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Al Jassas View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01 Sep 2009 at 10:17
The biggest slaughter in history began officially.
 
Any comments?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 2009 at 11:41
What can we say? Anything we say will be superflous.
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Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. ~George Bernard Shaw
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sep 2009 at 17:33
We can remember what we have learned. History is not only about nostalgia or "wanting the oh so happy days of the past back. Not least in this region of the world, the by some so-called "continent of the past" we may speculate if there is something favourable to say about the "inglorious present" (future?). Some positive developments if we compare 70 years ago this day - even perhaps 20 years ago this day?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 00:37
Nostalgia time:
 
My extended family were all on holiday together at Highcliffe 70 years ago, and I specifically still remember listening to Chamberlain on the radio. At 6 it was kind of exciting, but even those with longer memories were confident it would be all over by Christmas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 01:10
What did Chamberlain say?
 
And I'd say that this 'war' began far earlier. Munich in '38 for example... It should have been clear then.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 09:06
The war could have ended by Michaelmas not christmas if the 3 million French soldiers walked across the frontier guarded by 40k Germans. Oh I forgot, they did walk across then without any reason withdrew.
 
In my opinion, France shares the biggest blame for WWII turning into the slaughter it is.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 09:57
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

The war could have ended by Michaelmas not christmas if the 3 million French soldiers walked across the frontier guarded by 40k Germans. Oh I forgot, they did walk across then without any reason withdrew.
 
In my opinion, France shares the biggest blame for WWII turning into the slaughter it is.
 
Al-Jassas


Hello Al Jassas,

In a way, The great war, or World War 1, had a profound effect on the French political and military leaders of that time. So i have constantly read. The slaughter of France's men, in her own country, affected that country down to it's very core, shaken it's very existence. The doctrine of the French  offensive died on the battel fields of the great war only to be replaced with that of the defensive, the Maginot line often comes too my mind first when i think about it.

To that end, with the rise of Adolph Hitler's militarized Germany, the French were cautiously concerned in needlessly provoking the Germans in regards to the Rhineland, into a military response. In that way, i would hardly blame the French for seriously miscalculating Hitler's Germany as far as militarization and it's intents are concerned. The most the French can be blamed, i think, is in thinking World War 2 was going to be fought much like it's predecessor was. I would say it is a failure of industrial imagination and keeping up with the changing tools of war, but not the cause of the war itself! Degaulle(sp?), i believe, was the only French officer who saw what was coming and was ignored. Does that sound right? The cause of the war rest ultimately with Hitler alone and on down to his cronies in power, i have always believed that to be the case now!

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 10:22
Doctrine or not, the French were ready by the 10th of september for attack. They did attack and reached Saarsbrucken. They had 40 divisions ready to move at any moment and some did move and at that time the Germans were facing trouble in Poland. The real reason why the French didn't attack is that the right wingers (who were ruling then) in France didn't want to because they saw in Hitler as some sort of an ally against "socialism". The French left didn't want to go to the borgoise war either.
 
At that time, the Wehrmacht was nothing compared to the machine that will conquere France a year later, the German military was opposed to the war and many especially Halder would have immediately lead a coup to depose Hitler and bring peace.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 12:01
I agree, the French military was ready, but like i said, it's leadership certainly were not as you pointed out.

And you are right, if the French had gone a lot further into Germany, the Germans would have been caught flat footed and would been able to do next to nothing against the French from running around roughshod in the German countyside. The German leadership from Hitler on down admitted this to be so. France itself is not too blame for their humiliation, but the sorry quality of it's leadership at the time lacked the imagination to think any different.

However, the German military that over ran Poland was the very same as that which over ran France, albeit... having refined their tactics from the Poland invasion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 12:14
We can't expect Poland, a poor nation less than a generation old, to put up a fight equal to that of France, a global empire with cutting edge technology and far greater wealth. Not only that, but France didn't have the world's largest nation attacking them from the rear either.

Poland's performance in the war was laudable, if almost unbearably tragic. France's was a travesty.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 12:22
I believe it could have been a lot worse if the French had marched over the boarder and beaten the Germans before Christmas 1939.
 
