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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing?

 
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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 8/18/2019 4:33:18 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

I find it interesting that you say Britain and France should have known damn well what was coming. That's interesting. Perhaps you can tell us why are Chamberlain and Daladier singled out for such special treatment?
As leaders of the two most powerful countries in Western Europe, they should have asked "What is the worst that can happen?" Then plan accordingly. The United States did not do this in regards to the Japanese which, in the final analysis, was good for the United Kingdom in that the United States became a cobelligerant. Of course, Chamberlain and Daladiers predecessors also share the blame. They all had to respect public opinion.
But its knowing what is the worst that can happen - and that is where judgement comes in. Without foresight then its all just (educated) guesswork and assumptions. Sometimes (very often in fact) planning for the worst is just too costly, so we'll plan for something else.....

What about the Germans that voted for Hitler - should they have known?
Do you think that they believed everything politicians say that they will do? Do you?
Quite, but if they don't know (and plenty did) then why do they get a freebie?

What about the German politicians that handed him the country (despite not being elected) - should they have known?
He won four elections in one year.
Adolf Hitler never won the mandate to lead the country (he never had the Majority needed, although he did have the largest party in 1932), indeed the NS share of the vote went down in the last election before the fateful decision was taken to make him Chancellor.

What about the German generals who could have done something about it but chose not to - should they have known?
They liked the rearmament and the expansion of the Wehrmacht. Fatso Hermann was a Nazi - but his brother was not.
There were plenty in the anti-Hitler camp - but, despite knowing what was going on, none of them had the balls to do anything about it.... but would (of course ) if the British and French took their countries to war.....nice work if you can get it

What about the US Government - should they have known?
That is why US Naval expansion Acts were passed in the 1930s, which had provisions for the Iowa class battleships, the Alaska class battlecruisers, and the Esse class aircraft carriers.
But the Germans weren't going to be defeated at sea. Following the signing of the Washington Naval Treaty the US did not build its navy up to the maximum allowed. Furthermore many of the ships it had were heading for the end of their useful working life in the not too distant future. The early 30's saw the building of ships to rectify that situation. Only in 1938 (after Japan had unilaterally withdrawn from the naval treaty system) did this start to gear up.

The army was a different story and there is a famous throw away line that the US army was smaller than that of Portugal by the outbreak of WWII. The air force was not in much better condition.

Only in iirc September 1939 did US rearmament (non-naval) really start to move with the limited national emergency.

What about the Soviets who signed the NS Pact - should they have known?
My understanding is that the Soviets thought that the Western Democracies and Nazi Germanywould bleed themselves white and they could pick up the pieces.
It certainly appears to be Stalin's thinking - and if so then quite shrewd...except he was wrong. How could he not have known?

What about all the neutral countries that did nothing/little to increase their preparedness for war - should they have known?
If you ignore it, it will go away . . . [color]
Quite - I fully understand the logic - but why does the government of those countries get away with it, but not Chamberlain and Daladier? By ignoring the problem they've made the lives of their people a whole lot worse....

warspite1

Answers to your answers in red


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 8/18/2019 5:38:29 AM >


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 8/18/2019 9:23:50 AM   
RangerJoe


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Sorry about all of that blue!

There is plenty of blame to go around. Countries all over the world should have done things differently. But so many countries had much better things to do with their money. Hindsight is good but foresight is needed. But one problem with alliances is that is how WWI got to be such a mess.

Just think if France would have extended the Maginot Line and backed it up with tanks and mobile infantry to assist the defense. It was reequipping its forces, some of it from the US, but it was too little, too late. When I used to play Hearts of Iron II, that was a winning strategy.

As far as preparing for war, my understanding is that the US Army ran some of the welfare work programs in the United States under Rooseveldt so they did have experience with suddenly having masses of men to take care of. By not having enough weapons for its military, the United States when it did finally enlarge and equip its military, did have more modern equipment. But the United States up to that point in history, did not trust a large standing army.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 8/18/2019 12:56:35 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

Sorry about all of that blue!

warspite1

No problemo!



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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 8/18/2019 3:54:00 PM   
Chickenboy


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To answer the OPs question: No.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 8/18/2019 7:57:51 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Having seen three of these debates now - Napoleon, 1914 and Appeasement - I must try and find more. They are really well done and provide much food for thought. This latest one I've come across is about Chamberlain's policy of appeasement in the 1930's.

