Deadly Imbalances: Tripolarity and Hitler's Strategy of World Conquest

Deadly Imbalances: Tripolarity and Hitler's Strategy of World Conquest

Deadly Imbalances: Tripolarity and Hitler's Strategy of World Conquest

Deadly Imbalances: Tripolarity and Hitler's Strategy of World Conquest

Synopsis

Scholars frequently portray World War II as an epic morality play driven by a villain (Hitler) and a sinner (Chamberlain). This book offers a fresh approach, combining both the attributes of states and the structure of the international system to explain the origins and causes of World War II. Central to the analysis is the argument that the structure of the international system was tripolar - with Germany, the Soviet Union and the United States as the three central powers - and not multipolar and that this needs to be considered in any examination of the antecedent causes and crucial events of the war.

Excerpt

At the height of its power in the summer of 1942, Hitlerite Germany had enslaved four hundred million people; its empire stretched from the Mediterranean to the Arctic, from the English Channel to the Black Sea and almost to the Caspian. Between the Ukrainian steppes and the Pyrenees only Switzerland remained free. Even Mussolini, whom Hitler once called “the leading statesman in the world,” had been reduced to a pathetic pawn. Far from the turmoil in Europe, Hitler's U-boats were carrying the Nazi offensive to the New World, engaging enemy forces off the Atlantic coast of North America and in the Caribbean Sea.

The enormity of Hitler's ambitions and Nazi brutality had by this time provoked the formation of a global counter-coalition solely aimed at defeating Germany and its Axis partners. All that was asked of any available ally was that it should share faithfully this one major purpose. Among the members of the Allied coalition, however, only the Soviet Union, which had already suffered serious losses the year before, was actively fighting German land forces in Europe. And unlike in 1941, when the Wehrmacht had stalled in the snow outside Moscow and Leningrad, the renewed German offensive of 1942 had carried the spearheads of Hitler's panzer armies to Stalingrad and deep into the Caucasus, where they threatened Russia's richest oil . . .

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