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The western allies, the German opposition, and the search for peace, 1939-1944 Hatton, Stephen John 1992

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THE WESTERN ALLIES, THE GERMAN OPPOSITION,AND THE SEARCH FOR PEACE, 1939-1944bySTEPHEN JOHN HATTONB.A. (Honours), Queen’s University, 1984A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of History)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAJuly 1992© Stephen John Hatton, 1992In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.Department of H IS 77)PYThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate / /922_-DE-6 (2/88)ABSTRACTSince the end of the Second World War, a debate has raged among historians overthe Allies’ treatment of the German opposition. One school of thought, represented byRichard Lamb and Gerhard Rifler, asserts that the opposition would have been in a betterposition to oust Hitler had the Allies been more forthcoming with aid and encouragement.This would have resulted in shortening the war, with the requisite saving of lives andlessening of destruction. The other school, represented by John Wheeler-Bennett, assertsthat the Allies were correct in refusing to deal with the opposition prior to a successfulcoup in Germany. However, the fact that this debate also raged within Allied governmentcircles during the war itself is often ignored. And most important, the effect of the Allies’effective abandonment of their unconditional surrender formula in the case of Italy ontheir treatment of the German opposition has yet to be studied. By re-examining thememoirs and diaries of the principals involved, the diplomatic papers of the British andAmericans, and the public speeches and comments of the Western Allied leaders, it ispossible to get a better picture of the Western Allies’ attitudes towards the German andItalian opposition movements and their views on surrender policy.Faced with a war which his planners stated would last at least three years, it is easyto see why Chamberlain clung to his pre-war appeasement mode of thought, if it couldbe applied to a non-Nazi Germany. As a result, he ignored those who advocated ahardline position on Germany and authorized contacts with the opposition through theNetherlands and the Vatican. However, Hitler’s escalation of the war in April, 1940 andthe opposition’s failure to act against him illustrated the bankruptcy of Chamberlain’spolicy.Whereas Roosevelt viewed the war as a moral crusade which did not allow for“good” Germans, Churchill’s attitude was more ambivalent. He wanted to use Germanyas a buffer against the Soviet Union but did not want to aid the German opposition.However, both leaders viewed Italy more favourably which led them to soften theirdemands on Italy once Mussolini had been removed from power. Churchill laterexpressed the hope that the German opposition would draw the obvious lesson fromItaly’s “very favourable” treatment during surrender negotiations.The Allied demand for unconditional surrender did not prevent the Germans fromacting to remove Hitler, as the March, 1943 bomb plot shows. In addition, by the timeof the July 20, 1944 attempt on Hitler’s life, the opposition leadership had acceptedunconditional surrender as a given condition.Finally, the assertion that Allied encouragement would have helped the Germanopposition to succeed is untenable. Not only were the Allies unwilling to repeatWoodrow Wilson’s mistake by giving assurances prior to the end of hostilities and weredetermined to keep the Soviets in the Allied camp, but also the opposition leadership inGermany was determined to act without any such assurances. In the end, no Alliedassurances would have helped Stauffenberg’s bomb to kill Hitler, nor would they haveprevented the bungling on the part of the conspirators in Berlin which led to the failureof the enterprise.The debate between the hard and soft-liners was rendered mute by the failure ofthe July bomb plot. However, it did show that there were some in Allied circles whoworked to change the official policies of “absolute silence,” “no contacts,” and“unconditional surrender.”IIITABLE OF CONTENTSPageABSTRACT iiCHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1CHAPTER II: 1939-1940 5CHAPTER III: 1940-1943 17CHAPTER IV: 1943-1944 39CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION 74ENDNOTES 78BIBLIOGRAPHY 90iv•1CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTIONPresident Franklin D. Roosevelt’s announcement at the conclusion of theCasablanca Conference of January, 1943 that the Allies were resolved to requireunconditional surrender by the Axis powers, Germany, Italy, and Japan, was resolute anduncompromising. Yet paradoxically, only eight months later, after I3enito Mussolini’sFascist regime had been overthrown, this policy was effectively abandoned. InSeptember, 1 943, an armistice with surprisingly lenient terms was negotiated with thenew Italian regime. The explanation for this seeming contradiction requires anexamination of the factors which had prompted the issuing of the CasablancaDeclaration, and, more specifically, of the attitudes amongst the Allied policy makerstowards proposals for negotiating with the enemy - or refusing to do so. In particular,this paper seeks to examine the reasons why no similar change of policy was adoptedtowards Germany, and why no parallel steps were taken which might have lentencouragement to the hopes of the German opposition movement that Germany wouldreceive the same treatment as its former ally south of the Alps.This paradox has not so far been fully elucidated. Anne Armstrong1 deals withthe Allied attitude towards and the surrender of Italy only in passing. She makes noattempt to show what impact these negotiations had on the continuing and often heateddebates within the British and American governments about their future stance towardsGermany. She also fails to convey just how intense the opposition within certain Alliedcircles was to the hardline adherence to the unconditional surrender demand. PeterHoffmann, in his masterly study of the entire German resistance movement,22concentrates principally on the tactics and strategies employed within Germany andmakes little reference to the ambivalences of the British and American governmentscaused by their treatment of Italy. Similarly, Lothar Kettenacker3and John Wheeler-Bennett4 deal only with the German case. On the other hand, Richard Lamb5 deals ingreat detail with both the surrender of Italy and the Allied treatment of the Germanopposition. However, he too fails to bring the two together. Therefore, the purpose ofthis paper will be to bridge this gap by examining the evolving plans between 1939 and1944 by which the Allies intended to end the war and how these plans related to theAllies’ treatment of the opposition forces in Italy and Germany. In particular, mypurpose is to show why and how the divergence of policy in dealing with Italy andGermany arose and to examine the political circumstances which led to thisdifferentiation.The paper will be divided into three sections. The first section will cover NevilleChamberlain’s wartime Premiership from September, 1939 to May, 1940. Having failedto prevent war, Chamberlain sought to prevent it from becoming total. To this end, hewas still willing to entertain the idea of negotiating with various emissaries fromGermany through intelligence contacts and through diplomatic channels, most notablythe Vatican. However, his efforts were more a product of his wishful thinking than arealistic assessment of their practicability. Once war had been declared, a totally newclimate prevailed. The British people were immediately aroused to wartime fervour,obliged to enlist for military service, and asked to make sacrifices for the war effort. Theinescapable result was to raise the stakes: the greater the sacrifices, the harsher the3ultimate peace would have to be. Thus, Chamberlain was the first Allied leader to facethe central dilemma involved in all subsequent attempts to deal with possible “peacefeelers” including those from the German opposition: demanding harsh terms wouldalienate the Germans but offering softer terms would alienate the British public. Thoughoften overlooked by later historians, the evidence suggests that this debate within theAllied governments was both continuous and controversial. Its implications were to beof striking significance in the differing solutions later found for achieving peace.The second section will cover the period from Winston Churchill’s assumptionof the Premiership in May, 1 940 to the issuing of the Casablanca declaration in January,1943. This period is characterized by Churchill’s dilemma over his declared intentionto win the war and Britain’s inability to do so. Churchill was also given to wishfulthinking in believing that his strategy of aerial bombardment, naval blockade, andattacking the Axis from the periphery would bring Hitler down. At the same time, heprohibited any contact with opposition elements in Germany and, after an abortiveattempt to get Italy out of the war, in Italy as well. The year 1941 saw the addition ofthe Soviet Union and the United States to the Allied cause. While this considerablyimproved the military prospects for Britain, Churchill and his Cabinet would henceforward have to share their influence over political considerations with their new allies.This new arrangement eventually was to lead to Roosevelt’s announcement atCasablanca.The third section will cover the period from the Casablanca declaration inJanuary, 1 943 to the failure of the German opposition’s coup attempt of July 20, 1944.4This section will trace the origins of the demand for unconditional surrender and itseffective abandonment in the case of the Italian surrender. The notion that the demandfor unconditional surrender both lengthened the war and hindered the efforts of theGerman opposition will be challenged. Instead it will be shown that both Churchill andRoosevelt became more flexible as D-day approached and that a successful Germancoup might well have been viewed favourably by both.5CHAPTER II: 1939-1940After declaring war on Germany on September 3, 1939, Anglo-French strategicplanning was guided by an awareness of the limits of their military power and theireconomic weaknesses.6 Both governments knew that no decisive military campaigncould be launched against Germany in 1939 or 1940. Therefore, in September, 1 939,the British Cabinet decided to make plans based on the belief that the war would lastat least three years, the first of which could only be one of preparation. In this way, thespecific manner in which the war was to be won could be avoided for the time being.7In the meantime, Germany was to be weakened through a tight economic blockade anda vigorous propaganda campaign to convince the Germans that they had no chance ofvictory.With such a bleak strategic outlook, it is easy to see why Chamberlain clung tohis pre-war appeasement mode of thought. He had failed to prevent a war in Europebut he was now determined to prevent it from spreading, especially if it was to last atleast three years. Since dealing with Hitler was now out of the question, Chamberlain’sefforts at appeasement could only be directed at other sections of the Germanpopulation. His sentiments are best expressed in a letter of September 10, 1939:There is such a widespread desire to avoid war, and it is sodeeply rooted, that it surely must find expression somehow.Of course the difficulty is with Hitler himself. Until hedisappears and his system collapses, there can be no peace.But what I hope for is not a military victory - I very muchdoubt the feasibility of that - but a collapse of the Germanhome front. For that it is necessary to convince theGermans that they cannot win.86In order to bring about this hoped for internal German collapse, Chamberlain turned topropaganda. In fact, until May, 1940, millions of propaganda leaflets, not bombs, weredropped on Germany9 in an attempt to convince the Germans that they could not winthe war and that they should overthrow Hitler,1°To complement this propaganda tactic, Chamberlain’s public statements werecarefully worded to distinguish between the German people and the Nazi regime. Inthe House of Commons on September 1, 1939, he declared that “we have no quarrelwith the German people, except that they allow themselves to be governed by a Nazigovernment.” He went on to say that the existence of and the methods employed bythe Nazi regime were the barrier denying peace to Europe and that “we are resolved thatthese methods must come to an end.”11 And on September 4, he stated that Britainwas not in this war to fight the German people, “for whom we have no bitter feeling,”but to fight “against a tyrannous and foresworn regime” which had betrayed bothGermany and Western civilization.12 While this latter speech was meant to justifyBritain’s going to war with Germany, its wording conveys Chamberlain’s conciliatoryframe of mind.At the same time, however, Chamberlain also made it clear that Britain wouldonly settle for what he would term a real peace.13 To obtain this real peace, a newGerman government was needed, one whose actions did not betray its words and onewhich was prepared to work in a spirit of co-operation to solve the problems faced bythe world. To this end, Chamberlain’s October 12 speech also contained a message forthe German people. He stated that Britain had no intention of excluding Germany “from7its rightful place in Europe” and that the British government felt that any peacesettlement could only succeed if “reached through the method of negotiations andagreement.” He concluded by declaring that Britain wanted nothing from Germanywhich would offend its “self-respect.” Instead, Britain’s aim reached beyond victory tothe founding of “a better international system which will mean that war is not theinevitable lot of every generation.”14 Chamberlain was therefore prepared to negotiatewith a new German government. However, he also needed to have secure andmeaningful assurances that such a new regime in Germany would abandon theaggressive policies adopted by the Nazis. Public opinion in Britain would require noless. He reinforced this position later that fall when he wrote, “If we can achieve ourpurpose without a holocaust, what a relief! But we must not abandon the purpose forthe sake of the relief.”15With these words, Chamberlain had set out the dilemma he faced. As the warprogressed, the sacrifices asked of the British people grew more intensive and, coupledwith the effects of anti-Axis propaganda, made it less likely that the British public wouldaccept and any “soft” peace for Germany. At the same time, demanding harsh termsfrom Germany would alienate any potential German opposition movement. This wasthe central dilemma faced by the Allies throughout the war.To complicate matters further, there existed a vocal and influential anti-Germanlobby, nominally headed by Sir Robert Vansittart. After being replaced as PermanentUndersecretary of State in the Foreign Office in 1938, Vansittart became SpecialDiplomatic Advisor to the British government. While he no longer had a direct say in8decision making, he remained a very influential figure. A like-minded colleague wasDuff Cooper, later to be named Minister of Information by Churchill. On April 23,1940, Cooper gave a speech in which he stated that the crimes of Germany were notjust those of one man or a small gang of thugs but of a whole nation. He called it“wishful thinking and dangerous thinking to believe that we could drive a wedgebetween the German Government and the German people.”16 In the fall of 1940,Cooper assigned Vansittart the task of making a series of radio broadcasts which labelledall Germans as warmongers and called for a harsh peace.However, there were those in Britain who rejected this hard line position. Onesuch person was Sir Alexander Cadogan, Vansittart’s replacement at the Foreign Office,who, in a diary entry of November 29, 1940, referred to Vansittart’s broadcasts as“ridiculous (and vulgar).” He also noted that “the Dominion High Commissioners ... areupset about it; and particularly because Van[sittart] threatens more! Told H[alifaxj whopromised to talk to the ass.” And on December 4, Cadogan wrote that these broadcasts“may do a deal of harm.”17 So from the beginning, the hardline position waschallenged from within government ranks.For his part, Chamberlain chose to ignore the hardliners. Instead, he sought toreassure himself that his position was the right one by acknowledging only that segmentof public opinion which shared his outlook. A letter of October 8, 1939 illustrates thispoint: “In 3 days last week I had 2450 letters, and 1860 of them were ‘stop the war’,in one form or another.”18 As a result, Chamberlain ignored the body of publicopinion which was hardening against Germany and continued to believe that there9existed a non-Nazi element in Germany which would respond to his announcedprogramme for peace.Nor was Chamberlain content to wait and see if such offers were taken up. Itsays much for his continued command of his Cabinet that he gained their assent formore active steps to be taken to contact such possible anti-Nazi elements. As Hoffmannrightly points out, such moves would have severely shaken his political credibility if theyhad been widely known.19 Nevertheless, despite the initial hesitation of Churchill, thenFirst Lord of the Admiralty, Chamberlain overrode his doubts and authorized contactsthrough the British Secret Service operating in Holland. By late October, 1 939, CaptainS. Payne Best and Major R. H. Stevens, British agents stationed in The Hague, werepursuing contacts they had established with someone they mistakenly believed was arepresentative of the German opposition: Walter Schellen berg, who in fact was a seniorGestapo agent out to collect intelligence with which to embarrass the Britishgovernment. The British agents had been instructed by London to be sympatheticenough to encourage further confidences from the opposition but non-committal enoughnot to cause London difficulties should they fail.2°To this end, Best and Stevens met with Schellenberg on October 21, 1939 inArnhem. Of this meeting, Schellenberg would later write:The British officers assured me that His Majesty’sgovernment were definitely interested in our enterprise andthat their government attached the greatest importance topreventing a further extension of the war and to theattainment of peace. They would welcome the removal ofHitler and his regime. Furthermore, they offered us all theaid and support within their power.2110Schellenberg’s words attest to the seriousness that Chamberlain attached to thisendeavour.On November 1, after receiving a report from Best and Stevens, Chamberlaininformed the War Cabinet of what was happening. As Cadogan noted:The Cabinet were told of our contact with the Generals anddidn’t like it. Told H[alifax] that first impact was bound tobe unfavourable and rouse suspicion. He mustn’t listen toomuch to Winston [Churchill] on the subject of ‘beatingGermany.’ We must try every means of helping G[ermany]to beat herself.22All such considerations were in vain, however, because Schellenberg engineered thekidnapping of the two British agents from the Dutch border town of Venlo on November9, 1 939. The resulting British outrage and growing suspicion of contacts with theGerman opposition finally forced Chamberlain to take notice of the anti-German factionand led to a hardening of Britain’s position toward a new German government.This policy shift was outlined in Britain’s response of December 20 to a Frenchaide-memoir of October 23 which urged the British to adopt the position that theremoval of Hitler was not sufficient in itself to end the German threat to Europe.23 TheBritish reply took a harsher tone, stressing the need to combat the “aggressive anddominating spirit” of Germany and the need for her to “be rendered harmless.” Thisclearly shows the growing influence of those who subscribed to Vansittart’s views. Yetat the same time, Chamberlain still had hopes that a more flexible policy had a chanceof success. The memo concluded:11As regards the future of the German Reich, His Majesty’sGovernment agree that the removal of Herr Hitler and hisentourage will not of itself be a sufficient remedy against there-emergence of German militarist and expansionist ideas,but it is not at the present possible to tell in what conditionsthe defeat or surrender of Germany will take place, and anysuggestion that it was the intention of His Majesty’sGovernment and the French Government to seek thepolitical dismemberment of Germany or to disrupt Germanunity ... would have the immediate effect of rallying theGerman people behind their present leaders.24In order to prevent this latter possibility, no specific war aims were to be announced;only general principles were to be spoken of publicly. This was to remain official Britishpolicy until the end of the war.In addition to the backlash caused by the Venlo incident, this tougher Britishposition came about for three main reasons. In the first place, not many leading Britonsbelieved in the existence of a German opposition; of those who did, not many believedit could succeed; and of those who recognised that only the German Army could effectthe desired change, not many believed such a regime would be any less aggressive ormilitaristic than the Nazis.25 Second, as already mentioned, domestic feeling inOctober which Chamberlain had used to convince himself that the British people wantedto avoid war and were willing to address legitimate German grievances, therebyjustifying his continued appeasement policy, began to harden against all Germans. Andthird, the French desire for effective military guarantees to avoid Allied dependence onGerman goodwill alone after the removal of Hitler26 helped convince the British theywould have to rely on active Allied measures and not on the still-hypothetical action bythe alleged opponents of Hitler in the German opposition.12In spite of all these setbacks, Chamberlain was still not prepared to exclude thepossibility of dealing with a post-Hitler government. As a result, he was willing to graspat straws. One such straw presented itself as a consequence of the trip by Adam vonTrott zu Solz to the United States in December, 1 939. A former Rhodes Scholar, Trottwas using his position at the German Foreign Ministry to further the efforts of theopposition. While Trott failed in his attempt to get the Americans to act as anintermediary between the opposition and Britain27, he met with greater success as aresult of his meetings with Lord Lothian, the British ambassador, and John WheelerBennett, Lothian’s advisor. Wheeler-Bennett was so impressed with Trott that heforwarded the following recommendation to London on December 28, 1939:A declaration should be made as soon as possible byBritain, France, Poland and the British Dominions at warwith Germany guaranteeing that there would be no politicaldivision or dismemberment of Germany; that there wouldbe collaboration with a new Germany, large-scale tradingfacilities, access to raw materials, economic agreements andthe limitation of armaments.28This was the kind of encouraging sign Chamberlain was seeking.Shortly after Wheeler-Bennett’s memo arrived in London, the most substantialavenue of contact established during Chamberlain’s tenure as wartime Prime Ministerbegan in earnest29:that through the Vatican. Being a good Unitarian, Chamberlain hadlittle use for the Pope. Consequently, his willingness to use the Vatican shows hisdesperation. The Vatican exchanges had been initiated from the German side, seekingto use the good offices of Pope Pius XII, early in November, 1939 by Joseph Muller, a13Catholic lawyer from Bavaria. Acting on behalf of the opposition leadership inGermany, Muller had approached the Pope’s secretary, Father Leiber, to see if Piuswould serve as an intermediary between the German opposition and the Britishgovernment.30 These Germans wanted the Pope to become involved because hewould be seen by both sides as a trusted mediator. Since the Pope sharedChamberlain’s desire to prevent the war from spreading further31, he was willing to dowhat he could to make it happen. However, the effects of the Venlo incident in thesame month cut matters short.The new year, on the other hand, saw a resumption of contacts. On January 11,1940, Sir D’arcy Osborne, Britain’s ambassador to the Vatican, was informed by thePope that he had seen an emissary of the German opposition who revealed that aplanned German offensive in the west was set for February. This might, however, bepre-empted if an honourable peace, that was not “like the Great War armistice, norWilsonian in nature”32, could be arranged. The new government would then beprepared to work out a settlement in eastern Europe which included the restoration ofPoland and Czechoslovakia, but not of Austria.33 Unimpressed, Osborne expressed“the hopeless vagueness of it”34 and told the Pope that surely Hitler should beoverthrown before the opposition talked peace.35Nevertheless, on January 12, Osborne forwarded the proposals to London36;even though he felt such a German offer was too vague and ominously reminiscent ofVenlo.37 On January 16, the War Cabinet decided not to pursue these vagueproposals. The German opposition must first show that they were serious by acting to14remove the Nazi government and then talking peace. This was to be British policythroughout the war.However, on February 5, 1940, Osborne was again summoned to a secretmeeting with the Pope and was told that a new approach had come from a general whowas “sufficiently important to be taken seriously.”38 The Pope showed Osborne a four-page opposition memo which stated that a military dictatorship might be necessaryimmediately following a coup but that it would later be replaced by “a democratic,conservative and moderate Government,” decentralized and federal in shape. The newgovernment would then endeavour to negotiate an honourable peace which includedGerman retention of Austria but the restoration of Poland and non-GermanCzechoslovakia.39 Halifax showed Osborne’s report of this meeting to Chamberlainand King George VI. Top officials in the Foreign Office, like Cadogan, also saw it, butit was not shown to the Cabinet, to Churchill, nor to Vansittart.4°Although Cadogan characterized the information coming from the Vatican as that“to which I don’t pay much more attention than I do to all these stories,”41Chamberlain and Halifax decided to respond without consulting the French. Osbornewas instructed on February 17 that the British government was prepared to consider anyproposal from intermediaries of the German opposition provided they “had both theintention and the power to perform what they promised” and they offered “a definiteprogramme” which could be “authoritatively vouched for.” He was reminded thatBritain’s prime concern was for “security for the future” and that in this regard, theopposition’s suggestion of a decentralized and federal Germany “might be held to go15some way towards a solution of this problem.” However, in all matters, the Frenchwould have to be consulted.42 In the face of Osborne’s scepticism and Cabinetopposition, these instructions clearly indicate that Chamberlain and Halifax were, asChadwick points out, “willing to return to the old policy of appeasement, because theycould apply it to a reasonable Germany and not to Hitler”43 once he had beenremoved.Chamberlain reinforced this position in his speech of February 24. His earlierviews about Britain’s not desiring “the destruction of any nation” are repeated but it isclear he had incorporated some of the harder, French line into his thinking. He statedthat “we must have convincing evidence that the pledges and promises made to us willbe kept” and that it is “for the Germans themselves to take the next step and prove tous once for all they have abandoned the doctrine that might is right.” His speech alsoincluded this hopeful pledge:If Germany is ready to give convincing proof of hergoodwill, she will find no lack of goodwill in other nationsto aid her to overcome her economic difficulties which mustarise during the transition from war to peace.44Since Chamberlain realized that time was running short before Hitler attacked in thewest, this speech took on something like a last chance appeal to the German oppositionto act before it was too late.Britain’s position towards the opposition had been forwarded to the Vatican at theend of February. As the end of March approached, no reply had yet been received.Then on March 27, Osborne was informed by the Vatican that the German opposition16had set aside their plans for the present.45 He was hardly surprised. With the Germanattack on Denmark and Norway, the opposition was discredited because the generalswere now waging war against the Allies instead of acting against Hitler. This fact, ratherthan the Venlo incident, would guarantee a still more sceptical reception to all futureopposition overtures.Lamb states that post-war German writers have placed too much emphasis on theVatican exchanges because British sources show that Whitehall did not take themseriously.46 Certainly, Chamberlain and Halifax were not overly optimistic of success,but nevertheless, they felt that in the face of total war it was their duty to follow up eventhe slightest opportunity to avoid this disaster.47 However, Hitler’s decision to escalateGermany’s aggression in April and May, 1940 and the total failure of any oppositionfrom within Germany doomed Chamberlain’s efforts and revealed the bankruptcy of thispolicy. In such circumstances, Chamberlain’s tragedy became two-fold: he “had strivento stop war, and war had come; to prevent it spreading, and it had become total.”4817CHAPTER III: 1940-1943In June, 1 940, after the fall of France, Britain stood alone. Her strategic situationbecame even worse when Italy joined the war on Hitler’s side, threatening Britain’sposition in the Mediterranean and the Near East. Winston Churchill, who hadsucceeded Chamberlain as Prime Minister a month earlier, was forced to admit to hismilitary advisors that “he did not know how Britain would win the war, and as a matterof principle, he even doubted the efficacy of long-term planning because of theconstantly changing face of the conflict.”49 He refused, however, to concede defeat orto follow France’s example in suing for peace. Instead, Churchill maintained thestrategic plan already adopted in September, 1 939: Germany and Italy were to bepressured through a strict blockade and unlimited strategic bombing. In addition, thebulk of British forces were to be sent to the Middle East to attack the Italian forces inNorth Africa and to capture Sicily, thereby knocking Italy out of the war. Throughattrition from the air and sea and by encouraging the occupied peoples of Europe toresist their Nazi occupiers a German collapse could be effected, thereby requiring onlysmall British land units to provide the coup de grace.5°With such plans, Churchill showed himself just as capable of wishful thinking asChamberlain had been. None of the Allied strategies formulated between June, 1940and January, 1 943 — blockade, bombardment, and campaigns in Africa and the MiddleEast — could bring Hitler down. Yet Churchill continued to exhort the British publicto victory even though he had no means to effect it. On such terms, Britain could notwin the war.18At the same time, Churchill did not share Chamberlain’s faith in the efforts of theGerman opposition. As early as June 28, 1 940, Churchill instructed Halifax, his ForeignSecretary, regarding the Vatican exchanges:I hope it will be made clear to the Nuncio that we do notdesire to make any enquiries as to the terms of peace withHitler, and that all our agents are strictly forbidden toentertain any such suggestions.5’These instructions were to apply as well to all feelers from the German opposition. OnJanuary 20, 1941, Churchill told Anthony Eden, Halifax’s successor:Your predecessor was entirely misled in December, 1 939.Our attitude towards all such enquiries or suggestionsshould be absolute silence.52The Foreign Office, however, disagreed. Sir Frank Roberts, head of the Foreign Office’sCentral Department from mid-i 942, later recalled:We in the Department did not like ‘absolute silence’ inresponse to peace overtures. We felt it was better to go ontalking as it would have given us a lot of information. Edendid not bother much about this. We felt it was better toknow what was going on.Roberts viewed Eden as weak for failing to press his department’s view against what heconsidered to be Churchill’s arbitrary one.53Churchill’s resolute determination to fight on led him to prohibitthe considerationof any peace feelers from the enemy side. His realism, however, also led him to see theunwisdom of formulating, let alone publishing, any peace aims of his own. He told his19intimates he was sure that the United States would eventually be an active participantin the fighting and that no terms should be outlined before such a time.54 Britain’s willto fight should not be compromised in any way. Even though the British leaders hadpublicly called on the German people to revolt against Hitler’s dictatorship, noinducements were to be offered. The memory of Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Pointswas enough to prevent any hint of conciliation.Churchill also doubted whether the German opposition — if such a force evenexisted — could engineer a successful coup. For example, on August 1, 1940, he stated:Before, however, any such requests or proposals could evenbe considered, it would be necessary that effectiveguarantees by deeds, not words, should be forthcomingfrom Germany which would ensure the restoration of thefree and independent life of Czechoslovakia, Poland,Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and, above all,France,55 as well as the effectual security of Great Britainand the British Empire in a general peace.At a time when Britain had “no sort of success” to hold up,the slightest opening will be misjudged. Indeed a firm replyof the kind I have outlined is the only chance of extortingfrom Germany any offers which are not fantastic.56Such a stance gave solace to Vansittart’s hardliners.On the other hand, Churchill was a realist. He knew that a defeated Germanymust not be treated as an outcast nor made to suffer as it had after the Great War. Histhoughts on this matter were recorded by his private secretary at Chequers on December12, 1940:20We had got to admit that Germany should remain in theEuropean family: ‘Germany existed before the Gestapo’...There must be no war debts, no reparations and nodemands on Prussia57...There must be no pariahs, andPrussia, though unarmed, should be secured by theguarantee of the Council of Europe.Only the Nazis, he concluded, “the murderers of 30 June 1 934 and the Gestapo, wouldbe made to suffer for their misdeeds.”58 This lesson taught by the previous war hadalso been learned.Churchill did, however, share Chamberlain’s overconfidence in the use ofpropaganda, which was widely credited with the success of Nazi fifth columns inPoland, Norway, and western Europe. Churchill believed the same fifth column strategycould be used to encourage “decent” anti-Nazi Germans to topple Hitler’s regime.59To this end, a Cabinet meeting of July 26, 1940 approved a propaganda policysupporting the idea that not all Germans were Nazis,6° even though such a stancediluted the hardline position on Germany. Unfortunately, the strategy was untenable,the results minimal.Nevertheless, Churchill endeavoured to make this position known. In a radiobroadcast of November 12, 1939, he stated:Even in Germany itself there are millions who stand alooffrom the seething mass of criminality and corruptionconstituted by the Nazi party