Why did WWII happen ? - Page 7




 
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March 27th, 2006  
Ted
 
 
I think the author should have said: Hitler lost the war when he invaded Russia. As far as I know Stalin never provoked Hitler. But he might have done so as the years would have passed and he would have felt strong enough.

(But one could argue that the re-organization of the army and the designing of the T34 was due to Germanies invasion. No invasion, no adaptations, no strong Red Army. What was first; the chicken or the egg?)
March 28th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by redcoat
Kindly explain how coming to a secret agreement with Germany on the carve up of Eastern european nations, 'provoked' Hitler.
If you read Mein Kampt, you would realise he didn't need any provoking.
The secret protocol made the German invasion of Poland possible. The political agreement therefore helped spark WWI.

Hitler was of course ideologically motivated. But ideology did not override basic strategic considerations. Mein Kampf is like the Bible (sorry for the analogy). You find whatever you want. Hitler also wrote for example that he wanted to avoid a two-front war at all costs.

[In any case, Hitler later regretted writing Mein Kampf...in jail, pissed off, with a potentially bleak future ahead of him. He even considered suicide. The book represented a bitter attack against Weimar more than anything else. He should have killed himself.]
March 28th, 2006  
Ted
 
 
Maybe you should replace "provoked" with "seduced"?
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March 28th, 2006  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted
I think the author should have said: Hitler lost the war when he invaded Russia. As far as I know Stalin never provoked Hitler. But he might have done so as the years would have passed and he would have felt strong enough.

(But one could argue that the re-organization of the army and the designing of the T34 was due to Germanies invasion. No invasion, no adaptations, no strong Red Army. What was first; the chicken or the egg?)
Well y'see Hitler didn't lose the war when he invaded Russia, he merely started a new one. This was a war that was winnable by Hitler, contrary to what many people seem to think or believe. There are 2 factors that may have changed this for Hitler, these being namely the diverting of the German schwerpunkt from Moscow to Kiev in August 1941 and possibly the initial planning for a one season campaign. Either of these factors may have allowed Hitler to snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory.

The other point I will make is that a reorganisation of the Red Army was already ongoing when Hitler invaded. Moreover, the T34 owed nothing to the German invasion as it was already in production with the Red Army. The Soviet tank designers at that time were the most advanced in the world, ahead of even German designers.
March 28th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Moreover, the T34 owed nothing to the German invasion as it was already in production with the Red Army. The Soviet tank designers at that time were the most advanced in the world, ahead of even German designers.
Correct as usual, Doppleganger. Being tired and sort of irritated at the moment, I will be defiant for a change. (Everyone laughs). I am growing tired of the idea that the wartime Allies only developed their weapons or even built these armaments because of "Hitlerian" aggression in 1939 or 1941. I would just love to see the evidence that leads to this hypothesis. Is there any?

Think about the following (and there are a million more):

(1) The B-17 first flew in the mid-1930s. The development of such an advanced weapon owed nothing to the German bombing of Warsaw, Rotterdam or London five years later. British and American military thinkers developed strategic bombing immediately after 1918 for reasons of their own. German wartime bombing acted as an excuse to unleash a weapon that consumed a healthy chunk of prewar military spending.

(2) The T-34 was part of a long development program stretching back to the early 1920s. Hitler's crazed party did not influence 1920s weapons development in the Soviet Union. German industry did, however. The 1922 Rapallo Treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union diverted German technology to the Bolsheviks in exchange for bases where the Germans could test new designs. (Tanks, aircraft, artillery, etc.) [Hitler's defeat in 1945 can be directly attributed to this policy...unless, of course, 1930s German military technology was dependent on 1920s testing in the Soviet Union. Rapallo would cancel itself out if this were true].

(3) The French military had more tanks and trucks than Hitler's armies in 1940. The tanks were also of superior design to everything but the Pzkw IIIs & IVs. French industry did not build them in a day.

Weapons development normally represented a long process. (I am not talking about Eisenhower's military-industrial complex...so no cheap comments about the sinister American or German mechants of death. Please.) The general staff of the 1930s had to think about their strategic reason for being, think about their needs, and develop a list of requirements. Governments set the fiscal policies and diverted public funds to armaments development and procurement. Industry stepped in to design and produce these weapons systems. All of this demanded an extreme amount of work and resources. No major government, not even the United States, went into the war in a state of complete military virginity.
March 28th, 2006  
Ted
 
 
Quote:
Correct as usual, Doppleganger. Being tired and sort of irritated at the moment, I will be defiant for a change. (Everyone laughs). I am growing tired of the idea that the wartime Allies only developed their weapons or even built these armaments because of "Hitlerian" aggression in 1939 or 1941. I would just love to see the evidence that leads to this hypothesis. Is there any?
Your statements, however logical they may sound, are just as circumstantial as mine. We will never know for sure will we? May point is that the outbreak of the war served as a gigantic catalyst. Never had an economy been so stretched to it's utter limit. Everybody and I do mean everybody was making the effort everywhere. I dare say (but can't prove it) the the involved MIC's everywhere greatly speeded up their developmental projects due to the war.

