Hoggan - The Forced War - When Peaceful Revision Failed (revisionist origins of WW2)(1989)
This is David L. Hoggan's monumental book The Forced War - When Peaceful Revision Failed (1989) which is the most comprehensive and audacious revisionist account of the origins of World War II. Hoggan was an American historian whose work was the subject of much controversy as already hinted in his doctoral thesis at Harvard in 1948 which later expanded into this book. It presents a weighty revisionist study of the origins of World War II which defines the climate and influences upon Germany's role in the war. Failures in international cooperation, European nations' internal power policies and attitudes toward Germany, and Hitler's peaceful intentions, as well as influences on other European nations' internal affairs are documented. The author reveals that Hitler sought peaceful revisionism of the borders imposed on Germany at Versailles, presenting extensive documented research to support his claims. He claims that Hitler's ambitions were limited to making Germany the preeminent power in Central Europe. According to Hoggan, Hitler did not seek world conquest and his policies did not threaten Britain, the British empire or Western Europe in general. Leading British policymakers, however, opposed German hegemony in Central Europe on the basis of Britain's traditional balance of power policy. To achieve the goal (a pretext for war), Britain, in March 1939, gave Poland an unconditional guarantee of its border with Germany, and later promised that it would support Poland in any conflict with Germany. Britain, however, had neither the intent nor the capability of actually defending Poland militarily. As Hoggan emphasizes, Hitler's demands on Poland were quite moderate as he sought the return of the Free City of Danzig (detached from Germany by the Versailles Treaty) to the Reich and German transit rights across the Polish Corridor. In return, Hitler pledged to allow the continuation of Polish economic privileges in Danzig and to guarantee the Polish boundary with Germany. Emboldened by British promises, Polish Foreign Minister Jozef Beck was unwilling to make an effort to reach an understanding with Germany. Having an exaggerated view of Polish military capabilities, Beck even thought that a war with Germany would allow for Polish territorial gains. It was Poland's aggressive intransigence, which included the persecution of the German minority in Poland, that ultimately led to war. Without the British pledge of support, however, Poland would not have been so bold, nor would a local conflict have escalated into a major war. Originally published in 1961 in West Germany as "Der Erzwungene Krieg", it gained instant notoriety in that country although it was lambasted by the German political and academic establishments. No english-language press dared to publish this taboo-shattering history for over two decades as it blames the outbreak of World War II due to an alleged Anglo-Polish conspiracy to wage aggression against Germany. Hoggan charged the alleged conspiracy was headed by the British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax, who, Hoggan contended, had seized control of British foreign policy in October 1938 from Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain who was allegedly assisted by Polish Foreign Minister Colonel Jozef Beck in what Hoggan called a monstrous anti-German plot. The Forced War rejects the near-universal assumption that the aggressive policy of Hitlerian Germany was the sole cause of the Second World War in Europe. From this fascinating book we can all learn that responsibility for the outbreak of any war is not a simple black-and-white matter, but should be pictured in shades of gray. 440 pages. A must read for everyone.