The German campaign of conquering Britain - Page 5




 
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October 5th, 2006  
MightyMacbeth
 
 
very nice, thanks for the conribution

About your #1 answer. I agree the east front is important as well, and its good that you mentioned it, but I also want to look more specificaly to the western front. I know though, that you cant mention one and leave the other.

For #2. So Germany attacked Britain because Britain declared war on Germany? And or because Britain did not want to cooperate with Germany in some way?

For #3. So France declared war on Germany before Germany declared war on France? And Germany conquered France because France began the first assault?

And oh another question. Did Germany start its offencive at the eastern front first? or the western?


Thanks. And I also would like to hear some other persons views as well if thats possible
October 5th, 2006  
ill be damed if i know
 
 
Germany attacked britain in september of 1940 , britain did not retliate until early 1941 ( bombing berlin , not really effectively) 1939 is the phoney war , nothing really happened in the west ... Yes britain did declare war on germany , that is true, the rights and wrongs of that can be debated until we are all blue in the face ... Also hitler did not have the original intention of attacking britain "England is not our natural enemy" is a famous quote from hitler. Also hitler greatly admired britain and her empire and actually saw the british people (almost but not quite ) as germanys equals. He wanted to become firm allies with britain , germany would control the land and britain the worlds oceans. so why did britain not take hitler on his offer ? Britain was in a alliance with france and it wasnt politicaly viable to say "sorry france , you guys suck we are off to make friends with our new german buddies " or words to that effect . Second of all germany/ hitler (same thing at the time ) was seen not to be trusted ( the occupation of the rest of chechoslvakia without consent from any other nation reinforced this view ) . Finally it was also a increasing view that it was time to "stand up to hitler " there was nothing left to appease to hitler , it was all or nothing over poland ,poland 1939 just happened to be the time and place where britain decided to make its stand , they didnt really care about poland ( just like austria) it self , Britain and france threat of war , they thought would be enough to deter hitler ( it was enough over checkoslovakia in 1938 ) but hitler not surprisingly thought they were bluffing so it really gave the incredients for war .
October 5th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMacbeth
very nice, thanks for the conribution

About your #1 answer. I agree the east front is important as well, and its good that you mentioned it, but I also want to look more specificaly to the western front. I know though, that you cant mention one and leave the other.

For #2. So Germany attacked Britain because Britain declared war on Germany? And or because Britain did not want to cooperate with Germany in some way?

For #3. So France declared war on Germany before Germany declared war on France? And Germany conquered France because France began the first assault?

And oh another question. Did Germany start its offencive at the eastern front first? or the western?


Thanks. And I also would like to hear some other persons views as well if thats possible
1. I know what you are looking for. You are looking for the point in time when the western Allies defeated the German military in the west. Academically, there are a few possibilities. You could use the Allied invasion of Italy (September 1943) or the creation of the D-Day beachhead (June 1944) or the closure of the Falaise Gap (August 1944) or the breaching of the German border (Winter 1945). Since none of these were even remotely possible without Soviet involvement, they remain moreorless worthless.

2. Britain declared war on Germany. London chose to initiate hostilities against Berlin. Britain officially started the war. Germany did not attack Britain. Hitler even wanted peace with Britain. In fact, Germans have never declared war on Britain or first attacked Britain. Never. Ever.

3. France declared war on Germany. Germany did not declare war on France. Germany therefore did not "conquer" France in the manner you describe. As in 1870, a war started by the French went very poorly for them and they lost. In 1914, Germany declared war on France and went on the offensive. It is strange that 19th-20th Century Germans are always considered guilty of starting wars irregardless of the events.

The Germans and French have a brutal history that stretches back almost a thousand years -- with the French doing most of the invading. The only German attacks that I can think of are all pre-France. They include the Ostrogothic siezure of southern Gaul and the Frankish subjugation of Gaul. Other than that, you have to wait 1,500 years until WW1.

4. In 1939, Hitler invaded Poland in order to (1) regain control over lost German territories, (2) neutralize an aggressive neighbouring state, (3) protect a terrorized German minority, and (4) as a necessary step in his plan to conquer the Ukraine. When Hitler attacked the USSR in 1941, these actions were utterly aggressive and predatorial in nature. They represented a total departure from all previous military actions -- actions that can be considered traditional or even logical choices.


For these reasons, it is better to follow Michael Howard's division of what we call WWII into two segments: (1) the European war (1939-1941) and (2) WWII (1941-1945).

The first war was started by London and Paris to stop Hitler from revising Versailles and re-establishing the pre-1914 world. From the German perspective (and I do not mean today's Germans), the war was entirely defensive. They believed the war was thrust on them by the Allies. The second period represented what we can call Hitler's war. Hitler departed from the revanchist framework and grasped at world power status.

