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"Declaring War on America: Wrong!" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Jun 2019 11:26 a.m. PST

You were asked – TMP link

Was Hitler wrong to declare war on the USA following Pearl Harbor? Or did his alliance with Japan leave him no choice? Would the Americans have intensified conflict in the Atlantic even without war being declared?

73% said "Hitler was wrong to declare war on America"
12% said "Hitler was right to declare war on America"

14th NJ Vol Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 12:17 p.m. PST

If he had 1/2 a brain he should have declared war on Japan. He would not have had to fight them, the isolationist in America wouldn't have let Roosevelt get into the European war, and he might have had a better chance of winning? Maybe?

Korvessa11 Jun 2019 1:05 p.m. PST

Now that is interesting.

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 2:49 p.m. PST

I worked with a German lady in Utah who refused to believe Hitler declared war on the US first: clearly he would only have declared war on us in response to our declaration of war on Germany.


Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 11:50 p.m. PST

Since Japan did not go to war with the USSR, I don't see why Germany was obligated to go to war with the US.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2019 11:53 p.m. PST

I don't like the use of the word "wrong" in the poll. It should be "mistake" instead. Hitler made a mistake by declaring war on the US. We can all agree it was wrong but was it a mistake on his part?

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2019 2:01 a.m. PST

He had no treaty obligation to declare war, because Japan had not been attacked.

There is no reason to think the US would ever otherwise have found itself at war with Germany. The US would never have declared war because of, say, German aggression, because Germany had no means of carrying any aggression out.

The only way I can envisage the US declaring war on Germany is if Germany first defeated Russia and Britain. Defeating Russia would free up a lot of manpower; defeating Britain would potentially add the Royal Navy and French navy to its own and Italy's naval strength. Those four navies combined would then present a credible threat beyond what the USN could clearly contain, depending on its strength in a counterfactual. That, along with V2 development, might have been enough to prompt US rearmament and a declaration of war.

If you had anything similar to the B29, you could nuke New York with it from Iceland, for example.

More likely it would have triggered a cold war in which both sides tried to be the first to come up with a Bomb.

Tired Mammal12 Jun 2019 5:14 a.m. PST

US would have declared war on Germany once they started mobilising and Germany sank 1 merchant ship too many.

The Uboat campaign would have brought them in just as it did in 1917 (with a few telegrams).

All it would take would be some press attention and the public would demand it.
The fact that the Allies were also attacked by Japan would have made it very odd to keep peace with Germany.
What it might have done though is resulted in a delay on declaring on Germany and resulted in a Pacific first campaign which is an interesting thought.

Katzbalger12 Jun 2019 9:26 a.m. PST

I think US ships escorting convoys and US Lend Lease aid to the UK convinced him that he was already (essentially) at war with the US and this was a "cheap" way to get some good will out of the Japanese (hey, he might have thought he could convince them to nibble at the USSR again).

And yes, definitely a mistake.


Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2019 9:36 a.m. PST

AIUI he thought he was fighting the U boat campaign with one hand tied behind his back because he couldn't attack American convoy escorts nor hit convoys in US waters. the sinkings went up when this constraint was removed by the declaration of war, but not enough to make a difference.

bobspruster12 Jun 2019 4:08 p.m. PST

At that point Adolf had both London and Moscow under his thumb. The a-ho!e probably thought that by the time the U.S. was mobilized that both UK and USSR would be finished.

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