a special operation, if necessary, to secure the Baku oil fields. The very thought of such new conquests excited Hitler; he already had in his mind what he would do with them. He would annex outright, he said, the Ukraine, White Russia and the Baltic States and extend Finland’s territory to the White Sea. For the whole operation he would allot 120 divisions, keeping sixty divisions for the defense of the West and Scandinavia. The attack, he laid it down, would begin in May 1941 and would take five months to carry through. It would be finished by winter. He would have preferred, he said, to do it this year but this had not proved possible.
The next day, August 1, Halder went to work on the plans with his General Staff. Though he would later claim to have opposed the whole idea of an attack on Russia as insane, his diary entry for this day discloses him full of enthusiasm as he applied himself to the challenging new task.
Planning now went ahead with typical German thoroughness on three levels: that of the Army General Staff, of Warlimont’s Operations Staff at OKW, of General Thomas’ Economic and Armaments Branch of OKW. Thomas was instructed on August 14 by Göring that Hitler desired deliveries of ordered goods to the Russians “only till spring of 1941.” In the meantime his office was to make a detailed survey of Soviet industry, transportation and oil centers both as a guide to targets and later on as an aid for administering Russia.
A few days before, on August 9, Warlimont had got out his first directive for preparing the deployment areas in the East for the jump-off against the Russians. On August 26, Hitler ordered ten infantry and two armored divisions to be sent from the West to Poland. The panzer units, he stipulated, were to be concentrated in southeastern Poland so that they could intervene to protect the Romanian oil fields. The transfer of large bodies of troops to the East could not be done without exciting Stalin’s easily aroused suspicions if he learned of it, and the Germans went to great lengths to see that he didn’t. Since some movements were bound to be detected, General Ernst Köstring, the German military attaché in Moscow, was instructed to inform the Soviet General Staff that it was merely a question of replacing older men, who were being released to industry, by younger men. On September 6, Jodl got out a directive outlining in considerable detail the means of camouflage and deception. “These regroupings,” he laid it down, “must not create the impression in Russia that we are preparing an offensive in the East.”
So that the armed services should not rest on their laurels after the great victories of the summer, Hitler issued on November 12, 1940, a comprehensive top-secret directive outlining military tasks all over Europe and beyond. We shall come back to some of them. What concerns us here is that portion dealing with the Soviet Union.

Political discussions have been initiated with the aim of clarifying Russia’s attitude for the time being. Irrespective of the results of these discussions, all preparations for the East which have already been verbally ordered will be continued. Instructions on this will follow, as soon as the general outline of the Army’s operation plans have been submitted to, and approved by, me.

As a matter of fact, on that very day, November 12, Molotov arrived in Berlin to continue with Hitler himself those political discussions.


Emphases are mine.

As I see it, a pre-emptive attack is one that is staged with the intention of anticipating an enemy aggression that is held to be imminent.

Mills' definition of the concept seems to be somewhat more generous, at least when it comes to Nazi Germany.

It should become clear from the above quotes, however, that Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union was not pre-emptive even by Mills' rather generous definition of the term.

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 18 Nov 2002 16:32

michael mills wrote:Julian,

You have introduced a red herring by dragging in the theses of Vladimir Bogdanovich Rezun, aka Viktor Suvorov.

I specifially wrote (in order to ward off such red herrings in advance):
The fact that the German attack was pre-emptive is also quite independent of the question of whether the Soviet Union was also planning an attack on Germany in 1941. Regardless of whether it was or was not planning such an attack, the German invasion in force was a pre-emptive strike.
The herring of a Soviet pre-emptive strike Mills has been trying to sell - rather unsuccessfully - on the thread

"Stalin's War of Extermination", by Joachim Hoffma
http://www.thirdreichforum.com/phpBB2/v ... a578845ca2

where Suvorov’s misrepresentation of various sources of his has been shown, among other things.

Mills obviously expects the audience of this section not to frequent the “Holocaust & Warcrimes” section of the forum.

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Post by Marcus » 18 Nov 2002 18:16

I wonder, how many times has this been discussed in the forum?

/Marcus

valadezaj
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Posts: 166
Joined: 23 Apr 2002 14:16
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Reply to Robeerto.

Post by valadezaj » 18 Nov 2002 21:18

The reasons for operation barbarossa are clear and were stated by Hitler himself in his speech to the reichstag on the day of the attack. I posted the speech in another thread and here it is again.

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 3:50 pm Post subject: Reply.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For what it's what it's worth here is what Hitler himself had to say about the invasion of the SU.
BTW you can see more by going to this link: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/ww2.htm

REICHFUEHRER ADOLF HITLER'S PROCLAMATION ON WAR WITH SOVIET UNION


June 22, 1941


[New York Times, June 23, 1941]


GERMAN PEOPLE!


NATIONAL SOCIALISTS


Weighted down with heavy cares, condemned to months-long silence, the hour has now come when at last I can speak frankly.


When on Sept. 3, 1939, the German Reich received the English declaration of war there was repeated anew a British attempt to render impossible every beginning of a consolidation and thereby of Europe's rise, by fighting whatever power on the Continent was strongest at any given time.


