RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (Full Version)

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philabos -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/25/2019 10:47:55 PM)

The focus has traditionally been Chamberlain's fear of a repeat of the Great War. And that is certainly factual.

I think Warspite brings up a good point. There was probably some sympathy for German reoccupation of the Rhineland and even Anschluss.
Austria had lost her empire in 1918 and was somewhat adrift. Anchoring with the German state was probably attractive to many in 1938.

Where Chamberlain went off the rails was Bohemia, which had always been a part of the Austrro Hungarian Empire. One could make the argument that while Germans in Bohemia were local to Vienna until 1918, they felt no such kinship to Prague. Nonetheless, everyone knew Czech defenses were anchored in Bohemia.

Was Chamberlain buying peace, or time? There are two schools of thought.





Capt. Harlock -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/26/2019 12:37:55 AM)

quote:

So if I marry up the first and last parts of your post you are saying that the Western Allies should have allowed absolutely no amendment to the Versailles Treaty whatsoever?

This was a treaty that many felt unreasonably harsh when negotiated and signed at the end of the war. The feeling that Germany had been unfairly treated then grew stronger and stronger during the 20's and 30's. But are you saying that public opinion all over the globe - and where it then mattered in Western Europe and the US - should have been ignored? Was the Anschluss really such a crime that the French should have the right of veto over - why? Was the Rhineland - part of Germany - really to remain verboten to the German military for ever more? Was Wilson's 14-points really only meant for some and not others - the right to self determination was paramount.... unless it wasn't?

I would be interested to hear more on this thought process.


Certainly. There is, of course, a considerable margin between zero tolerance of treaty violations and ignoring any and all violations. By the end of 1936, the latter was pretty much the policy of both Britain and France, to their eventual cost. Hitler had expanded the Wehrmacht to triple the permitted size, and had begun building submarines and the Luftwaffe, both prohibited by Versailles. Re-militarizing the Rhineland was the point at which no one could claim that the treaty was being enforced in any meaningful way.

And this point I must protest, and ask that the principles of rigorous debate be followed. I find it distasteful to have words put in my mouth. I most certainly did not say that the Western Allies should have allowed absolutely no amendment to the Versailles Treaty whatsoever. I did not say that public opinion all over the globe should have been ignored. (The war reparations became clearly unreasonable -- if they ever were reasonable -- after the economic crash, and it was fair to ignore Germany's cessation of payment.) I did not even say that the Rhineland should have remained verboten to the German military for evermore. I will say, however, that it should have remained verboten until Germany had demonstrated the willingness to live in peace with its neighbors (which has now been done.) So at that point, yes, France should have had veto power, and it is the world's tragedy that they did not exercise it.

You do bring up an interesting question. Did Germany ever apply to have some of the Versailles Treaty re-negotiated and amended? I have not heard of such a move, and certainly it is hard to imagine Hitler going hat in hand to France and Britain. But before Hitler rose to power, it seems to me there was a small opportunity. Not much, because the Germans would have demanded the renunciation of their acceptance of guilt for WWI, which the Western Allies would have been in no mood to grant. But Germany would have had a claim on the conscience of the world after the blockade -- already a war crime -- was continued for months after the armistice. This could have led to some relaxation. Possibly a limited air force and an expansion of the army would have been allowed, and even the Anschluss if a free and fair election in Austria could be guaranteed.

And then, with German national pride salved, Hitler might not have been elected? And then, Chamberlain's appeasements might have been the right thing to do after all.





warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/26/2019 3:41:16 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

And this point I must protest, and ask that the principles of rigorous debate be followed.

warspite1

I am sorry if you felt I've put words in your mouth and feel the need to protest. For the avoidance of doubt I meant to do nothing of the sort and was simply trying to frame a question for you to respond to - as I would have hoped my final sentence confirmed - "I would be interested to hear more on this thought process".




warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/26/2019 4:12:44 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: philabos

Was Chamberlain buying peace, or time? There are two schools of thought.

