"Crusade" of the West against Russia. Hitler was well aware of the danger of a war on two fronts. Nevertheless, in the summer of 1941, the Fuhrer went to such a war, leaving behind a battered, but not broken England.
Who helped Hitler
Adolf Hitler was helped to come to power. Without the organizational and financial support of the mighty of this world, the Nazis had no chance to come to power in Germany. Our liberals blamed the communists and Stalin. But Soviet Russia had no reason to support Hitler. And there were no resources for this.
Financial contributions to the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) came from the United States. America's financial capital needed a big war, and Hitler acted as the instigator of such a war, and the Reich became a battering ram to destroy the old order in Europe. Hitler was supported by London, the British aristocracy and financial circles. The British played their game. They needed a demoniac Fuhrer against the growing Russians and in a game against the United States. The British Empire did not want to be the junior partner of the United States. Therefore, London literally pushed through the Munich agreement, giving him Czechoslovakia. Before that, the British turned a blind eye to the Anschluss of Austria. And in 1939 England let Hitler crush Poland, expecting him to go further to the East.
Thus, in this wolf time (it is still the same), everyone tried to use each other in the big game.
Why did Hitler start a big war
From the very beginning of the big war in Europe (Germany against Britain and France with their colonial empires spread across the entire planet), the military-economic position of Germany was hopeless. And when the Soviet Union and the United States came out against Germany, even more so. Why did Hitler get into the war? For all the Fuehrer's shortcomings, he was head and shoulders above his generals in matters of military strategy and the economy of war. The Germans were not ready for a big war either in 1939 or later. The generals also knew this, so they were afraid when Hitler abandoned the Versailles restrictions, occupied the Rhine demilitarized zone, captured Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. They knew about the weakness of the Reich, and so feared that there were several conspiracies by high-ranking military personnel against the Fuhrer in order to save Germany from a new military disaster.
The point was that Hitler knew more than his generals. He was not going to wage a classic protracted war to deplete all forces and resources, following the example of the First World War. He relied on the fact that he would be given whatever he wanted anyway. The Fuhrer knew that the masters of London and Washington wanted to start a big war, a "crusade" to the East. Therefore, the great powers will close their eyes to the aggression of the Reich in Western, Southern, Northern and Eastern Europe. He will be allowed to create a "Hitlerite European Union", to unite the military-economic, human potential of Europe, aimed against the USSR.
Therefore, the Fuhrer did not give a damn about the sober and rational calculations of his generals. He acted with incredible audacity, conducting lightning-fast local operations one after another. From 1936 to March 1939, Hitler, avoiding a war with the great powers of Europe, which he would inevitably and miserably lose, annexed the Rhineland, Austria, the Sudetenland, Bohemia-Bohemia and the Klaipeda region to his empire. Also, the German leader decided the "Spanish question" in his favor, providing armed assistance to General Franco.
Lack of readiness for war
At the same time, the Third Reich at this time was weaker than the Second Reich of the 1914 model: the armed forces were in the process of formation and were much inferior to the forces of France and England (plus allies throughout Europe); Germany was sandwiched between strong adversaries from the West, South and East; the fleet was weak; human and material resources were inferior to the huge colonial empires of France and Britain; the Germans did not have oil, metal and a lot of strategic resources for a big war, they didn’t even have enough coal. There is a shortage of aluminum, a problem with non-ferrous metals, timber, a lack of locomotive fleet, etc. For example, Germany imported up to 75% of good iron ore from outside, from France and Norway. Oil was in short supply. It was necessary to save on everything and develop the production of synthetic fuel, which did not cover even a third of the needs (it was planned to develop a full-fledged industry for the production of synthetic fuel only by the mid-40s). Hitler didn't even have enough soldiers. The Nazis were constantly faced with the problem of replenishing losses on the Russian front and the need to retain skilled workers for industry.
That is, from the very beginning, Germany was doomed to the position of a suicide bomber who could inflict terrible damage on enemies with the first blows, but was doomed to die in a protracted struggle. The war, from the point of view of material preparedness, was suicide for the Reich. Even from the point of view of the readiness of the military-industrial complex, the Germans turned out to be unprepared for a world war. Their military programs in 1938 were calculated to be completed in 1943-1945. And the rearmament of the ground forces and the air force, and the creation of a powerful fleet. By 1945, it was planned to complete the modernization of the railways. None of the programs in 1939 was completed. And when the war began, and most importantly (!) It became protracted, the Germans began to improvise. And they achieved a lot, but the basic conditions could not interrupt.
