British Historian: "A pre-emptive German strike on the

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 19 Nov 2002 00:52

And I forgot this part of Hitlers Propaganda speech:
Russian airmen consider it sport nonchalantly to overlook these frontiers, presumably to prove to us that they already feel themselves masters of these territories.


During the night of June 17 to June 18 Russian patrols again penetrated into the Reich's territory and could only be driven back after prolonged firing. This has brought us to the hour when it is necessary for us to take steps against this plot devised by the Jewish Anglo-Saxon warmongers and equally the Jewish rulers of the Bolshevist center in Moscow.
There has never been, nor do I think there ever will be any evidence showing that the Soviet Union was breaking territorial boundaries with Germany. Stalin would have shot these people or had them arrested for saboteurs! Which in this case would most likely be true since such probing missions would be the first sign of an invasion of Germany.

And even you Scott Smith have admitted in the past that such an invasion would not in most cases happen until 1942. Stalin had no intentions of invading Germany in 1941. Radzinsky in his book "Stalin" has strong arguments of why Stalin would not invade in 1941.

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 19 Nov 2002 01:26

Caldric wrote:Perhaps the same nonsense about encircling the "Wonderful Reich". Was it not Britain that had been helping Germany slice up Europe? He is basing his whole argument on this crap about UK making everyone the Reich’s enemy. Which is nonsense, Aggressive and Militant attitude towards the people on German borders was not a threat of smoke and mirrors but a real threat of German Conquest, and their neighbors knew this all to well. Of course they sought treaties with the UK and France.

The master liar and you believe him, the master skeptic. Very interesting would you not agree?
Let's just say that here Hitler agrees with MY views.
:wink:

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Roberto
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Re: Reply to Roberto.

Post by Roberto » 19 Nov 2002 11:19

valadezaj wrote:I don't see why Hitler's words are worthless.
Easy, my dear friend. Because to his inner circle and the commanders of the Wehrmacht he said something other than what he told the public.
[...]From the captured Nazi documents and from the testimony of many leading German figures in the great drama that was being played over the vast expanse of Western Europe that year, it is plain that at the very moment of Stalin’s monumental complacency Hitler had in fact been mulling over in his mind the idea of turning on the Soviet Union and destroying her.

The basic idea went back much further, at least fifteen years - to Mein Kampf.

And so we National Socialists [Hitler wrote] take up where we broke off six hundred years ago. We stop the endless German movement toward the south and west of Europe and turn our gaze toward the lands of the East ... when we speak of new territory in Europe today we must think principally of Russia and her border vassal states. Destiny itself seems to wish to point our the way to us here ... This colossal empire in the East is ripe for dissolution, and the end of the Jewish domination in Russia will also be the end of Russia as a state.

This idea lay like bedrock in Hitler’s mind, and his pact with Stalin had not changed it at all, but merely postponed acting on it. And but briefly. In fact, less than two months after the deal was signed and had been utilized to destroy Poland, the Führer instructed the Army that the conquered Polish territory was to be regarded “as an assembly area for future German operations.” The date was October 18, 1939, and Halder recorded that day in his diary.
Five weeks later, on November 22, when he harangued his reluctant generals about attacking in the West, Russia was by no means out of his mind. “We can oppose Russia,” he declared, “only when we are free in the West.”
At that time the two-front war, the nightmare of German generals for a century, was very much on Hitler’s mind, and he spoke of it at length on this occasion. He would not repeat the mistake of former German rulers; he could continue to see to it that the Army had one front at a time.
It was only natural, then, that with the fall of France, the chasing of the British Army across the Channel and the prospects of Britain’s imminent collapse, Hitler’s thoughts should turn once again to Russia. For he now supposed himself to be free in the West and thereby to have achieved the one condition he had laid down in order to be in a position to “oppose Russia.” the rapidity with which Stalin seized the Baltic States and the two Romanian provinces in June spurred Hitler to a decision.
The moment of its making can now be traced. Jodl says that the “fundamental decision” was taken “as far back as during the Western Campaign.” Colonel Walter Warlimont, Jodl’s deputy at OKW, remembered that on July 29 Jodl announced at a meeting of Operations Staff officers that “Hitler intended to attack the U.S.S.R. in the spring of 1941.” Sometime previous to this meeting, Jodl related, Hitler had told Keitel “that he intended to launch the attack against the U.S.S.R. during the fall of 1940.” But this was too much even for Keitel and he had argued Hitler out of it by contending that not only the bad weather in the autumn but the difficulties of transferring the bulk of the Army from the West to the East made it impossible. By the time of this conference on July 29, Warlimont relates, “the date for the intended attack [against Russia] had been moved back to the spring of 1941.”
Only a week before, we know from Halder’s diary, the Führer had still held to a possible campaign in Russia for the autumn if Britain were not invaded. At a military conference in Berlin on July 21 he told Brauchitsch to get busy on the preparations for it.
That the Army Commander in Chief had already given the problem some thought - but not enough thought - is evident from his response to Hitler. Brauchitsch told the Leader that the campaign “would last four to six weeks” and that the aim would be “to defeat the Russian Army or at least to occupy enough Russian territory so that Soviet bombers could not reach Berlin or the Silesian industrial area while, on the other hand, the Luftwaffe bombers could reach all important objectives in the Soviet Union.” Brauchitsch thought that from eighty to a hundred German divisions could do the job; he assessed Russian strength at “fifty to seventy-five good divisions.” Halder’s notes on what Brauchitsch told him of the meeting show that Hitler had been stung by Stalin’s grabs in the East, that he thought the Soviet dictator was “coquetting with England” in order to encourage her to hold out, but that he had seen no signs that Russia was preparing to enter the war against Germany.
At a further conference at the Berghof on the last day of July 1940, the receding prospects of an invasion of Britain prompted Hitler to announce for the first time to his Army chiefs his decision on Russia. Halder was personally present this time and jotted down his shorthand notes of exactly what the warlord said. They reveal not only that Hitler had made a definite decision to attack Russia in the following spring but that he had already worked out in his mind the major strategic aims.

