View Full Version : The USA,the USSR and WW2

01-23-2006, 05:57 AM
I was wondering today why the USA went to war against Germany in WW2. Why didn't they join Germany against their common enemy ,the USSR ?

Its a serious question.The USA opposed the Soviets from their inception,total and complete idealogical opposition....why then when they had their best opportunity to remove their foe ,didn't they take it?

Andrew Craig-Bennett
01-23-2006, 06:09 AM
.... and people accuse ME of "trolling!...! ;)

01-23-2006, 06:14 AM
thats unkind Andrew smile.gif ,it is a serious question.The US shared far more with the Germans than the USSR, not just an approach to economics and ownership of capital...it is rather confusing.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-23-2006, 06:20 AM
In Britain, there was a huge amount of sympathy for the Facist approach.

Try reading Buchan with a jaundiced eye.

This has been "downplayed" since the war, but you might want to look up Oswald Moseley.

Art Read
01-23-2006, 06:23 AM
"Why didn't they join Germany against their common enemy ,the USSR ?"

Why didn't England? Some threats are more urgent/compelling than others.

[ 01-23-2006, 06:24 AM: Message edited by: Art Read ]

N. Scheuer
01-23-2006, 06:45 AM

Because we didn't want to read this in the NY Times, to answer your question.

Moby Nick

N. Scheuer
01-23-2006, 06:50 AM
If you're serious, not just hoping for someone to C&P a convenient epistle so you can catch up on 70 years of history, read War And Remembrance.

It's a real page-turner. Nonetheless, unless you are a ferocious speed reader, it might take you a week.

Moby Nick

Andrew Craig-Bennett
01-23-2006, 06:56 AM
Britain actually did fight the Soviet Union, sending expeditionary forces in support of the Whites. I remember, as a schoolboy, talking with an elderly man, a retired faarm worker, who had been to Omsk with one such force, around 1919. Omsk is quite a way inside Russia, to put it mildly.

01-23-2006, 07:12 AM
Very simply....Japan was allied to Germany...
and Itsaly...the triple axis...
Japan bombed Hawaii....we declared war on Japan..
By doing so we rattled Germany's chains...We declared war on Gewrmany..although I am now thinking Germany may have declared war first...
by a day...
The simplistic view....apt for the forum...no long 2 or 3 page C&P.

psss...we were basically already at war...Roosevelt's lend lease program. In many ways, we were already at war.

[ 01-23-2006, 07:22 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

01-23-2006, 07:33 AM
Even simpler:

The UK and France started WWII by declaring war on Germany (OK, it was Hitler's fault for invading Poland, but he also invaded Chekoslovakia without starting a world war - I am just being technical here).

The US entered the war in order to support the UK. Churchill's veiled threats to give Germany the British Fleet if he were forced to seek peace with Hitler helped, too. It would have made Germany the greatest naval power the world had ever seen, able to threaten the US.

BTW, notice that, for all the talk that the US "saved" France, they actually were quite happy to let France be occupied by the Nazis. They didn't get involved until Britain was under serious threat.

01-23-2006, 07:38 AM
George...talking about being simplistic..even more so than mine.
George's quote
BTW, notice that, for all the talk that the US "saved" France, they actually were quite happy to let France be occupied by the Nazis. They didn't get involved until Britain was under serious threat.

France fell within two weeks...America couldn't do much about it at the time...England hung on for a year before the US came in...
Also...there is this little something called the "melting pot". America has a large German population...Roosevelt was walking a very fine...political line...especially as he was seeking re-election in '40....against Wilkie...I think..

01-23-2006, 07:43 AM
Complex question.

If Roosevelt hadn't been president things might have worked out very differently. He had a strong kinship with Churchill, understood a native alliance with Britain. He egged the Japanese into attacking us by embargoing their raw materials--gave them little choice--and two days after Pearl Hitler declared war on us.

A strong root goes back to Britain and France pledging to defend Poland. What strange bedfellows on the opposite side of that one! Hitler and Stalin agreeing to share the spoils. No honor among thieves.

Roosevelt was also a very ambitious and active president; desired to strut the world stage. If we'd had a president who was less ambitious, who camped with the isolationists, the world would look very different today.

P.S. There was never any question of the U.S. entering the war on the side of Germany! In addition to the geopolitical considerations mentioned above, and our native isolationist tendencies, there was a basic abhorance of what Hitler was about. Yes, there was a fairly strong pro German element in the country, but nothing that would have moved us to an alliance with Adolf, no matter who was president or how friendly or un we might have been with Britain.

There was also a naivte about the nature of Stalin's Soviet Union. The Soviets were seen as much more benign than they actually were, with many of our recently unionized working class and ivory tower intellectuals identifying, to a greater or lesser degree, with the Russian Revolution. Some say that in the depths of the depression we narrowly averted a revolution ourselves.

No, a vast majority in this country saw what was happening in Europe as none of our damn business, until the Japanese changed our minds.

[ 01-23-2006, 08:53 AM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

01-23-2006, 07:44 AM
Uncas, France fell in six weeks. And right after that, with Britain now under serious threat of invasion, the US began lend-lease. So Britain did not hold out for over a year unaided.

Granted that there was little the US could have done to save France. But I dare say that if Britain had fallen, the New World would have quickly stepped in to redress the balance of the Old, as someone predicted... ;)

01-23-2006, 07:53 AM
George...you're right about six weeks...I was just trying to say that France fell quickly..too quickly for the US to do much about it...
Although the US by that time was beginning to gear up its war industry...logistically, it could do very little to help France in 2 weeks or six.

I did mention the lend lease program...

And by the time Potsdam came about...Churchill and Roosevelt were just a wee bit tired of war..and did not want to fight Russia
England having been at war since '39...And Roosevelt was on death's door.
Stalin walked away with practically everything he wanted regarsding the division of Europe...
There...that brings in Russia.

01-23-2006, 08:00 AM
And by the time Potsdam came about...Churchill and Roosevelt were just a wee bit tired of war..and did not want to fight Russia

Um, by the time of Potsdam Roosevelt was VERY tired! As in daid! tongue.gif ;)

01-23-2006, 08:02 AM
You're right..I meant Yalta...I actually typed that in first..and then changed my mind and replaced it with Potsdam...First choice...usually the right one.. :D
Potsdam was Truman...the new guy on the block...

Kinda like that tomb stone in MA...which reads...

" I told you I was Sick"...

[ 01-23-2006, 08:07 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Clan Gordon
01-23-2006, 08:08 AM
By Yalta (at least) Churchill had seen through/past the Russians and was dejected by how far Roosevelt seemed to be taken in by Uncle Joe and failed to see what that meant for a post war Europe/world.

That was a lost opportunity to have negotiated something different.

Churchills "Iron Curtain" speech at Fulton, Missouri was in early 1946, at the invite of Truman - the new man on the block. He did not suddenly come to hold all these ideas after 1945.

01-23-2006, 08:14 AM
Clan G.
I think that Roosevelt was not so much taken in by Stalin...as just too sick to really pay that much attention...Heck, he had just gone through a campaign...or was going through one..He was sick.

I think one also has to look at Stalin...as a dictator, I don't think he really cared how many men he lost in a battle...his efforts towards entering Berlin first...regardless as to the number of troops he lost..suggests this...
He just wanted to go down in history as entering the city first...

01-23-2006, 08:27 AM

- how hard it was to beat Germany with the Soviets' help;

- how the Wehrmacht, the best military force the world had ever seen, failed in its invasion of the Soviet Union;

- How if the US and UK had attacked the Soviets after Germany surrendered, they would be facing a fully mobilized and very well armed nation, unlike what Germany faced in 1941;

- How, in fact, the Red Army was at that point far more powerful than the German Army that had been so difficult to defeat;

- How before they even invaded Soviet territory, they would have to fight their way through East Germany and Poland - and then be faced with the endless hinterland that swallowed Napoleon's and Hitler's armies...

...is it any wonder that they chose not to attack the Soviets at that point? ;)

01-23-2006, 08:32 AM
George...A defensive position...i.e., USSR is easier to defend than it is to attack...

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-23-2006, 08:37 AM
Not "is" - was.
However Russia still has the two most effective generals ever; January and February.

Clan Gordon
01-23-2006, 08:48 AM
I apologise for the following cut and paste, but I feel it is worth a read. Amongst other things it draws attention to the pact between Hitler and Stalin which gave Hitler the confidence to start his war.

