The German campaign of conquering Britain - Page 2




 
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September 20th, 2006  
perseus
 
 
OK lets have 3 conversations at once and see how it goes!

Mighty MacBeth

Quote:
What I mean is, what motivated(caused) the German military leaders to try on conquering Britain? What made them begin raids etc


Fear of an hostile base on the doorstep, particularily for bombing. They hoped to force Britain into a political settlement, perhaps hoping for the overthrow of Churchill caused by the loss of morale, due to the air raids. Of course the impact of bombing at that stage was overestimated and it didn’t work. Later it was because of retaliation for British bombing raids, and the belief Germany could cut of Britain’s supplies by sinking her merchant fleet.

Quote:
-Then, why or what were the causes that made the Germans fail in getting Britain and what they hoped for. I am not talking about the whole war, but just specifically in the beginning years when Germany tried to take Britain.


I have already expressed my views regarding the Battle of Britain at the end of this thread.
http://www.military-quotes.com/forum/navy-won-batle-britain-t24483.html

Failure for Germany at sea was due to lack of investment in a modern navy with aircraft carriers and suitable aircraft. Think what the impact of the German battleships and pocket battleships would have been in the Atlantic if this steel had been made into 12 medium 20 000 tonne sized carriers with bases off France. U-boat building was too scarce in the early stages, by the time they had sufficient numbers Britain had developed short range radar and America had supplied escort carriers which rendered them useless. Reading their codes via Ultra didn’t help either.

Ollie

What are your views regarding A J P Taylor’s book The Origins of the Second World War? It’s a long time since I read it but I think his view was similar to yours regarding the Versailles treaty at least, i.e. the Versailles settlement of 1919 was an artificial absurdity that was bound to unravel. This unraveling could have been done rationally, as in the early stages of British and French appeasement over the Rhineland, Germany's anschluss with Austria, and so on; but after Munich, in 1938, it was increasingly bungled. Having appeased Berlin over more-contestable territorial issues, the British changed their stance and decided to fight over Danzig and the Polish Corridor, where the German case for revision was stronger. The result, Taylor maintained, was a war in Europe that nobody wanted and that personally dismayed Hitler. World War II was simply an accident: Hitler never imagined that the democracies would actually go to war over Poland, especially because London and Paris could do almost nothing to defend the Poles. Great Britain and France had in the past vacillated between policies of appeasement and resistance.

http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/history/historian/A_J_P_Taylor.html
Taylor's initially 'outrageous' revisionism was increasingly, but not fully, accepted by British historians and by a majority amongst the rising generation of German historians.


Taylor's own statements such as "in principle and doctrine, Hitler was no more wicked and unscrupulous than many a contemporary statesman" were highly controversial. Perhaps only someone of his standing could get away with that sort of statement without getting into serious trouble. I think what spoils this thesis was the blatant attack on the Soviet Union, it’s difficult to imagine anything as selfish and ruthless.


Monty

Yes perhaps I have gone a bit too far,

Perhaps Britain did influence the result of the war, but only because the war was finely balanced in the Soviet Union. Without Arctic convoys, the diversions of resources and manpower I spoke about, and the lack of bombing (I don’t think it was totally insignificant) it may have tipped the balance. Perhaps this would have been the hinge factor at a critical time. However, I was attempting to place Britain’s military strength, particularly on land, in perspective for Mighty MacBeth.

The issue of invading the Soviet Union from the south is an interesting one. Do you think this would have been practical in view of the Caucasus Mountain barrier and the long supply line? Perhaps if Turkey came into the war it would have helped Germany regarding these issues.
September 20th, 2006  
MightyMacbeth
 
 
Thank you there Perseus.

And please, anyone tell me what they think too Everyone is welcomed.

Thanks
September 20th, 2006  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
Monty

Yes perhaps I have gone a bit too far,

Perhaps Britain did influence the result of the war, but only because the war was finely balanced in the Soviet Union. Without Arctic convoys, the diversions of resources and manpower I spoke about, and the lack of bombing (I donít think it was totally insignificant) it may have tipped the balance. Perhaps this would have been the hinge factor at a critical time. However, I was attempting to place Britainís military strength, particularly on land, in perspective for Mighty MacBeth.