I don't think the speakers were quite as impressive as in the 1914 debate (one of them is the same) but still an interesting debate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmyecSXOla8


Thank you. I will look at this as well.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 8/27/2019 6:55:30 PM   
Orm


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Right. I have now seen the debate. That was interesting, although not as illuminating as I would have thought.

And I though the debate had a clear winner.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 8/28/2019 12:12:02 AM   
KurtC


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I am wondering why the USA always gets the "You entered the war late!!!" when they were doing exactly what everyone else had been trying to do.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 8/28/2019 6:13:32 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: KurtC

I am wondering why the USA always gets the "You entered the war late!!!" when they were doing exactly what everyone else had been trying to do.
warspite1

Probably for similar reasons that Chamberlain gets the same criticism (though for a different reason)..... everyone is a genius when they have the benefit of hindsight and know that whatever they say, they can never be proven wrong.


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 8/28/2019 6:20:07 PM   
Orm


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Well, USA might get some criticism because they didn't enter late. They didn't enter at all. They were 'invited' by being attacked. While UK, and France, actually said that enough is enough and actually went to war. USA didn't.




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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 8/28/2019 6:23:17 PM   
Orm


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Chamberlain, in my humble opinion, did the right thing. And my opinion was reinforced by the debate. Although, at some point, I was of the opposite opinion. So at some point I completely reversed my thinking on this.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUMcABvgoIg
Go to 1:20 .

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 8/28/2019 10:40:59 PM   
KurtC


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

Well, USA might get some criticism because they didn't enter late. They didn't enter at all. They were 'invited' by being attacked. While UK, and France, actually said that enough is enough and actually went to war. USA didn't.





The USA was trying to do what France and Great Britain were trying to do. Just because they managed to entangle themselves into war through guaranteeing people's independence to me is not any better than being attacked. Can you really blame the USA for wanting to stay out of ANOTHER WW that started in Europe? I mean some have said that the 7 years war and other wars were basically world wars as well. Europe had been fighting fighting each other for millennium.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 8/29/2019 6:20:38 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: KurtC

The USA was trying to do what France and Great Britain were trying to do.

warspite1

Well yes but they were in two entirely different situations.

Britain and France had a problem on their doorstep and were actively trying to solve that problem without another ruinous war – but because of Hitler’s raison d’etre, that was never going to be (but Britain and France did not know that).

After WWI the US adopted a policy of isolationism. They did not want to get involved in another war of someone else’s making and did not feel the need to get involved in trying to solve Europe’s latest problem.

quote:

ORIGINAL: KurtC

Just because they managed to entangle themselves into war through guaranteeing people's independence to me is not any better than being attacked.

warspite1

I am really surprised by this comment given what we know happened. But I will assume it was not written as it was meant to sound. By 1939 and the guarantee to Poland, Hitler had shown beyond all doubt with the invasion of the rump of Czechoslovakia, that the façade of simply trying to right the wrongs of Versailles was just that – a façade. If ever a war was just then WWII was it. As Orm's link in his post said, Poland was a line that could not be allowed to be crossed.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

Well, USA might get some criticism because they didn't enter late. They didn't enter at all.



quote:

ORIGINAL: KurtC

Can you really blame the USA for wanting to stay out of ANOTHER WW that started in Europe?

warspite1

No!

But this is where it gets interesting because I think one can say with some certainty – and with hindsight - that it was the US’s actions post Versailles that allowed Europe to develop as it did in the 20’s and 30’s. As the Abyssinian crisis made all too clear, The League of Nations needed the US to be viable – but she chose to stay out of an organisation that one of her own president’s had championed. It’s so easy to think of the might of the US – as evidenced during WWII – and see how easy it would have been to stop trouble in Europe.

But US politicians did not have this benefit any more than any one else.

In 1919 there was no need for the US to get involved in other peoples squabbles (unless they appeared on their own doorstep), they’d done that once and look how that cost them. Thanks but no thanks - the US had no wish to be the ‘world’s policeman’ and why should they?

And so, after the ‘war to end all wars’, the US adopted ‘splendid isolation’ and Europe went about doing what Europeans had always found a way of doing – trying, and failing, to get along. And this time there were new challenges ahead – something of a power vacuum. Few people perhaps realised the extent to which the British and French Empires had been emaciated by World War I (well the British and French knew but they were keeping up the façade for obvious and understandable reasons). But no matter, the Germans were emaciated too thanks to Versailles and the Russians were too busy fighting each other. The Italians were weak and the break-up of empires meant that Central Europe and the Balkans was an accident waiting to happen, the displacement (or not) of so many people and the creation of new borders only added to the potential problems.

