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Old 02-28-2015, 11:43 AM   #176
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Re: The Second World War

What would have been the most likely outcome of the war if Willkie had won the 1940 US presidential election?

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Old 02-28-2015, 11:59 AM   #177
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Re: The Second World War

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What would have been the most likely outcome of the war if Willkie had won the 1940 US presidential election?
Not sure it would've made any difference. Certainly the outcome of the war would've been the same but maybe in a different timescale. From what I can see though Wilkie's intentions re the war seem to be a bit contradictory. In one sense he criticises Roosevelt for being unprepared militarily but then seems to switch to a more isolationist view when he discovered it appealed to Republicans. After the election he seems to have switched back and spoke out against isolationism etc.
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Old 02-28-2015, 12:19 PM   #178
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Re: The Second World War

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Not sure it would've made any difference.
What were the main factors that made war between the US and Germany inevitable? Economic ones?

(Also, +1 to The World at War being a great documentary.)
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Old 03-05-2015, 04:21 PM   #179
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Re: The Second World War

I'm currently reading 'Forgotten Voices Of D-Day' - Roderick Bailey.
It's one of a series of 'Forgotten Voices' books and is one of the best books I've read in a while.

The whole of the narrative is told through accounts of the men who were there, from build-up to excecution. In some places different accounts make up a minute by minute replay of certain moments throughout the day and it makes for a really thrilling and fascinating read.

I have managed to get another 5 from the series so am set up for a good few months reading.

More info on the series here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forgotten_Voices
Highly recommended.
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Old 04-18-2015, 02:34 PM   #180
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Re: The Second World War

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As for minister's words: there is a difference in terms. WWII that indeed started on sept 1939 and the Great Patriotic War against nazy Germany on June 22 1941. He probably meant the latter. It is a widely used term in russian historiography.
It doesn't sit fine with me. Don't shift it personally. The Soviets paid for that with millions of lives.
As for M-R pact: ofc it was a secret for almost as long as the Soviets existed. For an obvious reason. Since the collapse it became part of a school program. Believe what you want.
Even that date is wrong. What about Italy invading Ethiopia in 1936? You see very few Brits or Americans have been told (or if they have they do not remember) what happened before their country was involved. It's human nature.
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Old 08-13-2015, 04:21 PM   #181
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Re: The Second World War

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Old 08-14-2015, 04:11 AM   #182
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Re: The Second World War

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youtube on Pole in WWII
Some errors, some interesting interpretations, some exaggerations, but perhaps mostly true.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:57 AM   #183
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Re: The Second World War

Re; Poland WW2 video

It's kind of funny how the guy states how proud the Poles were to last 4 whole days in a battle. "Hai guyz, we really showed them Nazi basturds what real men fought like! They were shock! They say wut is going on, we thought Poland would fall so easy, like in one day. But no, Poland stand fighting for 28 whole days!!! We are proud. If not for this resistence, the whole of Europe...kaput!"

It's subjective. Is lasting 5 days in a battle good or bad???

As far as I'm concerned, Poland was full of bravado before WW2. Nobody had any idea how powerful the Nazi's actually would be and so Poland probably thought they were gonna kick some nazi ass. I've always been under the impression that they got stomped.
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Old 09-18-2015, 01:18 AM   #184
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Re: The Second World War

Currently reading Churchill's book on WW2, The Gathering Storm. Which is part 1 of 6 part series. Really enjoying it so far and I'm not a history buff.
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Old 10-22-2015, 02:37 PM   #185
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Re: The Second World War

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It is easy to point at a result like the Dresden bombings and say "bad, bad, bad. War atrocity, there was no justification for that. Someone has to answer for these Allied atrocities. On the other hand, please remember, the German people are people too, with feelings and dreams just like you and me ... they were so surprised when they found out about the Holocaust - It pretty much ruined their day."
I've only just noticed this thread, and most of it's four years old, but what the hell. It still astonishes me how little people know about the Second World War, considering that it is the defining event in modern history since the French Revolution.

There was every reason for the Allies to bomb Dresden, since by February 1945 it was the single largest intact concentration of munitions production remaining in the Third Reich, with some 140 war factories producing machine guns and ammunition, aircraft and U-boat instruments and optics, gunsights, bombsights, bomb fuses, shell fuses, torpedo fuses, torpedo steering and guidance systems, V-1 cruise missile steering and guidance systems, V-2 ballistic missile steering and guidance systems (V-2s were still raining down around my family's heads in London at the time), jet-fighter tail units, field radios, field telephones and any other precision-light-engineering military kit you can think of.