And just a slight note: the use of "only" in your statement is the end of that statement at the same time. Nobody claims this was the case and I reckon the almost 100% of the forum members are aware that the American and English MIC was operational before 1939. So I see no need to grow tired over that idea, dismissing it would be so much easier.
March 29th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted
Your statements, however logical they may sound, are just as circumstantial as mine. We will never know for sure will we? May point is that the outbreak of the war served as a gigantic catalyst. Never had an economy been so stretched to it's utter limit. Everybody and I do mean everybody was making the effort everywhere. I dare say (but can't prove it) the the involved MIC's everywhere greatly speeded up their developmental projects due to the war.

And just a slight note: the use of "only" in your statement is the end of that statement at the same time. Nobody claims this was the case and I reckon the almost 100% of the forum members are aware that the American and English MIC was operational before 1939. So I see no need to grow tired over that idea, dismissing it would be so much easier.
Sorry, but I have no idea what you are talking about.

My three points are basic "facts" and not circumstantial evidence. They are not even hypotheses. The military structures of all countries (then and now) are subject to quantitative and quantitative analysis. The Americans built B-17s for strategic bombing (See Weigley, The American Way of War). The Soviets built literally thousands and thousands of tanks. (The Germans counted the KIAs in 1941). As far as the French, the same thing. None of this development had anything to do with the specific outbreak of war in 1939. All of these programs preceded the war by decades. If you think about the historiography, the notion of Allied "strategic virginity" stands out for everyone to see. It is as plain as day. (I am not sure of the forum members...I do not share your mind-reading skills).

Think of the following:

(1) There are few historians who concentrate on the American mobilization plans at the end of the 1930s and suggest that the strength of dual-use industry cancelled out the immediate problem of insufficient armaments production. I do not know of any. Why? Because most of the works I have looked at are too busy explaining the poor American military position. These historians lament the American stance in 1939. In this case, Hitler's actions in Poland and elsewhere helped divert funds to the military. But the plans and basic designs or design concepts already existed. (This includes mobilization tables and the entire infrastructure necessary for armaments procurement).
(2) Strategic bombing was the brainchild of American-British military planners. Two men in particular, Hugh Trenchard and Billy Mitchell, pioneered the use of strategic bombing against what amounted to civilian targets and what later became known as terror bombing. (See Charles Webster and Noble Frankland). In the 1920s, British aircraft even gassed Turkish troops and civilians as part of their "air control" strategy. This policy offered the British government a cheap alternative to traditional ground and naval forces in policing the empire. (See Malcolm Smith, British Air Strategy between the Wars (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984) pp. 22-23). Strategic bombing has nothing to do with Hitler. Nor did Hitler inspire the saturation bombing of German cities during the war. Try to find historians who do not state that Warsaw, Rotterdam and London (ie. German actions) led directly to Allied strategic bombing development and policy. Good luck.
(3) As far as the Soviets were concerned, we know that Stalin implemented his economic plans in order to industrialize the Soviet Union and boost his dual-use capacities. Soviet armaments output in the late 1920s and early 1930s, again predating Hitler, was astronomical. The same situation existed in the late 1940s (about 20,000 tanks in both cases). In the late 1940s, the American War and later Defense Deparment used the mere existence of Soviet tanks to surmise an aggressive posture that rationalized the "Truman Doctrine", NATO and the general military preparations typical of the early Cold War. Stalin simply did not demobilize in the manner expected. Why did Stalin build the world's largest military in the 1920s/1930s. Why? World domination. The commies said it themselves.
(4) Most of the historical works that I have looked at trumpet Nazi rearmament and the idea that Hitler created the largest military machine of the period. What a farce! The table below demonstrates my point. If you add Soviet strength, or general Allied naval power, the German numbers look pathetic. Why did the Allies maintain such significant military reserves? Why do we define Hitler's preparations as belligerent when the French (and especially Soviet) forces outnumbered those of Germany?
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Battle of France 1940: Relative Strength of the Major Combatants
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Germany France Britain Allied*
Divisions 143 114 15 152
Artillery 7,500 10,700 1,280 13,974
Airplanes 3,500 3,000 1,850 4,850
Armour 2,493 3,254 640 3,894

*The number of divisions and artillery pieces includes forces from Belgium and Holland.

[Franz Halder, "Taktische und Strategische Erwägungen zum kommenden Krieg gegen Polen", p.490; Klaus A. Maier (et al.), Die Errichtung der Hegemonie auf dem europaischen Kontinent, p. 282 and Karl-Heinz Frieser, Blitzkrieg–Legende. Der Westfeldzug 1940, p. 41.]