warspite1

I think he was trying to buy peace for all the reasons previously stated. As we know, with hindsight, that was not possible simply because of the nature of the man he was up against, and Chamberlain was far from alone in failing to see that. In so doing of course he got time (though not enough) and the time available - for both Britain and France - was simply not enough to change 20 years of neglect of the armed forces. Sure, plenty of war material could be bought, but the British and French needed a whole lot more than that.....




philabos -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/28/2019 10:57:46 PM)

I doubt anything could have saved Weimar by the 30's.
It was only going to be one of the extreme alternatives, both hideous.
The only viable alternative would have been the Kaiser, but the Germans got rid of him, not the Allies.
Given the chance, they may have too.




warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/29/2019 7:00:49 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: philabos

I doubt anything could have saved Weimar by the 30's.
It was only going to be one of the extreme alternatives, both hideous.
The only viable alternative would have been the Kaiser, but the Germans got rid of him, not the Allies.
Given the chance, they may have too.
warspite1

I wonder.....

Suppose the fateful decision to make Hitler Chancellor hadn't been taken. Instead Weimar carries on with von Papen or similar for a few years. If the economy starts to recover, the support for the NSDAP and other extremes starts to ebb away (indeed the Nazis actually lost votes in the last election before he was made Chancellor) and all it could then take would be a period of economic stability and who knows?

Economic recovery allied with help from France, the UK and the US and...maybe.... Lots of questions arise from that of course. Would the world economic position allow Weimar time to stabilise after the Great Depression? would the Western powers be sufficiently accommodating? how would the Nazis and the Communists react? I can't imagine Ernst Rohm and his Brownshirts reacting well to such developments and would he break from Hitler or indeed would Hitler give up on trying to come to power through parliament and unleash Rohm?

Just what would have happened if that 'genius' decision to give Hitler the Chancellorship hadn't happened?......




altipueri -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/29/2019 10:34:36 AM)

Better Hitler than Stalin.

At least Benes was able to look out over one of the few european capitals not damaged by war.


I happened to pick up the other day a copy of AJP Taylor's "the Origins of the Second World War. First published in 1961 - and therefore written barely 15 years after the end of the war. It is a good read.

"It is no part of a historian's duty to say what ought to have been done. His sole duty is to find out what was done and why."




cpdeyoung -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/29/2019 2:48:47 PM)

I read Taylor fifty some years ago. It was very controversial when it came out.

It was very hard then to question the actions of Germany's "opponents". Any attempt to rethink Hitler's role was unwelcome. Taylor made everyone think.

I remember it as a good read.

Chuck




altipueri -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/29/2019 4:59:21 PM)

It is a good read - and I realise now I have two copies of it ! - although only one has the additional chapter "Second Thoughts"


Struggle For Mastery in Europe 1848 to 1918 is also very good.




philabos -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/29/2019 10:31:15 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: philabos

I doubt anything could have saved Weimar by the 30's.
It was only going to be one of the extreme alternatives, both hideous.
The only viable alternative would have been the Kaiser, but the Germans got rid of him, not the Allies.
Given the chance, they may have too.
warspite1

I wonder.....

Suppose the fateful decision to make Hitler Chancellor hadn't been taken. Instead Weimar carries on with von Papen or similar for a few years. If the economy starts to recover, the support for the NSDAP and other extremes starts to ebb away (indeed the Nazis actually lost votes in the last election before he was made Chancellor) and all it could then take would be a period of economic stability and who knows?

Economic recovery allied with help from France, the UK and the US and...maybe.... Lots of questions arise from that of course. Would the world economic position allow Weimar time to stabilise after the Great Depression? would the Western powers be sufficiently accommodating? how would the Nazis and the Communists react? I can't imagine Ernst Rohm and his Brownshirts reacting well to such developments and would he break from Hitler or indeed would Hitler give up on trying to come to power through parliament and unleash Rohm?

Just what would have happened if that 'genius' decision to give Hitler the Chancellorship hadn't happened?......



