Editor’s Comment: Americans have been hoodwinked into many horrific wars. Why would WWII be an exception to the rule?
The United States never planned to go to war with Germany.
Hitler’s desire to stay out of war with the United States was made more difficult on December 4, 1941, when the Chicago Tribune carried in huge black letters the headline: F.D.R.’s WAR PLANS! The Washington Times Herald, the largest paper in the nation’s capital, carried a similar headline. Chesly Manly, the Tribune’s Washington correspondent, revealed in his report what Roosevelt had repeatedly denied: that Roosevelt was planning to lead the United States into war against Germany. The source of Manly’s information was no less than a verbatim copy of Rainbow Five, the top-secret war plan drawn up at Roosevelt’s request by the joint board of the United States Army and Navy. Manly’s story even contained a copy of President Roosevelt’s letter ordering the preparation of the plan.
Rainbow Five called for the creation of a 10-million-man army, including an expeditionary force of five million men that would invade Europe in 1943 to defeat Germany. On December 5, 1941, the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., cabled the entire transcript of the newspaper story to Berlin. The story was reviewed and analyzed in Berlin as “the Roosevelt War Plan.” On December 6, 1941, Adm. Erich Raeder submitted a report to Hitler prepared by his staff that analyzed the Rainbow Five plan. Raeder concluded that the most important point contained in Rainbow Five was the fact that the United States would not be ready to launch a military offensive against Germany until July 1943.
On December 9, 1941, Hitler returned to Berlin from the Russian front and plunged into two days of conferences with Raeder, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, and Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring. The three advisors stressed that the Rainbow Five plan showed that the United States was determined to defeat Germany. They pointed out that Rainbow Five stated that the United States would undertake to carry on the war against Germany alone even if Russia collapsed and Britain surrendered to Germany. The three advisors leaned toward Adm. Raeder’s view that an air and U-boat offensive against both British and American ships might be risky, but that the United States was already unquestionably an enemy.
On December 9, 1941, Roosevelt made a radio address to the nation that is seldom mentioned in the history books. In addition to numerous uncomplimentary remarks about Hitler and Nazism, Roosevelt accused Hitler of urging Japan to attack the United States. Roosevelt declared:
We know that Germany and Japan are conducting their military and naval operations with a joint plan. Germany and Italy consider themselves at war with the United States without even bothering about a formal declaration…Your government knows Germany has been telling Japan that if Japan would attack the United States Japan would share the spoils when peace came. She was promised by Germany that if she came in she would receive control of the whole Pacific area and that means not only the Far East, but all the islands of the Pacific and also a stranglehold on the west coast of North and Central and South America. We know also that Germany and Japan are conducting their naval operations in accordance with a joint plan.
All of the above statements are obviously lies. Germany and Japan did not have a joint naval plan before Pearl Harbor, and never concocted one for the rest of the war. Germany did not have foreknowledge and certainly never encouraged Japan to attack the United States. Japan never had any ambition to attack the west coast of North, Central, or South America. Germany also never promised anything to Japan in the Far East. Germany’s power in the Far East was negligible.
On December 10, 1941, when Hitler resumed his conference with Raeder, Keitel, and Göring, Hitler said that Roosevelt’s speech confirmed everything in the Tribune story. Hitler considered Roosevelt’s speech to be a de facto declaration of war. Since war with the United States was inevitable, Hitler felt he had no choice but to declare war on the United States. Hitler declared war on the United States in his Reichstag speech on December 11, 1941, stating among other things:
Since the beginning of the war, the American President Roosevelt has steadily committed ever more serious crimes against international law. Along with illegal attacks against ships and other property of German and Italian citizens, there have been threats and even arbitrary deprivations of personal freedom by internment and such. The increasingly hostile attacks by the American President Roosevelt have reached the point that he has ordered the American navy to immediately attack, fire upon and sink all German and Italian ships, in complete violation of international law. American officials have even boasted about destroying German submarines in this criminal manner. American cruisers have attacked and captured German and Italian merchant ships, and their peaceful crews were taken away to imprisonment. In addition, President Roosevelt’s plan to attack Germany and Italy with military forces in Europe by 1943 at the latest was made public in the United States, and the American government made no effort to deny it.
Despite the years of intolerable provocations by President Roosevelt, Germany and Italy sincerely and very patiently tried to prevent the expansion of this war and to maintain relations with the United States. But as a result of his campaign, these efforts have failed.
Hitler ended this speech with a declaration of war against the United States. Roosevelt had finally gotten the declared war with Germany that he had long been planning.
The full article by John Wear appears on Inconvenient History: Why Hitler Declared War on the United States.
On a final note:
 Fleming, Thomas, The New Dealers’ War: FDR and the War within World War II, New York: Basic Books, 2001, p. 1.
 Ibid., pp. 1-2, 33.
 Ibid., pp. 33-34.
 Ibid., pp. 34-35.
 Meskill, Johana Menzel, Hitler and Japan: The Hollow Alliance, New York: 1955, pp. 1-47.
 Weber, Mark, “The Reichstag Speech of 11 December 1941: Hitler’s Declaration of War Against the United States,” The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 1988-1989, p. 412.