So in answer to the question above – should the US be blamed for trying to stay out of Europe’s war? Without the benefit of hindsight, absolutely not. One can argue when the US ought to have realised this is their problem, in the same way one can argue about when the British and French should have stopped Hitler, but the answer is pretty much the same in both cases. Democratic politicians are constrained by public opinion and going to war against public opinion and thus without the support of the populace, rarely ends well.



< Message edited by warspite1 -- 8/29/2019 6:27:11 AM >


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/12/2019 10:29:23 PM   
philabos

 

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I just finished reading "How War Came", a 1989 book by Donald Cameron Watt.
It is a 600 page plus almost day by day description of diplomacy in Europe, 1938-39.

Near the end, he is describing the night the British issued the ultimatum to Hitler to withdraw from the Polish invasion and Chamberlain's discussion with Deladier. Although crushed by his failure to prevent another war, he found himself trying to drag the French along with the ultimatum.

Watt makes the claim that of the 19 French Generals that made up the military membership of the Higher Council for War, only 2, Giraud and Buhrer, were in favor of declaring war on Germany over the invasion of Poland.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/13/2019 4:05:25 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

Well, USA might get some criticism because they didn't enter late. They didn't enter at all. They were 'invited' by being attacked. While UK, and France, actually said that enough is enough and actually went to war. USA didn't.



I'm a little surprised that no one has replied directly to this yet. With all due respect, the USA did in fact join WWII during the autumn of 1941 in all but name. Roosevelt's policies of neutrality blatantly favored the British, sending materials and arms to them but not to the Axis. The U. S. Navy was escorting convoys almost half-way across the Atlantic, and was in a shooting war with the Nazi U-boats. Granted, the U-boats were winning, but that's beside the point.


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/13/2019 5:28:13 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: philabos

I just finished reading "How War Came", a 1989 book by Donald Cameron Watt. It is a 600 page plus almost day by day description of diplomacy in Europe, 1938-39.

warspite1

Thank-you. I have ordered this today.


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/13/2019 11:38:12 AM   
KurtC


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock


quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm

Well, USA might get some criticism because they didn't enter late. They didn't enter at all. They were 'invited' by being attacked. While UK, and France, actually said that enough is enough and actually went to war. USA didn't.



I'm a little surprised that no one has replied directly to this yet. With all due respect, the USA did in fact join WWII during the autumn of 1941 in all but name. Roosevelt's policies of neutrality blatantly favored the British, sending materials and arms to them but not to the Axis. The U. S. Navy was escorting convoys almost half-way across the Atlantic, and was in a shooting war with the Nazi U-boats. Granted, the U-boats were winning, but that's beside the point.



Hear Hear! I hadn't really answered because I pretty much forgot about the thread, haha. And don't forget the Destroyers for bases deal. Apparently, the destroyers sucked, but it made the relationship between the USA and Great Britain that much closer and brought us much closer to war.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/13/2019 10:06:21 PM   
PN79

 

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In my opinion Chamberlain's behaviour was logical in that time but...

... 1) the issue with his policy is what would happen if he hasn't initiated negotiation with Germany prior Munich. Because Hitler doesn't look like to initiate that on its own.

... 2) complete reversal of his policy just one year later under much worse conditions.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/13/2019 10:28:06 PM   
philabos

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: philabos

I just finished reading "How War Came", a 1989 book by Donald Cameron Watt. It is a 600 page plus almost day by day description of diplomacy in Europe, 1938-39.

warspite1

Thank-you. I have ordered this today.



I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
A view from as it happened, not the usual one we see knowing the outcomes.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/14/2019 2:30:06 AM   
Bennett

 

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A recent book takes a less conventional view than many standard works. As it is based more on a politician's self interest as opposed to their policy opinions, found this interesting. My experience is that history books tend to minimize or underestimate a politician's wish to first maximize their own power and whatever policy is at hand to do this. In any case, a different take.

https://www.amazon.ca/End-Nigh-British-Politics-Second/dp/019882369X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+end+is+nigh+crowcroft&qid=1568427926&s=books&sr=1-1



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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/14/2019 3:12:03 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: PN79

In my opinion Chamberlain's behaviour was logical in that time but...

