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The difference between ‘excuses’ for the Germans losing and REASONS why

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  • Originally posted by lodestar View Post


    He always going to invade and destroy the Soviet Union (it's the Soviet Union by way NOT 'Russia').
    Gee, thanks, nobody has EVER pointed that out before.

    Will no one tell me what she sings?--
    Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
    For old, unhappy, far-off things,
    And battles long ago:
    -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

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    • Originally posted by lodestar View Post

      Yes that's a very good conclusion.........if Hitler (It's Hitler NOT Germany by the way....it was what Hitler wanted that counted) had been intent on just winning a war in the West.
      However he wasn't.
      He always going to invade and destroy the Soviet Union (it's the Soviet Union by way NOT 'Russia'). It was his main objective, the war in the West was for him a preliminary to the main event.

      Once the main event was underway the other theaters (all of them: North Africa 1941-43, Sicily and Italy 1943-45, Western Europe 1944 -45, the Atlantic 1941-43/44 and the aerial defence of the Reich against strategic bombing 1941-45) were to Hitler either secondary issues or irritating distractions.
      He pushed past the 'culmination point of victory' because he didn't think he would have victory till Communism was destroyed, the USSR turned into German fiefdom and the surviving Slavs enslaved and utterly cowed.

      We all know how that worked out.

      BTW does anyone know how to make text bold ion this new format-style?
      Regards lodestar




      A somewhat over simplified account. His time table and the sequence kept changing and this was coupled with a certain degree of opportunism. For example at one time he envisaged an alliance with the UK to destroy the USSR. When diplomatic contacts showed that Britain was not prepared to play ball he then envisaged fighting Britain in about 1946 or 47 when Germany had a built a decent surface fleet. In late 1940 the USSR was approached with the suggestion that it should openly join the Axis to dismember the British Empire. The USSR would get India. The document presented to Molotov in Berlin laying this out is amongst the collection of German Foreign Office archives captured by British and American forces in 1945 a and translated and published by the State Department. When Stalin turned this down and the analysis showed that the Red Army had performed so poorly in Finland this confirmed the intention to invade the USSR sooner rather than later as it was deemed to be all too easy and Hitler believed that the USA would come into the war sometime in 1942 so he wanted to get the Soviets out of the way before then.
      Hitler had a plan since at least the 20s but it kept changing
      Last edited by MarkV; 06 Jun 18, 06:03.
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • Worth reading Ian Kershaw's "The Nazi Dictatorship - Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation" chapter 6 which deals with Hitler's Foreign Policy and whether he was working to some long term plan or merely reacting. After examining other historian's views Kershaw comes to the conclusion that yes there was a plan but that it kept changing as circumstances dictated . What was originally intended as a grand plan running over decades finally got telescoped into a few years. I think I would use the analogy of a man facing a river over which there is a fluctuating mist. He can see the far bank and knows that he wants to get there but cannot make it out clearly. Is it World domination or European domination? He thinks that he can make out the stepping stones he needs to use to get there and plans his route across but as he proceeds he finds that some are further apart and more difficult to attain than he thought and in places he has to divert and take an alternative way. Eventually of course he ends in the middle of the river and can go no further and the waters are rising..
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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        • Originally posted by Gooner View Post

          And in only another 8 months had got to the Elbe!



          Err .. Nijmegen bridge?

          Really? I thought the bridge at Nijmegen was captured by elements of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division. They did capture it later than was scheduled in the overall plan, I believe, but it was captured and the objective gained.
          在魔鬼和深蓝色的海洋之间. 悪魔と深海の間. Carpe hunc diem.

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          • Originally posted by MarkV View Post

            A somewhat over simplified account.
            His time table and the sequence kept changing and this was coupled with a certain degree of opportunism. For example at one time he envisaged an alliance with the UK to destroy the USSR. When diplomatic contacts showed that Britain was not prepared to play ball he then envisaged fighting Britain in about 1946 or 47 when Germany had a built a decent surface fleet.
            In late 1940 the USSR was approached with the suggestion that it should openly join the Axis to dismember the British Empir
            .....
            When Stalin turned this down and the analysis showed that the Red Army had performed so poorly in Finland this confirmed the intention to invade the USSR sooner rather than later as it was deemed to be all too easy and Hitler believed that the USA would come into the war sometime in 1942 so he wanted to get the Soviets out of the way before then.
            Hitler had a plan since at least the 20s but it kept changing
            Yes the sequence could change and at times he was prepared to make a deal so to speak with the Soviets for the sake of convenience.

