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The Axis Powers and the Buildup to World War II

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The Axis Powers and the Buildup to World War II

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, June 13, 2024 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0818
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Materials for this program

Adolf Hitler during a conference with officers on the Eastern Front (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

To America, it was a day that would live in Infamy. But for Japan, the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 was merely an attempt to protect its flank from the U.S. Navy while it pursued a decades-long plan to conquer China.

But the move proved to be a colossal losing bet by the Axis that unleashed the U.S. and its mighty military arsenal as the decisive war machine in World War II. In 1920s Germany, Hitler’s High Command had not focused their intelligence on America as an enemy and were left with little intelligence to assess its war policy—which ended up costing Germany the war.

Military historian Harry Yeide studied original documents from Axis powers to understand how and why they underestimated America. He offers a “red team exercise” by taking the viewpoint of the leaders of the Axis powers, looking at the build up to their war against America, and the course of the war itself. He identifies the points in time when their leaders realized America and its American-supplied allies were on the path to victory.

Yeide is the author of Betting Against America: The Axis Powers’ Views of the United States (Casemate), which is available for sale.

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