Military History

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Libertine Seguros said:
Even in 1939, beating Russia was still going to be a difficult proposition; Russia's biggest asset is that it is huge. They could have scorched earth retreated, even given up big population centres like they did to Napoleon in 1812, because that would have made the Axis supply lines longer and longer and longer, while the Russians would be able to access their food and weaponry more quickly. Plus, after Britain and France declared war following the attack on Poland, Germany would have been facing attack on the Western Front throughout, which would have hindered their plans to attack eastward. It is true that the "Lebensraum" detailed in Hitler's plans was intended to be from the east, but because the Allies declared war when he attacked Poland, he needed to see them off to protect Germany's western frontier before he could legitimately put his efforts into the eastern front. That's what the Battle of Britain was about; Hitler never wanted to take over Britain, he saw it as a potential ally. But as long as Britain was flying bombs over Germany, they would need to use large numbers of Luftwaffe on the western front to deal with that threat, thus weakening the forces available to use on the eastern front.
Britain and France declared war on Germany in 1939, but here, people often cite world war 2 as starting 1940 not 1939, as for months after, they didnt actually go to war just yet. Hitler had a good record at making Britain and France make threats and do nothing. He could have risked that they wouldnt attack just yet. Even if they did, he could have held them off. As much as i say Hitlers grave was dug when he attacked Russia, he originaly had lots of success. Volgograd, which i refuse to call by its then name, was close to falling to Germany. The German army had reached that city with surprising speed. Also if he had attacked earlier he might have missed the Russian winter.
Perhaps his biggest mistake after all was diverting all those elite of the elite SS men, to ethnic cleansing rather than war.
 
The Hitch said:
Britain and France declared war on Germany in 1939, but here, people often cite world war 2 as starting 1940 not 1939, as for months after, they didnt actually go to war just yet. Hitler had a good record at making Britain and France make threats and do nothing. He could have risked that they wouldnt attack just yet. Even if they did, he could have held them off. As much as i say Hitlers grave was dug when he attacked Russia, he originaly had lots of success. Volgograd, which i refuse to call by its then name, was close to falling to Germany. The German army had reached that city with surprising speed. Also if he had attacked earlier he might have missed the Russian winter.
Perhaps his biggest mistake after all was diverting all those elite of the elite SS men, to ethnic cleansing rather than war.
Volgograd was close to falling. But against Napoleon, the Russians had abandoned Moscow. Moscow! Defensive war is what Russia is best at. And what we also know is that Hitler himself wasn't the greatest of military tacticians, and should perhaps have left the strategic decisions to those of better military mind. But though we had the "phoney war" into 1940, the fact remained that the countries were at war; they were simply engaged in a 'who blinks first?' contest. I don't see any feasible situation where Russia is on the losing side in the war to be honest. Russia's strength lay in being enormous and in having lots of men. Even with the purges, it had a manpower advantage. And attacking before the Nazi-Soviet Pact would have meant that Stalin wasn't happily esconsed in the thought that he was safe against Germany; once the Germans attacked, the Russians would likely have just copied their plans from 1812. i.e., retreat retreat retreat, until the German resources are stretched to breaking point, then fight them back, overrun them using sheer strength of numbers, then make them retreat back over all the land they gained.

Unless Marshal Zhukov turned out to be an idiot, or Stalin turned out to be even more of an idiot and purged Marshal Zhukov, Russia was always going to use the usual Russian war tactic, and it was likely going to work.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Volgograd was close to falling. But against Napoleon, the Russians had abandoned Moscow. Moscow! Defensive war is what Russia is best at. And what we also know is that Hitler himself wasn't the greatest of military tacticians, and should perhaps have left the strategic decisions to those of better military mind. But though we had the "phoney war" into 1940, the fact remained that the countries were at war; they were simply engaged in a 'who blinks first?' contest. I don't see any feasible situation where Russia is on the losing side in the war to be honest. Russia's strength lay in being enormous and in having lots of men. Even with the purges, it had a manpower advantage. And attacking before the Nazi-Soviet Pact would have meant that Stalin wasn't happily esconsed in the thought that he was safe against Germany; once the Germans attacked, the Russians would likely have just copied their plans from 1812. i.e., retreat retreat retreat, until the German resources are stretched to breaking point, then fight them back, overrun them using sheer strength of numbers, then make them retreat back over all the land they gained.
I do. The Germans messed it up big time. The simplest way Russia would have fallen is had Germany played the relatively simple, we will liberate you from Russia card. All those lands - Ukraine, Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, for centuries in fear of the great Russia, bring their forces onto your side. Especially Ukraine, a huge country where Stalin had just starved 6 million people to death. These countries wanted to be liberated. They greeted Germany as heroes. Instead the Nazis gave them Riga and Babi Yar. They terrorised them. 200 million in Russia you say. I say, the entire Eastern Europe + Wehrmacht. No question who is winning that.
Their obssession with genocide also weakened them with, as i mentioned, diverting their elite squads - ss to running the camps rather than fighting

