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Thread: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and invasion of Poland

  1. #1 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and invasion of Poland 
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    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 09:59 PM.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    2) By capturing entire Poland-controlling territories Hitler may decide to delay his attack on USSR for many years and decide that Third Reich has enough lebensraum to work with.
    Hitler has always planned to take the Soviet Union.
    And his plan actually was intended for much later (hence, for example, Plan Z).
    He miscalculated the response from Britain and France, and expected to take Poland without the war starting: his intentions were for a major war (against the Soviet Union) in '44 or later.

    If USSR would not be involved in the war, then situation of Allies and especially British would become much more lamentable. And could even make Hitler to win the war (at least tactically).
    Given that Germany was facing the British EMPIRE (approx 1.5 billion people) losing was much of a foregone conclusion (even had France still been knocked out).
    Britain outproduced Germany in war materiel (tanks, aircraft, ships) and the "lone England against a massive unstoppable enemy" is largely a post-war (politically useful) myth.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post

    By capturing entire Poland-controlling territories Hitler may decide to delay his attack on USSR for many years and decide that Third Reich has enough lebensraum to work with. In this case Poles and all other nations who lived there would become subjects of even larger and much more prolonged ethical cleansings and oppression. If USSR would not be involved in the war, then situation of Allies and especially British would become much more lamentable. And could even make Hitler to win the war (at least tactically).
    Hitler wanted to make peace terms with the UK and he believed that taking the Soviet Union out of the picture would convince the UK their was no hope of winning. In the "Rise and Fall.....", Shirer wrote that Germany had nothing to gain by the breakup of the UK and that any breakup of the UK would only benefit Japan and the U.S.
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    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 09:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post

    Britain outproduced Germany in war materiel (tanks, aircraft, ships) and the "lone England against a massive unstoppable enemy" is largely a post-war (politically useful) myth.
    If that is true, then why did the UK need Russia and the US?

    How did Churchill become the junior partner of the big 3?

    My impression is that all three countries (the UK, Soviet Union and US) were needed to beat the 3rd Reich.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClarenceF1 View Post
    If that is true, then why did the UK need Russia and the US?
    "Need" the US and Russia?
    The USA declared war because Germany declared war on them, NOT because they chose to enter to help Britain.
    The USSR declared war on Germany because they were invaded.
    The involvement of the US and USSR certainly - and incontrovertibly - brought an end to the war faster than would otherwise have been the case, and also reduced losses.

    How did Churchill become the junior partner of the big 3?
    Er, maybe becuase the USA and Russia were not only capable of outproducing Germany but because they also overwhelmed Britain's contribution (once they got involved).

    My impression is that all three countries (the UK, Soviet Union and US) were needed to beat the 3rd Reich.
    The fact that all 3 did so (for historical reasons) doesn't necessarily mean that Germany would have won if any one or two hadn't been involved.
    Germany was ill-prepared for a long war (it didn't even switch to a war economy/ production until 1943 by which time it was far too late).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    Shirer wrote that Germany had nothing to gain by the breakup of the UK and that any breakup of the UK would only benefit Japan and the U.S.
    I didn't claim that Hitler would attempt to break U.K. to the ground at any case. But peaceful treaty would mean tactical victory of Hitler. He would do whatever he want on occupied Polish territories. I do not know, but for 4 years of occupation Nazis managed to eliminate around 5 to six millions of people, 2 to 3 millions of whom where ethnical Poles. Could you imagine what would have they done in 15 - 20 years of occupation?..
    I understand and agree with you.

    I forgot today is the 75th anniversary of WWII. It's also the anniversary of "Winston is back."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    "Need" the US and Russia?
    The USA declared war because Germany declared war on them, NOT because they chose to enter to help Britain.
    The USSR declared war on Germany because they were invaded.
    I think the US was at war with Germany before the formal declaration via lend-lease and I think some US naval ships were firing on German U-boats. Prior to Germany's declaration of war on the US, all German U-boats were ordered to avoid any interaction with US ships. Hitler did not want to give the US cause to enter the conflict.


    The fact that all 3 did so (for historical reasons) doesn't necessarily mean that Germany would have won if any one or two hadn't been involved.
    Germany was ill-prepared for a long war (it didn't even switch to a war economy/ production until 1943 by which time it was far too late).
    I guess two of the three allied powers could have beaten Germany. It comes down to what was plausible when talking about "what if." There are so many variables.

    75 years ago today Churchill became Lord of the Admiralty and a member of the war cabinet. He was probably the greatest man of the 20th century - at least in the western world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClarenceF1 View Post
    I think the US was at war with Germany before the formal declaration via lend-lease
    Selling equipment to one or other of the belligerents doesn't class as being at war with the one you're not selling to.
    (Or do Ford, Coca Cola, Standard Oil & c count as being on the German side too?)

    and I think some US naval ships were firing on German U-boats
    Possibly, but only in self-defence AFAIK.
    It was difficult for U-boats to distinguish between American and British or Canadian vessels, especially at night or in bad weather. On October 31, 1941, U-552 commanded by KL Erich Topp misidentified the USS Reuben James, sinking the ship in the mid-Atlantic. The Reuben James was the first American naval vessel sunk during the war.

