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Old 04-26-2014, 09:24 AM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish_bob View Post
amusing reading the points about the english chanell , were the english channel not there , its likely it would have been an issue centuries before that when it came to englands battles with other nations , never mind what happened in WW2
Yep. The countries on west coast of Europe would have been very different in make up. The British Army prevented a channel tunnel on defence ground. They dropped that in 1956. Liverpool built tunnel's rather than bridges, under the River Mersey for defence reasons, as bridges are easier to destroy.

 
Old 04-26-2014, 09:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John-UK View Post
Yep the French made moves to join the British Commonwealth. Something which Argentina should be doing right now. The EU was a British idea, heavily promoted by Churchill.
It's quite an overstatement. The idea of a European Union is quite old, it was a dream of Victor Hugo for example. And Marxists militated a lot for a union of the socialists nations between the two world wars and the International Paneuropean Union had a lot of fans too. But yes Churchill was a huge proponent of a supra-national Europe, mostly the council of Europe.
 
Old 04-26-2014, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Pérouges
580 posts, read 678,422 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John-UK View Post
Yep the French made moves to join the British Commonwealth. Something which Argentina should be doing right now.
I'm sorry to throw this thread even further off track but might I ask how you came to this conclusion?
 
Old 04-26-2014, 10:54 AM
 
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If the English channel were not there, England would have been a fully romanized and heavely populated Roman province and some sort of extension of the Gallia. Back in antiquity, the channel was not as impenetrable as the Rhine.

The EEC had many blueprints, curiously, the most similar to the modern day EEC was designed by the Third Reich. Of course, there were previous attempts, after the Roman attempt came the Carolingian and then came far too large dinasties warring for centuries, schisms, religios wars, Napoleon, etc.

I do believe that what really broke western Europe apart was the reformation, until that moment all cultured people shared the same religion and the same language, Latin.

Franco did not join Hitler because he knew that the Americans would eventually appear, and that Hitler would loose, he told Hitler so in Hendaya. He avoided any German intervention in Gibraltar. In fact, Hitler should have invaded Spain to take Gibraltar, but inexplicably he was afraid of the Spanish army, quite ridiculous because after the war the army and the country was in shambles...but Hitler kept mumbling about how valiant the Tercios were, incredible.
 
Old 04-26-2014, 11:33 AM
 
1,603 posts, read 1,461,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John-UK View Post
Prof. Adam Tooze says that the biggest mistake of the British in WW2 was not concentrating Bomber Command on the Rhur, as the coal mines, heavy manufacturing and steel was all concentrated there. They can disperse manufacturing as much as they like, without the materials they cannot do anything. Also into 1944 Bomber Command and the USAAF moved bombing away from industry to strategic targets to assist the landings and the fighting after. That is why manufacturing rose in Germany.

From June 1944 onwards the RAF used Tallboy and later Grand Slam earthquake bombs in strategic infrastructure targets. One Tallboy went through a hill on France, exploded and took down the rail tunnel beneath the hill preventing rail supplies getting to Normandy. The tunnel these days has nice large vent shaft through it. The 1945 German monthly production figures were dire once Bomber Command refocused on industry.

Churchill said the biggest mistake was diverting troops from the desert to assist Greece which allowed the Germans a foothold in the desert.

I go with Tooze. Bomber Command and the RNs blockade of Germany combined would have starved Germany out quite quickly.
True, yet, despite the enormous amount of bombs thrown at Germany by both the UK and the US,Germany still managed to have the highest production of its wartime in 1944, this while fighting the bloodiest and greatest war in human history on the Eastern front.
If USSR was defeated, the nothing would have prevented Germans from massively reinvesting industrial productions on flak and aviation, then the battles in the skies would have been much bloodier and uncertain.
 
Old 04-26-2014, 11:57 AM
 
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Quote:
France's quick defeat in 1940, the formation of the Vichy collaboration in which US, UK and Free French troops fought, and the later withdrawal from NATO. This all helped paint a negative picture of France.
Agreed.

And I'd say it would be very interesting to hear the word 'cowardice' uttered in front of those in the Resistance....;-)....
especially for those who say fought in the every early days of the War (1942) where organization practically nil and each man was on his own. Just a thought on those who thought the French 'cowards'.
 
