About Why did WWII happen ? Page 11
|April 12th, 2006||#101|
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Perhaps 'dark' was a little melodramatic when concerning British WW2 foreign (and other) policy. I suppose a better word would be selfish. It might have a little to do with the animosity that still exists between England and France, 2 ancient enemies. Until the rise of Prussia and Germany afterwards it was France, and not Germany, that was the principal enemy of England and later Britain. But France was left to fend for itself in June 1940 when it was clear that high loss of British life would result in any attempt to reinforce the French Army in the field. Indeed there were only 2 'British' divisions in France during May to June 1940 (the 52nd Infantry Division and the 1st Canadian Division), with only 1 more division slated to arrive (on June 20th). Sounds like a pretty half-hearted attempt to me.
Coming back to your question as to whether Europe will see another regional conflict on the lines of WW1/WWII it's a good question and one that deserves a thread of its own. I'm unsure whether this question has already been tackled but certainly it won't hurt to have another thread on the subject.
It wasn't just the Romanian 3rd and 4th Armies that faced the Kiev and Odessa Military Districts on June 22nd 1941. The Germans also had the 11th and 17th Armies and 1st Panzergruppe (later 1st Panzerarmee) deployed in that area, although it's true that 11th Army was delayed in deploying, which allowed local Soviet forces to go on a limited offensive in Galicia. However, this smacks of local Soviet commanders (for once) taking the initiative rather than them having actual offensive orders. Another thing to mention is that this was the one area of the front where the Soviet forces actually outnumbered the Axis forces invading them. Gerd von Rundstedt, commander of Army Group South, had 54 divisions whilst there were 68 Soviet divisions defending the area. Hitler's designs on the Ukraine were well known to Stalin.
The Romanian Armies themselves were, in truth, decently trained and led. The main problem with them was their general lack of armour and AT guns rather than any shortcomings of the actual men themselves. They were well motivated as well, but the delay of 11th Army allowed the Soviet forces in the area to do well for a time.
"An Emperor is subject to no-one but God and justice."
Frederick 1, Barbarossa
|April 13th, 2006||#102|
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There is a saying in the Russian Army: "Initiative is punishable"
Sure, the official doctrine is saying just an opposite...
However, it is very difficult to imagine that some local commander(who has known dozens of his comrads have disappeared in the previous few years) would do something he was not ordered to do.
Just one example - Nikolaj Kuznetzov - the CIC of the Soviet Navy. He had taken the initiative - he had ordered the high alert before June 22th. due to this, the Navy has not suffered during the initial bombing raides by the Germans and was able to attack Konstanca ...
In his memoirs he had described what kind of doubts he have had...
|April 13th, 2006||#103|
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I'm a pretty open guy Boris. Convince me by way of reasoned argument and supporting proof/documentation and I'm prepared to change my opinion. So far, you haven't come close to doing that.
|April 14th, 2006||#104|
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Here is a link that leads to a recent review about a topic of interest. I disagree with the theory that Russia "defeated" Germany in 1941/ early 1942. This theory warps the realities of WWII (realities that are important in understanding origins):
1. The war became one of total war.
2. Industry operated as a major element of attrition.
3. The Allies ultimately used "brute force" in defeating Germany.
The theory is, however, interesting to a certain degree:
1. It underlines the lack of nazi military production and longterm planning.
2. It shows the importance of France 1940 in creating a "victory myth".
What do you guys think?
Last edited by Ollie Garchy; April 18th, 2006 at 18:09..
|April 15th, 2006||#105|
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I have, probably, missed your point, Ollie...
This article, IMO, has two points:
1. The West underestimates the Soviet contribution to the common effort(these is a favorite theme of my Russian friends. Some of them even preach that they have won the war alone. Last year, I have translated some excerpts from the famous work by S. E. Morison "U. S. Naval operations in the WWII" into Russian and posted them in the Russian-speaking forum. Some of the responses were like this: "These bastards have been vacationing in the nice Pacific islands when our fathers were saving the world!")