That is how of yore England ruined Spain in many wars. That is how she conducted her wars against Holland. That is how later she fought France with the aid of all Europe and that is how at the turn of the century she began the encirclement of the then German Reich and in 1914 the World War. Only on account of its internal dissension was Germany defeated in 1918. The consequences were terrible.


After hypocritical declarations that the fight was solely against the Kaiser and his regime, the annihilation of the German Reich began according to plan after the German Army had laid down its arms.


While the prophecies of the French statement, that there were 20,000,000 Germans too many-in other words, that this number would have to be exterminated by hunger, disease or emigration-were apparently being fulfilled to the letter, the National Socialist movement began its work of unifying the German people and thereby initiating resurgence of the Reich. This rise of our people from distress, misery and shameful disregard bore all the signs of a purely internal renaissance. Britain especially was not in any way affected or threatened thereby.


Nevertheless, a new policy of encirclement against Germany, born as it was of hatred, recommenced immediately. Internally and externally there resulted that plot familiar to us all between Jews and democrats, Bolshevists and reactionaries, with the sole aim of inhibiting the establishment of the new German people's State, and of plunging the Reich anew into impotence and misery.


Apart from us the hatred of this international world conspiracy was directed against those people which like ourselves were neglected by fortune and were obliged to earn their daily bread in the hardest struggle for existence.


Above all the right of Italy and Japan to share in the goods of this world was contested just as much as that of Germany and in fact was formally denied.


The coalition of these nations was, therefore, only an act of self-protection in the face of the egoistic world combination of wealth and power threatening them.


As early as 1936 Prime Minister Churchill, according to statements by the American General Wood before a committee of the American House of Representatives, declared Germany was once again becoming too powerful and must therefore be destroyed.


In the Summer of 1939 the time seemed to have come for England to begin to realize its intended annihilation by repetition of a comprehensive policy of encirclement of Germany.


The plan of the campaign of lies staged for this purpose consisted in declaring that other people were threatened, in tricking them with British promises of guarantees and assistance, and of making them march against Germany just as it did preceding the great war.


Thus Britain from May to August, 1939, succeeded in broadcasting to the world that Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Bessarabia as well as the Ukraine were being directly threatened by Germany.


A number of these States allowed themselves to be misled into accepting the promise of guarantee proffered with these assertions, thus joining the new encirclement front against Germany. Under these circumstances I consider myself entitled to assume responsibility before my own conscience and before the history of the German people not only of assuring these countries or their governments of the falseness of British assertions, but also of setting the strongest power in the east, by especially solemn declarations, at rest concerning the limits of our interests.


National Socialists! At that time you probably all felt that this step was bitter and difficult for me. Never did the German people harbor hostile feeling against the peoples of Russia. However, for over ten years Jewish Bolshevist rulers had been endeavoring from Moscow to set not only Germany but all Europe aflame. At no time ever did Germany attempt to carry her National Socialist Weltanschauung into Russia, but on the contrary Jewish Bolshevist rulers in Moscow unswervingly endeavored to foist their domination upon us and other European peoples, not only by ideological means but above all with military force.


The consequences of the activity of this regime were nothing but chaos, misery and starvation in all countries. I, on the other hand, have been striving for twenty years with a minimum of intervention and without destroying our production, to arrive at a new Socialist order in Germany which not only eliminates unemployment but also permits the worker to receive an ever greater share of the fruits of his labor.


The success of this policy of economic and social reconstruction of our people, which by systematically eliminating differences of rank and class, has a true peoples' community as the final aim of the world.


It was therefore only with extreme difficulty that I brought myself in August, 1939, to send my Foreign Minister to Moscow in an endeavor there to oppose the British encirclement policy against Germany.


I did this only from a sense of all responsibility toward the German people, but above all in the hope after all of achieving permanent relief of tension and of being able to reduce sacrifices which might otherwise have been demanded of us.


While Germany solemnly affirmed in Moscow that the territories and countries enumerated-with the exception of Lithuania-lay outside all German political interests, a special agreement was concluded in case Britain were to succeed in inciting Poland actually into war with Germany.


In this case, too, German claims were subject to limitations entirely out of proportion to the achievement of German forces.


National Socialists! The consequences of this treaty which I myself desired and which was concluded in the interests of the German nation were very severe, particularly for Germans living in the countries concerned.


Far more than 500,000 German men and women, all small farmers, artisans and workmen, were forced to leave their former homeland practically overnight in order to escape from a new regime which at first threatened them with boundless misery and sooner or later with complete extermination.


Nevertheless, thousands of Germans disappeared. It was impossible ever to determine their fate, let alone their whereabouts.


Among them were no fewer than 160 men of German citizenship. To all this I remained silent because I had to. For, after all, it was my one desire to achieve final relief of tension and, if possible, a permanent settlement with this State.


However, already during our advance in Poland, Soviet rulers suddenly, contrary to the treaty, also claimed Lithuania.


