Britain's Declaration of War?

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Fredd
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Post by Fredd » 08 Jul 2004 18:02

tonyh wrote:Your "Hitler turning West" will not happen because there is no need for Hitler to turn West, he had no interest in it. And with the protracted war in Russia, this is nulled even further. What would happen is a Vietnam style situation for Germany in Russia, whereby both Country's bleed each other to a standstill or an uneasy peace.


We went far into ‘what if ‘ territory here. In my point of view your reasoning is flawed at one point. Namely:
Add to German forces which would have invaded SU in May (!) 1941 and reach Moscow a month earlier all forces lost in France and what was more important in the BoB.

A month earlier because of non-existent Balkan Campaign. Add maybe all lost Stukas which obsolete over the Channel were quite decent in Russia, all fighters lost in BoB. Planes and what was more important veteran pilots.

And how many tanks could have been manufactured instead of U- boots? Or maybe how many of excellent Flaks 88 had been used against Soviets tanks instead would have been use against Allies bombers.

A list is very long – not to mention, lack of Allies raids on factories and lack of Lend –Lease. Till spring of 1942, SU either would have defeated or had ask for armistice. Imagine condition of such an armistice. And next entire Middle East would be at his grasp.

And why at this point Hitler would have told to himself 'it's enough'. France had some lands which he considered as German.

tonyh wrote:Either way theres no Western European war, or consequently a World war without Britain's declaration of war on September 3rd 1939.


So they did it - started the War War II :wink: Sorry, but Hitler was aware of the guaranties for and after he invaded were given 3 days to be reasonable. He misjugded situation and World (including Germany at fisrt place) paid huge price.

Globalization41
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Politics and War

Post by Globalization41 » 08 Jul 2004 20:10

France declared war on Germany first. But
due to heavy losses suffered in World War I,
France's populace was not enthusiastic
about sacrificing another generation.
Therefore France lacked maximum political
support for war.
When the reports of the first
German successes began pouring in, France
folded quickly. But the French still had plenty
of fight left. If they had had the political will,
the French could have tied up the Germans
for a couple of years. Instead France
suffered the national humiliation of German
occupation. ... If France had not declared
war first and even if Hitler still decided to blitz
(whether he invaded the Soviet Union first or
not) it could not have been as bad for France
as what actually happened, i.e., early
surrender and national humiliation. The
French political will to prosecute a war of
annihilation against an invading German
army would have been greater had the
French not declared war first.
(It's also
possible that war between Germany and
France would never have developed.) It's
the same deal with the U.S. ... Had America
declared war on Germany first, for example
immediately following Pearl Harbor, the
political will to fight a war of annihilation with
the Nazis would have been less. There would
have been antiwar protests from isolationists.
Instead Congress waited for Hitler's
declaration of war first, thus ensuring the
political will
available to prosecute the war
with Germany as necessary.

Globalization41

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Post by tonyh » 09 Jul 2004 15:24

Fredd

We went far into ‘what if ‘ territory here. In my point of view your reasoning is flawed at one point. Namely:
Add to German forces which would have invaded SU in May (!) 1941 and reach Moscow a month earlier all forces lost in France and what was more important in the BoB.

A month earlier because of non-existent Balkan Campaign. Add maybe all lost Stukas which obsolete over the Channel were quite decent in Russia, all fighters lost in BoB. Planes and what was more important veteran pilots.

And how many tanks could have been manufactured instead of U- boots? Or maybe how many of excellent Flaks 88 had been used against Soviets tanks instead would have been use against Allies bombers.

A list is very long – not to mention, lack of Allies raids on factories and lack of Lend –Lease. Till spring of 1942, SU either would have defeated or had ask for armistice. Imagine condition of such an armistice. And next entire Middle East would be at his grasp.

And why at this point Hitler would have told to himself 'it's enough'. France had some lands which he considered as German.


