From: South Carolina, USA
February 5th, 1940
Baldwin Hanson, Military analyst, New York Tribune
Speculation runs rampant across the world over the confusing situation on the East Front. Many of the rumors have some truth in them but this reporter believes he has a grasp of the matter now.
The Axis, Germany in this case, which seemed to have had great success, was troubled, as all parties in this great war are. Yes, fuel shortages played a part. High command had addressed the matter with a supply complex, and restrictions on high fuel consumption. Germany's fuel problem was one issue but not the cause of the matter. For a clue to the answer look to the death of General P. Badoglio in Bulgaria. His death was of natural causes, but his deep unhappiness at being taken from Italy was well known. The Bulgarians were equally unhappy at being under a foreign leader. Across the German Reich the policy of harsh treatment of captured populations, and exploitation of allies caused a break. Things just stopped working. Supplies dried up, transport slowed, the weather was harsh, and above all the two hard years of continuous, brutal war took its toll. Faced with a totally unexpected popular discontent the political leadership called for a stand down. Across all fronts attacks were halted, with the exception of skirmishes in Finland. A political council was held, not in Berlin, but in Prague, and there the issues of the allies were hashed out. New commitments on troop use were put in place. The radical attempts to increase German combat training by billeting in allied countries was abandoned.
The Prague conference, a summit of Germany, Italy and the allied states was welcomed with joy. There were elements in German society that troubled the world. These are in a state of reform now. The Axis, even far off Japan, have set the war aims more firmly in place. The division the world between super powers will be resisted.
This reporter wonders if the Germans have become lambs or bought sheepskin coats. Germany does not want to stop super powers from dominating. She only wants the Axis to share a place at the "super" table. The Germans were playing fast and loose with the transfer of troops and technical concerns bit her. It would be very foolish to imagine that Spring will not bring an onslaught.