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RE: OT: A burning question..

 
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RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/9/2012 11:15:08 AM   
Apollo11


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Hi all,

One other thing though...


The "Sea Lion" was "pipe dream" - but what about capturing BEF (i.e. no Dunkirk miracle and "Operation Dynamo")?


The Germans were most certainly capable of capturing BEF (albeit by slowing / stopping their operation if France elsewhere) - they simply thought that it would be more important to continue crushing French immediately than capturing the already feeling British (where they falsely believed that Luftwaffe would be of greater help)...


What would happen politically in Britain if whole of the BEF was captured by Germans in May/June 1940?



Leo "Apollo11"

_____________________________



Prior Preparation & Planning Prevents Pathetically Poor Performance!

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Post #: 61
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/9/2012 9:44:36 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 18879
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Apollo11

Hi all,

One other thing though...


The "Sea Lion" was "pipe dream" - but what about capturing BEF (i.e. no Dunkirk miracle and "Operation Dynamo")?


The Germans were most certainly capable of capturing BEF (albeit by slowing / stopping their operation if France elsewhere) - they simply thought that it would be more important to continue crushing French immediately than capturing the already feeling British (where they falsely believed that Luftwaffe would be of greater help)...


What would happen politically in Britain if whole of the BEF was captured by Germans in May/June 1940?



Leo "Apollo11"
warspite1

Not sure what difference it would have made to be honest.

As far as the military situation was concerned, the fact that those men were not in the UK to defend the nation was immaterial because, as we know a) the invasion was not going to happen, and b) manpower (in terms of simple numbers, not experience) wasn't the issue for Britain in the summer of 1940, even if the capture of those men had emboldened Hitler into launching Sealion).

Politically though, what other option was there? Churchill had been PM for just three weeks and so the blame for the disaster of the Battle of France could not be laid at his door. He was no more going to be kicked out of office if the BEF had been captured than was the case in the wake of Dunkirk.



_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to Apollo11)
Post #: 62
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/10/2012 6:35:38 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1689
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If Hitler had not confirmed the 'Halt Order' and the Dunkirk evacuation had been stopped, remembering that initially Admiral Ramsay only expected to be able to save about 40,000 men, then Britain would have lost less than 200,000 troops (actual numbers saved 198,229 British and 139,997 French - Wiki).

Whether that would have been a devastating loss and had political repercussions, who knows, but it would have taken away the 'victory' of Dunkirk, which certainly fortified the British to fight on. How they would have felt with large numbers of men going into POW camps, eagerly filmed by Goebbels, at this early stage of the war before such things became more common, we will never know.


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 63
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/10/2012 6:45:39 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 18879
Joined: 2/2/2008
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rasputitsa

If Hitler had not confirmed the 'Halt Order' and the Dunkirk evacuation had been stopped, remembering that initially Admiral Ramsay only expected to be able to save about 40,000 men, then Britain would have lost less than 200,000 troops (actual numbers saved 198,229 British and 139,997 French - Wiki).

Whether that would have been a devastating loss and had political repercussions, who knows, but it would have taken away the 'victory' of Dunkirk, which certainly fortified the British to fight on. How they would have felt with large numbers of men going into POW camps, eagerly filmed by Goebbels, at this early stage of the war before such things became more common, we will never know.

warspite1

No, we will never know but we can speculate. It could be argued that seeing that number of men go into captivity could have a galvanising effect on public opinion every bit as electric as the "victory" of Dunkirk.

Point is, either way, the Germans aren't crossing the Channel and Churchill isn't going to quit - so whether the populace is up or down in the mood dept is somewhat immaterial.

As I say, I cannot see Churchill being got rid of simply because he could not be held accountable for the defeat in France. Therefore, Britain fights on and Hitler still launches Barbarossa after having received a bloody nose over the skies of southern England.

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 64
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/10/2012 7:00:57 PM   
carlkay58

 

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Realistically, the British did not have much at risk by the Fall of France. If they had signed an armistice or truce with Hitler they would not have lost any portion of their empire and probably done okay. That is why Hitler could not understand why they would continue to fight.

