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Old 06-07-2020, 01:18 PM
 
127 posts, read 25,080 times
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Originally Posted by Dad01 View Post
such a popular myth but in 1940 after fall of france it was a exhausted impoverished germany/italy vs the BRITISH EMPIRE [ britain, canada, australia , NZ, india + host of other colonies ]

even at the height of BoB the british were outproducing the germans in every essential war equipment, had more men under arms and had far more resources

even without USSR and a neutral USA the british empire could have defeated germany it might have taken till 1950

In anycase even if nazis had not invaded ussr their genocidal policies towards slavs would have sooner rather than later invited an invasion by soviet russia

so yeah the glorification of churchill is largely unnecessary as even without him britain and other powers would have pummeled germnay into submission

I've heard a lot of silly things on here, but this one might top them all!
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Old 06-15-2020, 04:22 PM
 
Location: The North Star State
2,521 posts, read 766,876 times
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Originally Posted by msgsing View Post
Once again Churchill was like many great men who had personal flaws. What made him a man of historical significance was his bulldog defiance against a sinister enemy who if unchecked could have destroyed Western Civilization.
Hitler had no ability - or, frankly, intent - to destroy Western Civilization.

It would have been exceedingly difficult for Germany to conquer the British Isles. It could not do so in 1940/41, period. The Royal Navy was far more powerful than the Kriegsmarine, and the latter had little in the way of amphibious capability. Whatever portion of an invasion force that might've managed to slip across the Channel could not have been resupplied and reinforced, and would have been destroyed in short order.

The only possible way for Hitler to actually conquer the United Kingdom would have required:

*A blockade, primarily by means of u-boats, to starve out the nation. This would have taken years. The British hadn't tightened their belts in 1940 as near as they might have had it been necessary.

*The patience to allow this to happen. Nothing in Hitler's character suggests that he had such patience, especially in light of the fact that his main focus was the East, and the passage of time would not improve his chances there.

*Complete withdrawal by North America - the United States and Canada - of any attempt to keep Britain supplied.

And even then, the United Kingdom would have had a fighting chance.

But beyond all that, Hitler's interest in invading Britain was purely as a means to the end of securing his western flank. While Hitler the soldier left writings detailing his dreams of marching into England (quite the fantasist he was) by the 1920s he had come around to seeing the UK as a natural ally of Germany. Of course, this illustrates his profound ignorance of the English, but that's beside the point. While Hitler wanted France subjugated, he viewed a continuance of Britain as a global sea power while Germany ruled on the continent of Europe. To that end, he was surprised when the British declared war in September 1939. Ribbentrop - who buffonishly considered himself an expert on the UK - had assured the Fuehrer that this would not happen.

Anyway, had the UK possessed a government which declined to declare war in 1939, or which had, in the face of the Blitz, agreed to terms amenable to Hitler - say, a cessation of hostilities and a British guarantee of non-interference on the continent - then Sealion would never have even been a fantasy.

Beyond that, the Western World and its civilization in the 1940s included the aforementioned United States and Canada, as well as Australia and New Zealand. And Hitler had precisely zero chance of destroying any of those nations.

And that is why Hitler was never a threat to destroy Western Civilization.

This is not to diminish Churchill's role in rallying the British people against Nazi Germany, nor to minimize the monstrosity of Hitler. Hitler's goals were conquest east to the Urals, subjugation of France, domination (either overt or effective) of the rest of northwestern Europe and Scandinavia, and of the near Middle East (for oil). Even in Europe, his limited interest in the southern part of the continent was mostly strategic. He toyed with the idea of invading Spain not because he sought to possess Iberia but as a means of getting at Gibraltar. His moves into Yugoslavia and Greece were reactions to the overthrow of a pro-German regime in Belgrade and Greek misadventure by Mussolini. And he was content to let Italy be (his racial ideas held that Italians, like the French, weren't the 'master race' but had enough Germanic blood to make them worthy enough, if inferior - he also admired the Italians as successors to Rome, and considered their people to be master artists, and remember that Hitler always weirdly fancied himself to be first and foremost an artist).

Nor am I somehow suggesting that because of Hitler's goals delineated above, the UK/Canada/Australia/New Zealand/U.S. should not have gone to war against Germany. In all cases, the war to stop Germany was right and proper. But it wasn't to 'save Western Civilization'. It was because all of those nations had great interests - moral, strategic, financial - in putting an end to Nazi Germany, and because the price of not doing so would exceed the cost of the endeavor.
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Old 06-16-2020, 05:46 AM
 
Location: SE UK
8,550 posts, read 7,382,046 times
Reputation: 6075
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
Hitler had no ability - or, frankly, intent - to destroy Western Civilization.