Old 04-26-2014, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Hamburg, Germany
234 posts, read 247,031 times
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French people "never won a war" (also a stereotype I read somewhere).
They have lost in almost every war:
North America was almost entirely French at the very beginning (the continent was then called "La Nouvelle France", the New France, since the old one is in the old continent, Europe).
Then the French went into tons of wars against Great Britain. Every time they have lost a war, the UK got some territories in North America in return, until North America became an English possession before the Independence. Then there was a short breakthrough during Napoleon times, but very soon the other European Powers crushed them hard. Afterwards, Paris was captured by the Germans (or Prussians) and lost humiliated in the war of 1870, shortly before the German Unification in 1871.

Then came WW1 and WW2 and here everyone knows what happens. The French were about to loose WW1 until they begged the US to intervene. During Nazi times, the French showed great cowardliness since they preferred cooperating with Hitler just to run away from the suffer. In the opinion of many people, France (even though belonging to the winning Allies side) did not even won the two World Wars. Actually, Stalin refused to include France as a major power in the UN 5 major seats since he considered that the country was officially pro- German (which was true because Charles de Gaulle 's government or similar institution was not recognized/ official).
The US wanted the opposite because it was in its advantage to have France permanently seated to support its decisions, especially that the American and Russian relationships kind of degraded in the lasts days of the War.

Nowadays this cowardliness is showed through the issue of the Germanic province of Alsace- Lorraine (which today belongs to France). France refuses to recognize German language there (or at least the Alsatian dialect) because they are afraid the people there will recall for the Reintegration of the province to Germany. Unbelievable!
Instead of respecting the unique heritage of the province, they are ruining it. Today, not even 10% speak German/ Alsatian at home, though all family names as well as city names contradict the "Francisation" process that France followed after World War 2 (Strasbourg (for Straßburg), Colmar (for Kolmar), Riquewihr (for Reichweihr),Mulhouse (for Mülhausen), ...).
Italy however dealt way better with the German-speaking region of South Tirol. The German language is there fully protected and everyone must to learn it at school. The culture, the food even the laws were not "italianized". Its amazing job they did and today the province is the most prosperous in Italy.
I do not think that France will reach this maturity level, because it is truly coward.
 
Old 04-26-2014, 05:14 PM
 
Location: London
4,362 posts, read 3,656,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xander.XVII View Post
True, yet, despite the enormous amount of bombs thrown at Germany by both the UK and the US,Germany still managed to have the highest production of its wartime in 1944, this while fighting the bloodiest and greatest war in human history on the Eastern front.
Using slave labour...
"into 1944 Bomber Command and the USAAF moved bombing away from industry to strategic targets to assist the landings and the fighting after. That is why manufacturing rose in Germany."

Quote:
If USSR was defeated, the nothing would have prevented Germans from massively reinvesting industrial productions on flak and aviation, then the battles in the skies would have been much bloodier and uncertain.
Uncertain? The UK and USA had far superior planes...and lots of them. The outcome was inevitable.

The US had stated in May 1940 that they will make 50,000 planes year, with UK production added to that.

Wages of Destruction Adam Tooze:

"On 23 July 1940 British procurement agents in Washington were invited to a clandestine meeting with American industrial planners, from which emerged a scheme to expand the capacity of the United States aircraft industry so that it would be able to deliver no less than 72,000 aircraft per annum, guaranteeing a supply to the British of 3,000 planes per month, three times the current German output."

This confirms Hitler's fears:

Hitler to the Hungarian Premier.... "Following Roosevelt's re-election remarked to the Hungarian premier that American shipments to Britain would not get fully under way before the winter of 1941-42 and this was also the view taken by the German navy. This, as it turned out, was a fairly accurate assessment and it had clear implications for German strategy."

Tooze:
"in 1940 the USA produced 6,019 planes, the UK received 2.006 and France 557. In 1941 the USA produced 19,433,...of which the British share came to 5,012. In 1942 almost 48,000, just shy of Roosevelt's target. The UK only received 7,775. By 1943 the USA had surpassed the "utopian" target of 72,000, with a staggering production of 86,898. Even more were to come in 1944."

Tooze - Page 431:
"the strongest arguments for rushing to conquer the Soviet Union in 1941 were precisely the growing shortage of grain and the need to knock Britain out of the war before it could pose a serious air threat."

