As with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, once more, what seems foolhardy to Americans in the 21st century may not have seemed so to Nazi Germany.
True, the Germans each month were receiving generously priced Soviet products, many on credit; but Hitler (wrongly) felt that he could nevertheless steal food, fuel and raw materials from the east more cheaply than buying them. And while the Germans were paranoid about opening a two-front war – like the one that had plagued them between late 1914 and 1917 – Hitler argued that the western front was all but somnolent. British strategic bombing in 1941, remember, was still mostly erratic and ineffective.
In any case, Hitler was more paranoid about a British embargo and blockade that might cut off fuel and food in the manner of 1918; with the acquisition of the great natural reserves of the Soviet Union, especially its Caucasian oil, the Nazis believed they would become immune from the effects of a maritime blockade.
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