'Area bombing' was adopted by the British as a result of studying the German bombing of British cities, specifically Hull, Birmingham and Coventry. It was found that the destruction of individual factories (such as the Alvis factory in Coventry, building armoured cars, specifically targeted and destroyed by the Luftwaffe in the notorious November 1940 raid on the city) was nothing like as inconvenient as the destruction of a city's essential services, what we would now call 'infrastructure'. The Alvis factory was simply rebuilt a short way down the road in a short time. But the damage to the city's gas and power mains, transport, workers' housing and telephone lines... that was a lot harder to put right. And a lot costlier in money and man-hours.

The Air Staff's preference was for 'precision bombing', and they wanted to take out the forty-odd coal-hydrogenation plants that produced Germany's synthetic fuel, that being the enemy's most obvious weak spot, but German air defences ruled out precision attack by day, and at night it became clear that bombers simply could not find or hit such small targets. And in 1942, the US Eighth Air Force in England determined that there would only be 12 days a year when, even in daylight, they would encounter clear conditions over the target to allow visual aiming with the famous Norden bombsight, and only 30 days a year when they would encounter anything less that 10/10 cloud.

The RAF, meanwhile, had developed ground-mapping radar, which the USAAF soon adopted, and radar-ranging technology that allowed Mosquito pathfinders to drop precision marker flares within radar-horizon range of England, which covered the industrial Ruhr but nowhere further until the Allies could set up ground radar stations on the Continent after the invasion. Gen. Doolittle, commanding US Eighth Air Force, said, 'The British precision-bomb "area targets" and we area-bomb "precision targets" and it comes to the same thing.' Actually, by 1944 the British were also precision-bombing precision targets and put 50 per cent more tonnage on those critical coal-oil refineries than the USAAF did, shutting down synthetic-fuel production completely. At Dresden, of course, the Americans named 'marshalling yards' as the precision target on the operation order but in fact, as usual, they area-bombed the city on radar through cloud and one entire bomb group misnavigated and bombed Prague instead.

Dresden was not an unusual raid and the enormous death toll occurred due to poor air-raid precautions on the ground. Unlike Berliners, Dresdeners were unused to being bombed and many of them unwisely believed the Reich government's advice to stay in shelter. As Berliners knew, you actually had to send someone up from the cellar every five minutes to check the building for incendiaries, and call for help if there was a problem, and tell everyone to get out if the fires were out of control.

Many Dresdeners did do this, out of common sense, and in the interval of some hours between the bombing and the firestorm untold thousands just walked away from the city centre and survived. (Including Gotz Bergander, then in his teens, who wrote the classic book Dresden Im Luftkrieg which dispelled all the bien-pensant/Nazi/neo-Nazi/Soviet propaganda about the raid.)

Twenty-five thousand people failed to take any notice of what was going on, obeyed the Reich government's instruction to 'stay in shelter' and died of asphyxiation in their sleep as the fires ate all the oxygen in the air. They went to a far better and more peaceful death than the one to which they had cheerfully consigned almost all their Jewish neighbours. (Almost all. Of the 200 Jews left in Dresden that night, about 180 survived the raid and, the next morning, since the RAF had scored a direct hit on the Gestapo HQ and killed all the Gestapo and destroyed all their records, the Jews -- all of whom assembled as of one accord that morning where the Gestapo office used to be, to make sure it had gone -- simply tore off their yellow stars, assumed 'Aryan' identities and joined the refugee outflow from Dresden as the normal citizens they always should have been.

The next night, the RAF carried out an identical attack plan against Chemnitz, 800 Lancasters in two waves. The cloud was so thick and the winds were so high that the Pathfinders had to use parachute-flare sky-markers that rapidly drifted off target and the Master Bomber was heard to say over the R/T (radio-telephone), 'The hell with this, I'm off. See you at breakfast.' The bombing was so scattered that most people in Chemnitz were unaware that they had been the target of a major raid.

Sir Arthur Harris explained the sentimentality over Dresden very well, in his memo of 29 March 1945. 'The feeling, such as there is, over Dresden could be easily explained by any psychiatrist. It is connected with German bands and Dresden shepherdesses. Actually Dresden was a mass of munitions works, an intact government centre and a key transportation point to the East. It is now none of those things.'

When British bien-pensants began to make a hypocritical fuss over Dresden around that time, with the usual 'innocent civilians' line (people making components for U-boats or Focke-Wulf 190s are killing Allied servicemen and are not in any way 'innocent'), George Orwell was characteristically repelled, asking, 'And what, precisely, is so moral about killing young men who happen to be in uniform?'

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Old 10-22-2015, 08:07 PM   #186
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Re: The Second World War

57,

That was a very interesting and informative post.
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Old 10-22-2015, 11:06 PM   #187
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Re: The Second World War

indeed
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:32 AM   #188
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Re: The Second World War

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It still astonishes me how little people know about the Second World War, considering that it is the defining event in modern history since the French Revolution.
We are sorry...
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:03 AM   #189
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Re: The Second World War

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Originally Posted by 57 On Red View Post
I've only just noticed this thread, and most of it's four years old, but what the hell. It still astonishes me how little people know about the Second World War, considering that it is the defining event in modern history since the French Revolution.