The entire stock of ammunition planned for Operation Barbarossa (the defeat and occupation of Russia) had already been spent by August 1, 1941. Contrary to the myth created by the cinema, where German soldiers are completely armed with machine guns and easily shoot Red Army soldiers with old rifles (or one rifle for three), the Nazis lacked small arms. Therefore, they often used trophy from Western Europe, or Russian. The German army lacked explosives, bombs, aircraft and aircraft engines, etc.
Hitler started the war without mobilizing the economy and the people for an all-out war. This will happen later, under the influence of defeats on the Russian front. The Reich economy was aimed at small, local wars. To prepare for the war with Soviet Russia, the preparation was more thorough, but it took place without total mobilization, the population almost did not notice it. And soon after the start of the war with the USSR, the production of some types of military equipment was even reduced in anticipation that the war would end soon. The occupation of Europe was not used for total mobilization. They took mostly ready-made ones that were in the arsenals: French and Czech tanks, French planes, vehicles, small arms, etc. Hitler believed in a "lightning war" that in the East it would be the same as in Western Europe.
Thus, Hitler's hyperstrategy is a belief in a "miracle", a blitzkrieg, a razor's edge. This is hard to believe, because the Germans are considered very rational. But the fact is that the Fuhrer also had quite rational foundations for such a strategy.
This is the key to the two "strange" years - 1940 and 1941. In particular, the "strange" war of England and France against Germany. The answer to the question why Hitler did not finish off England, although he had every opportunity for this. Thus, the Fuehrer could have taken Gibraltar with relative ease, closing the Mediterranean off to Britain; take Egypt and Suez. That is, to sharply worsen England's ties with Persia and India. Take control of Turkey and Persia, threatening British dominance in India. And there it was possible to enter into direct contact with the Japanese. Create a real threat of the landing of an amphibious army on the English Isles, and force London to go to a separate peace. After that, it was already possible to attack the USSR. Or agree with Stalin on the division of the world.
In reality, Hitler made one fatal mistake after another, although he was not crazy. He perfectly understood the danger of a war on two fronts. Nevertheless, in the summer of 1941, Hitler went to such a war, leaving behind a battered but not broken England, its powerful fleet. At the same time, the Germans waged a war in the Mediterranean. As a result, the Reich fought on three fronts!
It is also worth noting that Stalin received warnings about the Reich attack through different channels. The dates were different, but the essence is the same - Germany is attacking Russia. But the Soviet leader stubbornly believed that there would be no war in 1941. Stalin was also not a fool, according to his own enemies, he was one of the greatest statesmen in the history of mankind. Stalin cannot be accused of carelessness. That is, the Kremlin quite reasonably expected that Hitler would first solve the problem of the second front, England. And only after that one can expect a war. In addition, the Soviet government had all the data on the economy and military forces of Germany. The conclusions were clear: the Third Reich is not ready for a long war. The suicidal blitzkrieg strategy that we see now was then obviously stupid. Hitler was considered a very intelligent and dangerous enemy.
There is only one explanation - Hitler hoped for peace and even a secret alliance with Britain. The pro-German party was strong in England, London and Berlin could divide the planet into spheres of influence. The Hitlerite elite was brought up on British ideals, British racism, the ideas of eugenics (improvement, selection of the human race) and social Darwinism. The British were considered part of the Germanic family, the Aryans. The Anglo-Saxon colonial model was the benchmark for the Hitlerites, with several thousand masters being held in check by millions of natives. Britain was seen in Berlin as the most ideal ally. Hence the pre-war funding of Hitler by Britain, secret contacts with representatives of the British elite, the secret of Rudolf Hess's flight (The secret of the death of Rudolf Hess).
Why Hitler didn't seriously fight England
Hitler seriously believed that the British would agree to make peace with him. That supporters of an alliance with the Reich would come to power in England and they would agree to an agreement with it. Moreover, it is believed that there was already a conspiracy. Hence such an iron confidence of Hitler and peace of mind for his rear, while he is at war with the Russians. Therefore, London classified its World War II archives.