From the surname of the author I guess he is of Polish extraction. And their story is a sad one indeed..........

By the way.....I think I have read elsewhere that Alger Hiss a key adviser to the US delegation at Yalta.

Dispelling the Myths of Yalta
By John Radzilowski
FrontPageMagazine.com | May 13, 2005

'Outrage', 'cause for shame'[1], 'incendiary.'[2] This was the mainstream media's reaction to President Bush's speech this week in Riga, Latvia, wherein he strongly denounced the injustice perpetrated on half of Europe 60 years ago at the Yalta Conference. It was a Yalta that President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill agreed to the Soviet takeover of half of Europe. What followed was nearly 50 years of repression, killing, and, of course, the Cold War.

This week Bush recognized that shameful history. He called Yalta 'one of the greatest wrongs of history' and compared it to the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939. 'We will not repeat the mistakes of other generations, appeasing or excusing tyranny, and sacrificing freedom in the vain pursuit of stability,' the president vowed. 'We have learned our lesson; no one's liberty is expendable. In the long run, our security and true stability depend on the freedom of others.'

But stirring statements in support of freedom for small countries like Latvia don't go down well in the mainstream media or in the halls of academe. There FDR is considered a virtual saint, the Soviet Union a misunderstood ally, and the crimes of Stalin and other communist dictators are often passed over in silence or calmly rationalized.

Leading the charge was the Los Angeles Times. Editorial writer Jacob Heilbrunn breathlessly accused the president of perpetrating 'an old right-wing canardŠ belonging to the Ann Coulter school of history' and parroting Joseph McCarthy. Heilbrunn went on to defend the Yalta treaty,noting its 'Declaration on Liberated Europe' and its call for free elections in Poland. Besides, he claimed, Eastern Europe was already in Soviet hands, so there was nothing that could be done. Moreover, irritating Stalin might have caused Russia to drop out of the war against Hitler.

The Myth of 'Uncle Joe'

During World War II, the myth of crusty old 'Uncle Joe' Stalin as our trusty ally was born and carefully tended by the American left. It has never really been dispelled. In reality, Stalin was one of the major culprits of the horror of World War II and the Holocaust. Although first place in that category will always go to Hitler and the Third Reich, Stalin and the communist state played a major role in Hitler¹s grab for control of Europe.

The Soviets and Germans had been in secret contact since the early 1920s, and Hitler's rise to power was only a temporary interruption. The Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939 gave Hitler the green light to invade Poland and the Soviet attack on that country in 1939 broke Poland's southeastern redoubt, shortening the war by weeks and saving the lives of many Nazi soldiers.[3]
Then, Stalin gave Germany a secure eastern border and provided the Nazi dictator with huge quantities of strategic raw materials, including food and badly needed oil.
Without Stalin's help, the rapid Nazi conquest of Scandinavia and Western Europe would not have been possible. The terrible fate of these countries and of their Jewish communities under Nazi occupation must be laid, in part, at Stalin's door. The Soviet navy even provided direct help to Nazi commerce raiders preying on British shipping during Britain's darkest hours.[4] All the while, Stalin was busy enjoying the territory he had gained by allying with Hitler, murdering hundreds of thousands of his new subjects and deporting millions more to the living hell of the gulags.

During this era, compliant communist parties in the west supported Stalin and opposed efforts to stop Hitler as 'capitalist warmongering'.While many on the left had misgivings about the Hitler-Stalin pact, most kept silent or rationalized Stalin's actions as clever political moves designed to fool communism's enemies. These internal contradictions were only relieved by Hitler's attack on his erstwhile ally in 1941.

Yet many in academia are still parroting the old propaganda. Stalin, they claim, was 'forced' into the Nazi-Soviet alliance. They further contend that Stalin's assault on Poland, the Baltic States, and Finland in 1939¬/40 was simply an effort to 'regain' territory unjustly lost during the Russian civil war![5] Implicit is the assumption that Stalin had a 'right' to impose Soviet terror on sovereign states beyond his border.

The Mistake of Yalta

The LA Times may wish to believe otherwise, but Yalta was the result of an American policy based on wishful thinking combined with starry-eyed visions of dividing the world into 'peaceful' spheres of influence that have long afflicted so-called realists. This tendency was furthered by the strong chorus of Soviet sympathizers both inside and outside government.

While some were actual agents of the Soviet Union, many were simply ignorant and foolish. Communism, they believed, did indeed represent the wave of the future. They wanted to be on the 'right side of history' in its inevitable march toward utopia. This meant support for the Soviet Union. Thus did those who opposed the Soviets become 'reactionaries' and 'fascists'. Likewise, the people of Eastern Europe who would be most affected by the Yalta agreement were viewed as 'reactionaries' for opposing Soviet wishes. This spiteful notion originated in 1920, after the Red Army's crushing defeat at the battle of Warsaw temporarily halted efforts to spark 'worldwide conflagration' at the point of a bayonet.

By 1943, Roosevelt had come to the view that the independence of small states was an obstruction on the road to peace, and that the GreatPowers had the right to impose governments on states without the consent of their populations. Roosevelt was entranced with a vision of a world peacefully directed by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. This vision was fueled by pro-Soviet propaganda and hopelessly naïve reports sent from Moscow by American officials such as Ambassador W. Averell Harriman. Harriman's papers show a man who had little knowledge of the region he was in and whose information frequently came from Soviet agents posing as neutral 'progressives'. Thus, both Roosevelt and then Truman were led to believe that, while Stalin was a little rough at times, he was a democrat at heart who simply ran a political machine in mode of Tammany Hall.[6] Truman compared Stalin to Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast. Roosevelt had earlier informed Boston Archbishop Francis Spellman that Russian rule over parts of Europe would eventually help civilize Russia and, in fact, that most people in eastern Europe really wanted to be Russianized.

By feeding the Americans a picture of central and Eastern Europe that was at variance with reality, the Soviets were able to dictate the keyterms of the Yalta accord and later agreements‹even to the point of determining the future makeup of the Polish government. Ironically, Roosevelt measured this a success: he felt he got Stalin to 'compromise'. ONLY CHURCHILL RAISED A PROTEST AT PROCEEDINGS. HE WAS ROUNDLY IGNORED. Soviet leaders meanwhile were surprised and pleased with the ease at which they had achieved their goals. They had gotten everything they wanted.

This history notwithstanding, Yalta supporters have long maintained that, had Americans failed to appease Stalin, the Soviets might have concluded a separate peace with the Nazis. This is so far-fetched that it is hard to believe anyone would take it seriously. Stalin¹s goal was to control as much of Europe as possible. There was no reason to stop pushing until the Red Army had reached the heart of Germany. This had been a Soviet goal since 1920. Why should Stalin have stopped when this prize was within reach?

Soviet intentions were plainly obvious long before Yalta or Tehran. While Soviet forces played a major role in fighting the Nazi scourge after June 1941 ‹and suffered horrific losses due to German barbarity and the incompetence of their own leaders‹ Stalin's behavior until 1941 should have been a clue. As soon as the tide turned against Hitler, Stalin gave orders for Soviet agents to begin a campaign to secretly destroy non-communist, anti-Nazi partisans in eastern Europe that were actively engaged in fighting against Hitler's forces.[7] In 1944, Stalin's armies stood aside while the
citizens of Warsaw fought Hitler's armies for two months and were massacred by the SS. The Soviets even refused to allow Allied planes to drop supplies to the resistance and shot at American planes that strayed into Soviet airspace.

Supporters of Yalta are outraged at the notion that Yalta was a 'betrayal' of Eastern Europe. Yet consider the fate of Poland. Polish forces had fought the Nazis longer than any country; they fought alongside the U.S. and British in every major campaign in Europe and made up the 4th largest army in the fight against Hitler; the Polish government in London was an official ally of the U.S. and Britain. This did not prevent Roosevelt from acquiescing in the dismantlement of this Allied government and its replacement with a group of Stalin's henchmen.

Even as the men of the Polish 1st Armored division, determined to link up with the American 90th Division under Gen. George S. Patton and to close the trap on Nazi armies in Normandy, were battling the SS, Adolf Hitler and SS Hitlerjugend divisions, Roosevelt was planning to hand them over to another sort of dictator. If that isn't betrayal, what is?

Undoing the Yalta Mentality

The democratic revolutions in central and Eastern Europe in the 1980s and 1990s ended the worst results of Yalta but, as the LA Times has shown, the Yalta mentality lives on. The American left and its acolytes in the media and academia are compelled to defend not only the Yalta agreement itself but the underlying ideas on which it was based. After all, if Yalta was merely confirming the inevitable fact of Soviet control in Eastern Europe, why get so worked up about it?

