HistoryGeek2019 wrote: A blatant misrepresentation of the economic balance (as if continental Europe contained more resources than the rest of the world combined)
Whoa there. You're forgetting Japan and I know you have that one odd quote from Stahel about industrial production but let's look at an actual economic historian like Mark Harrison. From The Economics of the Second World War
https://www.cnrs-scrn.org/northern_mari ... _31-58.pdf
As you can see, shifting all of the SU's resources to the Axis gives them a $220bn lead over the Allies (1990 dollars) using 1938 GDP's of the occupied territories. Shifting half of the SU's remaining resources makes it equal.
We can argue about ensuing territorial changes from this 1942 benchmark or differential mobilization (including the fact of America spending proportionately only 40% of GDP on the war
vs. 70% for Germany/Japan in '44) of the spheres of control. Regardless of how that argument turns out, there is absolutely nothing about my claim of comparative resources that involves misrepresentation. That inflammatory allegation was uncharacteristic and uncalled for.
The political narrative ever since WW2 is that western governments were so strategically and morally blinkered that they almost led the world into ruin. This is why Neville Chamberlain is so heavily vilified along with Charles Lindbergh and the isolationists in the United States (because we can't criticize the savior of western civilization himself, FDR). The vilification of the "appeasers" has been the dominant political narrative since WW2 in order to justify war after war after war against tiny third world countries that pose no threat whatsoever to the United States. The segment of the overall population that has any sense as to how hopelessly outnumbered the Axis were in WW2 is insignificant next to the countless masses who think we'd all be speaking German if Hitler had only listened to his generals.
I'm not talking about the vulgar narrative, I'm talking about the supposedly sophisticated narrative held/espoused by governing elites and those with an interest in WW2. The "we'd all be speaking German" narrative isn't worth the time of any educated person so I wouldn't bother putting it in my crosshairs.
The elite narrative is about appeasement pre-war
, followed by an immediate rallying to the common human cause against Nazism, all else be damned. It assumes that Hitler never had any chance of building a durable New Order in Europe.
Both of these ideas are wrong and conceal important facts.
The most important thing concealed is that the capitalist West - especially Britain - didn't lose its opportunity to stop/limit the war
in Munich. No, it lost that opportunity when its anti-Communism prevented a '39 (or earlier) alliance with Stalin that would have prevented the war
or made it a relatively short smashing of Germany. Even after the war
began, Churchill refused the advice of his (anti-Stalinist but left wing) emissary Stafford Cripps to detach Stalin from Hitler by tacitly - not even legally - recognizing Stalin's gains under the Pact. (See Gorodetsky's Grand Delusion)
That's not an argument that the SU taking the Baltics was good, it's an argument for realpolitik in the face of the most evil great power in history. It's ridiculous to think that a man like Churchill - a man too racist for many very-racist contemporaries, who thought of Indians and Africans as not equally human, who presided over an empire that would continue to terrorize non-whites for decades after the war
- that this guy refrained from realpolitik in the Baltic on decent moral grounds. No, he just hated communism too much to do what was right. Heck he even wanted to bomb Baku and, had the French held for a few more months, probably would have done so.
Absent Stalin's help there was no viable plan to defeat Hitler except the then-unforeseen A-bomb.
Btw, many are unfamiliar with the following Churchill quote:
"I do not admit that the dog in the manger has the final right to the manger, though he may have lain there for a very long time I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been to those people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race or at any rate a more worldly-wise race, to put it that way, has come in and taken their place. I do not admit it. I do not think the Red Indians had any right to say the American continent belongs to us and we are not going to have any of these European settlers coming in."
the perpetuation of the Nazi myth that the German will to fight was somehow stronger than that of the Allies.
More importantly the will to die, the will to actually have a land war
in which millions die on each side.
The Nazis had more of that will but not to their moral credit. I have no problem conceding the territory that they were more warlike than the Anglosphere was. It's a point of patriotic pride actually, though of small note (being less warlike than Nazis is good, being the most warlike great power of the last 70 years is a point of national shame).