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  • What action / decision caused most acrimony / recrimination between allies in WWII?

    What action or decision caused most acrimony / recrimination between allies in WWII

    This is another companion piece on aspects on WWII that I helped run as tutorials back in da day.

    Essentially this is a query about which action or decision made during, or in the build-up to WWII, posters consider caused the most inter-allied (or inter-Axis!) acrimony / recrimination?

    Naturally there are many contenders.
    This of course is because despite much of the Ďall in this togetherí platitudes that the allies issued during the war, great (and yep minor) powers essentially and usually have their own self-interest at heart.

    This sad reality usually means that sooner or later Ďyourí self-interest is going to result in a nationís military or political leadership making a decision or carrying out an action that is going to p_ _ _ off some-one else big-time, to use the parlance.

    Nowhere was this more evident than during both world wars where some actions or in some cases LACK of cation caused rancorous hostility which is still a bone of contention even today.

    Some nations and peoples seemed be on the Ďreceiving end of these decisions more than others.
    So bearing this in mind Iíd like to get posters ideas on what are the best (or worst I suppose) examples of this issue.

    Some suggestions:
    The build-up to War:
    . The Munich conference (betrayal) of Sept 1938 - still a byword for appeasement and cowardice and regarded by Czechs as total duplicity and treachery on the part of the Western allies Britain and France.

    . The failure of the Western allies to properly engage Stalinís Soviet Union in serious discussion about corralling Hitler while there was still some time. Which led Stalin to believe they could not be trusted.

    Ö..which of course led to

    . the infamous German - Soviet (Molotov- Ribbentrop) Non-aggression Pact Ė Nazi, convincing the western allies the Soviets were treacherous and could not be trusted.

    The War itself:
    . The failure of the Western allies (most specifically the French) to take serious action against the Germans in the west while the great majority of itís army was attacking Poland

    . Dunkirk - donít get any, Brit or Frog (my dear departed dad included) started on this one!

    . Mers-el-Kebir - the attack by the Royal Navy on elements of the French Fleet -still a byword for Perfidious Albion amongst Gallic nationalists.

    . The delay in launching the Second Front. Endless rationalising and excuses about this meant nothing to the Soviets who saw it as simple faint-hearted feet-
    dragging

    . Katyn - sometimes one word is all you need.

    . The insistence by the British on pursing a continued Mediterranean strategy after the defeat of the Axis in North Africa overriding American arguments.

    . The Warsaw uprising 1944 - Sadly Poland yet again: the refusal Stalin to assist the Polish Home Armyís uprising and absolutely tragic outcome for the City and itís
    inhabitants..

    Anyway Iím sure there are other examples.

    Looking forward to what you think

    Regards
    lodestar


  • #2
    Two things that I must say on this topic, Why did the French and Brit; not get involved with Stalin when they should have done?? Why , it is very simple, he was a Communist and as such, not a very nice fellow and could not be trusted!! Secondly, he suspected that the 'Allies' were dragging their feet over the 'Second front'. When in reality the preparation for such a massive event was not complete until the Spring of 44. One reason that I am very aware of, there were hundreds of small. landing craft ( needed for the initial assault ) minus the men needed to man them, therefore men from the RM infantry brigades were retrained to do that job. Which was completed in less than 6 months. Bringing preparation complete to June 44 and ready to go. lcm1
    'By Horse by Tram'.


    I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
    " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
      Two things that I must say on this topic, Why did the French and Brit; not get involved with Stalin when they should have done?? Why , it is very simple, he was a Communist and as such, not a very nice fellow and could not be trusted!! :1
      Actually they did try from 1939 sending delegations (which included arch Marxist Stafford Cripps who became Britain's ambassador to the Soviet Union) to Moscow to talk to Stalin. Cripps discovered that his Marxism cut no ice with Stalin whose nationalism outweighed his communism. Stalin played them along as a means of extracting more from Ribbentrop but in reality they could neither threaten him with anything serious or offer him anything he wanted and as soon as the deal with Germany was done he kicked them out. He reckoned Germany had more to offer ie a return to the old Imperial Russian borders. Hitler had managed to do the ultimate aim of the conman - persuade the mark that he is conning the conman. Had Stalin accepted Germany's invitation to join the war against Britain and threaten India in 1940 Hitler might have stayed the invasion of the Soviet Union to see if the extra pressure on Britain would bring her to the negotiating table but as soon as Britain was dealt with it was still going to happen. The British diplomatic approach was inept but nevertheless Stalin only had himself to blame
      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


      • #4
        Cripps who was a non communist Marxist ,was distrusted by Stalin and his appointment as ambassador in May 1940 was a big gaffe ,it was even an insult for the Kremlin to send Cripps,who was only a traitor for the Kremlin . Britain could also have sent Gerry Healy ( leader of the Trotskysts ).
        Whatever, Britain was the requesting, even begging ,party who had nothing to offer to the SU

        Comment


        • #5
          Although it is usually seen as a coming together of the Allies the Casablanca Conference was also a major source of long term dissension.