The issue of invading the Soviet Union from the south is an interesting one. Do you think this would have been practical in view of the Caucasus Mountain barrier and the long supply line? Perhaps if Turkey came into the war it would have helped Germany regarding these issues.
The thing is that with the UK out of the war Germany would not have needed Turkey either as access to Russia through the south could have been achieved via Iran which would have put the Russian oilfields out of comission early on and more than likely into German hands.

As far as the practicality of the second front goes I cant see why it wouldnt have been an option especially since they damn near captured the area in late 1942.

While I dont believe that militarily the UK was a huge threat militarily I do believe that the failure to take it out (or have well established pre-war plans and logistics to defeat Britain) cost Germany the war.
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September 20th, 2006  
perseus
 
 
Monty, if you look at this map you will see what I mean. Surely Captain Mannerings platoon could defend this route. It looks worse than getting to Germany via Italy to me

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/commo...egion_1994.jpg
September 20th, 2006  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
Monty, if you look at this map you will see what I mean. Surely Captain Mannerings platoon could defend this route. It looks worse than getting to Germany via Italy to me

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/commo...egion_1994.jpg

You would think so but history indicates otherwise because on August 21 1942 a Nazi flag was installed on the Elbrus peak, the highest point of Caucasus and if you look at that map you will see the peak in question.

Now take the troop, training and equipment disparity of the opening stages of barbarossa and I suspect it would be private Jones that got it "up him (and he wouldnt like it)" and not Fritz.
September 20th, 2006  
MightyMacbeth
 
 
ooh lets not sail away from the main purose of the thread shall we?
September 21st, 2006  
MontyB
 
 
Hehe we are on topic I thought, we are looking at just how important Britain staying really was.
September 21st, 2006  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
The thing is that with the UK out of the war Germany would not have needed Turkey either as access to Russia through the south could have been achieved via Iran which would have put the Russian oilfields out of comission early on and more than likely into German hands.

As far as the practicality of the second front goes I cant see why it wouldnt have been an option especially since they damn near captured the area in late 1942.

While I dont believe that militarily the UK was a huge threat militarily I do believe that the failure to take it out (or have well established pre-war plans and logistics to defeat Britain) cost Germany the war.
As Perseus pointed out that region is a godsend for a defender and a nightmare for an attacker. The Germans did manage to get to the top of Mount Elbrus but that was an elite mountain warfare division and the actions at Stalingrad meant that Soviet attention was diverted elsewhere. The Germans didn't really capture the region at all; they only occupied some of the area whilst the Soviets withdrew. The Wehrmacht never got near to Baku, one of the main objectives of Fall Blau. The only way they could hope to occupy the region more permanently would be to deal with the 2 very large blocks of Soviet reserves sitting near Moscow and Stalingrad respectively. And that effectively meant winning the war against the USSR.

What cost Germany was going to war with a nation that had more men than they did and almost as importantly, had men who were willing to die for a cause. Hitler's plan to capture the Caucasus for oil and gas resources was flawed as it ignored the mistakes made by Napoleon some 130 years before - that to beat a country the sheer size of Russia you must destroy her armies in the field when the opportunity exists. Otherwise they will simply retreat into the hinterland and counter-attack on their terms. Britain didn't enter into the equation. The 2nd World War was lost for Germany in Russia.
September 21st, 2006  
MontyB
 
 
Indeed however I believe that the Russian army would have been destroyed had the Germans had the capacity to carry out an invasion of Russia on two fronts as indicated.
I accept these are purely hypothetical scenarios but with the loss of the southern oilfields in the first weeks of the war along with a drive from Poland I think the Soviets would have collapsed in weeks however none of these things would have (or were) been possible with Britain still fighting.

