New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.

Which was the historic action in which Germany was defeated

Dunkirk, 1940
1
7%
Battle of Britain, 1940
1
7%
Battle of the Atlantic, 1940-1943
2
13%
Changing the axis of advance from Moscow to Kiev, summer 1941
2
13%
At the gates of Moscow, fall and winter 1941
2
13%
Declaring the war to USA, winter 1941
3
20%
Battle of Stalingrad 1942-1943
4
27%
El Alamein and North Africa 1942-1943
0
No votes
Daylight strategic bombing over Germany, 1943-1944
0
No votes
Kursk, summer 1943
0
No votes
Normandy, June 6th, 1944
0
No votes
Battle of the Bulge, winter 1944-1945
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 15

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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by Bgile » Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:12 pm

Vic,

I'm not sure you realize how much you take away from your point of view holding sway when you make really controversial statements in the middle of an otherwise logical presentation.

An example for me was Viet Nam. I lived through that war in the US Navy. I was very much aware of the political climate then and what it took to mobilize enough public opinion to support the war. It was largely fought because people here became convinced of the efficacy of the so called "domino theory" regarding a communist takeover of the world. It seemed at the time that one country after another was falling under the red plague, along with statements by Russian leaders to the effect that they would bury us and our culture. People were genuinely afraid.

It had nothing to do with colonial interests any more than Japan or Korea or Germany or the Philippines or any of the many places we occupied after WWII had to do with colonization. It was simply fear of an aggressive Soviet Union. As time passed, people began to realize the "domino theory" had some serious flaws, and the war lost the support of the people.

Anyway, my point here is when you made that statement about Viet Nam, I just tuned out and couldn't pay much attention to the rest of your post.

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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by RF » Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:12 am

Vic Dale wrote:
RF wrote:Again there seems to be an ill-defined plot running through the above post seemingly again to be running along the marxist theories of capitalism in crisis, in describing the positions of Britain and France. This is not quite how I see things in the mid to late 1930's.
Well ask yourself; Was capitalism in crisis at that point? I think it definitely was.

Vic Dale
To answer your question bluntly - NO.

Why? Because capitalism came through it. And not because of WW2, the western economies were well on the way to recovery before then.
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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by RF » Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:14 am

With regards to Vietnam, I agree with bgile. I can hardly visualise Lydon Johnson as a Joseph Chamberlain style colonialist.
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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by RF » Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:22 am

Vic Dale wrote:

My sources are; Liddell Hart, AJP Taylor and Warren Tute - not a marxist among them.
Vic Dale
But the interpretation of these sources is yours - it would make no difference if your sources were Barry Goldwater, Enoch Powell or even Margaret Thatcher, if the sources were interpreted into a socialist ideology. Indeed Margaret Thatcher is something of a hero to some thinkers in the Labour Party because of her ''loyalty to her class.''
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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by RF » Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:25 am

Vic Dale wrote:
WWI was fought over colonial possessions in China and Africa.

Vic Dale
I thought it was over the Balkans and Serbian independence.
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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by RF » Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:30 am

Vic Dale wrote:
Does anyone really still hold to the view that Hitler was a war monger?

Vic Dale
I think most people would say yes. Who attacked Poland on 1st September 1939?

Who wanted to smash Czechoslovakia in 1938 and after the Munich agreement cursed Chamberlain for depriving him of the satisfaction of doing so with military force?
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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by RF » Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:35 am

Vic Dale wrote:
That is the extent of Chamberlain's ineptness in his dealings between Germany and France....

The history books say Chamberlain was inept....

Vic Dale
But these dealings were no more inept than Ted Heath's dealings with ''Europe'' in the early 1970's..... which we are still living with.
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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by Vic Dale » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:20 pm

RF wrote:
Vic Dale wrote:
Does anyone really still hold to the view that Hitler was a war monger?

Vic Dale
I think most people would say yes. Who attacked Poland on 1st September 1939?

Who wanted to smash Czechoslovakia in 1938 and after the Munich agreement cursed Chamberlain for depriving him of the satisfaction of doing so with military force?
Most people would be wrong then.