The German Reich never had any intention of occupying Lithuania and not only failed to present any such demand to the Lithuanian Government, but on the contrary refused the request of the then Lithuania to send German troops to Lithuania for that purpose as inconsistent with the aims of German policy.


Despite all this I complied also with this fresh Russian demand. However, this was only the beginning of continually renewed extortions which kept on repeating ever since.


Victory in Poland which was won by German troops exclusively caused me to address yet another peace offer to the Western Powers. It was refused owing to efforts of international and Jewish warmongers.


At that time already the reason for such refusal lay in the fact that Britain still had hopes of being able to mobilize a European coalition against Germany which was to include the Balkans and Soviet Russia.


It was therefore decided in London to send Mr. Cripps [Sir Stafford Cripps] as Ambassador to Moscow. He received clear instructions under all circumstances to resume relations between the English and Soviet Russia and develop them in a pro-British direction. The British press reported on the progress of this mission as long as tactical reasons did not impose silence.


In the Autumn of 1939 and Spring of 1940 the first results actually made themselves felt. As Russia undertook to subjugate by armed force not only Finland but also the Baltic States she suddenly motivated this action by the assertion, as ridiculous as it was false, that she must protect these countries from an outside menace or forestall it.


This could only be meant to apply to Germany, for no other power could even gain entrance into the Baltic area, let alone go to war there. Still I had to be silent. However, those in power in the Kremlin immediately went further.


Whereas in the Spring of 1940 Germany, in accordance with the so-called pact of friendship, withdrew her forces from the Far Eastern frontier and, in fact, for the most part cleared these areas entirely of German troops, a concentration of Russian forces at that time was already beginning in a measure which could only be regarded as a deliberate threat to Germany.


According to a statement that Molotoff [Soviet Foreign Minister and then Premier Vyachesiaff Molotoff] personally made at that time, there were twenty-two Russian divisions in the Baltic States alone already in the Spring of 1940.


Since the Russian Government itself always claimed it was called in by the local population, the purpose of their presence there could only be a demonstration against Germany.


While our soldiers from May 5, 1940, on had been breaking Franco British power in the west, Russian military deployment on our eastern frontier was being continued to a more and more menacing extent.


From August, 1940, on I therefore considered it to be in the interest of the Reich no longer to permit our eastern provinces, which moreover had already been laid waste so often, to remain unprotected in the face of this tremendous concentration of Bolshevist divisions.


Thus there resulted British-Soviet Russian cooperation intended mainly at the tying up of such powerful forces in the east that radical conclusion of the war in the west, particularly as regards aircraft, could no longer be vouched for by the German High Command.


This, however, was in line with the objects not only of the British but also of the Soviet Russian policy, for both England and Soviet Russia intend to let this war go on for as long as possible in order to weaken all Europe and render it progressively more impotent.


Russia's threatened attack on Rumania was in the last analysis equally intended to gain possession of an important base, not only of Germany's but also of Europe's economic life, or at least destroy it. The Reich, especially since 1933, sought with unending patience to gain States in Southeast Europe as trading partners. We therefore also had the greatest interest in their internal constitutional consolidation and organization. Russia's advance into Rumania and Greece's tie-up with England threatened to turn these regions, too, within a short time into a general theatre of war.


Contrary to our principles and customs, and at the urgent request of the then Rumanian Government, which was itself responsible for this development, I advised acquiescence to the Soviet Russian demands for the sake of peace and the cession of Bessarabia.


The Rumanian Government believed, however, that it could answer for this before its own people only if Germany and Italy in compensation would at least guarantee the integrity of what still remained of Rumania.


I did so with heavy heart, principally because when the German Reich gives a guarantee that means it also abides by it. We are neither Englishmen nor Jews.


I still believe at this late hour to have served the cause of peace in that region, albeit by assuming serious personal obligation. In order, however, finally to solve these problems and achieve clarity concerning the Russian attitude toward Germany, as well as under pressure of continually increasing mobilization on our Eastern frontier, I invited Mr. Molotoff to come to Berlin.


The Soviet Minister for Foreign Affairs then demanded Germany's clarification of an agreement to the following four questions:


Point One was Molotoff's question: Was the German guarantee for Rumania also directed against Soviet Russia in case of attack by Soviet Russia on Rumania?


My answer: The German guarantee is a general one and is unconditionally binding upon us. Russia, however, never declared to us that she had other interests in Rumania beyond Bessarabia. The occupation of Northern Bukovina had already been a violation of this assurance. I did not therefore think that Russia could now suddenly have more far-reaching intentions against Rumania.


Molotoff's second question: That Russia again felt menaced by Finland. Russia was determined not to tolerate this. Was Germany ready not to give any aid to Finland and above all immediately to withdraw German relief troops marching through to Kirkenes?


My answer: Germany continued to have absolutely no political interests in Finland. A fresh war by Russia against the small Finnish people could not, however, be regarded any longer by the German Government as tolerable, all the more so as we could never believe Russia to be threatened by Finland. Under no circumstances did we want another theatre of war to arise in the Baltic.


