World War II
World War II
German Expansion and Allied Response
This chapter turns to World War II in Europe. It first focuses on the sources of German expansion, which arose from the belief, grounded in Nazi ideology, that Germany faced irreversible decline absent the acquisition of most of Eastern Europe. By the late 1930s, Germany's rearmament and Stalin's purge of the Red Army officer corps created a situation in which Germany would never have a better opportunity to address Hitler's fears. Consistent with the commitment problem argument, Hitler had expansive war aims that he pursued through risky strategies and refused to abandon even in the face of military defeats. The chapter then analyzes the Allied refusal to negotiate with Germany, highlighting the British decision not to negotiate after the fall of France and the Allied decision to demand Germany's unconditional surrender.
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