... 1) the issue with his policy is what would happen if he hasn't initiated negotiation with Germany prior Munich. Because Hitler doesn't look like to initiate that on its own.

... 2) complete reversal of his policy just one year later under much worse conditions.

warspite1

What would happen if Munich had not been arranged? Well that is a question that can never be answered with certainty is it?

The detractors of Chamberlain (who ignore the sound reasons behind his policy) will simply say that:

- Hitler would have carried through Case Green
- The German General Staff would have risen up against Hitler
- The German Army would stop fighting, withdraw from Czechoslovakia, and
- All Europeans would be free to live a life of religious fulfilment.

….and of course they can never be proven wrong – whereas Chamberlain / Daladier have to live with (well not any more they don’t) with what actually happened.

But of course we will never know. There are a great many possibilities. Firstly who is to say that Case Green would not have been a success? The strength of the Czech defences has always been mentioned – and who knows, maybe they would have broken the Germany Army….. but then again maybe not.

Some members of the German General Staff, who plotted against the man German politicians themselves brought to power (along with 37% of the popular vote), and who definitely would have acted if Britain and France had dragged their nations to war on the generals behalf….. maybe they wouldn’t have acted, or chose to act and were as successful as 1944…..

If the Western Allies didn’t come to the aid of Poland in 1939, there is nothing to believe (in fact quite the contrary) that they would have been more in a position to act in 1938. So, unless the Czechs hold off the Germans and look like maybe they have the beating of them, the Czechs aren’t getting practical help from that quarter anytime soon – and we are back to a phoney war.

The great unknowns are Polish actions and of course the USSR. The USSR can do nothing practically (except air assistance) without Polish agreement, and does anyone really think the Poles are going to suddenly change their mind and allow the Soviet Army to walk into Poland….. yeah right because if they do then they ain’t leavin’ in a hurry. Moscow radio reports that troops have been sent into Eastern Poland to assist Ukrainians and Byelorussians from Polish victimisation…… There’s more of an argument for Poland to stay out of things and so not give Stalin a pretext for walking in.

Once Case Green begins we can never know how things would have played out.



You say ‘complete reversal’ of Chamberlain’s policy. Well yes but it was kind of binary all along wasn’t it? Does Europe want to be plunged back into another, hideous, ruinous, war 20-years after the last horror show….. or not? ‘Complete’ reversal suggests there was some kind of grey area in between. Well of course there was one grey area that could have been exploited – the results of which contain even more ‘unknowns’ than a Case Green; namely that the British and French tell Hitler that he has a free hand in the east….. I suspect a USSR victory would have been just as worrying for the West as a Hitler win. Either way, there would be a new European superpower on the block….and that wouldn't have been very palatable to London and Paris.

But that aside, when war was declared in September 1939, it can be argued (certainly with the NS Pact in place) that conditions were worse than 1938 (although as per the above, the extent can never be known). But Chamberlain and Daladier tried everything – and exhausted every avenue in a bid to avert such a war. They thought they could achieve that – and the price seemed worth paying. After all, how many politicians/kings/queens in history can be accused of jumping to war too quickly – and having done so they lose the support of their people?



< Message edited by warspite1 -- 9/14/2019 3:16:21 AM >


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/14/2019 3:43:17 AM   
Zorch

 

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The 'complete reversal' of policy was driven by British public opinion. At the time of Munich, most of the people were not willing to go to war for the Sudetenland. The Munich Agreement was generally (but not universally) greeted with relief.

This changed when Hitler occupied the remainder of Czechoslovakia om March 15, 1939. British opinion swung against Germany, leading Britain to sign the Anglo-Polish Treaty that guaranteed Poland's borders and committed Britain to defend Poland. This was meant as a warning to Hitler that there would not be another Munich. He didn't get the message, partly because of the British ambassador to Germany.

In late August, Hitler apparently expected Britain to back down and let him take the Free City of Danzig by agreement. He was surprised when Britain sent the ultimatum that led to the British declaration of war. Even then Hitler believed Chamberlain was just doing it for show and would make peace at the first opportunity. As a dictator, he didn't appreciate the importance of public opinion in a democracy.

This interpretation is based on books I read 40 years ago, so take it with a grain of salt.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/14/2019 4:31:36 AM   
warspite1


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The fundamental point is quite simple - but missed by those who want to slaughter Chamberlain (while curiously giving Roosevelt a free ride ).