Of course this is all "what if". Theres no real way of knowing how the war would have played out. But we certainly can speculate, with the given parameters and the strategic goals each prospective Country had in mind. Sure enough, without Britain's declaration of war, the above points you have made above would stand. But I seriously doubt that they would have counted in a victory for Germany in a Russo/Germanic war, but it does depend on when Hitler attacks Russia. However, even with the extra troops that Hitler would have had at his disposal, without the wasteful need for occupation forces in the West and the Afrika Korps, the result of a victory is still very much in doubt. The Russian reserves were just to many in number for Germany to compete with and the industrial capacity of Russia would still outstrip Germany. Also, a victory for the German's at Moscow (very doubtful too anyway), does not spell the end of the war in Russia. Stalin and the Communist government had reckoned on such an event and simply would have left the City to "set up shop" elsewhere and by the first Winter in Russia, the Whermacht would still be brought to a halt anyway, as the high Command had simply not penciled in a "Winter plan".So what we have anyway in the first crucial year of the war is still a halt in ops in the winter of 1940 or 1941, with perhaps more territory gained for the German's. But the Russian's can afford to ceed huge amounts of land for time, which has always been the traditional method.

As far as trading U-boots for tanks, which would be a full trade anyway, U-Boots would have been very handy in the Crimea. This would have made little difference anyhow. The German's would still be inferior in tank quality in the first year of the war with Russia. They would still only come up with a good "Russian" tank, after they meet the T-34 and it scares the crap out of them. What helps the Germans in Russia (without the Britiah war) is still teh tatical doctrine of Blitzkrieg. But even when the Germans come up with the Tiger or Panther, the Russians will still outproduce them in numbers, theres no way around that.

The difference in airpower to is still firmly in the Russians hands, in this senario. The vast majority of the Luftwaffe was in Russia anyway in the real events and the minimal Western forces would make no difference at all. Even the combined losses during the Battle of Britain would help that much. Germany actually lost MORE aircraft during the first couple of Months of Barbarossa, than they did over England. So while the Luftwaffe can still hold local air superiority in small areas for short amounts of time, the VVS still has the numbers to make up losses. Its just a little harder for them.

Lend-lease too, is not a real factor. It constitutes less than 15% of the equipment used by the Russians in their war against Germany. While it helped in later battles, its certainly NOT decisive. Besides much of the lend-lease war material, besides radios and studebaker trucks, is inferior to the Russian material. And it doesn't make much of an impact until 1944 and the battles after Kursk, particularly Bagration. Likewise too for the allies raids on factories. As WWII played out this had only a relatively small effect on the GErman war machine. There were some strong hits, but it was only when the Allies targeted the German oil production late in 1944, that the air raids had a significant impact. But by this stage in the game the Russians had already won the war in the East anyway. The same can be said for the combined boming offensive in total, which only got into a momentum in late 1943. By this time Russia had won its battle at Kursk and the initiative was firmly in their hands. It was only a matter of time before the pushed the Germans back to Berlin.

So without these Western interventions, what we have on the Eastern front is a more protracted struggle resulting in a Stalemate or a Russian victory with both sides heavilly damaged. There is too much against a German all out victory in the East. Especially one that allows Hitler the nesscessary forces to turn on the West after a long and bitter war with Russia. And, as I said earlier, he didn't want to. It wasn't in his focus at all. The only reason Hitler invades and occupies the West and Norway in the real war, is because of the British threat to Germany.

Tony

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Re: Hitler and the Soviet Union

Post by Polynikes » 10 Jul 2004 15:10

Globalization41 wrote:Hitler did not have enough resources to take
over the Soviet Union. The Germans were
already losing steam in November 1941,
even before the U.S. entered the war. Had
France, Britain, and the U.S. practiced
neutrality, Stalin and Hitler would have
eventually stalemated
and everyone would
have lived happily ever after, at least in
France, Britain, and the United States. ...
France's sphere of influence was western
Europe. Hitler was always focused on the
east. I don't think he would have invaded a
truly neutral France. Eventually in the eastern
hemisphere, the fascists, bolsheviks,
Muslims, Hindus, Orientals, and social
democracies would have settled down as the
balance of power stabilized. ... As far as the
Soviet empire controlling the Persian Gulf, it
would have left less spare time for rich Saudi
dissidents to hate America.