Molotoff's third question: Was Germany prepared to agree that Russia give a guarantee to Bulgaria and send Soviet Russian troops to Bulgaria for this purpose in connection with which he-Molotoff-was prepared to state that the Soviets did not intend on that account, for example, to depose the King?


My answer: Bulgaria was a sovereign State and I had no knowledge that Bulgaria had ever asked Soviet Russia for any kind of guarantee such as Rumania had requested from Germany. Moreover, I would have to discuss the matter with my allies.


Molotoff's fourth question: Soviet Russia required free passage through the Dardenelles under all circumstances and for her protection also demanded occupation of a number of important bases on the Dardenelles and Bosphorus. Was Germany in agreement with this or not?


My answer: Germany was prepared at all times to agree to alteration of the Statute of Montreux in favor of the Black Sea States. Germany was not prepared to agree to Russia's taking possession of bases on the Straits.


National Socialists! Here I adopted the only attitude that I could adopt as the responsible leader of the German Reich but also as the representative of European culture and civilization and conscious of my responsibility.


The consequence was to increase in Soviet Russia the activity directed against the Reich, above all, however, the immediate commencement of undermining the new Rumanian State from within and an attempt to remove the Bulgarian Government by propaganda.


With the help of the confused and immature leaders of the Rumanian Legion (Iron Guard) a coup d'etat was staged in Rumania whose aim was to overthrow Chief of State General Antonescu and produce chaos in the country so as to remove all legal power of the government and thus the precondition for an implement of the German guarantee.


I nevertheless still believed it best to remain silent.


Immediately after the failure of this undertaking, renewed reinforcement of concentrations of Russian troops on Germany's eastern frontier took place. Panzer detachments and parachutists were transferred in continually increasing numbers to dangerous proximity to the German frontier. German fighting forces and the German nation know that until a few weeks ago not a single tank or mechanized division was stationed on our eastern frontier.


If any final proof was required for the coalition meanwhile formed between England and Soviet Russia despite all diversion and camouflage, the Yugoslav conflict provided it.


While I made every effort to undertake a final attempt to pacify the Balkans and in sympathetic cooperation with Il Duce invited Yugoslavia to join the Tripartite Pact, England and Soviet Russia in a joint conspiracy organized that coup d'etat which in one night removed the then government which had been ready to come to agreement.


For we can today inform the German nation that the Serb Putsch against Germany did not take place merely under the British, but primarily under Soviet Russian auspices. As we remained silent on this matter also, the Soviet leaders now went still one step further. They not only organized the Putsch, but a few days later also concluded that well-known friendship pact with the Serbs in their will to resist pacification of the Balkans and incite them against Germany.


And this was no platonic intention: Moscow demanded mobilization of the Serb Army.


Since even now I still believe it better not to speak, those in power in the Kremlin went still further: The Government of the German Reich today possesses documentary evidence which proves that Russia, in order finally to bring Serbia into the war, gave her a promise to supply her via Salonika with arms, aircraft, munitions and other war materials against Germany.


And this happened almost at the very moment when I myself advised Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka that eased tension with Russia always was in hope, thereby to serve the cause of peace.


Only the rapid advance of our incomparable divisions to Skoplie as well as the capture of Salonika itself frustrated the aims of this Soviet Russian-Anglo-Saxon plot. Officers of the Serb air force, however, fled to Russia and were there immediately received as allies.


The victory of the Axis Powers in the Balkans in the first instance thwarted the plan to involve Germany this Summer in months-long battles in Southeastern Europe while meantime steadily completing the alignment of Soviet Russian armies and increasing their readiness for war in order, finally, together with England and supported by American supplies anticipated, to crush the German Reich and Italy.


Thus Moscow not only broke but miserably betrayed the stipulations of our friendly agreement. All this was done while the rulers in the Kremlin, exactly as in the case of Finland and Rumania, up to the last moment pretended peace and friendship and drew up an ostensibly innocent démenti.


Although until now I was forced by circumstances to keep silent again and again, the moment has now come when to continue as a mere observer would not only be a sin of omission but a crime against the German people-yes, even against the whole of Europe.


Today something like 160 Russian divisions are standing at our frontiers. For weeks constant violations of this frontier have taken place, not only affecting us but from the far north down to Rumania.


Russian airmen consider it sport nonchalantly to overlook these frontiers, presumably to prove to us that they already feel themselves masters of these territories.


During the night of June 17 to June 18 Russian patrols again penetrated into the Reich's territory and could only be driven back after prolonged firing. This has brought us to the hour when it is necessary for us to take steps against this plot devised by the Jewish Anglo-Saxon warmongers and equally the Jewish rulers of the Bolshevist center in Moscow.


German people! At this moment a march is taking place that, as regards extent, compares with the greatest the world hitherto has seen. United with their Finnish comrades, the fighters of the victory of Narvik are standing in the Northern Arctic. German divisions commanded by the conqueror of Norway, in cooperation with the heroes of Finnish freedom, under their marshal, are protecting Finnish soil.


Formations of the German Eastern Front extend from East Prussia to the Carpathians. German and Rumanian soldiers are united under Chief of State Antonescu from the banks of the Pruth along the lower reaches of the Danube to the shores of the Black Sea. The task of this front, therefore, no longer is the protection of single countries, but the safeguarding of Europe and thereby the salvation of all.


