Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
Art
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Art » 09 Nov 2015 20:12

BDV wrote: Romania is just as justified in pursuing an intransigent policy against Soviet Union, as Great Britain and France against Germany in 1939.
Obviously not. Britain and France declared war in defense of their ally who was subject to an aggression. Romania didn't have such a motive.
In any case, the issue discussed was not just character of somebody's policy but to statements
1) Romania in 1941 was waging a defensive war against Soviet aggression.
2) In June 1941 were repulsing an offensive made by a massive group of Soviet forces.
Both IMO are fantasies which have nothing to do with reality.
I am however miffed that the existence of the huge Soviet amphibious assault capacities does not illuminate to you the extent of Soviet ambitions and plans in that theater
Given that the Soviet Navy in the Black Sea had 0 (zero) specialized amphibious ships I would view that capacity more moderately. Anyway were are living in the year 2015, all you need to know Soviet plans in June 1941 is to check corresponding documents. That documents don't show any large-scale offensive intentions and defined the tasks of forces at Romanian frontiers as generally defensive. Generally speaking in soviet military planing Romania was considered a theater of secondary importance. The statement that Soviet army and navy were potentially capable of executing offensive (well, under certain circumstances there were fore sure) don't actually support the thesis that in the summer of 1941 they were actually executing it or were about to start.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Max Payload » 13 Nov 2015 11:48

A somewhat off-topic question, but related to the U.S. DoA pamphlet posted by BDV on 17 Oct; can anyone explain the meaning of this paragraph from page 14 of the pamphlet?

“On 26 September the Commander in Chief of the Navy, Adm. Erich Reader, suggested to Hitler that Germany should support the Italian attempt to seize the Suez Canal, whose possession would be vital for a farther advance across Palestine and Syria. Once this had been achieved, Turkey would be at Germany's mercy. The Russian problem would then have an entirely different aspect, since the Soviet Union was basically afraid of Germany. Under such circumstances it would be doubtful whether an invasion of Russia from the north would still be necessary.”

The text goes on to state that this suggestion found favour with Hitler. But how would Axis forces in Palestine and Vichy-French Syria render Barbarossa unnecessary? Am I missing something or was the US Army pamphleteer who wrote this just having a bad day at the office?

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by ljadw » 13 Nov 2015 12:28

No:Raeder had a bad day in office :he was hostile to Barbarossa,because he the KM had no role in Barbarossa,thus,he proposed something else,which was nonsense .

It was possible that this suggestion found favour with Hitler,because Hitler hoped that it could result in Britain giving up (but it was clutching at a straw) and if Britain gave up, there was no immediate need for Barbarossa .

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by BDV » 25 Nov 2015 17:38

Art wrote:Obviously not. Britain and France declared war in defense of their ally who was subject to an aggression. Romania didn't have such a motive.
Obviously yes. Not an ally of Romania, but Romania herself was the subject of Soviet aggression in June 1940.
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Art » 25 Nov 2015 18:27

BDV wrote: Obviously yes. Not an ally of Romania, but Romania herself was the subject of Soviet aggression in June 1940.
If Romania didn't agree with Soviet actions she had a chance to declare war in response in June 1940. If she didn't then that train has gone. We can say likewise that Russia was the subject of Romanian aggression in 1918, did it give justification for any Soviet forceful action against Romania some years later? Obviously not. In June 1941 Romania was not fighting any aggression but taking part in the war of conquest or retaliation, call as you wish.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by BDV » 27 Nov 2015 17:24

Art wrote:If Romania didn't agree with Soviet actions she had a chance to declare war in response in June 1940. If she didn't then that train has gone.
Very interesting concept, that the aggressors' crime creates a bound, a time limited contract, limiting victims' freedom of action; that the victim can only react to the crime perpetrated against it at the aggressors' convenience. Even more astonishing is that you place this limit of response to somewhere less than 11 months.