Britain’s hope [Hitler said] lies in Russia and America. If that hope in Russia is destroyed then it will be destroyed for America too because elimination of Russia will enormously increase Japan’s power in the Far East.

The more he thought of it the more convinced he was, Hitler said, that Britain’s stubborn determination to continue the war was due to its counting on the Soviet Union.

Something strange [he explained] has happened in Britain! The British were already completely down. Now they are back on their feet. Intercepted conversations. Russia unpleasantly disturbed by the swift development in Western Europe.
Russia needs only to hint to England that she does not wish to see Germany too strong and the English, like a drowning man, will regain hope that the situation in six to eight months will have completely changed.
But if Russia is smashed, Britain’s last hope will be shattered. Then Germany will be master of Europe and the Balkans.
Decision: In view of these considerations Russia must be liquidated. Spring, 1941.

The sooner Russia is smashed, the better.


The Nazi warlord then elaborated on his strategic plans which, it was obvious to the generals, had been ripening in his mind for some time despite all his preoccupations with the fighting in the West. The operation, he said, would be worth carrying out only if its aim was to shatter the Soviet nation in one great blow. Conquering a lot of Russian territory would not be enough. “Wiping out the very power to exist of Russia! That is the goal!” Hitler emphasized. There would be two initial drives: one in the south to Kiev and the Dnieper River, the second in the north up through the Baltic States and then toward Moscow. There the two armies would make a junction. After that a special operation, if necessary, to secure the Baku oil fields. The very thought of such new conquests excited Hitler; he already had in his mind what he would do with them. He would annex outright, he said, the Ukraine, White Russia and the Baltic States and extend Finland’s territory to the White Sea. For the whole operation he would allot 120 divisions, keeping sixty divisions for the defense of the West and Scandinavia. The attack, he laid it down, would begin in May 1941 and would take five months to carry through. It would be finished by winter. He would have preferred, he said, to do it this year but this had not proved possible.
The next day, August 1, Halder went to work on the plans with his General Staff. Though he would later claim to have opposed the whole idea of an attack on Russia as insane, his diary entry for this day discloses him full of enthusiasm as he applied himself to the challenging new task.
Planning now went ahead with typical German thoroughness on three levels: that of the Army General Staff, of Warlimont’s Operations Staff at OKW, of General Thomas’ Economic and Armaments Branch of OKW. Thomas was instructed on August 14 by Göring that Hitler desired deliveries of ordered goods to the Russians “only till spring of 1941.” In the meantime his office was to make a detailed survey of Soviet industry, transportation and oil centers both as a guide to targets and later on as an aid for administering Russia.
A few days before, on August 9, Warlimont had got out his first directive for preparing the deployment areas in the East for the jump-off against the Russians. On August 26, Hitler ordered ten infantry and two armored divisions to be sent from the West to Poland. The panzer units, he stipulated, were to be concentrated in southeastern Poland so that they could intervene to protect the Romanian oil fields. The transfer of large bodies of troops to the East could not be done without exciting Stalin’s easily aroused suspicions if he learned of it, and the Germans went to great lengths to see that he didn’t. Since some movements were bound to be detected, General Ernst Köstring, the German military attaché in Moscow, was instructed to inform the Soviet General Staff that it was merely a question of replacing older men, who were being released to industry, by younger men. On September 6, Jodl got out a directive outlining in considerable detail the means of camouflage and deception. “These regroupings,” he laid it down, “must not create the impression in Russia that we are preparing an offensive in the East.”
So that the armed services should not rest on their laurels after the great victories of the summer, Hitler issued on November 12, 1940, a comprehensive top-secret directive outlining military tasks all over Europe and beyond. We shall come back to some of them. What concerns us here is that portion dealing with the Soviet Union.