machine. Let them takecourage amid the perplexities and perils, for it may well bethat the final extinction of a baleful domination will pavethe way to a broader solidarity of all the men in all thelands than we could ever have planned if we had notmarched together through the fire.6121Churchill’s policy had support in the Foreign Office. In July, 1 940, Cadogan noted:I don’t accept the thesis that all Germans are equallywicked, but even assuming it to be true, I maintain — andhave always maintained — that it was not very clever to putthat in the forefront of our propaganda...It seems to me that what we want to get into theminds of the Germans is that we do not desire that eventhey should be denied the right to live in peace, and evencomparative plenty, and that it is only Hitler and his systemthat stands between them and the exercise of that right...I submit therefore that our propaganda shouldconcentrate against Hitler and the Nazi system.62Cadogan’s reasoning was sound and carried the day at the time. The naturalconsequence of this position was to envisage making peace with an anti-Nazigovernment. Even if remote, it was a possibility Britain was willing to consider undercertain conditions.On the night of May 10-11, 1 941, Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy, parachuted intoScotland. This incident is noteworthy because it provides the only example ofagreement over peace proposals shown by the hard and softliners during the war. Hessclaimed to have flown to Britain on a mission of peace. Yet neither side in the debatewanted anything to do with him. The hardliners were not interested because they hadno desire to talk peace with any German. The softliners, on the other hand, haddifferent reasons for rejecting Hess. While they were prepared to field peace proposals,only proposals from “acceptable” Germans would be considered. No member of theNazi Party hierarchy was considered to be “acceptable”. As a result, Hess’ peacemission was a non-starter.22Although Churchill forbade any response to peace feelers from the German side,including those allegedly from Hitler’s opponents, and assumed a passive wait-and-seepolicy, he followed an active policy towards Italy in an attempt to get her out of the war.Britain regarded Italy as the weak link in the Axis and the lesser threat in the long run.Consequently, on December 23, 1940, Churchill broadcast to the Italian people, in anattempt to foment rebellion:One man and one man alone ordered Italian soldiers toravage their neighbours’ vineyard. Surely the time hascome when the Italian monarchy and people, who guardthe sacred centre of Christendom, should have a word tosay upon these awe-inspiring issues? Surely the Italianarmy, which has fought so bravely on many occasions in thepast, but now evidently has no heart for the job, should takesome care of the life and future of Italy?63For the next six months, any approach by opposition groups in Italy would have beenwell received in London. However, none arrived.One tactic the British employed in an effort to break the Axis sought to induceItalian Navy officers to surrender their ships in Alexandria. To this end, on March 9,1941, the Foreign Office passed a message for the anti-Fascists in Italy throughStockholm:If a real effort is made by the Italian Fleet to avoid fallingunder German control and evidenced by the sending ofimportant units to British overseas ports, this fact wouldundoubtedly weigh with us when considering the terms ofpeace with Italy, and we should do our best to save Italyfrom German domination both before and after the finalpeace conference.6523Herein was a promise of softer peace terms for opposition elements in Italy; somethingthe British were not prepared to make to the German opposition.It was, however, to no avail. By June, 1941, no approaches from Italy had beenmade, and all British attempts to break Italy’s adherence to the Axis alliance hadcompletely failed. On July 18, 1941, the Foreign Office noted that there was little hopeof getting a separate peace with Italy, as the war Cabinet was told on August 11:The chances of knocking Italy out of the war (i.e. a separatepeace) can now be discounted since the Germans wouldcertainly forestall any such move in Italy by converting thepresent moral occupation into a physical occupation of thecountry. But the more depressed and restless the Italiansbecome the less effective is the Italian contribution to theGerman effort, and the greater German policingresponsibilities in Italy become.The moral of all this is that even though we cannotnow hope to knock Italy out, we should not relax efforts tohit metropolitan Italy by air and from the sea whenever theopportunity occurs. Each blow against Italy is a blowagainst Germany.66In other words, British policy had shifted from weakening Germany’s position bydepriving them of their Italian ally to weakening Germany’s position by keeping Italy inthe war. Italy’s defense would drain off German troops from other fronts. As will beseen, this policy was to have a significant effect on the surrender of Italy in 1 943.While Britain stood alone against Hitler, its military position wasprecarious. On political matters, Britain was on a sounder footing because only she wasinvolved in setting policy. That changed on June 22, 1941 when Hitler invaded the24Soviet Union. Churchill immediately proclaimed his support for the Soviets. As he toldhis private secretary:He [Churchill] had only one single purpose — thedestruction of Hitler — and his life was much simplifiedthereby. If Hitler invaded Hell he would at least make afavourable reference to the Devil!67Churchill’s typically vivid phraseology could not, however, mask the seriousness ofBritain’s military position. As a result, for the time being, Britain could offer its newfound ally little more than moral support.Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union decreased the already slim chances theGerman opposition had of getting any concessions from the British. Now thesensibilities and the political programs of the Soviets had to be considered by Whitehall.An exchange of September, 1941 between Churchill and Eden is particularly telling. Inthe two previous months, Carl Goerdeler, former mayor of Leipzig, and the KreisauCircle, a grouping of prominent opposition members, had made overtures throughSwitzerland and Sweden respectively. On September 10, Eden reported to Churchill that“such messages occasionally throw interesting light on internal differences andtendencies in Germany. This, however, is the furthest I would go.” Churchill repliedthat he wassure we should not depart from our policy of absolutesilence. Nothing would be more disturbing to our friendsin the United States or more dangerous with our new ally,Russia, than the suggestion that we were entertaining suchideas. I am absolutely opposed to the slightest contact. If25you do not agree the matter should be brought before theWar Cabinet sitting alone.Eden responded, “I do agree and I am in fact relieved at your decision. The case infavour was, I thought, worth a mention.”Churchill’s stance was understandable in light of the political agreement signedwith the Soviets on July 21, 1941. One of its provisions read:They further undertake that during this war they will neithernegotiate nor conclude an armistice or treaty of peaceexcept by mutual agreement.69This public obligation only reinforced British determination to refuse all discussion ofpeace terms with opposition groups in Germany.When the United States joined the Allies after the bombing of Pearl Harbor onDecember 7, 1941, Churchill again welcomed the additional military power the U.S.could provide to the war effort, but recognised he would now have to deal withAmerican political sensibilities as well. Before Pearl Harbor, the German opposition hadbeen informed that Roosevelt’s “chief aim was to bring about the downfall of Hitler; ifthis succeeded, peace would be possible.”7° However, once the U.S. was an activeparticipant in the war, Roosevelt reversed this strategy. He joined Churchill in refusingto make specific promises for the future. Like her allies, the United States limited herselfto generalities. Woodrow Wilson’s errors were not to be repeated.In order to assuage liberal public opinion at home, however, certain generalprinciples were announced. First embodied in the Atlantic Charter of August 1 9, 1 941,26they were repeated as part of the United Nations Declaration of January 1, 1942.Cordell Hull, U.S. Secretary of State, later wrote that such generalities leftthe details of boundary adjustments and the like to besettled later. If the principles were strongly enoughproclaimed and adhered to, the details would find readiersolution when the time came to solve them.71In any case, the military co-operation of the three anti-Nazi powers could not and shouldnot be endangered by their entering into discussions with any Germans, even if theircontacts sought to end the war by overthrowing Hitler.Suspicion of the alleged German opposition continued throughout 1942. As Edennoted:The chief strength of this opposition was apparently in thearmy, that same army which had again and again given wayto Hitler against its own better judgement. Successes wereacceptable to it so long as they continued. A peacefeelermight therefore only be an attempt to save the Germanarmy from destruction and to salvage as much as possible ofHitler’s territorial gains.72Nevertheless, in a public speech in May, Eden reiterated the standard British desire forthe opposition to prove it existed:...lf any section of the German people really wants to see areturn to a German State which is based on respect for thelaw and for the rights of the individual, they mustunderstand that no one will believe them until they havetaken active steps to rid themselves of their presentregime.7327Therefore, despite Churchill’s “absolute silence” directive, it is clear that Eden was tryingto convey to the German opposition the message that the Allies were interested not intalk, but in action.74By making it clear that it wanted the German opposition to act, the Britishgovernment both contravened Churchill’s “absolute silence” decree and tacitlyrecognised the existence of opposition elements in Germany. On the other hand,Britain’s American ally was not prepared even to acknowledge the existence of aGerman opposition. When Louis Lochner, who as the Associated Press correspondentin Berlin had occasion to meet members of the opposition to Hitler, returned to the U.S.in June, 1942, his request to see Roosevelt and his offer of information on the oppositionwere rejected due to their “most embarrassing nature.”75 Like Churchill, Roosevelt didnot want to grant any concessions before the fact, but even more, he saw the U.S. asfighting not just the Nazi regime but also “a people permeated by an illiberal inhumanideology who had learned nothing from a fearful defeat in another similarly imperialistwar.”76 Roosevelt’s view of the war as a moral crusade left little or no room for so-called “good” Germans.Nevertheless, U.S. policy, like its British counterpart, was not unanimous.American political warfare policy did allow some room for manoeuvre. The Office ofWar Information and the Office of Strategic Services implemented this policy, and itreflected the British line. While the Americans rejected Britain’s over-reliance oninspiring revolts and secret armies to overthrow the Nazis in occupied countries, theydid feel that under certain circumstances the German people might be inspired to rise28against Hitler. Interestingly, they included “decent” anti-Nazi Germans with the peoplesof occupied nations.77 Officially, however, American policy refused to recognise theexistence of any German opposition,With the Americans holding to such an inflexible policy, it was the British alonewho fielded approaches from the German opposition in 1942. Britain’s desire to seesome action on the part of the Germans can be seen clearly in its response toinformation brought from Geneva by Willem Visser’t Hooft, General Secretary of theWorld Council of Churches, and by George Bell, the Bishop of Chichester. In May,1942, Visser’t Hooft brought to England a memo from Trott calling on the Allies toconsider seriously those elements in Germany fighting against Nazism and expressingconcern over the uncertainty of the Allied attitude toward a change in government inGermany.78 Trott’s memo stated that the goals of the opposition were the restorationof the rule of law; the withdrawal of the German army from western and northernEurope; the resolution of Austria’s future through a plebiscite; and the termination ofrelations with Japan.79Visser’t Hooft gave this memo to Sir Stafford Cripps, Lord Privy Seal and HouseLeader and an old friend of Trott’s. A week later, Cripps told Visser’t Hooft thatChurchill had read it and written on it “very encouraging.” However, he also said thatGermany would have to sign a “definite surrender” accepting defeat. This would befollowed by “a positive policy” not “a peace of revenge”. He urged that “in themeantime Germans should dissociate themselves from the present regime.”8° There29is no reason to doubt that Cripps’ summary accurately reflected Churchill’s attitude. Onthe other hand, the Foreign Office now took a much harsher view.Asked by the Foreign Office to write a brief on Trott, Richard Crossman, then anofficial at the Political Warfare Executive and a friend of Troll’s from his Oxford days,submitted the following on May 27, 1942:The private paper which Visser’t Hooft brought fromAdam...is an almost perfect specimen of Adam’s thought,ingenuous in its politics and unaware of its intellectual andpolitical dishonesty.While Crossman accepted the existence of the opposition group Troll claimed torepresent, he saw its importance only in regards to Britain’s political warfare effort,stating, “it should be misdirected by us in ways useful to His Majesty’s Government.”If this was not bad enough, on June 6, 1 942, Geoffrey Harrison of the German desk atthe Foreign Office minuted to Eden that while Troll’s memo “very probably representsthe views of certain elements in Germany in the civil service, army, and church,” at themoment, “we do not think the time has yet come for us to intervene directly toencourage this group and we should see active signs of its existence before we shouldbelieve it was of real significance.”81When Cripps asked Eden for a reply to Troll’s memo, the answer was stronglynegative:The memo is an interesting document, and we believe it isquite likely there are a number of people in Germany whowould endorse it. We have, however, no evidence so farthat they form an organised group, and there is always the30possibility that in due course they may be used by morehard-headed individuals, for example as cover for peaceovertures. We do not ourselves attach much importance asyet to these people, nor do we propose to respond to anyovertures from them. Our view is that until they come outinto the open and give some visible sign of their intentionto assist in the overthrow of the Nazi regime, they can be oflittle use to us or to Germany.Eden finished by calling Troll “politically dishonest” because he had “never quite beenable to bring himself to pay the price of his convictions and resign from the service ofthe Nazi regime.”82Cripps was incredulous at this attack on the motives of his friend, and he did nothesitate in letting Eden know so:I think I probably know von Troll a good deal better thanyour informant...lt isa complete failure to understand eitherhim or what he stands for that dubs him politicallydishonest......lt is not a question of his bringing himself to paythe price of his convictions by resigning from the service ofthe Nazi regime, which would have been a very simplesolution, like that of many emigres. He paid the far higherprice in risk in refusing to join the Nazi regime but goingback to Germany to fight for the things which he believedto be right.83Cripps’ generous words were in vain. The Foreign Office and the Cabinet would onlybe impressed by action.The efforts of the Bishop of Chichester on behalf of the German opposition meta similar fate. George Bell was a liberal churchman, known for his long-held sympathiestowards a “better” Germany. In May, 1 942, he had visited Sweden where he met his31old friend and fellow pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a notable champion of the oppositionwithin the German church. Bonhoeffer told Bell that plans for a coup were under way,giving significant information about those most closely involved. At the same time, hereinforced Trott’s request for information about the Allies’ goals. Would the Allies beprepared to negotiate with a new German government? In Bonhoeffer’s view, “there waslittle purpose in the resistance movement accepting all the perils to which they wereexposed in the pursuit of their aims if the Allied governments intended to mete out toa Germany purged of Hitler and his minions exactly the same treatment as to a Hitler-Germany.”84On his return from Sweden, Bell saw Eden who again was “extremely interested”,yet thought the German pastor may have been unwittingly used to put out peace feelers,since similar terms had already come through Turkey and Spain. Eden made it clear thathe must not be seen to enter into negotiations with the enemy and had to be able to sayso to the U.S. and the Soviet Union without fear of contradiction.85In private, Eden was more caustic. He felt the bishop had no warrant formeddling in such delicate political affairs and noted on one letter he received from Bell:‘9 see no reason whatsoever to encourage this pestilent priest.”86 As Lamb rightlyremarks, Eden “was adamant that no individual apart from those under his direct controlat the Foreign Office” should be involved in peace negotiations.87 Therefore, Eden’sofficial reply was again negative:Without casting any reflection on the bona fides of