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November 8, 1923: Ludendorff tells Hitler-Don't forget US is key

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  • November 8, 1923: Ludendorff tells Hitler-Don't forget US is key

    It is 9 PM November 8, 1923 in the anteroom of the Buergerbraeukeller in Munich. Hitler and Ludendorff and others are discussing how to proceed during the "Beer Hall Putsch." Before they go back into the hall Ludendorff pulls Hitler into a corner.

    Ludendorff says to Hitler - Whatever happens tonight - remember the United States is the key. Do not fight the United States again - no matter what - you can't win. You either have to be more or less allied with them, or you have to move so fast you are too strong for them to cross the ocean.

    How does this influence Hitler's thinking and behavior when he comes to power?



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_Hall_Putsch

  • #2
    Originally posted by lakechampainer View Post
    It is 9 PM November 8, 1923 in the anteroom of the Buergerbraeukeller in Munich. Hitler and Ludendorff and others are discussing how to proceed during the "Beer Hall Putsch." Before they go back into the hall Ludendorff pulls Hitler into a corner.

    Ludendorff says to Hitler - Whatever happens tonight - remember the United States is the key. Do not fight the United States again - no matter what - you can't win. You either have to be more or less allied with them, or you have to move so fast you are too strong for them to cross the ocean.

    How does this influence Hitler's thinking and behavior when he comes to power?




    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_Hall_Putsch
    Absolutely nothing. Hitler still makes the same stupid mistakes.

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    • #3
      To keep friends with the US, Germany has to continue paying its debts under Dawes-Young, has to stop being beastly to the Jews and would probably have to limit their export subsidy schemes.

      Oh and Germany would probably have to limit their rearmament, bullying the neighbours and getting into pacts with unsavoury partners.

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      • #4
        I have to give this some thought, as I see so many options. In a simplified sense, Germany's problem is that in 1940 and 1941 the US is building up its strength, while he is already starting to use his up.

        Options I see include attacking the USSR a year earlier. Another option is too put greater focus on building up the U-Boat and maritime patrol arms.

        Many possible permutations. But of course if the US sees Germany taking measures of potential hazard to them, they will react accordingly also.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Gooner View Post
          To keep friends with the US, Germany has to continue paying its debts under Dawes-Young, has to stop being beastly to the Jews and would probably have to limit their export subsidy schemes.

          Oh and Germany would probably have to limit their rearmament, bullying the neighbours and getting into pacts with unsavoury partners.
          All good points. But don't forget their were many in the US who considered communism/Stalin/the USSR the real enemy, for ideological or economic potential reasons. Also, very close business relationships between many companies and individuals in the US and Germany. Also, many saw Germany as a buffer against the USSR (which of course it was in Cold War).

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          • #6
            And yet the governement and military saw Germany as the main threat to US national interests as early as 1938 and began positioning the US to fight Germany. German actions in 1939-41 turned US public opinion against it and the DoW was not much more than a formaility.
            The Purist

            Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by The Purist View Post
              And yet the governement and military saw Germany as the main threat to US national interests as early as 1938 and began positioning the US to fight Germany. German actions in 1939-41 turned US public opinion against it and the DoW was not much more than a formaility.
              I agree - but I don't see those events as having been pre-ordained. When the Rhineland was re-occupied without an armed response in March 1936, the Germans had improved their position tremendously.

              Also, if the Germans had oriented their military more towards stopping the flow of shipping across the Atlantic, and less on surface ships among other things, it would not have been easy for the US Navy and Army Air Force to get budget approval for new weapons.

              In terms of US internal politics and positioning to fight Germany, there were also many within and without the government who saw Japan as the main enemy and the Pacific/Asia as the key to US interests.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lakechampainer View Post
                I agree - but I don't see those events as having been pre-ordained. When the Rhineland was re-occupied without an armed response in March 1936, the Germans had improved their position tremendously.

                Also, if the Germans had oriented their military more towards stopping the flow of shipping across the Atlantic, and less on surface ships among other things, it would not have been easy for the US Navy and Army Air Force to get budget approval for new weapons.

                In terms of US internal politics and positioning to fight Germany, there were also many within and without the government who saw Japan as the main enemy and the Pacific/Asia as the key to US interests.
                I agree, USA had a sizable German population and many US businesses were trading with Germany. USA fighting Germany wasn't inevitable.
                A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

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                • #9
                  By the time the glass from Kristalnacht had been swept up, US-German trade had declined to virtually nill.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Destroyer25 View Post
                    I agree, USA had a sizable German population and many US businesses were trading with Germany. USA fighting Germany wasn't inevitable.
                    The only way the US avoids war with the US is if it does not invade Poland and start the fighting. Despite some Americans having German heritage they still followed the US laws and only a few companies tried to exploit loopholes in the trade restrictions. As has been explained already in different threads, German actions, beginning with the fall of Paris, began a fundamental shift in US public opinion against Germany. The US government was already in favour of intervention as=nd the army was preparing for the same.

