Log in:  

Register

Military History

Grab a short black and come join in the non-cycling discussion. Favourite books, movies, holiday destinations, other sports - chat about it all in the cafe.

Moderators: Irondan, Eshnar, Red Rick, Valv.Piti, Pricey_sky, Tonton, King Boonen

28 Dec 2014 18:03

ToreBear wrote:Norwegian commandos first destroyed/damaged the production facilities, then when the remaining stockpile was to be transported to Germany, the ferry it was on, was sunk by an explosive device.

Never heard about the French side of the story before, I'll have to look into it when I find time.:)


Yes I sould had said with the help of British comandos, Sometimes I'm a victim of too much cinema :)
As long as I breathe, I attack.

Bernard Hinault
User avatar Shingshan
New Member
 
Posts: 33
Joined: 12 Nov 2014 21:55
Location: Samora Correia

30 Dec 2014 17:31

Shingshan wrote:During the chaos that followed the fall of France 1n940, it was two French scientists from the Radium Institute with the help of a few military that took all the French heavy water back back to England.


I hardly doubt this. So now who gave the order? Actually the order of mission was sign by Jean Bichelonne who was a civil servant and future of Pétain, after the cabinet had deliberated the issue in Pétain's and Weygand's presence.


Shingshan wrote:It’s the kind of history that would give a good script for a film, instead of the usual super heroes stuff.


Like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNzU1hTNZgg

Image

Shingshan wrote:I think the question isn’t if Petain would deliver the heavy water to the nazis, the thing is he wouldn’t had a choice, the only thing Vichy could do was to destroy it before the Nazis could reach it. Would they do it ? Well we will never know.


What we however do know is that Pétain never delivered the fleet to the Nazis. Laval and Darlan wished military collaboration, that is for sure but Pétain, never. Neither did Weygand.

Shingshan wrote:Well things are more complicated than that. Yes after French defeat he believed that the defeat was a result of democratic goverments, so he became a fascist of the "classical" kind, Family, Religion etc etc.


So since when is Religion Fascist? Since when is Family Fascist? Do you have a problem with your family?

Ask Gabriele Adinolfi who is a present-day Fascist if Vichy was a Fascist project, he would say no. Just like he claims that the Christian religion is not Fascist because "internationalist".

Some people around Pétain were heavily influenced by the Church's social doctrine (Auphan & Weygand) which is ideologically uncounterable. I very much believe in it as well. So did De Gaulle actually. But Pétain did not fully implement the Church Social Doctrine. He was not a devoted Christian, while there were a lot of secularist in the government (Laval, Pucheu, Déat & Doriot among others) who would veto this. By the way, most of these secularists were left-wingers AND some of the biggest collaborationists of them all. :D

Vichy never reconsidered the separation between Church & state and hardly gave any subsidies to Catholic schools. Even if they created the first social insurances, it's the provisional government of General De Gaulle that created the Welfare State.

Oh by the way, Pétain was granted a mission to write a new Constitution for France and that Constitution which was scheduled to be published in July 1944 was ... democratic!


The French defeat can be explained by multiple factors but yeah the previous democratic government had their responsabilities. Just like all the US carmakers and oil company which made the Wehrmacht what it is (see Sutton's "Wall Street & the Rise of Hitler"), the incompetence of some military officers (like Gamelin) and the British cowardice (here I'm refering to Lord Gort whom Weygand needed to sandwiched the German Troops during the Battle of Sedan but he walked away).

Shingshan wrote:I wouldn't go so far as saying that Churchill trusted Petain, not after the British bombed the French squad in Mers-el-Kebir, he didn't trust De Gaulle that's for sure.


Mers-el-Kebir just shows how much of a little man, Churchill was. I no longer have any kind of respect for him. Killing his own allies. His aim was to capitalise on the situation to take over the French colonial Empire.

It was Pétain's honour not to wage war on Britain after that. He would then send three emissars to Britain to keep contact with Churchill and even De Gaulle.

In spring 1941, Colonel Groussard went to London and Churchill said something like that (I only have the quote in French, hard to translate it back, so these were not Churchill's exact words):

“Tell those who sent you here that I understand the painful situation that is yours. In this unfortunate bleeding France – divided into two parts - , I know that your bosses’ task is almost superhuman. I approve of their effort to protect France and the French as much as they can but I’m asking them not to forget that the allied keep fighting. I ask them to keep faith in the future. I also wouldn’t tell the Germans “I hate you” if I were to govern your country because you always have to avoid the worst. […] Tell Vichy that I deeply respect the person of Field Marshal Pétain. I have never believed that this man could have wished a German victory. I can accept being attacked in your press, England being vilified if it can be used to beguile the enemy.”
Echoes
Senior Member
 
Posts: 2,944
Joined: 08 Oct 2009 17:57

30 Dec 2014 22:56

Well it will always be difficult to know who gave the order, but I doubt it was Petain directly, still the importante thing was the fact that there was a clear preocupation by the French administraction for the Nazis not to a have an hold on the heavy water, and that it went straight to England and not to to colonial territory.