It would have been exceedingly difficult for Germany to conquer the British Isles. It could not do so in 1940/41, period. The Royal Navy was far more powerful than the Kriegsmarine, and the latter had little in the way of amphibious capability. Whatever portion of an invasion force that might've managed to slip across the Channel could not have been resupplied and reinforced, and would have been destroyed in short order.

The only possible way for Hitler to actually conquer the United Kingdom would have required:

*A blockade, primarily by means of u-boats, to starve out the nation. This would have taken years. The British hadn't tightened their belts in 1940 as near as they might have had it been necessary.

*The patience to allow this to happen. Nothing in Hitler's character suggests that he had such patience, especially in light of the fact that his main focus was the East, and the passage of time would not improve his chances there.

*Complete withdrawal by North America - the United States and Canada - of any attempt to keep Britain supplied.

And even then, the United Kingdom would have had a fighting chance.

But beyond all that, Hitler's interest in invading Britain was purely as a means to the end of securing his western flank. While Hitler the soldier left writings detailing his dreams of marching into England (quite the fantasist he was) by the 1920s he had come around to seeing the UK as a natural ally of Germany. Of course, this illustrates his profound ignorance of the English, but that's beside the point. While Hitler wanted France subjugated, he viewed a continuance of Britain as a global sea power while Germany ruled on the continent of Europe. To that end, he was surprised when the British declared war in September 1939. Ribbentrop - who buffonishly considered himself an expert on the UK - had assured the Fuehrer that this would not happen.

Anyway, had the UK possessed a government which declined to declare war in 1939, or which had, in the face of the Blitz, agreed to terms amenable to Hitler - say, a cessation of hostilities and a British guarantee of non-interference on the continent - then Sealion would never have even been a fantasy.

Beyond that, the Western World and its civilization in the 1940s included the aforementioned United States and Canada, as well as Australia and New Zealand. And Hitler had precisely zero chance of destroying any of those nations.

And that is why Hitler was never a threat to destroy Western Civilization.

This is not to diminish Churchill's role in rallying the British people against Nazi Germany, nor to minimize the monstrosity of Hitler. Hitler's goals were conquest east to the Urals, subjugation of France, domination (either overt or effective) of the rest of northwestern Europe and Scandinavia, and of the near Middle East (for oil). Even in Europe, his limited interest in the southern part of the continent was mostly strategic. He toyed with the idea of invading Spain not because he sought to possess Iberia but as a means of getting at Gibraltar. His moves into Yugoslavia and Greece were reactions to the overthrow of a pro-German regime in Belgrade and Greek misadventure by Mussolini. And he was content to let Italy be (his racial ideas held that Italians, like the French, weren't the 'master race' but had enough Germanic blood to make them worthy enough, if inferior - he also admired the Italians as successors to Rome, and considered their people to be master artists, and remember that Hitler always weirdly fancied himself to be first and foremost an artist).

Nor am I somehow suggesting that because of Hitler's goals delineated above, the UK/Canada/Australia/New Zealand/U.S. should not have gone to war against Germany. In all cases, the war to stop Germany was right and proper. But it wasn't to 'save Western Civilization'. It was because all of those nations had great interests - moral, strategic, financial - in putting an end to Nazi Germany, and because the price of not doing so would exceed the cost of the endeavor.
You don't seem to count Europe as 'Western Civilisation it seems?
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:51 PM
 
1,236 posts, read 712,988 times
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Originally Posted by easthome View Post
You don't seem to count Europe as 'Western Civilisation it seems?
His point was that Western Civilization is bigger than Europe. In any case I find it ridiculous the idea that Nazi Germany is not as "Western" as the countries it defeated.
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Old 06-17-2020, 04:14 AM
 
Location: SE UK
8,550 posts, read 7,382,046 times
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Originally Posted by mkwensky View Post
His point was that Western Civilization is bigger than Europe. In any case I find it ridiculous the idea that Nazi Germany is not as "Western" as the countries it defeated.
In other words yes - he/she doesn't consider Europe as part of 'the West' and Churchill should have left the French etc under the Nazi boot because of it!?
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Old 06-17-2020, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
23,566 posts, read 16,016,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John-UK View Post
Germany's biggest mistake was declaring war in the first place. Once they waged war when was the point they could not win? That was when the British refused to make peace in June 1940. With Britain still in the war the Royal Navy blockade starved Germany, and the Axis, of vital resources, including food (animal & human) and oil. Britain was even buying up rare metals from Turkey to ensure the Germans did not have them. The Royal Navy surrounded Europe, controlled and freely sailing the eastern Atlantic and the eastern Mediterranean, and controlled both entrances to the Mediterranean. They even held Malta all through WW2, on the doorstep of Axis Italy, halfway from Gibraltar and Suez. Britain's land forces were from the Turkish border to the Libyan border. Essentially the British surrounded Europe, controlling the sea lanes.

