Recording of Hitler speaking with Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, Finnland’s commander of chief during WWII— 

Aboard a train on June 4, 1942, an 11:23 minute talk between them was recorded.  Hitler tells Mannerheim that Germany was unaware of the size of Stalin’s military and war production capability.  For 20-25 years the Soviets had put everything into the military, reducing the population to the barest living standards. 

Keep these facts in mind:

England and France declared war on Germany Sept 3, 1939.

On May 10, 1940 Hitler invaded France 8 months after France and England delcared war on Germany.  France falls and the English are driven into the English Channel in one month and 15 days.

Hitler Invades Russia June 22, 1941.

Hitler says that he had wanted to respond immediately militarily to the British and French declaration of war on Germany, but rain and bad weather delayed him for 8 months. His meeting with Molotov had raised his suspicion about Russia, and he feared being trapped in a two front war “which would have broken us.”  Hitler says that his meeting with Molotov convinced him that Russia clearly intended to rule Europe in the end and that Molotov departed their meeting with the decision to attack Germany.  Hitler says he had no alternative to attacking Russia once France was defeated.

Hitler’s alliance with Italy was “a very big misfortune.”  Germany had to commit needed forces to bail out Italy in Greece and North Africa.  This meant “the splitting of luftwaffe, splitting our tank force.”

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