yourinformants, I am satisfied that it would not be in thenational interest for any reply whatever to be sent to them.32I realize that this decision may cause you somedisappointment, but in view of the delicacy of the issuesinvolved I feel that I must ask you to accept it.88Eden hoped this would be the end of it.Bell, however, was not prepared to abandon his quest. He wrote back to Eden,asking him,If there are men in Germany also ready to wage war againstthe monstrous tyranny of the Nazis from within, is it right todiscourage or ignore them? Can we afford to reject their aidin achieving our end?89But Eden, the Foreign Office, and the government were not prepared to change theirstance.9° Bell finally realized that arguing with Eden would achieve little. His hopesfor getting some public statement from the British government were doomed to failure.Then, in November, 1942, Bell found a new opening, one which he believedwould definitively demonstrate the difference between Britain’s domestic and foreignpropaganda. He learned from German refugee friends that in July, 1 942, leafletsdropped on Germany and a B.B.C. broadcast had drawn the distinction betweenGermany and Hitler’s government in much clearer language than anything publiclydeclared by Churchill or Eden. He then determined to press the government in theHouse of Lords for a definitive statement on the matter, especially after Stalin drew thedistinction in a speech on November 6.Bell tabled his question for November 29, but was subsequently persuaded towithdraw it. Eden claimed that such enquiries would not be in the public interest: the33contents of the leaflets and broadcasts were “not necessarily suitable for publication inthis country,” and official statements in Britain on government aims should be made byhimself or Churchill.91 Bell’s persistent pressure did, however, oblige the governmentto state its general policy towards Germany.On March 19, 1943, Viscount Simon, the Lord Chancellor, announced the officialposition:I now say in plain terms, on behalf of His Majesty’sGovernment that we agree with Premier Stalin first that theHitlerite State should be destroyed and secondly, that thewhole German people is not, as Dr. Goebbels has beentrying to persuade them, thereby doomed to destruction.92Edwin Robertson states that this announcement “completely destroyed Vansittart’sattitude.”93 This claim is not entirely tenable. While Viscount Simon’s words gavepublic voice to the distinction between Germans and Nazis which both Churchill andCadogan had expressed privately, Roosevelt’s declaration at Casablanca just seven weeksearlier shows that the hardliners in both Britain and the U.S. were far from being“completely destroyed.” Nevertheless, Viscount Simon’s reply was a significantachievement for the softliners, one which was well received in the House and in theBritish press, and one to which the B.B.C. gave full coverage in its GermanbroadcastsThose in Allied circles who sought to obtain concessions on behalf of theGerman opposition met with limited success in Britain and none in the U.S. By contrast,American policy towards Italy bordered on the benevolent. Hull writes that almost from34the time of Italy’s declaration of war on the U.S., he and Roosevelt believed “that weshould draw a distinction between the Italians on the one hand and the Germans andJapanese on the other.” In 1942, they reached two conclusions on the matter. “Firstwas that Americans had always been friendly with Italians, despite our opposition to theFascist regime, and that Mussolini had led the people of Italy into an unpopular warwithout in the slightest consulting them.” This contrasts to the American view of theGerman people as permeated by an “illiberal inhuman ideology”. The secondconclusion “was that it might be possible to withdraw Italy from the war before thesurrender of Germany and Japan, and that this withdrawal would in fact hasten thatsurrender. Italy’s retirement, we felt, would be accelerated if we were to adopt anattitude toward the Italians different from that toward the Germans and Japanese.”95Although Britain had already abandoned efforts in this regard, U.S. AttorneyGeneral Biddle took a first step towards driving that wedge between the Italiangovernment and people when he stated in New York on October 12, 1942:I now announce to you that beginning October 19, a weekfrom today, Italian aliens will no longer be classed as alienenemies. From that time on, the exoneration which theyhave so well earned will be granted them.96No such pledge was ever made to German aliens.A month later, on November 14, Adolf Berle, Assistant Secretary of State,repeated this theme:The United Nations have made a pledge to Italy, as to theentire world. It was drawn on a warship in the35Atlantic...and proclaimed on August 14, 1941 ...The pledgewas thus given not only to the victors but also to thevanquished.No American seeks to destroy or impair thenationhood of Italy. When Italy, freed from her Fascistgangsters, is able once more to speak to the world, and asthe armies of the United Nations achieve that victory whichcannot fail, the pledge of the United Nations will beredeemed. This pledge does not contemplate a punitivepeace: the aim is justice, not revenge.97Even though the U.S. apparently considered that the Atlantic Charter applied to Germanyas well, no such statement was ever issued with reference to Germany.It was therefore highly ironic that all approaches made by the Italians were madeto Britain when in fact, it was the U.S. which was more sympathetic to Italy, possiblybecause, as Lamb suggests, Roosevelt was ever watchful of the Italian-American vote.98British scepticism about the Italians, however, remained intact. This position wasconveyed to the Americans by Halifax on December 4, 1942 when he stated there was“nothing to be gained” by offering inducements to the Italian people to overthrowMussolini sincea policy of appeals and promises could only be reallyeffective when there was a question of building up somedissident movement or leader which could challenge theestablished government. At present there is no such leaderor movement in Italy nor are there any potential leadersoutside of Italy of sufficient calibre.99He concluded by saying only “if and when” there is any sign of such a movement inItaly would it be time to reconsider the matter. Britain’s wait-and-see policy regarding36the German opposition, therefore, continued to apply to opposition elements in Italy aswell.The Americans, however, hoped to soften Britain’s hardline on Italy. Berle’sresponse to Halifax contained the following:..as a matter of strict strategy it might be better to hold outa slight degree of hope that the Italians would amelioratetheir position if they joined the Allies or got out of thewar.10°The British would not be moved.Britain’s hardline position on Italy owed much to Eden’s resentment of Mussolini.Whereas Churchill had a soft spot for Italy, Eden was adamantly anti-Italian.Consequently, Eden’s response to an initial Italian peace feeler in November, 1 942 wasdecidedly negative:I had much rather kill this stuff...We don’t propose to makepeace with Mussolini and these men are his creatures. Theonly hope in Italy is a revolution which is just what thesemen want to avoid.101After a further approach, Eden informed the American and Soviet ambassadors onDecember 18, 1942:We have decided not to follow up these openings becausethe Italians in Lisbon are the slaves of the Fascists, and if wefollow up these contacts it will look as if we are not intenton destroying Fascism.’0237Eden had misread the situation. According to Lamb, the Italian envoy, FrancescoFranzoni, was not a “fascist slave” but an honest patriotic diplomat. Washington, on theother hand, was inclined to take the approach more seriously, calling Franzoni’s movea sign of “important internal political developments.”103On December 12, 1942, Eden informed Churchill that the Duke of Aosta, acousin of the Italian King, had contacted him to suggest that the Allies land in Italy inconjunction with his planned uprising against Mussolini. Aosta also requested that theItalian fleet remain intact and the King be allowed to retain his throne. In his December18 report on the matter to the Americans, Eden wrote:Our view is that this approach is probably genuine. But weare not greatly impressed by the possibilities of makinganything of it...Nevertheless, the prize to be won if we can hastenon the Italian collapse is so great that we have decided thatit is worthwhile keeping this line of communicationopen.104This was a notable change in thinking on Eden’s part, considering his virulent anti-Italianbias. Since Churchill, like the Americans, was already much more positively inclinedtowards Italy, he had no trouble agreeing with this position, and the Soviets were alsoinformed. The U.S. then suggested to Britain that they co-ordinate their policy on theacceptability of various Italian anti-Fascist figures. However, Britain was not preparedto go that far at the time, and ultimately, Eden’s dislike of the Americans’ softer view ofItaly would scuttle U.S. attempts to soften Britain’s hardline on Italy.10538The close of 1942 was a critical time for opposition elements in Germany andItaly. Both Britain and the U.S. had failed in their efforts to precipitate revolution inItaly. Britain’s wait-and-see policy regarding the German opposition had failed toprecipitate revolution in Germany. And the efforts of the softliners had failed toprecipitate revolution in either of the two Axis nations. Emboldened by these failures,the hardliners decided to press their position and go for broke. Their gambit would beannounced by Roosevelt at Casablanca.39CHAPTER IV: 1943-1944At the conclusion of the Casablanca Conference on January 24, 1943, Rooseveltmade an announcement explaining how peace would finally come to the world:This involves the simple formula of placing the objective ofthis war in terms of an unconditional surrender byGermany, Italy, and Japan ... Unconditional surrendermeans not the destruction of the German populace, nor ofthe Italian or Japanese populace, but does mean thedestruction of a philosophy in Germany, Italy and Japanwhich is based on the conquest and subjugation of otherpeoples.106These words ignited a debate over their merit which continues to this day. What, then,were the origins of this contentious formula?Contrary to Roosevelt’s later claims, the unconditional surrender announcementwas not spontaneous. Rather, it was the culminating victory of those who hadconsistently advocated a hardline policy and opposed any suggestion of peacenegotiations. Their victory could already be seen months earlier in a May, 1 942 reportof the State Department Subcommittee on Security Problems which took a harsh viewof past history by declaring that the U.S. “was at war again only because Germany hadnot been compelled to submit unconditionally at the end of the First World War.” LikeChurchill and Roosevelt, the State Department wanted to avoid the errors of Wilson’spolicy. On May 21, the committee adopted this recommendation:On the assumption that the victory of the United Nationswill be conclusive, unconditional surrender rather than anarmistice should be sought from the principal enemy statesexcept perhaps Italy.10740In arguing for unconditional surrender rather than an armistice along 1918 lines, thecommittee was, however, prepared to give Italy more lenient treatment than Germany.Its findings were forwarded to Roosevelt who was prepared to adopt this advice eventhough Hull had been left out of the discussion.108 On January 7, 1943, Roosevelttold a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that he supported unconditional surrender as“the basic Allied war aim.”109Roosevelt’s understanding of this concept was based on a flawed example drawnfrom the American Civil War which led him to equate both the military and politicalaspects of surrender. It was his failure to differentiate between the two which resultedin the rigidity of his thinking on this matter.The American readiness to treat Italy differently from Germany was immediatelyrealised by Churchill. On January 20, he sought to persuade his Cabinet of the virtuesof such a policy:The omission of Italy would be to encourage a break-upthere [within the Axis]. The President liked this idea, and itwould stimulate our friends in every country)1°The War Cabinet, however, disagreed:The Cabinet were unanimously of opinion that balance ofadvantage lay against excluding Italy, because of themisgivings which would inevitably be caused in Turkey, inthe Balkans, and elsewhere. Nor are we convinced thateffect on Italians would be good. Knowledge of all therough stuff coming to them is surely more likely to havedesired effect on Italian morale.m41Eden’s hardline on Italy once again carried the day, and Italy was included in Roosevelt’sJanuary 24 announcement.In retrospect, Frank Roberts justified this hardline stance as follows:There was a general feeling prevalent then that this timeGermany must be completely defeated so there would beno repetition of the 1918 legend that the German disastercame from a stab in the back from the German socialists,and that this time we should just substitute the anti-Nazis.He stated that neither Churchill nor Eden were confident that any German oppositiongroup “who might have been attracted by the prospect of terms other than‘unconditional surrender’ either would or could deliver the goods.” Roberts also statedthat the slogan was meant to show to Stalin the Allies’ “toughness”, thereby alleviatinghis suspicions that the Allies might “do a deal with non-communist Germany at hisexpense” and forestalling any temptation he may have had to make his own deal withHitler as in 1 939•112 Roberts’ words accurately recall the arguments of the hardliners:the experience of 1918 should not be repeated, including the unfortunate episode ofWilson’s Fourteen Points, and nothing should be done to alienate the Soviets.For his part, Roosevelt wanted to make it clear that “when the war was won itwould stay won.” In addition, the timing of the announcement was critical. For almostthree months, Roosevelt had been criticized for agreeing to use Admiral Francois Darlanto help facilitate the Allied landings in French North Africa. Tainted by his ties to VichyFrance, Darlan was seen as an unacceptable partner in the war effort. Only hisassassination on Christmas Eve helped mute the outcry. Nevertheless, Roosevelt wanted42to provide some public gesture to refute the suggestion that the deal with Darlan “mightindicate a willingness to make similar deals with a Goering in Germany or a Matsuokain Japan.”113The Casablanca announcement was such a gesture.At first glance, the Casablanca declaration seemed to indicate that the hardlinersin Britain and the United States had triumphed over those who advocated a moreflexible policy. However, while the hardline position had become the stronger of thetwo, it was still not unopposed. Almost immediately, concern over the Casablancaformula was expressed in Allied nations. Hull felt “it might prolong the war bysolidifying Axis resistance into one of desperation.” He also “thought that our principleof surrender should be flexible.”114 Another frequent complaint was that the formulawas too vague. As a result, both Roosevelt and Churchill were forced to make publicstatements aimed at clarifying matters. In Washington on February 12, 1943, Rooseveltclaimed thatin our uncompromising policy we mean no harm to thecommon people of the Axis Nations. But we do mean toimpose punishment and retribution in full upon their guilty,barbaric IeadersJ’5He repeated this sentiment in a radio address several months later.116 This latterspeech provides the first indication that Roosevelt had realized the defects of thehardline approach and was prepared to deal with a “respectable” new Germangovernment. Until such a time, however, he was only willing to clarify his position, notto soften it.43Churchill also did his part to set matters straight. On June 30, 1943 at London’sGuildhall, he too balanced the option of stringent punishment with that of leaving openthe hope of future German regeneration. Unconditional surrender, he claimed, was togive the Allies a free hand, not to enslave the German people, but to ensure retributionagainst the aggressors. He pledged that the Allies would never “stain our victorious armsby inhumanity or by mere lust of vengeance.”117 He repeated this message in theCommons on February 22, 1944. On this occasion, he further declared that the formulameant that “we are not to be bound to the Germans as the result of a bargainstruck.”118 This was clearly a reference to the efforts of the German opposition.Nevertheless, despite such sweeping rhetoric, Churchill still left open the possibility ofsecuring an anti-Nazi revolt from within Germany. The B.B.C. was instructed to makeappeals to the German Generals to stand up against Hitler9— a fact which illustratesChurchill’s continued ambivalence.The split between “hardliners” and “softliners” over unconditional surrender wassimilarly mirrored in Allied attitudes towards Italy. In a letter to Hull of January 14,1943, Eden conveyed Britain’s hardline on Italy when he stated that the Allied goal toremove Italy from the war “could be achieved with almost equal effect” either througha separate peace or a full-scale German occupation. He seemed to favour the lattercourse:It may well be in our interest that Italy should, as a memberof the Axis, develop into a German commitment andbecome as such an increasing drain on German strength.44This had been Eden’s policy since August, 1 941, and he saw no reason to change it. Hewent on to declare that there was no sign of a viable alternative to Mussolini and thatdespite the Duke of Aosta’s recent approach,we remain extremely doubtful of the willingness or abilityof any of the royal family to lead a revolt against Fascism.It