Another way would have been to attack slightly earlier. Hitler didnt need to attack before the Ribbentrop Molotov pact. Like i said, after the carving up of Poland. Ignore Belgium to the West. Send forth all legions onto the East. Leave behind enough to deter the possible French and British attacks. Face a weaker Russian army and mis the winter. Likely Nazi victory again.

I refuse to accept this national generalisation view of history (except that the French always surrender. That they always do;)) Just because Russia held of Napoleon doesnt mean they will hold off the next attackers, 130 years later.

Also 200 million is a lot of people, but what can they do without guns. The Germans had superior aircraft, guns, skilled soldiers and tanks. What can 200 million do without an a proper army. Without generals to give them orders. Nothing. The Germans could yet have won this. Once they reach Moscow. Who then gets the millions of Russian peasants from the farms to the Eastern Front? No one. The numbers by then mean nothing. the Nazis have control of Moscow and are the new overlords. From there the great eye turns west, onto the lands of western europe.

Unless Marshal Zhukov turned out to be an idiot, or Stalin turned out to be even more of an idiot and purged Marshal Zhukov, Russia was always going to use the usual Russian war tactic, and it was likely going to work.
Stalin more of an idiot? Purging his entire officer corps ( many Marshal Zhukovs in there) right before the great war of all time and Falling in love with Hitler, the 2 greates acts of idiocy in world history.
 
back at ground level...

If anyone wants to talk about localized issues or the individual's experience in WW2 or going relic-hunting, and less about broader strategic themes or geopolitical considerations, PM me! lol :p
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
I think the debate centred, at least from my perspective, not on whether or not the US was right to enter the war, or whether it was necessary for the US to enter the war, but whether the US had the right to propagate myths like that Britons and Europeans would all be speaking German had it not been for them, and that it was their contribution that was decisive.

Though there were some very silly suggestions bandied about by both sides of the debate in the midst of some sensible discussion.
The original protest was over the "you would be speaking German" attitude, but devolved into suggestions that US help was completely unnecessary. The only part I took part in was this ridiculous suggestion.
 
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joe_papp said:
I understand that one has to take everything Speer said/wrote with a grain of salt, because it was essentially self-serving in that he didn't want a death sentence, but if half of what he says is true about Hitler's interference in the mgmt of the war and the in-fighting that paralyzed the Nazi war machine...lol I'm surprised it took the Allies as long as it did to achieve a victory.

I'm interested in everything from the broader strategic themes and the economic and social components of global war, all the way down to the experiences of individual servicemen. I've read quite a few Luftwaffe biographies, and actually collected a few pieces of militaria and Luftwaffe ace autographs. I have three vintage postcards in my desk right now that came from the Third Reich and which were never mailed: a rear view of a FW-190, a shot of an ME-109 stalking a British Spitfire, and the official Knight's Cross portrait of Werner Mölders. They're all authentic, and of no particular monetary value - and so I was able to get them via Ebay for like $4/each only. I thought that was a smashing deal.

I think it would be super-fun to go relic hunting on some Eastern front battlefields. Here's a great site: the third reich in ruins. I get the same sense of excitement poking around industrial ruins like old steel mills. And yes, I have a history degree (modern latin american concentration).
Read "The Unconquerable World" by Jonathan Schell if you haven't already.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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joe_papp said:
If anyone wants to talk about localized issues or the individual's experience in WW2 or going relic-hunting, and less about broader strategic themes or geopolitical considerations, PM me! lol :p
Well... back in 2002 (wow has it been that long?) I visited the Australian War Memorial in France. http://www.ww1westernfront.gov.au/villers-bretonneux/

The thing that immediately struck me (beyond the obvious, immediate pain in the chest of witnessing all those graves and all those names) was that this memorial, built to honour the fallen in World War I actually has bullet holes in it from attacks during World War II.