Globalization41


It might seem that way from California but Germany was not losing steam after 1941 - other countries were just doing more.

Soviet growth was in part funded by US lend-lease and British convoys.

German industrial production was by no means at full production in the early years - despite the bomber offensive, it was to reach a peak in late 1944.

My view is that had the Western front been secure, the West could've been held by a very small number of lower calibre troops and the pretty much the whole Wehrmacht could've been focussed in the East.
IMO, that would probably mean a German victory - at least as far as the Urals.

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Post by Polynikes » 10 Jul 2004 15:36

DrG

....the fact that the Dominions had a nominal indipendence is irrilevant. The Ottawa conference of 1932, with the "Imperial preference" created an area of free trade for UK but rather closed to foreign competition. The war, with the American pressures for free markets, doomed the British Empire.

The pressure came from within not from the USA.

The independence of the dominions was not nominal and their economic output/resources belonged to them not Britain.

They supported Britain in both world wars but didn't have to. Just because Britain enjoyed preferrential trading terms with the dominions doesn't mean you can count Australian steel production as "British".

Interesting question. I think that USSR would attack Germany, but it's just my guess.

Well a certain former GRU officer in one of his books stated that Stalin was about to invade Germany. No-one else has ever supported that claim though and I think it's highly unlikely to say the least.

I think Germany would beat the USSR 1:1 in an offensive war but in a defensive war, I am certain that Germany would win.

The German occupation of Norway would have been meaningless without a war with France and UK.


Well it wouldn't be meaningless to the Norwegians.

Hitler showed that he was an opportunist land grabber - he took Norway for no other reason than he wanted to and he could. Make no mistake, Hitler would've taken ALL of Europe eventually had he not been comprehensibely stopped.

Now had Britain and France not declared war, then the order in which countries were invaded may have changed but not the likelyhood.

Italy attacked Greece mostly because Mussolini thought that Britain would have soon accepted a negociated peace and because he thought that it couldn't have supported Greece because it was too busy against Germany. No German-British war = no Italo-Greek war.

You make no sense here.
You seem to say Mussilini invaded Greece because he felt that Britain wouldn't help and therefore he could do it easily.
So if Britain doesn't declare war, then he must make the same assumption and invade....

Does Britain do anything then?

The Greeks halt Italy's invasion....Germany feels compelled to help its Italian ally. Does Britain still do nothing?

The point is at what point do Britain and France decide that they need to act in self defence and stop Nazi-germany?

I would argue that they actyually left it too late.

Again an interesting question, but, on a merely economic point of view, we would have the Hearthland (to use Haushofer's geopolitics) under German economic control, leaving the Rimland to UK and USA. Instead, after WW2, center-east Europe was completely under the Soviet control, and the rest of the world was no more under the influence of UK, not even its own Empire (end of the Ottawa preference in 1943).

Again you make little sense.

After WWII the USSR controls the old Russian empire and Eastern Europe and half of Germany.
This is seen as a bad thing and the USA spends vast sums to hold together an alliance in Europe.

Now a victorious Nazi Germany would have the USSR, Eastern Europe, Central Europe and Western Europe.
From the Portuguese Atlantic to the Urals at least...if not all the way to the Siberian Pacific shore.

Nazi Germany (through Italy) controls the North African shore....Through Turkey it controls the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.

The Rimland you speak of is South Africa, North America, Australasia and the UK (and the UK will have to accept German control of her immediate geography).

The new cold war is between Nazi Germany with ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs and jet engined bombers and advanced U-Boats against the USA and Canada.

IMO, a war WOULD break out eventually and turn very hot...thermo-nuclear hot.

The USSR never wanted to invade the West, it just wanted to protect itself from Western invasion (which it was absolutely convinced the West was going to do).

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Post by Polynikes » 10 Jul 2004 15:40

Fredd

I mostly agree but the way you put it suggest that Polish Army was stronger than British. When we comparing ‘power’ of the such different armies we should compare military spendings. So how many battleships had Poland in relevant time and how many of them had Britain?