No there is no statute of limitations (AFAIK) for state crimes. There are treaties that commonly have clauses wiping out previous debts. But there was no "peace and good neighborhood" treaty between USSR and Romania post June 1940. So the Romanian state had complete freedom of action released of any contractual or moral bounds in dealing with the Sovjet State.

We can say likewise that Russia was the subject of Romanian aggression in 1918
No we cannot.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Art » 27 Nov 2015 21:23

the victim can only react to the crime perpetrated against it at the aggressors' convenience
Yes, it follows from a definition of self-defense. If you were beaten by a certain person and after a year punched him with a help of your buddies than you will have difficult time proving to a jury that it was self-defense. Romania joined "Barbarossa" not to defend itself against aggression but to take a revanche, as I already said.
BDV wrote: But there was no "peace and good neighborhood" treaty between USSR and Romania post June 1940.
There was a state of peace (or there was no state of war) which Romania violated by own initiative. Peace treaty wasn't needed simply because there was no war between Romania and USSR.
No we cannot
I believe we can. Or at least the Russian/Soviet government treated Romanian actions in such a way. Then follows the question I posed in my previous message: if the feeling of being unlawfully abused justified any Romanian violent actions in 1941 then why didn't it justify Soviet action in 1940?

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by GregSingh » 29 Nov 2015 06:29

Both Finland and Romania joined Germany on the 22nd of June, but Finish Army seemed to stop after recovering losses from 1939/40 war. Romanian Army did not stop after recovering Bessarabia. It went all the way to Nalchik.

Distance from Romania/Soviet border to Nalchik is even greater than from Finland/Soviet border to Moscow...
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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Alixanther » 30 Nov 2015 10:46

GregSingh wrote:Both Finland and Romania joined Germany on the 22nd of June, but Finish Army seemed to stop after recovering losses from 1939/40 war. Romanian Army did not stop after recovering Bessarabia. It went all the way to Nalchik.

Distance from Romania/Soviet border to Nalchik is even greater than from Finland/Soviet border to Moscow...
Difference between Finland and Romania as strategic national objectives was the fact that for Finland, Germany was as much of a danger as Soviet Union so they had to position themselves as close of a neutral position as possible. Even in the 1st phase of the war, the Finns were actually drawn into conflict by the (another) Soviet attack on their territory. Stalin was "preempting a Finnish strike" but, while doing so, he guaranteed to have one. While Hitler had numerous instances of persuading Mannerheim to join a final effort to wipe out the Soviet State, only the Soviet attack was able to bring Mannerheim into the Axis bandwagon.

Romania, on the other hand, had a century-long history of being bound to a Germanic (Austro-Hungary) State in the West and also to a Russian State in the East (and even to a Ottoman State in the South before Imperial Russia brushed them aside). The choice was really simple one: Stalin or Hitler. There were never middle grounds. It's quite hard for a state whose political class was brought into submission to a larger imperial construct to even think of, lest devise a plan of becoming autarchic enough to guarantee a independent policy.
Hitler sarcastical reaction to Romanian diplomats ("we had to defeat France and Britain to convince you to join us") was in fact a economic reality: Romania was linked to the Western Allies economically before their (temporary) defeat so we had to find another "master" to serve, because our economy was a subservient one at the time (and it might not be the only historical instance when our economy is subservient).

So, yeah, you may think that the answer is a simple one ("Romania went as far as they could... because they wanted to") but in fact it's quite a complicated one.

Of course we wanted Soviets to be wiped out, I think that's no accusation (if one's think it's a crime to fight against a rogue state then he's a perpetrator himself). "Taking a revanche" against a deadly threat is in no way in the realm of honourable conduct, it's a self-preservation duty. Art, that's a piss poor excuse for a moral finger against Romania. We wanted Soviets out of history books forever, and that's more than enough as a justification as nobody sane enough could like to have Soviet Union as a real construct in our world. But there were more justifications - if you've read my post so far. Also, if we'd be in the 30's, I'd take you as a Soviet agent of influence.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Art » 30 Nov 2015 18:22