You can personally decide whether Britain and France had the moral right to force German compliance with Versailles. If so, then Germany started the European war because it acted against Allied interests. Because, however, this treaty was composed to neutralize German power, and therefore represented a classic case of power politics, I find it difficult to uphold Versailles as morally binding. Upholding Versailles was the same as revising it...from a rational standpoint, that is. While I accept that the German invasion of Poland represented a tragedy for the Poles, it is obvious that I do not therefore view the invasion as an attack on London or Paris. London and Paris therefore started a major conflict to defend their own personal vision of Europe...now that was egotistical to the extreme.
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October 5th, 2006  
ill be damed if i know
 
 
A quick question . why didnt the german army stop when it reached the cultural border between german speaking area of poland and the polish speaking area of poland? if germany just wanted to protect and unite all the german peoples they should of stopped at the last german speaking town in west poland. Also would like to point out that hitler aims was to destroy the "ubermenchen" people of the east : poles , slavs , russians etc so it was a war of aggression in the east . West , yes i see the point of initail allied agression HOWEVER if the allies were so agressive why didnt they attack in 1939 ? Britain wanted to keep the war " local" ie keeping the war as low key as possibel to avoid a repeat of ww1 , france iam not sure they relied to much on defensive policy , maginot line, france was in a defensive mindset since end of ww1.
October 5th, 2006  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ill be damed if i know
A quick question . why didnt the german army stop when it reached the cultural border between german speaking area of poland and the polish speaking area of poland? if germany just wanted to protect and unite all the german peoples they should of stopped at the last german speaking town in west poland. Also would like to point out that hitler aims was to destroy the "ubermenchen" people of the east : poles , slavs , russians etc so it was a war of aggression in the east . West , yes i see the point of initail allied agression HOWEVER if the allies were so agressive why didnt they attack in 1939 ? Britain wanted to keep the war " local" ie keeping the war as low key as possibel to avoid a repeat of ww1 , france iam not sure they relied to much on defensive policy , maginot line, france was in a defensive mindset since end of ww1.
I think you've more or less answered your own questions. Hitler's personal vision meant that his strategy of greating Lebensraum would happen in the territories east of Prussia. This was not a idea invented by Hitler. A German academician called Frederich Ratzel originally invented this hypothosis back in 1897. Hitler seized upon it and used it for his own aims. The Nazis also firmly believed that the expansionist aims of Joseph Stalin meant that a clash of arms was inevitable at some point. They were almost certainly correct in this assumption.

The Allies were not sufficiently in place in 1939 to attack offensively on a large scale. The largest allied army, being that of the French, was almost wholly geared to defend a German offensive, not the other way around. It was not prepared for offensive duties nor even designed to. The BEF was not large enough by itself to attack Germany successfully and the Dutch and Belgium armies were smaller still. Had the French Army been more balanced and less dependant on a defensive doctrine then things might have been different for the Germans. However, the defensive mindset of the French was no secret and the Germans gambled that no French attack would come. As it happens, they did attack but it was a complete fiasco.
October 5th, 2006  
MightyMacbeth
 
 
Okay, hmm.. so what I understand from Ollie, that Germany only tried to defend itself from the allies? So why then do we always hear that Germany started everything? that it was the evil country? that Hitler was evil dictator who wanted to rule the world? That he started it all?
Was it becuase he initially started to attack the eastern countries?

And then why did France and Britain declare war on Germany?
October 6th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMacbeth
Okay, hmm.. so what I understand from Ollie, that Germany only tried to defend itself from the allies? So why then do we always hear that Germany started everything? that it was the evil country? that Hitler was evil dictator who wanted to rule the world? That he started it all?
Was it becuase he initially started to attack the eastern countries?

And then why did France and Britain declare war on Germany?
1. The governments of France and Britain declared war on Germany to preserve the post-1918 European system that they themselves had created. This system was almost exclusively constructed to protect both states from the near-inevitability of German economic, cultural and political dominance in eastern Europe.

2. If you read the conventional literature, Germans are always guilty under all circumstances. This determination depends on your point of view. Hitler was guilty of starting the war if, for example, you believe that Berlin was obligated to accept Allied control and domination. Hitler was not guilty of starting the war if you argue that states are autonomous actors who pursue their own interests. Under the latter conditions, London and Paris made the determination to fight...although, you could argue that Hitler willingly risked or provoked the war. However, since the USSR also invaded Poland and took half of the spoils, it is hardly revolutionary to argue that Poland did not matter at all in Allied calculations. The only thing that mattered was the issue of German power.