Tooze says it was two prime points..
"the strongest arguments for rushing to conquer the Soviet Union in 1941 were"
  1. "precisely the growing shortage of grain"
  2. "the need to knock Britain out of the war before it could pose a serious
    air threat."
Number 1 above, can be extended to a resources shortage with grain being the prime resource shortage. In short, an economic benefit.

Tooze Page 455:
"the chronic shortage of fuel and rubber"

"the fuel shortage of 1941 was so expected to be so severe that the Wehrmacht was seriously considering demotorisation as a way of reducing its dependency on scarce oil."

Tooze Page 459:
"On 22 January 1941 Thomas had informed his boss, Keitel, that he was planning to submit a report urging caution with regard to the military-economic benefits of the invasion. Now he reversed directions. As it became clear that Hitler was justifying Barbarossa first and foremost as a campaign of economic conquest, Thomas began systematically working towards the Fuehrer."

Number 2, above...

In June 1940 Roosevelt put to Congress that the USA construct the world's largest military complex. The USA said it will produce at least 50,000 planes per ann. and large carrier fleets for two oceans. They would supply what the UK wanted and had not decided how the UK would pay. Later this 50,000 was increased to 72,000 by the industrialists.
  • From June 1940 to Dec 1941 the UK received nearly 11,000 planes and 13,000 aero engines from the USA and produced 15,000 planes at home, a total of near 27,000 planes.
  • The USA produced 19,500 planes in 1941 and was training the pilots to fly them.
  • A total UK & US of 46,500 planes.
  • Germany produced only 12,000 planes in 1941.
In July 1940 the USA planned to supply the UK alone with 3,000 aircraft per month. In 1942 the USA produced 86,000 planes exceeding the 72,000 mark with even more in 1944. German intelligence in 1940/41 knew of this massive rise in aircraft fleets that would be set against them. They were not that stupid.
Hitler predicted (accurately) that the masses of US planes would start to come in, in late 1941 - it takes approx one year from raw metal to a finished plane. Indeed in the winter of 1940/41 the Luftwaffe was giving equal priority to plane procurement for the coming air war with the UK & USA as with Barbarossa. Hitler had to see off the USSR by late 1941 to have any chance of facing the masses of aircraft in the west. The natural resources, especially grain, oil, rubber and precious metals, of which Germany was desperately short, would be alleviated.

In short, if the UK did not pose a serious threat in the west, the USSR would not have been invaded.
 
Old 04-26-2014, 06:35 PM
 
1,603 posts, read 1,461,335 times
Reputation: 2024
Quote:
Originally Posted by John-UK View Post
Using slave labour...
"into 1944 Bomber Command and the USAAF moved bombing away from industry to strategic targets to assist the landings and the fighting after. That is why manufacturing rose in Germany."



Uncertain? The UK and USA had far superior planes...and lots of them. The outcome was inevitable.

The US had stated in May 1940 that they will make 50,000 planes year, with UK production added to that.

Wages of Destruction Adam Tooze:

"On 23 July 1940 British procurement agents in Washington were invited to a clandestine meeting with American industrial planners, from which emerged a scheme to expand the capacity of the United States aircraft industry so that it would be able to deliver no less than 72,000 aircraft per annum, guaranteeing a supply to the British of 3,000 planes per month, three times the current German output."

This confirms Hitler's fears:

Hitler to the Hungarian Premier.... "Following Roosevelt's re-election remarked to the Hungarian premier that American shipments to Britain would not get fully under way before the winter of 1941-42 and this was also the view taken by the German navy. This, as it turned out, was a fairly accurate assessment and it had clear implications for German strategy."

Tooze:
"in 1940 the USA produced 6,019 planes, the UK received 2.006 and France 557. In 1941 the USA produced 19,433,...of which the British share came to 5,012. In 1942 almost 48,000, just shy of Roosevelt's target. The UK only received 7,775. By 1943 the USA had surpassed the "utopian" target of 72,000, with a staggering production of 86,898. Even more were to come in 1944."

Tooze - Page 431:
"the strongest arguments for rushing to conquer the Soviet Union in 1941 were precisely the growing shortage of grain and the need to knock Britain out of the war before it could pose a serious air threat."