            So was Stalin prepared to make a deal with Hitler to gain time after the Western allies could not bring themselves int a full alliance with him to 'rope off' Hitler in 1939.
            Stalin's pact with Hitler has been called undiluted Realpolitik and an act of total and blinkered realism.
            Ruthless and immoral but after the West had rejected HIS overtures and when dealing with Hitler what else could he (being the kind of leader he was) do?

            He knew 'Fascism' (which by 1938 meant mainly 'Nazism') and Communism would face off one day.

            The conquest of the Soviet Union was always, despite sequence adjustments, his intended main game.

            BTW, the chances of the British allowing Hitler to develop a 'decent surface fleet' (virtually from scratch) was near zero.


            Regards lodestar

            Comment


            • Originally posted by lodestar View Post

              Yes the sequence could change and at times he was prepared to make a deal so to speak with the Soviets for the sake of convenience.

              So was Stalin prepared to make a deal with Hitler to gain time after the Western allies could not bring themselves int a full alliance with him to 'rope off' Hitler in 1939.
              Stalin's pact with Hitler has been called undiluted Realpolitik and an act of total and blinkered realism.
              Ruthless and immoral but after the West had rejected HIS overtures and when dealing with Hitler what else could he (being the kind of leader he was) do?

              He knew 'Fascism' (which by 1938 meant mainly 'Nazism') and Communism would face off one day.

              The conquest of the Soviet Union was always, despite sequence adjustments, his intended main game.

              BTW, the chances of the British allowing Hitler to develop a 'decent surface fleet' (virtually from scratch) was near zero.


              Regards lodestar
              No he didn't know that eventually fascism and soviet communism would face off. When D'Annunzio's Italian fascists took over Trieste (Fiume) only two countries offered support and recognition- the new republic in Ireland and the new Communist regime in Russia. In the 1920s there was a degree of cooperation between the movements (after all both claimed to be socialist and opposed to the general liberal democratic order in Europe). There was never any talk of an alliance between the USSR and the Western Allies. Stalin only used the 'possibility' of one as a negotiating chip when dealing with Germany. Whilst Hitler always intended to deal with Russia one day (not so much because of political differences as his crackpot racial theories) he was happy to use them as useful idiots if it meant that he could put the British Empire out of the frame.
              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

              Comment


              • Originally posted by lodestar View Post

                Yes the sequence could change and at times he was prepared to make a deal so to speak with the Soviets for the sake of convenience.

                So was Stalin prepared to make a deal with Hitler to gain time after the Western allies could not bring themselves int a full alliance with him to 'rope off' Hitler in 1939.
                Stalin's pact with Hitler has been called undiluted Realpolitik and an act of total and blinkered realism.
                Ruthless and immoral but after the West had rejected HIS overtures and when dealing with Hitler what else could he (being the kind of leader he was) do?

                He knew 'Fascism' (which by 1938 meant mainly 'Nazism') and Communism would face off one day.

                The conquest of the Soviet Union was always, despite sequence adjustments, his intended main game.

                BTW, the chances of the British allowing Hitler to develop a 'decent surface fleet' (virtually from scratch) was near zero.


                Regards lodestar
                It depends upon what you mean by "decent",perhaps ?

                What's your take on the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935 ?
                "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                Samuel Johnson.

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                • Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                  There was never any talk of an alliance between the USSR and the Western Allies. Stalin only used the 'possibility' of one as a negotiating chip when dealing with Germany.
                  I strongly disagree there. First of all, allying with the guy who isn't bordering with you is an age-old principle and the basis of the WWI Russian alliance system.
                  Apart from that simple reasoning, there are the data. As late as April 6, 1939, the Soviets offered the British talks among the military chiefs of staff.

                  Then on April 17, Merekalov pays his visit to von Weizsäcker, setting the ball in motion for the German-Soviet negotiations. On April 21, Stalin had meetings with Molotov and several key ambassadors, recalled to Moscow for assessing the situation; Litvinov, the Foreign Minister, got excoriated by Molotov. On May 4, Litvinov, the man who had tried relentlessly to achieve collective security against Germany, the man who had made the same proposal (joint military talks) to France and Czechoslovakia back on September 2, 1938, and who had tried to and failed to get the Soviet Union invited to Munich, was fired. Coincidentally, he was a Jew, and as such not the best person to talk with Hitler and Ribbentrop.

