Leningrad siege War crimes or not?

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Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 02 Oct 2007 11:18

Ship of Fools wrote:
As David points out, they did not have that option. Well, they had the option to declare it such, but the Germans had orders not to accept it, which means that there was never an option of Leningrad becoming an open city.
People here are going to think I am very stupid, but I am mystified as to how a secret order can have had any bearing on Soviet decision making.

Presumably the Soviets' would have starved their civilians rather than surrender had the German army been commandeered by Mahatma Ghandi himself.

Or perhaps I am missing something?
Yes, but quite frankly I can't be bothered to explain it to you since you seem to believe that it was the Soviet's who starved their civilians at Leningrad. :roll:

Moving on... David is in my view quite right in that the siege was no warcrime, and I think that much of the confusion comes from the 7 October order (which was a bit more formal than 'Hitler's rant'). It is clear that this order was in violation of the rules of war as they existed then. What saved von Leeb and his subordinate commanders from demonstrating whether they would have upheld the laws of war by defying the order is that they never conquered the city due to the Soviet resistance and the obvious failure of the Finns to play the role foreseen for them.

All the best

Andreas

Tero
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Post by Tero » 02 Oct 2007 16:54

By Andreas
What saved von Leeb and his subordinate commanders from demonstrating whether they would have upheld the laws of war by defying the order is that they never conquered the city due to the Soviet resistance and the obvious failure of the Finns to play the role foreseen for them.
We Finns think there was no failure when the Finnish actions are concerned.

I'd say the failure was one the Germans made when they thought Finns could be taken for granted when it comes to German war goals which ran contrary to Finnish long term interests.

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LWD
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Post by LWD » 02 Oct 2007 17:01

"Failing" to play the role the Nazis planned on one following is in a larger sence hardly a failure. The Finish military and government did an amazingly good job of walking a very slippery high wire.

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 02 Oct 2007 17:16

Tero wrote:By Andreas
What saved von Leeb and his subordinate commanders from demonstrating whether they would have upheld the laws of war by defying the order is that they never conquered the city due to the Soviet resistance and the obvious failure of the Finns to play the role foreseen for them.
We Finns think there was no failure when the Finnish actions are concerned.

I'd say the failure was one the Germans made when they thought Finns could be taken for granted when it comes to German war goals which ran contrary to Finnish long term interests.
Yep,

The Leningrad "siege" was a German business and the failure of capturing the city was a German failure.

Regards, Juha

Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 02 Oct 2007 17:17

Tero wrote:By Andreas
What saved von Leeb and his subordinate commanders from demonstrating whether they would have upheld the laws of war by defying the order is that they never conquered the city due to the Soviet resistance and the obvious failure of the Finns to play the role foreseen for them.
We Finns think there was no failure when the Finnish actions are concerned.

I'd say the failure was one the Germans made when they thought Finns could be taken for granted when it comes to German war goals which ran contrary to Finnish long term interests.
As LWD said, I think from the Finnish point of view that was a very smart political judgement. But it failed to follow the plan the Germans made. That is not a fault of the Finnish, but one of the Germans.

I hope this is clearer now.

All the best

Andreas

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Fern
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Post by Fern » 02 Oct 2007 20:02

Finland was at war with the USSR. The only way Finland could achieve their political goals was by winning it. Taking decisions (or not taking the right ones) which didn't help Finland AND their allies to win the war against the Soviets was IMHO not smart at all. Ending their advances because they had got their POLITICAL objetives (recovering lost territories and a useful buffering area) and refusing to pressure Russian forces as a way to help Germany to win the war agaisnt the Soviets looks suicidal to me. And it was indeed. Germany lost the war and Finland definitively lost the territories it wanted to recover

That's what I think, but I recognize that I don't know much about Finland at war, so I am ready to revise my opinion if Finnish friends provide enought data to revise it. I am pretty sure they will have that info.

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Post by David Thompson » 02 Oct 2007 21:05

Finnish strategy, unrelated to war crimes, should probably be discussed in one of the other forum sections.

Voice of Truth
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Post by Voice of Truth » 03 Oct 2007 00:41

David Thompson wrote:Finnish strategy, unrelated to war crimes, should probably be discussed in one of the other forum sections.
Well, it is related to the war on this front!

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JTG
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Post by JTG » 03 Oct 2007 00:46

Voice of Truth wrote:
David Thompson wrote:Finnish strategy, unrelated to war crimes, should probably be discussed in one of the other forum sections.
Well, it is related to the war on this front!
But is it related to a specific war-crime?

JTG

Ship of Fools
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Post by Ship of Fools » 03 Oct 2007 11:50

Yes, but quite frankly I can't be bothered to explain it to you since you seem to believe that it was the Soviet's who starved their civilians at Leningrad.
This gets back to the question did the Germans have the responsibility for feeding them?

Today, we would probably say yes. Cf siege of Sarajevo, there was never a suggestion that for the Bosnian Serbs to use hunger as a war weapon was acceptable.

Back then, presumably, as we accept that the British had the right to blockade the continent for all supplies then the Soviets had the responsibility for feeding the civilians in Leningrad.

If they could not they could either
a. evacuate those civilians - under the unlikely assumption the minimizing civilian deaths had a high priority for the Soviet command. Either using airlifts or by using the routes they used to bring food and munitions into the capital. Of course if one assumes that the Communist elite had a large degree of autrism towards the in-group (ie the party) and very little towards the out-group (ie the populace) then it was extremely improbable that they would think along those lines.

b. surrender and pass that responsibility over to the Germans.

The alleged existence of secret orders produced at Nuremberg is irrelevant in regards Soviet decision making

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Post by Andreas » 03 Oct 2007 13:12

Ship of Fools wrote: The alleged existence of secret orders produced at Nuremberg is irrelevant in regards Soviet decision making
The order and the general intent is documented. Your insinuation that it was 'produced at Nuremberg' is without base in reality.

Regards

Andreas

Ship of Fools
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Post by Ship of Fools » 03 Oct 2007 13:50

Your insinuation that it was 'produced at Nuremberg' is without base in reality
I was using the word "produced" in one of its accepted English meanings.

It is quite usual to say, for example, a witness or a document is produced in court
cf
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%2 ... s%22&meta=
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%2 ... t%22&meta=

Should I have insinuated the document was produced illegitimately the most obvious English word to use would be "manufactured".

The chances of that occuring with any of the Nuremberg canon is miniscule.
Last edited by Ship of Fools on 03 Oct 2007 13:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by David Thompson » 03 Oct 2007 13:56

An off-topic post from Eckart, which did not discuss the topic but contained comments about another poster, was deleted by the moderator pursuant to the forum and section rules -- DT.

H&WC Section Rules
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=53962

Andreas
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Post by Andreas » 03 Oct 2007 14:04

Ship of Fools wrote:
Your insinuation that it was 'produced at Nuremberg' is without base in reality
I was using the word "produced" in one of its accepted English meanings.
I am aware of the English meaning in this context. It takes on a different tone however when preceded by the words 'alleged existence', which throw doubt on the actual existence of the order in question.

Regards

Andreas

Ship of Fools
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Post by Ship of Fools » 03 Oct 2007 14:06

Then to avoid confusion you should have highlighted the words that concerned you rather than the ones whose meaning is quite clear cut.
Your insinuation that it was 'produced at Nuremberg' is without base in reality.
It is a fact that these documents were "produced at Nuremberg", ie a reality where you suggested it was not.

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