Why did WWII happen ? - Page 2




 
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March 14th, 2006  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missileer
He also began the mass extermination of everyone he didn't like, including German citizens. Genocide is never a good policy.
So did Stalin, who got off far more lightly than Hitler did, because Stalin was an 'ally'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Missileer
There is no Soviet Union anymore, they were beaten.
Rather pedantic and unnecessary statement. There was a Soviet Union around for 46 years after the end of the war and the nation is essentially still around in Russia, which was the political, ideological and military centre of the old Soviet Union anyway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Missileer
When Germany, Italy, and Japan allied and let their intentions of World domination be known, that was the handwriting on the wall. Blitzkreig and mass exterminations of people in death camps was not acceptable to the rest of the world. The fact that Hitler was insane and almost assassinated by his own trusted leaders speaks volumes as to why Germany could not be allowed to expand death camps all over Europe.
Blitzkrieg is a the name of a military tactic which was then copied and used by the Allies. Mass exterminations of people in death camps was also a feature of one of the Allies. Hitler was only 'insane' after the onset of Parkinson's began to take a grip on him. Before that, he was as sharp and intelligent as any world leader, however repugnant some of his policies and beliefs were.

IMO the reasons for WW2 stem from the ideological and personal ambitions of just one man, Adolf Hitler, exploiting a situation whereby Germans felt they had been harshly dealt with after the end of WW1 and a Germany on the edge of economic collapse.
March 14th, 2006  
Ted
 
 
Quote:
IMO the reasons for WW2 stem from the ideological and personal ambitions of just one man, Adolf Hitler, exploiting a situation whereby Germans felt they had been harshly dealt with after the end of WW1 and a Germany on the edge of economic collapse.
I reckon I'll just say: well put Doppleganger. And to avoid another generalization; the concentration camp was a Brittish invention from the Boer war. The Germans just added extermination camps in the equation, but that was an evolvement of the original concept.
March 14th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redcoat
Two reasons why the Soviet invasion of Poland was ignored.
Firstly, to quote a famous US president "One war at a time, gentlemen please !"
Britain and France had gone to war against Germany only because they had to. They knew that beating Germany would be hard enough without taking on the Soviet Union as well.
Secondly the Soviet Union only took the part of Poland that had been taken from the Soviet Union by the Poles in their invasion of the Soviet Union in the 1920's. Territory which had never been accepted by Britain and France as belonging to Poland.
My response:

(1) Poland was never freed and fell under Soviet control for 40 years. The Cold War was not a second war. Some Cold War historians like Eisenberg in fact argue that the Soviets and Americans simply divided the world in the form of an unarticulated but real agreement.

(2) Did Britain/France have to declare war on Germany? Helping Poland proved impossible. The decision backfired. Poland fell in 4 weeks. France fell in 6 weeks. Arguing that Britain ultimately won the war, and trying to lay credit on some type of longterm plan, would be an historical distortion. A whole series of political pressures forced Chamberlain's government to declare a war in defence of Poland. That the western Allies were "caught off guard" is highly likely. The armies of Britain/France sat back even though they outnumbered the Germans in terms of planes, trains and automobiles (and everything else). The point is simple. Nothing was done to save Poland. Why use Poland as an excuse?

(3) While I agree with the direction of your post, namely that the Allies planned and hoped that they could defeat Germany in the manner of a preventive war, this notion does great damage to the "just war thesis". WWII historiography is strange because of this. Think of it this way. How is it possible to use Auschwitz as a reason for the 1939 declaration of war when the horrible death camp was not even "in action" until early 1942? How is it possible to use the war against Soviet-Russia as a reason when nobody could forecast when Hitler would attack? The issue in 1939 remains Poland.

Ollie Garchy
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March 14th, 2006  
Missileer
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
So did Stalin, who got off far more lightly than Hitler did, because Stalin was an 'ally'.
Yep! One deranged heathen at a time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Rather pedantic and unnecessary statement.
Oh, I think it's very relevant and necessary since the USSR was a world threat. And, by the way, overusing a word like "pedantic" is not a good idea, it smacks of pseudo-intellectualism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
There was a Soviet Union around for 46 years after the end of the war and the nation is essentially still around in Russia, which was the political, ideological and military centre of the old Soviet Union anyway.
There was a USSR is the key statement here, if you think Russia is anywhere near where the Union was militarily, you are mistaken. President Reagan raised the stakes and the USSR fell like a house of cards. As for their politics and ideology, I think the Russian brand of Marxism is dead and buried.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Blitzkrieg is a the name of a military tactic which was then copied and used by the Allies. Mass exterminations of people in death camps was also a feature of one of the Allies.
I think I'll ask for references on this statement. of mass exterminations by the Allies because I don't believe it. If you're trying to match the holocaust with anything perpetrated by the Allies, you are ignoring written, oral, living, and filmed history.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Hitler was only 'insane' after the onset of Parkinson's began to take a grip on him. Before that, he was as sharp and intelligent as any world leader, however repugnant some of his policies and beliefs were.
The fact that the man drew his first breath at birth led to the deaths of millions of people. Since he chose suicide rather than just punishment suggests to me that he was still able to reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
IMO the reasons for WW2 stem from the ideological and personal ambitions of just one man, Adolf Hitler, exploiting a situation whereby Germans felt they had been harshly dealt with after the end of WW1 and a Germany on the edge of economic collapse.
I certainly can't argue with that one.
March 14th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missileer
I think I'll ask for references on this statement. of mass exterminations by the Allies because I don't believe it. If you're trying to match the holocaust with anything perpetrated by the Allies, you are ignoring written, oral, living, and filmed history.
Sorry Missileer, this argument is illogical. Your view means the following: if we don't talk about an event, it never happened. The problem here is simple. The western Allies and Soviet-Russia, like all states, do not emphasize their atrocities. Why would they?