had taken less than four weeks for Eden to write off the only Italian approach he hadinitially thought might be promising. He concluded:A general with sufficient following in the Army, such asGeneral Badoglio, might at the right moment be able tooverthrow the government, but our reports do not indicatethat dissatisfaction in the Army has yet reached the stagewhich would make this a practicable possibility.120Eden’s prescience concerning Badoglio is highly ironic in light of a decision taken onlyfour days later by the War Cabinet. On January 18, it received a report from the SpecialOperations Executive about an approach from Badoglio to take over the government andto co-operate with the Allies. Badoglio asked “for no assurances regarding the future.”However, in Churchill’s absence, the War Cabinet decided that “no response should bemade to Marshall Badoglio.”121 The War Cabinet maintained Churchill’s declaredpolicy of “absolute silence.”Eden’s scepticism applied equally to the question of offering soft peace terms tothe Italians. He preferred to wait until circumstances forced the Italians to act eitherwithout prior Allied assurances or on the Allies’ terms. Thus, the official British policytowards Italy was consistent with that towards Germany: no prior promise of terms45would be made; once the Fascist government was removed, peace would come underAllied conditions.This stance was not universally shared. Divisions were already apparent in theBritish Foreign Office. On February 1 6, 1 943, Cadogan expressed the opinion that “Ifeel we must soon abandon the quite mulish and ostrich-like attitude of... theDepartment.”122 After two months of meetings with his subordinates to discuss theItalian approaches, Cadogan was exasperated at the unwillingness of Orme Sargent andBruce Lockhart (both Deputy Under-Secretaries at the Foreign Office) to accept that theseapproaches had any worth. Churchill also drew back from the hardline stance towardsItaly adopted by his Cabinet in January. He now wanted to make use of the Italianopposition groups, arguing on February 13 thatI shall support such a movement to the utmost. I am notgoing to take the responsibility of carrying on this war a daylonger than is necessary to achieve full victory.123Support for this position was also received from the Americans. Hull for one stressedhis belief thatit is not too early to attempt to detach the Italians from theFascist regime. Mental and spiritual disloyalty already existto a great extent and if properly appealed to can, webelieve, be effective in furthering the disruption of the Axiswar effort in Italy)24Despite Eden’s notation that this was “a good letter”, he maintained his hardline positionon Italy.12546Beginning in April, 1 943, voices of dissent were also heard from among theAllies’ military elite. Some now called for a modification of propaganda to Italy whichthey felt quashed any hope for a separate peace by constantly demanding unconditionalsurrender. For example, the Commanders-in-Chief Middle East felt that propagandashould highlight the differences between German occupation after an Axis victory andfair treatment under the Atlantic Charter. On May 2, the S.O.E. agreed, feeling the Alliesshould assure Italy that her future status would be protected. On May 18, the Vice-Chiefs of Staff also advocated a softer propaganda line.126However, the Foreign Office opposed such a course, and Eden was as determinedas ever that no one outside his direct control at the Foreign Office should be able to talkabout peace terms.127 Eden’s attitude on this matter had already been made clear in1 942. He strongly attacked the unregulated activities of the S.O.E.,128 for example:I confess I find this quite intolerable. I am responsible toParliament for foreign policy and as long as that lasts I amnot prepared to share the responsibility with Mr. Jebb [thehead of the S.O.E.} or anyone else... Diplomacy, or theconduct of it, must be exclusively my affair.129As a result, Eden was very upset when the R.A.F. dropped leaflets on Rome in June,1 943 which offered the Italians “peace with honour.” He instructed Harold Macmillan,Minister Resident at Allied Headquarters in the Mediterranean Theatre, in Algiers: ‘1hope you will prevent in future the use of similar phrases which are politicallyambiguous and therefore undesirable.”13°47Just how seriously Eden’s anti-Italian bias affected his thinking can be shown byhis negative reaction to a report he received on July 24, 1943, suggesting that a palacecoup in Rome was imminent. Eden noted that those making such a claim “have a lotto learn.”131 Ironically, within twenty-four hours, without any incentive being offeredby the Allies at all, King Victor Emmanuel dismissed Mussolini from office.Mussolini’s dismissal provided the Allied leaders with just the situation theydesired: the Fascist regime had been overturned without prior promises from the Alliedside. Both Roosevelt and Churchill were now prepared to treat with the new Italianregime. On July 30, Roosevelt cabled Churchill:I told the press today that we have to treat with any personor persons in Italy who can best give us first disarmamentand second assurance against chaos, and I think also thatyou and I after an armistice comes could say somethingabout self-determination in Italy at the proper time.132The next day, Churchill replied:My position is that once Mussolini and the Fascists are goneI will deal with any Italian authority which can deliver thegoods... We have no right to lay undue burdens on ourtroops...I should deprecate any pronouncement about selfdetermination at the present time, beyond what is implicitin the Atlantic Charter. I agree with you that we must bevery careful not to throw everything into the meltingpot.133Nevertheless, even though both Allied leaders were prepared to deal with VictorEmmanuel and Badoglio, six weeks were to elapse before the Italians signed an48armistice. Many writers blame this delay on the continuing demand for unconditionalsurrender.Hanson Baldwin writes that unconditional surrender “probably delayed theinevitable collapse of Italy four to six weeks”, a period in which Hitler was able to sendadditional troops to Italy to strengthen Germany’s military defense there, resulting in thesubsequent bitter campaign up the Italian peninsula.134 Anne Armstrong states that thebad feeling caused by the demand for unconditional surrender delayed the Alliedlandings in Italy, allowing Germany to occupy Rome and prolong the fight for Italy.135And Richard Lamb blames Eden’s misreading of the strength of the Italian movementagainst Fascism for the failure of the Allies to land in Italy immediately following the July25 coup, thereby forestalling Germany’s occupation of Italy.136These views are flawed. The demand for unconditional surrender was not toblame for the failure of the Allies to take advantage of Mussolini’s fall and occupy thewhole of Italy. This failure had two main causes. First, the Allies knew “next tonothing” of conditions in Italy at the time of Mussolini’s fall. In David Ellwood’s view,“So complete was Fascism’s isolation of the country, so marginal the anti-Fascistopposition — and so poorly organised when abroad — that neither the armies,intelligence services nor the diplomats of Britain and America were able to furnishanything like a complete picture of what they might expect” to Allied planners.137Consequently, Eden and others did not have the hard intelligence data from which totake properly informed decisions. This state of affairs begs the question why did theAllies not have an emergency plan to deal with a sudden Italian collapse, along the lines49of “Sledgehammer” and “Rankin”138 formulated for just such an occurance inGermany? The answer to this question lies in Allied strategic planning for Italy.On November 20, 1942, the War Cabinet had approved a memo calling for theAllies to get itaiy out of the war as quickly as possible, either by a separate peace or bycausing internal disorder on a serious enough scale to precipitate a complete occupationby Germany which would result in Italy’s becoming a drain on German strength. Thislatter option was chosen over that of a separate peace not only because it was felt therewas little chance of any party in Italy moving against Mussolini before Germany’scapacity to control Italy was severely weakened but also because Italy was seen as beingof little use as an ally. This decision and the reasons against making promises of softerpeace terms were explained to the Americans in Eden’s letter to Hull of January 14,1943•139Churchill, however, disagreed with this memo. In one of his own sent to the WarCabinet on November 25, he expressed his belief that an internal revolt was stillpossible and that it would not be in the Allies’ best interest for Germany to occupy Italy.He agreed “with the United States policy of trying to separate the Italian people fromtheir Government.” On the other hand, he admitted “that we are under no obligationto offer any terms to the vanquished, should they sue for them. That decision must betaken when and if we are offered their surrender...”14°Nevertheless, since the Cabinethad voted to accept the November 20 memo, Churchill, ever the good parliamentarian,acquiesced in its decision. However, he did not give up his position, providing anotherexample of the divergence of opinion amongst British policy-makers.50For their part, the Americans wanted to avoid entanglements in the Mediterraneanin order to concentrate on “Overlord.” Because the U.S. wanted to finish the war assoon as possible, it was always wary of Britain’s strategic plans which it saw ascontaining ulterior, that is political, motives.’41 With a majority in Britain not adverseto seeing the Germans take over Italy and the Americans not wanting to get involved inmilitary operations on the Italian mainland, it is not surprising that Churchill’s efforts onbehalf of an invasion of mainland Italywere notsuccessful untilJuly, 1943. With Alliedforces fully committed to the Sicilian campaign until its conclusion on August 1 7, therewas no chance that further operations against Italy could begin for a number of weeks.Roosevelt put it succinctly on July 28, 1 943: “We cannot just pick up the telephone andorder a new campaign to start the next week.”142 Consequently, it was the lack ofproper strategic preparation and the inability to begin an immediate military campaignthat explain the Allies’ failure to exploit better the dismissal of Mussolini.Despite their willingness to treat with the new Italian government, both Alliedleaders officially and publicly were bound to the Casablanca formula in asserting Italy’sneed to surrender unconditionally. They were, however, prepared to soften the blowfor the new government. This concession can be seen in a cable Churchill sent to Edenfrom Halifax on August 9, 1943:Merely harping on ‘unconditional surrender’ with noprospect of mercy held out even as an act of grace may welllead to no surrender at all. The expression ‘honourablecapitulation’ has also been officially used by the President,and I do not think it should be omitted from the languagewe are now to use.14351The manner in which to effect this surrender provides another example of the divergenceof thinking between the two Allies.The Americans wanted to gain italy’s surrender in two stages. The first stage wasto be a purely military surrender to end hostilities. The second stage was to cover thepolitical terms demanded of the civil administration. Britain, on the other hand, wantedthe Italians to be presented with both the military and the political terms when they suedfor peace. In this way, the Italian authorities would be obligated to carry out the militaryand civilian terms from the start, and the Allies would avoid causing Italian resentmentwhen they were hit with the additional terms which they might consider inconsistentwith “honourable capitulation” following their military surrender. Britain felt that if theAmerican plan was followed,once Italy had stopped fighting, they might not agree toother terms, compelling the Allies to occupy and administer Italy on their own.144The Allied leaders, willing to treat with the new Italian government, yet at thesame time insistent that it surrender unconditionally, now had to work their way throughthis divergence of opinion. In the meantime, their men on the spot, General DwightEisenhower, Harold Macmillan, and Robert Murphy, were instructed to clear all mattersconcerning Italy’s possible surrender through London and Washington. This ledEisenhower to remark “rather wearily that in the old days, before rapid communications,generals were free to do whatever they thought best; nowadays an opportunity could belost while officers argued back and forth.”145Fearing just such a scenario, on July 30, 1943, Macmillan “quietly proposed thatsince neither the British nor the Americans could get any policy directive from home we52should draft our own Anglo-American directive to ourselves, and send it via thecombined Chiefs of Staff to the White House and Number 1O.”46This eleven pointprogram was proposed as the short terms of surrender. These quite deliberately avoidedthe term unconditional surrender because Macmillan saw “no conflict” between it and“honourable capitulation,”147 but realized the latter would have more appeal to theItalians. These efforts heartened those who advocated a softer line towards Italy.However, the hardliners were not ready to concede the point. Not until August 18 didChurchill and Roosevelt authorize Eisenhower to present the short terms to Badoglio’semissary, General Giuseppe Castellano, and only after he was to be informed that theeconomic and political terms were to follow.Unfortunately for the efforts of Eisenhower and Macmillan, Castellano was notauthorized to accept these terms, only being able to promise to convey them to hisgovernment. For on August22 at Quebec, Churchill and Roosevelt finally agreed on thefuller — both military and political — terms that Britain had been advocating from thestart. Once formulated, these “long” terms provided the hardliners with the instrumentthey needed to thwart the Eisenhower-Macmillan initiative. Consequently, on August27, both Eisenhower and Macmillan were instructed to get Castellano to sign the “long”terms at their August 31 meeting. However, not wanting to scare off the Italians at sucha crucial moment, Macmillan informed Churchill:The comprehensive document was wisely kept in reservesince it was felt that its introduction at this stage might onlylead to further delays which were not in the militaryinterests of the Allies.14853As a result, the surrender signed by Italy on September 3, 1 943 was only on the “short”terms. The softliners had scored a significant victory.Although the Allies were guilty of dithering over the surrender terms, the realcause of the extended armistice talks was Italy’s inability to resist the Germans at thetime of Mussolini’s dismissal. Only after they had withdrawn their troops from Franceand the Balkans and had secured Allied help in protecting Rome, thereby preventing acomplete German takeover of Italy, were the Italians prepared to sign an armistice.149Consequently, no Italian envoy to the Allies was authorized to sign political or militaryterms before Castellano’s trip to Sicily at the end of August, 1943.When Italy signed the “short” terms on September 2, she had been advised thatthere would be further terms to come. On September 1 3, the hardliners in Britain usedthis fact to press their demand that Italy now sign the full terms of surrender. Eventhough many of these clauses had been rendered obsolete by the course of events,150Stalin supported the British demand, and Roosevelt had to acquiesce, despite his beliefthat it was unnecessary. When Badoglio balked after seeing the long terms, Eisenhowerwrote him a letter on September 29 in which he stated:It is to be understood that the terms both of this documentand of the short military armistice of September 3rd may bemodified from time to time if military necessity or the extentof co-operation by the Italian government indicates this asdesirable.15154This letter illustrates the continuing dissension in Allied headquarters over surrenderpolicy, one which would also manifest itself the followingspring in relation to Germany.With Eisenhower’s assurance, Badoglio signed the long terms in Malta that day.The surrender of Italy was the first test of the Casablanca formula of unconditionalsurrender. While the Allies had a free hand in Italy after it was signed, the Italiansurrender was in fact a conditional one. Not only did Roosevelt, Churchill, andEisenhower promise the Italians humane treatment, the opportunity to choose their ownform of government, and a respected place in post-war Europe, but they also promisedconcessions based on Italy’s help in the war against Germany.152 One such exampleis provided by the protocol signed on November 9, 1943 at Brindisi which provided forcertain alterations to the text of the long surrender of September 29. One read:In Article Ta the word ‘unconditionally’ is deleted. TheArticle in question therefore reads as follows:“The Italian land, sea and air forces wherever locatedhereby surrender.”153Not only had the Allies been willing to abandon effectively the policy of unconditionalsurrender in the case of Italy, but as a result of the above protocol, they were nowprepared to do so officially. The softline position had prevailed in the case of Italybecause of the Allies’ desire to get her out of the war as quickly as possible onceMussolini had been dismissed, and after this had been achieved, to get her co-operationin the continuing fight against Germany. However,the hardline position could not becompletely ignored, resulting in the hardliners’ success in getting the “full” surrenderterms signed by Italy. In addition, the Allies decreed that the terms of the Italian55surrender were to be kept secret until after