Yes Britain was stronger than Poland but the Polish army was around 3 times the size of Britain's and, at the time, it was thought it would last a bit longer than 3 weeks.

I once had a flame with a twisted Ukrainian who claimed that Poland actually based its national defence strategy on the assumption that Britain would come to its aid!!!

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Post by Marcus » 10 Jul 2004 15:42

Polynikes,

Please use the quote feature when quoting, thanks.

/Marcus

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Post by Polynikes » 10 Jul 2004 16:18

[tonyh

....But lets be honest. The colonies and the dominions were under British control and if nesscessary their economic output could be used in Britains favor, by Britain.
They were as independent as far as Britain wanted them to be.


You actually belive that?
You actually believe that if (for example) South Africa voted to NOT support Britain & remain neutral, then Britain could just walk in and take what it wanted?

You actually think the British governor of Australia could just conscipt any male he wanted to for the British army and seize control of any Australian factory & its production?

Sorry but you have a strange view of how the British Empire operated. They were independent nations in everything but name. What they gave to Britain's war effort was by choice not by command.

Now colonies were different - they were controlled by Britain but had virtually no industrial production. However soldiers were still volunteers.

And as far as the Empire losing money. This was a long slope on a downward scale. But what really did for the British Empire was Churchill's prosecution of his war against Germany and the shipping of the entire British gold reserve to the US. Also, after WWII the idea that foreign Countries should remain under occupation in an Empire by a Country who ostensibly fought to free Countries from the German Empire was untenible. Put that context in tandem with the rise of US power after WWII and British influence was doomed to be replaced be the US, which is how world history played out after the aftermath of WWII.

You ideas are confused.

Many of the colonies were loss makers - ie: it cost more to administer them than they actually were worth. India was the big earner for the empire and when it went in 1947, the rest of the colonies followed swiftly - because Britain simply couldn't afford to the cost of running them.

What did for the empire wasnot WWII but WWI.
The huge debts and expenditure of Britain's reserves bankrupted the empire (and helped accellerate the US's growth at the same time). By 1939 everyone knew that the Raj couldn't be maintained and that the de facto indpendence of the dominions was about to become formalised.

The empire was over with WWI.

However the British empire had one last service for mankind by holding firm against Nazi Germany until more powerful countries could defeat them.

Had Britain just stayed out of the war with Germany, then Germany would win.

Britain fought WWII (at least the ETO) keep BRITAIN free not anybody else.
Colonies were not made independent nations because it was untenable to maintain control over them after fighting a war of liberation. They were made independent because Britain couldn't afford to run them anymore after fighting a war of self preservation.

.... without Britain's declaration of war, there would be no invasion of Norway. Hitler invaded Norway to forstall the British, not because he wanted to occupy the area. He actually prefered them neutral. Norway was shipping iron ore to Germany through Narvik from Sweden's galivare Iron ore fields, during the winter Months. It was this that the British wanted to stop. So no British interest in the area, no German interest in the area. Also, there would be no occupation of Belgium, France, Denmark etc. Hitler's focus, without the interlude in the West, could be entirely upon Russia.

I agree that without a British declaration of war, there would be no German invasion of Denmark, low countries, Norway, France....that is until Hitler had settled his issue in the East.
Britain & France's declaration of war merely changed the order Hitler decided to take over other countries.

Notice that Hitler never made moves to pull out of Norway or the Netherlands.

Had Britain accepted a German peace in July 1940, do you think that the Nazis would withdraw?....please be clear, Hitler wanted control of these places.

Also, without Britain's declaration of war on Germany. Italy would not have declared war of Britain in 1940, when they saw how well the Battle of France was going in Germany's favor. Likewise, it may have tendered caution to Mussolini in regards to his territorial aspirations too. As to a large degree, it was Germany's stunning successes that gave Mussolini the "balls" to think that the Italian army could be the instrument for his own "blitzkrieg" in the Med.

I'm not sure of this....

Mussolini would, if anything, have been even more determined to rebuild a Roman empire in the wake of German successes. Possibly he wouldn't have tried for British Egypt though but who can tell.
He'd built up his army to quite some size under his "guns or butter" programme - surely you're not saying he wasn't going to use it?