Political discussions have been initiated with the aim of clarifying Russia’s attitude for the time being. Irrespective of the results of these discussions, all preparations for the East which have already been verbally ordered will be continued. Instructions on this will follow, as soon as the general outline of the Army’s operation plans have been submitted to, and approved by, me.

As a matter of fact, on that very day, November 12, Molotov arrived in Berlin to continue with Hitler himself those political discussions.


Source of quote: William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, New York 1960, pages 795 and following

Emphasis are mine.

How Hitler could have felt menaced by Soviet military power is also hard to understand in the face of the military intelligence he had available, such as the following assessment by the Wehrmachtsabteilung Fremde Heere Ost:
Feindbeurteilung vom 20.5.1941:

"Die Rote Armee steht mit der Masse der Verbände des europäischen Teils der UdSSR, d.h. mit rund 130 Schützendivisionen - 21 Kavalleriedivisionen - 5 Panzerdivisionen - 36 mot.-mech. Panzerbrigaden entlang der Westgrenze von Czernowitz bis Murmansk...Die Tatsache, dass bisher weit günstigere Gelegenheiten eines Präventivkrieges (schwache Kräfte im Osten, Balkankrieg) von der UdSSR nicht ausgenutzt wurden, ferner das gerade in letzter Zeit fühlbare politische Entgegenkommen und festzustellende Bestreben der Vermeidung möglicher Reibungspunkte lassen eine Angriffsabsicht unwahrscheinlich erscheinen... Grenznahe, zähe Verteidigung, verbunden mit Teilangriffen zu Beginn des Krieges und während der Operationen als Gegenangriffe gegen den durchgebrochenen Feind...erscheint aufgrund der politischen Verhältnisse und des bisher erkennbaren Aufmarsches am wahrscheinlichsten."
(Quelle: BA-MA Freiburg, RH 2/1983)
Source of quote:

http://hometown.aol.com/wigbertbenz

My translation:
Assessment of the Enemy, 20.5.1941:

"The Red Army stands with the mass of its units in the European part of the USSR, i.e. with about 130 rifle divisions - 21 cavalry divisions - 5 tank divisions - 36 motorized – mechanized tank brigades, along the western border from Czernowitz to Murmansk. The fact that hitherto far more advantageous opportunities for a preventive war (weak forces in the East, war in the Balkans) have not been taken advantage of by the USSR, furthermore the political condescension that has made itself especially felt more recently and the apparent endeavor to avoid possible points of friction, let the possibility of an attack seem improbable[emphasis mine]... Tough defense near the border, combined with partial attacks at the beginning of the war and during the operations as counterattacks against the enemy who has broken through ... are what in the face of the political situation and the so far recognizable order of battle seems most probable."
(Source: BA-MA [Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv = Federal Archives-Military Archives of the FRG], Freiburg, RH 2/1983)
That German military intelligence saw Soviet military preparations as a defensive reaction to the German troop concentrations along their border becomes apparent from an earlier report by the same department:
Lagebericht Nr.1 vom 15.3.1941:

"Seit der erkennbaren Verstärkung unserer Kräfte im Osten wurden folgende russische Maßnahmen festgestellt und bestätigt: 1.) Durchführung einer Teil-Mobilmachung...2.) Truppenverlegungen...sowie Marschbewegungen im Baltikum in Richtung auf die deutsche Grenze zeigen, dass die russischen Truppen z.Zt. an der Westgrenze aufschließen...Beurteilung: Teilmobilmachung und Aufschließen russischer Truppen zur Grenze ist Defensiv-Maßnahme und dient lediglich zur Verstärkung der Grenzsicherung."
(Quelle: BA-MA Freiburg, RH 19 III/722)
Source of quote: as above.