          The various Allied conferences illustrate the degree to which the Allies were able to wage coalition war (as the Axis were not). However, at the time of the convening of Casablanca the British government had an institutional memory of coalition warfare dating from WW1 whereas the US government did not having fought as a co-belligerent and not an ally in that conflict. As a result the US delegation had a relatively small support staff that flew in carrying supporting documentation in a few brief cases. Churchill, who had first hand experience, sent a ship converted into a floating library and admin centre with a large support staff. This gave the British delegation a huge advantage in making cases for or against particular policies and strategies. As a result rather than agreeing that an invasion of N W Europe would be the major Allied effort in 1943, as the US wanted the outcome was Husky - the invasion of Scilly followed by Italy as Britain wanted. This left the Americans with a strong sense of being had by the British who had bounced them into a strategy that supported British Imperial ambitions. They were quick learners however and came to future conferences well prepared and supported. Whilst collaboration between the Allies continued to be good the suspicion of British motives remained and coloured all subsequent conferences.

          It is worth making the point that an invasion attempt in 1943 rather than 1944 would almost certainly have been a disaster. If nothing else until the Battle of the Atlantic was won the necessary American build up in Britain would have been too slow. The Luftwaffe would not have been broken by the strategic air assault on Germany and therefore able to respond to the invasion. Not enough landing craft would have been built.
          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


          • #6
            Originally posted by lodestar View Post
            What action or decision caused most acrimony / recrimination between allies in WWII

            This is another companion piece on aspects on WWII that I helped run as tutorials back in da day.

            Essentially this is a query about which action or decision made during, or in the build-up to WWII, posters consider caused the most inter-allied (or inter-Axis!) acrimony / recrimination?

            Naturally there are many contenders.
            This of course is because despite much of the Ďall in this togetherí platitudes that the allies issued during the war, great (and yep minor) powers essentially and usually have their own self-interest at heart.

            This sad reality usually means that sooner or later Ďyourí self-interest is going to result in a nationís military or political leadership making a decision or carrying out an action that is going to p_ _ _ off some-one else big-time, to use the parlance.

            Nowhere was this more evident than during both world wars where some actions or in some cases LACK of cation caused rancorous hostility which is still a bone of contention even today.

            Some nations and peoples seemed be on the Ďreceiving end of these decisions more than others.
            So bearing this in mind Iíd like to get posters ideas on what are the best (or worst I suppose) examples of this issue.

            Some suggestions:
            The build-up to War:
            . The Munich conference (betrayal) of Sept 1938 - still a byword for appeasement and cowardice and regarded by Czechs as total duplicity and treachery on the part of the Western allies Britain and France.

            . The failure of the Western allies to properly engage Stalinís Soviet Union in serious discussion about corralling Hitler while there was still some time. Which led Stalin to believe they could not be trusted.

            Ö..which of course led to

            . the infamous German - Soviet (Molotov- Ribbentrop) Non-aggression Pact Ė Nazi, convincing the western allies the Soviets were treacherous and could not be trusted.

            The War itself:
            . The failure of the Western allies (most specifically the French) to take serious action against the Germans in the west while the great majority of itís army was attacking Poland

            . Dunkirk - donít get any, Brit or Frog (my dear departed dad included) started on this one!

            . Mers-el-Kebir - the attack by the Royal Navy on elements of the French Fleet -still a byword for Perfidious Albion amongst Gallic nationalists.

            . The delay in launching the Second Front. Endless rationalising and excuses about this meant nothing to the Soviets who saw it as simple faint-hearted feet-
            dragging

            . Katyn - sometimes one word is all you need.

            . The insistence by the British on pursing a continued Mediterranean strategy after the defeat of the Axis in North Africa overriding American arguments.

            . The Warsaw uprising 1944 - Sadly Poland yet again: the refusal Stalin to assist the Polish Home Armyís uprising and absolutely tragic outcome for the City and itís
            inhabitants..

            Anyway Iím sure there are other examples.

            Looking forward to what you think

            Regards
            lodestar
            Munich was not cowardice and Britain was not an ally of CZ, thus their opinion has no value .
            There was nothing wrong with the negociations with Stalin,as Stalin could do nothing .
            There was no delay in launching the Second Front ,which existed already on June 22 1941 .
            No one cared during the war about Katyn .
            There was nothing wrong on fighting in the Mediterranean after May 1943, and the USA agreed : maybe you forget about US 5th Army in Italy ?
            About Warsaw : here also,no one cares ,as Stalin would have been very stupid to help anti-communist Poles to liberate Warsaw, if he could help them , which is very dubious .
            In December 1944 there was a communist insurrection in Athens ,which was crushed by Britain, while Stalin looked on the other way .No one complained .
            At the end of the First Gulf War, the Kurds rebelled against Saddam,who gazed them, while US remained aloof, because it was in the interests of the US not to help them .Exceptionally Old Bush used his brains /listened to a good advice .