Pity the film didn't had subs, but the events are the ones taking place in Norway if I did understood well, I was talking about the French part of the evnts and the escape of the heavy water to England, at one point we all have seen the film with Richard Harris and Kirk Douglas.

And yes you're right Petain never gave anything in militar terms to the Germans, he was a WWI hero, so a defeat with the Germnas (nazis or not), was something he couldn't stand. So it makes more hard to understand why the economical collaboration (and a policial one also), considering the predictable events of 43. And I don't know much about what happen in political terms between 43 and the arrival of the allies to Normandy.

Well religion per si is not fascist of course, but to be honest I thinking or making na anology with the Portuguese case (Salazar), with the famous (or infamous it depends on your point of view),tetralogy of Family, Fatima Football and Fado, that kept us away from Europe for so long.

Not difficult to think that for Petain Vichy state was just a means to an end, and his political doutrine was just an answer to the defeat. Didn't knew he was handed to mission to make a new constitution.
The reasons for the defeat oh well...we don't have time :)

I really don't believe Churchill intentions were to take an hold of the French colonial empire, that would mean another war, and losing de Gaulle support. It was a bad decision, based on the fact they were afraid the French fleet (still powerfull for the Mediterranean Sea), could end up in German hands, let's not forget that even if the German had no significant fleet in the Mediterranean, there was also the Italian fleet and together they could be a real threat. In the end no French boat fought for the Germans and in 43 they rather choose to sink their boats instead of giving them, so in my view it was a pure (if wrong) militar decision, another Churchill blunder like the one of Galipoli. Even so in my account he was a great men.

It's funny because at the time several French vessels of the Atalntic fleet were fighting alonside with the British, even took a crucial part in sinking of the Bismark.

The problem for Petain was that Vichy was an impossible regime, and even if I can concede it wasn't his intention, any kind of collaboration was a collaboration after all.

But yes Franco had his Blue Division, Vichy never had those (apart from individual volunteers).
As long as I breathe, I attack.

Bernard Hinault
User avatar Shingshan
New Member
 
Posts: 33
Joined: 12 Nov 2014 21:55
Location: Samora Correia

Re: Military History

22 Dec 2015 00:54

Was watching a documentary and they said "more people died in the last 12 months of the 2nd world war than in the previous 4 years combined".

Can't seem to verify it on the internet, at least not with a simple google search. But wow, that would be a really mindblowing fact.
User avatar The Hitch
Veteran
 
Posts: 28,679
Joined: 14 Jun 2010 10:58
Location: London.

22 Dec 2015 01:24

I find that extremely hard to believe and I would dismiss it out of hand without a proper source.
User avatar hrotha
Veteran
 
Posts: 15,400
Joined: 10 Jun 2010 20:45

Re: Military History

22 Dec 2015 03:31

The Hitch wrote:Was watching a documentary and they said "more people died in the last 12 months of the 2nd world war than in the previous 4 years combined".

Can't seem to verify it on the internet, at least not with a simple google search. But wow, that would be a really mindblowing fact.


Would that include camp victims?
User avatar leftover pie
Member
 
Posts: 573
Joined: 13 Jul 2010 05:06

22 Dec 2015 11:17

With camp victims the it's less unbelievable as the Nazis were going on death marches and killing anyone who couldn't deal with walking any longer. Also Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed hundreds of thousands at a time, and Dresden bombing killed 22000 in one night.

However, I think it's BS as the Soviets lost 27 million men. That's about a third of all deaths. Almost all of these were during the attempted invasion of Russia by Germany, and the Battle of Stalingrad especially.
Brullnux
Senior Member
 
Posts: 4,801
Joined: 31 Mar 2015 14:41

22 Dec 2015 12:08

Image

Taken from Wikipedia.
With the civilian deaths in the Soviet Union, China pushed early in the war, I do think its unlikely.

Total deaths during the war are estimated at ~70-85 million.

So did 35-40 million die in the last 12 months ? Doesn't seem likely.


Now I can easily see if you restricted it to say US military deaths, that this would be the case. The invasions of the last 12 months of the war had huge casualty rates.

So the context that the statement was made in is important.
User avatar Catwhoorg
Senior Member
 
Posts: 2,934
Joined: 24 Aug 2011 11:00
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re:

22 Dec 2015 12:54

Brullnux wrote:With camp victims the it's less unbelievable as the Nazis were going on death marches and killing anyone who couldn't deal with walking any longer. Also Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed hundreds of thousands at a time, and Dresden bombing killed 22000 in one night.