The US was barely able to help itself through most of the 30's. Doubt any force would cause them to shift resources to Weimar.
The French were embroiled in their own troubles through much of the period.
Perhaps the UK, you would know better than I. Would be interested to hear your thoughts on Baldwin pursuing such a path.




warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/30/2019 4:31:48 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: philabos


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

quote:

ORIGINAL: philabos

I doubt anything could have saved Weimar by the 30's.
It was only going to be one of the extreme alternatives, both hideous.
The only viable alternative would have been the Kaiser, but the Germans got rid of him, not the Allies.
Given the chance, they may have too.
warspite1

I wonder.....

Suppose the fateful decision to make Hitler Chancellor hadn't been taken. Instead Weimar carries on with von Papen or similar for a few years. If the economy starts to recover, the support for the NSDAP and other extremes starts to ebb away (indeed the Nazis actually lost votes in the last election before he was made Chancellor) and all it could then take would be a period of economic stability and who knows?

Economic recovery allied with help from France, the UK and the US and...maybe.... Lots of questions arise from that of course. Would the world economic position allow Weimar time to stabilise after the Great Depression? would the Western powers be sufficiently accommodating? how would the Nazis and the Communists react? I can't imagine Ernst Rohm and his Brownshirts reacting well to such developments and would he break from Hitler or indeed would Hitler give up on trying to come to power through parliament and unleash Rohm?

Just what would have happened if that 'genius' decision to give Hitler the Chancellorship hadn't happened?......



The US was barely able to help itself through most of the 30's. Doubt any force would cause them to shift resources to Weimar.
The French were embroiled in their own troubles through much of the period.
Perhaps the UK, you would know better than I. Would be interested to hear your thoughts on Baldwin pursuing such a path.

warspite1

Well the Young Plan (1929) was designed to help Germany and the reparations, and we know the economic and other aid the British were looking to give Hitler later. So there no doubt were things that could have been implemented. But that was all rendered redundant thanks to the incredible decision to make Hitler Chancellor. As much as some people seem to want to unfairly and conveniently blame the French and British for all the ills that led to 1939, take that event out of the equation – an event that had nothing to do with Chamberlain and Daladier – and things are suddenly very different.




altipueri -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/30/2019 9:31:32 AM)

US participation in the war had largely contributed to Germany's defeat. (In so far as the outcome became certain).

US policy after the war largely determined Germany's recovery. (Dawes plan and the Young plan were named after the US chairmen.)

US loans largely restored the German economy.

US correctly assumed Germany was no danger to the US.

US incorrectly assumed Germany was no danger to the countries of Europe.

US policy would have mattered less if the European Great Powers had been of one mind.

------------------

Germany appointed Hitler Chancellor, without which there would probably be no wargame industry. :) But then probably each of us in this debate would not have been born (x billion sperm would not have existed or ended up in the uterus they did).

There probably is a lesson in that in a time of crisis it probably isn't a good idea to appoint as leader someone who has written a manifesto of destruction and who has already been jailed for a putsch.







warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/31/2019 6:52:49 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: altipueri

US policy would have mattered less if the European Great Powers had been of one mind.

warspite1

After WWI what great powers do you refer to? There was the British and French Empires - albeit their 'great' days were behind them. Italy? Not really. The Soviet Union? The 20's were more about power struggles and survival of the regime and only in the 30's were the effects of the 5-year plans starting to take effect - and then only slowly and not helped by Stalin's purges.

I'm not entirely sure what you are suggesting here, but even if you take these four European powers as being the ones you refer to as great, how could anyone believe that these four were going to be of one mind?

Italy was Fascist before Germany and so her sympathies could not be counted on (as it proved), The Soviets were Communist and frankly more detestable to the Western Powers (and the US) than any threat that was seeming to come from Germany. As said previously, the French and British had their own problems - financially as well as industrially and militarily - and their own needs but did at least try and act in concert.... sort of.