Hitler was a wet-pants who was completely unprepared for war. He was greedy for territory yes, but in 1938 -39 he was not prepared to fight for it. His military dispositions were appalling. He used bluff wherever he could, talking up the power of Germany's arms yet he had nothing in the bag and this was well known - well enough for Churchill to assert that he could not put 6 trained divisions into the field at the time of the Czech scandal.

His navy was vastly understrength and his army ill-equipped, being mostly horsedrawn and Germany could not feed herself, so a war of any duration would see Germany on it's knees in short order. That was the picture in 1938 and it did not look greatly different at the beginning of 1939.

The Warsaw Pact hatched on March 29th 1939 made war inevitable and it is at this point that alliances were broken and new ones formed and all sides began to gear up for actual war. Hitler fell into the mess, because being a dictator he could not be seen to back down from a challenge especially after all his boasting about Germany's powerful arms.

What could not be forseen - and this has to be underlined - was the effect of combining air cover with rapid deployment of armour - Blitzkreig. The tactic was not new, but the new arms made it virtually unstoppable by armies who did not understand it. Hitler himself did not understand it and this is why he strangled the advance on many occassions.

Speer was tearing his hair out at the amateurishness of Hitler. He did not have a plan for the conduct of the war and even German production ran day to day in a largely haphazzard manner. He had not enough intellect for consideration of technical matters and according to Speer, instead of going to the technicians and scientists for explanations about this or that technique, he preferred instead to get the "Sunday Supplement" dumbed down version. His mediocrity is startling.

Poland was semi-fascist already and with a great deal of social tension organised among German elements who had been scooped into the Polish state by the partition of Germany at Versailles. The initial aim was to undermine the Polish state from within through social unrest and then to walk in with armed troops, in much the same way as the annexation of Austria and the rape of Czechoslovakia had been carried out, very little fighting was expected before Poland succumbed to armed occupation. Such an act might be termed an "act of war" but it would have a hollow ring to it unless the challenge was going to be backed up by force. Then it would become a war.

When the USA sent troops into Grenada, it was not called a war, though it was recognised as an invasion - for the good of the people of Grenada. The same holds for Somalia, so too when the Russians went into Afghanistan.

The Warsaw Pact threw Europe into a loop. Britian promised Poland support, so an emblodened Pilsudski slapped Hitler in the face. The enraged Hitler could not back down, so Poland would have to be invaded. If Poland went under the jackboot, Russia would have no buffer against German incursion into the Ukraine. Stalin fearing for the Ukraine agreed a non-aggression pact with Hiter, whilst Hitler himself is convinced that Britian would not go to war for Poland if the USSR was on Germany's side. The die was cast and there was no way out.

The last thing Hitler wanted was a war with Britain or France. The same can be said for his generals who were very worried. The pact with Russia seemed to indicate that Hitler could invade Poland and avoid a war and it appears that right up until 3rd September 39, Hitler was convinced that Chamberlain would back down, but of course he was not fully aware of the damage that Neville's previous strategy had done to his reputation. Now even Chamberlain could not back down. That is your war monger.

So WWII did not open because of an eagerness for war on the part of the four leaders, Hitler, Chamberlain, Stalin and Pilsudski, it opened because none of them was in a strong enough position to be able to back down. The decline of French influence in Europe caused Daladier to shamble into the war on Poland's behalf a while after Chamberlain declared war.

Vic Dale

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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by lwd » Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:03 pm