No, Mussolini strikes somewhere....if not Britain or France then Greece.

But Italy's actions doesn't mean that Germany would automatically lend support to Mussolini in North Africa, as Britain would not have declared war upon her. So even with an Italian defeat in North Africa, a confrontation with Britain and Germany still does not have to be.

No it doesn't HAVE to be but it would be likely.
Hitler would want to support Mussolini & see him suceed. If Italy were to fail miserably, then Mussolini might fall and then there might be a communist regime in Italy - this would be prevented at all costs.

Sweden or Switzerland DON'T have to come under any pressure at all from Germany as Hitler's sole enemy is the Soviet Union. Which frankly, many Country's would support in lieu of a British declaration of war. Theres simply no need for Hitler to combine those twn Nations into the Reich. Rather what would actually happen would be a greater foreign volunteer for the Waffen SS from different Nations in a combined war against Russia. Imagine how many more people from Holland and Denmark etc would join up to fight the "Red menace".

No you're granting Hitler a degree of common sense and humility.

"When I have taken Russia", he declared, "I will take Switzerland with the Berlin Fire Brigade".

Don't be under any illusion, Hitler wanted to absorb the Germanic Swiss into his Reich.
EVERY country would be encompassed eventually - it might not be via direct invasion - it might be via economic santion, blockade, political destabilisation etc...but by whatever means, Nazi germany would control ALL of Europe.
A bit like today's EU but with a fanatical Nazi ideology as its driver.

Your "Hitler turning West" will not happen because there is no need for Hitler to turn West, he had no interest in it. And with the protracted war in Russia, this is nulled even further. What would happen is a Vietnam style situation for Germany in Russia, whereby both Country's bleed each other to a standstill or an uneasy peace.

I have to tell you that there was no "need" for Hitler to invade Poland or the USSR.

Don't you remember the joy Hitler had at defeating France - he would want revenge and that surrender in that railway carriage and the return of Alsasce-Lorraine.

No, after beating the USSR (which IMO he would achieve) he'd turn West alright...and with a MUCH bigger armed forces than he went East with.

Nazi Germany could never get into a "Vietnam" style war - they were Nazi's not democratic Americans.

Had Nazi Germany fought the Vietnam war it would be won in a year or so.

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Post by Polynikes » 10 Jul 2004 16:22

Marcus Wendel wrote:Polynikes,

Please use the quote feature when quoting, thanks.

/Marcus


Marcus, I use the Bold feature to quote so as to make it clear what point I'm referring to.

Sometimes a respondent with have already quoted another poster and at other times his post will be very lengthy so I feel it important to highlight the particular point I'm replying to.

I hope by placing others' quotes in bold, it will become far easier to follow the thread.

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Post by Marcus » 10 Jul 2004 16:36

Polynikes,

As I said, please use the quote feature instead. This makes the discussion easier to follow and this also aviods the risk of confusion that occur when different posters use different methods when quoting.
Using the quote feature does not mean that you have to quote the entire message, just use it like you used bold above (that is, only quote the relevant parts).

/Marcus

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Post by tonyh » 10 Jul 2004 18:10

You actually belive that?
You actually believe that if (for example) South Africa voted to NOT support Britain & remain neutral, then Britain could just walk in and take what it wanted?

You actually think the British governor of Australia could just conscipt any male he wanted to for the British army and seize control of any Australian factory & its production?

Sorry but you have a strange view of how the British Empire operated. They were independent nations in everything but name. What they gave to Britain's war effort was by choice not by command.

Now colonies were different - they were controlled by Britain but had virtually no industrial production. However soldiers were still volunteers.


Yes. To a very large degree Britain still held sway over these 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. Thats why in the 20th Century the British Empire became an absurdity when viewed by the modern politic. Take this point for instance in what we are talking about. 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.

Britain's power over her occupied territories was not a "walk in and take what you want..." power as you put it. But more of a social and economic persuasion, especially regarding the "white colonies" as Lloyd George put it. With India and Africa, it was probably a different story.

