Hitler Admired the British Empire
Adolf Hitler had never wanted war with Great Britain. To Hitler, Great Britain was the natural ally of Germany and the nation he admired most. Hitler had no ambitions against Britain or her Empire, and all of the captured records solidly bear this out.
Hitler had also never planned for a world war. British historian A.J.P. Taylor shattered the myth of a great German military buildup:
In 1938-39, the last peacetime year, Germany spent on armament about 15% of her gross national product. The British proportion was almost exactly the same. German expenditure on armaments was actually cut down after Munich and remained at this lower level, so that British production of airplanes, for example, was way ahead of German by 1940. When war broke out in 1939, Germany had 1,450 modern fighter planes and 800 bombers; Great Britain and France had 950 fighters and 1,300 bombers. The Germans had 3,500 tanks; Great Britain and France had 3,850. In each case Allied intelligence estimated German strength at more than twice the true figure. As usual, Hitler was thought to have planned and prepared for a great war. In fact, he had not.
Taylor further stated that Hitler was not intending or anticipating a major war:
He was not projecting a major war; hence it did not matter that Germany was not equipped for one. Hitler deliberately ruled out the “rearmament in depth” which was pressed on him by his technical advisors. He was not interested in preparing for a long war against the Great Powers. He chose instead “rearmament in width”—a frontline army without reserves, adequate only for a quick strike. Under Hitler’s direction, Germany was equipped to win the war of nerves—the only war he understood and liked; she was not equipped to conquer Europe…In considering German armament we escape from the mystic regions of Hitler’s psychology and find an answer in the realm of fact. The answer is clear. The state of German armament in 1939 gives the decisive proof that Hitler was not contemplating general war, and probably not intending war at all.
British historian and economist Adam Tooze writes that the share of Germany’s national output going to the military had risen to almost 20% shortly before the war. However, Tooze acknowledges that Hitler did not have a plan to defeat the British Empire. Tooze writes: “We are thus left with the truly vertiginous conclusion that Hitler went to war in September 1939 without any coherent plan as to how actually to defeat the British Empire, his major antagonist.”
Hitler did not have a plan to defeat the British Empire because he had never wanted to go to war against Great Britain. Hitler always dreamed of an Anglo-German alliance. British historian Alan Bullock writes: “Even during the war Hitler persisted in believing that an alliance with Germany…was in Britain’s own interest, continually expressed his regret that the British had been so stupid as not to see this, and never gave up the hope that he would be able to overcome their obstinacy and persuade them to accept his view.”
Hitler Sought Peace with Great Britain
Hitler was eager to make peace once Great Britain and France had declared war against Germany. Hitler confided to his inner circle: “If we on our side avoid all acts of war, the whole business will evaporate. As soon as we sink a ship and they have sizeable casualties, the war party over there will gain strength.” Hitler made a peace offer on October 6, 1939, that was quickly rejected. No doubt the leaders of the Soviet Union, who wanted a general European war, were relieved by the quick rejection of Hitler’s offer.
Germany’s offensive against Dunkirk was halted by Hitler’s order on May 24, 1940. German Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt insisted that his hands were tied by Hitler’s instructions. Hitler talked to von Rundstedt and two key men of his staff, Gens. Georg von Sodenstern and Günther Blumentritt. As Gen. Blumentritt told the story:
He [Hitler] then astonished us by speaking with admiration of the British Empire, of the necessity for its existence, and of the civilization that Britain had brought into the world…He said that all he wanted from Britain was that she should acknowledge Germany’s position on the Continent. The return of Germany’s lost colonies would be desirable but not essential, and he would even offer to support Britain with troops if she should be involved in any difficulties anywhere.
Hitler told his friend Frau Troost: “The blood of every single Englishman is too valuable to be shed. Our two people belong together, racially and traditionally—this is and always has been my aim even if our generals can’t grasp it.”
Hitler stated in his Testament on February 26, 1945: “Churchill was quite unable to appreciate the sporting spirit of which I had given proof by refraining from creating an irreparable breach between the British and ourselves. We did, indeed, refrain from annihilating them at Dunkirk. We ought to have been able to make them realize that the acceptance by them of the German hegemony established in Europe, a state of affairs to the implementation of which they had always been opposed, but which I had implemented without any trouble, would bring them inestimable advantages.”
