The Charlotte News

Monday, June 9, 1941


Site Ed. Note: "Syrian Stake" points up the imminence of a test for the Free French against Vichy, the latter having occupied Syria since the fall of France a year earlier. When it was discovered that Syria had supplied airfields for German planes to fly to Iraq, the British and the Free French invaded and successfully occupied Syria in June.

The Raymond Clapper piece, pointing out the successful re-taking of Iraq from German propagandists who had installed a puppet regime there in May, begins to suggest now the dilemma for Hitler which likely led him to invade Russia thirteen days hence:

The need for oil being paramount to continued prosecution of the war, the failure of the bombing of Britain thus far to bring about the peace he sought on his terms--all of Europe in continued chains under German rule and a Nazi puppet at the helm, a la Vichy, in Britain--, facing British resistance in Iraq and the threat of Russian resistance should he make a move on Turkey, the promised trade by Hitler of Iran to Russia in exchange for not so interfering being no longer such an attractive exchange to Stalin with British and Free French resistance in the region now appearing formidable, the stab to Stalin was the avenue of apparent least resistance left to Hitler primarily to secure two things: 1) control of the Black Sea and the northern Mediterranean, and access to the oil of the Ukraine; and 2) by that, insuring a stronger position for committing a force to battle the British and Free French for Iraq and the Suez and the rich oil region it controlled.

And, not merely incidental to these two goals to insure the wherewithal for further conquest, there was the secondary bonus of finally convincing the isolationists in America and the anti-Communist appeasers in Great Britain that they had been betting on the right horse in Hitler to defeat Soviet Communism. That, at least, aside from anti-Semitism which certainly motivated some of them, was the most often stated rationale for affording their tolerance of Hitler. That and of course the genuine desire to avoid participation in another war in Europe. Though, obviously for the British, that rationale was now blown to pieces, and increasingly looking so for the United States as well.

A tertiary consideration for Hitler, no doubt, was the hope to gain the confidence of the Japanese, who constantly had feared Russia at the back door coming to the aid of the Chinese or otherwise interfering in the establishment of the Japanese empire in the Pacific. The Japanese, once the attack on Russia began, fixed on a policy of an attack from the east on Russia should Hitler's victory appear a foregone conclusion. Moreover, the preoccupation of Stalin's forces on their western front freed the Japanese to undertake, with thusly assured impunity except from the United States, the move south to the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, and Malaysia, for the promise in turn of yet another vast reserve of oil, along with rubber, tin, mercury and manganese, to be opened to the Axis--should Japan finally join it tooth and nail, that is.

The invasion of Russia was, in short, Hitler seeking again to flex his muscles, beat his chest, and browbeat an opponent, seeking another rapid blitz against what he perceived to be a weak potential for resistance after the poorly equipped Finnish, withstanding the Russian onslaught for weeks in late 1939 through March, 1940, had shown up Stalin's army to be not so resistless as previously had been supposed.

And now with the Free French under De Gaulle appearing to be a formidable force in combination with the British, with Roosevelt having issued a dramatic implied warning to Hitler on May 27 regarding further incursion to the Atlantic, the way open through unoccupied French territory into Spain and northern Africa to the Azores, Canaries, and Cape Verdes was now far more problematic than had appeared just two weeks earlier. The prospect of bringing America into the war lay with that course. And without an adequate oil supply to keep the submarines and cruisers fueled to ply the Atlantic for long.

Thus, the path of least resistance, the path with the most favorable outcome in terms of supply and breeding confidence in potential and established allies, appeared to be the one to Russia. The way there seemed perfectly wide open for the military genius, Hitler, to become the next Napoleon bound for his Austerlitz. But a funny thing happened along the way in this snow job.

Installment 7 of Out of the Night is here. We follow the young, restive Jan Valtin further along his odyssey, now from Holland to Belgium, aboard a tramp steamer to Britain and then to San Pedro, California, where all is sunshine and roses again--until he encounters one of his old Communist cronies from Hamburg. And then it's heart-struck for the inequities done his fellow proletarians and therefore back once again to the doldrums which were post-war Germany in the mid-twenties.

Plus, we find out from the page that mosquitoes were unknown to Hawaii until ships from the mainland of the United States carried them there in water barrels. Which is why it always pays to read The News, to keep the mosquitoes in abeyance, to keep them from breeding in the rainwater collected in old tin cans, rubber tires, in tin and copper gutters, and birdbaths.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i>--</i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.