Think of it another way. The Allies (spurred on by Roosevelt) did not accept the right of Nazi-Germany to exist. At the Casablanca Conference, the Allies proclaimed the policy of unconditional surrender or the total extirpation of Nazism. On the other hand, the western democracies never demanded the elimination of Communism during the Cold War. Washington and London were perfectly willing to live with a Europe cut in half by the iron curtain. It was taken for granted in 1945 that Stalin would want his share of the spoils and erect his own spheres of influence. Since Fascism continued to exist in Spain, Portugal and elsewhere after 1945, I personally do not believe that the western Allies even had a problem with this 1930s political ideology. I personally think that German power represented the major issue...that is, the western Allies were only able to conceive of Germany as a puppet. This view exists to this day...hence the near-universal opposition to German reunification in 1990.

3. Germany as "evil country". I am neither a theologian nor a moralist. "Evil" is in the eye of the beholder. Some people might argue that the American extirmination of the North American Indian was "evil". Others would argue that it was a "necessary evil". Still others might say that it was "historical progress". Frankly, although I am not God and hardly qualified to condemn regimes, I find the killing of civilians a horrible thing. I do, however, find the tendency to pick Nazi-Germany for special treatment somewhat warped. Most of Germany's victims were in eastern Europe. Stalin demonstrated a far more comprehensive degree of brutality in the same region. It therefore confounds me that Stalin is hardly ever mentioned in the media. Always Hitler, Hitler, Hitler. I think this tells us something about our own bias.

4. Hitler wanting to rule the world is a myth...and myths are powerful.
October 6th, 2006  
ill be damed if i know
 
 
so when do think the last point where war was avoidable? Rhineland,chech crisisof 1938? or argueably never after hitler gained power ? its a hard one to call and causes much debate for historians up to today . With regarding attacking britain , just like in politics hitler was a oppurtunist ie waited for a weakness in the allied powers or used events to his advantage ,anexample is in 1936,the spanish civil war broke out , the allied powers attention was firmly on spain so therefore it made it much easier for hitler to re occupy the rhineland. Anyway military speaking after the successful war against france in 1940 hitler found himself with his armies on the french coast overlooking the english channel, this wasnt expected to happen so quickly however hitler used this oppurtunity to try and take out britain out the war by attacking it by air and strangling it by sea but for a number of reason operation sealion never took place. Also i would like to make a fianl point here regarding britain and france, in the earlier years britain and france were damed because they didnt interfere in agressive german foreign policy but they seemed to be damed for interfering in poland "damed if i do and damed if i dont " comes to mind... Britain and france should of interfered alot earlier, i would of said austria ( personal belief thet rhineland was correctly re occupied by germany ) so poland just happened to be the time and place where the allies drew the line.
October 6th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ill be damed if i know
so when do think the last point where war was avoidable? Rhineland,chech crisisof 1938? or argueably never after hitler gained power ? its a hard one to call and causes much debate for historians up to today . With regarding attacking britain , just like in politics hitler was a oppurtunist ie waited for a weakness in the allied powers or used events to his advantage ,anexample is in 1936,the spanish civil war broke out , the allied powers attention was firmly on spain so therefore it made it much easier for hitler to re occupy the rhineland. Anyway military speaking after the successful war against france in 1940 hitler found himself with his armies on the french coast overlooking the english channel, this wasnt expected to happen so quickly however hitler used this oppurtunity to try and take out britain out the war by attacking it by air and strangling it by sea but for a number of reason operation sealion never took place. Also i would like to make a fianl point here regarding britain and france, in the earlier years britain and france were damed because they didnt interfere in agressive german foreign policy but they seemed to be damed for interfering in poland "damed if i do and damed if i dont " comes to mind... Britain and france should of interfered alot earlier, i would of said austria ( personal belief thet rhineland was correctly re occupied by germany ) so poland just happened to be the time and place where the allies drew the line.
Ollie's Extremely Brief Answer: (Sorry for being crude).

When France invaded Germany in 1923, where was global opposition? The French seized control of the German industrial heartland and cut off the prime motor of the German economy. This strategy plunged Germany into an obvious economic crisis of severe proportions. But the French also behaved badly. The soldiers did more than just load German production and capital equipment onto trains for shipment to France. All resistance by workers and business executives, who did not take kindly to losing their jobs, was met with mg fire. Hundreds were killed. The French government also employed Algerian troops who went on a raping frenzy that finally caught the attention of the American government. Only Washington protested strongly. This oppresive occupation lasted throughout the 1920s.

