Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

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headwest
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Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by headwest » 13 Aug 2021 14:02

Hi

another topic I am interested in is if Hitler really was surprised when France and England followed thru and declared war on Germany Sept 3

I have read that he looked at von Ribbentrop? and said something to the effect of "Now what"?

Any detailed papers or books on those first three days and the back and forth between Germany and France and England? Interested in if Hitler ever considered actually stopping once war was declared, could he have say on sept 4-5th? even after war was declared?

mainly though, from what I surmise, he was surprised since everything else had gone without conflict, and he truly thought they wouldn't follow thru with the declaration of war? or was he actually aware this would happen and continued nevertheless

thanks much

ljadw
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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by ljadw » 13 Aug 2021 15:26

He was not surprised about the DOW of France and Britain, he was also not aware that it would happen .
He hoped and convinced himself that it would not happen , but he took the needed precautions in case it would happen : rationing, mobilisation ,sending a big part of his army to the western border .
He knew that B + F could not help Poland ,thus why would they declare war ?
Thus, if they declared war , while they could not help Poland, the reason was, following Hitler !, that they wanted to destroy Germany because it was too strong .
He knew it could happen, but he thought it was unlikely .

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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by OpanaPointer » 13 Aug 2021 17:15

The "Color Books" for some of the nations involved are online at https://ibiblio.org/pha.
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
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ljadw
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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by ljadw » 13 Aug 2021 18:09

headwest wrote:
13 Aug 2021 14:02
Hi


mainly though, from what I surmise, he was surprised since everything else had gone without conflict, and he truly thought they wouldn't follow thru with the declaration of war? or was he actually aware this would happen and continued nevertheless

thanks much
everything else was achieved without war

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wm
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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by wm » 13 Aug 2021 19:05

Hitler wanted war (especially with France), as early as the Sudeten crisis in 1938. He couldn't achieve his political goals without war and the time for that was running out.
His enemies were becoming stronger, his Germany was reaching its economic limits, the Germans (who didn't want another world war) could have become politically restless.
But he needed a good convincing reason for war, acceptable for the Germans, the Sudeten crisis was a good one, Poland was another.

ljadw
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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by ljadw » 14 Aug 2021 11:09

Hitler had no plan for war with France AND Britain,thus he did not want war with these countries in 1938 .
He also did not want war with them in 1939 : in October 1939 he proposed peace, but Britain and France refused . Something that could be expected .But Hitler was desperate .

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wm
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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by wm » 14 Aug 2021 11:49

To carry out this policy [to make Germany great]... we must stop at no sacrifice in our effort to destroy the French ...
no sacrifice should be considered too heavy, if the final outcome would be to make it possible for us to overthrow our bitterest enemy.
Mein Kampf (1925)
I thought that I would first turn against the West in a few years, and only after that against the East.
I wanted first of all to establish a tolerable relationship with Poland in order to fight first against the West.
But this plan, which appealed to me, could not be executed, as fundamental points had changed. It became clear to me that, in the event of a conflict with the West, Poland would attack us.
Hitler's Obersalzberg Speech (1939)

Boby
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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by Boby » 14 Aug 2021 11:50

This comes mainly from the much-quoted passage in Paul Schmidt memoirs: "What now?".

ljadw
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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by ljadw » 14 Aug 2021 16:57

wm wrote:
14 Aug 2021 11:49
To carry out this policy [to make Germany great]... we must stop at no sacrifice in our effort to destroy the French ...
no sacrifice should be considered too heavy, if the final outcome would be to make it possible for us to overthrow our bitterest enemy.
Mein Kampf (1925)
I thought that I would first turn against the West in a few years, and only after that against the East.
I wanted first of all to establish a tolerable relationship with Poland in order to fight first against the West.
But this plan, which appealed to me, could not be executed, as fundamental points had changed. It became clear to me that, in the event of a conflict with the West, Poland would attack us.
Hitler's Obersalzberg Speech (1939)
Hitler's foreign policy was not based on what he had written in 1925 in Mein Kampf .
After a meeting with Hitler on 13 July 1940 , Halder said the following : Britain hopes on help of the USSR .
On 21 July , Hitler said :Britain hopes on a change in the US and on Russia .
On 31 July : Britain's hope is US and the USSR .When the hope on Russia disappears,the same will happen for the US ,because Japan's situation will be stronger .

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wm
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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by wm » 14 Aug 2021 19:31

That doesn't deny the fact that Hitler had to (and wanted to) pacify France first.

ljadw
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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by ljadw » 14 Aug 2021 19:57

Why ?
Why would France intervene in a war between Germany and the USSR ? Such a war would be very good for France, as was a war between Germany and Russia in 1914 .
If there was a war between Germany and Poland, the risk was that France would intervene, but this does not mean that Germany had first to eliminate France,as an attack on Poland was not depending on what France would do ,but on what the USSR would do .
And, the same Hitler who wrote hostile things in Mein Kampf about France in 1925 (shortly after the French occupation of the Ruhr ),blamed also in Mein Kampf the Wilhelmenian Empire for its Schlieffen Plan that was aimed exclusively at France .
Thus, it is not so that Hitler wanted to eliminate France first .He knew that Fall Weiss could cause the intervention of France, but as Poland was not necessary for the survival of France and as France could not help Poland , he was convinced that France would not declare war .

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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by john2 » 15 Aug 2021 01:57

In reply to the first post. Hitler it seemed was torn over what he wanted. He knew that taking Poland without western intervention would obviously help him but at the same time he was getting anxious to start the war. In May he gave a speech saying that Germany was losing the armaments race and the sooner war came the better. He may have secretly hoped the allies would declare war. On the other hand he does seem to have made an effort to keep them out. Especially England. Some might also argue the pact with Russia was to scare the western powers into holding back.

After the war began Mussolini offered mediation which apparently annoyed Hitler. He said he needed a few days to decide. France was prepared to talk without any conditions while Britain said he had to withdraw from Poland. Mussolini guessed the best Hitler would accept was a cease fire and would not give up the gains he had already made - even after only a few days the Germans had made large gains. On the basis of the English reply Mussolini dropped the effort.

After Poland was finished off there was talk of peace and Hitler did make a speech saying he wanted the war to end. How serious he was is debatable - he suggested that Russia be involved which he knew the western powers would not like. He almost immediately turned to war. So to answer your question it's still not entirely clear. Of course he knew they might declare war but seemed surprised they had the courage to do so.

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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by Michael Kenny » 15 Aug 2021 02:08

I presume Scotland, N.Ireland and Wales were going to remain neutral?

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wm
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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by wm » 15 Aug 2021 08:04

ljadw wrote:
14 Aug 2021 19:57
Why ?
Why would France intervene in a war between Germany and the USSR ? Such a war would be very good for France, as was a war between Germany and Russia in 1914 .
Thucydides Trap - when a rising power threatens to displace a ruling power, the resulting structural stress makes a violent clash the rule, not the exception.

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Re: Was Hitler really surprised when England and France followed thru and declared war?

Post by ljadw » 15 Aug 2021 08:21

France was not a ruling power before WW 2 . It did not dominate Europe, neither did Hitler before 1939 or the Kaiser before 1914 .The German expansion east of the Rhine was no danger for France ;already before 1933 France had abandoned eastern Europe, and before 1914 it was not interested in eastern Europe .
The Napoleontic dream ( if he ever existed ) had been buried .

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