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Give Peace a Chance

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DukeC View Drop Down
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    Posted: 18 Nov 2009 at 04:25
In another thread the Munich Agreement of 1938 was equated with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed in August of 1939 shortly before the outbreak of WW II. I don't think the comparison is valid, the former was a diplomatic agreement done in front of the world that delayed the war while the latter on the surface was a neutrality pact, it also had secret protocols that divided all of Europe between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia and was the immediate trigger that began the conflict.
 
What would have happened if Stalin had not gone along with Hitler in August of 1939?
 
Hitler, a WW I veteran understood the dangers of a two front war to Germany, and while he was a gambler, he also wanted to avoid overwhelming odds if possible. The remilitarization of Germany and massive civil projects like the Autobann system which were intended to get Germany strong and working again also put the nation deep into debt.  Like Saddam in 1990 and his massive debt to nations like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Hitler at some point was going to have to use or lose the massive military he'd created.
 
Would the peace initiative being carried out by the nations of western Europe have paid off if it had been given a chance?
 
 


Edited by DukeC - 18 Nov 2009 at 04:26
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gcle2003 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2009 at 04:37
I'm pretty sure that if the USSR had joined France and the UK in guaranteeing Poland (as they had guaranteed Belgium, but had never done for Czechoslovakia) Hitler would not have attacked in 1939, either to the east or the west.
 
You're correct that to move in either direction he had to be sure that the other flank was safe (as by June 1941 his western flank was secured, Britain and Germany having reached stalemate there.
 
Longer term the outlook would still have been gloomy with Hitler in charge in Germany, but the possibilities are difficult to figure.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2009 at 05:03

A couple of the possibilites would be a repeat of WW I with Germany taking on Russia(Soviets) and the western powers, with a repeat of another war of attrition.

or...
 
Germanys' economic collapse and a Cold War style conflict as Stalin moved west and Western Europe entrenched in defence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2009 at 05:52
Actually, reflecting, I think it more likely that Hitler would have attacked in the West rather than in Poland, possibly hoping that Britain would let France go (1870 over again) ur be unable to bring suffiecient force to bear before blitzkrieg overwhelmed France (i.e. what did happen in 1940, though with no activity in the east).
 
That would leave stalemates to east and west but Germany with some digesting to do. hen of course there's a subsequent possibility, the west as least quiescent, of going ahead with a Polish invasion, as a precedent to attacking Russia[1]. Synchronised with Japanese attacking towards India that would keep Britain busy.
 
Until someone was stupid enough to bring in the USA....
 
[1] Actually it's not impossible that Poland could have co-operated and joined in the attack on Russia.


Edited by gcle2003 - 18 Nov 2009 at 05:55
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