To think that all those people died to reclaim land in one war only to have it all played out again in the exact same spot so soon after..... waste. at the time I visited the site, I was already 10 years older than they were on average when they died.
 
Medal of Honor

For those interested in the Medal of Honor, awarded here in the US, I find it surprising that the MoH has been awarded just twice for actions in the Afghan theater, and only four times in Iraq.

(I was going to make an inappropriate comment asking if American soldiers have become a bunch of pus_sies, but I figured it would be taken literally and instead of anonymous email I'd get letter bombs...)

Anyone have a link to a database of VC winners (or whatever it is that Commonwealth troops aspire to, that is, other than the successful completion of their mission and safe return of themselves and their comrades...)?
 
joe_papp said:
For those interested in the Medal of Honor, awarded here in the US, I find it surprising that the MoH has been awarded just twice for actions in the Afghan theater, and only four times in Iraq.

(I was going to make an inappropriate comment asking if American soldiers have become a bunch of pus_sies, but I figured it would be taken literally and instead of anonymous email I'd get letter bombs...)

Anyone have a link to a database of VC winners (or whatever it is that Commonwealth troops aspire to, that is, other than the successful completion of their mission and safe return of themselves and their comrades...)?
I know that Australia only awarded the first VC since Vietnam a couple of years ago (Afghanistan). NZ has been a bit more generous in handing them out I believe, not sure about UK.

Edit: No, just checked, NZ is only 1 also, both the Aus and NZ VCs are separate from the Commonwealth award.
 
As far as the US motive to enter the war, I believe it was ideological and economic, more than any call to moral duty.

It shouldn't be forgotten the XIX century colonialist mentality which still prevailed throughout the global chess board at the time. Resources and trade control have usually been a major underlying cause of military conflict. Hitler was looking to realize a German super-state, and this required territorial conquest. Mussolini had gained a foothold in north Aftica during the Italo-Libian conflict. Japan was seeking an Eastern-Pacific empire. Whereas the construction of the Panama Canal had been a clear indication of America's imperialist aims within the global arena of trade and commerce as a by-product of the colonialist regime.

Churchhill had made several trips to Washington to convince Roosevelt of the urgency of supporting Western Europe's cause against not merely Nazi-Fascism (whose fate was probably thought to have been already sealed), but also communist Russia. The latter once having streched-the German resourse and man lines to a desperately tenuous state, would have placed itself in a leadership position for collecting the spoils after an inevitable fall of the Third Reich: without America backing the capitalist democracies. And this, more than any other consideration, was what brought the US to Europe. The Western World would simply not tollerate a communist led victory. It needed the backing of the young American nation, although, it must also be said, that America needed to get involved to further its own aims at becoming a superpower. But concessions and trade-offs had to be made in the appeasment process of both victorious sides, who would then cut-up the world into a series of potential vassel states for their own benefit and exploitation. For this, unfortuntaley Hitch, your noble Poland had to be sacrificed. While Japan was able to be "reabilitated," because it was better to have a strong capitalist power in the far Pacific to protect US and Western interests in the region, rather than have communism and, ultimately, Mao take over.

So we moved out of hot conflict in Europe to a cold global war, the consequences of which were potentially catostrophic and would lead the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust.

Here in Italy the struggle of the partigiani in places like Piedmont and Tuscany among others against Nazi-Facism was as noble as any who faught for the cause. And several villages' men, women and children would be raped, violated and villy murdured by the inhuman Nazi's as a result.

But I digress...

My interest in the history of war, however, is more centered on the "fall" of the Roman Empire and the ensuing Gothic-Byzantine and Lombard conflicts of the VI century. An excellent source as an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural case study of the period following the break-up of the Roman world is Chris Wickham's Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean 400-800
 
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joe_papp said:
(I was going to make an inappropriate comment asking if American soldiers have become a bunch of pus_sies, but I figured it would be taken literally and instead of anonymous email I'd get letter bombs...)
Yes, that would have been inappropriate and insulting...and you would most definitely have received emails anon and otherwise...

I'm glad you reconsidered :)

----

I've thoroughly enjoyed this thread so far and have been reminded that my grasp of military history, and specifically WWII, has been one-sided.

I've been reading and learning much more about the resistance here in Europe during the war and that has been just amazing. Those little things that aren't always listed in the textbooks...

I had the good fortune to listen to a disertation by Gunnar Sønsteby, who is the most highly decorated person in Norway. The stories he told, as if we were just talking about a local crit, were awe inspiring to say the least.
 
joe_papp said:
For those interested in the Medal of Honor, awarded here in the US, I find it surprising that the MoH has been awarded just twice for actions in the Afghan theater, and only four times in Iraq.