My translation:
Situation Report No. 1 of 15.3.1941:

"Since the recognizable reinforcement of our forces in the East[emphasis mine] the following Russian measures have been verified and confirmed: 1.) A partial mobilization...2.) Transfer of troops...as well as marching movements in the Baltics in the direction of the German border show that the Russian troops are currently concentrating on the western border...Assessment: partial mobilization and concentration of Russian troops at the border is a defensive measure and is aimed merely at reinforcing border security[emphasis mine]."
(Source: BA-MA [Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv = Federal Archives-Military Archives of the FRG], Freiburg, RH 19 III/722)
That Hitler did not feel threatened also becomes apparent from the following entry that Goebbels made into his diary on 16 June 1941:
Der Führer schätzt die Aktion auf etwa 4 Monate, ich schätze auf weniger. Wir stehen vor einem Siegeszug ohnegleichen.


Source of quote: as above.

My translation:
The Führer estimates that the action will take four months, I think it will be less. We are on the verge of a victory without parallel.


A pushover, in other words. A piece of cake.

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 19 Nov 2002 16:48

Well - if his treatment of the issue is limited to a single emplyment of the adjective "pre-emptive", I'd be careful to read too much into it. Possibly he is trying to say that the Soviets reasoned that if they opposed German designs in the Balkans, this might cause the Germans to view them more of a threat, and ignite what would then from the German perspective be seen as a pre-emptive strike. Haven't read the book of course, so it's hard for me to say.

In any case, I agree with Michael that Soviet plans for an attack in the summer of 1941 is a different matter than any Soviet intentions for such an attack at some later time. Personally, I find it hard to see how the USSR would have stayed out of the war indefinetely. And I agree with Roberto that any such Soviet intentions is again a different matter than Hitler's reasons for attacking in 1941.

BTW - this is a recent book on the same subject. Anybody familiar with it?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASI ... 38-2314800

cheers

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 19 Nov 2002 18:36

Caldric wrote:And I forgot this part of Hitlers Propaganda speech:
Russian airmen consider it sport nonchalantly to overlook these frontiers, presumably to prove to us that they already feel themselves masters of these territories.


During the night of June 17 to June 18 Russian patrols again penetrated into the Reich's territory and could only be driven back after prolonged firing. This has brought us to the hour when it is necessary for us to take steps against this plot devised by the Jewish Anglo-Saxon warmongers and equally the Jewish rulers of the Bolshevist center in Moscow.
There has never been, nor do I think there ever will be any evidence showing that the Soviet Union was breaking territorial boundaries with Germany. Stalin would have shot these people or had them arrested for saboteurs! Which in this case would most likely be true since such probing missions would be the first sign of an invasion of Germany.

And even you Scott Smith have admitted in the past that such an invasion would not in most cases happen until 1942. Stalin had no intentions of invading Germany in 1941. Radzinsky in his book "Stalin" has strong arguments of why Stalin would not invade in 1941.
The idea that the Soviet Union had to be about to launch an invasion for Germany to declare war is a red-herring. Germany was already at war with Great Britain; even if Germany's power on the continent was strong it was still a stalemate and Britain was accepting no peace offers short of German containment a la Versailles. Germany was seeking to make that containment and blockade ineffective, however, and even used military force to secure the Balkans to insure that Allied troops would not be stationed there or otherwise prevent Germany continuing access to those markets or resources--at least one of which was decisive and that was Rumanian oil. The Soviet Union had shown with their attempts to jockey for advantage that they were an opportunistic partner and not peaceful. If Germany had to station a large part of its armed forced to guard its eastern flank this is a clear security concern for Germany whether Stalin would have ever used the Red Army offensively or not. Everybody agrees that Stalin would have entered the war when the time was ripe and a war-of-attrition had placed the advantage against Germany. Hitler merely proceeded to strike while the iron was hot and Germany's military power vis-s-vis the Soviet Union was favorable. Even so, Germany was still not powerful enough to remove this threat militarily--although some diplomatic options were available, IMHO, before the German Army actually got checked by the onset of winter and the arrival of fresh Siberian troops not needed to guard the Far East after Pearl Harbor. I lay the primary blame for the disaster on the German General Staff for their poor Russian intelligence and inadequate logistical planning, which grossly underestimated Soviet strength. Unfortunately for the Germans, a dysfunctional relationship between the Army establishment and the Head of State already existed before Barbarossa; they had lost his confidence, as Hitler had been the sole driving force behind Case Yellow, the liquidation of the threat in the West since a peace agreement was not possible with the Allies. Btw, if the President decides that Cuban planes are flying reconnaissance or doing anything of concern he can use military force to remove the threat or even ask Congress to declare war; there need not even be a provocation, as a mountain can easily be made of a molehill like the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. The problem is that most democractic countries have deluded themselves into believing their own propaganda that military force is never used except defensively or unless attacked. But the United States from the Cold War has been the most ardent supporter of the doctrine of using military force to "continue policy by other means." Hitler never pretended otherwise--which doesn't mean that he would not have preferred peaceful solutions to Germany's strategic problems. His declaration shows his strategic thinking.
:)

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Post by Rob S. » 19 Nov 2002 18:58

Scott Smith wrote:Hitler never pretended otherwise--which doesn't mean that he would not have preferred peaceful solutions to Germany's strategic problems. His declaration shows his strategic thinking.
Ich verstehe nicht Scott. Hitler had the idea of invading Russia while in jail writing his kampf. "We must therefore head East."