                  It's that the time when the Soviet Union started shifting towards an agreement with Germany - after having tried for several years to achieve something with France and Britain. Then, later, when Ribbentrop is in Moscow, yes, the continuing talks with France and Britain are a forlorn hope and, quite likely, a means of pressure on Germany. But for a long run up to the summer of 1939, the Soviet Union would have preferred the other way around.

                  Whilst Hitler always intended to deal with Russia one day (not so much because of political differences as his crackpot racial theories)...
                  Hmm. Hitler surely wanted his racial theories enforced all over Europe, and he surely despised all Slavs as inferior, but I have always wondered whether his bone to pick with the Soviet Union wasn't due more to his other crackpot theory, Lebensraum.
                  Michele

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                  • Originally posted by Michele View Post

                    I strongly disagree there. First of all, allying with the guy who isn't bordering with you is an age-old principle and the basis of the WWI Russian alliance system.
                    Apart from that simple reasoning, there are the data. As late as April 6, 1939, the Soviets offered the British talks among the military chiefs of staff.

                    Then on April 17, Merekalov pays his visit to von Weizsäcker, setting the ball in motion for the German-Soviet negotiations. On April 21, Stalin had meetings with Molotov and several key ambassadors, recalled to Moscow for assessing the situation; Litvinov, the Foreign Minister, got excoriated by Molotov. On May 4, Litvinov, the man who had tried relentlessly to achieve collective security against Germany, the man who had made the same proposal (joint military talks) to France and Czechoslovakia back on September 2, 1938, and who had tried to and failed to get the Soviet Union invited to Munich, was fired. Coincidentally, he was a Jew, and as such not the best person to talk with Hitler and Ribbentrop.

                    It's that the time when the Soviet Union started shifting towards an agreement with Germany - after having tried for several years to achieve something with France and Britain. Then, later, when Ribbentrop is in Moscow, yes, the continuing talks with France and Britain are a forlorn hope and, quite likely, a means of pressure on Germany. But for a long run up to the summer of 1939, the Soviet Union would have preferred the other way around.



                    Hmm. Hitler surely wanted his racial theories enforced all over Europe, and he surely despised all Slavs as inferior, but I have always wondered whether his bone to pick with the Soviet Union wasn't due more to his other crackpot theory, Lebensraum.
                    Read The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941 by Roger Moorrhouse. Neither Stalin nor France and Britain appear to have been very serious

                    Lebensraum was an inevitable spin off of the Racial theories
                    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post

                      What's your take on the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935 ?
                      A dreadful move on the part of the British. Done without consulting allies and sowing distrust and disunity.

                      Piers Brendon in the masterful 'The Dark Valley - A Panorama of the 1930's' (2001) summed it up thus:
                      "But the main result was that Britain's Stresa partners were alienated, France looking for an alliance with Russia,Italy looking for a conquest in Ethiopia. Yet though the naval agreement violated the Treaty of Versailles and damaged the principle of collective security, it assuaged public fears in Britain. For the prospect of another war with Germany seemed to have faded."

                      An early united front (including the Soviets and up to about 1937 even the Italians) was the only realistic (though of course unlikely) option for avoiding war.
                      The agreement helped Hitler to keep his potential opponents disunited till it was very late

                      Regards lodestar

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by MarkV View Post

                        Read The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941 by Roger Moorrhouse. Neither Stalin nor France and Britain appear to have been very serious
                        I've read enough books on the topic and I've come to different conclusions, thank you. You may have just a look at this:

                        https://www.cambridge.org/core/books...8286401BC01167

                        Just as a thought experiment, suppose you're not serious when you propose a 10-year alliance and immediate joint consultations of the military leadership to another country. Suppose that you don't really mean to do any of that. What happens if the other country, OTOH, takes you on your word and says yes, let's do that?

                        There also is the time sequence. Litvinov's efforts lasted years. The Soviet change of tack took place a few days before he was fired, and von Weizsäcker pointedly remarks that Merekalov had not paid a visit to the German Foreign Ministry even once, after having being appointed to Berlin. How could Litvinov's ouvertures to the French and British before Munich be considered as mere means of pressure on the Germans, if the Soviets weren't on speaking terms with the Germans?

                        You are looking at the dynamics of the last month before the war and projecting that back on the previous years.