Alixanther wrote: Of course we wanted Soviets to be wiped out, I think that's no accusation (if one's think it's a crime to fight against a rogue state then he's a perpetrator himself). "Taking a revanche" against a deadly threat is in no way in the realm of honourable conduct, it's a self-preservation duty. Art, that's a piss poor excuse for a moral finger against Romania. We wanted Soviets out of history books forever, and that's more than enough as a justification as nobody sane enough could like to have Soviet Union as a real construct in our world.
I guess I've already seen something like this before:
http://research.calvin.edu/german-propa ... itler4.htm
There is a point when any meaningful discussion is impossible and here it is.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by BDV » 03 Dec 2015 00:38

Art wrote:Yes, it follows from a definition of self-defense. If you were beaten by a certain person and after a year punched him with a help of your buddies than you will have difficult time proving to a jury that it was self-defense. Romania joined "Barbarossa" not to defend itself against aggression but to take a revanche, as I already said.
Of course the main problem of your analogy is that there is not (and there was not at the time) a "bigger" sovereign.

Second point is that the Soviet transgression was not a temporary one, but it was a continuing one, as the Soviet State was quite in sovereign control of Bessarabia in 1941. Had Soviet transgression been some temporary trespass (e.g. say Soviet Armies crossing through Dobruja/Dobrogea to Tzarigrad/Istanbul) then your point would be slightly stronger.

As it was, Romania was justified in (A) seeking restoration, (B) attempting to prevent future repeats through the destruction/deconstruction/diminution of the Soviet State.


BDV wrote:There was a state of peace (or there was no state of war) which Romania violated by own initiative. Peace treaty wasn't needed simply because there was no war between Romania and USSR.
There was not "peace" there was nothing. Because Soviet aggression had freed the Romanian State of any bounds (arising from treaties or courtesy between sovereign nations) on Romanian actions. Thus, as sovereign nation, the Romanian State was free to act how it pleased versus the Soviet Union and its human support apparatus.


Or at least the Russian/Soviet government treated Romanian actions in such a way. Then follows the question I posed in my previous message: if the feeling of being unlawfully abused justified any Romanian violent actions in 1941 then why didn't it justify Soviet action in 1940?
The short version:
Because there were some treaties signed by the two parts in the 30s which were trampled underfoot by the Soviet Union in 1940, much like 3rd German Reich trampled the Munich Agreement, with the aggravating factor being that Bolshevik aggression was on Romania proper, not it's pact partners.

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OTOH should you concede my point on the "the strong do as they want, the weak as they must" and regard Romania as less of a sovereign when compared to countries like France, Great Britain, or Soviet Union I'd be happy to concede your points.

But if we are to continue the charade that Romania was fully sovereign, then, as of July 1st 1940 the Romanian State had the right to use that sovereignity as it pleased, up to and beyond destroying any Soviet material goods, despoiling any Soviet piece of land, and executing any komsomolist, party member, non-conscript military personnel, conscript military personnel with volunteering-based training (e.g. parachutists), and soviet bureaucrat its forces could capture.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Art » 03 Dec 2015 08:20

BDV wrote: There was not "peace" there was nothing.
No, on 21 June 1941 there was still a peace between Romania and USSR. There was no formal state of war, no military actions, they still maintained diplomatic and trade relations etc. Little have changed after June 1940 in this respect actually. So Romania entered the war against the USSR only on 22 June 1941 and not as a victim of Soviet aggression but by own initiative. That is essential point. The spirit and letter of the inter-war arrangement was that states should avoid resort to war but should seek to resolve any conflict in a peaceful manner through diplomacy. It is obvious that Romania didn't even try to do that.
As it was, Romania was justified in (A) seeking restoration, (B) attempting to prevent future repeats through the destruction/deconstruction/diminution of the Soviet State.