Hitler looking for a peaceful soluation in Russia is like saying Rumsfeld and Bush are looking for a peaceful solution in Iraq. They simply aren't, but they still find a way to fit "peace" into their speeches. If Hitler wanted peace with Russia, he could have strengthened ties with them. Stalin was already an admirer of Hitler.

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Post by Caldric » 19 Nov 2002 19:20

Scott Smith wrote:
Caldric wrote:And I forgot this part of Hitlers Propaganda speech:
Russian airmen consider it sport nonchalantly to overlook these frontiers, presumably to prove to us that they already feel themselves masters of these territories.


During the night of June 17 to June 18 Russian patrols again penetrated into the Reich's territory and could only be driven back after prolonged firing. This has brought us to the hour when it is necessary for us to take steps against this plot devised by the Jewish Anglo-Saxon warmongers and equally the Jewish rulers of the Bolshevist center in Moscow.
There has never been, nor do I think there ever will be any evidence showing that the Soviet Union was breaking territorial boundaries with Germany. Stalin would have shot these people or had them arrested for saboteurs! Which in this case would most likely be true since such probing missions would be the first sign of an invasion of Germany.

And even you Scott Smith have admitted in the past that such an invasion would not in most cases happen until 1942. Stalin had no intentions of invading Germany in 1941. Radzinsky in his book "Stalin" has strong arguments of why Stalin would not invade in 1941.
The idea that the Soviet Union had to be about to launch an invasion for Germany to declare war is a red-herring.
You guys are really using up this Red Herring argument this week. The only fish I smell is the one being used to make Germany look like it was defending itself from a Soviet invasion. The red herring is being used to divert attention from German Aggression.

Germany was already at war with Great Britain; even if Germany's power on the continent was strong it was still a stalemate and Britain was accepting no peace offers short of German containment a la Versailles.


No Britain tried for peace for several years, if the Pro-Germans around here had their way it was shame on Britain for not begging for peace after 1939. Hitler’s idea of peace was removing Britain from any matters on the continent and to basically reduce the UK to a vassal. The UK was instrumental in returning lands to Germany that Germany lost in their peace agreement in 1918, which completely nulls out the argument that Britain wanted to contain Germany. The Naval Treaties signed by Britain is another proven point that the Britain wanted to make amends with Germany. Not containment but reconciliation was the aim of Chamberlain and the UK.

Germany was seeking to make that containment and blockade ineffective, however, and even used military force to secure the Balkans to insure that Allied troops would not be stationed there or otherwise prevent Germany continuing access to those markets or resources--at least one of which was decisive and that was Rumanian oil. The Soviet Union had shown with their attempts to jockey for advantage that they were an opportunistic partner and not peaceful.
And Germany was peaceful? Come on that is insane! Germany invaded the Balkans not for any markets but to assure their southern flank as they continued to plan for invasion of the USSR.

If Germany had to station a large part of its armed forced to guard its eastern flank this is a clear security concern for Germany whether Stalin would have ever used the Red Army offensively or not. Everybody agrees that Stalin would have entered the war when the time was ripe and a war-of-attrition had placed the advantage against Germany. Hitler merely proceeded to strike while the iron was hot and Germany's military power vis-s-vis the Soviet Union was favorable. Even so, Germany was still not powerful enough to remove this threat militarily--although some diplomatic options were available, IMHO, before the German Army actually got checked by the onset of winter and the arrival of fresh Siberian troops not needed to guard the Far East after Pearl Harbor.
I will not say that Stalin would not have joined the West in a war against Germany if the Western Front had turned into a long drawn out war that exhausted Germany. After the summer of 1940 it was most evident to the world that Germany was a power to be worried about. A strike against her militarily would be suicide. Stalin was no fool, he would continue to play cat and mouse diplomacy with Germany to weasel out a nice junk of Eastern Europe, which is part of the show of force on the German frontier. I think after the Grand Victories in the west by Germany Stalin forgot any plans for invasion.


