CHURCHILL, HITLER, and the UNNECESSARY WAR

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    Were World Wars I and II inevitable? Were they necessary wars? Or were they products of calamitous failures of judgment?

    In this monumental and provocative history, Patrick Buchanan makes the case that, if not for the blunders of British statesmen–Winston Churchill first among them–the horrors of two world wars and the Holocaust might have been avoided and the British Empire might never have collapsed into ruins. Half a century of murderous oppression of scores of millions under the iron boot of Communist tyranny might never have happened, and Europe’s central role in world affairs might have been sustained for many generations.

    Among the British and Churchillian errors were:

    • The secret decision of a tiny cabal in the inner Cabinet in 1906 to take Britain straight to war against Germany, should she invade France
    • The vengeful Treaty of Versailles that mutilated Germany, leaving her bitter, betrayed, and receptive to the appeal of Adolf Hitler
    • Britain’s capitulation, at Churchill’s urging, to American pressure to sever the Anglo-Japanese alliance, insulting and isolating Japan, pushing her onto the path of militarism and conquest
    • The greatest mistake in British history: the unsolicited war guarantee to Poland of March 1939, ensuring the Second World War

    Certain to create controversy and spirited argument, Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War is a grand and bold insight into the historic failures of judgment that ended centuries of European rule and guaranteed a future no one who lived in that vanished world could ever have envisioned.

    Softcover, 544 pages

    Table of Contents

    PREFACE: What Happened to Us?

    INTRODUCTION: The Great Civil War of the West

    1. The End of "Splendid Isolation"

    2. Last Summer of Yesterday

    3. "A Poisonous Spirit of Revenge"

    4. "A Lot of Silly Little Cruisers"

    5. 1935: Collapse of the Stresa Front

    6. 1936: The Rhineland

    7. 1938: Anschluss

    8. Munich

    9. Fatal Blunder

    10. April Fools

    11. "An Unnecessary War"

    12. Gruesome Harvest

    13. Hitler's Ambitions

    14. Man of the Century

    15. America Inherits the Empire

    NOTES

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    INDEX

    Excerpt : Preface: What Happened to Us?

    All about us we can clearly see now that the West is passing away.

    In a single century, all the great houses of continental Europe fell. All the empires that ruled the world have vanished. Not one European nation, save Muslim Albania, has a birthrate that will enable it to survive through the century. As a share of world population, peoples of European ancestry have been shrinking for three generations. The character of very Western nation is being irremediably altered as each undergoes an unresisted invasion from the Third World. We are slowly disappearing from the Earth.

    Having lost the will to rule, Western man seems to be losing the will to live as a unique civilization as he feverishly indulges in La Dolce Vita, with a yawning indifference as to who might inherit the Earth he once ruled.

    What happened to us? What happened to our world?

    When the twentieth century opened, the West was everywhere supreme. For four hundred years, explorers, missionaries, conquerors and colonizers departed Europe for the four corners of the Earth to erect empires that were to bring the blessings and benefits of Western civilization to all mankind. In Rudyard Kipling's lines, it was special duty of Anglo-Saxon peoples to fight "The savage wars of peace/ Fill full the mouth of Famine/ And bid the sickness cease." These empires were the creations of a self-confident race of men.

    Whatever became of those men?

    Somewhere in the last century, Western man suffered a catastrophic loss of faith—in himself, in his civilization, and in the faith that gave it birth.

    That Christianity is dying in the West, being displaced by a militant secularism, seems undeniable, though the reasons remain in dispute. But there is no dispute about the physical wounds that may yet prove mortal. These were World Wars I and II, two phases of a Thirty Years' War future historians will call the Great Civil War of the West. Not only did these two wars carry off scores of millions of the best and bravest of the West, they gave birth to the fanatic ideologies of Leninism, Stalinism, Nazism and Fascism, whose massacres of the people they misruled accounted for more victims than all of the battlefield deaths in ten years of fighting.

    A quarter century ago, Charles L. Mee, Jr., began his End of Order: Versailles 1919 by describing the magnitude of what was first called the Great War: "World War I had been a tragedy on a dreadful scale. Sixty five million men were mobilized--more by many millions than had ever been brought to war before--to fight a war they had been told, of justice and honor, of national pride and of great ideals, to wage a war that would end all war, to establish an entirely new order of peace and equity in the world."