(I was going to make an inappropriate comment asking if American soldiers have become a bunch of pus_sies, but I figured it would be taken literally and instead of anonymous email I'd get letter bombs...)

Anyone have a link to a database of VC winners (or whatever it is that Commonwealth troops aspire to, that is, other than the successful completion of their mission and safe return of themselves and their comrades...)?
I agree that far more people deserve these medals. A lot of Americas heroes return to no reward for their courage. The reason why there have only been 4 moh in iraq and 2 in afghanistan compared to 400 in WW2 is because there have been far less troops fighting and far less troops dying, and this is an award which is moswt often given after death. I think there has been no living moh recipient in over 30 years.
The number of American soldiers who died in the war with Japan was around 420 000. THe number of medals given was 464.
THe numberof american soldiers killed in Vietnam was 1200. the number of medals given -2
The number of american soldiers killed in Iraq - 4400. The number of medals given - 4

so it is a rough correlation of 1 moh for 1000 military deaths. Vietnam was an anomaly, with 260 moh for 60 000 military deaths. I suspect that had a lot to do with the brutality of that war specifically, with the booby traps, suicide charges by vietcong, tortures by vietcong, deadly tunnels inhabited by booby traps and poisonous snakes which soldiers went in, in search of the vietcong etc.
 
rhubroma said:
Churchhill had made several trips to Washington to convince Roosevelt of the urgency of supporting Western Europe's cause against not merely Nazi-Fascism (whose fate was probably thought to have been already sealed), but also communist Russia. The latter once having streched-the German resourse and man lines to a desperately tenuous state, would have placed itself in a leadership position for collecting the spoils after an inevitable fall of the Third Reich: without America backing the capitalist democracies. And this, more than any other consideration, was what brought the US to Europe. The Western World would simply not tollerate a communist led victory. It needed the backing of the young American nation, although, it must also be said, that America needed to get involved to further its own aims at becoming a superpower. But concessions and trade-offs had to be made in the appeasment process of both victorious sides, who would then cut-up the world into a series of potential vassel states for their own benefit and exploitation. For this, unfortuntaley Hitch, your noble Poland had to be sacrificed. While Japan was able to be "reabilitated," because it was better to have a strong capitalist power in the far Pacific to protect US and Western interests in the region, rather than have communism and, ultimately, Mao take over.

So we moved out of hot conflict in Europe to a cold global war, the consequences of which were potentially catostrophic and would lead the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust.

Here in Italy the struggle of the partigiani in places like Piedmont and Tuscany among others against Nazi-Facism was as noble as any who faught for the cause. And several villages' men, women and children would be raped, violated and villy murdured by the inhuman Nazi's as a result.

But I digress...
I disagree.
Why did the West have to sacrifice Eastern (and parts of central) europe to Stalin.
If the fight against Hitler was worth it then the fight against the even more pscychotic and dangerous Stalin was also worth it. Far too much was given to the Soviet Union. Did the US really not see that as a superpower, with the power Stalin got, the USSR had become a natural enemy, with which conflict was inevitable.

Of all the countries that could have been signed away, Poland should have been last on the list purely for the contribution they gave. With the exception of Normandy, none of the major battles in the european theater could have been won without them. The Battle of Britain would not have been won without the pilots commemorated in the war memorial. The Battle of Arnhem would have been won and millions saved if General Sosabowski one of the commanders had been listened to. The Battle of Monte Cassino opening the road to Rome was won by General Anders.
The Polish government in exile stood by Churchill in everything he did. Sent their men off to die for him.

all thy asked in return was a state of their own. And they were spat on and sent back to Stalin to imprisonment and death.

If Churchill and Roosvelt wanted to give their friend far more than they needed to, then fine, they should never have used Polish (and other Eastern European, soldiers) to help win the war.
to lie to someone because you want something from him, and then stab him in the back and send him to a NKWD prison once he has given you everything he has, is the ultimate betrayal.
At least with Stalin, everyone knew where they stood, and everyone was equal in his eyes (cosidering he killed his son, his daughters husband, his top generals, his best friends, his friends wives, his pollitburo, his securtity guards as well as the millions of others).