By the way:

(1) The military-industrial complex first develops in the United States during the 1950s. The procurement systems that predated the MIC were not the same thing. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
(2) I wrote the post in a couple of minutes. The use of "only" is exaggeration. I am not writing essays for publication. This is an anonymous internet forum. I nevertheless stand by my choice. You have to look at the literature. The general historiography (ie. books relating to WWII origins like Bell's classic) clearly points out that German rearmament precipitated an arms race and that Hitler maintained a vastly superior Wehrmacht. Most of the arguments that I have looked at stress that the Allies (including the Soviet Union) were unprepared or even slightly surprised in 1939, 1940 and 1941. What a farce.
(3) Weapons do not just materialize. Conscious political/ economic/ industrial choices are made over an incredibly long period of time.
March 29th, 2006  
redcoat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie Garchy
(2) Strategic bombing was the brainchild of American-British military planners. Two men in particular, Hugh Trenchard and Billy Mitchell, pioneered the use of strategic bombing against what amounted to civilian targets and what later became known as terror bombing.
No
It was the Germans in WW1 who pioneered the use of strategic bombing.
With their bombing campaign against the British mainland from 1915, using firstly Zeppelins and later Gotha bombers.
It was in reaction to this that the British set up their 'Independent Bomber Force' in late 1917/18, to bomb targets in Germany. The Independent Bomber Force became post-war , Bomber Command.

Quote:
In the 1920s, British aircraft even gassed Turkish troops and civilians as part of their "air control" strategy. This policy offered the British government a cheap alternative to traditional ground and naval forces in policing the empire. (See Malcolm Smith, British Air Strategy between the Wars (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984) pp. 22-23).
It was Iraq, not Turkey

Quote:
Strategic bombing has nothing to do with Hitler. Nor did Hitler inspire the saturation bombing of German cities during the war. Try to find historians who do not state that Warsaw, Rotterdam and London (ie. German actions) led directly to Allied strategic bombing development and policy. Good luck.
Frederick Taylor in his book, Dresden Febuary 13th 1945, points out that in 1939 at the outbreak of war, after a plea from the US president, Britain and France agreed not to use their bombers against civilian targets. Hitler also agreed a few weeks later (after he had finished bombing Polish civilians in their towns and cities). This agreement held until May 1940, when in conjunction with the attack in the West, the Luftwaffe bombed towns and cities in Norway, Belguim, Holland, and France. With these attacks, the British and French governments gave their air forces permission to attack military related targets in Germany.

In late 1940 the Luftwaffe introduced a new tactic in its night bombing campaign. The targeting of city centers using pathfinders marking with flares and incendiaries, followed by bombers bombing the area marked, using a mix of HE and incendiaries. After a number of raids on British cities( ie. London, Coventry, Belfast) using this tactic, the RAF was so impressed with the results, that it abandoned its own practice of only bombing military related targets ( which they had discovered was totally ineffective) and copied the Luftwaffe tactic, 'area bombing'.
March 29th, 2006  
Ted
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie Garchy
By the way:

(1) The military-industrial complex first develops in the United States during the 1950s. The procurement systems that predated the MIC were not the same thing. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
(2) I wrote the post in a couple of minutes. The use of "only" is exaggeration. I am not writing essays for publication. This is an anonymous internet forum. I nevertheless stand by my choice. You have to look at the literature. The general historiography (ie. books relating to WWII origins like Bell's classic) clearly points out that German rearmament precipitated an arms race and that Hitler maintained a vastly superior Wehrmacht. Most of the arguments that I have looked at stress that the Allies (including the Soviet Union) were unprepared or even slightly surprised in 1939, 1940 and 1941. What a farce.
(3) Weapons do not just materialize. Conscious political/ economic/ industrial choices are made over an incredibly long period of time.
Look Ollie, I agree with you on this! The only point I am stressing is that WWII was like a catalyst with regards to the production and development of weapons. Pre war industry or a complete industry churning out weapons does make a difference. I mean during the 30's the Germans had their Panzer I to Panzer IV, from '42 to '45 they developed revolutionary tanks like the Panther and Tiger tanks. This short time span is imo due to the war. It doen't rule out prior knowledge and engineering, but it is speeded up. That is what I am trying to say...
March 29th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted
Look Ollie, I agree with you on this! The only point I am stressing is that WWII was like a catalyst with regards to the production and development of weapons. Pre war industry or a complete industry churning out weapons does make a difference. I mean during the 30's the Germans had their Panzer I to Panzer IV, from '42 to '45 they developed revolutionary tanks like the Panther and Tiger tanks. This short time span is imo due to the war. It doen't rule out prior knowledge and engineering, but it is speeded up. That is what I am trying to say...
OK. There can be little doubt on that one. I agree.

I just wonder how much of the Soviet economy was devoted to armaments during the 1920s and 1930s. Does anyone know? I have also had trouble finding info. relating to the Soviet OB in 1941. Anyone know a good link or citation?

Ollie Garchy