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

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warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (12/8/2019 3:45:26 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

I have answered that: There was no uprising by the common people.

warspite1

...and I still haven't said there was.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

Gorbachev wasn't overthrown.

warspite1

I could have used a better word - but its semantics.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

Why Gorbachev acted as he did is irrelevant. What he did is what mattered.

warspite1

Absolutely its a case of what he did that mattered!! There is no argument there.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Curtis Lemay

Ending the war was a sign of military weakness and precipitated the collapse. It doesn't matter where it happened. Viet Nam wasn't part of the USA either, but was a clear sign of military weakness.

warspite1

But I don't think it was military weakness. It takes enormous courage not to follow the herd - there are some fights that just can't be won - or even if they can, they are simply not worth the cost. Continuing such a fight is weakness - taking action to stop the madness is courageous.

I repeat, the collapse was well underway thanks to everything that was going on before the pull out of Afghanistan.




Szilard -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (12/16/2019 1:30:15 PM)

I'm too lazy to read the whole thread, but has this been mentioned: the practical realisation by the UK and France that the only long-term beneficiaries of a new war in Europe were likely to be the US and the USSR? (And possibly Japan.) They didn't think they would lose a war; they did think that others would do better out of it than they could.

Hitler's belief in Britain as a natural partner wasn't completely insane (unlike eg his belief that the only reason Britain didn't get with the program was because of the Jews.)

IIRC Adam Tooze goes into this in The Wages of Destruction, a book I highly recommend.




warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (12/16/2019 3:35:36 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Szilard

I'm too lazy to read the whole thread, but has this been mentioned: the practical realisation by the UK and France that the only long-term beneficiaries of a new war in Europe were likely to be the US and the USSR? (And possibly Japan.) They didn't think they would lose a war; they did think that others would do better out of it than they could.

Hitler's belief in Britain as a natural partner wasn't completely insane (unlike eg his belief that the only reason Britain didn't get with the program was because of the Jews.)

IIRC Adam Tooze goes into this in The Wages of Destruction, a book I highly recommend.
warspite1

Not in so many words, but its all part of the reasons for not wanting another war. The United Kingdom's wealth disappeared down the plug hole despite being on the 'winning' side in World War I. IIRC Britain's national debt started with the Napoleonic Wars. Wars are expensive and uncertain and so no sane person wants war.

So certainly the British had experience from 20 years before of countries doing better than they - despite 'winning'. But I don't see this as being an overriding reason per se.




Szilard -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (12/17/2019 3:58:37 AM)


quote:




Not in so many words, but its all part of the reasons for not wanting another war. The United Kingdom's wealth disappeared down the plug hole despite being on the 'winning' side in World War I. IIRC Britain's national debt started with the Napoleonic Wars. Wars are expensive and uncertain and so no sane person wants war.

So certainly the British had experience from 20 years before of countries doing better than they - despite 'winning'. But I don't see this as being an overriding reason per se.



If I'm not misrepresenting him, Tooze I think says that it was an explicit consideration for the British govt at the time. FWIW.

When considering whether Chambrlain acted correctly in the context of what he thought he knew, one element has to be the pre-1940 certainty he & most others had that Britain and France would win any war with Germany, despite any short-term relative military weaknesses.

On the economic numbers, it was a no-brainer, and it meant that he thought he was making concessions from an overall position of strength. The Great War had shown that economic power is everything, in the long term. No longer do wars get decided by single battles, no matter how disastrous - what could be more disastrous than the Battle of the Frontiers in 1914? Hitler's no fool; he's not going to go up against this reality in a serious way; some concessions will make him calm down. Etc etc etc.

Unfortunately, Hitler was a delusional gambling maniac who recognised the force of the economics but thought that the gamble was worth it, because war was the only chance, however slim, to save Germany from the demonical Jews.

It's hard on Chamberlain to blame him for not realising the depths of Hitlers delusion.






warspite1 -> RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? (12/17/2019 6:21:18 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Szilard

It's hard on Chamberlain to blame him for not realising the depths of Hitlers delusion.

warspite1

And that I think is the most disappointing aspect of this debate. Right from the outset those who believe Chamberlain to have been wrong have claimed he should have known what Hitler was intent on - and there is no defence for the fact he didn't.

Had Chamberlain been alone in that misjudgement then of course one could reasonably question why. But to blame him (and Daladier) and to give a free pass to everyone else is completely wrong. Apparently the 37% of the German electorate that made the Nazi's the largest party in 1932 can be forgiven, those in the highest echelons of power that handed Hitler the Chancellorship because they thought they could control him can be forgiven, the anti-Hitler generals within the army who would act if another country declared war for them can be forgiven, Stalin can be forgiven because he never thought he would be attacked?? Roosevelt can be forgiven because US public opinion (unlike anyone else's) is paramount, the countries large and small that traded with Hitler can be forgiven because their economies depended on Germany, the countries large and small that refused to increase military spending because of the dire economic situation caused by the Great Depression - and in any case thought the safest route was simply to declare neutrality - can be forgiven.... the list goes on and on. But one thing that apparently can't be forgiven is the fact that Chamberlain didn't see what was coming but tried everything in his power to avoid a war that no one wanted with memories of the horrors of WWI still so fresh, that there was no support for, that there wasn't the money for, that they weren't prepared for, that the Dominions wouldn't support him over and that world wide opinion was against because there was sympathy for the way Germany had been treated at Versailles.




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