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Street Hawk
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The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
quote:

The world probably changed more between Dec. 5 and Dec. 12, 1941, than in any other week in history.

In early December German forces stood close to Moscow, and it seemed the Soviet capital would soon fall. Japan was at war in China but retained diplomatic relations with other world powers. The United States, despite the new Lend-Lease program, was as far from entering the military conflict as ever — so much so that Winston Churchill was starting to despair that America’s military power would never come to his hard-pressed country’s aid. Churchill knew that “dragging the United States in,” as he put it, was Britain’s only possible path to victory.

And then, on Dec. 5, the Soviets opened an enormous counteroffensive in front of Moscow that grew into a mortal threat to the exhausted German forces. On the evening of Dec. 7, as the British historians Brendan Simms and Charlie Laderman tell us in “Hitler’s American Gamble,” their absorbing new book, Churchill was in such a funk that he sat slumped in his chair ignoring the news broadcast of a Japanese assault on an American naval base in the Pacific.
Churchill’s consuming worry was that Japan would attack British-held territories in Asia, giving Britain new fronts and a new skillful and determined enemy, while the United States remained on the sidelines. Even Pearl Harbor did not leave Churchill as relieved as he later claimed: It raised the danger that the United States might pull out of Lend-Lease and direct all its energies toward Japan, leaving the British more stretched than before.

For four tense days, dramatically chronicled here, it was far from certain that Franklin Roosevelt would lead the United States into war against Germany. It took Hitler to do that. On Dec. 11, in a speech before Germany’s Reichstag, Hitler announced his declaration of war on the United States. With this step, he chose a war that his country, already mired in the Soviet Union, could never win.

Why would he do this? Historians have generally fallen into two camps on this question. Some think Hitler was just nihilistic and irrational, welcoming the destruction into which he was rushing. Others find at least some semblance of strategic calculation in his decision.

Simms and Laderman fall into the second camp. In their telling — consistent with the theme of Simms’s truly original 2019 biography of Hitler — the Führer was well aware of American power, indeed obsessed by it. He was also sure that the United States would enter the war against him sooner or later. He thought the only solution was pre-emptive: to get control of enough oil and food from the Soviet Union to enable Germany to hold its own against Anglo-America in a long war.

Hitler may have believed that the Japanese would distract America long enough for him to reach his goal, and so he wanted to encourage Tokyo by adding his support. In any case, the only alternative he saw to immediate war on the United States was slow but certain strangulation at Anglo-American hands. With a nod to an epigram from A. J. P. Taylor, Simms and Laderman offer this summation: “Hitler committed suicide for fear of dying.”


Early December 1941 is the moment of the war in which plausible alternate scenarios seemed to loom the largest. What if Vichy France and Fascist Italy had drawn closer together in a “Latin front,” as they were discussing at the time? What if the Japanese had attacked the British in Malaya and Singapore but not attacked the United States? What if the German who spied for the Soviet Union in Tokyo, Richard Sorge, had not supplied his masters with accurate information on Japanese plans, allowing Stalin to move 20 divisions from the east and redeploy them to Moscow for the shattering counterattack of Dec. 5?

quote:

The other thing the book does effectively is to pay careful attention to how the timing of events played out around the world, especially in the pattern of reactions to Pearl Harbor. We see Hitler getting news of the attack late in the evening from his press chief, who heard it from a Reuters broadcast, just as we see Churchill only slowly grasping what he was hearing on the radio. Simms and Laderman give us a visceral sense of these events as they unfolded, in real time, with historical actors not always quite sure what was happening — a dimension of history that is both crucial and fiendishly difficult to recover.

By Dec. 12, 1941, the world was transformed. One of the last surprises in this book is how many world leaders saw accurately from that moment how the future would unfold. “I feel a really miserable defeat coming,” said the recently resigned Japanese prime minister, Prince Konoye. In January 1942, Hitler admitted to the Japanese ambassador Hiroshi Oshima that he was “not yet sure” how he could defeat the United States. “The accession of the United States makes amends for all,” Churchill told his foreign secretary, Anthony Eden, “and with time and patience will give certain victory.” They were all correct.

LINK

Anybody buying this book?
This post was edited on 11/24 at 11:31 pm


Ancient Astronaut
USA Fan
Member since May 2015
23078 posts

re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
quote:

Anybody buying this book?


No


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515
beachdude
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re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
No.


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57
saintforlife1
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jul 2012
953 posts

re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
quote:

Anybody buying this book?

Sure, why not? Reviewing the actions of Hitler will never lose relevance. How he maintained the support of the German people, and the loyalty and sacrifice of Germany's Armed Forces, through decisions that many informed Germans at the time thought terrible is an object lesson for us all. Particularly now, when we see a major political party in the U.S. demonizing its opponents, enshrining a former President who lies, demeans and insults, fans anti-immigrant, white nationalist rhetoric and basically wants to steal his way back to power by electoral fraud. The fact a civilized country could elect Hilter and follow him will never lose its lessons for us.