I therefore decided today again to lay the fate and future of the German Reich and our people in the hands of our soldiers.


May God help us especially in this fight!


*****

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As you can see it was a preventive war. Hitler was reacting to yet another
Jewish bolshevik plot to destroy Germany.

User avatar
Roberto
Member
Posts: 4505
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 15:35
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Re: Reply to Robeerto.

Post by Roberto » 18 Nov 2002 21:22

valadezaj wrote:The reasons for operation barbarossa are clear and were stated by Hitler himself in his speech to the reichstag on the day of the attack. I posted the speech in another thread and here it is again.

Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 3:50 pm Post subject: Reply.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For what it's what it's worth here is what Hitler himself had to say about the invasion of the SU.
BTW you can see more by going to this link: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/ww2.htm

REICHFUEHRER ADOLF HITLER'S PROCLAMATION ON WAR WITH SOVIET UNION


June 22, 1941


[New York Times, June 23, 1941]


GERMAN PEOPLE!


NATIONAL SOCIALISTS


Weighted down with heavy cares, condemned to months-long silence, the hour has now come when at last I can speak frankly.


When on Sept. 3, 1939, the German Reich received the English declaration of war there was repeated anew a British attempt to render impossible every beginning of a consolidation and thereby of Europe's rise, by fighting whatever power on the Continent was strongest at any given time.


That is how of yore England ruined Spain in many wars. That is how she conducted her wars against Holland. That is how later she fought France with the aid of all Europe and that is how at the turn of the century she began the encirclement of the then German Reich and in 1914 the World War. Only on account of its internal dissension was Germany defeated in 1918. The consequences were terrible.


After hypocritical declarations that the fight was solely against the Kaiser and his regime, the annihilation of the German Reich began according to plan after the German Army had laid down its arms.


While the prophecies of the French statement, that there were 20,000,000 Germans too many-in other words, that this number would have to be exterminated by hunger, disease or emigration-were apparently being fulfilled to the letter, the National Socialist movement began its work of unifying the German people and thereby initiating resurgence of the Reich. This rise of our people from distress, misery and shameful disregard bore all the signs of a purely internal renaissance. Britain especially was not in any way affected or threatened thereby.


Nevertheless, a new policy of encirclement against Germany, born as it was of hatred, recommenced immediately. Internally and externally there resulted that plot familiar to us all between Jews and democrats, Bolshevists and reactionaries, with the sole aim of inhibiting the establishment of the new German people's State, and of plunging the Reich anew into impotence and misery.


Apart from us the hatred of this international world conspiracy was directed against those people which like ourselves were neglected by fortune and were obliged to earn their daily bread in the hardest struggle for existence.


Above all the right of Italy and Japan to share in the goods of this world was contested just as much as that of Germany and in fact was formally denied.


The coalition of these nations was, therefore, only an act of self-protection in the face of the egoistic world combination of wealth and power threatening them.


As early as 1936 Prime Minister Churchill, according to statements by the American General Wood before a committee of the American House of Representatives, declared Germany was once again becoming too powerful and must therefore be destroyed.


In the Summer of 1939 the time seemed to have come for England to begin to realize its intended annihilation by repetition of a comprehensive policy of encirclement of Germany.


The plan of the campaign of lies staged for this purpose consisted in declaring that other people were threatened, in tricking them with British promises of guarantees and assistance, and of making them march against Germany just as it did preceding the great war.


Thus Britain from May to August, 1939, succeeded in broadcasting to the world that Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Finland and Bessarabia as well as the Ukraine were being directly threatened by Germany.


A number of these States allowed themselves to be misled into accepting the promise of guarantee proffered with these assertions, thus joining the new encirclement front against Germany. Under these circumstances I consider myself entitled to assume responsibility before my own conscience and before the history of the German people not only of assuring these countries or their governments of the falseness of British assertions, but also of setting the strongest power in the east, by especially solemn declarations, at rest concerning the limits of our interests.


National Socialists! At that time you probably all felt that this step was bitter and difficult for me. Never did the German people harbor hostile feeling against the peoples of Russia. However, for over ten years Jewish Bolshevist rulers had been endeavoring from Moscow to set not only Germany but all Europe aflame. At no time ever did Germany attempt to carry her National Socialist Weltanschauung into Russia, but on the contrary Jewish Bolshevist rulers in Moscow unswervingly endeavored to foist their domination upon us and other European peoples, not only by ideological means but above all with military force.


The consequences of the activity of this regime were nothing but chaos, misery and starvation in all countries. I, on the other hand, have been striving for twenty years with a minimum of intervention and without destroying our production, to arrive at a new Socialist order in Germany which not only eliminates unemployment but also permits the worker to receive an ever greater share of the fruits of his labor.


The success of this policy of economic and social reconstruction of our people, which by systematically eliminating differences of rank and class, has a true peoples' community as the final aim of the world.