If they had lost the BEF totally, they would have lost the only fully trained units in the British Army - but the Navy and Airforces were still pretty much untouched. And the defense of Britain depends much more on the Navy and Airforce than the Army. But the psychological factor would have been much worse if the BEF would have been lost.

As it is, I don't know of too many people who would argue that had Chamberlain not resigned when he did, the attack on France would have made him stay in office until the emergency would have been over. If he had still been Prime Minister after Dunkirk, a truce or armistice would have been signed. So Hitler probably missed his opportunity to push Britain out of the war by only a day or so.

With Churchill as Prime Minister, I don't think that the loss of the BEF would have mattered. I think he would have used its loss to much as he used its saving - as a spur to the common people of Britain to stand up to Germany and continue the war despite the situation. The Navy would have seen them through with the help of the airforce, but they would have had a harder time holding on in Africa without the trained troops. An interesting what-if scenario that probably would not have changed the outcome by very much - it just would have changed some of the details.

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 65
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/10/2012 7:45:14 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 18879
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: carlkay58

warspite1

quote:

If they had signed an armistice or truce with Hitler they would not have lost any portion of their empire and probably done okay.


We would have done okay until Hitler changed his mind or until he took the rest of Europe into a new dark age.

quote:

As it is, I don't know of too many people who would argue that had Chamberlain not resigned when he did, the attack on France would have made him stay in office until the emergency would have been over.


You make it sound like he had a choice. He was ousted from office after the Norwegian fiasco as the Labour leader, Clement Attlee refused to join in a government led by Chamberlain.

quote:

If he had still been Prime Minister after Dunkirk, a truce or armistice would have been signed. So Hitler probably missed his opportunity to push Britain out of the war by only a day or so.


If Attlee had decided otherwise and Chamberlain was in charge at the time the BEF were beaten at Dunkirk he would have been drummed out of office then instead. There is every possibility - though not certain - that Churchill would have taken over at that time - therefore no surrender.

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to carlkay58)
Post #: 66
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/11/2012 9:47:38 AM   
Rasputitsa


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In conversation, with Roosevelt on self determination for the peoples of the World, Churchill said something like 'I have not become the King's first minister to preside over the dissolution of the British Empire', but by keeping Britain in a destructive war with the Axis, leaving the country drained, that is exactly what happened after 1945.

It must have been a great temptation, for those with influence and power, with a lot to lose, to push for an accommodation with Hitler, which would have given Germany a free hand in Europe, but left the Empire intact. With access to World trade and restitution of Germany colonies, Hitler may not have needed to risk his quest for Lebensraum in 1941, the 'Jewish question' may have been resolved by using British shipping and resettlement somewhere else (Madagascar - no idea why that was suggested, but could have happened).

We look at these things though the prism of what happened later, when no negotiation with Hitler could be ever be contemplated by any sane person, but before that - who knows, at the time there were real fears that London could be completely flattened by bombing, we now know that couldn't happen, huge casualties from poison gas, didn't happen, invasion and humiliating defeat, didn't happen.

With all those real fears, negotiation may not have seemed too bad an option for many people and how secure would Churchill have been without the glimmer of hope that Dunkirk gave. No one would admit to these thoughts after the event, but could the failure to rescue the BEF have tipped the balance?



_____________________________

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Post #: 67
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/11/2012 10:59:47 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 18879
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rasputitsa

With access to World trade and restitution of Germany colonies, Hitler may not have needed to risk his quest for Lebensraum in 1941......

warspite1

Sorry it's not clear, but is the above passage from Churchill?

The comment seems very, very strange and ignores Hitler's whole raison d'etre.

I find it rather difficult - indeed faintly comical - the notion that access to World trade and the return of a few pieces of land in Africa and the Pacific would make Hitler suddenly become a peaceful bunny?

What difference would that make? Come any future war, he would lose the colonies and the access to World Trade and his German Empire would be subject to the blockade that helped lose Germany the First World War. The one thing above all else that drove Hitler (from everything I have ever read) was Lebensraum; the raw materials - oil, coal and wheat - that would make his Greater German Empire self sufficient.

