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Additional resources for 1939: A Retrospect Forty Years After

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Today we know that a military dictatorship, detestable as it is, would probably have been a hundred times better than letting Hitler have a go - the 'Bohemian Lance The German View 27 Corporal', as President Hindenburg called him. However, apart from the fact that it was asking the impossible to have a government of the right, let alone the extreme right, with the support of the trade unions, yet it was not clear to contemporaries why a military dictatorship should have been preferable to Hitler.

See Lothar Kettenacker, 'Die Diplomatie der Ohnmacht' in Sommer 1939, ed. Wolfgang Benz and Hermann Gram! (Stuttgart, 1979) pp. 223-79. This The German Vz"ew 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 37 impression is also evident in Sidney Aster, 1939: the Making of the Second World War (London, 1973). It must be said, however, that most historians who attempted to prove this thesis concentrated on the period before 1914, notably Hans Ulrich Wehler, Bismarck und der Imperialismus (Koln/Berlin, 1972) and Volker R.

As we know, and should have known at the time, for the German dictator a 'free hand' meant one that was not clothed in a 'kid glove', as he later put it in his table talks during the was. 43 After all resistance had been destroyed, the East was to be the 'Far West' for the settlers from Swabia and other German Gaue, with Himmler's SS cast as the United States cavalry, making use (to quote Hitler's table talks once again) of four-metre rail tracks and Autobahnen eleven metres wide. 44 Whether Hitler could have been deterred from attempting to realise these fantasies if he had failed to reach a provisional settlement with Moscow is a matter for speculation.

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