Yes. To a very large degree Britain still held sway over these Countries.
You hit the nail on the head here. They were (to all intents and purposes) countries allied to Britain.
I guess you don't believe it but Britain just couldn't take what it wanted without consent in the dominions. They all had their (loyal) governments, voted by their people to govern & tax them.
They were ALLIED countries.
Many in the Countries believed that they were indeed British and a common trade between those Countries benefited Britain. The control of British "possession" as they were called was very much in the 19th Century frame of things and many people in Britain had that view. That they "owned" Canada, South Africa and yes even Austraila.
Yes there must have been people in Australia who regarded themselves as British - as there were in the American colonies during the 1776 revolution - or in Southern Ireland in 1916.
The majority (vast majority actually) didn't think themselves British.
Many in Britain didn't think that way but they were also wrong.
Canada didn't actually declare war on Germany until September 10th ynder extreme pressue from Britain, she had to comply with Chamberlains declaration. Makenzie-King had no real reason to declare war at all on Germany, Canada was not under any threat nor had she any reason to believe that she ever would be, it was Britain's affair. AFAIR, the Austrailian PM was vurtually told the "British Empire" was at war.
I have a copy of the Daily Mail the day after war was declared - it proudly announces: "The Empire With Us".
There was little doubt that the dominions wouldn't declare with Britain - though please note that the colonies didn't declare. There was no such declaration from Nigeria or India or Jamiaca for example.
In actual fact, South African support was in more than a little doubt and there are post war suggestions that the German cause had more than a little sympathy.
Of course Britain would regard any lack of support as perfidious but it wasn't impossible.
I like to think that Britain could always guarantee Canadian, Australian and New Zealand (and probably South African) support if ever it was needed.
But I still wouldn't go as far as to count Australian steel production as "British" when adding up the pecking order in Europe any more than I would count US steel production.
No. The Empire was in decline after WWI, it was far from over. That event would not happen until after WWII, when Britain dragged herself into a war, she didn't have to get herself involved in. India folded because the independance movement became too strong an popular and Britain had weaken herself so much with her war that the point of holding on to India became null and void. Likewise with the other occupied territories around the world.
That's pretty much what I said.
The British empire was strong in 1914 though the pre-eminant position in Europe and the world was declining even before WWI.
WWI deeply damaged Britain's economy, drained the exchequor and plunged the nation into debt. Then the great depression accellerated the decline.
The climate created fostered nationalism and independence movements - none more so than in India.
As one commentator observed. In 1900 it was impossible to conceive British rule ever ending in India. By 1930 it was inconceivable that it could continue.
It was hoped that India would go the way of Canada and Austrailia and wish to remain a part of the "British Empire" after she was "given" independance, but it was not to be.
No, it was fully realised by all that British rule in India was finished 30's.
WWII just confirmed what was already apparant - British rule was all but over.
Britain was to declare it would grant full independence at the soonest possible time if India supported Britain in defeating Japan.
It was hoped that India would remain pro-British (with favourable trading terms) perhaps but that was it.
This is a rather silly quote, don't you think? Britain lashed out at Germany, not the other way round. Had Chamberlain held his tounge in 1939, their would have been no reason to "stand firm" at all. Britain dragged herself into the mess of WWII, with a misguided belief that she could still call the shots in European affairs.
Not silly at all.
If Britain hadn't stood up to Hitler, I believe that at best most of Western civilisation would've spent generations under a regime that was far gimmer and far more evil that the Soviet rule that the USSR and Eastern Europe was to experience.
At worst the world faced nuclear obiteration.
Britain knew all too well what a war with Germany meant. Britain mobilised a few hundred thousand servicemen in 1939, France mobilised millions. As in WWI, Britain had no illusion who the senior partner in the Anglo-French alliance was.
After the French surrender, it was Russia who was seen as the great ally...until the USA arrived.
"Calling the shots" as you put it was not the motivation, self preservation was. Britain has never sought to rule Europe - just to be safe from it.
The French and Germans have in recent centuries tried to conquer Europe, not Britain. Your quote is ill-advised and mis-directed.
Wrong. There is little to no chance of an all out German victrory against Russia. Your "war of liberation" is rubbish talk I'm afraid.
Well it certainly would be if I said it.DON'T ASCRIBE QUOTES TO ME I DIDN'T MAKE!!!
Likewise, its nonsense to talk of Britain going to war for other Countires "liberation" in one breath and then saying that she "keep BRITAIN free not anybody else".
It's the same as I said throughout this thread...the war was fought for British self-preservation.
I hope you are now clear on this!
I think you'd better re-examine who made the "liberation" claim and be more careful with your cut and pasting.
After a completiom of a war against Russia, Germany would have NOTHING to contemplate any other aggressive move with. The occupation troops alone in Russian held territory would be crippling and besides a war with Russia would be YEARS longer than the one that actually played out, with a far more protracted struggle in the making. There simply is NO REASON for Hitler to "turn West" and there would be nothing to do it with.
Of course a German-Soviet 1:1 war might take years of costly fighting....I personally think Germany would win inside 3 years if not quicker.
Not sure why you think the occupation of Russia would take millions of men. A few SS divisions (and the Luftwaffe) would suffice to control Russian peasants armed with little more than small arms.
Britain controlled a bigger empire with less men.