I lay the primary blame for the disaster on the German General Staff for their poor Russian intelligence and inadequate logistical planning, which grossly underestimated Soviet strength. Unfortunately for the Germans, a dysfunctional relationship between the Army establishment and the Head of State already existed before Barbarossa; they had lost his confidence, as Hitler had been the sole driving force behind Case Yellow, the liquidation of the threat in the West since a peace agreement was not possible with the Allies.
No peace favoring Germany came to an end when they invaded and destroyed the Polish State in Fall 1939. Before this move their could have been peace, Hitler had no desires for peace he wanted conquest, he had come to power spewing out this idea of a greater Germany through military conquest.
Btw, if the President decides that Cuban planes are flying reconnaissance or doing anything of concern he can use military force to remove the threat or even ask Congress to declare war; there need not even be a provocation, as a mountain can easily be made of a molehill like the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.
This is the big red herring. :)

The problem is that most democractic countries have deluded themselves into believing their own propaganda that military force is never used except defensively or unless attacked. But the United States from the Cold War has been the most ardent supporter of the doctrine of using military force to "continue policy by other means." Hitler never pretended otherwise--which doesn't mean that he would not have preferred peaceful solutions to Germany's strategic problems. His declaration shows his strategic thinking.
:)
More fish. :D

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Post by Roberto » 19 Nov 2002 19:23

Scott Smith wrote:If Germany had to station a large part of its armed forced to guard its eastern flank this is a clear security concern for Germany whether Stalin would have ever used the Red Army offensively or not.


How could Hitler have seen Germany's eastern flank threatened to an extent that would have obliged him to station large parts of his armed forces in the east to protect against such threat, if intelligence reports of the Wehrmachtsabteilung Fremde Heere Ost show that Soviet military moves were seen as reactions to a perceived threat from the German side ?
Lagebericht Nr.1 vom 15.3.1941:

"Seit der erkennbaren Verstärkung unserer Kräfte im Osten wurden folgende russische Maßnahmen festgestellt und bestätigt: 1.) Durchführung einer Teil-Mobilmachung...2.) Truppenverlegungen...sowie Marschbewegungen im Baltikum in Richtung auf die deutsche Grenze zeigen, dass die russischen Truppen z.Zt. an der Westgrenze aufschließen...Beurteilung: Teilmobilmachung und Aufschließen russischer Truppen zur Grenze ist Defensiv-Maßnahme und dient lediglich zur Verstärkung der Grenzsicherung."
(Quelle: BA-MA Freiburg, RH 19 III/722)
Source of quote: http://hometown.aol.com/wigbertbenz

My translation:
Situation Report No. 1 of 15.3.1941:

"Since the recognizable reinforcement of our forces in the East[emphasis mine] the following Russian measures have been verified and confirmed: 1.) A partial mobilization...2.) Transfer of troops...as well as marching movements in the Baltics in the direction of the German border show that the Russian troops are currently concentrating on the western border...Assessment: partial mobilization and concentration of Russian troops at the border is a defensive measure and is aimed merely at reinforcing border security[emphasis mine]."
(Source: BA-MA [Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv = Federal Archives-Military Archives of the FRG], Freiburg, RH 19 III/722)
Scott Smith wrote:Btw, if the President decides that Cuban planes are flying reconnaissance or doing anything of concern he can use military force to remove the threat or even ask Congress to declare war;
Without proof, the "threat" existing only in his own words?

Because that's how it was, unless someone is willing to believe that despite Stalin's interdiction to approach the frontier and do anything that might provoke the Germans, any Soviet planes or troops ventured into German territory.

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Post by Scott Smith » 19 Nov 2002 20:10

Sorry, Caldric but if you think that the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States and so on was not aggression, I don't know what to say. It is only aggression if done by the Germans, I guess. Furthermore, the notion that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident was a slim pretext for war has been well-established. At issue are larger strategic concerns. Perhaps a line-by-line analysis of Hitler's Declaration would be in order but I'm short of time right now for explaining what is obvious to me.
:)

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Post by Caldric » 19 Nov 2002 20:20

Scott Smith wrote:Sorry, Caldric but if you think that the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States and so on was not aggression, I don't know what to say. It is only aggression if done by the Germans, I guess. Furthermore, the notion that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident was a slim pretext for war has been well-established. At issue are larger strategic concerns. Perhaps a line-by-line analysis of Hitler's Declaration would be in order but I'm short of time right now for explaining what is obvious to me.
:)

No I did not say they were not aggressive, actually I stated with a question that "Was Germany not aggressive also"? All I was stating.
And Germany was peaceful?
The Soviets were playing the game to get all they could of Eastern Europe, I am not defending them on the matter at all.

