From: newton, MA USA
Mike, I agree it is thought-provoking, and I will check out the book, but I find it hard to believe that an Axis strategy for the Med was based on a USA strategy. First, there is evidence that Hitler let the UK army escape at Dunkirk, as he felt the destrcution of the Empire would not be benficial to anyone besides Japan and the USA. Second, wouldn't he have siezed the opportunity to severly hurt the UK in the Med when the chance was offered in 1942? All indications show that Hitler truned to Russia for two reasons: first, he had always planned to gain Lebenstraum, as you noted Fabs, and this was also buttressed by ideological issues. Second, he believed (apparently) that if Russia was gone, Britain would give in, as she had refused to see her beaten state after France fell. Remeber that the German peace proposals at that time (June 1940) were genuine (for the moment, anyway) and that Hitler and his cohorts were surprised and angered by the British refusal to throw in the towel and give Germany a free hand on the continent. This pointedly excludes the USA, and shows how Hitler viewed the nation as an afterthought. The actions in 1944-45 need to be taken in context; Germany was getting increasingly desperate, and Hitler's meglomania was also accelerating. In this context, hitting back at the USA is understandable, if fanciful.
[This message has been edited by Beantown (edited August 17, 2000).]