But i digress, because all this overshadows the broader point of- why did they have to sign away half of europe to Stalin in the first place. They didnt really seeing as churchill said himself, upon signing away allies to whom he had promised freedom "Nevile chaimberlin was wrong to trust Hitler, but I don't think im wrong to trust Stalin." After all this they still believed, or claimed to, that Stalin would undergo some massive heel face turn. Because he behaved like a gentleman in Tehran.

My interest in the history of war, however, is more centered on the "fall" of the Roman Empire and the ensuing Gothic-Byzantine and Lombard conflicts of the VI century. An excellent source as an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural case study of the period fallowing the break-up of the Roman world is Chris Wickham's Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean 400-800
To paraphraser Russias most recent dictator, the greatest geopolitical event of all time.
 
The Hitch said:
I agree that far more people deserve these medals. A lot of Americas heroes return to no reward for their courage. The reason why there have only been 4 moh in iraq and 2 in afghanistan compared to 400 in WW2 is because there have been far less troops fighting and far less troops dying, and this is an award which is moswt often given after death. I think there has been no living moh recipient in over 30 years.
The number of American soldiers who died in the war with Japan was around 420 000. THe number of medals given was 464.
THe numberof american soldiers killed in Vietnam was 1200. the number of medals given -2
The number of american soldiers killed in Iraq - 4400. The number of medals given - 4

so it is a rough correlation of 1 moh for 1000 military deaths. Vietnam was an anomaly, with 260 moh for 60 000 military deaths. I suspect that had a lot to do with the brutality of that war specifically, with the booby traps, suicide charges by vietcong, tortures by vietcong, deadly tunnels inhabited by booby traps and poisonous snakes which soldiers went in, in search of the vietcong etc.
I do not think that medals of honor were owed to US soldiers in the Vietnam and Iraq wars, simply because they were not honorable wars. I find nothing worth glorifying in these conflicts. These nations have been victoms to the global empire, and in the case of Iraq after having been casualties to their own psychopathic rais (who was once given industrial-miltiary support a la the saudi royalty in the hopes that Iraqi oil could flow liberally and cheapy into US reserves). Their brutality has been synonomous with the devestating effects that the power and special interests of the military-industrial block have had on a world that has become increasing smaller due to globalization. And if 50,000 US soldiers died in Vietnam, 2,000,000 Vietcong died for what they believed was their nation's right to self-determination a la Manifest Destiny (which itself had caused the lives of over a million Native Americans). In the same vein if circa 3500 US soldiers died in Iraq, probably 200,000 Iraqis have given their lives for this paultry and extremely fragile democracy they have recieved in compensation. The real spoils have gone the Halliburton's and Betchel's of American industry, which is what this war has always been about.

We thus need other paradims within which to view conflict and conflict resolution in the age of globalization, the old XIX and XX century ones of reductive and symplistic "good vs. evil" and "liberty vs. oppression" are no longer an adequite global vision; and often become the cynical tools of propaganda to justify one's own power and imperialist objectives. And this world especially needs, what it lacks: objectivity.

The deaths of US troops during these wars, however heroic and patriotic in light of self-sacrifice, took place within a greater scheme of injustice and fraud.
 
rhubroma said:
I do not think that medals of honor were owed to US soldiers in the Vietnam and Iraq wars, simply because they were not honorable wars. I find nothing worth glorifying in these conflicts. These nations have been victoms to the global empire, and in the case of Iraq after having been casualties to their own psychopathic rais (who was once given industrial-miltiary support a la the saudi royalty in the hopes that Iraqi oil could flow liberally and cheapy into US reserves). Their brutality has been synonomous with the devestating effects that the power and special interests of the military-industrial block have had on a world that has become increasing smaller due to globalization. And if 50,000 US soldiers died in Vietnam, 2,000,000 Vietcong died for what they believed was their nation's right to self-determination a la Manifest Destiny (which itself had caused the lives of over a million Native Americans). In the same vein if circa 3500 US soldiers died in Iraq, probably 200,000 Iraqis have given their lives for this paultry and extremely fragile democracy they have recieved in compensation. The real spoils have gone the Halliburton's and Betchel's of American industry, which is what this war has always been about.

We thus need other paradims within which to view conflict and conflict resolution in the age of globalization, the old XIX and XX century ones of reductive and symplistic "good vs. evil" and "liberty vs. oppression" are no longer an adequite global vision; and often become the cynical tools of propaganda to justify one's own power and imperialist objectives. And this world especially needs, what it lacks: objectivity.