To question Yalta, then, is to question the foreign policy legacy of FDR. While much can be said in favor of FDR, Yalta was a mistake: It greatly augmented Soviet power in Europe and gave America's foe in the Cold War an improved strategic position. America got nothing in return.

To question Yalta is also to question the role of the Soviet Union and Stalin. Although many will acknowledge (when pressed) that Stalin perhaps wasn't a kindly Uncle Joe, the role of the USSR in the defeat of Nazism is the only intellectual fig leaf remaining from the collapse of leftist ideology. Communism may have been an economic and cultural failure that murdered millions. But at least in that brief, shining moment, it defeated Hitler.

Unfortunately, while many Soviet soldiers were brave, their lives were squandered by a regime that saw them as expendable cannon fodder. In addition, the Soviet regime continued to war on its own people, expending valuable resources to murder alleged internal enemies as Nazi forces drove deep into the heart of Russia. Many Soviet soldiers were so brutalized by their own leaders that they committed mass rape, theft, and murder as they marched across Europe. While they freed the inmates of infamous Nazi death and concentration camps, in many cased they raped the female survivors, regardless of whether they were German, Russian, or Jewish.[8] The Soviet victory over Hitler was the result of one evil and murderous regime defeating another. There is no redeeming grace for communism in the victory over Nazi Germany.

Nor did Yalta lead to the peace and security that Roosevelt had imagined. Instead, it ushered in decades of tension and low-level conflict. Trading away the freedom of others proved no bargain. Because America received nothing in return, Yalta has to be recorded as one of the worst failures of 'realist' foreign policy in history.

But the history of Yalta also offers lessons for the present. Just Roosevelt and his advisors, having absorbed the propaganda of the political left, were convinced that the people of Eastern Europe were reactionaries incapable of real democracy, so too do today¹s skeptics doubt that democracy can find purchase in Middle Eastern soil. Indeed, the tenor of some public debate prior to elections in Afghanistan and Iraq was eerily reminiscent of the commentary that attended the Yalta conference.

Only last week, many commentators were outraged that a U.S. president would support the freedom of such 'insignificant' countries such as Latvia and Georgia over the interests of Russia. Why not bow to the inevitable and let Russia have its way with Latvia (which many Russians consider a major threat)? What would America lose? Similarly, many in the EU are fully in sync with the Yalta mindset. They seem ready to throw the Baltic States over the side to appease Putin.[9]

This was the attitude that prevailed at Yalta. Bewitched by the prospect of stability, American leaders in fact sowed the seeds of the Cold War. President Bush does not intend to repeat their mistake. He clearly rejects the notion that big countries have some right to dominate smaller neighbors. Which is why Bush was correct to reject the 'realism' inherent in Yalta and support the freedom of small countries like Latvia and Georgia. This week, Bush showed that American leaders can both break with the Yalta mindset and craft a foreign policy that is not only good for the U.S., but one that also lives up to our noblest ideals.

John Radzilowski, Ph.D., is a writer, historian, and senior fellow at Piast Institute (www.piastinstitute.org). He can be contacted at jradzilow@aol.com.


[3] Zaloga and Madej, The Polish Campaign of 1939 (New York, 1985); John
Radzilowski, 'Facing Westerplatte', Am-Pol Eagle (Buffalo), Sept. 2, 1999.
[4] http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/90/361/9889_pirate.html
[5] See
My response and exchange
with Prof. Stackleburg can be found in subsequent message logs of the
H-Holocaust studies listserv at www.h-net.msu.edu. (http://www.h-net.msu.edu.)
[6] William Larsh, 'Yalta and the American Approach to Free Elections in Poland', Polish Review 40, no. 3 (1995): 267¬80.
[7] John Radzilowski, 'Ejszyszki Revisited, 1939¬45', Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry 15 (2002): 453¬68.
[9] http://www.eubusiness.com/topics/Russia/summit.2005-05-10

Andrew Craig-Bennett
01-23-2006, 09:21 AM
:rolleyes: Allow me to insert a pertinent fact.

The United States did not declare war on Germany in 1941.

Germany declared war on the United States, in support of its ally, Japan.

This was quite possibly the single most stupid act of Hitler's life.

Had he not declared war on the USA, WW2 might have been two, separate, parallel, wars, one in the Pacific and Asia and one in the Atlantic and Europe.

As Winston Churchill records, in his history of WW2, "That night, for the first time since the war began, I slept soundly..."

01-23-2006, 09:23 AM
This is the first time I've ever heard this question raised. Interesting point, actually. I never seiously considered it. I suppose it's true that Britain, France, and the US were happy to have Germany as a bulwark against Bolshevism.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
01-23-2006, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by George.:
Uncas, France fell in six weeks. And right after that, with Britain now under serious threat of invasion, the US began lend-lease. So Britain did not hold out for over a year unaided.

Granted that there was little the US could have done to save France. But I dare say that if Britain had fallen, the New World would have quickly stepped in to redress the balance of the Old, as someone predicted... ;) George, you may like to check your dates, in particular the dates when lend-lease became effective. I think you will find that Britain held out alone for rather longer than you imagine.

cedar savage
01-23-2006, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by George.:
- how hard it was to beat Germany with the Soviets' help;
- how the Wehrmacht, the best military force the world had ever seen, failed in its invasion of the Soviet Union;
- How if the US and UK had attacked the Soviets after Germany surrendered, they would be facing a fully mobilized and very well armed nation, unlike what Germany faced in 1941;
- How, in fact, the Red Army was at that point far more powerful than the German Army that had been so difficult to defeat;
- How before they even invaded Soviet territory, they would have to fight their way through East Germany and Poland - and then be faced with the endless hinterland that swallowed Napoleon's and Hitler's armies...
...is it any wonder that they chose not to attack the Soviets at that point? ;) Your analysis in this respect is fatally flawed in so many areas it's difficult to know where to begin.

American, British and French forces in the European theater, combined with the remnants of the Wehrmacht and led by Patton would have been unstoppable.

The Russians were just about on their last legs by the time they finished fighting their way house-to-house through Eastern Germany. It's difficult for non-historians to realize how fiercely the Germans resisted the Russians.

The Russian supply chain was over extended and dependent on a few main railways and extremely vulnerable to saturation bombing, as were their huge, centralized armament plants.

The Allied forces could have launched another D-Day like invasion into relatively undefended coasts of Poland and had the advantage of extremely rapid mechanized movement to encircle the vast bulk of the Red Army in Europe.

We could have dropped an atomic bomb on Moscow. Stalinist era Soviet Russia was so centralized that that would have ended the war.

01-23-2006, 09:56 AM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
George, you may like to check your dates, in particular the dates when lend-lease became effective. I think you will find that Britain held out alone for rather longer than you imagine.Oh, I am not minimizing Britain's feat in holding out alone against most of Western Europe, which Hitler effectively controlled in 1940. I am just pointing out that active US support for Britain started long before December 1941.

Bruce Hooke
01-23-2006, 09:59 AM
Would there have been public support within the US for an attack on the USSR in the immediate aftermath of WWII?

01-23-2006, 10:02 AM
Britain needed our help, true, but she hardly stood alone. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the other colonies were all in it, right?

01-23-2006, 10:07 AM
I had to look it up, but Lend Lease came into effect a little more than a year and half after the invasion of Poland. Prior to that there was the destroyer deal, a year after the invasion.

When did Hitler finally give up on Operation Sea Lion?

No question the Brits took a hell of a beating, in those first few years without much help from us. Roosevelt did what he could given the rabid isolationist sentiment here and the fact that there was an election in there, but we weren't really in the European war with men on the ground until Kasserine Pass in February of 1943.

Hitler was an odd one. I mentioned his declaration of war on the U.S. following Pearl Harbor, Andrew.

What was the man thinking? He was so erratic, if brilliant at times. A study in hubris.

cedar savage
01-23-2006, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by Bruce Hooke:
Would there have been public support within the US for an attack on the USSR in the immediate aftermath of WWII?No. That's why the whole thing is known as the George S. Patton Fantasy Scenario. But with Eisenhower doing the strategy and Marshall doing the logistics, turning Patton loose with everything we had would have been, in hindsight, an enormously effective move. But, there wasn't the political will to do it, anywhere.