            Comment


            • #7
              The Yalta Conference, particularly from the viewpoint of the Slavic nations. The sheer arrogance of the Big Three is still apparent today.

              My second choice would be the refusal of the Allies to acknowledge or do anything about the Holocaust.
              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                The Yalta Conference, particularly from the viewpoint of the Slavic nations. The sheer arrogance of the Big Three is still apparent today.

                My second choice would be the refusal of the Allies to acknowledge or do anything about the Holocaust.
                What would you suggest they could have done?
                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lodestar View Post

                  The build-up to War:
                  . The Munich conference (betrayal) of Sept 1938 - still a byword for appeasement and cowardice and regarded by Czechs as total duplicity and treachery on the part of the Western allies Britain and France.
                  This is nonsense....there was no "Western Betrayal". If ANYTHING...it was Poland which stabbed CZ in the back on this issue. I already posted as much recently on another one of your "what if" thread.

                  That only became a crisis because the UK and FR were actually seriously considering making their stand against Hitler in regards to the CZ. The proverbial kick in teeth was was brought upon largely because of Poland. Both Daladier and Chamberlain begged Poland not to get involved in that affair. Hitler had realized that the UK and FR were going to be adamant in their position so he needed a way to fracture the Allies....and he got it by having Ribbentrop send overtures to Poland. Both UK and FR diplomats realized Hitler was baiting Poland into accepting the agreement in return for territorial gains - Upper Selesia, using the exact same justification Germany used to seize the Sudatnland. The Poles couldn't resist and took the bait, hook line and sinker. That move gave Hitler a prize on a golden platter. Had Poland not fallen for this obvious trap, I don't think the Allies would have allowed Hitler to take the Sudatenland.

                  Poland bears much responsibility for that travesty.

                  IMO - the biggest missed opportunity was Britain and France not telling Poland to F-off after that agreement. That would have freed both countries from any obligations to Poland, thus freeing the way for the eventual slug fest between Hitler's Germany and Stalin's USSR.

                  Originally posted by lodestar View Post
                  The War itself:
                  . The failure of the Western allies (most specifically the French) to take serious action against the Germans in the west while the great majority of itís army was attacking Poland
                  The doctrine wasn't there for a full scale attack...the terrain unfavorable for such and offensive, and the offensive wasn't designed to engage the Germans in a headlong war.

                  You left out one other missed opportunity - The Rhineland Crisis of 1936. Despite all of her internal troubles, France had suggested reacting in the same manner as she had during the Ruhr occupation of 1923-1925. This time however, both the UK and US were against such a move with Britain stating that Germany was only taking back what was rightfully hers...and some in the US government suggeting sanctions of some kind, either diplomatic and/or economic. IMO - this abandonment by her Allies caused France to sink deeper into the defensive doctrine mentality. This is covered to a good extent in by historian Julian Jackson's work on pre-war political turmoil among the Allies.
                  You'll live, only the best get killed.

                  -General Charles de Gaulle

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lodestar View Post
                    . The Warsaw uprising 1944 - Sadly Poland yet again: the refusal Stalin to assist the Polish Home Armyís uprising
                    It's not fully true: Soviet airplanes dropped supplies to the city, and pro-Soviet Polish Army tried to establish contact with rebels. Then the disaster was mostly designed by Poles themselves, the London emigre government in particular.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                      The Yalta Conference, particularly from the viewpoint of the Slavic nations. The sheer arrogance of the Big Three is still apparent today.
                      When the Big Three gathered at Yalta, Stalin was already master of Eastern Europe , and there was nothing FDR and Churchill could do against this, unless to ally with Hitler against Stalin . And everyone knows that this was impossible . Besides FDR and Winston had no obligatioins to the Slavic nations,who mostly were Hitler's allies .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by asterix View Post

                        This is nonsense....there was no "Western Betrayal". If ANYTHING...it was Poland which stabbed CZ in the back on this issue. I already posted as much recently on another one of your "what if" thread.

                        That only became a crisis because the UK and FR were actually seriously considering making their stand against Hitler in regards to the CZ. The proverbial kick in teeth was was brought upon largely because of Poland. Both Daladier and Chamberlain begged Poland not to get involved in that affair. Hitler had realized that the UK and FR were going to be adamant in their position so he needed a way to fracture the Allies....and he got it by having Ribbentrop send overtures to Poland. Both UK and FR diplomats realized Hitler was baiting Poland into accepting the agreement in return for territorial gains - Upper Selesia, using the exact same justification Germany used to seize the Sudatnland. The Poles couldn't resist and took the bait, hook line and sinker. That move gave Hitler a prize on a golden platter. Had Poland not fallen for this obvious trap, I don't think the Allies would have allowed Hitler to take the Sudatenland.