The deaths of US troops during these wars, however heroic and patriotic in light of self-sacrifice, took place within a greater scheme of injustice and fraud.
I would agree that Vietnam was a wrong war. I would not agree on Iraq. Since we both see Vietnam as an inhonourable war lets look at this. Soldiers were drafted and forced to fight against an enemy - the vietcong, eager to kill them, or torture them if captured. They see friends die in booby traps, getting shot in the back by Vietnamese emerging from the Vinh Moh tunnels. They are FORCED to fight for their lives and their friends lives. Does a soldier who throws himself on a grenade, saving 10 others not deserve a medal of honour. In my opinion he deserves it as much as anyone, perhaps more so if he was forced to fight against his will and yet commits such an act of courage in the proccess.
 
The Hitch said:
I would agree that Vietnam was a wrong war. I would not agree on Iraq. Since we both see Vietnam as an inhonourable war lets look at this. Soldiers were drafted and forced to fight against an enemy - the vietcong, eager to kill them, or torture them if captured. They see friends die in booby traps, getting shot in the back by Vietnamese emerging from the Vinh Moh tunnels. They are FORCED to fight for their lives and their friends lives. Does a soldier who throws himself on a grenade, saving 10 others not deserve a medal of honour. In my opinion he deserves it as much as anyone, perhaps more so if he was forced to fight against his will and yet commits such an act of courage in the proccess.
My interest is in the history of conflict and its various causes and effects, not in glorifying war or its so called heros.

I think my above mentioned statement about heroism and patriotism in light of self-sacrifice, but within a greater spectrum of injustice, demonstrates that I can at most adopt a neutral position which neither ridicules nor glorifies.

You place total weight in your arguments on the courage and innocence of the Americans and the brutality of the Vietcong. This is at best a simplistic and distorted view of reality, at worst a manipulative analysis of fact. The truth is that the American's were not quite so innocent, whereas the brutality of torture was not limited to the Vietcong during this conflict. To say nothing of the evironmental tragedy caused by Agent Orange. In short, it was dirty business, through and through.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Germany never even wanted to attack France. France was of little interest to Hitler until it declared war on Germany. The propositions outlined in Mein Kampf and in NSDAP manifestos offer a relatively uniform ideology; all Germans to be united, preferably with all territory settled by Germans at that time to be settled with a Germans > Slavs as slaves hierarchy and other "undesirables" removed from the area. The spread of the German peoples barely spread west of German borders at the time - only into Alsace and Lorraine. However, the lack of clearly delineated states in the Age of Empires in Central and Eastern Europe meant that Germans were settled, often as urban dwellers, in most cities throughout Poland and Czechoslovakia, covering a lot of Hungary and parts of Romania and the Ukraine. There were also a large number of Germans in the Baltic states, as the legacy of the Hanseatic League and the Realms of the Teutonic Knights. The plan that the NSDAP had in mind was to unite these peoples and open up an enormous German territory throughout central Europe, plus additional Lebensraum to the East, for settling when they expanded the German population through projects such as Lebensborn.

This was what caused Hitler to order Operation Barbarossa at a time and position where it was unrealistic and unfeasible to open up a two-front war. Any good military commander will tell you that unless forced, you don't want to enter any battle unless you are absolutely certain you will win. Hitler simply ran out of patience with the fighting on the western front, because it was irrelevant to his ideology. At the same time, before Stalingrad, the Final Solution was not implemented. It may have been discussed and things brought into production for its use, but it was considered a last resort (hence the name); the original plan was for the "undesirables" to be congregated in small internment camps where they could be no harm to the Germans, and then unceremoniously dump them over the border when the Germans achieved their desired Lebensraum (opinions differ as to just how much of this they demanded, but it is not unreasonable to think that they wanted everything as far as the Ural Mountains, especially as they got as far as the Volga, and further south on the river there was the Volga German Republic of the SSR, a society of ethnic Germans who had been relocated after being attracted to a repatriation project by Tsarina Catherine the Great) - hence the accepted term being "concentration camp".