See above, the rules accepted by most countries prior to WWII was that no dispute justified solution by opening war. Then the natural question is if Soviet control of Bessarabia justified Romania seeking restoration that why a Romanian control of Bessarabia didn't justify Russia/Soviet Union doing the same.
As for alleged just character of "preventive war" Hugo Grotios has rejected it as early as in the XVII century, I have nothing to add.
Because there were some treaties signed by the two parts in the 30s which were trampled underfoot by the Soviet Union in 1940, much like 3rd German Reich trampled the Munich Agreement, with the aggravating factor being that Bolshevik aggression was on Romania proper, not it's pact partners.
No, Soviet Union never recognized Bessarabia as Romania's proper. In fact it was a disputed territory which from 1918 to 1940 was under Romanian control and after 1940 - under Soviet.
But if we are to continue the charade that Romania was fully sovereign, then, as of July 1st 1940 the Romanian State had the right to use that sovereignity as it pleased
Yes, they certainly have the right to reject Soviet demands and to make a stand. Nobody would blame them in that case. Yet they didn't and opted to cede control of disputed territories without war and without trying to defend them. If they were fully sovereign then they are mostly responsible for this decision not anybody else.
But if we are to continue the charade that Romania was fully sovereign, then, as of July 1st 1940 the Romanian State had the right to use that sovereignity as it pleased, up to and beyond destroying any Soviet material goods, despoiling any Soviet piece of land, and executing any komsomolist, party member, non-conscript military personnel, conscript military personnel with volunteering-based training (e.g. parachutists), and soviet bureaucrat its forces could capture.
As long as there was no state of war Romania didn't have rights to inflict any damage to the Soviet Union either in civilian or military realm in a way other then repulsing actual attacks. In a state of war it was bound by laws of war as any other nation as well as by common ideas of humanity. It is obvious that nothing justifies random executions.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Alixanther » 14 Dec 2015 07:11

Diplomacy? After receiving an ultimatum 1 year before and witnessing atrocious purges in these territories? You must be either joking or trolling.

Also, bear in mind there was no Soviet Union at the moment when Russia conceded these territories. How on Earth would you justify their "right" to claim territories from a former Empire? Using your logic, they could have handed down an ultimatum to US too, to retake Alaska - since it was also Russian Empire territory and was "lost" for Soviet Union.

It's funny you admit we had the right to defend ourselves, but only by defensive measures: there's no historical precedent that a state could repel and / or thwart other state attempts only by defensive measures. Pure nonsense.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by Art » 14 Dec 2015 08:13

Alixanther wrote:Using your logic, they could have handed down an ultimatum to US too, to retake Alaska
Russia voluntary conceded rights to Alaska to the United States. So no, it's not my logic.
Also, bear in mind there was no Soviet Union at the moment when Russia conceded these territories
1) Russia didn't legally concede these territories.
2) Both Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine were the constituents of the SU, hence the latter inherited their territorial claims.
It's funny you admit we had the right to defend ourselves, but only by defensive measures
I didn't say anything about defensive measures. The point was that in June 1941 Romania didn't defend itself. Another point was that the universally accepted norm in the inter-war period was not to resort to war as a means of policy.

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Re: Barbarossa, Delay: Balkans or Rain

Post by BDV » 14 Dec 2015 20:05

Art wrote: 1) Russia didn't legally concede these territories.
Soviet Union conceded war as policymaking tool when they joined the League of Nations.

Another point was that the universally accepted norm in the inter-war period was not to resort to war as a means of policy.
Not applicable to Soviet Union - Romania relations following the abolishment by the Soviet Union of civilized relations between Soviet Union and Romania in June 1940. As of July 1st 1940 there is vacuum in the Soviet Union - Romania relationship, sometimes named "The Law of the Jungle" but that is only an euphemism to cover the absence, the lack, the vacuum of norms between the parts.

Thus your point about Romania "not defending itself" in June 1941 is vacuous.

Now it may be vacuously true, if you're into that type of logical reasoning, but it is a vacuous point nonetheless -:- in June 1941 Romania was 'guilty' of violating something, as long as 'nothing' is included in your definition of something.
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P.S. Funny how 11 months of inaction creates a bound, but 22 years of inaction doesn't, which forces a return to "the strong do what they want, the weak do what they must".

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