Having been given the gift of Dunkirk by Hitler, Churchill refused to acknowledge it. Churchill instead described the evacuation of British troops off the beaches of Dunkirk as a heroic miracle accomplished by the British Navy. Churchill became even more bellicose in his determination to continue the war.
Hitler’s desire to preserve the British Empire was expressed on another occasion when the military fortunes of the Allies were at their lowest ebb. When France appealed for an armistice, German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop gave the following summary of Hitler’s attitude toward Great Britain in a strictly private talk with the Italian Foreign Minister Count Galeazzo Ciano:
He [Ribbentrop] said that in the Führer’s opinion the existence of the British Empire as an element of stability and social order in the world is very useful. In the present state of affairs it would be impossible to replace it with another, similar organization. Therefore, the Führer—as he has also recently stated in public—does not desire the destruction of the British Empire. He asks that England renounce some of its possessions and recognize the fait accompli. On these conditions Hitler would be prepared to come to an agreement.
After Dunkirk, Ribbentrop wrote that Hitler was enthused with making a quick peace with England. Hitler outlined the peace terms he was prepared to offer the British: “It will only be a few points, and the first point is that nothing must be done between England and Germany which would in any way violate the prestige of Great Britain. Secondly, Great Britain must give us back one or two of our old colonies. That is the only thing we want.”
On June 25, 1940, Hitler telephoned Joseph Goebbels to lay out the terms of an agreement with Great Britain. Goebbels wrote in his diary:
The Führer…believes that the [British Empire] must be preserved if at all possible. For if it collapses, then we shall not inherit it, but foreign and even hostile powers take it over. But if England will have it no other way, then she must be beaten to her knees. The Führer, however, would be agreeable to peace on the following basis: England out of Europe, colonies and mandates returned. Reparations for what was stolen from us after the World War....
Hitler took the initiative to end the war after the fall of France in June 1940. In a victory speech on July 19, 1940, Hitler declared that it had never been his intention to destroy or even harm the British Empire. Hitler made a general peace offer in the following words:
In this hour I feel it to be my duty before my conscience to appeal once more to reason and commonsense in Great Britain as much as elsewhere. I consider myself in a position to make this appeal, since I am not the vanquished, begging favors, but the victor, speaking in the name of reason. I can see no reason why this war must go on.
This speech was followed by private diplomatic overtures to Great Britain through Sweden, the United States and the Vatican. There is no question that Hitler was eager to end the war. But Churchill was in the war with the objective of destroying Germany. Churchill was not concerned with saving the British Empire from destruction. British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax also wanted the war to continue, and brushed aside what he called Hitler’s “summons to capitulate at his will.” Hitler’s peace offer was officially rejected on July 22, 1940.
Alan Clark, defense aide to Margaret Thatcher, believed that only Churchill’s obsession with Hitler and “single-minded determination to keep the war going” prevented his accepting Germany’s offer to end the war in 1940: “There were several occasions when a rational leader could have got, first reasonable, then excellent terms from Germany. Hitler actually offered peace in July 1940 before the Battle of Britain started. After the RAF victory, the German terms were still available, now weighed more in Britain’s favor.”
On August 14, 1940, during the Battle of Britain, Hitler called his field marshals into the Reich Chancellery to impress upon them that victory over Britain must not lead to the collapse of the British Empire:
Germany is not striving to smash Britain because the beneficiaries will not be Germany, but Japan in the east, Russia in India, Italy in the Mediterranean, and America in world trade. This is why peace is possible with Britain—but not so long as Churchill is prime minister. Thus we must see what the Luftwaffe can do, and wait a possible general election.
Hitler continued to search for a way to end the war he had never wanted. On May 10, 1941, Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess flew in a Messerschmitt 110 to Scotland to attempt to negotiate a peace settlement with Great Britain. On May 11, 1941, Rudolf Hess told the Duke of Hamilton why he had flown to Scotland: “I am on a mission of humanity. The Führer does not want to defeat England and wants to stop fighting.”
While it is impossible to prove that Hess flew to Scotland with Hitler’s knowledge and approval, the available evidence suggests that he did. The relationship between Hess and Hitler was so close that one can logically assume that Hess would not have undertaken such an important step without first informing Hitler. Also, Hess was prohibited from speaking openly about his mission during the entire 40-year period of his imprisonment in Spandau Prison. This “gag order” was obviously imposed because Hess knew things that, if publicly known, would be highly embarrassing to the Allied governments.
