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

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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 » 21 Sep 2021 07:36

That Germany's POTENTIAL enemies were becoming stronger and that Germany was reaching its economic limits does not mean that his potential enemies would be more inclined to say no to Hitler and to risk a war,a war which would mean the end of them as superpowers.Their rearmament was essentially defensive and they also were reaching their economic limits .
They did not say yes to Hitler because they were weak,but because what Hitler did and wanted was not a threat to them .

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

Post by ljadw » 21 Sep 2021 07:52

Some excerpts from ''Poland in British and French policy in 1939 :determination to fight -or avoid war ?''
1'' The aim of the guarantee was to persuade Hitler not to attack Poland and to take what he wanted from Poland by way of so-called negotiations . ''
Thus : a new Munich .
2 ''Later, Halifax said that Poland was never under any illusion that it might receive concrete help from Britain .''
3 '' Even after the German invasion, Britain and France tried to avoid war with Germany .''
4 '' In July Chamberlain told Ironside that he envisaged the return of Danzig to Germany as a Free City . ''
5 '' On 20 May Halifax told Daladier and Bonnet that the guarantee did not say that Danzig was a vital Polish interest . ''
Cadogan wrote in his diary : ''naturally our guarantee does not give any help to Poland .......''
Britain gave a guarantee to a country that was not in danger and said that the guarantee did not give any help .Unwillingly Britain gave this country a loan of a few million pounds, but promised Germany a loan of one BILLION pounds if it would not attack Poland and invited the German number two (Goering ) to London to negotiate .
Nowonder that Hitler was surprised when Britain declared war .

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

Post by Steve » 21 Sep 2021 23:41

It is hard to understand how Hitler could have been surprised by the British ultimatum followed by a declaration of war but his actions seem to show that he was. After returning from the Reichstag on September 1st he had Goering summon Dahlerus a Swedish business man who Goering had used as a personal emissary. Hitler had also met him in the early hours of August 27th when the rant about U boats etc had taken place. Before seeing Dahlerus he sent Mussolini a telegram saying he did not want his mediation probably because he did not want another Munich. According to Dahlerus Hitler was in a nervous state with a strong odour coming from his mouth. After going on about breaking Polish resistance and annihilating the Poles he said that he was prepared for further negotiations if the British wanted them. Hitler then apparently rambled on in ever more hysterical tones about fighting Britain. It does seem that he was a very agitated man which is surprising as he should have been expecting Britain’s reaction given that the British had made it clear how they would react. If Dahlerus’s account is correct it sounds as if the realisation that he was soon going to be at war with Britain and France had suddenly dawned on Hitler.

Taken from Hitler 1936 1945 Nemesis by Ian Kershaw page 222, he used Dahlerus’s book as his source. Dahlerus was asked at the Nuremburg trials on the 19th of March 1946 if his book was correct and he answered “Yes, it was written with the greatest care. The contents are absolutely accurate and correct”.

Sir Nevile Henderson the British ambassador met Hitler and Ribbentrop several times during the months leading up to war. Henderson gave his account of what had gone on in Failure of a Mission published in 1940. He had been clear that Britain would honour its commitment and Chamberlain made it plain in a letter to Hitler on August 22 that Britain would fulfil its commitment to Poland. In July the British had announced fleet exercises the underlying idea being that they would convince Hitler that Britain was ready for war. “It apparently failed to convince Ribbentrop, who to the last continued to assert that England would never fight. I say “apparently” with intention, since I am still unable to credit even Ribbentrop with being so obstinately foolish as seriously to believe that England would fail to honour her obligations. There is no shadow of doubt that he was all the time saying so, to Hitler and to everyone.”

If Henderson is right about Ribbentrop and Hitler believed him then he would have been very surprised by Britain’s reaction. On September 2nd an approach was made to the British inviting a close friend of Chamberlain Sir Horace Wilson to Berlin for talks, presumably the idea of using Dahlerus had been dropped.

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

Post by ljadw » 22 Sep 2021 05:52

Wilson was the mouthpiece of Chamberlain ,that he was a close friend is unproven and irrelevant .He was strongly involved in the appeasement policy .

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