It wasn't till Yalta that the allies agreed to an un-conditional surrender of Germany. If the French had betten the Germans in 1939/1940 it would have been a botched peace like the peace of 1918. National Socialism would have marched quietly on inside of Germany and we would have had a much nastier war in the 1960's or 1970 when the German got up for round three.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 12:28
Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

I believe it could have been a lot worse if the French had marched over the boarder and beaten the Germans before Christmas 1939.
 
It wasn't till Yalta that the allies agreed to an un-conditional surrender of Germany. If the French had betten the Germans in 1939/1940 it would have been a botched peace like the peace of 1918. National Socialism would have marched quietly on inside of Germany and we would have had a much nastier war in the 1960's or 1970 when the German got up for round three.


I doubt this would have been the case. With new technology, the war was not likely to get bogged down like in WWI. The combined Franco-British onslaught would have quickly enough neutralised communications and transport centres while threatening major German cities. Italy would have stayed out of the war. The French and British would have prompted the Germans to install a friendly right wing government, or perhaps they would have split Germany into smaller states. Either way the end result would be a Germany or Germanies which end up leaning towards Britain and France for security in the face of the ever growing USSR.

Nukes would also likely have arrived before the 60s, acting as yet another deterrant to total war.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 12:29
Here is the thing, Germany wasn't that mighty military power everythone thinks. The wehrmacht of 1939 is more of a propaganda army than it was in reality.
 
Barely 10 out of 60 divisions were mechanical in any sense, the rest were pure infantry and the germans depended more on horses than the Poles. On average, the Polish division was as strong as the German one. The Polish tanks were better than their German counter parts and the Polish divisions were much more motorised than the Germans. The problem was in tactics. The Germans stunned the Poles using their Blitzkrieg but even in this the German losses were very high (25% of the total strength) much higher than in France.
 
Had the French entered the war the war would have ended by October because the German army would have collapsed.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 14:33
Do you think that the British and French would have had the steel in 1939 to push Germany into an unconditional surrender? Back to the peace table maybe, but to total surrender. I don't think it was that likely.
 
The German Army 1939 was not as tough as people think it was, but it was not that soft either. The French Army, while larger than that of Germany, was not that well equiped or motivated. Most of it's divisions being horse drawn reserve units.
 
I'm sure the French and British would have won, but not easily, and I'm sure that Hitler would have quickly opened negioations and the peace would have been humiliating to Germany, but not devistating.
 
It wasn't till after all it's great victories was Germany seen as a nation that had to be defeated totally.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 15:00
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Here is the thing, Germany wasn't that mighty military power everythone thinks. The wehrmacht of 1939 is more of a propaganda army than it was in reality.
 
Barely 10 out of 60 divisions were mechanical in any sense, the rest were pure infantry and the germans depended more on horses than the Poles. On average, the Polish division was as strong as the German one. The Polish tanks were better than their German counter parts and the Polish divisions were much more motorised than the Germans. The problem was in tactics. The Germans stunned the Poles using their Blitzkrieg but even in this the German losses were very high (25% of the total strength) much higher than in France.
 
Had the French entered the war the war would have ended by October because the German army would have collapsed.
 
Al-Jassas


Correct. Tactics was the German key i think, when it came too military engagements; And i believe she had the world's finest tacticians back then. 

If the German leadership (Hitler) was gambling as they said he was, that was one helluva short term payoff with unimaginable catastrophic long term results. The end results spoke for themselves.
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Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

Do you think that the British and French would have had the steel in 1939 to push Germany into an unconditional surrender? Back to the peace table maybe, but to total surrender. I don't think it was that likely.
 
The German Army 1939 was not as tough as people think it was, but it was not that soft either. The French Army, while larger than that of Germany, was not that well equiped or motivated. Most of it's divisions being horse drawn reserve units.
 
I'm sure the French and British would have won, but not easily, and I'm sure that Hitler would have quickly opened negioations and the peace would have been humiliating to Germany, but not devistating.
 
It wasn't till after all it's great victories was Germany seen as a nation that had to be defeated totally.  


Unconditional surrender? Eventually, if they stuck it out long enough they could have.