                        Lebensraum was an inevitable spin off of the Racial theories
                        Understandable and well-paired, yes. Inevitable, not at all. One can be an all-out racist and be entirely uninterested in grabbing land from the Untermenschen. Most of the right-wingers in German politics at the time of Hitler were racists, that doesn't mean they coveted agricultural land around Kiev.
                        Michele

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                        • Good morning to O Great One......

                          Economics sank the Third Reich. Their economy was rather similar to the situation that France found itself in post revolution. If you recall, Citizen Bonaparte was sent to Italy not just to remove him from the action in Paris, but to campaign in Italy and send as much war booty back as he could plunder. Look at the behaviour of the Nazis as occupiers, stripping as much as could be taken from each conqured territory to make up for the fact that they could really only support short campaigns.

                          Nazi racism made far too many enemies of peoples who might well have supported their war effort. Faith in 'wonder weapons' was another Achilles heel. Poor intelligence, lack of oil and other strategic materials, starting the war with only 27 operational U-Boats.....no Navy to finish England....crikey, Ol Fruit, where does one begin?
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                          • It is very simple : as in WWI, Germany lost in WWII,because it was weaker than its opponents .
                            In WWI it had already lost the war in August 1914, before the Marne Battle .
                            In WWII, it had lost at the end of June 1940 when Britain publicly decided to continue the war .
                            All the rest, poor intelligence (which was not that poor ),lack of strategic materials (which is mostly a postwar invention ),only 27 operational U Boats (which is irrelevant ),etc, are only inessentials that are nothing relevant .
                            More oil, more UBoats, better intelligence, .. all this would not make Germany victorious .




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                            • Originally posted by lodestar View Post

                              A dreadful move on the part of the British. Done without consulting allies and sowing distrust and disunity.

                              Piers Brendon in the masterful 'The Dark Valley - A Panorama of the 1930's' (2001) summed it up thus:
                              "But the main result was that Britain's Stresa partners were alienated, France looking for an alliance with Russia,Italy looking for a conquest in Ethiopia. Yet though the naval agreement violated the Treaty of Versailles and damaged the principle of collective security, it assuaged public fears in Britain. For the prospect of another war with Germany seemed to have faded."

                              An early united front (including the Soviets and up to about 1937 even the Italians) was the only realistic (though of course unlikely) option for avoiding war.
                              The agreement helped Hitler to keep his potential opponents disunited till it was very late

                              Regards lodestar
                              Such an united front could not exist as long as there was an independent Poland .Alliance with the SU implied a German, or Soviet, or jointly German-Soviet occupation of Poland.As long as the SU had no common border with Germany, it could not fight against Germany . That's why the August 1939 meetings between French/British and Soviet military were only window-dressing .Poland was not present, thus ........
                              And about the Naval Treaty between Britain and Germany, Piers Brendon is deadly wrong ,Britain signed the Naval Treaty to limit the strength of the KM, no Naval Agreement would not be a better alternative .Britain acknowledged reality : no one on the continent wanted to fight because Germany violated Versailles by its naval program ,thus .......

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                              • Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                                It is very simple : as in WWI, Germany lost in WWII,because it was weaker than its opponents .
                                All the rest, poor intelligence (which was not that poor ),lack of strategic materials (which is mostly a postwar invention ),only 27 operational U Boats (which is irrelevant ),etc, are only inessentials that are nothing relevant .
                                More oil, more UBoats, better intelligence, .. all this would not make Germany victorious .
                                Yes a succinct and neat summary.
                                What you have said are REASONS. They are not an excuses. Which is the whole point I've been making.

                                As I said in an earlier post:
                                I don’t see how a better organised German economy and financial set-up, more efficient use of resources from occupied Europe (as opposed to straightforward looting), greater use of German females in war production, better treatment of occupied populations and any other improvements the Germans could have made to their strategic position would have been enough to compensate for the vast resources the USA, UK / Commonwealth and USSR could range against them.

                                Germany was out-resourced and outnumbered and was simply ground to defeat in both world wars.
                                This is an important factor to remember.
                                Germany was defeated by attrition in World War Two NOT JUST World War One.
                                Remember both wars were long.
                                The Germans had to be battered to defeat in both world wars, with the allies taking over four years to see them off in WWI and the Soviets (with a little help from their friends) taking just under four years to achieve final victory in WWII.

                                Good discussion.

                                Regards
                                lodestar

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