What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

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Octotrooper
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What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by Octotrooper » 09 Dec 2019 19:52

I know that Hitler sent a peace offer and it was declined, but what if it was accepted? Would the Germans have been able to effectively combat Russia? Could they have won the war? To some of you, this may seem stupid but I am asking seriously. Thanks in advance!

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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by OpanaPointer » 09 Dec 2019 19:58

Churchill would have had plenty of time to paint, certainly.
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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 09 Dec 2019 20:59

It depends on the terms of the peace. Britain made peace with Napoleon in the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, but they were just using it to buy time and went back to war the next year.

Conceivably, Britain could pull a similar stunt with Hitler. The main goal would be to end the occupation of France so that France could rearm and present Germany with the prospect of another two front war. Britain would insist on the liberation of France, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark as the bare minimum for any treaty. If that happens, Germany loses all the captured manpower and industry it used to sustain the war, so Germany is back to square one and is in a worse spot if it wants to invade Russia.

So no, if Germany's goal is to conquer Russia, it does not want to make peace with Britain in 1940. Germany had a better chance of conquering Russia by keeping Western Europe occupied and plundered.

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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by Octotrooper » 09 Dec 2019 22:03

Thank you for this insight, this makes a lot of sense and I didn't consider that the British might have resumed war. Thank you!

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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by maltesefalcon » 10 Dec 2019 01:12

Octotrooper wrote:
09 Dec 2019 19:52
I know that Hitler sent a peace offer and it was declined, but what if it was accepted? Would the Germans have been able to effectively combat Russia? Could they have won the war? To some of you, this may seem stupid but I am asking seriously. Thanks in advance!
I've read a bit about proposed talks and treaties, sometimes mentioning Mussolini's representative as intermediary. I've been wrong before, but I don't recall a formal written offer being made, only discussion on whether it should be accepted once offered. (Note I'm not talking about speeches etc where Hitler tells his own people he wishes to extend terms to the UK.)

Did Germany send an actual document with fleshed-out terms of their proposed peace treaty? And if so was this in 1940 or 1941?

Can someone offer insight on this please?

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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 10 Dec 2019 13:34

No, I don't think Germany sent a formal document to Britain offering peace. Hitler made a speech to the Reichstsag saying he wanted peace, and leaflets were dropped over England, but that's it.

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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by JAG13 » 10 Dec 2019 19:45

maltesefalcon wrote:
10 Dec 2019 01:12
Octotrooper wrote:
09 Dec 2019 19:52
I know that Hitler sent a peace offer and it was declined, but what if it was accepted? Would the Germans have been able to effectively combat Russia? Could they have won the war? To some of you, this may seem stupid but I am asking seriously. Thanks in advance!
I've read a bit about proposed talks and treaties, sometimes mentioning Mussolini's representative as intermediary. I've been wrong before, but I don't recall a formal written offer being made, only discussion on whether it should be accepted once offered. (Note I'm not talking about speeches etc where Hitler tells his own people he wishes to extend terms to the UK.)

Did Germany send an actual document with fleshed-out terms of their proposed peace treaty? And if so was this in 1940 or 1941?

Can someone offer insight on this please?
Everything was done through back channels, plenty of documents of the time are still secret.

1940 Myth and Reality, Ponting, pp. 107
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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by maltesefalcon » 10 Dec 2019 21:04

If you read the text above carefully it is mere speculation on what the War Cabinet thinks the Germans will demand in return for peace. Per its title, perhaps more myth than reality in this case ?

In any case Churchill was not a dictator so any peace terms would need the support of the War Cabinet and the Parliament to be adopted.

And no one can truly comment on the wisdom of accepting peace terms unless an actual copy of the terms proposed by Germany can be produced. The OP suggested that it exists in the first line of the thread. Therefore the onus is on that person to produce proof.

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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by JAG13 » 10 Dec 2019 21:24

Not offer, what Churchill would GLADLY ACCEPT, it is very clear, and no one was tougher than Churchill in that regard.

It makes clear they were willing to part with territory and wouldnt give a second thought, much less make ridiculous demands, regarding the countries under German control.

Hitler wanted an understanding with the UK, as absurd as it sounds, therefore conditions could be expected to be lenient.

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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by maltesefalcon » 10 Dec 2019 23:50

JAG13 wrote:
10 Dec 2019 21:24
Not offer, what Churchill would GLADLY ACCEPT, it is very clear, and no one was tougher than Churchill in that regard.

It makes clear they were willing to part with territory and wouldnt give a second thought, much less make ridiculous demands, regarding the countries under German control.