Vic Dale wrote: ...
Well ask yourself; Was capitalism in crisis at that point? I think it definitely was.
Why? The economies of most capitalistic countries were pretty well on the road to recovery by the mid 30s. Germany was the major exception and that was because of the economic and rearmament policies of the Nazis.
War is not caused through bloody mindedness, or even stupidity, ... War has it's foundations in economy...
Some of it is certainly economic but other things have been major contributors.
...Protectionism is the general precursor to war ...
I'd like to see some proof of that.
...Vietnam was fought because the USA thought it could take over the colonial possessions of France.
Hardly. It was well recognized in the US by that point in time that colonies were not worth it. Indeed the US was in the process of getting rid of it's colonies after world war II.
All of the colonial wars were fought on the one side for economic freedom from the oppressive power of the colonists and on the other for continued economic dominance.
Not all colonial powers were oppressive. Indeed some were better than the governments that preceded or succeeded them. In many cases it was power rather than cash that was clearly the driving cause. Money is one measure of power but hardly the only one.
WWI was fought over colonial possessions in China and Africa.
It's going to take a lot more back up than just your word to make me believe that one.
WWII was fought precisely to prevent Hitler gaining economic dominance in Europe,
There was little evidence that Hitler had any chance of gaining economic dominance in Europe. Indeed the German economy had some sever problems in the 30s.
...which would have followed as surely as night follows day had he been permitted to reunite East and West Prussia ready for an assualt on the Ukraine, ...
Why would reuniting Prussia result in economic dominance. German was still short on raw materials and in serious credit crunch.
Ukraine has no strategic importance, ...
??? are you serious?
Does anyone really still hold to the view that Hitler was a war monger?

Hitler was a anotorious wet-pants - a manic depresssive - who found himself at the head of an economically powerful nation, which BTW had developed it's means of production long before he came to power.
Well maybe his stated aim to aquire the Ukraine as mentioned above and his building up the military to do so plus his use of it to invade several of his neighbors is a bit of a clue in that regard.
The Ruhr provided natural resources in abundance
Germany had adequate supplies of some resources in particular coal. The Ruhr hardly has an abundance of most natural resources though.
the need to re-tool and gear up had developed Germany into a world-beater by 1935. It was calculated that the then German economy could produce for the needs of the whole of the advanced world if her factories had been run at full capacity. That was not Hitler's acheivement, he simply inherited a means of production second to none.
Sorry but the German economy and production were no where near that strong. Indeed economically Germany was no where near the US and not even up to Britain. If Germany was going to produce even enough stuff for Europe she would have needed a massive infusion of raw materials which the Germans had pretty much cut themselves off from....
Germany was a divided nation, ....
It's not at all clear to me that the division between East Prussia and the rest of Germany was all that serious economically.
The depression had raised tarriff barriers as each nation sought to protect their own trade, so she would not be able to increase her share of the market.
But some of the barriers were falling as the depression receded and forces were in place to drive them even lower.
...I don't think it needs to be explained how in a world which could not support two ailing empires that if one were to be rubbed out, the other might survive for while longer feeding off it's corpse.
Ailing doesn't mean dieing. Even if one does fall that may not help the other.
... Neither was of military importance, their only value being economic....
First you state all wars are economic then you make a statement like this???
The last vestiges of control which Versailles could exert over Germany were economic and the aims of Hitler in securing the road-link between East and West Prussia and the port of Danzig, were purely to gain economic independence. ...
No they weren't. Germany had a link it just didn't have one that it controlled. economically there was no difference.
We can clearly see from the above that every development in the lead-up to WWII was economic.
No. What you've shown is that some of the developments leading up to the war were economic. And that you have tunnel vision.
Hitler was known to be too weak to wage war in 1938, yet Britain began to rearm. Why so? Who could possibly be a threat? I think it is likely that despite outward appearances, the antagonisms between Britain and France had become acute. France had lost her dominance in Western Europe, what would be next; North Africa? Hence the naval build up at Oran.
Incredible. Hitler was hardly know to be too weak in 38 and it was clear that he was putting a huge amount of resources into rearming. Modern militaries take years to build and Hitler was clearly doing his utmost to rebuild Germany's. In fact doing enough that Britian needed to respond.
... European rearmament had begun as early as1935, long before Hitler marched into Austria. The only major world development at this time was the economic depression which set in after the Wall Street crash of 1929.
Ignoring Hitler's statements and the German rearmament that started almost as soon as the Nazis gained power.
..it impacted Germany less than other nations because of her need to tool-up and her government's decision to assist industry where it could.
It's impact on Germany was worse than some countries.
As regards Churchill's Germanophobia he was denouning German economic developments in Europe ...
Denouncing someones economic developments hardly constitutes proof of hatred. Germany was doing what they could to minimize the impact of reparations this was hardly in Britain's best interest so Churchill not being thrilled with them is not a surprise.

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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by miro777 » Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:15 am

I voted for the the moment where the Germans stood in front of the gates of Moscow and couldnt take it...