Also while the Colonies had no real industrial production, they did produce a huge amount of natural material goods, which Britain syphoned off for her own needs. Food for instance, jute and rubber, which of vital inportance. Britain shipped millions of tons of food out of India during the war while people were starving to death in Bengal, the "corn centre" of India, during 1942-43. Not the first famine India suffered under British rule I might add. Food imports were also frozen into Bengal by the British controling elements, to weaken the independance movement that was threatening. A bill called the "Rice denial scheme" was brought into effect. Ostensibly to "deny" the food to the Japanese, but the only people it effected was the Indians who needed it the most. This food went into "Government storage" and was shipped out of the Country.

So while Britain was not really going to "walk in and take what it wanted", there were ways open to the Britsh Government to make Britain's possessions "help" the her in her war.

India was the big earner for the empire and when it went in 1947, the rest of the colonies followed swiftly - because Britain simply couldn't afford to the cost of running them...The empire was over with WWI


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. 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.

However the British empire had one last service for mankind by holding firm against Nazi Germany until more powerful countries could defeat them.


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.

Had Britain just stayed out of the war with Germany, then Germany would win....Britain fought WWII (at least the ETO) keep BRITAIN free not anybody else... fighting a war of liberation.


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. 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". Which is it. Britain went to war to keep what she had already fought over and occupied and to keep the ballance of power in Europe and for no other reason at all.

I agree that without a British declaration of war, there would be no German invasion of Denmark, low countries, Norway, France....that is until Hitler had settled his issue in the East.
Britain & France's declaration of war merely changed the order Hitler decided to take over other countries.

Notice that Hitler never made moves to pull out of Norway or the Netherlands.


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.

And Hitler couldn't pull out of the occupied Countries, could he? Be serious. If he left Norway, the British would be in. If he left France or Holland etc, do you think Britain would just go "ok fair enough, Adolf. We won't go in there and attack you from behind while your busy fighting the Russians". Germany occupied the land because it denied that land to their active enemy. They EVEN only occupied half of France in the first place, the half that was under direct threat from Britain.

Had Britain accepted a German peace in July 1940, do you think that the Nazis would withdraw?....please be clear, Hitler wanted control of these places.


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."

I'm not sure of this....

Mussolini would, if anything, have been even more determined to rebuild a Roman empire in the wake of German successes. Possibly he wouldn't have tried for British Egypt though but who can tell.
He'd built up his army to quite some size under his "guns or butter" programme - surely you're not saying he wasn't going to use it?

No, Mussolini strikes somewhere....if not Britain or France then Greece.


Only because you want him to. Like Hitler turning West for no reason. 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 theFrench or the British without the German Blitzkrieg success.

Don't be under any illusion, Hitler wanted to absorb the Germanic Swiss into his Reich.
EVERY country would be encompassed eventually - it might not be via direct invasion - it might be via economic santion, blockade, political destabilisation etc...but by whatever means, Nazi germany would control ALL of Europe.
A bit like today's EU but with a fanatical Nazi ideology as its driver.


It would be FAR TOO simplistic to believe that Hitler would just swallow up Switzerland for no reason at all. 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. With a German Russian war of such a titanic scale, ALL of the focus would be here, not medeling around with the Swiss. During the war as it played out Hitler went to great strains to keep the Luftwaffe from flying over Swiss airspace. he certainly didn't want to antagonise yet another Country against him. Neutral was just fine. Likewise for the Norwegian situation. Hitler ONLY acted here when British intentions became clear. And then he only pipped the British to the post. Hitler may have wanted a strong Germany with hedgmoney over Europe, but this doesn't mean war with Western Europe.

I have to tell you that there was no "need" for Hitler to invade Poland or the USSR.


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.

Don't you remember the joy Hitler had at defeating France - he would want revenge and that surrender in that railway carriage and the return of Alsasce-Lorraine.


So? Didn't the British dance in Trafalger sqare when they defeated Germany? What is so strange about Hitler being happy over defeating a Nation that defeated his Nation in WWI, blamed his Country soley for the war and enforced un nesscessarilly harsh peace conditions after the defeat...and then declare war on his Country 20 years later? You'd be happy too.