Tooze says it was two prime points..
"the strongest arguments for rushing to conquer the Soviet Union in 1941 were"
  1. "precisely the growing shortage of grain"
  2. "the need to knock Britain out of the war before it could pose a serious
    air threat."
Number 1 above, can be extended to a resources shortage with grain being the prime resource shortage. In short, an economic benefit.

Tooze Page 455:
"the chronic shortage of fuel and rubber"

"the fuel shortage of 1941 was so expected to be so severe that the Wehrmacht was seriously considering demotorisation as a way of reducing its dependency on scarce oil."

Tooze Page 459:
"On 22 January 1941 Thomas had informed his boss, Keitel, that he was planning to submit a report urging caution with regard to the military-economic benefits of the invasion. Now he reversed directions. As it became clear that Hitler was justifying Barbarossa first and foremost as a campaign of economic conquest, Thomas began systematically working towards the Fuehrer."

Number 2, above...

In June 1940 Roosevelt put to Congress that the USA construct the world's largest military complex. The USA said it will produce at least 50,000 planes per ann. and large carrier fleets for two oceans. They would supply what the UK wanted and had not decided how the UK would pay. Later this 50,000 was increased to 72,000 by the industrialists.
  • From June 1940 to Dec 1941 the UK received nearly 11,000 planes and 13,000 aero engines from the USA and produced 15,000 planes at home, a total of near 27,000 planes.
  • The USA produced 19,500 planes in 1941 and was training the pilots to fly them.
  • A total UK & US of 46,500 planes.
  • Germany produced only 12,000 planes in 1941.
In July 1940 the USA planned to supply the UK alone with 3,000 aircraft per month. In 1942 the USA produced 86,000 planes exceeding the 72,000 mark with even more in 1944. German intelligence in 1940/41 knew of this massive rise in aircraft fleets that would be set against them. They were not that stupid.
Hitler predicted (accurately) that the masses of US planes would start to come in, in late 1941 - it takes approx one year from raw metal to a finished plane. Indeed in the winter of 1940/41 the Luftwaffe was giving equal priority to plane procurement for the coming air war with the UK & USA as with Barbarossa. Hitler had to see off the USSR by late 1941 to have any chance of facing the masses of aircraft in the west. The natural resources, especially grain, oil, rubber and precious metals, of which Germany was desperately short, would be alleviated.

In short, if the UK did not pose a serious threat in the west, the USSR would not have been invaded.
The underlined part is what I meant because I do definitely agree with you for the remaining part.
We could argue that the invasion of USSR has other reasons (ideological and strategical ones) but in short it is also true that conquering/enslaving/subduing the USSR was mainly to get all the resources Germany was sorely lacking of.
 
Old 04-27-2014, 12:41 AM
 
Location: London
4,362 posts, read 3,656,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xander.XVII View Post
The underlined part is what I meant because I do definitely agree with you for the remaining part.
We could argue that the invasion of USSR has other reasons (ideological and strategical ones) but in short it is also true that conquering/enslaving/subduing the USSR was mainly to get all the resources Germany was sorely lacking of.
The imminent concern was to get resources to fend off the coming air war.

Wages of Destruction. Adam Tooze:

Planning for Barbarossa..

Tooze Page 454:
"Critical stores would be reserved above all for the main strike force of 33 tank and motorised infantry divisions. If the battle extended much beyond the first months of the attack, the fighting power of the rest of the German army would dwindle rapidly."

"Fundamentally the Wehrmacht was a "poor army". The fast striking motorised element of the Germans army in 1941 consisted of only 33 divisions of 130. Three-quarters of the German army continued to rely on more traditional means of traction: foot and horse. The German army in 1941 invaded the Soviet Union with somewhere between 600,000 and 740,000 horses. The horses were not for riding. They were for moving guns, ammunition and supplies."

"The vast majority of Germany's soldiers marched into Russia, as they had in France, on foot."

"But to imagine a fully motorised Wehrmacht, poised for an attack on the Soviet Union is a fantasy of the Cold War, not a realistic vision of the possibilities of 1941. To be more specific, it is an American fantasy. The Anglo-American invasion force of 1944 was the only military force in WW2 to fully conform to the modern model of a motorised army."

Page 455:
"the chronic shortage of fuel and rubber"

"the fuel shortage of 1941 was so expected to be so severe that the Wehrmacht was seriously considering demotorisation as a way of reducing its dependency on scarce oil."