US policy did matter as it turned out, but also as said previously, I don't see that as a reason to necessarily blame the US for their isolationist stance and turning away from a Europe that consistently seemed hell bent on tearing itself apart. A government's duty is to look first and foremost after its own people, and a government consciously choosing to get involved in other peoples wars isn't often a healthy option for that government - especially when their own military spending means intervention is not readily available anyway. US administrations during the inter-war years had no more powers of foresight than anyone else and they took the decisions they thought right at the time and in their interests.

But (and this is not levelled at you as I don't know where you stand on this point) I do find it somewhat galling that in taking that decision, some feel that they can opine critically, safe in their ivory towers, on what others should and shouldn't have been doing. The fact was, from the extracts I've read, that Roosevelt was encouraging towards Chamberlain's/Daladier's attempts at keeping the peace.

Deciding exactly what should and shouldn't have been done with the benefit of hindsight seems somewhat rich.




altipueri -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/31/2019 1:53:07 PM)

France, Britain and Italy had been a fairly formidable coalition that had at least held off Germany if not defeat her.

After the war Britain rather stood back from European involvement, Italy was miffed at not getting a slice of the Ottoman empire and being fobbed off with a bit of worthless colonial land. In any event her enemy had been Austria Hungary and the post war settlement left Italy with a ring of small neighbours making Germany rather remote.

Only the French wanted the boots of others in the Rhineland. As Briand pointed out in 1922 the Germans would be in Paris and Bordeaux before enough of the British would arrive to stop them - as indeed pretty much happened in 1940.

The British navy was stronger than ever before in the sense that the German navy was under the waters of Scapa Flow.

The US by dint of geography and politics couldn't be part of a European system of security - the most that could be expected was that they would turn up belatedly if that system of security failed - and they did - in 1944.


Anyway, it is the delights of armchair generalship and diplomacy.


Incidentally, do any of the well know WW2 wargames allow for avoidance of WW2 or is it hard coded in all of them?






warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/31/2019 5:33:48 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: altipueri

The British navy was stronger than ever before in the sense that the German navy was under the waters of Scapa Flow.



Well that depends when, in the inter-war years, you are referring to (the British really got left behind from the 30's) and whether hindsight is being used (there was nothing to say France and the USA would be Allies with the UK in any future war (as proved to be the case of course in 1939).




philabos -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (10/31/2019 10:26:03 PM)

The Young Plan was formulated months before the Wall Street crash of 1929.
While it did change the terms of the reperations, US banks were forced to withdraw credits and cash from Europe to shore up their position at home.
The Germans did not want a change, they wanted an end to reperations.
Hitler gave that to them.
The US economy remained mostly in the ditch in the 30's until the war clouds arrived. That does not take away from the efforts prior to 1929, but in the end it was not effective enough to stave off Hitler.




warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/1/2019 8:40:37 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: philabos

....but in the end it was not effective enough to stave off Hitler.

warspite1

And this I think is the point. People can criticise or praise the efforts of the men of peace, but they all tried in their own way but - at the end of the day - it was really quite simple.

It was the German political class, on the strength of 37% of the popular vote, that gave Hitler the position of Chancellor and the army that watched it all happen and then blamed the French and British when they didn't do their dirty work for them.

Victim blaming... always nice work if you can get it.




philabos -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/8/2019 10:24:32 PM)

The Wall Street Journal just reviewed a new book, Appeasement, by Tim Bouverie.
I have not read the book, but according to the review the author is firmly in the Chamberlain was a fool camp, missed many opportunities to stop AH.
According to the review, $30.
In the same issue, a review of Agents of Influence, by Henry Hemming, about MI6 agent Bill Stephenson, subject of an earlier work Man Called Intrepid.
Stephenson worked to influence US public opinion in the years before Pearl Harbor in favor of the U.K.




warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/9/2019 9:55:14 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: philabos

The Wall Street Journal just reviewed a new book, Appeasement, by Tim Bouverie.......according to the review the author is firmly in the Chamberlain was a fool camp, missed many opportunities to stop AH.

