Book explores Axis defeat in World War II

Adolf Hitler learned that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 only after the fact. He heard it on the radio.

So says Professor Jonathan Adelman, of the Graduate School of International Studies, in his new book, Hitler and His Allies in World War Two (Routledge, 2007).

Adelman’s 11th book explores the tenuous alliance relationship between the major Axis powers — Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan — and how their lack of cooperation and communication significantly contributed to their defeat.

Although there are tens of thousands of books about World War II, Adelman wondered, “What about the other side?” — that is, the side that didn’t win. This question led him to edit and write four of the book’s nine chapters. Five other authors contributed the remainder of the book.

Contrary to established belief, “there was virtually no cooperation between countries of the Axis powers,” he says. “Not only didn’t they cooperate, they actually feared each other and worked against each other.”

Realizing they had a common purpose in “a total war,” the major Allied countries of the United States, Great Britain and Russia acted with total cooperation, says Adelman. They effectively coordinated their actions, integrating power and acting as a cohesive coalition, with the United States providing billions of dollars of aid to other countries.

On the other hand, the harsh, repressive states — fascist and authoritarian — were unable to agree to a basic level of cooperation. Due to severe ideological differences, “the Japanese were actually afraid of a German victory,” he says.

The book “still has relevance today for the U.S.” and shows the importance “to have allies besides the British,” says Adelman. As demonstrated in World War II, isolated countries without allies who do not cooperate with other nations, face significant challenges on a world stage.

Adelman’s 12th book, The Rise of Israel: A History of a Revolutionary State (Routledge, 2008), which he authored alone, comes out in March. The book re-conceptualizes Israel in the context of its journey to become an autonomous nation — what he calls a “revolutionary act.”

Adelman recently appeared on Fox News and the Dennis Prager Show and has lectured around the world on Israel. He also served as the doctoral dissertation adviser to current U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when she was a student at DU.

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