During the first few months of the Nazi invasion of Russia, Stalin feared a Japanese attack from the east would create a two front war. In August, he was finally convinced by intelligence reports that the Japanese had no immediate plans for attacking Russia. As a result, he allowed well-trained, well-equipped Russian troops to be transferred west to assist in defense of Moscow. These additional 70 divisions played an important role in stopping the Nazis short of capturing the city.

It was during the same week that Hitler was becoming aware his forces simply could not capture Moscow in 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor (December, 7). The U.S. declared war on Japan the next day. Between December 8 and 10, Hitler made the decision to declare war on America. He made the announcement in a speech on December 11, 1941.

This reason was NOT mentioned in his speech declaring war but then it would not be. Hitler would not have allowed the German people to know he needed any help in Russia--but he obviously did know--as his Generals were making it clear daily from December 5th on that the Russians had not ran out of troops or equipment and his armies were stuck.

I have researched this to death and cannot find any evidence in existence that supports my hunch this is true. I just want to see if any other history buffs know of anything I may have missed???

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    i mean, honestly Russia could afford to loose a few 100 miles of their east cost holdings to the Japanese to deal with the Germans first. So this seems like a non-issue to me. basically, Russia wasn't going to pull troops from their western front to help with their eastern front. Moscow was no.1 priority and any strategic advisers in Germany would also recognize that Russia would rather take losses in the east then loose the west.
    – Himarm
    Commented May 8, 2015 at 20:39
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    Thanks for your comment. But the question is does any evidence exist which suggests it was Hitler's reason for making the choice? We all know what good sense would dictate. But, we all know that good sense would dictate he do nothing at all at that particular time. And we also know that he often didn't follow suggestions from strategic advisors. I'm attempting to find out what Hitler actually was thinking at the time here.
    – kevin king
    Commented May 8, 2015 at 21:13
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    related: history.stackexchange.com/questions/64/…
    – o0'.
    Commented May 8, 2015 at 23:51
  • Lohoris - I took the time to read the information the site gave before I posted. While it is touched on in some of the comments from that post, my question above isn't answered there. To repeat, I'm asking if anyone has knowledge of any existing evidence of the assertion. That is not addressed specifically in the question you list. I determined the best way to be certain all members of the site who may know the answer are aware is to specify it in a question of its own. My guess is not everyone would have read all the answers and comments from that related--but not the same--question.
    – kevin king
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 0:39
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    This is a prove-the-negative question. You could theoretically never accept an answer, because any time anyone posts a sourced answer which says "no, there is no evidence", you simply say, well someone else may know of some. You're asking us to prove there isn't any evidence of something, and no one can decisively do so. This is an unanswerable question.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 3:19

1 Answer 1


The decrypted "Ultra" evidence revealed in "Marching Orders" suggests just the opposite: that the Japanese were more likely to attack Soviet Siberia if the Germans were successful in the Soviet Union, e.g. at Moscow, Stalingrad and/or the Caucasus, than if they attacked the United States. Therefore, in theory, Hitler should have concentrated his arms production for a land war with the Soviet Union, rather than a naval war with the United States (and Britain).

Hitler attacked to the United States in order to "finish" destroying its navy. He rightly understood that the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor had left Japanese navy stronger. But he wrongly believed that the combination of the Japanese surface fleet and German submarines could administer the coup de grace to the American navy, and prevent America from "interfering" with either Germany or Japan in the eastern hemisphere.

What he did not count on was the American "rebuild" rate, which produced the equivalent of the Japanese and German navy every two years, and with plenty of capacity left over for air force and infantry weapons.

At the end of World War II, the single most important military force was the U.S. Pacific fleet. It impacted Japan, China, India, and today's "ASEAN" countries of Southeast Asia.

  • Arguably attacking the US fleet with submarines was not detrimental to the Germany's efforts in the USSR. Just the opposite: it helped to cut the supply lines.
    – Anixx
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 8:00
  • @Tom Au - Your answer helped open a new possibility on this. I have been trying to figure out what Hitler was thinking when he made the decision and never looked at this approach. Do you reccomend the book you cite? Thinking about purchasing it to add to my small collection.
    – kevin king
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 15:04
  • @kevinking: I like that book a lot, highly recommend it, found it in my public library.
    – Tom Au
    Commented May 9, 2015 at 22:34
  • @Tom AU - Got it! Thanks for the assist. I also figure I can give up my thoughts that Hitler was trying to get the Japanese to jump on in with his fight against the Soviets. That question has nagged at me for a long time. Just 'cause it looks and quacks like a duck don't always mean your about to eat duck soup....
    – kevin king
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 3:04

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