warspite1

What a great pity for humanity that Tim Bouverie - obviously a man of remarkable foresight, a man able to conjour a British Army from nothing, and then able to balance an empty exchequer, a man able to persuade the French in the meantime what they need to do re Germany regardless of what they themselves want to do, a man able to persuade the Dominions that they are wrong about not wanting to support Britain in a war over Czechoslovakia, a man able to persuade the British public that 20 years after almost a million lives were lost, we should go through that spiffing wheeze all over again.... and why? All because 3m Sudeten Germans want the right of self-determination. And of course one thing we haven't touched on previously. The US supported Britain (and France), to the degree Roosevelt could, once the Western Allies declared war on Germany. He did this because - like the British and French - he knew beyond doubt (and not with hindsight) by Prague 1939 that Hitler was not going to stop. As a result there was at least sympathy for the Western democracies even if not full support by way of war. So if Britain and France had taken the role of the aggressor prior to (and then instead of) Munich, would the US really be as inclined to assist or would they have taken a truly neutral stance?

But hey, Tim Bouverie clearly knows best and I will be interested to hear what he has to say - I will just wait a little longer until I can buy it second hand.

Thanks for the heads up philabos.




philabos -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/9/2019 10:46:54 PM)

Warspite, I think I will pass on the book.

Not sure we needed another Chamberlain as fool in hindsight tome.

As you say, the memories of the Somme, Galipoli, and Paschendale among others were still very fresh in memory.
Somehow Jersusalem, and Haig's march to victory did not make up for all that.
There was also the wide expectation that major cities would be virtually wiped out with civilian populations decimated by the rise of the bomber, which would "always get through".

All very clear to us now, where we could have stopped AH and perhaps even seen a Halder military revolt in 1938.

If only history allowed do overs.




Capt. Harlock -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/11/2019 3:36:43 AM)

quote:

So if Britain and France had taken the role of the aggressor prior to (and then instead of) Munich, would the US really be as inclined to assist or would they have taken a truly neutral stance?


But would US assistance have been needed? I think the most logical date for intervention by the Western Allies would have been September 18, 1938, after the formation of the Sudetendeutsches Freikorps and the beginning of the undeclared German-Czechoslovak war. True, the British army wasn't up to snuff at that point, but from what I've heard, the French army was still superior to the Wehrmacht. Germany gained a rich haul of armaments after seizing Czechoslovakia. If the French had moved before that had happened, I think the result would have been a Nazi defeat. More, France could certainly have gotten assistance from the Czechoslovaks, and quite possibly from the Poles.




warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/11/2019 6:22:07 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

quote:

So if Britain and France had taken the role of the aggressor prior to (and then instead of) Munich, would the US really be as inclined to assist or would they have taken a truly neutral stance?


But would US assistance have been needed? I think the most logical date for intervention by the Western Allies would have been September 18, 1938, after the formation of the Sudetendeutsches Freikorps and the beginning of the undeclared German-Czechoslovak war. True, the British army wasn't up to snuff at that point, but from what I've heard, the French army was still superior to the Wehrmacht. Germany gained a rich haul of armaments after seizing Czechoslovakia. If the French had moved before that had happened, I think the result would have been a Nazi defeat. More, France could certainly have gotten assistance from the Czechoslovaks, and quite possibly from the Poles.
warspite1

Well those keen to see the worst in the actions of Chamberlain and Daladier – have the ‘certainty’ they can never be wrong, whereas we know, with hindsight, what the policies of the key players actually led to; WWII, The Holocaust, The Atomic Bomb, The Iron Curtain, The Cold War and whole manner of death and destruction in between.

Those who say other action should have been taken can be comforted by the fact that, had that action been taken, everything would have worked out splendidly….