We can derive a few lessons from that event. It is first of all important to understand what the Allies generally wanted. The French in particular wanted to force Germany into a position of permanent prostration. Germany should, in the opinion of the policymakers, take it up the butt whenever they decided. In order to turn Germans into a nation of gimps, the Treaty of Versailles denied Germans the basic right of self-defence. Things went from there.

All sorts of strange things started to happen. The newly formed Polish state decided to fight a guerilla war against the German state and also decided that they could now start terrorizing and killing German civilians on their periphery. Things were even worse in Czechoslovakia...a state composed of 6 million Czechs, 3 million Germans and 1.5 million Slovaks. The dissolution of the Austrian Empire had left the Germans (and Hungarians) at the mercy of the Slavs. Versailles stepped in to cement the construction of a series of bizarre and ahistorical states that included greater Poland (with millions of Germans and Ukrainians), greater Czechia (see above) and Yugoslavia (a travesty). The Allies sponsored the creation of these states to punish the central European German civilian population by forcing them to accept Slavic mastery. In 1918, the Allies did not yet want to force the Germans to relocate. They feared that the infusion of so many people would only strengthen Germany. In 1945, they decided to kill them.

This spirit of vengeance was omnipresent in 1918. The British navy continued to deny Germany basic agricultural importants for many months after the armistice. Millions of Germans (especially children) died as a result of starvation and disease. Churchill was probably overjoyed.

It is hardly surprising that the Allies later debated the merits of Versailles. The British and Americans in particular developed a certain sympathy with the Germans. Was it guilt? The Americans floated loans and the British tried to mollify the French position. While this new perspective later undermined support for many elements of the Versailles treaty, the substance remained. The British and American governments did not take kindly to the idea of a remilitarized Germany.

Germans also debated the merits of Versailles. All Germans (including socialists and communists) wanted to get rid of the treaty and return to some semblance of normality. Hitler derived a similar perspective. In his case, he also developed a seriously unbalanced desire for revenge. Hitler, like other politicians such as Stresemann, wanted to extend German political power into the periphery in order to shield the German populations from Slavic exploitation. Hitler added another dimension. He took a leaf from the Versailles textbook and chose to destroy the power of the enemy. Hitler (drawing on the Thule Society and the writings of Haushofer) wanted "Lebensraum" to create a Germany strong enough to oppose the growing power of the Slavs. Hitler rightly believed that unopposed Slavic growth (based on the postwar Versailles model) would strangle Germany. That was the Allied intention. "Lebensraum" was therefore Versailles in reverse. The Slavs would pay instead of the German gimp.

During the 1930s, Hitler unfortunately came to power at a time that Versailles was weakened by Anglo-Saxon uncertainty and the Depression. The French government had already decided that their friends would probably not have the balls to turn the German screw. They pulled their troops out of Germany and built the Maginot line. Hitler was able to play the Brits off against the French and Soviets and win major concessions such as limited rearmament, union with Austria and the elimination of the Czech state...incidentally a state that could not exist without the Sudetenland and the economic input of 3 million Germans.

But, the basic premise of Versailles was never in doubt. While Chamberlain's government entertained certain sympathies, they were appalled at the increase of German power. Let's face the truth. A united German population (somewhere around 90 million souls) represented a real problem for London and Paris. Just like Hitler and his views of the Slavs, the English and French could not stomach the idea of a greater Germany. France was basically doomed to gimp status by the emerging German industrial machine...newly energized under Hitler.

Versailles, in my opinion, led to WWII. Each of the belligerents feared the emergence of an overpowering enemy block. Germany feared the Slavs. Everyone else feared Germany. Here we are talking about paradigmatic thought and nothing more. WWI was already a German-Slavic war. WWII repeated the phenomenon. The Anglo-Saxon powers just decided to continue their Versailles support of Slavic ascendency. It was therefore unimportant that Russia wiped out Polish sovereignty. They were both Slavs. The Slavs ultimately took over most of eastern Europe and killed off the Germans and Hungarians. This was a result of western Allied policy. The only question is....why in God's name were the Anglo-Saxons so against their German brothers in WWI? Where were the Anglo-Saxons when their German brothers were turned into gimps?
October 6th, 2006  
redcoat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie Garchy
Where were the Anglo-Saxons when their German brothers were turned into gimps?
The British do not consider themselves brothers to the Germans.
There are a lot of historical links between Britain and Germany, but there are a lot of historical links to France as well, and we don't consider ourselves brothers to them either.

Quote:
Versailles, in my opinion, led to WWII
Versailles was quite a tame treaty, the Allies should have broken Germany's power properly by breaking them up into their pre-1870 states.
The only thing wrong with Versailles was the fact we didn't enforce it when we needed to in the 1933-36 period
 


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