I find it more likely they would have encouraged a coup within Germany that would bring a more moderate party to power who would negotiate with them for a partnership in which Germany's military and territorial ambitions were reduced and they became part of an anti-Soviet bloc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 16:17
But did they have the steel to suffer all those losses that a total victory would have cost in 1939? I don't care how soft you say the Germans were, total victory would have cost. Remember the dark days of 1940-1943 were still ahead. In 1939 a need for revenge didin't exist for the British/Fremch in 1939. They'd won the last one! A British/French victory in 1939 would have been a victory in a war over national boarders. The victory in 1945 was a victory of National Socialism.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 16:21
Also I believe that some of us are crediting the British and the French with military skills that they did not posses in 1939. Their armies in 1939 were somewhat out of date going into a war with weapons used in the last one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 16:23
Sorry. 1945 was a victory over National Socialism.
I feel like a twit.Embarrassed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 19:05
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

In my opinion, France shares the biggest blame for WWII turning into the slaughter it is.
 
Al-Jassas

And here I was blaming the ones who actually started it, ie USSR and Germany. Hindsight makes it easy to throw around accusations of blame, doesn't it?

Sorry for being an ass, but these what-ifs annoy me. Why not blame the French guys who didn't manage to kill the little corporal in the Great War?


Edited by Styrbiorn - 02 Sep 2009 at 19:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 19:51
Halder ploted to down Hitler several times before the war started. None of the generals, although many of the people, wanted war at that time. They thought the German army wasn't ready and it was.
 
As for blaming France. Believe me, if Hitler was dead in WWI,  there would have been another Hitler and WWII would have started anyway and who knows, maybe that Hitler would have been a less bloody (ie no Holocaust) but more shrewd than him and then the allies would have been in trouble.
 
Ultra-nationalism started WWII not Hitler. Another humiliation would have forced the Germans to rethink their strategy forever but this didn't happen and one must remember, 70% of the Germans didn't vote to the Nazi party in Germany proper and Hitler was even less popular in the mid 30s than before. It was Poland that made him the God and a humiliation there would have convinced the people not to go to war.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2009 at 01:34
Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

 
It wasn't till Yalta that the allies agreed to an un-conditional surrender of Germany.
Casablanca, January 1943.
 
PS. No-one's mentioned air forces.
 
(For once I'll manage to leave out the navy.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2009 at 07:15
Casablanca or Yalta, the un-conditional surrender of Germany did not become and agreed outcome by the allies until after the Germans had won many major victories.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2009 at 07:52
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

[QUOTE=Birddog]PS. No-one's mentioned air forces.


OK, I will.The Luftwaffewas not particularly large or well-equipped. It had no heavy bombers, mainly bacuse it wasn't built to be a strategic (or even tactical AIR FORCE). It was primarily flying artillery, intended to provide support for short, intensive land campaigns.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2009 at 09:30
It was larger and better equiped than the RAF, and just plain better equiped than the French Army of the Air.
 
The British and the French had very little in the way of big bombers at the start of the war. The British Advanced Air Strike Force sent to France at the start of the war were equiped with Battle and Blemhim bombers that ended up being shot down in dozens by the Luftwaffe in May 1940.
 
The Luftwaffe was designed to support an army on the attack for a short campagin and could do this very well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2009 at 10:07
Treaty of Versailles to much extent put the basis of the future conflict.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2009 at 13:27
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by Birddog Birddog wrote:

 
It wasn't till Yalta that the allies agreed to an un-conditional surrender of Germany.
Casablanca, January 1943.
 
PS. No-one's mentioned air forces.
 
(For once I'll manage to leave out the navy.)


I think the Germans were first too employ what we now know as CAS. The Ju 87 Stuka being arguably the modern equivalent to an A-10 or AH-64 Apache helicopter.


Edited by Panther - 03 Sep 2009 at 13:27
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The Germans were well ahead of the British and French in air combat tactics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Sep 2009 at 15:22
The war was triggered by the bertrayal of Czechoslovakia in 1938. Hitler became convinced that he was unpunishable and lost all the "respect" for a possible threat from Anglo-French allies; then it was like a snow ball effect.
 
He, correctly, predicted that the French wouldn't move a finger to help the Poles in 1939 and that was the main factor that influenced his decision to attack Poland. In one of his discussion with the stuff Hitler explained that after Munich he had realized that he shouldn't be afraid of "miserable worms (Daladier and Chamberlain)" who were unable to attack him or blockade Germany during the Polish campaign.
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