1. The most logical date for intervention.
You have ignored all the practical arguments that have been exhaustively laid out for Britain and France not intervening (which I’m not going to repeat again); very real and very practical issues, and haven’t sought to argue against them, but instead blandly state a ‘logical date’ based on hindsight. You know that Roosevelt, even once he realised that Hitler needed stopping, was limited by public opinion. But you ignore that Chamberlain and Daladier were so constrained. As leaders of democratic countries they had the same problems as Roosevelt.

2. The British Army wasn’t up to snuff.
What does that actually mean? Just how many fully trained and equipped divisions do you believe the British could field at that time? It wasn't simply a case of not being up to snuff, but that in 1938 the French would have been pretty much on their own.

3. The French Army was still superior to the Wehrmacht.
Well that rather depends on what you mean by superior. The same was being said of the French army a year later – although there are also comments made at the time by British officers and others that things were not all as they appeared when it came to French preparedness. The army was not in a good way from a leadership perspective (as was proven 2 years later), defence was the watchword, not offence, there was no will to go to war, and financially France was in no state to go to war either.

4. Would US assistance have been needed?
Well that is a key question isn’t it? No one, and certainly not me or you, knows how Case Green would have panned out, and what it would have led to. But you can simply assume it would have all worked out fine. You assume that the German Army could not have overcome the Czechs, that France would have been in a position to undertake an offensive in the West (that it couldn’t a year later) – you ignore the possibility that France would simply have adopted the same sit and wait strategy as was actually employed from September 1939, that the German generals would have grown a set (that they didn’t in 1938 and when they (too late) did, they weren’t successful), that Poland may have piled in, regardless that they had concerns of their own to the east.

What we DO know however, is that if 1938 doesn’t pan out as you think, then how does the rest of the world see Britain and France now? It’s not difficult to imagine the headlines in Washington and elsewhere. These two old crumbling empires have started yet another war in Europe, and for what? Because Germany – so desperately wronged in 1919 was simply trying to right the wrongs of Versailles, because 3m Sudeten Germans, wanting Wilson's right to self determination, wanted to live under German rule. If those are the headlines in Washington, one can only imagine the ‘I told you so’ attitude in Ottawa, Canberra, Wellington and Pretoria.

So, Case Green goes better than expected (or worse from the French point of view), the French and British adopt the same wait plan as 1939 as they build up, seeing the way the wind is blowing, the Poles (who in reality eagerly gobbled up some of Czechoslovakia at Munich) take advantage of the Czech’s position and grab those territories instead of attacking Germany. Hungary, seeing the weakness of the West, does the same. The Soviets can’t help the Czechs directly without attacking Poland and, seeing the inadequate response of the French and British, decide to sit tight.

In a scenario where the Germans defeat the Czechs, then yes, damn right the US will be needed, but in this scenario the French and British are the villains of the peace, not Adolf Hitler who only ever wanted peace.....





ncc1701e -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/11/2019 7:21:53 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Poles (who in reality eagerly gobbled up some of Czechoslovakia at Munich)


Indeed! Something often forgotten but important to mention. Alliances are easily shifting...




philabos -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/11/2019 10:27:46 PM)

There was a letter to the editor in the WSJ today in response to the Appeasement review.
The writer admits Britain and France did little after 1938 to prepare for war, but one notable exception was the RAF focus on production of more Hurricanes and Spitfires which later stood them well.
As for France making a move in 1938 without Britain, Watts in his book maintains Lord Halifax had to drag the French kicking and screaming into war in 1939. Highly unlikely they would have acted differently in 1938.




warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/12/2019 6:42:54 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: philabos

There was a letter to the editor in the WSJ today in response to the Appeasement review.
The writer admits Britain and France did little after 1938 to prepare for war, but one notable exception was the RAF focus on production of more Hurricanes and Spitfires which later stood them well.
As for France making a move in 1938 without Britain, Watts in his book maintains Lord Halifax had to drag the French kicking and screaming into war in 1939. Highly unlikely they would have acted differently in 1938.
warspite1

Hi philabos, is there any chance you can copy and paste the letter. I'd be interested to hear what he says.




altipueri -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/12/2019 9:14:22 AM)

Decisions - Good vs Bad vs Wrong vs Correct

A good decision is one taken at the time based on the best information available. It may later be judged wrong.