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Post by Roberto » 19 Nov 2002 20:25

Scott Smith wrote:Sorry, Caldric but if you think that the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States and so on was not aggression, I don't know what to say.
Aggression it was.

But not against Germany, in regard to whom it was in accordance with the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact.
Scott Smith wrote:It is only aggression if done by the Germans, I guess.
How about leaving out the bullshit rhetoric ? Constructive criticism! :D
Scott Smith wrote:Furthermore, the notion that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident was a slim pretext for war has been well-established.
Maybe so, but how would that make Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union look like anything better than naked, unprovoked aggression ?

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Post by Scott Smith » 19 Nov 2002 20:29

Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:If Germany had to station a large part of its armed forced to guard its eastern flank this is a clear security concern for Germany whether Stalin would have ever used the Red Army offensively or not.

How could Hitler have seen Germany's eastern flank threatened to an extent that would have obliged him to station large parts of his armed forces in the east to protect against such threat, if intelligence reports of the Wehrmachtsabteilung Fremde Heere Ost show that Soviet military moves were seen as reactions to a perceived threat from the German side ?
FHO reports oscillated from sheer lunacy to clairvoyance. Military Intelligence on Russia was a gross failure. It doesn't matter why the forces were there. The Soviet Union could muster the forces and keep them there indefinitely, whereas mobilization itself was a charge on the German economy which was short on labor. And unless the Germans could ignore this border entirely they could not wholly commit forces to other risky theaters. Pretty simple, really. It was a lose/lose proposition because Great Britain would not accept any peace agreement that left Germany a superpower, and Albion could not, AFAIC, be defeated militarily without dragging the USA into the war. (I have explained elsewhere how a modus vivendi with Albion could have been achieved, however, and I am inclined toward keeping the shaky partnership with the SU than any invasion scheme, despite the operational excellence of the German Army.) In any case, securing the Soviet border *quickly and permanently* through invasion eliminated an incontestable threat and secured resources for a war-of-attrition with the British Empire which was tacitly backed by a sympathetic America. Mere mobilization of the Russian Steamroller in 1914 had caused a de facto declaration of war with Germany instantly by forcing the Germans to execute their complicated and highly-choreographed military operations. This shows the limitations of German General Staff contingency plans in two world wars and also underscores the security concerns from the German viewpoint in 1941. Hitler's Barbarossa plan is only ridiculous in retrospect because it failed in its objectives and was so risky knowing what we know today about Soviet strength. If Stalin had been able to control Rumanian oil then Germany would have become a Soviet satellite and that was not acceptable to the anti-Communist Germans.
:)
Last edited by Scott Smith on 19 Nov 2002 20:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Scott Smith » 19 Nov 2002 20:48

Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:Sorry, Caldric but if you think that the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States and so on was not aggression, I don't know what to say.
Aggression it was.

But not against Germany, in regard to whom it was in accordance with the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact.
I disagree--for the same reason the the Allies believed that German aggression against Poland affected their security.
Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:It is only aggression if done by the Germans, I guess.
How about leaving out the bullshit rhetoric ? Constructive criticism! :D
Constructive criticism? Okay, but then you go on and say this:
Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:Furthermore, the notion that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident was a slim pretext for war has been well-established.
Maybe so, but how would that make Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union look like anything better than naked, unprovoked aggression ?
It is "naked, unprovoked aggression" when applied to Germany. For the Allies it is "legimitate security concerns," right?

Sovereign nations need nothing but "slim pretexts" as they divine their own security concerns, such as the USA in Vietnam.

It is not about "moral equivalency" or about making someone "look better."

In that sense, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution cannot be compared to Barbarossa because it did not lead to (or prevent) world war. If it had, then the Domino Theory from Yalta to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident could be seriously contended in a more objective (though teleological) sense beyond the security issues manifest by decision-makers at the time (1964).

But Hitler's Barbarossa motivations and Germany's 1941 security concerns are not invalid because the attack failed and Germany lost the war--anymore than the Gulf of Tonkin Incident/Resolution is legitmate somehow because the USA lost 58 thousand in Vietnam and we honor their memory.
:)

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Post by Roberto » 19 Nov 2002 21:01

Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:If Germany had to station a large part of its armed forced to guard its eastern flank this is a clear security concern for Germany whether Stalin would have ever used the Red Army offensively or not.

