By December 5, two days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, German armies had advanced to within 5 miles of Moscow. Hitler had decided to postpone a cross-channel invasion of Britain itself until his armies were able to defeat the Soviet Union, but Germany was still fighting Britain through aerial and missile bombing, and was engaged against Britain on the seas, as well as elsewhere in the British Empire, as in North Africa. In South Asia, Britain was also defending its colonies and commonwealth against Japan.
On the face of it, especially in the long term and even with Lend-Lease aid from the United States, it is difficult to see how Britain could have continued the war without the entry of the United States into the conflict on its side.
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Presumably, Winston Churchill would have had to sue for peace, or endure a German invasion of the British Isles once the Nazis had consolidated their military strength in Europe. That did not happen, of course. After Churchill heard that America had been attacked at Pearl Harbor, he rushed to a secure telephone to call Franklin Roosevelt. His Memoirs of the Second World War relate the following:.
In two or three minutes Mr. Roosevelt came through. President, what's this about Japan? We are all in the same boat now.
No American will think it wrong of me if I proclaim that to have the United States at our side was to me the greatest joy. I could not foretell the course of events. I do not pretend to have measured accurately the martial might of Japan, but now at this very moment I knew the United States was in the war, up to the neck and in to the death.
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So we had won after all! Yes, after Dunkirk; after the fall of France; after the horrible episode of Oran; after the threat of invasion, when, apart from the Air and the Navy, we were an almost unarmed people; after the deadly struggle of the U-boat war—the first Battle of the Atlantic, gained by a hand's-breath; after seventeen months of lonely fighting and nineteen months of my responsibility in dire stress. We had won the war.
England would live; Britain would live; the Commonwealth of Nations and the Empire would live. How long the war would last or in what fashion it would end no man could tell, nor did I at this moment care. Once again in our long Island history we should emerge, however mauled or mutilated, safe and victorious.
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We should not be wiped out. Our history would not come to an end. We might not even have to die as individuals. In a slim but fascinating book titled Visions of Victory , historian Gerhard L.
Weinberg author of the magisterial A World at Arms , widely considered the finest study of World War II yet written followed a trail of intriguing hints left by the major heads of state about the postwar world each envisioned. It was Franklin D.
The initial victory in Europe would have been followed by the direct annexation of countries Hitler deemed suitably Nordic: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, as well as the German-speaking region of Switzerland. Japan would temporarily receive the rest of the Soviet Union.
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- The Musical Work of Nadia Boulanger (Musical Performance and Reception).
- Pensieri sul dialogo interreligioso (Italian Edition);
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Mussolini would be permitted to acquire lands approximating those of the Roman Empire, except that Hitler intended to retain control of France and Great Britain as well as Ireland and convert Spain and Portugal into satellite states. In sub Saharan Africa he expected to restore the colonies Germany had lost after the First World War and seize the rest from defeated European powers. But they also intended to eliminate Christianity and to adopt a state policy of polygamy so that the male survivors of wars expected to kill four million German soldiers would be able to impregnate enough German women to forestall a drop in population.
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Hitler plainly saw his principal allies, Italy and Japan, as partners of convenience. As a fascist state, Italy might be per mitted its new empire on a permanent basis, but Japan, after doing the dirty work of conquering China, the eastern half of the Soviet Union, southeast Asia, Australasia, and the central Pacific, would eventually be conquered in turn—though only after the destruction of the United States, the last great power free of Axis control. Weinberg discerned only the vaguest German plans for how it intended to deal with this last problem, the elimination of the United States.
As late as the autumn of , Hitler continued to see the British as his most dangerous adversary in the West, notwithstanding the fact that by then the United States was contributing not only the most manpower in the European Theater of Operations but also the most tanks, aircraft, and artillery. Indeed, by that point American military aid was propping up the war efforts of every nation fighting the Axis powers.
Hitler assumed that the Japanese would obligingly remain at war with China and the United States until he could gobble up his erstwhile allies.