Before Prague, Hitler could be argued to be 'righting the wrongs of Versailles'. There was sympathy for that. Going to war because 3m ethnic Germans wanted to be ruled by Germany was not exactly guaranteed to get John Q Public, let alone the Dominions, on board - it was hardly likely to get them rockin' on the Champs Elysee.

The difference is that after Prague (and remember after Munich Hitler said he had no more territorial requests in Europe) the mask had slipped and the truth was out. Now with public support, a line in the sand could then be drawn for Poland.

Roosevelt walked the same tightrope of public opinion. Which is why the Japanese attacked and Hitler declared war before he could get the US in. Roosevelt, unlike many of his less enlightened contemporaries, was not a stupid man and knew (exactly quite when I'm not sure) that this WAS America's war. But like Chamberlain, and like Daladier, as a democratic politician, he couldn't just do what he liked.

It may not always be ideal, but when taking democracies to war, support of the people is really kind of important.....

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/14/2019 4:41:47 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zorch

In late August, Hitler apparently expected Britain to back down and let him take the Free City of Danzig by agreement.

warspite1

Hitler always appeared to believe the British would back down and give him a free hand in the east. He tried not to make the mistake of the Kaiser and antagonise the British - the Anglo-German Naval Agreement for one.

He couldn't believe - even at the last moment - that they wouldn't back down (or give up once France was knocked out).

Hitler's angry reaction, directed toward Ribbentrop, after the delivery of the British ultimatum must have been funny to watch.... "What now?" was all he said. At that moment Ribbentrop was probably pleased he was not living in the Soviet Union.....


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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/14/2019 6:05:35 PM   
PN79

 

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The explanations for change in British diplomacy after 15th March 1939 are understandable. What I miss in assessment of Chamberlain's policy is how it was viewed in Germany.

In Munich Chamberlain signed British commitment for central European country for the first time. Up to this time it could be said that Britain has no commitments but this has changed in Munich as Britain signed that she will guarantee new borders. But when this was violated by Germany and nothing happened German leadership got false notion that British declared commitments were on similar level as German declared commitments (which were from the start understand as nothing to be followed - German planning to violate Munich militarily started on 1st October 1938).

So British change of policy after March 1939 has not created significant concerns in Berlin as it was though that it is another charade for public as Munich. So while Chamberlain could thought that he is continuing in trying to avert war by changing policy from appeasement which doesn't work to guarantee to Poland to dissuade Germany it could not work as it was not understand that way in Berlin.

In my opinion Chamberlain lacked ability to think of how his moves could be understand by Germans.

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RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/14/2019 7:02:00 PM   
warspite1


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Any commitment to what was left of what was once Czechoslovakia, wasn't in reality worth a damn. The Sudetenlands were gone, various border lands were gone or shortly to be gone - along with Slovakia.

Having not acted over the Sudetenland, there really wasn't a country left to fight over in March 1939.

I'm not really sure I follow this "In my opinion Chamberlain lacked ability to think of how his moves could be understand by Germans?".

We know what Hitler thought, what he wanted and how far he was prepared to go. I am not clear on what Chamberlain's understanding of how his moves would be read in Germany actually changes anything. Sure, if he understand what Hitler wanted all along then its unlikely he would have gone down the road of appeasement. But he didn't. And that's the point.

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Post #: 55
RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/15/2019 11:52:00 AM   
Crossroads


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Thanks for posting an interesting topic, Warspite. I am only now catching up. The late 1930s are intriguing as how the history as we now know it unfolded. So many moments where history could have taken off a different tangent. Or so it seems, at least. I especially appreciate your effort in keeping the benefit of hindsight out of equation.

Even towards 1939, that year included, the diplomatic undercurrents ebbed and flowed. Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was a shock to the system as it deserved to be. A few saw Stalin and Hitler making a pact, but of course they did, for the reasons we now know, why wouldn't they? France and UK had failed to stem Hitler with a pact with USSR. At that moment, peace lost, war won. No going back.

But yet so many final pieces of the historic puzzle were not yet in place. After invasion of Poland by the two dictators, both Hitler and Stalin had significantly more leeway to plan and execute their deeds. Stalin went on to begin the annexation of Baltics, while Hitler was ready to attack France with the two happy chaps in an uneasy agreement to cast their mutual situation aside for the time being.