As for Churchill, I quite agree that Britain possibly came closer to reaching some sort of accomodation than we care to think about - not because such negotiations were advanced, but because there was clearly a body of opinion (amongst many in high places) to do so.

The one danger to that happening was Churchill not being in office. But once installed, I do not think it concievable that Churchill would EVER have negotiated with the Nazis. What was it? "If Hitler invaded hell, I would at least make favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons".



< Message edited by warspite1 -- 11/11/2012 11:01:01 AM >


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




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Post #: 68
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/11/2012 2:29:58 PM   
rrbill

 

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Personally, always thought it was "*to the East." Everything before was practice and battlefield preparation. Opportunistic, useful victories. Battle of Britain a bit too far, though.

* As said in his book and speeches, I believe.

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 69
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/12/2012 8:39:06 AM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1689
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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rasputitsa
With access to World trade and restitution of Germany colonies, Hitler may not have needed to risk his quest for Lebensraum in 1941......

warspite1
Sorry it's not clear, but is the above passage from Churchill?

The comment seems very, very strange and ignores Hitler's whole raison d'etre.

I find it rather difficult - indeed faintly comical - the notion that access to World trade and the return of a few pieces of land in Africa and the Pacific would make Hitler suddenly become a peaceful bunny?

What difference would that make? Come any future war, he would lose the colonies and the access to World Trade and his German Empire would be subject to the blockade that helped lose Germany the First World War. The one thing above all else that drove Hitler (from everything I have ever read) was Lebensraum; the raw materials - oil, coal and wheat - that would make his Greater German Empire self sufficient.

As for Churchill, I quite agree that Britain possibly came closer to reaching some sort of accomodation than we care to think about - not because such negotiations were advanced, but because there was clearly a body of opinion (amongst many in high places) to do so.

The one danger to that happening was Churchill not being in office. But once installed, I do not think it concievable that Churchill would EVER have negotiated with the Nazis. What was it? "If Hitler invaded hell, I would at least make favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons".


I am speculated on what might have happened if after a failed Dunkirk evacuation, Britain had negotiated an armistice with Germany, obviously any such negotiation would not have involved Churchill. Again, it's speculation what the terms of such an armistice would have been, but Hitler's main concern was access to resources and as with the Nazi-Soviet pact and the transfer of raw materials from the USSR to Germany, it's not hard to see that the terms for Britain (the losing party - this is not a negotiation of equals) would include access for Germany to World trade and resources. There would have been nothing comical in the terms that Hitler could have imposed on Britain.

This is not Britain negotiating after being encouraged by a successful Dunkirk, allowing Hitler a free hand in Europe, if the Empire is left untouched (Lebensraum still Hitler's next option). The new scenario is that if the 'halt order' had not been confirmed by Hitler, German tanks would have reached Dunkirk and the beaches, before most of the retreating Allied troops. A few 10,000s may have been taken off (as Admiral Ramsay had predicted), but up to 400,000 Allied troops could have been trapped in a 'cauldron' inland. If a peace party came to power in Britain it would be after a catastrophic battle with possible large losses to the RAF and a humiliating surrender. As with the armistice of 1919 for Germany and 1940 for France, the intention is that the losing power should not rise again any time soon. Accepted that the French armistice was negotiated with German troops on French soil, we are speculating how a demoralized British government (without Churchill) might have reacted, with all the fears that existed at the time, before hindsight proved the fears to be illusionary, the terms could have been harsh, opening new and easier opportunities to access resources for Germany.

With the British naval blockade removed and the resources of the British Empire available to Germany on favourable terms, the need for an early attack East eases (Plan Z anticipated war in 1950). How much more could Hitler have forced from Stalin by coercion and threats, if the USSR is now alone (Stalin was expecting territorial demands from Hitler before June 22nd 41). I don't say for a moment that Hitler would become a 'peaceful bunny', but after an armistice with Britain, you have to guess on favourable terms for Germany, Hitler wins breathing space.

Barbarossa was partially driven by desperation, irrespective of Hitler's Lebensraum plans, an undefeated Britain and the naval blockade means that, without access to the resources, Germany is doomed to lose the war, just as in WW1. Resources which historically, were only available in the East, however, with a compliant Britain all of that changes.