The ideology of Hitler as outlined in Mein Kampf and in NSDAP writings does not consider anything in Western Europe; the revenge sought for Versailles in 1919 is more the clear and obvious economic subjugation that would take place after Hitler's grand German Reich came into being than any militaristic jingoism; in fact Hitler was very admiring of the British and their peoples, and felt not just that he could coexist peacefully with them, but that he wanted to coexist peacefully with them. And after all, in his eyes, once he set up his grandiose vision, the Britons would be more or less dependent on Germany on the basis that it would be a permanent threat, the same way as Britain would send the gunboats to any and every dispute in the 19th century to flex its muscles. Nowhere in Hitler's writings, theorising or speeches prior to being actually at war with Britain is any attempt to take over or attack Britain - or France for that matter - clearly demarcated.
Its an interesting theory, but unfortunately admiration for Britain does not equal admiration for France. Hitler did admire Britain, and in many ways the admiration was initially mutual. This is not the same for France. France may not have inspired the same hatred for Hitler as the Jews and slavs did, but coexistance with them was nonetheless not possible.
No way would Hitler have a border with the French. Not after the humiliation of Versailles. Hitler by all accounts fought bravely in that war. It was probably the humiliation Germany recieved, for which Clemenceau pushed hard, which got Hitler accross the moral event horizon. No way would Hitler tolerate coexistence with France after the humiliation of the Ruhr invasion in 1923 when France treated Hitlers German nation as a whipping boy. When France, uncontent with its own economic situation, went into the much poorer Germany, to take what it wanted and treated Germans as second class citizens.
He liked the strong Germanic Brits. But they were for him totaly different from the weak, frankish, full of Jewery lands which had always existed as Germanies enemy, and which had, in unfair ways, unleashed humiliation on his German nation through a treaty.

Also Hitler by all accounts did want domination of europe. That he would let his hated France, coexist as a small power compared to the German euro super state, is something i can not believe.
 
May 6, 2009
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I would say yes. I've always had an interest in history, I did Ancient History at high school, and it naturally covered a lot of military history as well. My (late, he died in 1991) grandfather was presented with a Russian war medal, the Order of Lenin (we have zero links to Russia, nobody in my immediate family has even set foot in the country, that I'm aware of), and served under Prince Philip in the British Navy in WWII, and from what I understand, kept the Germans out of Russia. He was also in Hiroshima a few days after the atomic bomb was dropped, and being 1945, he walked around wearing just shorts and a t-shirt, which was what ultimately killed him.

I've also been to various war/genocide museums in Riga and Vilnius, and I have a book on Latvian history, based mainly on Soviet rule (they really do sink the boot into the Russians). I've also been to Peace Park in Hiroshima, as well visiting the War Remnants Museum (formerly known as the Museum of American War Crimes) in Ho Chi Minh City, and visiting the Củ Chi tunnels to the north. Seeing the photos of the victims of Agent Orange will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Slightly OT, but I had always assumed Hitch was British, rather then Polish :)
 
The Hitch said:
Its an interesting theory, but unfortunately admiration for Britain does not equal admiration for France. Hitler did admire Britain, and in many ways the admiration was initially mutual. This is not the same for France. France may not have inspired the same hatred for Hitler as the Jews and slavs did, but coexistance with them was nonetheless not possible.
No way would Hitler have a border with the French. Not after the humiliation of Versailles. Hitler by all accounts fought bravely in that war. It was probably the humiliation Germany recieved, for which Clemenceau pushed hard, which got Hitler accross the moral event horizon. No way would Hitler tolerate coexistence with France after the humiliation of the Ruhr invasion in 1923 when France treated Hitlers German nation as a whipping boy. When France, uncontent with its own economic situation, went into the much poorer Germany, to take what it wanted and treated Germans as second class citizens.
He liked the strong Germanic Brits. But they were for him totaly different from the weak, frankish, full of Jewery lands which had always existed as Germanies enemy, and which had, in unfair ways, unleashed humiliation on his German nation through a treaty.

Also Hitler by all accounts did want domination of europe. That he would let his hated France, coexist as a small power compared to the German euro super state, is something i can not believe.
But in his musings there is very little specific mentioning of France. It is possible that, at the time of writing Mein Kampf and formulating his plans and ideas, he simply overestimated the strength of the French and thought that subjugating them would not be possible; also, for political reasons he would not - could not - talk about it in his first few years of power. As long as he was talking about simply uniting all Germans, Britain and France would watch passively but apprehensively. If he were talking about attacking France, they would likely have raised far more resistance to acts like the remilitarisation of the Rheinland. "Domination of Europe" is different things to different people. I don't think he aimed to take France over because it was of little interest to him - the people weren't the Germans he wanted for his superstate - many ethnic Germans in eastern Europe, however, which he wanted to bring together. Militarily, dominating Europe politically (ie taking over France) may be how it's envisioned, but a super-productive Germany that covered all of Europe from the Mosel to the Volga would "dominate Europe" regardless of whether it politically owned France or not. It's a moot point, because I was going on what he said and theorised, but acknowledge that for political purposes things may have been omitted - however, taking over and ruling France would have been contrary to the spirit of much of his ideas. A third possibility is a sort of compromise; that he would have allowed France to exist as a puppet state, the same way as the eastern European states in the Cold War period were expected to jump to the tune of the Soviet Union (not that they always did, of course, and we can point at Marshall Tito, the Prague Spring, and other incidents for that. One of my favourite quotes of the time came from a foreign minister for Brezhnev, when on duty in East Germany: paraphrasing here, it was something like "you are our favourite sons. You do what we ask. The Czechs can be troublesome sometimes. We're not sure about Hungary, and Poland? You can forget about Poland").