At the time of invasion of Finland by Stalin, there were still no larger alliance in place apart the loose Franco-British pact. Interestingly, when you look at the top foreign aid towards Finland during Winter War, three countries stand out. Sweden, for the obvious reason of preferinng to continue to have Finland as their eastern neighbour went to greater lengths than perhaps appreciated, including not declaring neutral in the war, just not a participant. Then, France and Itally. France, because Daladier wanted finally to show a strong line against communism, with local politics in mind in particular. Italy, because how Mussolini wanted to oppose Bolshevism. Relations with Germany and Italy hit a rock-bottom, and at this stage one could but remember the Great War and which side Italy took there, after procrastination. Eventually, their Abessinian adventures and the embargo that followed had perhaps not a little role in forcing Mussolinis hand and choosing to go war with Hitler, instead of being a passive (relatively speaking) bystander for a bit further.

So what if Finland would have waited a bit further, to see if the Franco-British expedition would eventually land in Norway (despite Norway declaring neutral in fear of Germany), and passed through Sweden (despite Sweden opposing the move), and actually arriving in Finland? Stalin, then, would have all of a sudden faced the two arch-enemies to global communism at a side-event as far as USSR was concerned. It did not happen of course, Finland was already beaten by early March 1940, Stalin just was not sure of that, as many pieces of front line sort of still held together. Instead, he called a truce, Finland agreed, Germany was agitated though, and invaded Norway a bit later to deny UK the access to Swedish ore.

To answer the original question, with no hindsight, and while trying to understand the realpolitik of the time, I can't fault Chamberlain. Sudetendeutsch was a negligible price for keeping the piece, if Hitler would have been subdued as the result. Of course he was never going to be subdued, as we know now. Also, Chamberlain and Daladier tried to build alliances, Stalin's USSR included, but it did not work out, at all. Lots of violent events toook place before Barbarossa. I don't blame Chamberlain for that. The two dictators mostly got what they wanted, until Hitler decided to go at USSR, declaring war on USA while at it, and the final pieces of history as we know fell into their places.


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Post #: 56
RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/15/2019 12:28:24 PM   
Crossroads


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As an alternate question, how about this.

As so many times before, a smaller European nation found out it was becoming a playing piece among the major powers of Europe. For Munich Agreement, the Czechoslovakian government was not consulted. How about if they would have flatly refused? With no good options, just bad and worse options, what if - with the realisation that their country will become undefendable - they would have read the omens and decided to stand out, even alone if necessary? Would Hitler have attacked regardless? If so, would it have played out any differently? Compared to what happened, where Czeckoslovakia was dissolved in a relatively short time frame. Similar fates to Baltic states under the threats from USSR, mind. Appeasement did not work out that well for them either.

Again, Finland provides an alternate example, as she refused the USSR demands that would have made the country undefendable. To this day, some, but not many, Finnish politicians and historians (I leave their political views out of this discussion as politics are not to be discussed here) are of the mind that Winter War could have been avoided if only Stalln would have got his initial demands instead. Yet, Finland only survived the Winter War because of a set of more or less extraordinary events, but it all started from decision to stand up.

If Czechoslovakia would have decided to fight instead, would the anti-Hitler alliances formed out quicker, would there ever been a Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, ...

Again, Chamberlain hardly is the villain here. I know that is not what the OP asks, or hints, but worth writing down perhaps.

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Post #: 57
RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/15/2019 3:00:20 PM   
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A lesson to be learned is that appeasement does not work. Another lesson is that maybe war should not be considered a last resort. Those are sad lessons to be learned at such high a cost.

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Post #: 58
RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/15/2019 3:30:15 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe

A lesson to be learned is that appeasement does not work. Another lesson is that maybe war should not be considered a last resort. Those are sad lessons to be learned at such high a cost.

I would claim that it is hard to prove that appeasement doesn't work, because when it works it isn't remembered. If it works then there is no war to prove its failure. How do you rate the reasons for a war that never happened?

Maybe the Cuba Crisis can be seen as a success of appeasement?

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Post #: 59
RE: Did Neville Chamberlain do the right thing? - 9/15/2019 4:11:37 PM   
Crossroads


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Maybe the lesson is that appeasement works once you have the muscle to also ensure no lines are crossed after the ink in the agreeement has dried. Si vis pacem, para bellum. Especially if you're a small nation.

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