From: Zagreb, Croatia
With access to World trade and restitution of Germany colonies, Hitler may not have needed to risk his quest for Lebensraum in 1941......
Sorry it's not clear, but is the above passage from Churchill?
The comment seems very, very strange and ignores Hitler's whole raison d'etre.
I find it rather difficult - indeed faintly comical - the notion that access to World trade and the return of a few pieces of land in Africa and the Pacific would make Hitler suddenly become a peaceful bunny?
What difference would that make? Come any future war, he would lose the colonies and the access to World Trade and his German Empire would be subject to the blockade that helped lose Germany the First World War. The one thing above all else that drove Hitler (from everything I have ever read) was Lebensraum; the raw materials - oil, coal and wheat - that would make his Greater German Empire self sufficient.
As for Churchill, I quite agree that Britain possibly came closer to reaching some sort of accomodation than we care to think about - not because such negotiations were advanced, but because there was clearly a body of opinion (amongst many in high places) to do so.
The one danger to that happening was Churchill not being in office. But once installed, I do not think it concievable that Churchill would EVER have negotiated with the Nazis. What was it? "If Hitler invaded hell, I would at least make favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons".
I am speculated on what might have happened if after a failed Dunkirk evacuation, Britain had negotiated an armistice with Germany, obviously any such negotiation would not have involved Churchill. Again, it's speculation what the terms of such an armistice would have been, but Hitler's main concern was access to resources and as with the Nazi-Soviet pact and the transfer of raw materials from the USSR to Germany, it's not hard to see that the terms for Britain (the losing party - this is not a negotiation of equals) would include access for Germany to World trade and resources. There would have been nothing comical in the terms that Hitler could have imposed on Britain.
This is not Britain negotiating after being encouraged by a successful Dunkirk, allowing Hitler a free hand in Europe, if the Empire is left untouched (Lebensraum still Hitler's next option). The new scenario is that if the 'halt order' had not been confirmed by Hitler, German tanks would have reached Dunkirk and the beaches, before most of the retreating Allied troops. A few 10,000s may have been taken off (as Admiral Ramsay had predicted), but up to 400,000 Allied troops could have been trapped in a 'cauldron' inland. If a peace party came to power in Britain it would be after a catastrophic battle with possible large losses to the RAF and a humiliating surrender. As with the armistice of 1919 for Germany and 1940 for France, the intention is that the losing power should not rise again any time soon. Accepted that the French armistice was negotiated with German troops on French soil, we are speculating how a demoralized British government (without Churchill) might have reacted, with all the fears that existed at the time, before hindsight proved the fears to be illusionary, the terms could have been harsh, opening new and easier opportunities to access resources for Germany.
With the British naval blockade removed and the resources of the British Empire available to Germany on favourable terms, the need for an early attack East eases (Plan Z anticipated war in 1950). How much more could Hitler have forced from Stalin by coercion and threats, if the USSR is now alone (Stalin was expecting territorial demands from Hitler before June 22nd 41). I don't say for a moment that Hitler would become a 'peaceful bunny', but after an armistice with Britain, you have to guess on favourable terms for Germany, Hitler wins breathing space.
Barbarossa was partially driven by desperation, irrespective of Hitler's Lebensraum plans, an undefeated Britain and the naval blockade means that, without access to the resources, Germany is doomed to lose the war, just as in WW1. Resources which historically, were only available in the East, however, with a compliant Britain all of that changes.
What was Hitler's raison d'etre, removal of the shame and treason of Versailles and Germany taking its rightful place in the World as a great power. Hemmed in by the existing European powers, the only way to expand was East, but with France and Britain humbled and compliant, who knows where megalomania would go.
Thanks guys - this is why I asked this in the first place!
BTW, with Churchill at the helm I don't see peace with Hitler's Germany in any condition - without him (ands after possible capture of whole BEF) - who knows...
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