01-23-2006, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by cedar savage:
American, British and French forces ... combined with the remnants of the Wehrmacht ... would have been unstoppable.

The Russians were just about on their last legs...

The Russian supply chain was over extended... vulnerable ... armament plants.

The Allied forces could have launched another D-Day like invasion into relatively undefended coasts of Poland...French forces and the Wehrmacht were a joke by 1945. And had no industrial supply chain to back them. Calling the Western Allies unstoppable against the Soviet Union is quite a piece of hyperbole.

The Russians were not on their last legs. The Germans were. That is why Germany lost.

The Russian supply chain would not be overextended if they retreated into their territory in the face of an attack. On the contrary, the Western supply chain would become overexetended, as it crossed an Eastern Europe where infrastructure had been trashed by the war.

The "vulnerable" Russian armament plants had been moved to Siberia - out of range of Allied bombers.

D-Day in Poland? Maybe. That still would leave them 1200 km from Moscow.

In 1945, the Soviets had more and better tanks than the Western Allies, and a very good and well-supplied air force. Their army outnumbered Western armies and was battle-hardened.

Your only point that makes much sense is that they could have nuked Moscow - assuming a bomber could make it there. Almost 2000 km over hostile territory from the nearest Western airfield - and as I mentioned, the Soviets had a very good air force. But even if it worked, it could backfire if Stalin didn't surrender. There weren't enough nukes around to keep up the pressure. In fact, there were none in May 1945. And sooner or later, the Soviets might retaliate in kind...

Andrew Craig-Bennett
01-23-2006, 10:15 AM
We British expect to complete repayments under Lend-Lease in December, this year (2006) .

Much appreciated.

But whilst the Lend-Lease Act was passed in March 1941, what very few people understand is that shipments under Lend-Lease only got under way in any volume late in 1942.

France fell in June, 1940.

At its height, in 1944, Lend-Lease was responsible for approximately 25% of the British war effort.

The reason why Lend-Lease was enacted was simply that by the Spring of 1941 Britain had bankrupted itself paying cash for US munitions.

The "destroyers for bases" deal was negotiated because we had no more cash; in exchange for a string of bases we got 50 clapped-out WW1 destroyers.

Alan D. Hyde
01-23-2006, 10:46 AM
Going back to the earlier comments concerning the Poles--- any Pole who knows his country's history knows well of Soviet perfidy and evil.

Read about the Katyn Forest if you don't already know what happened there (the NKVD was ordered by Stalin to murder the officer corps of the Polish army, along with many other Polish leaders and intellectuals--- a total of over 20,000 individuals).

The slaughter there, like the starvation of the kulaks, was largely ignored by the U.S. mainstream media of the day, many of the members of which were infatuated with the Soviets, as was vice president Henry Wallace, who had earlier taken (in the 1930's) an extensive tour of the Soviet Union courtesy of the Commissars, and who never saw a Potemkin village that he didn't like. Roosevelt himself was active in surpressing the truth of Katyn.


P.S. Here are some links---



http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/01/spotli ght/ (http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/01/spotlight/)


[ 01-23-2006, 11:03 AM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

01-23-2006, 10:55 AM
The reason why Lend-Lease was enacted was simply that by the Spring of 1941 Britain had bankrupted itself paying cash for US munitions.

Hm. You know more about this than I do, Andrew, but I thought a major reason for Lend-Lease was to skirt our Neutrality Act. So you were buying large amounts of munitions prior to March 1941? I wonder how that worked.

Only now paying it off! Incredible how the past really isn't that far off. You are quite welcome.

cedar savage
01-23-2006, 11:01 AM
Let's see, the Germans used 300,000 men (by this time, either old men or boys) to hold back the Red Army's 2.5 million sent in for the Battle of Berlin. The Red Army lost 4 to every 1 German.

Meanwhile, we had 20 something (26?) German divisions tied up on the Italian border. We captured an entire German army group, intact. That was 32 divisions. Yada, yada, yada.

Yes, the Wehrmacht was a shambles, but we had almost half of tied up or in captivity. Unbelievable amounts of captured equipment.

Millions of German women raped by the Red's. No love lost at all there, ehhh?

No, George. You're wrong. We stopped supplying Russia with any more equipment and they would've been in a world of hurt.

There are a lot of weird myths about the Red Army. The truth is that they really weren't that good, ever.

[ 01-23-2006, 11:08 AM: Message edited by: cedar savage ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
01-23-2006, 11:02 AM
How did it work?

We paid cash! That's how it worked!

But, more seriously, Jack, in a condition of total war, almost anything is "munitions". I don't know the terms of your Neutrality Act, but I dare say that it banned the export of, say, shells and gun barrels. But what about aero engine parts, or machine tools, or locomotives, or radio valves, or tyre rubber, or even food? All part of the "war effort".

01-23-2006, 11:11 AM
Originally posted by cedar savage:
Yes, the Wehrmacht was a shambles, but we had almost half of tied up or in captivity. Unbelievable amounts of captured equipment.

And the Soviets had the other half... ;)

01-23-2006, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by ishmael:
So you were buying large amounts of munitions prior to March 1941? I wonder how that worked.

It worked in WWI too, like this: the US was eager to make a buck selling munitions to the belligerents. But, while the U-boat campaign did not succeed in isolating Britain and France, the North Sea blockade did make it almost impossible to ship weapons to Germany.

So the US sold weapons to the Allied Powers. By 1917, they had a very strong interest in an Allied victory, so that they could get paid... ;)

01-23-2006, 11:23 AM
Actually, George, in the case of the 1935 Neutrality Act it forbid the U.S. from selling finished arms to any nation at war. That was amended several times, most notably in November of 1939, to allow the sale of arms to Britain and France on a cash and carry basis.

My, how things have changed in the U.S. since 1935! No wonder some pine for the good old days. LOL.



Andrew Craig-Bennett
01-23-2006, 11:24 AM
By 1918 the German people were going hungry.

Had it not been for the Haber process, we would have stopped the German war effort in 1917 - no nitrates.

And people wonder what the Navy's for? ;)

Sea Frog
01-23-2006, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by George.:
The US entered the war in order to support the UK. Churchill's veiled threats to give Germany the British Fleet if he were forced to seek peace with Hitler helped, too. It would have made Germany the greatest naval power the world had ever seen, able to threaten the US.George, did Churchill imply such a threat in private letters or in public speeches? I suspect he would rather have scuttled the Home Fleet had he lost the war.

01-23-2006, 11:49 AM
If I am not mistaken, it was in a private communication to Roosevelt, later made public.

01-23-2006, 11:52 AM
Good to see that most of you are well informed about history.

I may just add one point that is similar to the situation with the Arabs today: After the US isolated Japan by resources of oil etc. they had no other choice than to start the war. Otherwise they would lost their face and that was more worse than death. The same with the Arabs. Embargos just work on people that love their lifes more than their honour...

John E Hardiman
01-23-2006, 11:53 AM
The US military went to war footing on 6 September 1939…and the Navy knew by June 1940 (just after Dunkirk) that we would be fighting a two-ocean war. And on September 9th, 1940 the US Navy went into a de-facto war with Germany. The whole US followed suit in March 1941 with a shooting war starting in September/October.

