Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hitler Didn't Want War: Pat Buchanan

My first reaction upon reading Pat Buchanan's missive, published Tuesday, was whaaaat? The conservative columnist is under fire for a column that argues that Adolf Hitler didn’t want to launch a war, and that World War II could have been avoided if Poland had agreed to hand over the city of Danzig (now Gdansk) to Germany.

Arguing that the city of Danzig wanted to return to Germany, which according to Buchanan was "had been severed from Germany at Versailles in violation of Woodrow Wilson’s principle of self-determination" is one thing. Saying that Hitler wouldn't have launched a war defies logic.
But if Hitler was out to conquer the world — Britain, Africa, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, South America, India, Asia, Australia — why did he spend three years building that hugely expensive Siegfried Line to protect Germany from France? Why did he start the war with no surface fleet, no troop transports and only 29 oceangoing submarines? How do you conquer the world with a navy that can't get out of the Baltic Sea?

If Hitler wanted the world, why did he not build strategic bombers, instead of two-engine Dorniers and Heinkels that could not even reach Britain from Germany?

Why did he let the British army go at Dunkirk?
Well, besides the fact that he was insane and addicted to drugs, historians have a long laundry list of mistakes that Hitler made, and part of them explain the above.

Originally, Germany was aiming for a 1943 timeframe for war. I cannot recall the exact reasons that Hitler moved up the date right now, but by 1943 they would have had a surface fleet.

In terms of bombers, it's also well-known that Goering wasn't a big fan of strategic bombers, and that Germany liked to build multi-purpose aircraft that could serve many purposes. For example, the Junkers JU-88 was used as a long-range fighter, a bad choice for it.

In terms of Dunkirk, history shows that while the Germans may have been a little lax in terms of preventing the British from escaping, they hardly "let them go."

The American Prospect has a nice little point of view.
That whole invading Poland thing was clearly just a big misunderstanding. He didn't want war, he just wanted to arbitrarily annex whatever part of Europe he felt like having -- the response was clearly overblown, and maybe even a little rude.
Let's not forget, also, that Hitler hated the U.S.S.R. They were bound to invade sooner or later, anyway, and once again a mistake was invading too late in the year, which allowed Russia's winter to intervene.

Hitler came very close to winning, and if he had corrected a few mistakes, we might all be speaking German now. Interestingly, Pat Buchanan has book on the causes of World War II, "Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War.'" Makes you wonder if all this is about promoting the book, and even creating outrage in the blogosphere to help sales.

I can tell you this: my wife and her family, born in Warsaw, is outraged at this.
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Anonymous said...

I think you are too emotionally attached to the subject to see it clearly. I have read the Amazon summary of the book and looks like he is saying Britain's several mistakes caused Germany and Japan to be bitter against United States and United Kingdom and helped a lunatic like Hitler to gain power. He concludes that the war was not inevitable if British government had any foresight.

Anonymous said...

Buchanan has been defending and apologizing for racism and facism since I can remember. It figures that with Obama as President, he would be yearning for a world that Hitler and his Nazis survived. Jerk.

Anonymous said...

Pat Buchanan just states the facts and the obvious. Those who cannot hear the truth call it racism and facism. They prefer communism and socialist agendas to American patriotism and are the first to whine like children if they don't get their way. These terrorists are called liberals and democrats. Both are useless to this world.

roger said...

Pat Buchanan just states the facts and clear. Those who could not hear the truth and call it racism facism. Communism and the socialist agenda they prefer American patriotism and whine like kids do not get their way if they already are. These terrorists are called liberals and Democrats. Both are useless to the world.
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