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Carlisle, Pennsylvania, October 13, 2002
U.S. ARMY WAR COLLEGE
Historian to discuss Germany's WWII strategy
HOW German strategists faced the challenge of a two-front war will be the subject of a public lecture Wednesday sponsored by the US. Army Military History Institute in Carlisle. Dr. John A. Lukacs will speak on "The German Two-War Strategy (and the Atom Bomb) in the Second World War" in MHI auditorium in Upton Hall. Doors open at 6:50 p.m. and the talk begins at 7:15 p.m.
MHI sponsors a public lecture series "Perspectives of Military History" throughout the war college's academic year. The presentations provide an historical dimension to the exercise of generalship, strategic leadership and the warfighting institutions of land power.
As a global superpower, the U.S. maintains the capability of fighting more than one major theater conflict simultaneously. During the 19th and 20th centuries, many of the great European powers confronted the similar challenge of fight- ing a two-front war.
Bomb just a ploy? German leaders, in particular Adolf Hitler, regarded war with the Soviet Union as unavoidable and war with the Western allies as regrettable. Using statecraft and strategy, they tried to split the anti-German coalition by stalemating the Western allies so they could concentrate on the Soviets.
In that context, German efforts to develop an atomic bomb may have been less a quest for supremacy than a strategic ploy to reach accommodation with the West. Keeping the Allies focused on the war effort against the Axis became the main goal of leaders like Winston Churchill.
Born and educated in Hungary, Lukacs is one of the foremost scholars of Churchill and Hitler as war leaders and of the strategy of World War II in Europe. Lukacs holds a doctorate from the University of Budapest and left his native land when the communists took over in 1946.
Since then, he has taught in the United States at Columbia University and Chestnut Hill College near Philadelphia and served as a visiting professor at Princeton, the Fletcher School of Law and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. His many books include numerous studies of World War II, and the Cold War. His book, "The Duel: the Struggle between Churchill and Hitler" will be available for sale and autographing following his presentation through the courtesy of the Army War College book store. For more information, call 245-3096.
1. See our legal index on Hungarian-born Mr Lukàcs (who claimed in the Philadelphia Inquirer to have forsworn his Jewish birth).
2. Mr Lukàcs is deeply envious of the Hitler historians who researched the subject properly and at first hand.
3. Mr Lukàcs did not speak to a single member of Churchill's or Hitler's staffs before, during, or after writing his book.
4. It is astonishing that he now ponttificates on the Nazi atomic bomb effort as well. Did he personally interview Heisenberg, Hahn, Harteck, Bagge and all the other German scientists who had worked on the project, as well as Goudsmit, Perrin and the other Allied Intelligence officers working against them; does he know anybody else who did (hint: David Irving did for his book The German Atomic Bomb; I am the historian he is always attacking, whose work is highly praised by Thomas Powers who wrote the more recent Heisenberg biography, and by Heisenberg himself (a Nobel prize winner for Physics) in a half-page review in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in 1967 (and I can just hear Prof Richard ("Skunk") Evans now spluttering, "Ah, but Heisenberg did not know his stuff -- he was lazy and ignorant of what he was talking about...!" That is what Evans said about all the other professors and academics who wrote fine things about my historiography).