· September 1 - Germany invades Poland. World War II officially begins.
· September 5 - Two Neutrality Proclamations issued by President Roosevelt. Roosevelt also orders Navy to perform a neutrality patrol to track any belligerent naval force approaching the U.S.'s Atlantic coast or the West Indies.
· September 6 - Neutrality patrol for Atlantic ocean formed under Rear Admiral A.W. Johnson, Commander Atlantic Squadron.
· September 8 - Roosevelt declares a limited national emergency and increases the enlisted strengths of all armed forces and authorizes retired officers, men and nurses to be recalled to active duty to the Navy and Marines.
· September 21 - Roosevelt asks for arms embargo provisions of Neutrality Act to be repealed.
· October 2 - Conference of Foreign Ministers of American Republics approves Act of Panama. U.S. Navy to patrol a neutrality zone 300 miles wide. U.S. notified by Germany the merchant ships must submit to visit and search.
· October 9 - U.S. freighter City of Flint seized as contraband carrier by Deutschland, a German armored cruiser.
· November 4 - Neutrality Act of 1939. Arms embargo repealed. Roosevelt declares area around British Isles to be a combat zone.
· December 27 - U.S. protests seizure of mail to Europe by British.
· January 23 - Britain and France announce that they will attack any German vessel found in the Pan-American Safety Zone.
· April 10 - Roosevelt extends maritime danger zone to Scandinavia.
· May 3 - Greenland asks U.S. for protection.
· May 16 - Roosevelt asks for $1,182,000,000.00 in national defense funds.
· May 17 - Plan for recommissioning 35 destroyers announced by Roosevelt.
· June 12 - Navy awards contracts for 22 new warships.
· June 14 - Roosevelt signs 11% Naval Expansion Act, increasing the carrier, cruiser, and submarine tonnage of the Navy by 167,000 tons, and auxiliary shipping by 75,000 tons.
· June 15 - An act to increase naval aviation to a strength of not more than 10,000 aircraft is approved by Roosevelt.
· June 17 - U.S. Chief of Naval Operations asks for $4,000,000,000 for a two ocean navy.
· Under Secretary of the Navy, a new office, is established for the duration of the war.
· July 1 - Navy awards contracts for 44 vessels. Headquarters, Marine Corps Air Wing, is established in San Diego, California.
· July 2 - Export Control Act is passed.
· July 5 - Roosevelt invokes Export Control Act against Japan.
· July 19 - Roosevelt signs Naval Expansion Act.
· August 18 - Permanent Joint Board for the Defense of the U.S. and Canada provided for by Ogdensburg Agreement.
· August 27 - Roosevelt authorized to call Army Reserve and National Guard components into Federal service for 1 year.
· August 31 - Sixty thousand National Guardsmen called to Federal service.
· September 3 - Destroyers for Bases agreement with Britain.
· September 6 - Eight destroyers transferred to Britain.
· September 9 - Germany warns that all ships within war zones are subject to attack, regardless of nationality. U.S. Navy awards contracts for 210 ships, including 12 carriers and 7 battleships.
· September 16 - Selective Training and Service Act signed by Roosevelt.
· October 5 - Organized Naval Reserves placed on short notice for call to active duty.
· October 16 - Sixteen million men register for the draft.
· January 7 - Office of Production Management is established.
· January 16 - Congress asked to immediately appropriate $350 million for 200 new merchant ships by Roosevelt.
· January 29 - U.S. and Britain begin staff conversations in Washington to determine joint strategy in case of U.S. involvement in the war.
· January 30 - Germany announces that any ship bringing aid to Britain will be sunk.
· March 1 - Support Force, Atlantic Fleet is established for convoy protection in the north Atlantic.
· March 11 - Lend-Lease Act. Neutrality Act of 1939 changed to allow transfer of munitions to Allies.
· March 27 - U.S.-British staff discussions end in Washington with the ABC-1 Staff Agreement.
· March 30 - U.S. seizes German, Italian and Danish ships in U.S. ports.
· April 10 - USS Niblack (DD-424) depth charges a German submarine off of Iceland in what is believed to be the first act of war between Germany and the U.S.
· April 22 - Regular Navy's authorized enlisted strength increased to 232,000
· April 24 - Neutrality patrol is extended to 26 d. West Longitude.
· April 26 - Neutrality patrol is extended to 20 d. South Latitude.
· May 21 - A German U-boat sinks the US freighter Robin Moor.
· May 24 - The German battleship Bismark sinks HMS Hood in the Denmark Straits. Navy authorized for the construction or acquisition of 550,000 tons of auxiliary shipping.
· May 27 - Bismark sunk by British Navy in the north Atlantic (Located by a US Patrol plane BTW) . Roosevelt declares an unlimited state of emergency, extends the Atlantic Neutrality Patrol and announces the Pacific Fleet units have been transferred to the Atlantic.
· June 6 - A bill authorized the U.S. to requisition foreign merchant ships lying idle in U.S. ports is signed.
· June 12 - All members of the Naval Reserve not in deferred status are called to active duty.
· June 14 - US freezes German and Italian assets.
· June 16 - U.S. State Department request all German consulates in U.S. territory be closed.
· June 19 - Germany and Italy request closure of U.S. consulates.
· June 21 - U.S. State Department requests all Italian consulates in U.S. territory be closed.
· July 2 - Japan recalls merchant shipping from Atlantic Ocean and calls more than a million army conscripts.
· July 7 - Roosevelt informs congress that U.S. troops will occupy Iceland in accordance with an executive agreement with that country. U.S. Navy to take all steps to maintain communications between the U.S. and Iceland. Marines under Brig. General J. Marston land at Reykjavik.
· July 19 - U.S. Naval Task Force is organized to support the defense of Iceland and escort convoys between Iceland and the U.S.
· July 26 - U.S. Army Forces, Far East is organized under Lt. General Douglas MacArthur. Philippine military is called into service with U.S. Army. U.S. freezes Japanese and Chinese assets and suspends relations with Japan.
· July 28 - Japan freezes U.S. assets.
· August 1 - US announces an oil embargo against the Axis states.
· August 12 - Roosevelt and Churchill sign the Atlantic Charter.
· August 18 - Roosevelt announces that the U.S. is ferrying combat aircraft to the British in the Near East.
· August 26 - Executive order invokes the Ship Warrants Act.
· September 1 - Responsibility for trans-Atlantic convoys from Argentia to meridian of Iceland assume by U.S. Navy. Denmark Strait Patrol designated.
· September 4 - The destroyer USS Greer (DD-145) is attacked but not damaged while tracking a German U-boat 175 miles southwest of Iceland.
· September 11 - U.S. Navy ordered to attack any vessel threatening U.S. shipping or ships under U.S. escort.
· September 17 - Eastbound British trans-Atlantic convoy escorted for first time by U.S. Navy.
· September 26 - U.S. Navy orders protection of all ships engaged in commerce in U.S. defensive water by patrolling, covering, escorting and by reporting or destroying any German or Italian naval forces encountered.
· October 17 - The destroyer USS Kearny (DD-432) is torpedoed and damaged southwest of Iceland. U.S. Navy orders all U.S. merchantmen in Asiatic waters to put in to friendly ports.
· October 19 - A German U-boat torpedoes and sinks the U.S. merchant ship USS Lehigh off of West Africa.
· October 30 - The oiler USS Salinas (AO-19) is torpedoed 700 miles east of Newfoundland. There are no casualties and the ship makes port.
· October 31 - The destroyer, USS Ruben James (DD-245) sinks after being torpedoed off of western Iceland. First U.S. Naval vessel lost to enemy action in World War II.
· November 1 - Department of the Navy is given jurisdiction over the Coast Guard for the duration of the national emergency.
· November 6 - The cruiser USS Omaha (CL-4) and the destroyer USS Somers (DD-381) capture the German blockade runner Odenwald disguised as a U.S. ship, the Willmoto.
· November 10 - First U.S.-escorted troop convoy, with more than 20,000 British troops, departs Halifax for the Far East.
· November 17 - A Joint Resolution amends the Neutrality Act of 1939 to allow merchant ships to be armed and enter war zones
· November 27 - War Warning message sent to the Commanders of the Pacific and Asiatic Fleets by Chief of Naval Operations Admiral H.R. Stark.
· December 2 - First Naval Armed Guard crew received by U.S. merchant ship Dunboyne

01-23-2006, 12:08 PM
I have a friend who served in Patton's third army. He wrote a book about his experiences entitiled "Journey to Hell: the fiery furnaces of Buchenwald". In the book he said of all the Europeans he encountered, he identified most with the German people.

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-23-2006, 12:09 PM
Dear Peter,
The US only made one mistake in WWII. That was sending their troops to the Coral Sea to keep the Nipponese from hopping from New Guinea to you know where.
Just think of the consequences of an isolationist US not sending the 7th Fleet to the South Pacific. You'd need a passport to visit the Great Barrier Reef.
Me thinks the heat wave in Oz has claimed another victim.
WWII was the greatest war in the history of the world. The amount of books about it, just in English, are beyond comprehension. We are not going to sort it all out on this one little web site.
One thing cannot be overlooked. Hitler declared war on the US. It's kind of hard to forge alliances with folks who want to kill you.
Stay away from the Ozone Hole.

Your mate,


[ 01-23-2006, 12:46 PM: Message edited by: Cuyahoga Chuck ]

01-23-2006, 12:14 PM
Those with memories of the Blitz in London, and the darker days in the North Atlantic, might have a bone to pick, but what about the proposition that Hitler really didn't have the heart to conquer Great Britain? Meaning that he felt an identification with the British. Whereas his main aim and hatred was focused on the Soviet system and the 'inferior' Slavs and Jewish communists to the East. Weren't there serious peace feelers after Dunkirk, with a real possibility that Hallifax might become PM? My history is fuzzy.