    Prior to Germany's declaration of war on the US, all German U-boats were ordered to avoid any interaction with US ships. Hitler did not want to give the US cause to enter the conflict.
    Change that to "intentional attacks on known-to-be-American ships" and you're right.

    75 years ago today Churchill became Lord of the Admiralty
    The title is First Lord of the Admiralty. And it was the second time he'd held that post. (October 1911 being the 1st time).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post

    Selling equipment to one or other of the belligerents doesn't class as being at war with the one you're not selling to.
    (Or do Ford, Coca Cola, Standard Oil & c count as being on the German side too?)
    Aside from American business interests in the UK and Germany, the US was providing munitions to Great Britain and Canada including 50 (worthless) destroyers. In the US, isolationists (in Congress) worried that lend-lease would cause Germany to declare war. The US was divided on backing England just as many in the UK wanted to make peace with Germany. Germany owed a lot of money to US bankers. The US initiated its first peace time draft. Things were complicated. My point is that Hitler's admirals were complaining about US war like behavior and Roosevelt was gearing up for war and doing his best (against the isolationists) to help support Churchill.


    and I think some US naval ships were firing on German U-boats
    Possibly, but only in self-defence AFAIK.
    It was difficult for U-boats to distinguish between American and British or Canadian vessels, especially at night or in bad weather. On October 31, 1941, U-552 commanded by KL Erich Topp misidentified the USS Reuben James, sinking the ship in the mid-Atlantic. The Reuben James was the first American naval vessel sunk during the war.

    [/quote]

    I agree but I forgot about the Reuben sinking. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Prior to Germany's declaration of war on the US, all German U-boats were ordered to avoid any interaction with US ships. Hitler did not want to give the US cause to enter the conflict.
    Change that to "intentional attacks on known-to-be-American ships" and you're right.[/quote]

    I agree.

    75 years ago today Churchill became Lord of the Admiralty
    The title is First Lord of the Admiralty. And it was the second time he'd held that post. (October 1911 being the 1st time).
    I know. I've several several bios on Churchill. In near future I start a post on something about him so you can let me know what you think.

    Meanwhile and back to the op, I was just watching a documentary on Hitler and it mentioned that he was surprised when England and France declared war. I looked it up (The Last European War by John Lukcas) and read that Hitler expected the agreement with Stalin to deter the British.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post

    Given that Germany was facing the British EMPIRE (approx 1.5 billion people) losing was much of a foregone conclusion (even had France still been knocked out).

    Britain outproduced Germany in war materiel (tanks, aircraft, ships) and the "lone England against a massive unstoppable enemy" is largely a post-war (politically useful) myth (my bold).
    Duck,

    Since you post of the above I did a bit of research and can not find any thing supporting your claim about a post-war myth of a "lone England...."

    If you can provide a reference, it would be appreciated. I'm sincerely interested in reading about it.


    Otherwise, if we could go back to early May 1940, I think it would be easy to assume that Churchill needed US support and Stalin as an ally. I have the impression you disagree with that.

    Your comments will be appreciated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClarenceF1 View Post
    Duck,
    Since you post of the above I did a bit of research and can not find any thing supporting your claim about a post-war myth of a "lone England...."
    If you can provide a reference, it would be appreciated. I'm sincerely interested in reading about it.
    "The familiar image of the British in the Second World War is that of the plucky underdog taking on German might. David Edgerton's bold, compelling new history shows the conflict in a new light, with Britain as a very wealthy country, formidable in arms, ruthless in pursuit of its interests and sitting at the heart of a global production system."
    Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War. David Edgerton.

    (It's also a very readable book, not a dry dusty dissertation).
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    Last edited by Stanley514; September 6th, 2017 at 10:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    Hitler already had France, Benilux, Austria, Czech rep., Norway, Danemark, Yugoslavia and Greece.
    I'm not sure whether my history books are wrong or yours are.
    But in 1939 Hitler didn't have France and actually expected France to accept the invasion of Poland as a fait accompli.
    Nor did he have Benelux, Norway, Denmark, Yugoslavia or Greece.

    If you meant "just prior to the invasion of Russia" then yes, he did have those countries (which means that the link to the 1939 map was superfluous to your point).
    But you're forgetting that his aim (obsession) was the elimination of the Soviet Union (remember the term "untermensch"?).
    The fact that he'd had to fight, and take France [1] and the other countries were incidental to his primary aim.

    1 And was, presumably aware that the UK would be doing what it could to liberate France and the other nations anyway.
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    Germany had strong economic motives for the elimination of the Soviets too.
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