As I have said previously I think the failure to plan for a complete victory in the west was a huge mistake that eventually cost Germany the war.
September 21st, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
Ollie

What are your views regarding A J P Taylor’s book The Origins of the Second World War? It’s a long time since I read it but I think his view was similar to yours regarding the Versailles treaty at least, i.e. the Versailles settlement of 1919 was an artificial absurdity that was bound to unravel. This unraveling could have been done rationally, as in the early stages of British and French appeasement over the Rhineland, Germany's anschluss with Austria, and so on; but after Munich, in 1938, it was increasingly bungled. Having appeased Berlin over more-contestable territorial issues, the British changed their stance and decided to fight over Danzig and the Polish Corridor, where the German case for revision was stronger. The result, Taylor maintained, was a war in Europe that nobody wanted and that personally dismayed Hitler. World War II was simply an accident: Hitler never imagined that the democracies would actually go to war over Poland, especially because London and Paris could do almost nothing to defend the Poles. Great Britain and France had in the past vacillated between policies of appeasement and resistance.

http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/history/historian/A_J_P_Taylor.html
Taylor's initially 'outrageous' revisionism was increasingly, but not fully, accepted by British historians and by a majority amongst the rising generation of German historians.

Taylor's own statements such as "in principle and doctrine, Hitler was no more wicked and unscrupulous than many a contemporary statesman" were highly controversial. Perhaps only someone of his standing could get away with that sort of statement without getting into serious trouble. I think what spoils this thesis was the blatant attack on the Soviet Union, it’s difficult to imagine anything as selfish and ruthless.
I fully agree with you that my views seem very similar to those of Taylor. There are more similarities than differences. It however seems equally true that Taylor's views have had less impact on dominant cultural opinions than historians might like to believe. That is, the general public does not really exhibit any signs of exposure to Taylor's line of argumentation. Thanks for giving my argument some historiographical context. I think I will re-read Taylor's text (I have it somewhere). I should point out that Versailles has come under fire over the past years as the dominating force behind Hitler's rise and the outbreak of WWII. This argument, as you point out, begins with Taylor.

Taylor, for all of the good points raised, dismissed the revolutionary nature of French and English attitudes towards Germany after 1918. The war had deepened the view that Germans acted in unison. Taylor could not understand that the Germans were anything but a collective mass that shared similar values. While Taylor made a real attempt to understand standard German grievances and argued that most Germans would naturally fight against Versailles, his "Hitler was normal" theory dissolved the important differences between democratic, socialist and Nazi Germans. His book glossed over the de facto German civil war that ended with Nazi victory. Allied support of German democracy during the 1920s and 1930s could have thwarted Hitler. As it was, the inner conviction that Germans opposed democracy shaped Allied policy and radicalized European politics. Ultimately, many of the interwar problems sprang from the simple fact that neither London nor Paris politicians really accepted the German right to exist as a sovereign entity. It can be argued that many of these politicians even questioned the right of the German state to exist. That was anything but normal.

In general, I think that Taylor's mindset prohibited a better appreciation of the dangers of Stalin. Not only did he fail to explore the Soviet Union in sufficient depth, his attitudes toward Moscow betray the type of thinking alluded to in the first paragraph. He treated Moscow like a "real" state with a "real" foreign policy. Most contemporary socialists were of course guilty of the same warped analysis. Stalin became a normal politician working for normal political ends. Taylor never really described the horrors of Stalinist Russia. 1920s German democrats are never accorded the dignified treatment granted Stalin. Stresemann, for example, is viewed as a typically German Versailles revisionist. Stalin's interwar actions on the other hand were characterized as defensive or aiming at collective security.

Was Taylor's "Origins" really an attempt at explaining the outbreak of WWII using a fair framework? Taylor wrote elsewhere that "Germany is not a typical European nation, nor even a typical Great Power; shaped by history, it has acquired a unique character and played a unique role, a role almost entirely aggressive and destructive, an alien body in the structure of European civilization". [Taylor, The Course of German History, p. 7]. These types of statements betray the real Taylor. In my opinion, Taylor really believed that "Hitler ist Deutschland". This was the true message of "Origins"...although hidden using incredible sophistication.
 


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