FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

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mikegriffith1
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FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by mikegriffith1 » 29 Jan 2021 16:12

Until I recently read Thomas Fleming's book The New Dealers' War: FDR and the War Within World War II, I was not aware of the size and strength of the German resistance and of their attempts to get FDR to abandon his unconditional surrender stance. Nor was I aware that so many high-ranking American and British officials viewed the unconditional surrender policy as a deadly, senseless mistake that would cost tens of thousands of Allied soldiers' lives.

If nothing else, the war in Italy would have ended many months earlier. Tens of thousands of American soldiers would not have been killed and wounded clawing their way up the Italian peninsula against the German reinforcements that Hitler was able to send to Italy thanks to FDR's refusal to recognize and deal with the Bodoglio government months earlier.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by OpanaPointer » 29 Jan 2021 18:52

That's certainly one view of the matter.
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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by wm » 29 Jan 2021 20:00

The 20 July Plot demonstrated clearly the German resistance was a paper tiger.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by OpanaPointer » 29 Jan 2021 20:17

The White Rose (IIRC) at least made an attempt, yes?
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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Futurist » 29 Jan 2021 20:33

mikegriffith1 wrote:
29 Jan 2021 16:12
Until I recently read Thomas Fleming's book The New Dealers' War: FDR and the War Within World War II, I was not aware of the size and strength of the German resistance and of their attempts to get FDR to abandon his unconditional surrender stance. Nor was I aware that so many high-ranking American and British officials viewed the unconditional surrender policy as a deadly, senseless mistake that would cost tens of thousands of Allied soldiers' lives.

If nothing else, the war in Italy would have ended many months earlier. Tens of thousands of American soldiers would not have been killed and wounded clawing their way up the Italian peninsula against the German reinforcements that Hitler was able to send to Italy thanks to FDR's refusal to recognize and deal with the Bodoglio government months earlier.
What terms did Italy offer months earlier and just how were they different from the terms that were ultimately accepted?

As for FDR's logic re: unconditional surrender, I can't comment on Italy specifically, but in regards to Germany, FDR undoubtedly remembered how the Allies did not insist on an unconditional German surrender in World War I and thus paved the way for a stab-in-the-back myth to develop in Germany after the end of the war. Considering that this was the second time in 30 years that the US has sent its own men and boys to fight against the Germans in Europe, FDR certainly wanted to avoid having the US eventually be compelled to do this again for yet a third time!

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Futurist » 29 Jan 2021 20:34

wm wrote:
29 Jan 2021 20:00
The 20 July Plot demonstrated clearly the German resistance was a paper tiger.
Because they failed to kill Hitler due to bad luck, no?

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by wm » 29 Jan 2021 22:54

If a person could stop a coup singlehandedly the coup is worth nothing - politically and militarily.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Futurist » 29 Jan 2021 23:30

Well, you're definitely right about that! In Romania, for instance, King Michael and his supporters were able to successfully pull off a coup in August 1944 in spite of them keeping Ion Antonescu alive!

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Sean Oliver » 30 Jan 2021 01:14

The coup was not stopped single-handedly. It failed due to a phenomenon which frequently disrupts human activity, but is almost impossible to prevent. Clausewitz called it 'friction'. It's also known in English as 'bad luck', 'unforseen incidents', 'Murphy's Law' 'SNAFU' and 'shit happens'.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Sean Oliver » 30 Jan 2021 01:35

Nor was the coup worth nothing. Along with White Rose and others it was an important expression of the large numbers of Germans who loathed Hitler and the Nazis, yet felt helpless, impotent and most importantly too isolated socially to openly oppose them.
Both the Allied attitude toward the anti-Nazi resistance, and the attitude of the resistance itself were unwittingly influenced by Goebbels' propaganda, which convinced them that all Germans were devoted to the Nazi cause. Sadly, post-war historiography also succumbed to the same propaganda message of an entirely Nazified Germany united behind Hitler despite the lack of evidence for such widespread Nazi support.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by OpanaPointer » 30 Jan 2021 06:25

Citations needed.
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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 30 Jan 2021 15:23

mikegriffith1 wrote:
29 Jan 2021 16:12
Tens of thousands of American soldiers would not have been killed and wounded clawing their way up the Italian peninsula against the German reinforcements that Hitler was able to send to Italy thanks to FDR's refusal to recognize and deal with the Bodoglio government months earlier.
Mussolini was arrested on 25 July 1943; Badoglio immediately announced the Italians would continue in the war. Italy surrendered on 8 Sep 43. How was it possible to deal with the Badoglio government "months earlier"?

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Futurist » 30 Jan 2021 17:57

Sean Oliver wrote:
30 Jan 2021 01:14
The coup was not stopped single-handedly. It failed due to a phenomenon which frequently disrupts human activity, but is almost impossible to prevent. Clausewitz called it 'friction'. It's also known in English as 'bad luck', 'unforseen incidents', 'Murphy's Law' 'SNAFU' and 'shit happens'.
Yeah, you always have to prepare for unforeseen and unexpected developments when planning something such as a military coup!

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by wm » 30 Jan 2021 18:33

The coup wasn't possible with Hitler alive. All major political forces in Nazi Germany were loyal to him.
The coupists weren't able to face him - even after Hitler was believed to be dead - so they had to resort to deception, they had to hide their intentions from the Germans.
So actually the authority of Hitler, Hitler alone was able to stop the coup.

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Re: FDR's Tragic Refusal to Deal with the German Resistance and Abandon "Unconditional Surrender"

Post by Futurist » 30 Jan 2021 19:16

Are you suggesting that Hitler's death = a successful coup?

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