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Franz Halder Liveblogs World War II: July 31, 1940

General Franz Halder's war diary:

Britain's hope lies in Russia and the United States.  If Russia drops out of the picture America, too, is lost for Britain, because elimination of Russia would tremendously increase Japan's power in the Far East.  Russia is the Far Eastern sword of Britain and the United States pointed at Japan.... Russia is the factor upon which Britain is relying most.  Something must have happened in London!... With Russia smashed, Britain's last hope would be shattered.  Germany will then be master of Europe and the Balkans.  Decision: Russia's destruction must therefore be made a part of this struggle.  Spring 1941.  The sooner Russia is crushed, the better.  Attack achieves its purpose only if Russian state can be shattered to its roots with one blow.  Holding part of the country will not do.  Standing still for the following winter would be perilous.... Resolute determination to eliminate Russia.