Allies Demand Unconditional Surrender
A peaceful settlement of the war was impossible after the announcement of the Allied policy of unconditional surrender at a press conference in Casablanca on January 23, 1943. The Allied policy of unconditional surrender ensured that the war would be fought to its bitter end. Maurice Hankey, an experienced British statesman, summed up the effect of the unconditional surrender policy as follows:
It embittered the war, rendered inevitable a fight to the finish, banged the door to the possibility of either side offering terms or opening up negotiations, gave the Germans and the Japanese the courage of despair, strengthened Hitler’s position as Germany’s “only hope,” aided Goebbels’s propaganda, and made inevitable the Normandy landing and the subsequent terribly exhausting and destructive advance through North France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Holland and Germany. The lengthening of the war enabled Stalin to occupy the whole of Eastern Europe, to ring down the iron curtain and so to realize at one swoop a large installment of his avowed aims against so-called capitalism, in which he includes social democracy…Not only the enemy countries, but nearly all countries were bled white by this policy, which has left us all, except the United States of America, impoverished and in dire straits. Unfortunately also, these policies, so contrary to the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount, did nothing to strengthen the moral position of the Allies.
Numerous other historians and political leaders have stated that Great Britain and the United States made it impossible for Germany to reach a peaceful resolution to the war. It is widely acknowledged that Hitler did not want a war with either Great Britain or the United States. Instead, Great Britain and the United States wanted war with Germany. In this regard, U.S. Rep. Hamilton Fish stated:
If Roosevelt and Churchill had really wished to deliver the world from the menace of totalitarianism, they had their God-given opportunity on June 22, 1941. England could have withdrawn from the war and made peace with Hitler on the most favorable terms. Hitler had no designs whatever on the United States, so we would not have been endangered by this turn of events. Then Hitler and Stalin would have fought each other into exhaustion. This is exactly what the Baldwin-Chamberlain foreign policy had originally envisaged. Mr. Truman, then a senator, strongly supported this policy, as did Senator Vandenberg and many others. It would have left the United States and England dominant powers in the world, and they might have kept it a predominately free world.
Joachim von Ribbentrop had told Rep. Hamilton Fish that cooperation between England and Germany was essential for the maintenance of peace. Hitler had even “offered to place 15 German army divisions and the entire fleet at the disposal of the British government to support her empire in case of war anywhere in the world.” Fish did not believe this statement from von Ribbentrop at the time, but it was substantiated years later.
Hitler voiced his puzzlement to the Swedish explorer Sven Hedin at Great Britain’s refusal to accept his peace offers. Hitler felt he had repeatedly extended the hand of peace and friendship to the British, and each time they had blacked his eye in reply. Hitler said, “The survival of the British Empire is in Germany’s interest too because if Britain loses India, we gain nothing thereby.”
Even a diplomat from Churchill’s own Conservative Party admitted: “To the world at large, Churchill appeared to be the very embodiment of a policy of war. To have brought him into the Government when the balance between peace and war was still quivering, might have definitely tilted the scales on the side of war.”
The refusal of Winston Churchill to negotiate peace with Germany is remarkable in that Churchill spoke of the evils of communism. Churchill once said of communism:
It is not only a creed; it is a plan of campaign. A Communist is not only the holder of certain opinions, he is the pledge adept of a well-thought-out means of enforcing them. The anatomy of discontent and revolution has been studied in every phase and aspect, and a veritable drill book prepared in a scientific spirit of sabotaging all existing institutions. No faith need be kept with non-Communists. Every act of goodwill, or tolerance or conciliation or mercy or magnanimity on the part of governments or statesmen is to be utilized for their ruin. Then, when the time is ripe and the moment opportune, every form of lethal violence, from revolt to private assassination, must be used without stint or compunction. The citadel will be stormed under the banners of liberty and democracy, and once the apparatus of power is in the hands of the Brotherhood, all opposition, all contrary opinions must be extinguished by death. Democracy is but a tool to be used and afterwards broken.
Despite his aversion to communism, Churchill ignored all German peace efforts and joined the Soviet Union in the war against Germany.
On January 20, 1943, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph E. Davies disclosed that Hitler offered to retire from office if by doing so Great Britain would make peace with Germany. Churchill and other British leaders refused Hitler’s offer.