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.

No, after beating the USSR (which IMO he would achieve) he'd turn West alright...and with a MUCH bigger armed forces than he went East with.


Thats just too far from realistic events and based on nothing but your own wish for it to be so, Poly. Are you really serious when you say that after a war (that would last for years more than it did) with Russia 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.

Tony

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Post by Polynikes » 11 Jul 2004 05:06

tonyh

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.

(my underlining).

http://www.govsux.com/mein_kampf_2_15.htm

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.

Globalization41
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Britain's Self-Preservation

Post by Globalization41 » 11 Jul 2004 06:41

Britain's self-preservation was never in any
danger from Hitler, though many Britons
assumed it was. Hitler did not want to see
the collapse of the British Empire because
he thought it would have a negative effect on
world stability. ... The London blitz of 1940
following the fall of France was merely a bluff
before winter break.
Hitler was already
turning his attention east (since the British
were only a minor nuisance anyway) on next
year's summer campaigning season. He had
now cleared his northern flank (Norway) and
rear (France). Hopefully, from Hitler's point of
view, the corrupt Bolshevik government would
quickly collapse paving the way for
establishing long-term German farming
settlements
in a firmly subjugated Ukrainian
breadbasket, ripe for the picking due to
Stalin's state-sponsored terror-famine of
1932/33 for control of crop yields.

Globalization41

Polynikes
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Re: Britain's Self-Preservation

Post by Polynikes » 11 Jul 2004 15:09

Globalization41 wrote:Britain's self-preservation was never in any
danger from Hitler, though many Britons
assumed it was. Hitler did not want to see
the collapse of the British Empire because
he thought it would have a negative effect on
world stability. ... The London blitz of 1940
following the fall of France was merely a bluff
before winter break.
Hitler was already
turning his attention east (since the British
were only a minor nuisance anyway) on next
year's summer campaigning season. He had
now cleared his northern flank (Norway) and
rear (France). Hopefully, from Hitler's point of
view, the corrupt Bolshevik government would
quickly collapse paving the way for
establishing long-term German farming
settlements
in a firmly subjugated Ukrainian
breadbasket, ripe for the picking due to
Stalin's state-sponsored terror-famine of
1932/33 for control of crop yields.

Globalization41


I'm afraid this is a myth.

Hitler may well have admired the British and coveted her empire but Nazi control of the continent could not be anything but bad for Britain.

Now I'm not necessarily saying that a victorious Hitler would invade Britain but Britain would have to deal with the reality of German supremacy in the air and, eventually, at sea.

British indpendence would be severely curtailed to say the least. Who knows what demands Hitler might make? British Jews to be sent to their deaths in Poland perhaps? Granting favourable trading terms to German industry? Allowing German bases on British soil?
If the British people are getting exited about the loss of soverignty to the EU, then they would have a rude shock when dealing with the Nazis with a sword at their throat.

Now after Britain retreated home after Dunkirk? Why attack at all?
Why the BoB? Why the Battle of the Atlantic? Why the London Blitz?
Had Hitler truly not wanted to destroy British power, he would've ordered his forces to simply cease hostilities after France fell.

Secondly, the Nazis would end up facing the USA in a grimmer cold war across the Atlantic with Britain in between.

IMO, a nuclear war was more than a possibility.

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DrG
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Location: Italia

Post by DrG » 11 Jul 2004 16:00

Polynikes, I have almost nothing to add to the excellent Tonyh's and Globalization41's replyes, thus I will stop posting in this thread.
I just want to uderline that everybody with a bit of knowledge of Fascist Italy would never believe in your view of a Mussolini warmonger that would attempt to the life of the British Empire all alone. Nor of a Mussolini who would attack Greece or elesewhere without being (almost) sure that UK or France (or Germany... ;)) wouldn't support Italian enemies.

PS Albania had its own govern, flag, currency, armed forces, etc. And it even declared war on France and UK on 16 June 1940: six days after Italy! I guess nobody should tell it wasn't really indipendent... :P

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