The Royal Navy ensured the conflict with Germany would continue. Germany could not win from June 1940 onwards. Being a largely landlocked country, Germany's forces were heavily based on its army, while Britain's was heavily based on its navy and air force with a small highly mobile army. Germany could not remove Britain from the war having pretty well no surface fleet to Britain having the largest navy in the world.

Britain's approach was that every operation was to bleed Germany of resources, especially oil. Operations in Norway and Greece forced the Germans to deploy troops to these areas but also its surface fleet, which mainly was destroyed in Norway. The German occupied countries were also under the blockade, which were also a drain of German resources.

The British, because of its armed forces structure of massive navy, large air force and small highly mobile army were unable to engage the Germans on the European land mass, on which Germany had a massive army. Apart from the air, the two countries could not get at each other. Britain's war then was partially an economic war.

Every German operation against the British had to be decisive whereas the British could lose to the Germans while still asserting economic pressure in its favour. This was the British way of war being very good at it. Britain used similar tactics against Germany in WW1 to devastating effects. This approach was used against the French on multiple occasions over 200 years. Smaller nations in Europe would follow Pax Britannica due British naval dominance. Britain could dictate any war's outcome by blocking trade and resources to one side or another.

The Germans like most of Europe relied on imported oil, raw materials and food (animal & human). For the Germans these resources can only come from two regions - the USSR or the rest of the world. By removing the rest of the world from Axis access, the British forced the Germans to look east acquiring Soviet oil - Romania did not produce enough. Even having access to Soviet and Romanian oil, before the June 1941 attack on the USSR and before the USA was in WW2, the Italian fleet could not put to sea due to oil shortages, such was the grip of the Royal Navy.

Hitler had no choice but to invade the Soviet Union in June 1941 because of the resources situation. He desperately needed the resources of the USSR to fight the coming air war with Britain. In May 1940 Roosevelt stated the USA would produce 50,000 planes per year. Most of these would be directed towards Germany with British production, which was surpassing Germanys, on top, piloted by British pilots - the British produced more planes than Germany in WW2. In 1941 the British were building more aircraft than Germany, Japan and Italy combined, 5,000 more than the USSR and 5,000 less than the USA.

Germany greatly expanded its U-Boat fleet. The popular, and valid, view was that this fleet was to starve Britain into submission, however a high hope. It was also to divert and lock up Royal Navy resources in convoy protection and U-Boat hunting, allowing merchant ships to enter Germany and the occupied countries more freely providing the vital resources.

Germany had been forced into a situation by the British that they knew they could not escape from. Even if Germany had seized the Caucuses' oil fields intact (the Soviets sabotaged them to the point new deep bore holes would need to be drilled) the British would have focused them for their bombing campaign operating from the Middle East - there were plans to bomb them as Britain held nearby Iraq, Syria and Iran. The British could even attack the Germans from the east.

This was to drain Germany of vital resources, especially oil. Every British victory in Africa was decisive with every German victory not. Even if Germany won an operation, they were still being bled. Unless Germany could seize the Suez Canal and beyond, the British could just come back year after year and counter attack with new tanks and new men, with resources not being a problem for them.

Germany knew that they could not invade Britain as the Royal Navy was just too powerful. The RAF could replace losses far quicker than they could, as they found out in the air Battle of Britain. Germany could not put their large army on British soil.

After June 1940 Germany has an enemy it can’t defeat not entertaining peace and economically throttling Germany every day of the war. Germany never had time, the British did. The German invasion of the USSR with an army short of resources due to the Royal Navy blockade, may have quickened the war's end for Germany, however it was not the point that Germany could not win. Germany had already lost the war it was just a matter of time before Germany collapsed.
This is the most accurate assessment, I think.
Oil was essential to Hitler's plans. Britain controlled all the oil fields of the Middle East, while Russia controlled all the other oil fields. Both regions the the only ones close enough to Germany to be practical.

Hitler's only hope was to capture the Middle East oil fields quickly. Speed was essential to prevent a prolonged 2-front war.

And though it was risky, committing the Luftwaffe to bombing the British into submission appeared to be more do-able than forcing the Russian army to capitulate in its vast mother country.

Until Churchill, the British were more willing to appease Hitler than to oppose him. Goering sold Hitler on destroying London in a terrorist campaign designed to destroy the British will to fight. Goering was sure he could get the job done in a month.

It had to be done very quickly to prevent the Soviets from hitting the German from their flank. Stalin wanted the Eastern European buffer as much as Hitler wanted it.