Churchill never once attempted to make peace with Germany. In a January 1, 1944, letter to Stalin, Churchill said: “We never thought of peace, not even in that year when we were completely isolated and could have made peace without serious detriment to the British Empire, and extensively at your cost. Why should we think of it now, when victory approaches for the three of us?”
It is well known that Churchill loved war. The English publicist F. S. Oliver has written of Churchill: “From his youth up, Mr. Churchill has loved with all his heart, all his mind, and with all his soul, and with all his strength, three things: war, politics, and himself. He loved war for its dangers, he loved politics for the same reason, and himself he has always loved for the knowledge that his mind is dangerous….” Churchill always wanted to continue the war against Germany rather than negotiate a peaceful settlement.
Even leaders of the German resistance movement discovered that the Allied policy of unconditional surrender would not change with Hitler dead. On July 18, 1944, Otto John returned from fruitless negotiations with Allied representatives in Madrid and informed his fellow plotters that unconditional surrender would remain in place even if they succeeded in killing Hitler.
Dr. Eugen Gerstenmaier, a conspirator who became president of the West German Parliament after the war, stated in a 1975 interview: “What we in the German resistance during the war didn’t really want to see, we learned in full measure afterward; that this war was ultimately not waged against Hitler, but against Germany.”
 Irving, David, Hitler’s War, New York: Avon Books, 1990, p. 3.
 Taylor, A.J.P., The Origins of the Second World War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, p. xxi.
 Ibid., pp. 217-218.
 Tooze, Adam, The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy, New York: Viking, 2006, p. 659.
 Ibid., p. xxv.
 Bullock, Alan, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, New York: Harper & Row, 1962, p. 337.
 Buchanan, Patrick J., Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, New York: Crown Publishers, 2008, p. 331.
 Hart, B. H. Liddell, The Other Side of the Hill, London: Papermac, 1970, pp. 200-201; see also Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 76.
 Fraser, L. Craig, The Testament of Adolf Hitler: The Hitler-Bormann Documents, pp. 72-73.
 Bradberry, Benton L., The Myth of German Villainy, Bloomington, Ind.: AuthorHouse, 2012, p. 369.
 Ciano, Count Galeazzo, Ciano’s Diplomatic Papers, London: Odhams Press, 1948, p. 373.
 Hinsley, F. H., Hitler’s Strategy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951, p. 81.
 Ferguson, Niall, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Power Order and the Lessons of Global Power, New York: Basic, 2003, pp. 330-331.
 Hitler, Adolf, My New Order, Edited with commentary by Raoul de Roussy de Sales, New York: Reynal and Hitchcock, 1941, p. 837.
 Chamberlain, William Henry, America’s Second Crusade, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, p. 84.
 Hinsley, F. H., Hitler’s Strategy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951, p. 82.
 Clark, Alan, “A Reputation Ripe for Revision,” London Times, Jan. 2, 1993.
 Denman, Roy, Missed Chances: Britain and Europe in the Twentieth Century, London: Indigo, 1997, p. 130.
 Langer, Howard J., World War II: An Encyclopedia of Quotations, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1999, p. 142.
 Hess, Wolf Rüdiger, “The Life and Death of My Father, Rudolf Hess,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 13, No. 1, Jan./Feb. 1993, pp. 29, 31.
 Hankey, Maurice Pascal Alers, Politics, Trials and Errors, Chicago: Regnery, 1950, pp. 125-126.
 Fischer, Klaus P., Hitler and America, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, p. 2.
 Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, p. 115.
 Ibid., p. 87.
 Irving, David, Hitler’s War, New York: Avon Books, 1990, p. 236.
 Walendy, Udo, Truth for Germany: The Guilt Question of the Second World War, Washington, D.C.: The Barnes Review, 2013, p. 272.
 Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, p. 51.
 Walsh, Michael, Hidden Truths about the Second World War, United Kingdom: The Historical Review Press, 2012, p. 15.
 Walendy, Udo, The Methods of Reeducation, Vlotho/Weser, Germany: Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, 1979, p. 3.
 Fish, Hamilton, FDR The Other Side of the Coin: How We Were Tricked into World War II, New York: Vantage Press, 1976, pp. 115-116.
 Tedor, Richard, Hitler’s Revolution, Chicago: 2013, p. 257.
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Great Britain Perpetuated World War II to Destroy Germany|
|First posted on CODOH:||Aug. 4, 2019, 9:37 p.m.|