    Mee then detailed the butcher's bill.

    By November 11, 1918, when the armistice that marked the end of the war was signed, eight million soldiers lay dead, twenty million more were wounded, diseased, mutilated, or spitting blood from gas attacks. Twenty-two million civilians had been killed or wounded, and the survivors were living in villages blasted to splinters and rubble, on farms churned in mud, their cattle dead.

    In Belgrade, Berlin and Petrograd, the survivors fought among themselves--fourteen wars, great and small, civil or revolutionary, flickered or raged about the world.

    The casualty rate in the Great War was ten times what it had been in America's Civil War, the bloodiest war of Western man in the nineteenth's century. And at the end of the Great War an influenza epidemic, spread by returning soldiers, carried off fourteen million more Europeans and Americans. In one month of 1914—"the most terrible August in the history of the world," said Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—"French casualties . . . are believed to have totaled two hundred sixty thousand of whom seventy five thousand were killed (twenty seven thousand on August 22 alone)." France would fight on and in the fifty one months the war would last would lost 1.3 million sons, with twice that number wounded, maimed or crippled. The quadrant of the country northeast of Paris resembled a moonscape.

    Equivalent losses in America today would be eight million dead, sixteen million wounded, and all the land east of Ohio and north of the Potomac unrecognizable. Yet the death and destruction of the Great War would be dwarfed by the genocides of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and what the war of 1939-1945 would do to Italy, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic and Balkan nations, Russia, and all of Europe from the Pyrenees to the Urals.

    The questions this book addresses are huge but simple: Were these two world wars, the mortal wounds we inflicted upon ourselves, necessary wars? Or were they wars of choice? And if they were wars of choice, who plunged us into these hideous and suicidal world wars that advanced the death of our civilization? Who are the statesmen responsible for the death of the West?

    Sample Excerpt

    To Hitler, Great Britain was Germany's natural ally and the nation the most admired. He did not covet British colonies. He did not want or seek a fleet to rival the Royal Navy. he did not wish to bring down the British Empire. He was prepared to appease Britain to make her a friend of Germany. Where the Kaiser has grudgingly agreed in 1913 to restrict the High Seas fleet to 60 percent of the Royal Navy, Hitler in 1935 readily agreed to restrict his navy to 35 percent. What Hitler ever sought was an allied, friendly, or at least neutral Britain.

    Conversing in 1922 with a publisher friendly to the Nazi party, Hitler "ruled out the colonial rivalry with Britain that had caused conflict before the First World War." Said Hitler, "Germany would have to adapt herself to a purely continental policy, avoiding harm to English interests."

    "By late 1922," Kershaw wrote, "an alliance with Britain, whose world empire he admired, was in [Hitler's] mind. This idea had sharpened in 1923 when the disagreements of the British and French over the Ruhr occupation became clear."

    Having fought the "Tommies" on the Western Front, he admired their martial qualities. Nor was Churchill unaware of "Hitler's notorious Anglomania and his almost servile admiration of British imperialism..."

    Hitler biographer Allan Bullock summarizes his grand strategy:

    In Mein Kampf Hitler had written:

    "For a long time to come there will be only two Powers in Europe with which it may be possible for Germany to conclude and alliance. These powers are Great Britain and Italy." The greatest blunder of the Kaiser's government—prophetic words—had been to quarrel with Britain and Russia at the same time: Germany's future lay on the east . . . and her natural ally was Great Britain, whose power was colonial, commercial, and naval with no territorial interests on the continent of Europe. "Only by alliance with England was it possible (before 1914) to safeguard the rear of the German crusade... No sacrifice should have been considered too great, if it was a necessary means of gaining England's friendship. Colonial and naval ambitions should have been abandoned.

    The dream of an Anglo-German alliance would stay with Hitler even when he was at war with Great Britain:

    Even during the war Hitler persisted in believing that an alliance with Germany... was in Britain's own interest, continually expressed his regret that the British had been so stupid as not to see this, and never gave up the hope that he would be able to overcome their obstinacy and persuade them to accept his view.

    Sir Roy Denman came to the same conclusion:

    Hitler . . . had no basic quarrel wit Britain. Unlike William II, he had no wish from the outset to rival the British navy, nor covet the British Empire. His territorial aims were in Central and Eastern Europe and further east. He could never understand why the British constantly sought to interfere.

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