What was Hitler's raison d'etre, removal of the shame and treason of Versailles and Germany taking its rightful place in the World as a great power. Hemmed in by the existing European powers, the only way to expand was East, but with France and Britain humbled and compliant, who knows where megalomania would go.

< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 11/12/2012 10:40:59 AM >


_____________________________

"We have to go from where we are, not from where we would like to be" - me

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 70
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/12/2012 10:56:22 AM   
Apollo11


Posts: 22590
Joined: 6/7/2001
From: Zagreb, Croatia
Status: offline
Hi all,

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rasputitsa

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rasputitsa
With access to World trade and restitution of Germany colonies, Hitler may not have needed to risk his quest for Lebensraum in 1941......

warspite1
Sorry it's not clear, but is the above passage from Churchill?

The comment seems very, very strange and ignores Hitler's whole raison d'etre.

I find it rather difficult - indeed faintly comical - the notion that access to World trade and the return of a few pieces of land in Africa and the Pacific would make Hitler suddenly become a peaceful bunny?

What difference would that make? Come any future war, he would lose the colonies and the access to World Trade and his German Empire would be subject to the blockade that helped lose Germany the First World War. The one thing above all else that drove Hitler (from everything I have ever read) was Lebensraum; the raw materials - oil, coal and wheat - that would make his Greater German Empire self sufficient.

As for Churchill, I quite agree that Britain possibly came closer to reaching some sort of accomodation than we care to think about - not because such negotiations were advanced, but because there was clearly a body of opinion (amongst many in high places) to do so.

The one danger to that happening was Churchill not being in office. But once installed, I do not think it concievable that Churchill would EVER have negotiated with the Nazis. What was it? "If Hitler invaded hell, I would at least make favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons".


I am speculated on what might have happened if after a failed Dunkirk evacuation, Britain had negotiated an armistice with Germany, obviously any such negotiation would not have involved Churchill. Again, it's speculation what the terms of such an armistice would have been, but Hitler's main concern was access to resources and as with the Nazi-Soviet pact and the transfer of raw materials from the USSR to Germany, it's not hard to see that the terms for Britain (the losing party - this is not a negotiation of equals) would include access for Germany to World trade and resources. There would have been nothing comical in the terms that Hitler could have imposed on Britain.

This is not Britain negotiating after being encouraged by a successful Dunkirk, allowing Hitler a free hand in Europe, if the Empire is left untouched (Lebensraum still Hitler's next option). The new scenario is that if the 'halt order' had not been confirmed by Hitler, German tanks would have reached Dunkirk and the beaches, before most of the retreating Allied troops. A few 10,000s may have been taken off (as Admiral Ramsay had predicted), but up to 400,000 Allied troops could have been trapped in a 'cauldron' inland. If a peace party came to power in Britain it would be after a catastrophic battle with possible large losses to the RAF and a humiliating surrender. As with the armistice of 1919 for Germany and 1940 for France, the intention is that the losing power should not rise again any time soon. Accepted that the French armistice was negotiated with German troops on French soil, we are speculating how a demoralized British government (without Churchill) might have reacted, with all the fears that existed at the time, before hindsight proved the fears to be illusionary, the terms could have been harsh, opening new and easier opportunities to access resources for Germany.

With the British naval blockade removed and the resources of the British Empire available to Germany on favourable terms, the need for an early attack East eases (Plan Z anticipated war in 1950). How much more could Hitler have forced from Stalin by coercion and threats, if the USSR is now alone (Stalin was expecting territorial demands from Hitler before June 22nd 41). I don't say for a moment that Hitler would become a 'peaceful bunny', but after an armistice with Britain, you have to guess on favourable terms for Germany, Hitler wins breathing space.

Barbarossa was partially driven by desperation, irrespective of Hitler's Lebensraum plans, an undefeated Britain and the naval blockade means that, without access to the resources, Germany is doomed to lose the war, just as in WW1. Resources which historically, were only available in the East, however, with a compliant Britain all of that changes.

