The Sea Lion That Did Not Roar: Operation Sea Lion and its Limitations

  • Jehuda L. Wallach


It is an interesting fact that Hitler’s attitude towards Britain bears the same ambivalent mixture of love and hatred that was so characteristic of Kaiser Wilhelm II. While there is a reasonable explanation for the latter’s attitude — family ties and admiration for the British way of life on the one hand; jealousy and offended pride on the other — it is hard to find such explanations for Hitler’s attitude. Indeed, already in the early 1920s he wrote in chapter 13 of the second volume of Mein Kampf that in Europe only two countries may come into question as possible allies for Germany, namely, England and Italy. It seems that the reason for this conception is that in the National-Socialist race theory Britain belonged to the favoured Nordic Race (while Fascist Italy provided an example of a totalitarian regime). This, however, seems to be a rather unsatisfactory explanation. Some years ago, I asked Professor Alan Bullock for an explanation. In his answer to my letter he maintained that obviously Hitler’s admiration for Great Britain was mainly due to the British imperial record, above all in India. Bullock had found in Hitler’s Mein Kampf and in his famous Table Talk’ many hints to confirm this. Hitler obviously considered his own plans for the creation of a new Eastern Empire as analogous to the British achievements in India and the Far East.


General Staff High Command Peace Offer Operation Branch British Achievement 
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Copyright information

© John B. Hattendorf and Malcolm H. Murfett 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jehuda L. Wallach

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