The "reason" to turn West would be the same as the one to turn East.
Land and power.
You really believe that if victorious in the East, the Nazis would simply pull out of France (less the bit they believed they owned in Alsasce-Lorraine), the low countries, Denmark and Norway?
Don't kid yourself. They were there for keeps - like the Soviets intended they would be camped in Eastern Europe.
Were not talking about a negotiated peace. We are talking about Britain NOT DECLARING WAR IN THE FIRST PLACE. Hitler wanted nothing to do with Western Europe AT ALL. Especially Britain. He even said that "...the British Empire and the Catholic Church are two elements essential to world stability."
He also said after Czechoslovakia that Germany had "No more territorial demands".
It seems you're even more willing to believe Hitler than Chamberlain was.
Britain and France went to war because they feared a powerful Germany - especially the Germany that was created by the Nazis.
They believed that Hitler would turn West at some point unless stopped and I think they were right.
You seem to think that Hitler had no interest in the West. His actions deny that.
But in case you still have any doubts about how Hitler felt about France (and the humiliation he felt from the treaty of Versailles) here's a passage from Mein Kamp:Only when this is fully understood in Germany, so that the vital will of the German nation is no longer allowed to languish in purely passive defense, but is pulled together for a final active reckoning with France and thrown into a last decisive struggle with the greatest ultimate aims on the German side- only then will we be able to end the eternal and essentially so fruitless struggle between ourselves and France; presupposing, of course, that Germany actually regards the destruction of France as only a means which will afterward enable her finally to give our people the expansion made possible elsewhere.
Only because you want him to. Like Hitler turning West for no reason.
Well hopefully I've put to bed your misconceptions about how Hitler felt about France.
Indeed Main Kampf goes on to state his dreams of ruling Europe, unifying Aryans etc etc.
It was Hitler's successes in France and against the BEF that made Mussolini declare war on Britain and prompted Mussolini's silly actions in the Med. Action's which made Hitler seriously question his "partnership" with the Duce. No war with Britain and Mussolini wouldn't have been so bold. Mussolini would NEVER, I repeat, NEVER strike against the French or the British without the German Blitzkrieg success.
What evidence are you using to base this on?
As I said, Mussolini didn't build up a large Italian army and navy and air force for nothing...oh no, he strikes somewhere. Greece or the Balkans probably.
It would be FAR TOO simplistic to believe that Hitler would just swallow up Switzerland for no reason at all.
How many times do I have to spell out the reason? Switzerland is Germanic, Hitler was actively seeking to unite all Germanic peoples into ONE nation. There's your motive.
Switzerland was and is rich - another.
The predatory nature of the Nazis means that they would keep on consuming territory until stopped - all their actions prove this over and over.
Its nonsense, frankly. Hitler prefered Countries Neutral as his armies were needed on the Russian front. It was only out of necessity that he turned West at all. Because of the British threat to his rear.
Please listen to what I'm saying. It was a matter of faith that Germany should not fight a 2 front war, yet that is exactly what Hitler did.
I fully accept that any attempt(s) to gain control over the Swiss financial power, Swedish mineral wealth etc would wait in turn.
First was the USSR.
Next would come the low countries and France.
Then who knows but all would come under the Nazi yoke eventually.
Of course there was. If Hitler was to successfully secure a launch ground for his invasion of Russia, Poland and Czechoslovakia HAD to be either occupied or allied with. There's no way around this. If he went through one Country Russia could outflank him, so a broad front had to be established.
I said there was no need for Hitler to invade Poland OR the USSR.
Now of course it's hard to attack the USSR without going through Poland but Britain managed it (with France) in the 1850's.
What was the reason to invade the USSR again? Oh yes, land and power.
Now don't tell me you buy into the Nazi idea that the Germans actually NEEDED more room to live in? Or the Suvorov claim that the USSR was actually about to invade Germany (through Poland of course).
But Hitler wanted to avoid war with both Britain and France as he believed that it would be a repetition of WWI, with a long protracted and useless war between Countries who were "not our natural enemies". Hitler's war was with Russia. That's the be all end all of his vision. Its all in the east.
Hitler wanted to avoid war with Britain & France to avoid a two front war.
He wanted revenge with France - that should be clear to you.
Britons danced on VE day because the fighting (in Europe) was finally over....in May 1940 Hitler knew it was just beginning. I hope the difference in motivation is clear.
....that Hitler even COULD turn on Western Europe with an invasion force bigger than the 3 million he invaded Russia with? Your just completely and utterly wrong.
No Tony it's you who is utterly wrong because you haven't thought this through.
I suspect you're motivation is just to damn Britain when you should be focussing on where the evil lay - it wasn't in Whitehall despite what the Irish are conditioned to believe.
For your benefit, here's the logic. Hitler thought the war with the USSR would be a short one so little in the way of total mobilisation was done. After the failure of Barbarossa/Typhoon to end the war, Germany moves towards a more committed war economy.
Therefore (though Germany MIGHT not win - IMO it would), the Wehrmacht finishes the German-Soviet war with in a much more powerful state.
Larger, with more weapons, more panzer divs, MUCH better tanks and aircraft.
This is what happened to the USSR BTW. In 1945 the Red Army numbered around 500 divisions and an air force unrecognisable to the one it started the war with - and the Red Army wasn't small in 1941.