                    Hitler's not presenting the US with declaration of war will not stop US entry into the war.
                    The Purist

                    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Another variable is Stalin's purge of the leadership of the Soviet Armed Forces. IF Hitler/Germany had known the extent of what was happening, they may have moved earlier against the Soviets. Of course, it was notoriously hard to learn about what was going on in the USSR.

                      The Japanese may have decided to "strike North"if the USSR was fighting Germany. Much like the US, there were different factions who saw threats/opportunities in different regions.

                      Of course, the way Germany could have "won" the war was to dominate Central and Eastern Europe economically, which they pretty well did by the mid to late 30s. But to use to cliche, then Hitler would not have been Hitler.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                        The only way the US avoids war with the US is if it does not invade Poland and start the fighting. Despite some Americans having German heritage they still followed the US laws and only a few companies tried to exploit loopholes in the trade restrictions. As has been explained already in different threads, German actions, beginning with the fall of Paris, began a fundamental shift in US public opinion against Germany. The US government was already in favour of intervention as=nd the army was preparing for the same.

                        Hitler's not presenting the US with declaration of war will not stop US entry into the war.
                        Hang on a minute i have read history books, did or did not the Soviets also invade Poland, and began massed pograms in that country.

                        If the US has this vaunted sense of morals then why did they not in the way you put it continue to maintain not only diplomatic releationships with a country (Soviet Union) that was kicked out of the League of Nations, then decided to help them with Lend Lease.

                        This is very different. If Hitler dos not declare war on the US and make no aggressive moves on the USA how does the US justify declaring war on Germany whilst the Soviet Union is carrying out genocidal pograms in Eastern Poland, the Baltic and waging a war against Finland, especially if Hitler decides that the Soviet Union is too big a fish to fry.

                        So who does the USA declare war on. And if Germany does not act with aggression towards the US pray tell how and what trigger would it take to get the US Government to violate its Neutrality Act.

                        Also where was the USA's much vaunted sense of morals when Germany marched into Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, France, Jugoslavia and the Soviet Union, where was the USA much vaunted sense of morals towards war when Japan invaded Manchuria and China.

                        It had to take a direct act of aggression to get the Americans out of their self imposed denial to finally act, other wise had the Japanese decided to just continue to do what they did in China and Manchuria the US would have done nothing in any declaration of war

                        America sat on the sidelines in 1914, 1915, 1916 and the best part of 1917 before finally committing to WW1, and she would have done so in WW2.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I do completely agree with the Purist, that the US was essentially at war with Germany well before December 7 1941 or when Hitler declared war a few days later. But I certainly think that within some time frame, certainly before the actual fighting in France and the low countries and Scandinavia, things could have developed very differently.

                          The German-American population would have come into play in a much more important way if there had been a kindler, gentler Germany. The US fought in World War I. No reason to think (as it happened in the event) that it would not in WW II.

                          Also, the heaviest german immigration had been in the 19th century (in relative terms anyway) so many of these 'german americans" were several generations from Germany (even before it was one country). And since WW I, the population of other immigrant groups and had increased.
                          Last edited by lakechampainer; 11 Aug 11, 11:08.

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                          • #14
                            Wikipedia article on Ludendorff. Interesting that later in life he broke with Hitler.

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Ludendorff

                            He also began to view all religions negatively. From Wikipedia article:

                            After 1928, Ludendorff went into retirement, having fallen out with the Nazi party. He no longer approved of Hitler and began to regard him as just another manipulative politician, and perhaps worse. In his later years, Ludendorff went into a relative seclusion with his second wife, Mathilde von Kemnitz (1874–1966), writing several books and leading the Tannenbergbund. He concluded that the world's problems were the result of Christians (especially of the Jesuits and Catholicism), Jews, and Freemasons. Together with Mathilde, he founded the "Bund für Gotteserkenntnis" (Society for the Knowledge of God), a small and rather obscure esoterical society of Theists that survives to this day.
                            In an attempt to regain Ludendorff's favour, Hitler paid Ludendorff an unannounced visit in 1935 and offered to make him a Field Marshal[citation needed]. Infuriated, Ludendorff angrily replied, "a Field Marshal is born, not made". When Ludendorff died in Tutzing in 1937, he was given – against his explicit wishes, a state funeral attended by Hitler, who declined to speak. He was buried in the Neuer Friedhof in Tutzing.
                            Last edited by lakechampainer; 11 Aug 11, 16:44.

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                            • #15
                              Well Ludendorff should know he made one of the worst decisons of the First World War, when he accepted claims that Germen submarines could stop any American troops crossing the ocean to Europe. In fact they failed to sunk one troop ships.
                              War is less costly than servitude

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