2. The Battle of Moscow is even more important then Stalingrad.
I couldn't find anything else there(I mean, any theory)
|April 15th, 2006||#106|
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What I was trying to say that there was a distinct possibility of such scenario.
So far, all the worst tales about the Stalin's regime(or almost all) have been proved correct.
Why this one should be an exception?
Why so many archives in Russia are still closed for the open research and war plans of the 30-s and 40-s are still classified?
The deception and lies were so common that it is impossible to tell outright which is what. If some documents are released, how to prove that they are not fakes?
|April 18th, 2006||#107|
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It is more logical to argue the following: Hitler armed in depth and not in breadth during the 1930s. (a reverse of the traditional view) Halder and the boys at OKW argued after the war that Germany was not prepared for a major war in 1939 or 1941. If you look at the production statistics, the levels of output correspond with OKW forecasts. That is, the German generals set 1944-45 as the completion date for rearmament.
Anyway, I hate the "breadth argument". How can you produce a large number of weapons systems without the industrial infrastructure to back it up? It is impossible. The point is simple: There is no massive German military organization in 1939 or 1941...massive in per capita terms or based on German productive capacities. Massive relative to Holland. Sure. But less than massive relative to France, Poland and especially the Soviet Union.
2. Soviet-Russia did take on the bulk of German ground forces. It is really hard to make the case that western actions in Afrika or later in Italy or even Normandy broke the back of the Wehrmacht.
|April 18th, 2006||#108|
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I assume you are referring to British forces following Dunkirk.
The British order of battle following Dunkirk is two divsions:
followed later in June by:
By the beginnig of 1940 Britain had 10 divisions in France. At the time of the attack on France there was 10 divisions in 3 corps, but I understand that 5 were being formed, I think classed as GHQ reserve giving a total of 237,319 men.
What I dont know is how many divisions had any readiness in Britain during the battle of France, I suspect very few. I would be interested to know the answer. It takes time to train men into an effective fighting force. There were only 2 Canadian divisions in Britain.
British strategy, which was flawed enviaged a WW1 western front, which would allow sufficient time to build a strong army. Britain did not have a large army. Only in Feb 1940 did Britain decided to build a 55 division army.
Following Dunkirk it was simply not possible to requip and send those forces back to France. After all it takes time to equip a division with all its weapons,not sure how quickly division artillery can be made and delivered. A total of 198,315 British tropps were evacuated from Dunkirk when Dynamo officially ended on 4 June.
However it is important to remember Britains committments elsewhere in the world, which required British troops. At least 100,000 troops were based abroad at the start of WW2.
Having said all of that would have sending every British soldier made the difference? Perhaps the greatest difference between both sides is how they used their soldiers. When was an allied victory still possible once the Germans launched their attack in May 1940? I think it was probably not possible once the Germans cut France in two, when they reached the coast.
Overall your evaluation of Britains willingness in 1940 is harsh (from my view of the evidence). Britains major strength was in its navy and a blockade which had been successful in WW1 was thought at the start of the war that it would play a major role in WW2.
|April 19th, 2006||#109|
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I think the key thing you said was how each side used their forces. The French Army and BEF had more and better tanks but used them piecemeal rather than as a 'panzerfaust' as the Germans did. The heavy fuel requirements of the French Char B1 didn't help. Perhaps I am a little harsh as I think the Western Allied forces were simply shocked into defeat by the speed of the German panzers. Even though there seemed some opportunities for counter-attack (for example as a result of the speedy German dash to the Atlantic there was a huge gap between the leading panzer elements and their supporting infantry) the Allied forces were clearly not able to execute those, the Germans being much superior in terms of initiative, tactics and leadership. Also, the initial plan by Gamelin was a sound one by conventional military standards. No-one expected the Germans to burst from the Ardennes as they did, although Gamelin did leave a sizeable armoured reserve there just in case. It didn't work.
I stand by what I said regarding the British (and French for that matter) only being interested in an alliance because of a common enemy. Events after WW2 have tended to support that theory.
|April 23rd, 2006||#110|
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Last edited by Mohmar Deathstrike; April 23rd, 2006 at 13:18..