Hitler feared French admired British. Hitler was no peacenik, but he actually exhibited a very healthy fear of the Anglo-French alliance. In fact, during the re-occupation of the Rhine, Hitler famously ordered his generals to sound a retreat at the faintest sign of French resistance. Hitler also admired the British for their ability to maintain such a large empire. He made repeated peace overtures to the British, even in the course of the war.
The Fuhrer showed genuine surprise at the two nations’ declaration of war after Germany invaded Poland. After the declaration, he reportedly reproached his foreign minister and asked, “What now?” Alas, the Allies were too slow to move. Hitler got over his initial shock and escalated his efforts.
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