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However, I would like to correct one mistake:
Germany did not declare war on the United States in December 1941. In order to prove this, let me first state what a declaration of war is:
"A declaration of war is a formal act by which one state goes to war against another. The declaration is a performative speech act (or the signing of a document) by an authorized party of a national government, in order to create a state of war between two or more states."
A declaration of war precedes a state of war. Before the declaration of war the states are at peace, after the declaration of war the states are at war. You cannot create a state of war that already exists, thus you cannot declare war on a party that is already at war with you. The German note to the American diplomatic representative on December 11, 1941 was not a declaration of war and was not intended to be a declaration of war. The letter acknowledges correctly that both nations were already at war at that time in point and therefore diplomatic relations were ceased. The letter did not create a state of war between Germany and the United States. Hitler grudgingly acknowledged that both nations were at war, since he had no interest whatsoever in war with the USA. This is the content of the letter:
"MR. CHARGE D'AFFAIRES:
The Government of the United States having violated in the most flagrant manner and in ever increasing measure all rules of neutrality in favor of the adversaries of Germany and having continually been guilty of the most severe provocations toward Germany ever since the outbreak of the European war, provoked by the British declaration of war against Germany on September 3, 1939, has finally resorted to open military acts of aggression.
On September 11, 1941, the President of the United States publicly declared that he had ordered the American Navy and Air Force to shoot on sight at any German war vessel. In his speech of October 27, 1941, he once more expressly affirmed that this order was in force. Acting under this order, vessels of the American Navy, since early September 1941, have systematically attacked German naval forces. Thus, American destroyers, as for instance the Greer, the Kearney and the Reuben James, have opened fire on German submarines according to plan. The Secretary of the American Navy, Mr. Knox, himself confirmed that-American destroyers attacked German submarines.
Furthermore, the naval forces of the United States, under order of their Government and contrary to international law have treated and seized German merchant vessels on the high seas as enemy ships.
The German Government therefore establishes the following facts:
Although Germany on her part has strictly adhered to the rules of international law in her relations with the United States during every period of the present war, the Government of the United States from initial violations of neutrality has finally proceeded to open acts of war against Germany. The Government of the United States has thereby virtually created a state of war.
The German Government, consequently, discontinues diplomatic relations with the United States of America and declares that under these circumstances brought about by President Roosevelt Germany too, as from today, considers herself as being in a state of war with the United States of America.
Accept, Mr. Charge d'Affaires, the expression of my high consideration.
December 11, 1941.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_de ... ates_(1941)
Pia Kahn wrote:I am not talking about a "casus belli", a justification for going to war. I am talking about war. Both nations were at war on the North Atlantic. Following the shoot on sight order American warships were systematically waging war on German submarines.
Perhaps the most important casus belli is, when there is already a DE FACTO state of war. Or when one side does do its uttermost to get a war going:
https://archive.org/details/Discussions ... ithGermany
Each of our North Atlantic convoys would be escorted by 5 U.S. destroyers, together with a capital ship or a cruiser. The President’s
orders to these escorts were to attack any U-boat which showed itself, even if it were 200 or 300 miles away from the convoy. Admiral Stark intended to carry out this order literally, and any Commander who sank a U-boat would have his action approved. Everything was to be done to force an "incident". This would put the enemy in the dilemma that either he could attack the convoys, in which case his U-boats would be attacked by American Naval forces, or, if he refrained from attack, this would be tantamount to giving us victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. It might suit us, in six or eight weeks* time, to provoke Hitler by taunting him with this difficult choice.
The Prime Minister said that he had thought it right to give the President a warning. He had told him that he would not answer for the consequences if Russia was compelled to sue for peace and, say, by the Spring tff next year, hope died in Britain that the United States were coming into the war. The President had taken this very well, and had made it clear that he would look for an "incident" which would justify him in opening hostilities.
I agree Hector. But, there was not one side merely trying its uttermost to get a war going. There was one side who started a war. This side was the USA. What is a war? A war is an armed conflict between two nations. The war between Germany and the United States of America was started - without any declaration of war - by the United States. After watching the United States wage war on Germany from September 1941 until December 1941, Hitler decided to acknowledge that both nations were in a state of war.
My question to you: If Germany - or any other nation in the world today - decided to issue a shoot on sight order, the order to shoot at any American vessel as soon it was sighted - how many hours would pass until the United States recognized that they were in a state of war? Not a day would pass.
My opinion: No one in the world would be arguing about who was responsible for the outbreak of war between the US and the hostile nation issuing a shoot on sight order. The culprit would be clear
Very simple: The US administration wanted the world to know that the US was attacked by Germany. They wanted the world to know that the US was merely defending itself, when it entered the war against Germany. Why did the US want everybody to believe into this lie? Because the American people were not ready to fight another war unless they were attacked.
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