Berlin and London shared spheres of influence. Britain still had the largest colonial empire, could profit from the fallen France. Germany received "living space" and the resources it needed at the expense of the Russians. Hitler was not afraid of the United States at that time. On the one hand, part of America's finance capital supported Hitler and his desire for a big war. On the other hand, the United States had not yet entered the war and could not have entered. Many Americans then sympathized with the Fuhrer, including the Kennedy clan. There was an opportunity to come to an agreement. The alliance of Germany, Italy, Japan and England was supposed to counterbalance the power of the United States.
In this situation, the war with the USSR did not bother Hitler. First, he was secretly promised a quiet rear that there would be no real "second front" while the Germans were fighting the Russians. Secondly, the Fuhrer overestimated the forces of the Reich and underestimated the Russians (the war between the USSR and Finland seemed to confirm the thesis "about a colossus with feet of clay"). Russia was planned to crush or push the Russians across the Volga, to the Urals during the "lightning war", before the beginning of winter. That is, to win the war in one 1941 campaign. Thirdly, in the Far East, Japan was supposed to strike at the Russians, capturing Vladivostok, Primorye and intercepting the Siberian railway. This was the end of historical Russia.
Therefore, the Germans did not fight seriously with Britain. After defeating the French and British expeditionary forces in May - June 1940, Hitler allowed the British to flee to his islands. The Germans could arrange a meat grinder in Dunkirk, destroy and capture the remnants of the British army. But the British were given the opportunity to escape, even taking some of the weapons. Moreover, Hitler banned attacks by the Luftwaffe on British naval bases. Although this was the most sensible step if the war were serious. In preparation for the landing in Scandinavia, it was necessary to inflict a strong blow on the enemy fleet. But they didn't. Obviously, the Fuhrer did not want to spoil relations with London and sink the British favorite brainchild - the fleet.
After Dunkirk, Hitler could organize a strategic landing operation. To land troops in England. Britain at this time was demoralized, the army was defeated. On the islands, militia units were formed, armed with old things, which could not stop the Wehrmacht. The English Channel could be closed with mines, Goering's aircraft, and an amphibious army could be landed. An excellent moment for the complete defeat of Britain. But Hitler did not. Allowed the British to recover. Instead of solving the problem, the Germans limited themselves to a demonstration - the so-called. battle for England. The Germans fought with England without bothering themselves. The Reich economy, unlike the English, was not mobilized. The German aviation industry even reduced the production of combat vehicles - in the midst of an air offensive on England! At the height of the battle, the British produced an average of 470 vehicles per month, and the Germans - 178. The Germans did not build up fighter cover for their bombers, equipping their fighters with suspended tanks, did not deploy a network of airfields in northern France to attack the enemy.
Also, the natural-born Teutonic warriors did not combine their air onslaught on Britain with the deployment of a large-scale submarine war. Britain had only a few submarines on duty, there was no total naval blockade. It was only in the summer of 1941 that the scale of submarine warfare increased. At the same time, when the German fleet starts a more serious war with the British, the Air Force stops the onslaught.
Thus, it was also a "strange" war. The Germans, in fact, did not fight seriously against England. Hitler had every opportunity to bring England to her knees as early as 1940. It was necessary to attack from several directions at once, seriously. Customize submarines and planes. Supplement air attacks with an underwater blockade, actions of surface raiders, intercept sea communications. Leave the British without oil and food. Attack the naval bases of England, fill up the entrances and exits with mines. To concentrate air strikes on Liverpool, the main seaport through which resources were brought from outside, to bomb aircraft factories, enterprises producing aircraft engines. Paralyze railway traffic by bombing railway bridges and transport hubs. Close the English Channel with minefields and aircraft. Mobilize sea transport and land troops. Capture Gibraltar and Suez, Egypt and Palestine, subjugate the regimes in Turkey and Persia. Threaten India.
Thus, Hitler spared England. They did not fight the British seriously. They were viewed as a fraternal Germanic people with whom an alliance was to be concluded. It is very likely that Berlin and London had tacit agreements that have been classified until now. Therefore, the Germans did not destroy the British fleet, naval bases and ports, military industry, railways. Everything that made Britain a great power. In fact, the Germans were saving the military, naval and economic power of England. The air strikes were demonstrative. Like, stop fooling around. Hitler hoped to the last for a pro-German government to come to power. This is the mystery of the flight of Hess in May 1941, one of the closest associates of the Fuehrer, to England. And after the mission of Hess, Hitler calmly begins a war with the Soviet Union, hoping that the British will not interfere with him.