I suppose it's pointless speculation. It unfolded as it did, and Churchill was PM, and Roosevelt was the U.S. president. Giants, who along with fellow giants Stalin and Hitler largely shaped the world in which we live.

01-23-2006, 03:14 PM
Thank you all for an excellent history lesson,its a pity so little time was spent discussng my query. smile.gif

It would seem from the above that the survival of Britain against all odds was the key.Had Britain fallen there would have been a straight forward choice between the Germans and the USSR.

In Britain and Australia there was considerable support for the Nazis,for fascism as a whole.Did the same support exist in the US? There is a reoccurring mention of the liberal acedemic support for Soviet policies,stupid in hindsight.Did the same one eyed support exist for the Nazis,albiet,in other groupings within the US?

This question is how would the US have acted if Britain had fallen and she had been faced with a choice ,USSR or Germany?

[ 01-23-2006, 03:18 PM: Message edited by: PeterSibley ]

01-23-2006, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by George.:

The US entered the war in order to support the UK. I could have sworn that the US went to war with Germany after Germany declared war on the US after the US declared war on Japan after Pearl Harbor.

Who knows what might have happened if Hitler had not declared on the US...

01-23-2006, 07:38 PM
Without going to the library I can say that I was just old enough to remember that there was a lot of sympathy for "Uncle Joe", and also for Germany here in the US.

Later I was was told there were even pro-Nazi youth summer camps up in the Catskills. When their boys met the boys from the Jewish summer resorts while marching, things got interesting.

Dan McCosh
01-23-2006, 07:50 PM
FWIW: Germany and Italy declared war on the US at about the same time.

Dave Fleming
01-23-2006, 07:56 PM
That is right AHP, the German American Bund held sizable rallies over in New Jersey complete with Swastika Flags on one side and OLD GLORY on the other of the rostrum,Brown Shirts 'n all. :rolleyes:

John Gearing
01-23-2006, 08:54 PM
Here's a link to an article about the history of the German-American Bund.


Rick Tyler
01-24-2006, 03:01 AM
Originally posted by PeterSibley:
In Britain and Australia there was considerable support for the Nazis,for fascism as a whole.Did the same support exist in the US? There is (and has been) support in the US for just about any damnfool idea you can imagine. The support for facism was not particularly widespread, but there was certainly a minority who thought Hitler had things figured out and believed the myth that Mussolini made the trains run on time.

Clan Gordon
01-24-2006, 03:03 AM
Missed this due to travelling last night.

Peter - I agree with your last post.

If the Luftwaffe had won the Battle of Britain and gained control of the air over the sea, then Germany would have been able to contemplate an invasion of the UK (quite likely successful).

If the Germans took over the UK, then its hard to see what the US could (had they wanted to) do about Europe.

There would have been no;
- bases from which to launch bombing raids and fighter patrols
- base from which to launch an amphibious assault on mainland Europe
- no bases from which to operate maritime anti-submarine air cover of the eastern Atlantic
- no large fast liners to take an army across the Atlantic (unless the UK ships had escaped to the USA)

And quite possibly a much reduced contribution to code breaking, nuclear and other scientific projects from UK and exiled European scientists.

Given the earlier comments about speed of response to the plight of France etc I'm not sure what the US could (or should) have done to directly assist the UK during the Battle of Britain. That seems to have been an episode where the watching world held their breath and waited...........

Except of course;
a) the exiled Poles and Czechs who fought in the RAF
b) the US volunteer pilots who did the same
c) the dominions and colonies of the British Empire. Their people and national resources were not just involved - but committed.

So, if the RAF had not beaten off the Luftwaffe, then the US administration would have left itself in the position of choosing between abandoning Europe completely, or (as Peter's question asks) perhaps forming some kind of alliance with Germany against Russia or vice versa.

And, from everything that I have read, during 1939 and 1940 Hitler was more sympathetic to the continued existence of the British EMPIRE than Roosevelt (who wanted and succeeded to dismantle it) ever was.

Andrew is right - the UK bankrupted itself paying for munitions quite early on. The US economy got a kick-start from this massive public spending, without the government having to raise the cash to gain the effect. Then, Churchill had to cajole and beg for the ancient destroyers he got.

[ 01-24-2006, 05:08 AM: Message edited by: Clan Gordon ]

Wild Wassa
01-24-2006, 03:47 AM
"Did the same support exist in the US?"

Prescott Bush, Shrub Bush's grandfather help in Hitlers rise to power.

Evil is in the genes.


01-24-2006, 05:40 AM
Jeff, I've heard that story, not sure were ,apparently there where "expeditionary forces" from quite a few countries involved.

I wonder if ACB could comment?

Clan Gordon, your comments are well made.I keep wondering about the decision that the US would have come to.Any of the possiblities are rather frightening.

Thank God for Hurricanes and Spitfires!

01-24-2006, 05:41 AM
Jeff...WW1 and Russia...and civil war ( Russia)..Ya gotta remember, the King of England and the Czar were...well cousins...even looked alike...
Although projecting an air of not wanting to get involved in Russian, saving the Czar, who was killed in July, '18 and White Army was on the " to do " or "to attempt" list...Very half hearted though..
And yes, the Am. did get involved in this as well...very small contingent of troops...not much publicity...

01-24-2006, 05:42 AM
Wild W...Look at Lindburgh.....not just P. Bush...

And yes...of course the outcome and the treaties in WW1...did begin the slide towards WW2...
The reparations demanded of Germany were way out of line when it came to Germany's abilities to pay them. And the depression did not help either...
This certainly created a great incubator for the rise of Hitler...

[ 01-24-2006, 05:45 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

01-24-2006, 06:08 AM

The White army...command pre 1918. I say or think pre 1819 as Grand Duke Peter is in the front...

[ 01-24-2006, 06:25 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

01-24-2006, 06:08 AM
It's difficult to remember, given the later horrors of the war, that Hitler carried a great deal of admiration in much of Western Europe and the U.S. when he first came to power. He gave--largely by dint of his magnetic charisma and oratorical skill--a terribly downtrodden Germany reason to hope again. Of all the nations caught up in what Americans call the Great Depression, which was pandemic, Germany was hit, by far, the hardest.

It was a revolutionary atmosphere, filled with despair, hunger and political upheaval that saw Hitler's tactics and personality rise to power. The order he brought was seen as a good thing, particularly for business interests, both in and out of Germany.

It's just such atmospheres that give daemonic forces in the form of twisted charismatics their necessary boost, but that's another topic.

It wasn't until Kristalnacht that most people really began to open their eyes. Even then, anti-Jewish sentiments were a commonplace in many circles.

And yes, that support included financing, even after the "night of the broken glass." If you looked hard at the bankers and financiers in all the nations that later arrayed against him you'd find all kinds of skeletons in the closets; some idealogical, but mostly, I wager, attributable to greed. It wouldn't suprise me if Prescott Bush, the firm he worked for, was at the trough, but he was in 'good' company.

Hindsight is remarkable.

[ 01-24-2006, 06:26 AM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

01-24-2006, 06:15 AM
Ish wrote
It wasn't until Kristalnacht that most people really began to open their eyes. Even then, anti-Jewish sentiments were a commonplace in many circles.

This ceertainly is true....Throughout history....
After the plague in the 1350's, Jews were blamed..for the deaths of 30-50% of the European pop. Perhaps blamed is the wrong word...but not being Christians...did not bode well...and they were easy scapegoats for a disease the population in Europe determined was caused by a lack of faith...Most were expelled from their native countries. The flagelates (another group)were just killed off...
It is interesting to note that the only country which allowed Jews to enter and live in was Poland...
Now jump 600 yrs to 1939...

psss...read Ivanhoe...and keep in mind, Hitler didn't like Roman Catholics either but...more often than not left them alone...or at least was not as blantant about ridding Germany of this religious group.

[ 01-24-2006, 06:23 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Clan Gordon
01-24-2006, 06:31 AM
Sorry this is WW1 era, but it does relate the USSR, war and wooden boats..........

I’m not too familiar the the land based excursions in support of the White Russians, but the British naval effort is quite well known over here. It was quite costly for the RN.

