World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

Germany Declares War On The United States.
From 'This Day In History'
On the 11th of December 1941, Adolf Hitler declared war on the United States, thereby bringing America, which had previously maintained a state of  neutrality, into the conflict.

The bombing by the Japanese of Pearl Harbor even took Germany by surprise.  Despite Hitler having made a verbal agreement with his Axis partner Japan stating that he would join a war against the United States, he wasn't sure as to how the war would be prosecuted. Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor solved that problem. On December 8, Japanese Ambassador Oshima went to the German Foreign Minister, von Ribbentrop, to secure a Germans formal declaration of war against America. Von Ribbentrop stalled for time because he knew that Germany wasn't obliged to do this under the terms of the Tripartite Pact. That pact promised to help Japan if it was attacked, but not if Japan was the aggressor. Von Ribbentrop worried that the addition of another rival, the United States, would engulf the German war effort.

Hitler had other ideas. He was certain that the United States would get there first and declare war on Germany. The U.S. Navy was already attacking German U-boats, and Hitler hated Roosevelt for his continual verbal attacks against his Nazi principles. He also believed that Japan was much mightier than it actually was and that once it had beaten the United States, it would then help Germany overcome Russia. So at 3:30 p.m. (Berlin time) on December 11, the German charge d'affaires in Washington handed the American Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, a copy of his declaration of war.

The very same day, Hitler asked the Reichstag to defend the declaration. Hitler claimed that the failure of the Roosevelt's New Deal was the real cause of the war, because President Roosevelt, supported by plutocrats and Jews, tried to mask the collapse of his economic agenda. "First he incites war, then falsifies the causes, then odiously wraps himself in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy and slowly but surely leads mankind to war," exclaimed Hitler, and the Reichstag leapt to its feet in tumultuous applause.