It was therefore only with extreme difficulty that I brought myself in August, 1939, to send my Foreign Minister to Moscow in an endeavor there to oppose the British encirclement policy against Germany.


I did this only from a sense of all responsibility toward the German people, but above all in the hope after all of achieving permanent relief of tension and of being able to reduce sacrifices which might otherwise have been demanded of us.


While Germany solemnly affirmed in Moscow that the territories and countries enumerated-with the exception of Lithuania-lay outside all German political interests, a special agreement was concluded in case Britain were to succeed in inciting Poland actually into war with Germany.


In this case, too, German claims were subject to limitations entirely out of proportion to the achievement of German forces.


National Socialists! The consequences of this treaty which I myself desired and which was concluded in the interests of the German nation were very severe, particularly for Germans living in the countries concerned.


Far more than 500,000 German men and women, all small farmers, artisans and workmen, were forced to leave their former homeland practically overnight in order to escape from a new regime which at first threatened them with boundless misery and sooner or later with complete extermination.


Nevertheless, thousands of Germans disappeared. It was impossible ever to determine their fate, let alone their whereabouts.


Among them were no fewer than 160 men of German citizenship. To all this I remained silent because I had to. For, after all, it was my one desire to achieve final relief of tension and, if possible, a permanent settlement with this State.


However, already during our advance in Poland, Soviet rulers suddenly, contrary to the treaty, also claimed Lithuania.


The German Reich never had any intention of occupying Lithuania and not only failed to present any such demand to the Lithuanian Government, but on the contrary refused the request of the then Lithuania to send German troops to Lithuania for that purpose as inconsistent with the aims of German policy.


Despite all this I complied also with this fresh Russian demand. However, this was only the beginning of continually renewed extortions which kept on repeating ever since.


Victory in Poland which was won by German troops exclusively caused me to address yet another peace offer to the Western Powers. It was refused owing to efforts of international and Jewish warmongers.


At that time already the reason for such refusal lay in the fact that Britain still had hopes of being able to mobilize a European coalition against Germany which was to include the Balkans and Soviet Russia.


It was therefore decided in London to send Mr. Cripps [Sir Stafford Cripps] as Ambassador to Moscow. He received clear instructions under all circumstances to resume relations between the English and Soviet Russia and develop them in a pro-British direction. The British press reported on the progress of this mission as long as tactical reasons did not impose silence.


In the Autumn of 1939 and Spring of 1940 the first results actually made themselves felt. As Russia undertook to subjugate by armed force not only Finland but also the Baltic States she suddenly motivated this action by the assertion, as ridiculous as it was false, that she must protect these countries from an outside menace or forestall it.


This could only be meant to apply to Germany, for no other power could even gain entrance into the Baltic area, let alone go to war there. Still I had to be silent. However, those in power in the Kremlin immediately went further.


Whereas in the Spring of 1940 Germany, in accordance with the so-called pact of friendship, withdrew her forces from the Far Eastern frontier and, in fact, for the most part cleared these areas entirely of German troops, a concentration of Russian forces at that time was already beginning in a measure which could only be regarded as a deliberate threat to Germany.


According to a statement that Molotoff [Soviet Foreign Minister and then Premier Vyachesiaff Molotoff] personally made at that time, there were twenty-two Russian divisions in the Baltic States alone already in the Spring of 1940.


Since the Russian Government itself always claimed it was called in by the local population, the purpose of their presence there could only be a demonstration against Germany.


While our soldiers from May 5, 1940, on had been breaking Franco British power in the west, Russian military deployment on our eastern frontier was being continued to a more and more menacing extent.


From August, 1940, on I therefore considered it to be in the interest of the Reich no longer to permit our eastern provinces, which moreover had already been laid waste so often, to remain unprotected in the face of this tremendous concentration of Bolshevist divisions.


Thus there resulted British-Soviet Russian cooperation intended mainly at the tying up of such powerful forces in the east that radical conclusion of the war in the west, particularly as regards aircraft, could no longer be vouched for by the German High Command.


This, however, was in line with the objects not only of the British but also of the Soviet Russian policy, for both England and Soviet Russia intend to let this war go on for as long as possible in order to weaken all Europe and render it progressively more impotent.


Russia's threatened attack on Rumania was in the last analysis equally intended to gain possession of an important base, not only of Germany's but also of Europe's economic life, or at least destroy it. The Reich, especially since 1933, sought with unending patience to gain States in Southeast Europe as trading partners. We therefore also had the greatest interest in their internal constitutional consolidation and organization. Russia's advance into Rumania and Greece's tie-up with England threatened to turn these regions, too, within a short time into a general theatre of war.


Contrary to our principles and customs, and at the urgent request of the then Rumanian Government, which was itself responsible for this development, I advised acquiescence to the Soviet Russian demands for the sake of peace and the cession of Bessarabia.


The Rumanian Government believed, however, that it could answer for this before its own people only if Germany and Italy in compensation would at least guarantee the integrity of what still remained of Rumania.


I did so with heavy heart, principally because when the German Reich gives a guarantee that means it also abides by it. We are neither Englishmen nor Jews.