Stalin stayed in Moscow and if Moscow would have fallen, Stalin would have fallen, and Russia would have fallen...

But the Wehrmacht didnt take Moscow, and from then on it was only retreating...
Die See ruft....

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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by RF » Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:11 am

Vic, the Warsaw Pact was the Soviet military alliance structure acting as a counterpart to NATO, formed in the 1950's. I don't see any relevance of this to March 1939.
It is quite clear from the German documentation for ''Case Blue'' the invasion of Czechoslovakia that Hitler wanted war in 1938. You are correct in saying Germany was unprepared for war in 1938, but Hitler had no recognition of this, and while the generals did, to the point of reactivating plots to remove the Fuhrer, even they were unaware how badly Germany was unprepared, until they inspected the Czech defences after Munich and seized enough Czech tanks in March 1939 to immediately equip three completely new panzer divisions..... But in the eyes of the Fuhrer, he was cheated out of his war in 1938....
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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by RF » Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:16 am

Vic Dale wrote:
The last thing Hitler wanted was a war with Britain or France.

Vic Dale
In which case Hitler would have reacted to the British ultimatum on 3 September 1939, called a ceasefire and withdrawal in Poland and begin another ''Munich'' style conferance which Mussolini had already proposed.....
But he didn't, he wanted his war.
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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by RF » Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:30 am

Vic Dale wrote:
Poland was semi-fascist already...

Britian promised Poland support, so an emblodened Pilsudski slapped Hitler in the face.
So WWII did not open because of an eagerness for war on the part of the four leaders, Hitler, Chamberlain, Stalin and Pilsudski, it opened because none of them was in a strong enough position to be able to back down. The decline of French influence in Europe caused Daladier to shamble into the war on Poland's behalf a while after Chamberlain declared war.

Vic Dale
Vic, describing Poland as ''semi-fascist already'' seems to imply that the country was not worthy of British support and should have been abandoned to Hitler. The fact that Poland had participated in the final rape of Czechoslovakia by annexing Teschen does not mean that Poland was a potential ally of Hitler.

Can you also note that Pilsudski died in 1935. His period of control in Poland spanned more of the 1920's than the 1930''s. You have made several references to Pilsudski in 1939, for the record the president of Poland in 1939 was Ignacy Moscicki. As Poland was attacked on 1 September 1939 I don't think he would or should have been in a position to ''back down.''
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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by RF » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:26 pm

miro777 wrote:I voted for the the moment where the Germans stood in front of the gates of Moscow and couldnt take it...
Stalin stayed in Moscow and if Moscow would have fallen, Stalin would have fallen, and Russia would have fallen...

But the Wehrmacht didnt take Moscow, and from then on it was only retreating...
miro777,

The reason the Germans faltered in front of Moscow was because Hitler changed the Barbarossa invasion plan. Had he stuck to the original plan devised by General Erich Marcks the Heer would have entered Moscow in August of 1941.
Note also that the Soviet plan, approved by Stalin, was that if Moscow fell the Soviet government would have relocated to Gorky, the next large city to the east of Moscow, to await the winter. Would Stalin have fallen? This is an interesting question, the answer really lies I think with the loyalty or otherwise of Lavrenti Beria, the chief of the Soviet secret police....
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Re: New Poll: critical moment for Germany

Post by lwd » Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:14 pm

RF wrote: ...The reason the Germans faltered in front of Moscow was because Hitler changed the Barbarossa invasion plan. Had he stuck to the original plan devised by General Erich Marcks the Heer would have entered Moscow in August of 1941.
That's one theory but the German army had some severe logistics problems before they got to Moscow. It's not at all clear that they could have taken it even without Hitler's intervention.
Note also that the Soviet plan, approved by Stalin, was that if Moscow fell the Soviet government would have relocated to Gorky, the next large city to the east of Moscow, to await the winter. Would Stalin have fallen? This is an interesting question, the answer really lies I think with the loyalty or otherwise of Lavrenti Beria, the chief of the Soviet secret police....
There was also the problem that Moscow was a (perhaps the) major rail hub of the Soviet Union. If it had fallen it would have had sever repercussions logistically for the Soviets.

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