USA- Germany- War History, On 11 December 1941, four days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States declaration of war against the Japanese Empire,
USA- Germany- War History
Nazi Germany declared war against the United States, in response to what was claimed to be a series of provocations by the United States government when the US was still officially neutral during World War II.
The decision to declare war was made by Adolf Hitler, apparently offhand, almost without consultation. Later that day, the United States declared war on Germany.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor surprised even Germany. Although Hitler had made an oral agreement with his Axis partner Japan that Germany would join a war against the United States, he was uncertain as to how the war would be engaged. Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor answered that question.
On December 8, Japanese Ambassador Oshima went to German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop to nail the Germans down on a formal declaration of war against America. Von Ribbentrop stalled for time; he knew that Germany was under no obligation to do this under the terms of the Tripartite Pact, which promised help if Japan was attacked, but not if Japan was the aggressor.
Von Ribbentrop feared that the addition of another antagonist, the United States, would overwhelm the German war effort.
A You Gov survey asked respondents from the US, Britain, and several European countries who they thought was most essential to defeating Germany in the Second World War and the US was the top choice in all but the UK and Norway.
In the US, France and Germany, Britain came third behind America and the Soviet Union. Some of the German respondents included a write-in choice: “Germany itself”.
The reality was just beginning to sink in when the German leaders got news of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. On the evening of December 8, within hours of hearing about the previous day’s attack, Hitler ordered that at any opportunity the German navy should sink American ships and those of Central and South American countries that had declared their solidarity with the United States.
In Tokyo’s view, the defeat of the Netherlands and France the following year, and the need of the British to concentrate on defense of the home islands, appeared to open the colonial empires of Southeast Asia to easy conquest.
From the perspective of Berlin, the same lovely prospects lay in front of the Japanese—but there was no reason to let them have all this without some military contribution to the common cause of maximum looting.
That contribution would lie in pouncing on the British Empire in Southeast Asia, especially Singapore, before Britain had followed France and Holland into defeat, not after. It would, moreover, at one stroke solve the problem of how to deal with the United States.
That evening, too, he left East Prussia by train for Berlin, but not before sending out a summons to the members of the German parliament, the Reichstag, to meet on December 11 and, in a formal session that would be broadcast to the whole country, declare war on the United States.
According to the terms of their agreements, Germany was obliged to come to the aid of Japan if a third country attacked Japan, but not if Japan attacked a third country. Ribbentrop reminded Hitler of this, and pointed out that to declare war against the US would add to the number of enemies Germany was fighting against,
Hitler dismissed this concern as not being important, and, almost entirely without consultation, chose to declare war against the US, wanting to do so before, he thought, Roosevelt would declare war on Germany.
In fact, Hitler’s declaration of war came as a great relief to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who feared the possibility of two parallel but disconnected wars – the UK and Soviet Union versus Germany in Europe, and the US and the British Empire versus Japan in the Far East and the Pacific.
With Nazi Germany’s declaration against the United States in effect, American assistance for Britain in both theaters of war as a full ally was assured. It also simplified matters for the American government, as John Kenneth
Mother Teresa- History, Award & Socialist Worker
When Pearl Harbor happened, we were desperate. We were all in agony. The mood of the American people was obvious – they were determined that the Japanese had to be punished. We could have been forced to concentrate all our efforts on the Pacific, unable from then on to give more than purely peripheral help to Britain.
It was truly astounding when Hitler declared war on us three days later. I cannot tell you our feelings of triumph. It was a totally irrational thing for him to do, and I think it saved Europe.
General George Washington begins marching 12,000 soldiers of his Continental Army from White marsh to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, for the winter. As Washington’s men began crossing the Schuylkill River, they were surprised by a regiment of several thousand British troops led by General Charles Cornwallis.
While there were no Russians sampled by You Gov, a 2009 study found that nearly two-thirds of Russians said that the Soviet Union could have defeated Nazi Germany on its own, and nine-in-ten believed the USSR played the decisive role in the war. More Russians polled said that Britain’s role in the war was “insignificant”, as opposed to “very large”.
The countries were led during the war by three of the 20th century’s most iconic leaders: Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin.
Instead, Hitler and his advisers came to concentrate ever more on the concept of acquiring bases for the German air force on the coast of northwest Africa, as well as on the Spanish and Portuguese islands off the African coast, to shorten the distance to the western hemisphere.
Hitler also held discussions with his naval advisers and with Japanese diplomats about bombing the United States from the Azores; but those consultations did not take place until 1940 and 1941. In the meantime, prewar planning had shifted its focus to naval matters.
Like the Japanese, the Germans in the 1930s faced the question of how to cope with the American navy in the furtherance of their expansionist ambitions; without the slightest consultation, and in complete and deliberate ignorance of each other’s projects, the two governments came to exactly the same conclusion.
In both countries the decision was to trump American quantity with quality, to build super-battleships, which by their vastly greater size could carry far heavier armament that could fire over greater distances and thus would be able to destroy the American battleships at ranges the enemy’s guns could not match.
Regardless of Hitler’s reasons for the declaration, the decision is generally seen as an enormous strategic blunder on his part, as it allowed the United States to enter the European war in support of the United Kingdom and the Allies without much public opposition, while still facing the Japanese threat in the Pacific.
Hitler had, Alexander Solzhenitsyn is born in the Caucasus Mountains in Russia. Solzhenitsyn’s father, an artillery officer on the German front in World War I, died before Solzhenitsyn was born, and he was raised by his mother, a typist. He began writing as a child but studied mathematics in fact.
Committed Germany to fight the US while in the midst of a war of extermination against Russia, and without having first defeated the UK, instead of taking the option of putting off a conflict with the US for as long as possible.
Forcing it to concentrate on the war in the Pacific against Japan, and making it much more difficult for it to become involved in the European war.
At least to some extent he had held in his hands the power to control the timing of the intervention of the US, and instead, by declaring war against America, he freed Roosevelt and Churchill to act as they saw fit.
From the point of view of Hitler and much of the German political and military elite, declaring war against the U.S. in response to the Pearl Harbor attack was a calculated risk in fighting the U.S.
Before they were prepared to effectively defend themselves. By that time, the German leadership believed that the United States was effectively acting as a belligerent in the conflict, given actions such as Lend-Lease of supplies to Britain to sustain their war effort, President Roosevelt’s public statements, the deployment of American soldiers and Marines to Iceland, and U.S.
Navy escorts of convoys across the Atlantic, which sometimes came into contact with U-boats; these acts, as well as America’s previous intervention in World War I, led to the assumption that war between them was inevitable.
As such, the decision was made to use the attack as a rationale for an official declaration of war in order to drive Britain out of the conflict by widening submarine operations and directly attacking U.S.
Commercial shipping. While Hitler’s declaration of war against the United States eventually led to his downfall, initially it seemed successful in its objective of more effectively cutting Britain’s supply lines, as the U.S. military’s lack of tactics, equipment, and procedures for fighting U-boats caused 1942 to be the most devastating year of the war for shipping losses the war declaration made the Second Happy Time possible for U-boats.