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Most directly, Hitler saw his territorial expansion as a response to the impositions of Versailles, against which he railed. These did include the loss of colonies, though that was a relatively minor real price, (Bismark had likely been right about the worth of Germany's African colonies.) Hitler opted out of the monetary system, especially the gold standard, (Germany having almost no gold), and enthusiastically embraced a command economy in cooperation with industrialists.  In order to guard against the sort of blockade that had been used against Germany in WW I, he sought to secure needed resources via routes he could control - land routes.

I see little evidence that he counted on anything that he could not get by force and suspect that he expected that to be the end game. Hitler never accepted the Versailles Treaty and sought to overturn it by force. To the extent that colonial empires entered into his calculations it was primarily for access to resources and control of trade routes, though he resented Germany having been stripped of her colonies.

Rommel's adventures in North Africa really were just grabbing low hanging fruit unless Germany could seize Egypt and the Suez Canal and, had that been accomplished, he may have been able to secure access to mid east oil as well as to hamper the Allied effort in Asia. I am far from an expert on WW II, Hitler or Germany, but I believe that Hitler saw colonial empires mostly as an aspect of realpolitik.

In effect, WW II may, to a significant degree, have been an echo of pre-WW I imperial rivalries in addition to an attempt to change the outcome of that conflict. Some people have long memories.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 3rd, 2011 at 11:14:45 PM EST
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