I still believe at this late hour to have served the cause of peace in that region, albeit by assuming serious personal obligation. In order, however, finally to solve these problems and achieve clarity concerning the Russian attitude toward Germany, as well as under pressure of continually increasing mobilization on our Eastern frontier, I invited Mr. Molotoff to come to Berlin.


The Soviet Minister for Foreign Affairs then demanded Germany's clarification of an agreement to the following four questions:


Point One was Molotoff's question: Was the German guarantee for Rumania also directed against Soviet Russia in case of attack by Soviet Russia on Rumania?


My answer: The German guarantee is a general one and is unconditionally binding upon us. Russia, however, never declared to us that she had other interests in Rumania beyond Bessarabia. The occupation of Northern Bukovina had already been a violation of this assurance. I did not therefore think that Russia could now suddenly have more far-reaching intentions against Rumania.


Molotoff's second question: That Russia again felt menaced by Finland. Russia was determined not to tolerate this. Was Germany ready not to give any aid to Finland and above all immediately to withdraw German relief troops marching through to Kirkenes?


My answer: Germany continued to have absolutely no political interests in Finland. A fresh war by Russia against the small Finnish people could not, however, be regarded any longer by the German Government as tolerable, all the more so as we could never believe Russia to be threatened by Finland. Under no circumstances did we want another theatre of war to arise in the Baltic.


Molotoff's third question: Was Germany prepared to agree that Russia give a guarantee to Bulgaria and send Soviet Russian troops to Bulgaria for this purpose in connection with which he-Molotoff-was prepared to state that the Soviets did not intend on that account, for example, to depose the King?


My answer: Bulgaria was a sovereign State and I had no knowledge that Bulgaria had ever asked Soviet Russia for any kind of guarantee such as Rumania had requested from Germany. Moreover, I would have to discuss the matter with my allies.


Molotoff's fourth question: Soviet Russia required free passage through the Dardenelles under all circumstances and for her protection also demanded occupation of a number of important bases on the Dardenelles and Bosphorus. Was Germany in agreement with this or not?


My answer: Germany was prepared at all times to agree to alteration of the Statute of Montreux in favor of the Black Sea States. Germany was not prepared to agree to Russia's taking possession of bases on the Straits.


National Socialists! Here I adopted the only attitude that I could adopt as the responsible leader of the German Reich but also as the representative of European culture and civilization and conscious of my responsibility.


The consequence was to increase in Soviet Russia the activity directed against the Reich, above all, however, the immediate commencement of undermining the new Rumanian State from within and an attempt to remove the Bulgarian Government by propaganda.


With the help of the confused and immature leaders of the Rumanian Legion (Iron Guard) a coup d'etat was staged in Rumania whose aim was to overthrow Chief of State General Antonescu and produce chaos in the country so as to remove all legal power of the government and thus the precondition for an implement of the German guarantee.


I nevertheless still believed it best to remain silent.


Immediately after the failure of this undertaking, renewed reinforcement of concentrations of Russian troops on Germany's eastern frontier took place. Panzer detachments and parachutists were transferred in continually increasing numbers to dangerous proximity to the German frontier. German fighting forces and the German nation know that until a few weeks ago not a single tank or mechanized division was stationed on our eastern frontier.


If any final proof was required for the coalition meanwhile formed between England and Soviet Russia despite all diversion and camouflage, the Yugoslav conflict provided it.


While I made every effort to undertake a final attempt to pacify the Balkans and in sympathetic cooperation with Il Duce invited Yugoslavia to join the Tripartite Pact, England and Soviet Russia in a joint conspiracy organized that coup d'etat which in one night removed the then government which had been ready to come to agreement.


For we can today inform the German nation that the Serb Putsch against Germany did not take place merely under the British, but primarily under Soviet Russian auspices. As we remained silent on this matter also, the Soviet leaders now went still one step further. They not only organized the Putsch, but a few days later also concluded that well-known friendship pact with the Serbs in their will to resist pacification of the Balkans and incite them against Germany.


And this was no platonic intention: Moscow demanded mobilization of the Serb Army.


Since even now I still believe it better not to speak, those in power in the Kremlin went still further: The Government of the German Reich today possesses documentary evidence which proves that Russia, in order finally to bring Serbia into the war, gave her a promise to supply her via Salonika with arms, aircraft, munitions and other war materials against Germany.


And this happened almost at the very moment when I myself advised Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka that eased tension with Russia always was in hope, thereby to serve the cause of peace.


Only the rapid advance of our incomparable divisions to Skoplie as well as the capture of Salonika itself frustrated the aims of this Soviet Russian-Anglo-Saxon plot. Officers of the Serb air force, however, fled to Russia and were there immediately received as allies.


The victory of the Axis Powers in the Balkans in the first instance thwarted the plan to involve Germany this Summer in months-long battles in Southeastern Europe while meantime steadily completing the alignment of Soviet Russian armies and increasing their readiness for war in order, finally, together with England and supported by American supplies anticipated, to crush the German Reich and Italy.