In April 1918, seven submarines had to be scuttled. Between December 1918 and September 1919 - just nine months - British losses amounted to:
1 light cruiser
2 destroyers
2 small monitors
1 submarine
4 minesweepers
3 coastal motor boats

The coastal motor boats were used in attacks on the forts and warships at Kronstadt, managing to sink some major units, and leading to the award of THREE Victoria Crosses.

These coastal motor boats were made of WOOD. They were 55ft long, and with two V12 engines on a then revolutionary stepped hull design they could reach 40 knots.

Although the British and Thornycroft in particular have taken the credit for the design, it seems a Canadian inventor claimed to be behind the concept used in the hull form.

I believe WOODENBOAT magazine (Wooden Boat 100, May/June 1991) has a back article on that gent (Hickman).

01-24-2006, 06:38 AM
Clan G.
Interesting connection....Didn't realize that.

correction...Edward and Alexander were cousins...and looked alike...not George and Alexander....although...well...some family resembelance

Sea Frog
01-24-2006, 06:40 AM
Originally posted by uncas:
The reparations demanded of Germany were way out of line when it came to Germany's abilities to pay them. And the depression did not help either...
This certainly created a great incubator for the rise of Hitler...Uncas,
Reparations, as needed as they were, were never paid for the most part.
The Briand-Stresemann agreements had alleviated the burden to the point it couldn't block Germany's economic recovery which had begun to take place before Adolphe was elected through hyping all that.
Hitler had to spend immense sums of money (that he would never be able to pay back if non elected) to force his way to power, as public discontent had started fading since about 1932.
Bumpkin Kurt, just as his equivalents through Europe at large, lacked the basic knowledge to understand such a sudden crisis so they needed magic explanations like Dem Traitors, Dem Commies, Dem Enemies, Dem Jews, etc. which politicos were only happy to hype as usual.

01-24-2006, 06:47 AM
Sea Frog...
I should have been more explicit...was not thinking about just the money...the limitations on sizes of the army, navy, airforce..the increaesed, general feeling of national pride...and the infringements placed on it...also were included...
Hindenburg....Hitler's way into power...through the back door...was a national symbol...exhibiting national pride due, in most part, to his position during the second Reich....
If Hindenburg had not been alive and elected pres. in '32...would Hitler have succeeded.
And of course, Hitler played with national pride when he picked out groups which, to him did not fit the mold...as you listed.

pss...replace pride with nationalism........

[ 01-24-2006, 06:52 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

01-24-2006, 07:04 AM
Hitler had to spend immense sums of money (that he would never be able to pay back if non elected) to force his way to power, as public discontent had started fading since about 1932.

Why do you say public discontent had started fading? My understanding is that unemployment rose right through 1933.

01-24-2006, 07:14 AM
A relatively brief C&P.

How far did the Weimar Republic recover under Stresemann?

The Nazi Party

How did the Nazi Party develop its ideas and organisation up to 1929?

But although it LOOKED as though Germany had become strong, that strength rested on shaky foundations. Germany’s economy depended on American loans. And – in the wings – many right-wing extremists waited, hating Stresemann for paying reparations, waiting their chance to get revenge for the Treaty of Versailles. One of these parties was the Nazi Party, led by Adolf Hitler. The Nazis had typical right-wing beliefs – they wanted to set up a dictatorship with tough laws, overturn the Treaty of Versailles and unite all the German-speaking peoples. They also believed in the superiority of the ‘Aryan master race’ (racism), and said they had the right to persecute the Jews and conquer lebensraum (‘living space’) in eastern Europe. They hated the Communists. Like many extremist political parties of these times, they had a paramilitary wing (called the SA) who attacked other parties and assassinated rival politicians.

But the Nazis were different to other right-wing parties. After 1923 they did not win many Reichstag seats (they only had 12 in 1928), but during this time they began to build for the future. They managed to get huge funding from rich businessmen (including the German steel bosses Krupp and Thyssen, the German car firms Opel and Skoda, and the American businessmen Henry Ford) who thought the Nazis would stop Communism. They were brilliant at propaganda (organised by Josef Goebbels) and used the most modern technology (radio, newspapers and airplanes) to get their ideas across. They used some communist ideas (e.g. state control of industry/ land to the small farmers/ better pensions) to gain the support of the working classes. They set up a fun youth club which began indoctrinating young people to believe the Nazi message. Adolf Hitler was a brilliant speaker, and his book – Mein Kampf – became a best seller. One-by-one, the Nazis began to take over other right-wing parties.

The Nazi Party

How was Hitler able to become Chancellor in January 1933?

The Great Depression

In 1929 there was a crisis on Wall Street (the American stock exchange) and a great depression hit the American economy. The American banks asked German firms for their money back – and so there was an immediate depression in the German economy too. By 1932, six million people were unemployed. Many working-class people joined the Communists, but middle-class people flocked to join the Nazis, who promised a strong government which would stop the chaos. In the July 1932 elections, 230 Nazis were elected to the Reichstag.

Stresemann was dead, and his alliance of pro-democracy parties fell apart. The government – led by Bruning – could not get enough support to pass its laws, and did not know how to solve the depression. It suggested cutting wages and unemployment pay – there was an outcry, but the government used Article 48 (a rule which allowed the President to pass any law he wanted in an emergency) to force it through. Bruning fell from power and Schleicher took over the government – but things did not get any better; the government still needed to use Article 48 every time it wanted to pass a law.

How was Hitler able to become Chancellor in January 1933

The Nazis are GIVEN power

In November 1932, there was another election, but instead of getting more seats, the number of Nazis actually fell. Hitler thought that the Nazis had missed their chance. But then something happened which GAVE him power! The elections had left Hindenburg (the President) and Papen (his chief adviser) with the same old problem: the government could not get enough support in the Reichstag to pass any laws. They needed the support of a big party – and Hitler’s Nazis were the biggest party in the Reichstag. They offered Hitler post of Vice-Chancellor in return for his support. Hitler refused. He demanded to become Chancellor (= the British Prime Minister). Hindenburg and Papen took a risk – they argued that the government would still be full of their supporters, and that they would be able to control Hitler. In January 1933, they made him Chancellor of Germany.

Sea Frog
01-24-2006, 07:18 AM
Voters had started to turn away from the Nazis at 1932 elections, and employment, if the biggest, isn't the sole economic criteria. The then existing political regime, as lacking as it sometimes proved to be, was under the outside influence of the Nazi ideas to the point it looked quite conservative in the end. So you had to be quite a hard-liner to vote for Hitler.
Nazi propaganda begun way before the Nazi regime itself existed, including at and in-between elections.

martin schulz
01-24-2006, 07:41 AM
Somewhere I read that the US was a bit reluctant to declare War on Germany, because a lot of american money was already invested in Germany (something to do with ESSO).

01-24-2006, 07:44 AM
martin...true...not only that..the US had loaned a good bit of cash to Germany over the years leading up to WW2...Which would obviously NEVER be repaid..i.e., not a chance in hell...vs...well maybe never be paid.
Also, I keep looking at the US as a huge meltingpot...As in WW1...there was a huge German population which still had close ties with relatives in Germany...
Same held true but to a lesser extent with the Japanese influence on the west coast.

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-24-2006, 10:21 AM
The principle deterent to the US involvment in European politics and , eventually, the war was a strong streak of isolationism that had existed since WWI.
In 1939 The US Army had only between 250,000 and 300,000 troops. Roosevelt bucked public opinion by instituting a draft in 1940. It was a dangerous move. He was up for re-election and all the Republican challengers, save one, were isolationist and opposed the draft. The Republicans chose Wilkie (sic) who was an internationalist and in agreement on the draft. If any of the isolationist Republicans had been elected we would have faced Pearl Harbor with the above mentioned army instead of the 1.2 million men the draft had assembled.
How times have changed the players.


"Where are the right-wingers of old?"

Andrew Craig-Bennett
01-24-2006, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by Sea Frog:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by George.:
The US entered the war in order to support the UK. Churchill's veiled threats to give Germany the British Fleet if he were forced to seek peace with Hitler helped, too. It would have made Germany the greatest naval power the world had ever seen, able to threaten the US.George, did Churchill imply such a threat in private letters or in public speeches? I suspect he would rather have scuttled the Home Fleet had he lost the war.</font>[/QUOTE]
If I am not mistaken, it was in a private communication to Roosevelt, later made public. My recollection is slightly different. I think WSC alludes to FDR being concerned about the risk of such a thing happening. I do not think WSC threatened to do it. The war plan was for the Fleet would carry on the war from Canada in the event that the British mainland was occupied.