However, I think it's BS as the Soviets lost 27 million men. That's about a third of all deaths. Almost all of these were during the attempted invasion of Russia by Germany, and the Battle of Stalingrad especially.

You shouldn't forget the Bombing of Tokyo, the mosty destructive conventional bombing in history, but yes, it's probably BS, because of the huge losses that the Soviets and China had earlier.
User avatar Mayomaniac
Senior Member
 
Posts: 4,550
Joined: 30 Jun 2014 17:11

Re: Military History

23 Dec 2015 12:14

If Shingshan is still around (or Search), I'd like to screw up about a mistake I made a year ago. Pétain did not give the order to export the heavy water out of France and to the UK. The two scientists/secret agents with the mission to take the water out of France were already in harbour of Bordeaux on June 18 1940. Jolliot Curie had already dismantled his amenities.

The decision had been taken by the government of Paul Reynaud. Pétain only just seconded the decision taken by his predecessor.

Mea culpa. ;)
Echoes
Senior Member
 
Posts: 2,944
Joined: 08 Oct 2009 17:57

23 Dec 2015 13:42

If you haven't watched it, this is well worth your time. Charts and analysis on civilian and soldier deaths in WWII and beyond.

https://vimeo.com/128373915

Image
User avatar red_flanders
Veteran
 
Posts: 5,666
Joined: 03 Apr 2009 06:45

23 Dec 2015 15:02

Excellent piece of work.
Thank you for that link
User avatar Catwhoorg
Senior Member
 
Posts: 2,934
Joined: 24 Aug 2011 11:00
Location: Atlanta, GA

20 Jul 2016 23:54

anyone can point to some good docu's to watch about wars? Have watched a couple WW1 documentaries and want more. Doesn't specifically need to be ww1?
User avatar Billie
Senior Member
 
Posts: 2,211
Joined: 24 Jun 2013 14:09

Re:

21 Jul 2016 04:16

Billie wrote:anyone can point to some good docu's to watch about wars? Have watched a couple WW1 documentaries and want more. Doesn't specifically need to be ww1?


Dan Carlin has a very good series of Podcasts titled "Hardcore History". I especially like "Blueprint for Armegeddon", "King of Kings" and "Wrath of the Khans". "Blueprint" covers WW1. What a horrific battleground it was for those who fought in WW1. While the insane toll on the soldiers is difficult to comprehend Carlin does an excellent job of depicting it.

This is an fantastic thread. Many thanks to those who contribute to it.
Nighttrain99
New Member
 
Posts: 13
Joined: 21 Sep 2013 03:26
Location: Charleston

Re:

01 Aug 2016 15:19

Billie wrote:anyone can point to some good docu's to watch about wars? Have watched a couple WW1 documentaries and want more. Doesn't specifically need to be ww1?


'The Great War' was a very good, watchable BBC wwi Documentary series, available (but not usually cheaply) on DVD. It inspired the even better ITV 'The World at War' about wwii.

I think if you want a good, readable Book it's hard to top the two John Keegan books which cover each war in a very readable and mostly accurate way.
deValtos;Ironically he's not the yo yo at all, everyone else is.
PatrickLeeds
Junior Member
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 17 Sep 2015 14:54

01 Aug 2016 15:27

With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa is a good book too.
''The battle between Démare and Bouhanni for being France's best sprinter is decided: it's Coquard.'' - BBB
User avatar BigMac
Veteran
 
Posts: 8,340
Joined: 10 Jun 2013 22:10
Location: Estoril, Portugal

Re: Military History

01 Aug 2016 17:30

Having seen this thread for the first time, I would just like to go back to a quote or two from a few posters regarding WWII. I think it's greatly overlooked (or under appreciated) by the US and a few of the Western allies, the amount of sacrifice that the Eastern Europeans put during the War. Not only were there heavy military losses, but civilian losses were also significant. From civilians that fought alongside the militaries, the ones that were persecuted as prisoners, the ones that help hide jews and other minorities. The Partisans in the former Yugoslavia really were front and center in the Balkans, trying to stave off the Nazi's and the Axis. Some things that usually go unnoticed by media, for some reason: The Nazi's and the Fascists in Italy had puppet 'armies' or 'guerillas' in the region: Cetniks in Serbia and Ustase in Croatia. Those 'legions' were brutal and while they were affiliated with the Germans, they were more or less doing as they pleased. At the end of the war, once the country was liberated by the Partisans, they had their own "Nuremberg" trials to deal with it and like the Germans, some of them were executed, others were put in prison, some escaped, but very few. Staying with the Axis and their 'puppets,' the Bulgarians, Hungarians and Romanians had some Partisans, but by and large, they were aligned with the Axis. The Bulgarians helped wipe out the Macedonian Jewish population. It wasn't terribly large to begin with, but 90%+ of the Jewish population in the country perished. The Bulgarians, to my knowledge, haven't apologized for this. They, of course, were also a Soviet satellite during the Cold War, so they haven't been aligned with the nicest regimes, have they?