the war, ostensibly to avoid unrest in Italyover its harsh terms. The Allies, however, also wanted to avoid any protests at homefrom the hardliners over the limited concessions they were granting the Italians. Thepower of the hard liners remained influential.The surrender of Italy had been a triumph for the softliners. However, Stalin wasangered at having been left out of the negotiations, and Roosevelt was not eager torepeat the experience in the case of Germany. Consequently, despite their ability to getChurchill to vacillate, the softliners’ chances of carrying the Italian policy over toGermany were not good. Nevertheless, they were determined to pursue their efforts.At the end of 1 942, just weeks before the Casablanca Conference, Churchill’s “absolutesilence” order was, in effect, broken when it was conveyed to Carl Goerdeler throughhis Swedish intermediary, Jakob Wallenberg, that the Allies were not prepared to makeany promises before a coup’54 and that the opposition should go ahead with its planswithout Allied assurances.155 In February, 1 943, barely a month after the Casablancadeclaration, Goerdeler met with Wallenberg in Berlin and told him that a coup was setfor March. This bomb plot miscarried, but it put the lie to the assertion made byArmstrong, among others, that unconditional surrender prevented action against Hitler’sregime and was even “a factor in the failure of the plot.”156 As Wheeler-Bennett putit so succinctly, unconditional surrender did not preclude the possibility of lenienttreatment for a post-Nazi government, but it did preclude the issuing of preliminarypromises of such leniency.15756Before Mussolini’s dismissal, the Allied attitude to approaches from within bothItaly and Germany remained hardline: information would be accepted for its potentialbenefit to the Allied war effort, but no replies were to be given. Then on August 14,1943, after reading a report from Turkey that Joachim von Ribbentrop, Germany’sForeign Minister, was about to be replaced and that Hitler would be ousted soonthereafter, Churchill cabled Eden with words reminiscent of those he used five daysearlier regarding Italy:There is no need for us to discourage this process bycontinually uttering the slogan “Unconditional Surrender.”As long as we do not have to commit ourselves to dealingwith any particular new figure or new Government ouradvantage is clear... I am sure you will agree with me thata gradual breakup in Germany must mean a weakening oftheir resistance, and consequently the saving of hundreds ofthousands of British and American lives.158Churchill was obviously encouraged by events in Italy and hoped for a similar collapsein Germany.For those in the Foreign Office who opposed the policies of absolute silence andunconditional surrender, it was hoped that this signalled a relaxation in policy. Robertstold Lamb that Cadogan felt strongly about this matter and added “we were ham-handedover unconditional surrender.”159 In response to Churchill’s note, Eden approved amessage to the British Ambassador in Ankara stating that while unconditional surrenderremained the Allies’ basic policy, it was now believed to be expedient “not to stress thisfact too often, since we did not want to defeat our object by producing a desperate andunited block of resistance in Germany.”°57However, this change of heart was short-lived. Eden was not particularlyinterested in the views of the Foreign Office dissenters, and when he did rarely presenttheir position to Churchill, he did so “without any force.”161 For his part, Churchillsoon changed his mind. On September 21, 1943, he addressed the Commons on thequestion of applying the policy on Italy to Germany:I say, ‘The case is different’... The core of Germany isPrussia. There is the source of the recurring pestilence. Butwe do not war with races as such. We war against tyranny,and we seek to preserve ourselves from destruction.Churchill’s declaration that Britain did “not war with races as such” was clearly designedto distance himself from the ideas expressed by Vansittart and was consistent with theMarch 10, 1943 answer in Parliament to Bishop Bell. Churchill concluded by stating:Nazi tyranny and Prussian militarism are the two mainelements in German life which must be absolutelydestroyed. They must be rooted out if Europe and theworld are to be spared a third and still more frightfulconflict.162Disappointed that the Italian collapse had not fostered one in Germany, Churchill setaside his conciliatory thinking and was once again in a fighting mood. Yet, at the sametime, his enunciation of these two Allied goals provided the German opposition withfood for thought.That his above remarks were not intended to discourage opposition elements inGermany can be seen in his notes to Eden concerning the upcoming MoscowConference. On October 11, 1943, Churchill wrote that the Allies’ resolve to extirpate58Fascism from the aggressor countries and replace it with duly elected democraticgovernmentsshould not exclude measures of military diplomacy orrelations with interim Governments which may come intobeing, so that our main objects may be achieved with theminimum of slaughter especially to the forces of theAllies.163Not only was Churchill willing to work with “interim Governments,” he had learnedfrom the surrender of Italy that “military diplomacy” should not be ruled out as a meansto achieving his ends as quickly as possible. As he stated for the umpteenth time in aspeech of September 21: “I wish to make it clear, that I would not needlessly prolongthis war for a single day.”Following the Quebec Conference of August, 1943, Allied grand strategy was setfor the next ten months, and with victory no longer in doubt, Churchill was able todevote more thought to post-war considerations. On the one hand, he remainedadamantly opposed to negotiating a peace with any Germans. On the other hand, hewas certainly aware of the dangers of repeating the mistakes of 1919 and hence claimedthat he did not want a peace with Germany which was “too vindictive,” one whichwould leave the Germans “so impoverished and hopeless as to become ripe forCommunism.”165 Such a view was re-inforced by his growing concern over the SovietUnion. At the War Cabinet meeting of October 5, 1943, he astounded his colleaguesby saying:59We don’t know what condition Germany will be in after thewar. We mustn’t weaken Germany too much - we mayneed her against Russia.166Had Stalin known of these sentiments, his anti-Western suspicions would only have beenstrengthened.To alleviate his concern, Churchill was interested in following up a suggestionStalin had made at Teheran. Making it clear that the Allies must remain united, Stalindeclared that unconditional surrender was “bad tactics” as far as Germany wasconcerned and that instead the Allies should together formulate their terms andannounce them to the German people.167 On December 23, 1943, Churchill cabledEden from Tunisia, saying he would ask Stalin to elaborate his views in the belief that“an agreed public announcement might undermine the position of the Nazi leaders.”He sent this despite his correct judgement earlier that such statements were dangerous.So, on January 2, 1944, Churchill cabled Roosevelt for his view on the matter.Roosevelt’s reply on January 6 read:I prefer to leave things as they are for the time being and wereally do not know enough about opinions within Germanyitself to go on any fishing expedition there at this time. Ihope you and Anthony will agree.169It was a sign of Churchill’s vacillation that he then reconsidered the matter based on thefive points he felt had been agreed to at Teheran: Germany was to be completelydisarmed; she was to lose all use of aviation; all war criminals were to be tried in thecountries where their crimes had been committed; Germany was to be broken up into60a number of smaller states; and the German General Staff was to be disbanded. Keepingin mind the Soviet desire for four million Germans to work to rebuild the Soviet“Motherland” and Stalin’s desire to execute large numbers of the General Staff, Churchillwrote on January 14, 1944:Enough at any rate is set down above to show that a frankstatement of what is going to happen to Germany would notnecessarily have a reassuring effect upon the Germanpeople, and that they might prefer the vaguer terrors of“unconditional surrender,” mitigated as they are by suchstatements as the President has made.17°So despite his earlier enthusiasm, Churchill allowed political caution to rule. Therewould be no public statement of Allied terms to Germany.Despite Churchill’s reversion to a more hardline position, the Foreign Officerefused to concede defeat. On February 2, 1 944, it drew up a draft declaration forsubmission to the War Cabinet. It stated that while unconditional surrender could notbe abandoned, it would be advantageous not to over-emphasize it in propaganda. Ajoint statement would be beneficial if issued at the proper psychological moment,provided it contained nothing that would allow for future charges of bad faith, It washoped the declaration would give some hope to the German people that even afterdefeat, the future was not entirely bleak, It contained the following points: Germanywas to be punished for her aggression; war criminals were to be handed over but therewould be no reprisals against the German population; Germany would lose all territorygained through aggression and was responsible for war damage; Germany was to bepurged of the Nazi Party, and Prussian militarism was to be prevented from committing61future aggression; and Germany was to be re-established on the basis of the rule of law,after which she would regain her respected place in the world.171Despite earlier opposition to such initiatives by the softliners, Eden supported thisdraft and forwarded it to Churchill. Churchill, however, did not like the proposal:The time would be better chosen if we had won a fewvictories against their Armies, If we are going to take allthis territory away from them and shift 6 or 7 million peopleout of their homes,... I doubt very much whether we are ina position to give these assurances, bleak though they be.172Churchill’s desire to win victories in the field before making any such announcementswas to be central to his thinking in the months preceding the invasion of France.Nevertheless, he allowed the proposal to go before the War Cabinet on March 13, 1944where his more cautious view prevailed. However, the Cabinet agreed to reconsider thematter at a later, more propitious date.173In spite of this decision, calls for a declaration to the German people continuedfrom the Foreign Office and Eisenhower’s headquarters, echoing what happened withItaly a year earlier. On March 25, 1944, the Joint Chiefs of Staff forwarded a memo toRoosevelt urging a restatement of unconditional surrender based on public commentsalready made by him and other Allied leaders in order to “establish a favourablecondition precedent to Overlord.” On April 1, Roosevelt made this reply:I cannot agree with the proposed statement or theadvisability thereof...I think that the simplest way of approaching thiswhole matter is to stick to what I have already said, (a) that62the United Nations are determined to administer a totaldefeat to Germany as a whole, (b) that the Allies have nointention of destroying the German people.174Roosevelt wanted nothing to do with changing the formula because as General Marshallsaid, we “were up against an obstinate Dutchman [Roosevelt] who had brought thephrase out and didn’t like to go back on it.”175Despite Roosevelt’s decision, Eisenhower’s headquarters continued to call for anannouncement of the principles “upon which the treatment of a defeated Germanywould be based.” Encouraged by this, Cadogan sent a request to Churchill on April 15asking for War Cabinet advice on the matter for discussions with the Americans. OnApril 19, Churchill repeated his assertion that any statement of terms would be unlikelyto reassure the German opposition and that raising “a timorous cry” prior to asuccessfully-waged battle would be unwise. He then stated:On the other hand, they [the Germans] know thatUnconditional Surrender was interpreted in a veryfavourable manner in the case of the Italians.Clearly, Churchill was ready to apply the Italian precedent to a like situation in Germanyand hoped the German opposition would be encouraged by the Allies’ treatment of Italy.However, he concluded by stating that any change to the unconditional surrender policywould have to come from Roosevelt since it was his creation.176The dilemma grew more acute as the invasion of Europe grew nearer. Militarily,the Allies were prepared and in full agreement. Politically, however, as the followingexchanges show, their differences about the future continued. On May 18, 1 944,63Roosevelt sent to Churchill a new proposal for a statement to the German people to beissued after D-day. Since he disagreed with his military advisors so rarely during thewar, Roosevelt’s proposal was likely the result of their pressure for such a positivestatement. While it stressed the inability of Germany to win the war and the certaintythat the Nazi philosophy would be destroyed, it held out this hope:The Allies are seeking the long-range goal of humanfreedom— a greater true liberty — political, religious andintellectual; and a greater justice, social and economic.177The British attitude, however, had stiffened. On May 25, Churchill sent Roosevelt thisreply:Considerable concern was expressed at the tone offriendship shown to the Germans at this moment whentroops are about to engage. There was a feeling that themessage, if sent before the battle is won, might be distortedby the enemy into a sort of peace appealWe here earnestly hope that you will not make it inits present form and above all at this present time ••178Churchill correctly assessed the British public’s mood about not making such a statementbefore the battle had been won, thereby avoiding the possibility of its being seen as asign of weakness. In addition, he wanted no statement issued which might be acceptedby the Nazi government. When Stalin supported Churchill’s position, Roosevelt agreedto postpone the matter. The hardline position had carried the day.The State Department, however, prepared new drafts of this message in both Juneand July but failed to get Roosevelt’s support. His July 17 explanation to Hull echoed64Churchill’s reasons of May when it stated that Allied military progress had not “yet beensufficiently impressive” to effect the desired result and that only after “further and moreimpressive advances” might the suggestion have “more prospect of advantage to ourattack.”179 It is noteworthy that neither side in this debate paid any heed to anyprospective help from the German opposition, which in turn had by this time recognizedthat it must act on its own. Ultimately, the absence of the proposed statement to theGerman people was of little consequence to the German opposition. Even before theNormandy landings, the plans for the coup attempt had been finalized, and ColonelClaus von Stauffenberg was simply waiting for the best opportunity to strike.Nevertheless, while these debates were conducted in the Allied capitals, membersof the German opposition continued to seek contact with the western Allies. On hisDecember, 1 943 trip to Istanbul, Helmuth von Moltke brought with him a memo forAllied consideration. In this memo, he stated that his group accepted “the unequivocalmilitary defeat and occupation of Germany” as morally and politically necessary forGermany’s future well-being and that his group accepted the demand for unconditionalsurrender, realizing “the untimeliness of any discussion of peace terms before thissurrender has been accomplished.”180 This was exactly what the Allies, particularlythe British, wanted to hear. Unfortunately, these points were undercut by the expresseddesire to surrender in the west, yet continue fighting the Soviets in the east. O.S.S. chiefWilliam Donovan’s report of July 29, 1944 to Roosevelt summarized the situation:The approach in Istanbul was made at a time when it wasclear that our relations with the Russians would not permitnegotiation with such a contact ... I directed our65representative in Istanbul to enter into no negotiations withHerrmann [Moltke’s codename] but to keep open thechannel of contact.181When Troll had made a similar approach in October, Harrison at the Foreign Officeminuted: “Note the skill with which he propagates the old Communist bogey andgenerally mixes up fact and propaganda.”182 This was not a tactic met with muchenthusiasm in London and Washington and only revealed the naivete and politicalopportunism of the German opposition.The clearest picture the Americans received of the German opposition came fromAllen Dulles, the O.S.S. chief in Switzerland. Through his meetings with Troll,Goerdeler, and others, Dulles was able to report to Washington on January 27, 1944 thatdespite certain differing opinions amongst German opposition factions,these groups keep in touch and are very eager to obtainpolitical ammunition from our side. They consider this tobe sadly wanting, and they wish it to reinforce theirmovement at the present time and following the collapse, aswell.183He concluded his report with a request:I would appreciate hearing of any indication with which youcould supply me regarding what you would be interesting[sic] in achieving via Breakers [the opposition’s codename],and could be pursued effectively at this time. I do notunderstand what our policy is and what offers, if any, wecould give to any resistance movement.18466Incredibly, Dulles had been sent to Switzerland to gather information yet had not beengiven instructions on what he could do to follow it up.This lack of instructions is explained by the comments Berle wrote on Dulles’report on February 2, 1944:This group intimates the possibility of a putsch, followed bya “surrender to