Previous article was attempting to view the events of 1939-1941, from different perspective. It inclined that in last 2o years historians have gathered enough facts and archival sources to prove that Hitlers attack on Soviet Union was based on strategical logical necessity, as answer to Soviet aggressive policy towards Germany.
However, there always will be people who will turn down these evidences and will cite passages from Hitlers most famous work Mein Kampf. In this book Hitler talked about gaining the “living space” in the East as basic necessity that must be gained by invading Russia.
So to explain why in 1941, Hitler who had conquered half of Europe and who was involved in unpromising war with Great Britain suddenly chooses to open another front in the east, they say: “Its because he wrote that in his book!”. He wanted to do that already in 1925, and that is the main reason. All attempts on looking on real strategical situation before the invasion is seen as revival as Goebbels propaganda. But what Hitler actually wrote in his book? Was it the only thing he wrote or did he mean by that?
Hitler wrote his main book between 1923 to 1924, while being in custody. The future victories were only in his dreams. Speaking strictly his work was not propaganda work, but the theory of his party that should become a foundation of future mass movement. The Mein Kampf was a philosophy of failed right wing extremist who speculated about the fate of Germany. The 1000 page manifesto written by Norwegian extremist Anders Behring Breivik had same level of importance as Mein Kampf had at the time of its release.
His main goal was German renouncement from colonization to conquer new lands in Europe. “Until our country has not managed to provide itself with enough land, you cannot see our position as faultless. Never forget, that most holiest rights are rights for plenty of land that we can cultivate ourselves. Never forget that most holiest blood are those that are wasted in the fight for the land.” This means that Hitler strives for land anywhere: east, north, south, west. The eastern lands had no prime importance as Hitler could also desire other territories within Europe.
Hitler actually plans wars, but his hatred for Bolsheviks and Western democracies are driven by mercantile reasons not political. War both with west and east is physically impossible for Germany. So Germany must choose which side to ally with – Great Britain or Soviet Union.
Hitler considers both options and chooses the first – alliance with western powers. “From military point of view German-Russian war against Western Europe (in this case against all world) would be a disaster for us. Because all fighting would happen on German soil, not Russian, and Germany cannot hope for at least suitable help from Russia.“
Hitler thinks that Russia is weak, poorly armed ally “Bear in mind that between Germany and Russia there is Poland, that is completely in hands of France. In case of war between Germans, Russian alliance and Western European powers, for Russia, before it manages to send any soldier to German front, will have to beat Poland first. In such war thing lies more in armament not in count of soldiers”.
Hitler thinks that alliance with Soviet Union would mean relapse of the events of the First World War. No less dangerous is alliance with Soviet Union that does not includes urgent termless goals. “Usually its objected that alliance with Russia does not need urgent war or it’s needed to properly prepare for such war. No, that is not so! Alliance that does not include war aims is useless and unneeded. Alliances are only made for common struggle… One of two: either German – Russian coalition stays only on paper, and therefore looses its value and meaning; or such alliance stops to be only on paper and becomes realized and then whole world will see in us the danger hidden for them. It’s completely naive to think as if Great Britain and France would quietly wait for ten years, until German – Russian alliance will finish all technical preparations for the war. No, in this case danger for Germany will grow in high-speed”.
And another, secondary, but important argument: “Present day Russian leaders do not consider signing a fair union with Germany, and even fulfill it if they ever signed it”.
Therefore Hitler makes a judgment – alliance with Russia is pointless and dangerous, but “really usable and perspective is an alliance with England and Italy.” Such alliance is more preferable for Germany. “I openly admit that already before the war I thought that Germany would do wiser if it would say no to pointless colonialism, building of war fleet and increasing its world trade, then with England it would fight against Russia”. In so conquering western lands is not perspective, but road to Russia is open, because the West is great potential ally, but Russia is weak.
From this Hitler concludes: “We want to halt pointless German crushing in south and west of Europe and we point our finger to the territory that lies in the west. We completely break our past colonial and trade policy and deliberately turn to acquiring new lands in Europe. We can only consider Russia and its neighboring countries.”
If we consider this last phrase Hitler actually predicted his invasion in Soviet Union. However, if we know the complex of all his judgments he did not expect anything like this. In Mein Kampf he based an alliance with strongest against weakest. The choice of ally is based on military factors not political. An attack on Russia without strong Western support is insane. History proved that he was right. Then what else if not despair made him to do such step?
Hitler later said that his most famous work was outdated. And why not if Hitler was forced abandon ideas written in his book one by one? When he came to power he followed to goal of uniting all Germans in one state. For this Austria and Czechoslovakia was annexed. For this he attempted to force Poland give up its German-speaking territories. When Poland turned down his demands, he wanted to settle this with war. And he wanted to do that with no considerable support. So he was forced to step away from his ideas in Mein Kampf and sing a deal with Soviet Union. It was done to avoid two front war and to keep Great Britain out of the combat. As he correctly predicted in Mein Kampf Soviet Union unfairly fulfilled the non aggression treaty and endangered the German position. And by this he was forced to break another his judgment that invasion in Russia without Western help is unwise step.
This shows that Hitler never closely followed his book nor he was ever able to follow it. Also no leader publishes his geopolitical attack plans in publicly available edition. Plus, the idea of Lebensraum was rather abstract for it could be located anywhere as long as Germany could gain it. And the gaining the Lebensraum was not a prime importance as it gaining would last more than hundred years. After all it was Thousand Year Reich he strive for. Hitler understood well that strategical situation of Germany will not allow it become a global empire. So he made a many strategical steps to support German position in Europe that threw Germany into war. A war that he did not want to start it in such way. No wonder after British declaration of war he shouted in panic “What Now?”. Also the invasion in Russia was based on desperate hope that Soviet Union will be a weak enough to be defeated in five months. The plan Barbarossa was designed not for long-term war. A long-term war was only possible if he had proper support from the West as he wanted in Mein Kampf.