Going back to the casualties, according to Wikipedia (I know what you are going to say, 'don't trust Wikipedia..'), Poland lost up to 17% of its population, Yugoslavia anywhere between 6 to 11%, Greece 7-11%, Estonia 7.3%, Hungary 6.18%, Latvia 12.5%, Lithuania 14.36%...The Soviets lost HUUUGE numbers. Both civilians and military. Some say that the Soviet involvement in helping defeat the Nazi's is overrated. I think that can be disputed, but had the Soviet Union fallen, it could have been anybody's guess as to what would have happened in the Eastern theater and Europe as a whole. Let's remember, the US wasn't budging until Pearl Harbor.
BullsFan22
Senior Member
 
Posts: 2,808
Joined: 22 Jun 2010 21:19

Re: Military History

02 Aug 2016 08:45

BullsFan22 wrote:The Soviets lost HUUUGE numbers.


One thing worth remembering is that a lot of the civilian dead referred to as 'Russian' were not what a modern Russian would call Russians. The largest number of civilian war dead were in places that are not ethnically Russian or in Russia, IIRC Belarus is the modern Country that lost the largest proportion of its population, and the Ukraine etc were all high on the list too.

I am trying to write this carefully as I do not want to offend any Russian members, this is not in any way intended to denegrate the Russian Contribution to wwii which I agree was the single largest factor in the allied victory over Germany IMHO.

BullsFan22 wrote:The Bulgarians, to my knowledge, haven't apologized for this. They, of course, were also a Soviet satellite during the Cold War, so they haven't been aligned with the nicest regimes, have they?


Being located where they were, it's hard not to sympathise with countries like Bulgaria, Romania et al - they could either be friendly with a neighbour or they could be overrun by them! Finland is the one that springs to mind.
Last edited by PatrickLeeds on 02 Aug 2016 08:49, edited 1 time in total.
deValtos;Ironically he's not the yo yo at all, everyone else is.
PatrickLeeds
Junior Member
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 17 Sep 2015 14:54

02 Aug 2016 08:45

Each country tends to overstate it's participation, I think. Particularly the French, whose myth of La Resistance attempts to cover up for most of France happily cooperating with the Nazis at every level.

As for eastern Europeans, there was a time that if you met a person with an eastern European name and accent of a certain age living in the east of the UK, there was a good chance they would have been a concentration camp guard.

The contribution of the Polish is certainly not forgotten in the UK. Polish air force pilots fighting out of the UK are remembered with great appreciation, and are invariably honoured at memorial events, as well as in separate exhibitions in the RAF museum and the Imperial War Museum. One of the six Spitfires in the Battle of Britain Memorial flight is painted in Polish colours to honour the 303 Sqn.
User avatar kwikki
Member
 
Posts: 1,013
Joined: 03 Apr 2016 15:47

Re:

02 Aug 2016 08:54

kwikki wrote:Particularly the French, whose myth of La Resistance attempts to cover up for most of France happily cooperating with the Nazis at every level. .


Agreed, every country does it, magnifies their own achievments and glosses over the embarassing bits. It's natural and normal. Britain tend not to mention that, after the war was over, we watched Poland get eaten by the Soviets. "Thanks for your spiffing contribution to the Battle of Britain chaps! Oh, and thanks AWFULLY for getting us that Enigma Machine!"

Had I been Mr Pat Average in a Nazi Occupied Britain I am quite sure, with a family to feed, I would not have been in the resistance. I think most People would have to admit the same if they are honest with themselves. Have you seen 'It Happened Here' - a very good faction movie in which a nurse struggles to survive in Nazi Occupied Britain, by the same man who made the 'Live TV Footage documentary' about Cullodden.

I take issue with your 'Happily' but don't want to start a fight ("you can't fight in here, this is the War Room!"). I suggest 'Marianne in Chains' - an excellent book on the period in France. 'Happily' is not fair I think. There were Fascists in the Petain Government and the Milice, there were some active happy collaborators, just as there were Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Lithuanian, Latvian etc etc volunteers in the Waffen SS. but most French people were not Happy.
deValtos;Ironically he's not the yo yo at all, everyone else is.
PatrickLeeds
Junior Member
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 17 Sep 2015 14:54

PreviousNext

Return to General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests

Back to top