What was Hitler's raison d'etre, removal of the shame and treason of Versailles and Germany taking its rightful place in the World as a great power. Hemmed in by the existing European powers, the only way to expand was East, but with France and Britain humbled and compliant, who knows where megalomania would go.


Thanks guys - this is why I asked this in the first place!


BTW, with Churchill at the helm I don't see peace with Hitler's Germany in any condition - without him (ands after possible capture of whole BEF) - who knows...


Leo "Apollo11"

_____________________________



Prior Preparation & Planning Prevents Pathetically Poor Performance!

A & B: WitW, WitE, WbtS, GGWaW, GGWaW2-AWD, HttR, CotA, BftB, CF
P: UV, WitP, WitP-AE

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 71
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/12/2012 12:39:26 PM   
rrbill

 

Posts: 588
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Analysing Hitler's mind is interesting, but how far can it go to the truth? Think most commentary reflects authors' predispositions. And that includes the German military, Axis politicians, and Allied leaders. Makes intersting reading for the critical thinker.

One interest of mine is where did the MasterRace idea originate and how did that get into Hitler's (and many others) minds?

(in reply to Apollo11)
Post #: 72
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/12/2012 12:52:23 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 18879
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rasputitsa

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rasputitsa
With access to World trade and restitution of Germany colonies, Hitler may not have needed to risk his quest for Lebensraum in 1941......

warspite1
Sorry it's not clear, but is the above passage from Churchill?

The comment seems very, very strange and ignores Hitler's whole raison d'etre.

I find it rather difficult - indeed faintly comical - the notion that access to World trade and the return of a few pieces of land in Africa and the Pacific would make Hitler suddenly become a peaceful bunny?

What difference would that make? Come any future war, he would lose the colonies and the access to World Trade and his German Empire would be subject to the blockade that helped lose Germany the First World War. The one thing above all else that drove Hitler (from everything I have ever read) was Lebensraum; the raw materials - oil, coal and wheat - that would make his Greater German Empire self sufficient.

As for Churchill, I quite agree that Britain possibly came closer to reaching some sort of accomodation than we care to think about - not because such negotiations were advanced, but because there was clearly a body of opinion (amongst many in high places) to do so.

The one danger to that happening was Churchill not being in office. But once installed, I do not think it concievable that Churchill would EVER have negotiated with the Nazis. What was it? "If Hitler invaded hell, I would at least make favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons".


I am speculated on what might have happened if after a failed Dunkirk evacuation, Britain had negotiated an armistice with Germany, obviously any such negotiation would not have involved Churchill. Again, it's speculation what the terms of such an armistice would have been, but Hitler's main concern was access to resources and as with the Nazi-Soviet pact and the transfer of raw materials from the USSR to Germany, it's not hard to see that the terms for Britain (the losing party - this is not a negotiation of equals) would include access for Germany to World trade and resources. There would have been nothing comical in the terms that Hitler could have imposed on Britain.

This is not Britain negotiating after being encouraged by a successful Dunkirk, allowing Hitler a free hand in Europe, if the Empire is left untouched (Lebensraum still Hitler's next option). The new scenario is that if the 'halt order' had not been confirmed by Hitler, German tanks would have reached Dunkirk and the beaches, before most of the retreating Allied troops. A few 10,000s may have been taken off (as Admiral Ramsay had predicted), but up to 400,000 Allied troops could have been trapped in a 'cauldron' inland. If a peace party came to power in Britain it would be after a catastrophic battle with possible large losses to the RAF and a humiliating surrender. As with the armistice of 1919 for Germany and 1940 for France, the intention is that the losing power should not rise again any time soon. Accepted that the French armistice was negotiated with German troops on French soil, we are speculating how a demoralized British government (without Churchill) might have reacted, with all the fears that existed at the time, before hindsight proved the fears to be illusionary, the terms could have been harsh, opening new and easier opportunities to access resources for Germany.