Hitler wanted an understanding with the UK, as absurd as it sounds, therefore conditions could be expected to be lenient.
Actually the word offer is clearly in the text of the title and in the first line of the OP.

Gladly accept is a completely different concept, so should be discussed on a new thread.

Let me put this in a different light.

Suppose I asked the forum's opinion on whether my recent automobile purchase was a good deal?

But I failed to mention the make and year of the vehicle, irs condition or the price paid.

Who could make an informed comment on the wisdom of my transaction without this information?

I would gladly accept a mint 1963 XKE for $200 payment but I doubt if it would be offered.

In the same manner, the UK government could only mull over a detailed offer in writing. And one cannot possibly comment on the wisdom of its acceptance if we cannot verify

1) Its existence in the first place
2) Its terms

Why don't we wait to hear what the OP has to add to this?
Last edited by maltesefalcon on 10 Dec 2019 23:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by maltesefalcon » 10 Dec 2019 23:51

double post

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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by JAG13 » 11 Dec 2019 00:44

maltesefalcon wrote:
10 Dec 2019 23:50
JAG13 wrote:
10 Dec 2019 21:24
Not offer, what Churchill would GLADLY ACCEPT, it is very clear, and no one was tougher than Churchill in that regard.

It makes clear they were willing to part with territory and wouldnt give a second thought, much less make ridiculous demands, regarding the countries under German control.

Hitler wanted an understanding with the UK, as absurd as it sounds, therefore conditions could be expected to be lenient.
Actually the word offer is clearly in the text of the title and in the first line of the OP.

Gladly accept is a completely different concept, so should be discussed on a new thread.

Let me put this in a different light.

Suppose I asked the forum's opinion on whether my recent automobile purchase was a good deal?

But I failed to mention the make and year of the vehicle, irs condition or the price paid.

Who could make an informed comment on the wisdom of my transaction without this information?

I would gladly accept a mint 1963 XKE for $200 payment but I doubt if it would be offered.

In the same manner, the UK government could only mull over a detailed offer in writing. And one cannot possibly comment on the wisdom of its acceptance if we cannot verify

1) Its existence in the first place
2) Its terms

Why don't we wait to hear what the OP has to add to this?
Well, there was no actual offer beyond Hitler's willingness to talk peace (plus we know he wanted a partnership with the UK), all we have is his intentions and the UK cabinet discussions on what they would be willing to accept in a hypothetical peace deal, and since the UK's acceptance is necessary for any deal and that was also part of the OP, well, is obviously relevant.

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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 11 Dec 2019 01:15

JAG13 wrote:
10 Dec 2019 21:24
Not offer, what Churchill would GLADLY ACCEPT, it is very clear, and no one was tougher than Churchill in that regard.

It makes clear they were willing to part with territory and wouldnt give a second thought, much less make ridiculous demands, regarding the countries under German control.

Hitler wanted an understanding with the UK, as absurd as it sounds, therefore conditions could be expected to be lenient.
Churchill said this when the BEF was still in France and in danger of being cut off and captured at Dunkirk. Once the BEF was safely evacuated back to the UK, I don't think there is any evidence that Churchill or anyone else in the UK was interested in peace with Hitler.

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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by JAG13 » 11 Dec 2019 20:12

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
11 Dec 2019 01:15
JAG13 wrote:
10 Dec 2019 21:24
Not offer, what Churchill would GLADLY ACCEPT, it is very clear, and no one was tougher than Churchill in that regard.

It makes clear they were willing to part with territory and wouldnt give a second thought, much less make ridiculous demands, regarding the countries under German control.

Hitler wanted an understanding with the UK, as absurd as it sounds, therefore conditions could be expected to be lenient.
Churchill said this when the BEF was still in France and in danger of being cut off and captured at Dunkirk. Once the BEF was safely evacuated back to the UK, I don't think there is any evidence that Churchill or anyone else in the UK was interested in peace with Hitler.
True, but it was worth posting it as a counterpoint to the usual propaganda on UK "stiff upper lip" and other nonsense regarding how they "never considered dealing with Hitler".

And, given how the UK ambassador in Washington was still talking behind curtains to the Germans in late July what you claim is clearly untrue, oddly the relevant Germans papers "dissapeared" while in allied possession, a coincidence no doubt...

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Re: What if Churchill accepted Hitlers peace offer?

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 11 Dec 2019 23:30

JAG13 wrote:
11 Dec 2019 20:12
the UK ambassador in Washington was still talking behind curtains to the Germans in late July
Care to elaborate? Two ambassadors talking to each other doesn't necessarily mean their countries were interested in peace, e.g.:

German ambassador: "Please make peace with us."

UK ambassador: "Hmmm yeah I'll get right on that."

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