Either way, it's all speculative history anyway.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
One of my favourite quotes of the time came from a foreign minister for Brezhnev, when on duty in East Germany: paraphrasing here, it was something like "you are our favourite sons. You do what we ask. The Czechs can be troublesome sometimes. We're not sure about Hungary, and Poland? You can forget about Poland").

Either way, it's all speculative history anyway.
Since we are making jokes about the DDR now, here is one you have no doubt heard before, but i love it so here it is anyway.
Honecker kommt früh morgens ins Büro, öffnet das Fenster, sieht die Sonne und sagt Honnecker: Guten Morgen liebe Sonne! Und die Sonne antwortet: Guten Morgen, lieber Erich! Und dann am Mittag geht Erich wieder zum Fenster, macht es auf, sieht die Sonne, sagt: Guten Tag, liebe Sonne! Und die Sonne sagt: Guten Tag, lieber Erich! Und abends nach Feierabend geht Honeckerwieder ans Fenster und sagt: Guten Abend, liebe Sonne! Und die Sonne sagt nichts.
fragt er noch mal: Guten Abend, liebe Sonne. Was hast du? Und dann sagt die Sonne:Ach, leck mich am Arsch, ich bin jetzt im Westen!
 
Jan 27, 2010
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love 'em or hate 'em, it's hard to argue that WWII was not won by the USSR.

Poland has a very good case for most hard done by, but did not make the decisive contribution.

every country has its own propaganda, of course - many Americans seem to think that they entered the war in a timely fashion for good moral reasons, and made the decisive contribution.
a lot of Brits never realise that WWII, for them, was mostly a vain attempt to hang onto a global empire, and was fought mostly in north africa.
the French like to characterise la Resistance as the only French contribution to the war.
etc. etc.
 
The Hitch said:
Since we are making jokes about the DDR now, here is one you have no doubt heard before, but i love it so here it is anyway.
Yea, I know that one well, but it's still good to bust it out once in a while. The DDR was another thing I did quite a lot of study on - a very fascinating and strange tale.

That and I want one of these:
 
The Hitch said:
Its an interesting theory, but unfortunately admiration for Britain does not equal admiration for France. Hitler did admire Britain, and in many ways the admiration was initially mutual. This is not the same for France. France may not have inspired the same hatred for Hitler as the Jews and slavs did, but coexistance with them was nonetheless not possible.
No way would Hitler have a border with the French. Not after the humiliation of Versailles. Hitler by all accounts fought bravely in that war. It was probably the humiliation Germany recieved, for which Clemenceau pushed hard, which got Hitler accross the moral event horizon. No way would Hitler tolerate coexistence with France after the humiliation of the Ruhr invasion in 1923 when France treated Hitlers German nation as a whipping boy. When France, uncontent with its own economic situation, went into the much poorer Germany, to take what it wanted and treated Germans as second class citizens.
He liked the strong Germanic Brits. But they were for him totaly different from the weak, frankish, full of Jewery lands which had always existed as Germanies enemy, and which had, in unfair ways, unleashed humiliation on his German nation through a treaty.

Also Hitler by all accounts did want domination of europe. That he would let his hated France, coexist as a small power compared to the German euro super state, is something i can not believe.
It just demonstrates the illusion of tribal identity and the myth of national foundation.

For France itself was created by Merovingian and then Carolingian lineages that were themselves of Germanic origin, although developed out of the destabilization of Latin-Roman elements. And so it was with Visogothic Spain, to say nothing of the Vandals in North Africa who themselves were overcome by Byzantine and then the Abbasid Califate.

This is what I mean by a need for different models and paradigms. And this is no more the case than the folly of the false, rhetorical and ultimately condemnable Padania of the Lega Nord of Italy.
 

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