By Horst Boog, Jurgen Forster, Joachim Hoffman, Ernst Klink, Rolf-Dieter Muller, Gerd R. Ueberschar, Ewald Osers
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Extra resources for Germany and the Second World War: Volume 4: The Attack on the Soviet Union
In order to escape the risk o f a war on two fronts, a risk which would arise if London allied itself with M oscow and if Germany were first to attack the Soviet Union, four weeks later the Army High Command came out in favour of a continuation of Germ an-Soviet co-operation worldwide. ‘This being so, could deliver the British a decisive blow in the Mediterranean, shoulder them away from Asia, help the Italians in building up their Mediter ranean Empire, and, with the aid o f Russia, consolidate the Reich which we have created in western and northern Europe.
St Salewski, Seekriegsleitung, iii, Nos. 4, 5. *8 Schreiber, 'Kontinuität*, No. 6. w Salewski, Seekriegsleitung, i. ; Germany and ike Second World War, ii. 369fr. Haider, Diaries, 506 (13 July 1940). 61 Hitler's Directives-, No, 16 (author’s italics). 24 1. 1. Hitler’s Decision in Favour of War considered561 presumably induced Raeder to have a memorandum prepared on it. 63 He proceeded from the premiss that Germ any’s opponent ‘now and in future’ remained Britain and her potential allies, the United States and the Soviet Union.
But concealed behind the statistics was often the fact that only a limited number o f first-rate divisions was available, certainly of motorized formations. One armoured division was not the same as another armoured division. The Wehrmacht had not really been ‘ equipped’ , in the proper sense of the word, for war against the Soviet Union. Frequently the only equipment available was captured weapons and vehicles. This process is here for the first time coherently documented from the sources. Introduction 7 All the decisive aspects o f the war ultimately resulted from the fact that the anticipated rapid collapse o f the Soviet Union did not take place: there was the attrition o f Germ an human and material potential, inability to utilize the country economically on the planned scale, and finally also the mass deaths of Soviet prisoners o f war.