the West” and asks for “politicalammunition”, which, of course, would mean assurances orthe like of use to them. O.S.S., of course, is not followingthis up in any way and has no desire to, which is in linewith the consistent policy of the Department.O.S.S. officials have told me that the cable has beensuppressed and that they have no further interest other thanto lay it before the Department for its information.185Clearly, the Americans only wanted information from Dulles, they did not want him toact on it. They were not even prepared to follow up on his reports, so much so thatthey were to be suppressed. This attitude was wholly consistent with their concept oftotal war as a moral crusade which did not allow for the existence of oppositionelements.186 The State Department maintained Roosevelt’s hardline position.On the other hand, despite Churchill’s “absolute silence” and “no contact”decrees, the British attitude was more flexible than the Americans’. The British werewilling to discuss and utilize the information they gathered, although not for thepurposes their German contacts would have hoped. For example, a report on Trott’sMarch, 1 944 trip to Stockholm was used to determine whether unconditional surrenderwas the best tactic, whereas Trott was hoping it could form a basis for negotiations. Thismemo was, however, important in that it was the first time that a member of the German67opposition conveyed to the Allies his acceptance of a Soviet role in the post-waroccupation of Germany. When this report arrived in London, the Foreign Office wasstill hoping to get some declaration of peace aims from Churchill. Cadogan wasencouraged by it, and even Eden minuted that “this can certainly be examinedafresh.”187 However, Churchill’s memo to Cadogan of April 19 (quoted earlier) putan end to the matter.The final word on this issue prior to D-day came on June 1, 1944 when severaldepartments of the Foreign Office met to discuss whether any advantage could bederived from contacting opposition elements in Germany. Interestingly, no mention wasmade of its possible effect on Anglo-Soviet relations. The consensus opinion— which,however, downplayed the extensive contacts deployed by the Foreign Office earlier —was that while “a considerable number” of genuinely anti-Nazi Germans existed, “thebalance of evidence” indicates “that no organized oppositional group exists in Germany.”It concluded as follows:The only possible conclusion seems to be that, quite apartfrom considerations of high policy, there is no initiative wecan take vis-à-vis “dissident” German groups or individuals,military or civilian, which hold out the smallest prospect ofaffording practical assistance to our present militaryoperations in the West.188While the report was correct in stating that there was little public support in Germanyfor a coup, it completely ignored the evidence of an organised opposition provided byTrott and Erich Vermehren, an Abwehr agent who had defected to the British in March,1 944. Vermehren had recommended to the British to “forthwith get in touch with the68opposition.”189 Despite the wishful thinking of some of the Foreign Office members,his advice was ignored. The hardliners had won.Yet only a month after D-day both Churchill and Attlee felt secure enough in theAllies’ position to make remarks about the German opposition. In the House on July 7,Attlee repeated Eden’s words of two years earlier when he stated that if any group inGermany wanted to see the return of a regime which respected international law andindividual rights, it “must understand that no one will believe them until they havethemselves taken active steps to rid themselves of their present regime.”19° And onJuly 12, Churchill replied to a question in the House about his statement to the Germansto overthrow Hitler:I am very glad to be reminded of that statement, to whichI strongly adhere. I think it has been repeated in otherforms by the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers. At anyrate, it would certainly be a very well-advised step on thepart of the Germans.191So, even after the Normandy invasion, Churchill maintained his goal of shortening thewar through a change of government in Germany, but also his refusal to state his termsto any such new German regime.Nevertheless, the moderate faction in the Foreign Office did not give up. AForeign Office report of July 15 stated that while any recognition of a new Germangovernment might be criticised, it could be justified:It is not the task of the United Nations to face the problemswhich the Germans’ own vices have created; it is only forus to lay down our requirements and ensure that the69Germans carry them out as part of their programmeMoreover, recognition of a government would not commitus to continue support of it either in its individual acts or inits relation to the future territorial framework of Germany.What it would do would be to provide an essential basis forthe beginnings of reconstruction.192So a mere five days before the coup attempt, the German opposition’s prospects ofgaining acceptance from the Allies following a successful take-over were not completelybleak.On July 20, 1944, at 12:40 p.m., Stauffenberg placed a bomb under Hitler’sconference table in the Wolf’s Lair in East Prussia. Ten minutes later, it exploded. Hitlersuffered only minor injuries. Before the day was out, the German opposition’s attemptto overthrow the Nazi regime had failed; its leaders were either dead or under arrest.Despite the significance of this attempt, there is no evidence that the German oppositionhad informed the Allies when it would happen nor that it expected any concessions fromthem. The German opposition had acted entirely of its own accord.Despite the fact that this attempt was exactly what Churchill and Eden had beencalling for since 1 940 when they demanded “deeds, not words,” the Allies were totallyunprepared when faced with the coup attempt. A lack of intelligence reports from theS.O.E. gave rise to reactions such as that of Cadogan: “Don’t know what it means. Notv[ery] much, I think. Possibly an excuse for a purge.”193 The hardliners reactedpredictably. As Eden recalled in his memoirs, Ernest Bevin, Minister of Labour andNational Service, “at once said that it was a Nazi stunt to popularize H[itler],” andBrendan Bracken, Minister of Information, dismissed it as “Goebbel’s work.” This lack70of sympathy would lead to the continued denigration of the plotters, both for the rest ofthe war and long after it was over. Eden’s reaction was ambivalent. On July 20, he felt“it was hard to tell so far” what it meant but he did disagree with Bracken’s assessmentof the situation. The next day, he wrote: “Quite sure that my diagnosis of H[itlerjbusiness was right and that there has been some real trouble in Germany.”194Nevertheless, Eden had totally failed to prepare for this eventuality. For his part,Roosevelt made no statement of any kind, in keeping with his refusal even to recognisethe existence of a German opposition.The softliners were initially encouraged by the news from Germany. On ameeting with Eden and others, Cadogan made this notation: “Others’ rather undulyexcited by it. I threw a few little cold douches.”195 Their excitement was also sharedby the British intelligence community.196 However, the hopes of the softliners wereshattered as the news arrived from Berlin of the arrests and the bodies in theBendlerstrasse.Churchill was in France at the time of the coup attempt and consequently, issuedno immediate statement. However, the softilners and the British public had realized thesignificance of what had happened in Germany, and so the British government wascompelled to issue a statement of explanation. The hardliners jumped at this chance towin and prepared two reports to influence Churchill’s speech. The first report wasprepared by the Foreign Office on July 22 and stated:The immediate practical effect ... of the failure of this coupwill probably be to rivet the Nazi yoke even more firmlyon the neck of the German people. All ‘unreliable71elements’ will be ruthlessly purged. Himmier’s control willbecome even more complete. The chances of a successfulmilitary coup will have been diminished and the possibilityincreased, that the German masses ... will go down to chaoswith their leaders.197Wheeler-Bennett, back in London as Deputy Head of Political Warfare, had reversed hisearlier, positive view of the German opposition, and his July 25 report to the ForeignOffice on the implications of the plot spared no effort to rub it in:It may now be said with some definitiveness that we arebetter off with things as they are today than if the plot ofJuly 20th had succeeded and Hitler had been assassinatedBy the failure of the plot we have been sparedembarrassments, both at home and in the United Statesand, moreover, the present purge is presumably removingfrom the scene numerous individuals who might havecaused us difficulty, not only had the plot succeeded, butalso after the defeat of a Nazi Germany.198Disappointment at the failure of the coup played a part in the hardliners’ reaction, butmore so did an anti-German bias with Vansittartian overtones, as exemplified byWheeler-Bennett’s report. With such source material, it is hardly surprising thatChurchill’s August 2 Commons speech echoed the Nazi’s condemnatory words on theGerman opposition:Not only are those once proud German armies being beatenback on every front and by every one of the many nationswho are in fighting contact with them, every single one, but,in their homeland in Germany, tremendous events haveoccurred which must shake to their foundations theconfidence of the people and the loyalty of the troops. Thehighest personalities in the German Reich are murderingone another, or trying to, while the avenging Armies of the72Allies close upon the doomed and ever-narrowing circle oftheir power.199Another factor which influenced this speech was Churchill’s ambivalence. Willing tosound hopeful when conditions warranted, these reports and the news from Germanymade it clear to Churchill not only that the German opposition had failed in itsendeavour but also that those anti-Nazi elements acceptable to the Allies were beingruthlessly purged on Hitler’s orders. Consequently, there was nothing to be gained atthat juncture by making positive remarks concerning the German opposition. The courseof events had finally placed Churchill squarely in the camp of the hardliners.In the days and weeks following the coup attempt, the information the Alliesreceived on its aftermath made it clear that Nazi retribution was eliminating the Germanopposition as a viable force capable of aiding the Allies in shortening the war. Onlydisgruntled members of the Nazi hierarchy were now in a position to do so. However,not even the softliners were interested in dealing with such figures. As a result, attemptsby Himmler and Ribbentrop to negotiate with the Allies in 1945 were rejected out ofhand. The only way the war would come to an end would be through the acceptanceof unconditional surrender by Germany’s military and civilian authorities. This wasfinally achieved on May 7, 1945.During the war, Churchill had been unable to recognise the efforts of the Germanopposition. However, in 1946, he paid them tribute with these words:In Germany there lived an opposition which was weakenedby their losses and an enervating international policy, butwhich belongs to the noblest and greatest that the political73history of any nation has ever produced. These men foughtwithout help from within or from abroad — driven forwardonly by the restlessness of their conscience. As long as theylived they were invisible and unrecognizableto us, becausethey had to camouflage themselves. But their death madethe resistance visible.200Unlike Churchill’s words, fate was not kind to the German opposition. It is lamentablethat Churchill did not come to this conclusion in 1 944.74CHAPTER V: CONCLUSIONThe struggle between the hard and softliners began with the war itself inSeptember, 1 939. Faced with the prospect of a war lasting at least three years,Chamberlain was more favourably inclined toward the softline position and, as a result,carried his appeasement mode of thought into the war years. This led him to authorizecontacts with the German opposition in the Netherlands and through the Vatican. Onlyafter the fiasco at Venlo and French demands for a tougher Allied attitude towardsGermany did Chamberlain begin to take notice of the hardline position. Even so, hewas still determined to do what he could to keep the war from spreading. The futilityof his efforts became clear when Hitler began his attack in the North in April, 1940.Chamberlain’s policy hinged on the German opposition’s actingto remove Hitler. Whenit failed to do so, not only was Chamberlain’s policy shown to be bankrupt, but thecredibility of all future opposition contacts was severely damaged.In contrast, Churchill’s position towards Germany was one of ambivalence. Hewanted to avoid the mistakes of the Great War which resulted in making Germany a“pariah” nation, and he wanted to use Germany as a buffer against the Soviet Union.At the same time, he did not want to be seen as aiding the German opposition, goingso far as to prohibit all contacts with it. As a result, Churchill’s attitude often vacillated,being exploited in turns by the hard and then the softliners. Roosevelt was moresteadfast in his position on Germany, since his view of the war as a morale crusadeagainst the inhuman ideology of Nazism left no room in his thinking for “good”Germans. Only in the spring of 1 944 when his military advisors started pushing for a75more benevolent attitude towards Germany did Roosevelt bend ever so slightly to thesoftliners’ cause. It is notable that Armstrong fails to address the significance of thesechanging positions, particularly on the part of Churchill.Both leaders, however, were much more sympathetically inclined towards Italy.Churchill took active steps in 1940 and 1941 in an attempt to get Italy out of the war,and Roosevelt lifted restrictions on Italian aliens in the U.S. in 1942. The mostsignificant indication of their attitude to Italy came in January, 1 943 when both leaderswanted Italy excluded from the unconditional surrender announcement at Casablanca.Only the opposition of the War Cabinet in London kept it from being so. Not only werethe Allied leaders personally willing to follow a softer line on Italy, it is also clear fromChurchill’s later stance that he hoped the German opposition would draw the obviouslesson from the “very favourable” treatment Italy had received following Mussolini’souster. It is this connection which Lamb fails to make.Despite the assertions of many writers, the demand for unconditional surrenderneither prevented the German opposition from acting against Hitler, nor resulted in theAllies’ failure to exploit positively the fall of Mussolini. The March, 1943 bomb plotwhich miscarried shows that unconditional surrender was no impediment to the Germanopposition. In addition, by the time of the July 20, 1944 attempt on Hitler’s life, theopposition leadership had accepted unconditional surrender as a given condition. Thefailure in Italy had two causes. The first was the divergence in Allied policy. Mostpolicy makers in Britain felt it was preferable for Italy to become a drain on Germanresources, and the Americans wanted to focus on invading France, not Italy. As a result,76they had no contingency plan in place to exploit a sudden Italian collapse. The secondreason was the Italian desire to secure their domestic military situation vis-à-vis theGermans prior to signing an armistice. The Italians’ delaying tactics served only tofacilitate the German occupation they sought to avoid.The assertion by Lamb and Gerhard Ritter, among others, that the Germanopposition would have been in a better position to bring off a coup had the Allies beenmore supportive of its efforts is untenable. The Allies were unwilling to repeat themistake of Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points by giving assurances before the end ofhostilities. In addition, Churchill and Roosevelt were determined to keep the SovietUnion firmly in the Allied camp and, as a result, were not prepared to alienate analready suspicious Stalin by negotiating with the German opposition. For its part, theGerman opposition had at its core a group of men, Beck, Goerdeler, Stauffenberg, andHenning von Tresckow, which was determined to act without prior assurances from theAllies. Contacts were sought to gain a clear picture of how the Allies would react to acoup, and any promises received from or agreements reached with the Allies would havebeen considered by them as a welcome bonus. In the final analysis, however, no Alliedassurances would have helped Stauffenberg’s bomb to kill Hitler, nor would they haveprevented the hesitation and bungling on the part of the conspirators in Berlin which ledso disastrously to the failure of the enterprise.The adoption of the unconditional surrender formula was a victory for thehardliners. Its implementation in the surrender of Italy was a victory for the softliners.Once Italy was out of the war, the struggle over the treatment of Germany continued77until the failure of the coup attempt on July 20, 1944. Ultimately, however, the strugglebetween the hard and softliners was rendered mute by the failure of the Germanopposition to remove Hitler from power. But it did show that there were those in Alliedcircles who were willing to work to change the official policies of “absolute silence,” “nocontacts,” and “unconditional surrender.” In the case of Italy, their convictions weretried and carried the day. The tragedy in the case of Germany is that the opportunityto try their convictions once again never presented itself.78ENDNOTES1. Unconditional Surrender: The Impact of the Casablanca Policy upon World War II(New Brunswick, New Jersey; 1961)2. History of