If Sealion was hopeless, Buchanan was right

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rob
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If Sealion was hopeless, Buchanan was right

Post by rob » 21 Aug 2002 17:20

In a Republic not an Empire, Pat Buchanan defends his America First stance opposing US entry into WWII by mentioning that not only was Germany incapable of threatening the US, by 1941 they weren't even capable of successfully invading Britain. Now, regardless of what one feels about Buchanan, it seems to me that the reaction to his statement was overblown. As far as I can tell, he was correct, or is there anyone out there who would argue that Germany was about to topple Britain in 1941. I believe that with every passing month the British army was gaining in strength and thus for a successfull invasion the requirement for Sealion in terms of shipping etc were getting steeper and steeper. The reaction to Buchanan's book seemed to imply that this was not the case.

Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 21 Aug 2002 19:07

If we go back in time and put ourselves in 1940, we will see that; yes at that time a crossing and invasion of the UK was out of the question. However, if the German's defeated the USSR in 1941-42, and the UK refused to seek peace (Peace that was in favor of Germany, UK almost a vassal), then there would have been an invasion. As much as I respect our cousins in their Island across the Atlantic, they did not have the manpower or domestic industry to compete with a Germany that controlled all of industrial Europe. After the German-Soviet war Germany could turn its focus on Raeder's design's for a larger Navy to defeat the UK, without USA being drug into the war by a German Declaration of War then the UK would not been able to keep up.

So, the first mistake of Buchanan is to assume that any nation of any power could or would be able to stand aside while the world went to war and not get involved. Also Germany saved everyone a long and hard road to declaring war on Germany when Hitler declared it first. The US was attacked on one side, and declared an enemy and state of war on the other. What part of that does Buchanan have a problem with? I have always thought the man another Macarthy, loves the publicity. Of course I can hear the howls of indignation that the US was not neutral, no we were not neutral prior to 1941, we helped a friendly nation and one that had come to be an ally.

rob
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Post by rob » 21 Aug 2002 23:36

I don't believe Buchanan argued we shouldn't have fought Germany once Germany had foolishly declared war on the US. However, had Germany not declared war on us, my understanding is that he would have sympathized with the America First movement and opposed us declaring war on Germany first. Dec. 11 1941 made all of this irrelevant (the day Germany declared war on us).
Concerning Germany defeating Russia, I would argue that in the short term at least, Germany's best hope for success by late 1941 was a Brest-Litovsk II as it were, with Stalin agreeing to an armistice and Germany annexing all the territory it held. However, I wonder just how long it would have taken for Germany to successfully exploit their new holdings. Obviously, being able to totally devote their strength to the war against Britain would mean big, big trouble (how about Rommell with 15 panzer divisions) for Britain and Churchill would have been under tremendous pressure to give up especially with massive new German victories in the middle east occuring. Of course, all this is contingent on Russia suing for peace, and that is its own topic in and of its self. I can't see how Germany could have simply defeated Russia outright, but a Brest-Litovsk II seems possible.

Gwynn Compton
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Post by Gwynn Compton » 24 Aug 2002 11:58

The lack of the American bombers on German industry would have no doubt have helped the course of the war in the east... The British bombers would have still been a problem, but without the Americans, would the British have been able to establish a dominance over the skys of Europe?

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 11 Sep 2002 12:42

I'm not an American - but I think that as a reflection on American history and it's lessons, Buchanan clearly draws some invalid conclusions.

Of course, Germany did not have the means to invade Britain in the short run. But - in late 1941, it still seemed likely that Germany would defeat the Soviet Union, and that is what most observers, including in the West, guessed would happen. Germany would then be the undisputed rulers of the European continent, and could have dealt with an isolated Britain at their leisure. In 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, doesn't matter. And what Roosevelt correctly perceived was that a Germany in undisputed control of Europe would be strong enough to pose a serious threat to the United States, and that the survival of democracy in Europe was a question of fundamental importance to America.

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