With the British naval blockade removed and the resources of the British Empire available to Germany on favourable terms, the need for an early attack East eases (Plan Z anticipated war in 1950). How much more could Hitler have forced from Stalin by coercion and threats, if the USSR is now alone (Stalin was expecting territorial demands from Hitler before June 22nd 41). I don't say for a moment that Hitler would become a 'peaceful bunny', but after an armistice with Britain, you have to guess on favourable terms for Germany, Hitler wins breathing space.

Barbarossa was partially driven by desperation, irrespective of Hitler's Lebensraum plans, an undefeated Britain and the naval blockade means that, without access to the resources, Germany is doomed to lose the war, just as in WW1. Resources which historically, were only available in the East, however, with a compliant Britain all of that changes.

What was Hitler's raison d'etre, removal of the shame and treason of Versailles and Germany taking its rightful place in the World as a great power. Hemmed in by the existing European powers, the only way to expand was East, but with France and Britain humbled and compliant, who knows where megalomania would go.

warspite1

Okay so we are agreed that with Churchill as leader there is no surrender - regardless of the outcome at Dunkirk.

Where we disagree is what Hitler's primary aim was and whether Hitler would have been satisfied with just imposing severe terms on the UK to gain access to resources. The problem with that thinking, imo, is that it only makes Germany self sufficient to the extent that Britain - or more likely a third party like the USA - do not stop that arrangement. If Hitler was happy with receiving resources from a third party, then why not stop at his gains in Europe and keep taking resources from the USSR under the terms of Nazi-Soviet pact?

No, he wanted a self sufficient Greater German Empire and Lebensraum in the east gave him that.


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 73
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/12/2012 1:58:33 PM   
mevstedt

 

Posts: 51
Joined: 9/12/2012
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Okay so we are agreed that with Churchill as leader there is no surrender - regardless of the outcome at Dunkirk.

Where we disagree is what Hitler's primary aim was and whether Hitler would have been satisfied with just imposing severe terms on the UK to gain access to resources. The problem with that thinking, imo, is that it only makes Germany self sufficient to the extent that Britain - or more likely a third party like the USA - do not stop that arrangement. If Hitler was happy with receiving resources from a third party, then why not stop at his gains in Europe and keep taking resources from the USSR under the terms of Nazi-Soviet pact?

No, he wanted a self sufficient Greater German Empire and Lebensraum in the east gave him that.



Well, there are alot of diplomatic/political implications that would have come into effect had Germany made peace with Britain/France (even more so if they had never openly declared war upon the invasion of Poland as Hitler was hoping they wouldn't).

Point is, I doubt Germany would have post any severe terms on the allies for their surrender as Hitler had his sights set east from long before the outbreak of the war.

What this would all have meant for the outcome of the war, one can only speculate about, but if we remove Britain/France from the equation for whatever reason then Germanys diplomatic and political influence on the rest of Europe would have been alot bigger. Remember that if we remove Britain from the allies we also remove all of the commonwealth (most importantly the bigger nations like Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia).

To my knowledge there were diplomatic pressure from Germany to get both Sweden and Turkey to enter the war against the Soviet Union (there were also pressure on Spain to enter the axis alliance iirc) and any or all of those could have been a real possibility with the increased influence Germany would have at that point. What would the eastern front have looked like with some 30+ german divisions (garrison from occupied western europe), a bunch of swedes running around at the finnish/russian border and a turkish (maybe with added german expeditionary corps) army attacking the Soviet Union in the caucasus?

Not to mention the lack of the early lend/lease from Britain, the lack of British political/diplomatic influence on the US to get them to enter the war (it still took the Japanese to get them to enter but if Britain was no longer in the war it is likely the Japanes would have settled for the Dutch East Indies/French Indochina and whatever they could carve out of Kamchatka as the US would have been more isolationistic and likely put less restriction on the japanese oil embargo).

Anyway, Britain remaining in the war was the essential part. Had Churchill made another decision and the entire world would likely have looked alot different today.


(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 74
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/13/2012 12:15:52 AM   
carlkay58

 

Posts: 2222
Joined: 7/25/2010
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A couple of points:

1) Chamberlain resigned due to the Norway results and because both the Labour and Liberal parties had lost faith in him. He resigned on May 10, 1940 - the same day that Germany attacked Westward. My earlier point was that if Chamberlain had delayed his announcement even 12 hours - the attack would have been happening and it is quite possible that the Labour and Liberal parties would have united behind him because of the 'hot' war going on in Western Europe. This would have left Chamberlain as Prime Minister and if the BEF had been lost at Dunkirk he would probably have made peace with Germany.