How could Hitler have seen Germany's eastern flank threatened to an extent that would have obliged him to station large parts of his armed forces in the east to protect against such threat, if intelligence reports of the Wehrmachtsabteilung Fremde Heere Ost show that Soviet military moves were seen as reactions to a perceived threat from the German side ?
FHO reports oscillated from sheer lunacy to clairvoyance. Military Intelligence on Russia was a gross failure.
If so, that would be irrelevant unless the Führer recognized such failures instead of relying on those intelligence reports, to which there is no evidence.
Scott Smith wrote:It doesn't matter why the forces were there.
Oh yes it does, because if it had not been for the German troop concentrations, the Soviet forces would not have been there.
Scott Smith wrote:The Soviet Union could muster the forces and keep them there indefinitely,
Could they ?

Why so ?
Scott Smith wrote:whereas mobilization itself was a charge on the German economy which was short on labor.
What, were German forces not fully mobilized already?
Scott Smith wrote:And unless the Germans could ignore this border entirely they could not wholly commit forces to other risky theaters.
Sure.

But what "risky theaters" were there that needed a large deployment of ground forces?
Scott Smith wrote:Mere mobilization of the Russian Steamroller in 1914 caused a de facto declaration of war
What is a "de facto declaration of war" supposed to be?
Scott Smith wrote:with Germany instantly by forcing the Germans to execute their complicated and highly-choreographed military operations.
Well, here it would have been the other way round, as it seems: the threat of German troop concentrations at the Soviet western border forcing the Soviets to mobilize.

At least that's how German military intelligence saw it, and there's no evidence to the contrary from the Soviet side that I know of.
Scott Smith wrote:If Stalin had been able to control Rumanian oil then Germany would have become a Soviet satellite and that was not acceptable to the anti-Communist Germans.
:)
A big if, the threat of which could have been removed by German military presence in Romania and a little saber-rattling, or then by entering into an agreement complementing or replacing the 1939 non-agression pact.

Anyway, what evidence is there that security concerns, whether or not there may have been a reason for them, were first and foremost on the Führer's mind rather than subordinated to the quest for living space and the desire to deprive Britain of its last "continental hope", as his own quoted statements towards his inner circle and the commanders of the Wehrmacht suggest?

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Post by Roberto » 19 Nov 2002 21:17

Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:Sorry, Caldric but if you think that the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States and so on was not aggression, I don't know what to say.
Aggression it was.

But not against Germany, in regard to whom it was in accordance with the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact.
I disagree--for the same reason the the Allies believed that German aggression against Poland affected their security.
Come on. An agreed move that may raise a partner's security concerns is not an aggression against that partner, is it?
Scott Smith wrote:
Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:It is only aggression if done by the Germans, I guess.
How about leaving out the bullshit rhetoric ? Constructive criticism! :D
Constructive criticism? Okay, but then you go on and say this:
Roberto wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:Furthermore, the notion that the Gulf of Tonkin Incident was a slim pretext for war has been well-established.
Maybe so, but how would that make Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union look like anything better than naked, unprovoked aggression ?
It is "naked, unprovoked aggression" when applied to Germany. For the Allies it is "legimitate security concerns," right?
Looks like my constructive criticism fell on deaf ears, for here we have the bullshit dished up more thickly.

Who said that the Allies would have pursued "legitimate security concerns" if they had attacked another country the way Germany attacked the Soviet Union?

And what examples of similar aggression by those bad, bad Allies are there, anyway?
Scott Smith wrote:Sovereign nations need nothing but "slim pretexts" as they divine their own security concerns, such as the USA in Vietnam.
Sure, if they replace the rule of international law by the rule of naked force, they can do what they want.
Scott Smith wrote:It is not about "moral equivalency" or about making someone "look better."
Then what's the Gulf of Tonkin doing here?
Scott Smith wrote:But Hitler's Barbarossa motivations and Germany's 1941 security concerns are not invalid because the attack failed and Germany lost the war
No. They are invalid because no security concerns would have justified an unprovoked aggression and an all-out war of conquest and annihilation, even if such concerns had been first and foremost on the Führer's mind.
Scott Smith wrote:--anymore than the Gulf of Tonkin Incident/Resolution is legitmate somehow because the USA lost 58 thousand in Vietnam and we honor their memory.
:)
I know too little about the Gulf of Tonkin resolution to decide if it was legitimate or a thinly disguised act of aggression against a foreign country. But I'll find out.

Regardless of what my research turns up, however, I don't see how an act of aggression by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 would make an act of aggression by Adolf Hitler in 1941 (which, incidentally, led to death and destruction on a much greater scale than the former) look any better, and how bringing up the Gulf of Tonkin could be anything better than an irrelevant "so-and-so-also-did-this-and-that" - argument.

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