The main thesis of Carole Chapman’s article is that Britain's refusal to follow the Hitler’s plan profoundly influenced his strategy. In 1939, the ruling circles of Britain, France and the United States endeavoured to direct Hitler's aggression against the Soviet Union. If not for the pact, there would be a united front of the Western powers and Germany against the first socialist state. The Soviet-German pact was vital, as Britain and France did not want an alliance with the Soviet Union and, thus, disrupted talks in Moscow in August 1939.
Hitler realized that since Britain refused to sign a peace treaty, the German invasion of Britain could have serious consequences. Furthermore, given the strength of the English navy and the weakness of the German fleet, Hitler decided that the only way to defeat England is to defeat the Soviet Union. Thus, Fuhrer thought that Russia could help the British, being the main and generally the only remaining hope of England. If the Soviet Union was destroyed, the British immediately would surrender to the mercy of the winner. However, such Hitler’s speculation turned out to be fundamentally wrong.
In its struggle against Germany, Britain relied primarily on the United States, not Russia. The US President Franklin Roosevelt did everything possible to come to Britain’s aid. However, Roosevelt had to conduct a clever game. Most American voters feared being drawn into another war in Europe, and would like their country to safely hide from the rest of the world. Only a few realized the terrible danger Adolf Hitler posed, and understand that sooner or later the United States would declare war on Nazi Germany.
Hitler did not want to destroy England, and it played a crucial role in his decision to turn to the East. Hitler put forward conditions, according to which Britain could keep the empire only if Germany was given a free hand in ruling the continent. Apparently, England was not happy with such a scenario, since it was virtually impossible not to notice Hitler's insatiable appetite for power.
Chapman, Carole. “Hitler as War Leader, 1939-1941”. History Review 71 (December 2011): 44-49. Web. 30 June 2015.