2) Once Churchill was Prime Minister, there was no way that there would have been peace with Germany. I totally agree with that. BUT Churchill was able to become Prime Minister and forge a government BECAUSE the Germans had just invaded Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. If Chamberlain had resigned one or two days earlier than the attack, the government may have been formed under another leader. Thus the timing of Chamberlain's resignation was critical to history as we know it.

3) Supposedly all Hitler would have demanded from Britain would have been the end of the blockade. Even if he had asked and gotten more, any armistice or truce would have ended the blockade and enabled Germany to buy the three or four more years that Hitler figured he needed to get ready to truly invade the Soviet Union.

(in reply to mevstedt)
Post #: 75
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/14/2012 8:14:37 AM   
Rasputitsa


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Okay so we are agreed that with Churchill as leader there is no surrender - regardless of the outcome at Dunkirk.

Where we disagree is what Hitler's primary aim was and whether Hitler would have been satisfied with just imposing severe terms on the UK to gain access to resources. The problem with that thinking, imo, is that it only makes Germany self sufficient to the extent that Britain - or more likely a third party like the USA - do not stop that arrangement. If Hitler was happy with receiving resources from a third party, then why not stop at his gains in Europe and keep taking resources from the USSR under the terms of Nazi-Soviet pact?

No, he wanted a self sufficient Greater German Empire and Lebensraum in the east gave him that.



I don't think we do disagree that much :

You said :
No, he wanted a self sufficient Greater German Empire and Lebensraum in the east gave him that.

I said :
What was Hitler's raison d'etre, removal of the shame and treason of Versailles and Germany taking its rightful place in the World as a great power. Hemmed in by the existing European powers, the only way to expand was East, but with France and Britain humbled and compliant, who knows where megalomania would go.

The speculation is the last bit, IF, after a failed Dunkirk, Hitler had been able to impose terms on Britain which would have supplied his need for raw materials and secured a compliant Britain (probably with Germans troops supplying 'protection'), Germany wins time to prepare, a reckoning in the East may still occur, but on possibly more advantageous terms to Germany.

Hitler thought he had won in 1940 and was planning to reduce the Wehrmacht, so the assumption has to be that he was not looking for a show-down in the East immediately. Churchill's rejection of any negotiation and the failure of the Battle of Britain meant the war would continue and the need for resources for a long war became vital, hence the decision over the winter to reverse policy and move East in 1941. A more compliant British government would have made that strategy reversal unnecessary in the short term.

Anything less than a compliant and subservient Britain, joining France in the German orbit, will not work, obviously if Britain is able to pick up hostilities again later, possibly allied with the US, Hitler has gained nothing, he is back in the same vice that lost the war.

There were real fears about bombing of cities, poison gas attacks, invasion and loss of the Empire and depending on views at the time, Churchill recklessly, or bravely, ignored these fears, if others had come to power they may not have had the same resolve, with most of the horrors still hidden in the future and their present filled with failure, an accommodation with Hitler may have been an easier way out of war. The assumption is that the offer made in these circumstances would not be the same as that offered to Churchill, after the successful evacuation 'victory'.

The speculation is whether a failed Dunkirk could have brought a peace party to power, remembering that Lord Halifax was Chamberlain's preferred successor and, if Chamberlain had been more determined, Churchill may never have become PM in the first place.






< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 11/14/2012 10:40:12 AM >


_____________________________

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(in reply to mevstedt)
Post #: 76
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/14/2012 2:54:45 PM   
turtlefang

 

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There are a number of interesting points raised regarding the speculation of Britain exiting the war if Dunkirk had failed. A few points I would like to point out as this Britain came closer to exiting the war in real life that most realize:

1) Churchill ended up as Prime Minister due to the invasion of France. If Chamberlain had resigned two or three days earlier or the Germans invaded two or three days later, the odds are very good that Lord Halifax would have been the PM. Nobody but Churchill wanted Churchill at the time. He ended up PM due to the crisis.