the German Resistance (Cambridge, Massachusetts; 1977)3. The “Other Germany” in the Second World War: Emigration and Resistance inInternational Perspective (Stuttgart; 1 977)4. The Nemesis of Power: The German Army in Politics 1918-1 945 (London; 1964)5. The Ghosts of Peace 1935-1945 (London; 1987)6. Kettenacker, p. 137. Sir Liewellyn Woodward, British Foreign Policy in the Second World War (London;1962), p.xxvii-iii8. Keith Feiling, The Life of Neville Chamberlain (Hamden, Connecticut; 1946 and1970), p. 417-18, quoting Chamberlain’s letter of Sept. 10, 1939.9. Robert H. Keyserlingk, Austria in World War Il: An Anglo-American Dilemma(Kingston and Montreal; 1988), p. 12610. Kettenacker, p.2211. Felling, p.415, quoting Chamberlain’s Commons speech of Sept. 1, 1939.12. Terrance Prittie, Germans Against Hitler (London; 1964), p.185, quotingChamberlain’s Sept. 4, 1 939 speech.13. In his October 12, 1939 Commons Speech in reply to Hitler’s peace overture ofOctober 6, Chamberlain stated:The peace which we are determined to secure, however, must be a real andsettled peace, not an uneasy truce interrupted by constant alarms and repeatedthreats. What stands in the way of such a peace? It is the GermanGovernment, and the German Government alone.Quoted from David Dilks, ed., The Diaries of Sir Alexander Cadogan, O.M.1938-1 945 (London; 1971), p.22314. Harold C. Deutsch, The Conspiracy against Hitler in the Twilight War (Minneapolis;1968), p. 160-1, as provided by Erich Kordt in his 1947 book, Wahn undWirklichkeit: AussenDolitik des Dritten Reiches.7915. Feiling, p. 42616. Ronald C.D. Jasper, George Bell. Bishop of Chichester (London; 1967), p. 26017. Dilks, p. 337-818. Feiling, p. 424, quoting a Chamberlain letter of Oct. 8, 1939.19. Peter Hoffmann, “The Question of Western Allied Cooperation with the GermanAnti-Nazi Conspiracy, 1938-1944”, in The Historical lournal, 34 (1991), p. 44520. Wheeler-Bennett, p. 476-721. Walter Schellenberg, Labyrinth (New York; 1956), p. 6722. Dilks, p. 22823. Kettenacker, p. 158, quoting F.O. 371/22946/Cl 71 0524. Ibid., p. 159-60, quoting F.O. 371/22947/C2043825. John S. Conway, “The Vatican, Great Britain, and Relations with Germany, 1938-1940” in Historical Journal, XVI (1973), p.15926. Kettenacker, p.28-3027. In large part, this failure was due to the intervention of Maurice Bowra, anacquaintance of Trott’s from Oxford. In June, 1 939, Troll met with Bowra in Englandand told him of his plans for his U.S. trip. Deciding Troll was “playing a doublegame,” Bowra wrote to Felix Frankfurter of the U.S. Supreme Court, warning againstany positive consideration by Roosevelt of Troll’s proposals. Frankfurter succeededin casting doubts on Troll’s motives, thereby dooming his mission. See HenryMalone’s article in Francis R. Nicosia, Lawrence D. Stokes, eds., Germans AgainstNazism: Nonconformity. Opposition and Resistance in the Third Reich (Oxford;1990), p.268-70.28. Giles MacDonogh, A Good German (London; 1989), p.1 51, quoting F.O. 371/24363,file 4426.29. Deutsch, p.157.30. Owen Chadwick, Britain and the Vatican during the Second World War (Cambridge;1986), p.8731. Conway, p.15732. Hoffmann, History, p.1 60, quoting Jan. 12, 1940 Osborne to Halifax report.8033. Chadwick, p.9034. Ibid., p.90-i35. Kettenacker, p.172-3, from an April 14, 1941 Foreign Office memo.36. Osborne’s report read in part:The Pope assured me that the German principals are in no wayconnected with the Nazi Party. But his confidence may bemisguided. Whether the German communication is in goodfaith or not, I think, it is clear that the Pope’s humanitarianfeelings have been played on. And his spontaneous offer, aftermy expressions of scepticism, to cancel his communication tome shows that he does not relish being used as a channel andthat he has little expectation of any result. But he certainlycannot be reproached for acting as he has.Quoted by Conway, p.163.37. Hoffmann, History, p.1 60, taken from source given in note 32.38. Chadwick, p.9239. Sir Llewellyn Woodward, British Foreign Policy in the Second World War, vol.ll(London; 1971) p. 190; and Hoffmann, History, p.161, taken from source given innote 32.40. Chadwick, p. 93.41. Dilks, p.25542. Hoffmann, History, p.161, quoting Feb. 17, 1940 Halifax to Osborne cable. TheGerman opposition had sought to have the French excluded from any negotiations,knowing their position was much more intransigent than that of the British, but hereChamberlain made it clear that was out of the question.43. Chadwick, p.9444. Gerhard Ritter, The German Resistance - Carl Goerdeler’s Strule against Tyranny(New York; 1958), p.1 59, quoting Chamberlain’s Feb. 24, 1940 speech.45. Chadwick, p.9746. Lamb, p.13447. Woodward, II, p.1838148. Feiling, p.44349. Tuvia Ben-Moshe, “Winston Churchill and ‘The Second Front’: A Reappraisal”, inlournal of Modern History, 62 (1990), p.504, taken from War Cabinet minutes ofOct. 15 and 31, 1940, files 69/1 and 6918.50. Ibid., p.504-651. Conway, p.167, quoting F.O. 3711C7324/89118.52. Peter Hoffmann, “Peace through Coup d’Etat: Foreign Contacts of the GermanResistance 1 933-1 944,” in Central European History, XIX (1 986), p.11, quoting F.O.371126542/C610 and F.O. 371/26543/Cl 0855.53. Lamb, p.222, quoting July, 1984 interview with Roberts.54. Ibid., p.21955. Austria was not mentioned because it was not until 1943 that the restoration of anindependent Austria became Allied policy.56. Martin Gilbert, The Finest Hour 1939-41: Winston S. Churchill (London; 1983), p.695, quoting letter to Halifax of Aug. 1, 1940.57. Churchill used the term Prussia because he envisioned separating the south Germanstates from the rest of Germany and joining them with Austria and possibly Hungaryin a Danubian confederation. This plan would effectively leave Prussia, rather thanGermany, as one of Europe’s great powers.58. Gilbert, Finest Hour, p.943-4, quoting SirJohn Colville’s Dec. 12, 1940 diary entry.59. Keyserlingk, p.126-760. Kettenacker, p.10561. Randolph S. Churchill, ed., Into the Battle — Speeches by the Right HonourableWinston S. Churchill P.C.. M.P. (London; 1941), p.14662. Dilks, p.316-763. Charles Eade, ed., War Speeches bvthe Right Honourable Winston S. Churchill C.H..M.P., 4 vols. (London; 1 942-45), I, p.28-964. Lamb, p.16965. Ibid., p.163, quoting F.O. 371/299408266. Ibid., p.169, quoting F.O. 371/2992867. Gilbert, Finest Hour, p.1118-9, quoting ColvilIe’s June 22, 1941 diary entry.68. Kettenacker, p.59-6069. Woodward, II, p.14. This point was reaffirmed in Article II of the Anglo-Soviet Treatyof Alliance of May 26, 1942 which read:The High Contracting Parties undertake not to enter into anynegotiations with the Hitlerite Government or any otherGovernment in Germany that does not clearly renounce allaggressive intentions, and not to negotiate or conclude exceptby mutual consent any armistice or peace treaty with Germanyor any other State associated with her in acts of aggression inEurope.Quoted from Leland M. Goodrich, ed., Documents on American Foreign Relations,vols. IV-Vll (Boston; 1942-46), IV, p.255-670. Ulrich von Hassell, The Von Hassell Diaries 1938-1944 (New York; 1947), p.21371. Cordell Hull, Memoirs of Cordell Hull (New York; 1948), p.111672. The Right Honourable Earl of Avon, Eden Memoirs: The Reckoning (London; 1965),p.33373. Kettenacker, p.189, from July 1, 1942 Foreign Office memo.74. Eden repeated this message in a speech in August.75. Hans Rothfels, German Opposition to Hitler: An Assessment (London; 1961), p.133-476. Hoffman, History, p.21577. Keyserlingk, p.1 29. One significant example of American propaganda was the seriesof 1942 broadcasts to the German opposition entitled, “Listen Hans”, by DorothyThompson. While these broadcasts were not sponsored by the O.W.I., they weresanctioned by it and urged opposition members to prove the existence of “the otherGermany” through overt action. When Thompson learned the opposition wasrestrained by the fear of an unjust peace, she implored its members to repudiate theNazi regime, thereby allowing for a just peace. See Mary Alice Gallin, The GermanResistance to Hitler- Ethical and Religious Factors (Washington, D.C.; 1961), p.126-778. W.A. Visser’t Hooft, Memoirs (London; 1973), p.1578379. Kettenacker, p.192, from July 1, 1942 Foreign Office memo.80. Hooft, p.15781. Lamb, p.256-7, quoting F.O. 898/41282. Ibid., p.259-60, quoting F.O. 898/41283. Ibid., p.260-i, quoting F.O. 898/41284. Hoffmann, History, p.220, quoting from George Bell’s 1957 aritcle in Vierteliahrschefte für Zeitgeschichte.85. Jasper, p.270-i86. Kettenacker, p.70, quoting F.O. 371/39087/Cl 002887. Lamb, p.18388. Eberhard Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (New York; 1970), p.67089. Ibid., p.67190. In his August 4 reply to Bell, Eden reminded him that he had called on the Germanopposition to act in his speech of May 8. No further statement would be useful untilit did so since the government had already made it clear that Germany would not bedenied a place in the future Europe. This reply echoed his earlier one to Cripps.The importance Eden placed on his May 8 speech is confirmed by a July 1, 1942Foreign Office report on the German opposition which called the speech “a note ofencouragement to dissident elements in Germany.” See Earl of Avon, p.334-5; andLamb, p.26i, who quotes Public Records Office 4/100/8.91. Jasper, p.274, quoting from Bell’s Dec. 19, 1942 letter to Lord Cranborne.92. Bethge, p.67393. Edwin H. Robertson, “George Bell’s Peace Initiatives”, in Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte,4 (1991), p.17294. Jasper, p.27595. Hull, p.154896. Goodrich, V, p.664-S97. Ibid., V, p.171-28498. Lamb, p.17099. United States Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States: DiplomaticPapers (Washington, D.C.; 1963-66), 1943 vol.11, p.3 14100. Ibid., 1943 vol.11, p.318101. Lamb, p.17’l, quoting F.O. 371/33240102. Foreign Relations, 1943 vol.11, p.315-6103. Lamb, p.171104. Foreign Relations, 1943 vol. II, p.316105. Lamb, p.172106. Martin Gilbert, The Road to Victory: Winston S. Churchill 1941-45 (London; 1986),p.3 10107. Herbert Feis, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin — The War They Waged and the PeaceThey Sought (Princeton, New Jersey; 1957), p.1 081 08. Michael Balfour, “Another Look at Unconditional Surrender”, in International Affairs,46(1 970), p.720109. Feis, p.109110. Churchill, IV, p.613111. Ibid., IV, p.614112. Lamb, p.223, quoting August 9,1984 letter from Roberts.113. Robert F. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins - An Intimate History (New York; 1950),p.697114. Hull,p.157011 5. Samuel Rosenman, ed., Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin Delano Roosevelt,vols. 1941-1 945 (New York; 1950), vol. 1943, p.80.116. In his December 24, 1943 address, Roosevelt stated:The United Nations have no intention to enslave theGerman people. We wish them to have a normalchance to develop in peace, as useful and respectablemembers of the European family. But we most certainly85emphasize that word “respectable” — for we intend torid them once and for all of Nazism and Prussianmilitarism and the fantastic and disastrous notion thatthey constitute ‘the master race’.Quoted in Rosenman, vol.1943, p.557-8117. Churchill, IV, p.616118. Ibid., IV, p.618119. Kettenacker, p.vi120. Foreign Relations, 1943 vol. II, p.319121. Lamb, p.175, quoting P.R.O. 3/249/9122. Dilks, p.514123. Gilbert, Road, p.339, quoting Churchill’s Feb. 13, 1943 minute to Eden.124. Foreign Relations, 1943 vol. II, p.322-3125. Lamb, p.187, quoting F.O. 371/37260126. F.H. Hinsley, British Intelligence in the Second World War: Its Influence on Strategyand Operations, 3 vols. (London; 1979-88), III i, p. 102127. Lamb, p.183128. The S.O.E. had been routinely receiving Foreign Office telegrams concerning Axisopposition groups in order to aid its efforts to disrupt the Axis war effort.129. Lamb, p. 184, quoting F.O. 371/33218130. Ibid., p.189, quoting F.O. 371/37289131. Ibid., p.191, quoting F.O. 371/3726132. Francis Loewenheim, Harold Langley, Manfred Jonas, eds; Roosevelt and ChurchillTheir Secret Wartime Correspondence (New York;1 975), p.359-60133. Churchill, V, p.59134. Hanson Baldwin, Great Mistakes of the War (New York;1 950), p.22135. Armstrong, p.8586136. Lamb, p.191137. David W. Eliwood, Italy 1943-1 945 (Leicester;1 985), p.16138. “Sledgehammer” was the codename given to the Allied plan for a small landing inFrance to precede the major invasion of Europe in the event of the sudden collapseof either Germany or the Soviet Union. “Rankin” was “Sledgehammer’s” successor.139. Woodward, II, p.462-3140. Churchill, V, p.51141. William Hardy McNeill, America. Britain and Russia - Their Co-operation andConflict 1941-1946 (New York and London; 1953 and 1970), p.304142. Rosenman, vol. 1943, p.328143. Churchill, V, p.91144. Woodward, Il, p.475-8145. Robert Murphy, Diplomat Among Warriors (New York;1964), p. 186146. Alistair Home, Macmillan 1894-1956 (London;1988), p.194, quoting RichardCrossman in Sunday Telegraph of Feb. 9, 1964. During the war, Crossman was theDirector of Psychological Warfare in Algiers.147. Lamb, p.194, quoting F.O. 371/37264148. Ibid., p.198, quoting P.R.O. 3/249/5149. Chadwick, p.262150. For example, one article demanded that the Italians take the measures necessary toprevent any of their former Axis allies from seizing or attacking any Italian militaryinstallation. By September 13, all such installations north of Naples were in Germanhands.151. United States Department of State, “United States and Italy 1936-1946” in EuropeanSeries, 17(1946), p.64152. Feis, p.166153. European Series, p.65154. Wheeler-Bennett, p.55387155. Rothfels, p.129156. Armstrong, p.255157. Wheeler-Bennett, p.558-560158. Sir Liewellyn Woodward, British Foreign Policy in the Second World War, vol. V(London;1976), p.360, quoting F.O. C9134, 9706, 10041/155/18.159. Lamb, p.225, quoting interview with Roberts in July, 1984.160. Woodward, V, p.3 60, quoting as in note 158.161. Lamb, p.225, quoting Roberts’ interview of July, 1984.162. Churchill, V, p.141-2163. Ibid., V, p.252164. Ibid., V, p.142165. McNeill, p.410-i166. Gilbert, Road, p.518, quoting Oliver Harvey’s diary entry of Oct. 6, 1943. Harveywas Eden’s private secretary. These were not isolated thoughts. At a meeting withMacmillan in Gibraltar in November, 1943, Churchill said that while Cromwell hadbeen a great man,he made one fatal error. Born and bred in fear of Spain.... hefailed to see in the decline of Spain the rise of France... Willthat be said of me?He was clearly alluding to the Soviet Union. His fears about Soviet intentions wereconfirmed by Stalin’s harsh words at the Teheran Conference. So much so that inDecember, 1 943, he told Lord Moran that “we’ve got to do something with thesebloody Russians.” Quotations from Home, p.205, quoting his conversations withMacmillan from 1979-86; and Lord Moran, Churchill: Taken from the Diaries ofLord Moran (Boston;1966), p.155167. Woodward, V1 p.359, quoting F.O. Cl 4544/1 55/1 8.168. Ibid., V1 p.361, quoting F.O. Cl 4851/1 55/1 8.169. Loewenheim,etal., p.411-2170. Churchill, IV, p.618. The statement of Roosevelt’s to which Churchill refers is hisfireside chat of December 24, 1943 quoted in note 116.88171. Woodward, V, p.367-8, taken from F.O. C1860/1236/62, 3029/1211/55.172. Ibid., V, p.368, quoting F.O. M86/4, C1865/1236/62.173. Ibid., V, p.369174. Foreign Relations, 1944 vol. I, p.501-2175. Dilks, p.620176. Woodward, V, p.370, quoting F.O. C5183/1236/62.177. Foreign Relations, 1944 vol. I, p.514178. Ibid., 1944 vol. I, p.517-8179. Hull, p.1581180. Peter Hoffmann, “Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg in the German Resistance to Hitler:Between East and West,” in Historical Iournal 31(1 988), p.634-5, quoting Donovan’sreport to Roosevelt of July 29, 1944.181. Ibid., p.635-6182. Lamb, p.265, quoting F.O. 371/34462183. Hoffmann, Stauffenberg, p.644, quoting Dulles’ cable no. 1890-3 to O.S.S. of Jan.27, 1944.184. Foreign Relations, 1944 vol. I, p.498185. Ibid., 1944 vol. I, p.496-7186. As Armstrong states on p.170-i, “Allied admission during the war of the existenceof a large-scale anti-Nazi movement within Germany might have threatened themoral basis of Total War pursued to the achievement of Unconditional Surrender.”187. Lamb, p.274, quoting F.O. 371/39059188. Kettenacker, p.202-3, quoting F.O. 371/39087/C8865189. Lamb, p.282, quoting F.O. 371/39087190. Wheeler-Bennett, p.622, quoting Attlee’s Commons speech of July 7, 1944.191. Eade, IV, p.20489192. Kettenacker, p.207-8, quoting F.O. 371/3911 61C9330193. Dilks, p.649.194. Earl of Avon, p. 464.195. Dilks, p. 649.196. Hinsley, Ill ii, p. 365.197. Kettenacker, p. 211, quoting F.O. 3711390621C9960.198. Lamb, p. 296-7, quoting F.O. 3 71/39062.199. Eade, IV, p. 165.200. Lamb, p.301, as quoted by Schlabrendorff and other German writers.90BIBLIOGRAPHYPrimary SourcesAvon, The Right Honourable Earl of, Eden Memoirs: The Reckoning. London, 1965.Badoglio, Pietro. Italy in the Second World War — Memories and Documents.London, 1948.Churchill, Randolph S., ed. Into the Battle — Speeches by the Right HonourableWinston S. Churchill P.C.. M.P. London, 1941.Churchill, Winston. The Second World War. 6 vols. London, 1948-53.Dilks, David, ed. The Diaries of Sir Alexander Cadogan, O.M. 1 938-1 945. London,1971.DulIes, Allen Welsh. Germany’s Underground. New York, 1947.Eade, Charles, ed. War Speeches by the Right Honourable Winston S. Churchill C.H.,M.P. 4 vols. London, 1942-45.Eisenhower, Dwight D. Crusade in Europe. New York, 1948.Goodrich, Leland M., ed. Documents on American Foreign Relations. Vols. IV-Vll.Boston, 1 942-46.Hassell, Ulrich von. The Von Hassell Diaries 1938-1944. New York, 1947.Hoare, Sir Samuel. Ambassador on Special Mission. London, 1946.Hull, Cordell. The Memoirs of Cordell Hull. New York, 1948.Loewenheim, Francis; Langley, Harold; Jonas, Manfred, eds. Roosevelt and Churchill— Their Secret Wartime Correspondence. 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