There is a subtle but important difference. It is not likely that the RN would have placed itself under German orders any more than the Marine Nationale would have done - but the RN was not prepared to take that risk with the French Navy and preferred to fire on and sink their ex-allies. The USN would not have taken the risk either.

01-24-2006, 02:15 PM
Andrew, if I recall correctly, Churchill told Roosevelt that he himself would never surrender the British Fleet. But he also said that in the event of a British defeat, a successor government might use the Fleet as a bargaining chip to get better terms than France had gotten.

As I said, he merely hinted at the possibility. He did this because he believed that the US was complacently thinking that if Britain fell, they would get the Fleet and the guardianship of the empire. Of course, if Germany got the Fleet, it would be in a position to take over the Empire itself...

Andrew Craig-Bennett
01-24-2006, 02:25 PM
I stand corrected, George. You are quite right.

01-24-2006, 02:35 PM
It's still an interesting question as to exactly when, or if, the US might have entered the war if Germany had not declared war on the US first.

01-24-2006, 02:45 PM
And the question remains,

The Battle of Britain has be lost...Britain invaded. What position do you think the US would take? Maintain the tradition of isolationism or side with Germany in a grand effort to rid the world of her REAL enemy,the USSR?

Or side with The Soviets against the new rulers of Europe?

01-24-2006, 02:55 PM
Or, more wisely, play balance-of-power, and side with the weaker side to prevent either from becoming dominant.

01-24-2006, 03:08 PM
So that the Soviets could become strong enough for the Great Battle?It was always going to happen.

01-24-2006, 03:39 PM
As I said in my first post, there was a naivete about the nature of Uncle Joe, and often downright support among the intellectual elites in this country. As well as in the Roosevelt administration. Your characterization of them as our great enemy is an artifact of the Cold War.

In the event that Britain had been conquered we'd have still given aid to the Soviets.

If Hitler had managed to consolidate his hold on Europe and North Africa before attacking the Soviets I think the Soviet Union would have fallen, even with our aid. It was a close thing as it was.

[ 01-24-2006, 03:40 PM: Message edited by: ishmael ]

01-24-2006, 03:41 PM

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-24-2006, 04:30 PM
There was intense interest in communism as a cure for thre Great Depression. And Stalin, being the ultimate communist leader rode on the crest of that wave. But, folks who were well informed knew that Stalin had become a big time dictator who didn't give a damn about the tennents of Marxism/Leninism or what the workers thought.
A lot of what was disseminated about Uncle Joe during WWII was promulgated for it's propaganda value and nothing else.


01-25-2006, 01:44 AM
Your characterization of them as our great enemy is an artifact of the Cold War.

I'm not sure about that one Ish,remember the couple of divisions of troops fighting on the White side,the lines were drawn early.Well, possibly you are right, its just a matter of when the Cold War started.......1919?

01-25-2006, 01:56 AM

01-25-2006, 02:03 AM
Meer, what I'm suggesting is that the animosity began far earlier, perhaps without the label.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
01-25-2006, 06:31 AM
If Britain had been defeated in 1940, Europe would have been at peace (albeit a peace of the "passeth all understanding" type, like the Peace of Amiens) unless the Commonwealth and Empire nations chose to keep fighting Germany. I doubt if they would have done, as the cause - an amphibious assault on the British Isles from the wrong side of the Atlantic with a hostile Ireland* in the way - would have seemed quite hopeless.

This would have put the USA in an interesting position. There would have been a tremendous temptation to do a deal with Japan and divide up the former British Empire between the USA and Japan, along with the former French and Dutch Empires.

This would have freed Japan to assist Germany in an assault on Russia under the Anti-Comintern pact. The USA could have afforded to remain neutral throughout, in fortress America, protected by its navy.

(* De Valera refused Britain access to naval bases in Ireland which were guaranteed by treaty, and actually sent his condolences to Doenitz on the death of the Fuhrer)

Edited to add - this looks to me like quite a probable scenario. The elimination of Britain would have suited everybody, just as the elimination of Poland did.

Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa would have rapidly formed new bonds of allegiance with the remaining English-speaking democracy.

The shape of democracy in the remaining English-speaking nations would have become different. With Eurasia under National Socialism and Eastasia as the Greater Co=Prosperity Sphere both run as totalitarian dictatorships, Oceania under the New Deal would have tended in the same direction, albeit in a far more humane form. There are traces of this sort of thinking evident in the 30's, and with the rest of the planet as a hostile armed camp the sort of forces that gave rise to McCarthyism would have grown much stronger.

So I think we would have ended up withsomething like "1984" and a New Dark Age, lit only by the lights of perverted science...

[ 01-25-2006, 06:49 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]

01-25-2006, 08:02 AM
Wow. Some thought-provoking alternative history there, Andrew.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
01-25-2006, 10:54 AM
US citizens might reasonably ask themselves - "Were our grandparents suckered into WW2 by the British?" Could the USA have avoided conflict with Japan? Arguably not, given the USA's special relationship with China, but then Japan only "went south" because of the defeat of the Japanese army by the Red Army at Nomonhan, so perhaps yes.

martin schulz
01-25-2006, 10:54 AM
Robert Harris wrote an interessting "crime-story" set in a could-have-been 1950 Germany.

Fun to read although quite frightening.


It is twenty years after Nazi Germany's triumphant victory in World War II and the entire country is preparing for the grand celebration of the FÜhrer's seventy-fifth birthday, as well as the imminent peacemaking visit from President Kennedy*.

Meanwhile, Berlin Detective Xavier March -- a disillusioned but talented investigation of a corpse washed up on the shore of a lake. When a dead man turns out to be a high-ranking Nazi commander, the Gestapo orders March off the case immediately. Suddenly other unrelated deaths are anything but routine.

Now obsessed by the case, March teams up with a beautiful, young American journalist and starts asking questions...dangerous questions. What they uncover is a terrifying and long-concealed conspiracy of such astonding and mind-numbing terror that is it certain to spell the end of the Third Reich -- if they can live long enough to tell the world about it. * Not JFK but his father, who Harris describes as already having anti-Semite tendencies.

That's right, 1964; this thriller, which would be exciting enough if set in 1944, takes on an added fascination because Robert Harris adopts the conceit that Germany defeated Britain, sending "Churchill and his gang of warmongers" scurrying off to Canada, leaving Nazi sympathizer King Edward VIII on the throne, and developed an atomic bomb in time to reach a post-Hiroshima stalemate with the United States. Subsequently, Germany forged the continental nations into a European Community, which it dominates economically but does not have to physically occupy, and entered a long Cold War with America, which allowed the German military to continue a lengthy campaign to pacify the quarrelsome populations of Eastern Europe, a campaign which is still going poorly and which has triggered increasingly successful terrorist movements. In this atmosphere of relative peace, Germany has had the opportunity to complete Albert Speer's massive building projects, including a German Arch of Triumph (49 French Arches would fit inside of it) and the Avenue of Victory (wider and 2.5 times longer than the Champs Elysees.)

[ 01-25-2006, 10:57 AM: Message edited by: martin schulz ]

01-27-2006, 12:07 PM
I think the biggest factors in why the US and Britain didn't ally with Germany agisnt the USSR were the actions of germany. See, Germnay annexed Czechoslovakia with a Western endorsement with the Munich Pact, even though both Britain, the USSR, and France had defence pacts with the czechs. The annexation was allowed because the US and the British were practicing a policy of appeasement. WWI had been incredibly devastating in terms of loss of life--few countries had seen loss on that scale before and as a result, the British were not jumping to get into another war with Russia. However, the then Prime minister of Britain, Chamberlain, was vehemently anti-communist. Germnay was at the bargaining tables and being appeased because war was an unpopular choice (Even in 1919, when allies suggested continuing WWI into Russia). Germany was allowed Austria, then Czexhoslovakia. Germany had signed a non-aggression pact with Russia because Hitler still viewed a possibile US, British, German alliance against Russia. When Germany finally invaded Poland, it was too much for the British and French to appease. The Versailles treaty of WWI had restored Poland to independence from Germany and firmly established alliances between Poland, Britain, and France. Thus when Germany invaded, Britain and France declared war based on treaties and alliances with poland.

Nobody wanted a war because WWI had been so long and costly. That's why there was no alliance against Russia. Germany also invaded Poland with the help of the Soviet army, so that pretty much showed that Germany didn't really care about the soviet threat. So, that's why we went to war against Germany and not the Soviet Union.