2) Halifax, after the French fell, argued for a German settlement. And prior to the Fall, he was strongly against putting the BEF in France to start with - fearing its destruction.

3) If the BEF was destroyed and Halifax was PM, the odds are very good that he would have settled for a peace with Germany if on any type of reasonable terms.

And this has some far reaching implications:

a) It is highly unlikely the US would ever have entered the war. Germany would have had no reason to declare war on the US, and the U boat campaign would have disappeared. And the US people simply wouldn't have supported it.

b) Without France, its doubtful GB would have declared war on Germany again. Not impossible, but doubtful.

c) Its doubtful that the US would have supplied as much lend lease to the Soviets. For one, two major routes would have been less available even if the US wanted to supply the Soviets, and two, the US would never had moved to a full land war economy - but rather a Japan only approach.

d) Without a threat on the West, the question then becomes can the Soviets survive and win? It's an interesting question that has no real answer given the mistakes on both sides.

Once Churchill was the PM, I believe GB course was set - resist until victory. But it was a near run thing as to whether he would be PM during May, 1940.

(in reply to Rasputitsa)
Post #: 77
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/14/2012 5:43:31 PM   
Rasputitsa


Posts: 1689
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quote:

ORIGINAL: turtlefang

There are a number of interesting points raised regarding the speculation of Britain exiting the war if Dunkirk had failed. A few points I would like to point out as this Britain came closer to exiting the war in real life that most realize:

1) Churchill ended up as Prime Minister due to the invasion of France. If Chamberlain had resigned two or three days earlier or the Germans invaded two or three days later, the odds are very good that Lord Halifax would have been the PM. Nobody but Churchill wanted Churchill at the time. He ended up PM due to the crisis.


I would add to this, that Chamberlain standing down and Churchill being appointed was as much to do with the debacle in Norway.

The meeting between Chamberlain, Halifax and Churchill is described by Churchill, with Chamberlain asking Churchill if he could work with Lord Halifax, there was along 2 minute silence while Churchill ignored the question. Halifax broke first and said that it would be difficult to be PM from the House of Lords (however many British PMs have been Lords). If Chamberlain has been more determined he could have broken the silence first and demanded of Winston whether he would work with Halifax, or should he find another deputy, Halifax being the preferred successor.

Perhaps the most important 2 minutes in recent British history, on such things great events turn.


< Message edited by Rasputitsa -- 11/14/2012 5:44:25 PM >


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Post #: 78
RE: OT: A burning question.. - 11/14/2012 7:30:01 PM   
Scook_99

 

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Well, if I could be man in charge, and of course, this would probably be using hind sight....

1) Oil resources need to be secured in greater quantity.
2) Fronts would need to be opened in scope to prevent the Allies from focusing troops (for the most part, they succeeded).
3) More security needed for your vulnerable Italian ally.

a) push harder on negotiations with Spain and Turkey. Spain doesn't have to enter the war, but allowing troops to cross the country to secure Gibraltar from the land side is imperative.
b) Poland has to happen, as much as being further east when war eventually breaks out with Stalinist USSR.
c) Even if it meant immediate war with the USSR, once Gibraltar is secure, and two prong advance has to occur to the middle east. If Turkey doesn't join up on the Axis side, that is as good as declaring war on me! The Suez needs to be closed, for several reasons, 1) the Axis lake, and 2) everything Britain pulls in to the home island from the Pacific has to go around Africa.
d) If you can secure the Med, and grab oil production in the Middle East, and have a rail route back to Germany, maybe you have enough fuel to keep your war machine going. The added capability of attacking from the Middle East makes a whole lot of territory to be defended or abandoned.
e) with all that, you have now split your army into a smaller force that can be used to attack the USSR. Call Wotan up and ask for assistance.
f) the political ramifications from above would be world wide, there probably would be no neutral country on the planet by mid 1941. Put on your big boy pants and deal with
g) Go out in a blaze of glory, circa 1945, +/- 5 years.

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 79
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