There are often two basic directions taken when dealing with Allied crimes against humanity and they smack of neo-nazi revisionism: (1) "it ain't never happened" or (2) the Germans or Japanese or whomever deserved it.

This simplification is on the way out. Over the last 10 years, quite a few historians have turned their attention to the Soviet Union. There are two reasons for this: (1) the Russian archives were unlocked and (2) the current generation has discarded the leftist tendencies of the late 1960s.

The scope of Stalin's crimes were truly horrific. I have tried in earlier posts to point this out. One point, however. Historians are supposed to show WHAT happened and WHY they happened. Historians are not moralists who try to juggle war crimes and then pick the worst culprit. These types of comparisons are interesting activities that we can pursue here.

I can also assure you that Doppleganger is not ignoring "written, oral, living, and filmed history". The flood of this type of material is however in German for obvious reasons.

Here is a good English language account of the Soviet military's actions in Germany:

Norman M. Naimark, The Russians in Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Occupation, 1945-1949 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995).

Ollie Garchy
March 14th, 2006  
Missileer
 
 
Stalin's worst crimes were against the Russian people. Luckily for historians, the Germans and Japanese were prolific filmakers and photographers of their crimes against humanity, thus all the hard facts about the third reich and rape of China by the Japanese. As for Soviet occupation of East Germany, the Russians just chalked that up to "we can give as good as we get."
March 14th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missileer
Stalin's worst crimes were against the Russian people. Luckily for historians, the Germans and Japanese were prolific filmakers and photographers of their crimes against humanity, thus all the hard facts about the third reich and rape of China by the Japanese. As for Soviet occupation of East Germany, the Russians just chalked that up to "we can give as good as we get."
My response:

(1) Stalin killed the following people in addition to the "Russians": Ukranians, Poles, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Albanians, Finns, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Germans, Rumanians, Croats, Czechs, Slovakians, etc.

(2) Killing your "own" people? That is still a crime as bad as killing "other" people. Or do you think that Bundy was less a murderer because he only killed (and partially ate) Americans?

(3) "We can give as good as we get". This barbaric philosophy is still illegal and counter to world law and the laws of war. I have never seen the following caveat in the Geneva Convention or any other legal document: "The killing of civilians is permitted under the following circumstances...(a) as a tool of vengeance, (b) a demonstration of power, (c) for fun"....well, you get my point.

Ollie Garchy
March 14th, 2006  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missileer
Oh, I think it's very relevant and necessary since the USSR was a world threat. And, by the way, overusing a word like "pedantic" is not a good idea, it smacks of pseudo-intellectualism.
Seeing as this thread is about why WW2 happened, I don't think it has any relevance to the topic at hand. 'Pedantic' just happened to be the most approriate word I had to hand. I'm not sure why you attach that label to it - it's just a word after all. And I only used it once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Missileer
There was a USSR is the key statement here, if you think Russia is anywhere near where the Union was militarily, you are mistaken. President Reagan raised the stakes and the USSR fell like a house of cards. As for their politics and ideology, I think the Russian brand of Marxism is dead and buried.
Again, this has no relevance to the topic at hand. Your reply smacks of jingoism if I'm honest.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Missileer
I think I'll ask for references on this statement. of mass exterminations by the Allies because I don't believe it. If you're trying to match the holocaust with anything perpetrated by the Allies, you are ignoring written, oral, living, and filmed history.
I don't have much to add to what Ollie Garchy posted but one of the 'Allies' in WW2, a certain Mr Stalin, was not a very nice man.
March 14th, 2006  
redcoat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted
I reckon I'll just say: well put Doppleganger. And to avoid another generalization; the concentration camp was a Brittish invention from the Boer war. The Germans just added extermination camps in the equation, but that was an evolvement of the original concept.
The myth that the concentration camp was invented by the British is actually WW2 Nazi propaganda.
The term was first used to describe prison camps used by the Spanish military during the Cuban insurrection (1868–78 )
At the start of the 20th century there was quite a fad for their use.
In fact, they were even used by America in the Philippines (1898–1901),
March 14th, 2006  
Reiben
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie Garchy
Stalin acted in a similar manner and both in fact joined in the division of Poland. Why is the German invasion of Poland mentioned as the start of WWII? Why is it that the Soviet Union's part is ignored?

Here lies an important reason for WWII. The British and French delared war on Hitler's Germany for the invasion of Poland. These governments found the German annexation of Poland unacceptable. Stalin's annexations were ignored. Allied perceptions are therefore more important than Hitler's actions. It amounts to this: German military adventures were unacceptable.
Ollie Garchy
Stalins annexation were not ignored by the west. Fighting against Germany was enough for Britain and France. After all they remembered 1914-18. Both countries made attempts to provide an alliance similar to 1914 with Russia.

Both Britain and France supplied equipment to the Finnish in the Winter War against Russia.

Germany wanted and started a war of aggression. You could argue that the people of Germany didnt want a war, the reaction of 1914 may not have been repeated, but there was support.

Germany waged a war aggression with racist overtones. It seems hard to argue that Germany was not an aggressive racist state during world war 2.