If the weather forecast on radio, television and internet all tell me it is going to rain this afternoon a good decision would be take an umbrella if I go out. I may take an umbrella and it doesn't rain but clears up and I look bit of a wally wandering round with an umbrella.

The settlement at Munich was a triumph for British policy, not a triumph for Hitler.It was a triumph for those who had denounced the harshness and short-sightedness of Versailles.

It was a catastrophe.




warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/12/2019 10:21:10 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: altipueri

Decisions - Good vs Bad vs Wrong vs Correct

A good decision is one taken at the time based on the best information available. It may later be judged wrong.


If the weather forecast on radio, television and internet all tell me it is going to rain this afternoon a good decision would be take an umbrella if I go out. I may take an umbrella and it doesn't rain but clears up and I look bit of a wally wandering round with an umbrella.

The settlement at Munich was a triumph for British policy, not a triumph for Hitler.It was a triumph for those who had denounced the harshness and short-sightedness of Versailles.

It was a catastrophe.

warspite1

quote:

A good decision is one taken at the time based on the best information available. It may later be judged wrong.


Yes, and that is the whole point of these types of debate. It’s trying to work out whether the person used the information available and judged the circumstances in the right way.

But in appraising the decisions and actions of historical characters one should also look at whether the alternatives would have been better or worse.

Whether the decision was right or wrong with hindsight offers little itself other than perhaps a starting point for the above.

Was it the wrong decision? Well with hindsight WWII happened so yes it appears so, but in line with the above, that does not mean necessarily that another course of action could reasonably have been taken, nor does it mean that another course of action may not have actually ended up with something worse.

So in your Umbrella analogy life may be more complicated. Yes you’ve heard the forecast – and from a variety of sources. You go out and you get soaked. So are you dumb or what? Well maybe. Maybe, despite your well laid, and eminently sensible, plans it broke when you first put it up, or maybe the only umbrella available to you was full of holes so going out would be a considered risk. Or maybe you didn’t actually have an umbrella - in which case you could be considered stupid....Well maybe not because in actual fact you had to go out, you didn’t actually have a choice.

Alternatively of course you go out anyway and the rain holds off…. Well without looking at what may have happened had you not been so lucky, despite your foolhardy approach, you appear the bloody genius. In fact, of course, you were nothing of the sought and were saved from drenching not by exercising any skill, but because you were simply lucky.

quote:

It was a catastrophe.


Well it was one of many, by a great many politicians – starting with Hitler - that led to a catastrophe.




altipueri -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/12/2019 12:04:03 PM)

So Warspite; if you were on a first date with a lady - would you take an umbrella?

:)




Capt. Harlock -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/12/2019 5:32:46 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: altipueri

Decisions - Good vs Bad vs Wrong vs Correct

A good decision is one taken at the time based on the best information available. It may later be judged wrong.


If the weather forecast on radio, television and internet all tell me it is going to rain this afternoon a good decision would be take an umbrella if I go out. I may take an umbrella and it doesn't rain but clears up and I look bit of a wally wandering round with an umbrella.

The settlement at Munich was a triumph for British policy, not a triumph for Hitler.It was a triumph for those who had denounced the harshness and short-sightedness of Versailles.

It was a catastrophe.


Even if we accept that "the settlement at Munich was a triumph for British policy", that does not necessarily mean that British policy was based on the best information available. The question boils down to whether Hitler could be trusted to keep the agreement. Even as early as the Autumn of 1938, there was evidence indicating that he could not. (e.g. Germany and Czechoslovakia were supposedly at peace, but bullets were flying.) I would therefore argue that, under the above definition, Munich was a bad decision.




warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (11/12/2019 8:07:19 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: altipueri

So Warspite; if you were on a first date with a lady - would you take an umbrella?

:)
warspite1

You mean protection? A gentlemen never tells... [:-]




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