Thus Moscow not only broke but miserably betrayed the stipulations of our friendly agreement. All this was done while the rulers in the Kremlin, exactly as in the case of Finland and Rumania, up to the last moment pretended peace and friendship and drew up an ostensibly innocent démenti.


Although until now I was forced by circumstances to keep silent again and again, the moment has now come when to continue as a mere observer would not only be a sin of omission but a crime against the German people-yes, even against the whole of Europe.


Today something like 160 Russian divisions are standing at our frontiers. For weeks constant violations of this frontier have taken place, not only affecting us but from the far north down to Rumania.


Russian airmen consider it sport nonchalantly to overlook these frontiers, presumably to prove to us that they already feel themselves masters of these territories.


During the night of June 17 to June 18 Russian patrols again penetrated into the Reich's territory and could only be driven back after prolonged firing. This has brought us to the hour when it is necessary for us to take steps against this plot devised by the Jewish Anglo-Saxon warmongers and equally the Jewish rulers of the Bolshevist center in Moscow.


German people! At this moment a march is taking place that, as regards extent, compares with the greatest the world hitherto has seen. United with their Finnish comrades, the fighters of the victory of Narvik are standing in the Northern Arctic. German divisions commanded by the conqueror of Norway, in cooperation with the heroes of Finnish freedom, under their marshal, are protecting Finnish soil.


Formations of the German Eastern Front extend from East Prussia to the Carpathians. German and Rumanian soldiers are united under Chief of State Antonescu from the banks of the Pruth along the lower reaches of the Danube to the shores of the Black Sea. The task of this front, therefore, no longer is the protection of single countries, but the safeguarding of Europe and thereby the salvation of all.


I therefore decided today again to lay the fate and future of the German Reich and our people in the hands of our soldiers.


May God help us especially in this fight!


*****

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As you can see it was a preventive war. Hitler was reacting to yet another
Jewish bolshevik plot to destroy Germany.
So he said in his official proclamation.

For what that is worth, as you said.

Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 18 Nov 2002 21:24

Marcus Wendel wrote:I wonder, how many times has this been discussed in the forum?

/Marcus
My guess is over 40 times :).

Of course it always pretty much ends the same way with no one agreeing on anything, or anyone changing their long entrenched opinion on it. Including my own. I doubt there is anything even new to learn from it. Or is simply locked.

valadezaj
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Reply to Roberto.

Post by valadezaj » 18 Nov 2002 21:39

I don't see why Hitler's words are worthless. He was the one in charge. His explanation makes perfect sense to me and you didn't even try to refute it. Is it perhaps because you can't?

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Scott Smith
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Re: Reply to Roberto.

Post by Scott Smith » 19 Nov 2002 00:05

valadezaj wrote:I don't see why Hitler's words are worthless. He was the one in charge. His explanation makes perfect sense to me and you didn't even try to refute it. Is it perhaps because you can't?
It is clear, concise, and reasonable, and explains the encirclement of Germany. It doesn't fit the familiar enemy propaganda image at all. Thanks for posting it.
:)

Caldric
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Re: Reply to Roberto.

Post by Caldric » 19 Nov 2002 00:16

Scott Smith wrote:
valadezaj wrote:I don't see why Hitler's words are worthless. He was the one in charge. His explanation makes perfect sense to me and you didn't even try to refute it. Is it perhaps because you can't?
It is clear, concise, and reasonable, and explains the encirclement of Germany. It doesn't fit the familiar enemy propaganda image at all. Thanks for posting it.
:)
It is propaganda from the master of propaganda you mean? Maybe I miss understood you. :)

It is what the German people wanted to hear, Hitler and Gobbles would continue to feed fiction to the German people through out the war. Most works I have read about German soldiers state the same thing about the propaganda regarding the war. They started to see the truth later on when things did not add up.

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Scott Smith
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Re: Reply to Roberto.

Post by Scott Smith » 19 Nov 2002 00:29

Caldric wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:
valadezaj wrote:I don't see why Hitler's words are worthless. He was the one in charge. His explanation makes perfect sense to me and you didn't even try to refute it. Is it perhaps because you can't?
It is clear, concise, and reasonable, and explains the encirclement of Germany. It doesn't fit the familiar enemy propaganda image at all. Thanks for posting it.
:)
It is propaganda from the master of propaganda you mean? Maybe I miss understood you. :)

It is what the German people wanted to hear, Hitler and Gobbles would continue to feed fiction to the German people through out the war. Most works I have read about German soldiers state the same thing about the propaganda regarding the war. They started to see the truth later on when things did not add up.
What is propaganda or fiction about it?
:)

Caldric
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Post by Caldric » 19 Nov 2002 00:42

Perhaps the same nonsense about encircling the "Wonderful Reich". Was it not Britain that had been helping Germany slice up Europe? He is basing his whole argument on this crap about UK making everyone the Reich’s enemy. Which is nonsense, Aggressive and Militant attitude towards the people on German borders was not a threat of smoke and mirrors but a real threat of German Conquest, and their neighbors knew this all to well. Of course they sought treaties with the UK and France.

The master liar and you believe him, the master skeptic. Very interesting would you not agree?

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