Hitler bet too heavily on his Blitzkreig's abilities, but by breaking his treaty and attacking Russia first, if he could seize Stalingrad, he would have Stalin's heavy industry under his control, and by bombing London, he would get a British surrender, leaving his army free to conquer Moscow before winter set in.

But the Russians held him at Stalingrad, and the the Battle of Britain essentially wiped out his heavy bomber force. From then on, all the Germans could do was retreat and consolidate.

Churchill understood the German strategy quite clearly. Oil enabled speed, and only speed would prevent Germany getting bogged down in a long , static trench war like WWI was.
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:35 AM
 
1,236 posts, read 712,988 times
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Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
This is the most accurate assessment, I think.
Oil was essential to Hitler's plans. Britain controlled all the oil fields of the Middle East, while Russia controlled all the other oil fields. Both regions the the only ones close enough to Germany to be practical.

Hitler's only hope was to capture the Middle East oil fields quickly. Speed was essential to prevent a prolonged 2-front war.

And though it was risky, committing the Luftwaffe to bombing the British into submission appeared to be more do-able than forcing the Russian army to capitulate in its vast mother country.

Until Churchill, the British were more willing to appease Hitler than to oppose him. Goering sold Hitler on destroying London in a terrorist campaign designed to destroy the British will to fight. Goering was sure he could get the job done in a month.

It had to be done very quickly to prevent the Soviets from hitting the German from their flank. Stalin wanted the Eastern European buffer as much as Hitler wanted it.

Hitler bet too heavily on his Blitzkreig's abilities, but by breaking his treaty and attacking Russia first, if he could seize Stalingrad, he would have Stalin's heavy industry under his control, and by bombing London, he would get a British surrender, leaving his army free to conquer Moscow before winter set in.

But the Russians held him at Stalingrad, and the the Battle of Britain essentially wiped out his heavy bomber force. From then on, all the Germans could do was retreat and consolidate.

Churchill understood the German strategy quite clearly. Oil enabled speed, and only speed would prevent Germany getting bogged down in a long , static trench war like WWI was.
The question becomes how strong is the isolationist or pro-German elements in Britain. I understand the King was pretty anti-Nazi so could someone pro-German or neutral become Prime Minister at the time?
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Old Yesterday, 09:42 AM
 
422 posts, read 175,780 times
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Originally Posted by mkwensky View Post
The question becomes how strong is the isolationist or pro-German elements in Britain. I understand the King was pretty anti-Nazi so could someone pro-German or neutral become Prime Minister at the time?
The critical period was May 1940 prior to Dunkirk.

Following Chamberlains resignation either Halifax or Churchill would succeed him with Halifax being the parties preferred candidate. Halifax was leaning towards a negotiated settlement, it appears he was offered the job first by Chamberlain but turned it down.

The British strategic assessment of the time was that Germany would lose an air war (due in no small part to lack of oil) and without air superiority would be unable to invade. Conversely without US assistance the UK would be unable to defeat Germany.

Political opinion in the UK was that a negotiated peace at that point would result in no better terms then fighting to the last man so why not fight to last man.

By the time the Germans realised they'd won the battle of France, Dunkirk had happened and with the army back on home soil alongside some well planned political manoeuvring Churchills position and Britain's resolve was solid. If the Germans had put forward reasonable terms earlier history could have been different but then madmen are not usually known for their grasp of the nuances of international politics.

Churchill is a good example of how on a planet of Billions history is shaped by moments and individuals. Without him ww2 could have one in a massively different direction.
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Old Yesterday, 04:13 PM
 
1,236 posts, read 712,988 times
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Originally Posted by Glokta View Post
The critical period was May 1940 prior to Dunkirk.

Following Chamberlains resignation either Halifax or Churchill would succeed him with Halifax being the parties preferred candidate. Halifax was leaning towards a negotiated settlement, it appears he was offered the job first by Chamberlain but turned it down.

The British strategic assessment of the time was that Germany would lose an air war (due in no small part to lack of oil) and without air superiority would be unable to invade. Conversely without US assistance the UK would be unable to defeat Germany.

Political opinion in the UK was that a negotiated peace at that point would result in no better terms then fighting to the last man so why not fight to last man.

By the time the Germans realised they'd won the battle of France, Dunkirk had happened and with the army back on home soil alongside some well planned political manoeuvring Churchills position and Britain's resolve was solid. If the Germans had put forward reasonable terms earlier history could have been different but then madmen are not usually known for their grasp of the nuances of international politics.

Churchill is a good example of how on a planet of Billions history is shaped by moments and individuals. Without him ww2 could have one in a massively different direction.
Some said that Dunkirk happened because Hitler decided to let the BEF go so that he can negotiate peace with Britain. Why he didn't do more to achieve that was puzzling. But based on everything you wrote it sounds like a negotiated peace with Germany was not a done deal without Churchill.
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