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Logics of WarExplanations for Limited and Unlimited Conflicts$
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Alex Weisiger

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451867

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451867.001.0001

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World War II

World War II

German Expansion and Allied Response

Chapter:
(p.105) [4] World War II
Source:
Logics of War
Author(s):

Alex Weisiger

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801451867.003.0005

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.

Keywords:   World War II, Europe, German expansion, Nazi ideology, Eastern Europe, Red Army, France, surrender

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