                        Poland bears much responsibility for that travesty.

                        IMO - the biggest missed opportunity was Britain and France not telling Poland to F-off after that agreement. That would have freed both countries from any obligations to Poland, thus freeing the way for the eventual slug fest between Hitler's Germany and Stalin's USSR.



                        The doctrine wasn't there for a full scale attack...the terrain unfavorable for such and offensive, and the offensive wasn't designed to engage the Germans in a headlong war.

                        You left out one other missed opportunity - The Rhineland Crisis of 1936. Despite all of her internal troubles, France had suggested reacting in the same manner as she had during the Ruhr occupation of 1923-1925. This time however, both the UK and US were against such a move with Britain stating that Germany was only taking back what was rightfully hers...and some in the US government suggeting sanctions of some kind, either diplomatic and/or economic. IMO - this abandonment by her Allies caused France to sink deeper into the defensive doctrine mentality. This is covered to a good extent in by historian Julian Jackson's work on pre-war political turmoil among the Allies.
                        Yes and no : France had given up any thought of intervention in Germany after the failed Ruhr occupation because it had no longer the means for such an intervention and because its POV was that a German remilitarisation (of which all insiders in France knew that it would happen ) was no threat for FRance as France had the Maginot Line .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MarkV View Post

                          Actually they did try from 1939 sending delegations (which included arch Marxist Stafford Cripps who became Britain's ambassador to the Soviet Union) to Moscow to talk to Stalin. Cripps discovered that his Marxism cut no ice with Stalin whose nationalism outweighed his communism. Stalin played them along as a means of extracting more from Ribbentrop but in reality they could neither threaten him with anything serious or offer him anything he wanted and as soon as the deal with Germany was done he kicked them out. He reckoned Germany had more to offer ie a return to the old Imperial Russian borders. Hitler had managed to do the ultimate aim of the conman - persuade the mark that he is conning the conman. Had Stalin accepted Germany's invitation to join the war against Britain and threaten India in 1940 Hitler might have stayed the invasion of the Soviet Union to see if the extra pressure on Britain would bring her to the negotiating table but as soon as Britain was dealt with it was still going to happen. The British diplomatic approach was inept but nevertheless Stalin only had himself to blame
                          I must agree with you on what actually happened Mark, but if you had lived through that time you would have been aware of the very obvious distrust of anything Communistic amongst the British Government a sort of English type ' Red under the bed' that's including Winston, but he would have held out his hand to the Devil to beat AH. Ken.
                          'By Horse by Tram'.


                          I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                          " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ljadw View Post

                            Munich was not cowardice and Britain was not an ally of CZ, thus their opinion has no value .
                            There was nothing wrong with the negociations with Stalin,as Stalin could do nothing .
                            There was no delay in launching the Second Front ,which existed already on June 22 1941 .
                            No one cared during the war about Katyn .
                            There was nothing wrong on fighting in the Mediterranean after May 1943, and the USA agreed : maybe you forget about US 5th Army in Italy ?
                            About Warsaw : here also,no one cares ,as Stalin would have been very stupid to help anti-communist Poles to liberate Warsaw, if he could help them , which is very dubious .
                            In December 1944 there was a communist insurrection in Athens ,which was crushed by Britain, while Stalin looked on the other way .No one complained .
                            At the end of the First Gulf War, the Kurds rebelled against Saddam,who gazed them, while US remained aloof, because it was in the interests of the US not to help them .Exceptionally Old Bush used his brains /listened to a good advice .
                            The only existence of the second front in 1941 was its name! Now about Dunkirk, the only nice thing I can think of to say is, to the Hero's that took there little fishing boats etc to the rescue of the remnants of the British Army on those beaches so that they may fight another day. lcm1
                            'By Horse by Tram'.


                            I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                            " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In June 1941 the Germans attacked the SU with 150 divisions,while 50 other divisions were tied elsewhere due to the British decision to continue the war . Thus, Stalin had no reason to complain about the absence of a Second Front .
                              About Dunkirk, one should also not forget the role of the French who delayed the German advance and make the evacuation possible .
                              A myth about Dunkirk is that the French were abandoned,while the truth is the following ;
                              were evacuated : British : 190000 (half of the BEF, the others were evacuated from other,mainly, Atlantic, French Harbours : operation Ariel ,191870,of whom 144171 British )
                              : others ( mostly French ) : 140000

                              Comment

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