SECSolomonGrundy
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re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
quote:

Particularly now, when we see a major political party in the U.S. demonizing its opponents, enshrining a former President who lies, demeans and insults, fans anti-immigrant, white nationalist rhetoric and basically wants to steal his way back to power by electoral fraud



I had to check the date on this post. The democrats already did all that.


You're spot on about the hitler stuff though.


noonan
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re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
I think I just read it.


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191
TutHillTiger
LSU Fan
Mississippi Alabama
Member since Sep 2010
27273 posts

re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
The belief that people are smarter now than they were decades or 100s of years ago is bull shite. We are more advanced not any smarter.

The Germans were not stupid, they knew they couldn’t win any protracted war. The only thing we did that really surprised them was how fast we were able to mobilize. They were thinking year or more, instead of months.

They planned even after they declared war on America on cutting a peace deal with us if they could. They looked at us as potential allies eventually, or subordinate state allies like Italy but higher on scale. The problem was always Britain and their relationship with us. They really didn’t want a war with British for fear of our involvement. and their Navy. They couldn’t even control everything they needed allies. If they had waited a few years they could have been anti communist with the west against Russia etc just like Franco.

Truth is they always had lots of idealogical supporters in both countries. Through operation paperclip we basically became allies with them anyway



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100
Abstract Queso Dip
Member since Mar 2021
2042 posts

re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
TLDR
Russia. Freezing cold. People died.


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73
WestCoastAg
UCLA Fan
Member since Oct 2012
132709 posts

re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
quote:

On Dec. 11, in a speech before Germany’s Reichstag, Hitler announced his declaration of war on the United States
fwiw you can listen to this speech on youtube. its fascinating


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Jim Rockford
LSU Fan
Member since May 2011
86254 posts

re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
Hitler made it official and full scale but we had been escorting convoys on our side of the Atlantic for months; Uboats and American destroyers had been shooting at each other since September. War was coming but Hitler declaring it before it was necessary surprised everybody.

Another point of departure. In May, the USS Texas was patrolling near the area where the Bismarck and Hood had their fateful encounter. If it had crossed paths with Bismarck in low visibility, the latter could easily have mistaken it for a British battleship. A couple of broadsides into an unsuspecting and non-belligerent American ship would have been seen as a deliberate act of war, just like the pearl Harbor attack was seen a few months later. This could have radically affected how the early course of the war played out.


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SEClint
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re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
quote:

Anybody buying this book?
remember when they burned books?


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20
weagle99
Toledo Fan
Member since Nov 2011
32897 posts

re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
Sometimes it is like WW2 is the only war the US was ever involved it.


Rockbrc
LSU Fan
Attic
Member since Nov 2015
6537 posts

re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
Yes, I just ordered it.


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Mid Iowa Tiger
Iowa State Fan
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Member since Feb 2008
12656 posts

re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
quote:

Particularly now, when we see a major political party in the U.S. demonizing its opponents, enshrining a former President who lies, demeans and insults, fans anti-immigrant, white nationalist rhetoric and basically wants to steal his way back to power by electoral fraud.


You need to get of the major networks and learn for yourself what’s going on.

That quote sound more MSNBC driven than anything.


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144
PowerTool
Texas A&M Fan
The dark side of the road
Member since Dec 2009
18014 posts

re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
I've always maintained that Hitler made several mistakes and was wrong about a number of things.


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40
Tchefuncte Tiger
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re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
So I take it your in the "Trump is literally Hitler" camp.


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122
CitizenK
McNeese State Fan
BR
Member since Aug 2019
3233 posts

re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
Germany never had the resources, or even the manufacturing capacity even if the resources had been available.

Every German offensive literally ran out of gas.

German engineering was highly overrated. Parts were not interchangeable and everything hand fitted for their mobile armor.


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40
Godfather1
Houston Astros Fan
SE Louisiana
Member since Oct 2006
68907 posts

re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
quote:

For four tense days, dramatically chronicled here, it was far from certain that Franklin Roosevelt would lead the United States into war against Germany.


I don’t believe this. FDR was itching for a fight with Hitler. Even more so than with the Japanese.


Penrod
LSU Fan
Member since Jan 2011
24033 posts
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re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
People love to sensationalize stuff like that. “If only Hitler hadn’t…he would have won.” None of that is true. Hitler lost the war when he Blitzkreiged to the west and entered Belgium and France. From that point on Roosevelt planned to enter the war, and he was only looking for an excuse. If Germany hadn’t declared war Roosevelt would have faked a German atrocity and declared war.


sta4ever
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2014
8045 posts

re: The Decision That Cost Hitler the War - "Hitler’s American Gamble" book
Yeah it was over from the get go. A waste of millions of peoples lives in Europe, and all for nothing.


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