"Everything therefore depended on the assumption that the Red Army would crack under the impact of the first decisive blow."

Page 456:
"a new Soviet industrial base to the east of the Urals, which had the capacity to sustain a population of at least 40 million people."

"Soviet industrial capacity was clearly very substantial."

"Franz Halder recorded Hitler's ruminations about the Soviets' immense stock of tanks and aircraft."

Reading further Tooze gives the misgivings of the German generals of the invasion. All were negative.

Page 460:
"As late as the Spring of 1941, the Foreign Ministry was still opposing the coming war, preferring to continue the alliance with the Soviet Union against the British Empire."

"If the shock of the initial assault does not destroy Stalin's regime, it was evident in February 1941 that the Third Reich would find itself facing a strategic disaster."

Page 452:
"the Germans had already conscripted virtually all their prime manpower. By contrast, the Red Army could call up millions of reservists."

Why did Germany invade the USSR in a rushed ill-conceived plan?

Page 431:
"the strongest arguments for rushing to conquer the Soviet Union in 1941 were precisely the growing shortage of grain and the need to knock Britain out of the war before it could pose a serious air threat."

"Meanwhile, the rest of the German military-industrialised complex began to gird itself for the aerial confrontation with Britain and America."

Germany rushed to invade the Soviet Union, with an ill-equipped army with no reserves in anticipation of a massive air war with Britain and the USA, hoping they could win the Soviet war within weeks.

The coming air war:

Roosevelt promised 50,000 plane per year production in May 1940, of which a substantial amount would be in the RAF. Germany could not compete with the level of aircraft at the UKs disposal. Whether the planes had US and UK pilots or just UK pilots they were coming Germany's way. And the only way they could really get at each other was by air. Germany feared mass bombing, which came - the bomber in the late 1930s was perceived as a war winning weapon. The Germans knew the lead time for aircraft was 18 months from order to delivery. That meant in late 1941/early 1942, these planes would be starting to come into service in great numbers. Germany needed the resources of the east to compete. If the population was too big they would eliminate the population - the precedence was the American move to the west expanding the USA, taking lands from the natives population and Mexican and eliminating the population.

War Production:

Keegan, World War Two, chapter War Production:

- Germany was third behind the USA, then the UK in GDP, in 1939. Germany = UK in capital goods production in 1939.
- UK economy grows 60% during WW2.
- Hitler says to Guderian, re: USSR, "had I known they had so many tanks as that, I would have thought twice before invading"

Tooze, Preface, xxiii:
Combined GDP of the UK and France exceeded Germany & Italy by 60%.

- page 454:
"It was poor because of the incomplete industrial and economic development of Germany".

Interesting:
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/publications/twerp603.pdf

Snippets:

"Soviet exceeded German GDP in 1940"

"The Allies won the war because their economies supported a greater volume of war production and military personnel in larger numbers. This was true of the war as a whole, and it was also true on the eastern front where the Soviet economy, of a similar size to Germany's but less developed and also seriously weakened by invasion, supplied more soldiers and weapons."

"the technological key to Soviet superiority in the output of weapons was mass production. At the outbreak of war Soviet industry as a whole was not larger and not more productive than German industry. The non-industrial resources on which Soviet industry could draw were larger than Germany's in the sense of territory and population, but of considerably lower quality, more far-flung, and less well integrated. Both countries had given considerable thought to industrial mobilisation preparations, but the results were of questionable efficacy. In both countries war production was poorly organised at first and productivity in the military-industrial sector had been falling for several years. The most important difference was that Soviet industry had made real strides towards mass production, while German industry was still locked into an artisan mode of production that placed a premium on quality and assortment rather than quantity. Soviet industry produced fewer models of each type of weapon, and subjected them to less modification, but produced them in far larger quantities. Thus the Soviet Union was able to make considerably more effective use of its limited industrial resources than Germany."

"Before the war Soviet defence industry was in a state of permanent technological reorganisation as new models of aircraft, tanks, and other weapons were introduced and old ones phased out at dizzying rate."

The USSR had access to oil and more natural resources and far more men. Making their ability to produce far greater than Germany, which actually happened.

Last edited by John-UK; 04-27-2014 at 01:00 AM..
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