There was every reason for the Allies to bomb Dresden, since by February 1945 it was the single largest intact concentration of munitions production remaining in the Third Reich, with some 140 war factories producing machine guns and ammunition, aircraft and U-boat instruments and optics, gunsights, bombsights, bomb fuses, shell fuses, torpedo fuses, torpedo steering and guidance systems, V-1 cruise missile steering and guidance systems, V-2 ballistic missile steering and guidance systems (V-2s were still raining down around my family's heads in London at the time), jet-fighter tail units, field radios, field telephones and any other precision-light-engineering military kit you can think of.

'Area bombing' was adopted by the British as a result of studying the German bombing of British cities, specifically Hull, Birmingham and Coventry. It was found that the destruction of individual factories (such as the Alvis factory in Coventry, building armoured cars, specifically targeted and destroyed by the Luftwaffe in the notorious November 1940 raid on the city) was nothing like as inconvenient as the destruction of a city's essential services, what we would now call 'infrastructure'. The Alvis factory was simply rebuilt a short way down the road in a short time. But the damage to the city's gas and power mains, transport, workers' housing and telephone lines... that was a lot harder to put right. And a lot costlier in money and man-hours.
Yes, yes, only by studying the nasty Nazi strategies first could the allies ever do anything inconceivable. They did it first!

Quote:
The Air Staff's preference was for 'precision bombing', and they wanted to take out the forty-odd coal-hydrogenation plants that produced Germany's synthetic fuel, that being the enemy's most obvious weak spot, but German air defences ruled out precision attack by day, and at night it became clear that bombers simply could not find or hit such small targets. And in 1942, the US Eighth Air Force in England determined that there would only be 12 days a year when, even in daylight, they would encounter clear conditions over the target to allow visual aiming with the famous Norden bombsight, and only 30 days a year when they would encounter anything less that 10/10 cloud.

The RAF, meanwhile, had developed ground-mapping radar, which the USAAF soon adopted, and radar-ranging technology that allowed Mosquito pathfinders to drop precision marker flares within radar-horizon range of England, which covered the industrial Ruhr but nowhere further until the Allies could set up ground radar stations on the Continent after the invasion. Gen. Doolittle, commanding US Eighth Air Force, said, 'The British precision-bomb "area targets" and we area-bomb "precision targets" and it comes to the same thing.' Actually, by 1944 the British were also precision-bombing precision targets and put 50 per cent more tonnage on those critical coal-oil refineries than the USAAF did, shutting down synthetic-fuel production completely. At Dresden, of course, the Americans named 'marshalling yards' as the precision target on the operation order but in fact, as usual, they area-bombed the city on radar through cloud and one entire bomb group misnavigated and bombed Prague instead.

Dresden was not an unusual raid and the enormous death toll occurred due to poor air-raid precautions on the ground. Unlike Berliners, Dresdeners were unused to being bombed and many of them unwisely believed the Reich government's advice to stay in shelter. As Berliners knew, you actually had to send someone up from the cellar every five minutes to check the building for incendiaries, and call for help if there was a problem, and tell everyone to get out if the fires were out of control.

Many Dresdeners did do this, out of common sense, and in the interval of some hours between the bombing and the firestorm untold thousands just walked away from the city centre and survived. (Including Gotz Bergander, then in his teens, who wrote the classic book Dresden Im Luftkrieg which dispelled all the bien-pensant/Nazi/neo-Nazi/Soviet propaganda about the raid.)

Twenty-five thousand people failed to take any notice of what was going on, obeyed the Reich government's instruction to 'stay in shelter' and died of asphyxiation in their sleep as the fires ate all the oxygen in the air. They went to a far better and more peaceful death than the one to which they had cheerfully consigned almost all their Jewish neighbours. (Almost all. Of the 200 Jews left in Dresden that night, about 180 survived the raid and, the next morning, since the RAF had scored a direct hit on the Gestapo HQ and killed all the Gestapo and destroyed all their records, the Jews -- all of whom assembled as of one accord that morning where the Gestapo office used to be, to make sure it had gone -- simply tore off their yellow stars, assumed 'Aryan' identities and joined the refugee outflow from Dresden as the normal citizens they always should have been.
Cheerfully consigned? I thought the story went that most Germans had no idea about the concentration camps, and after they were liberated, the German people's who lived close by the camps were paraded around the camps to show them the ghastly horrors that were going on just a short distance from where they lived.

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The next night, the RAF carried out an identical attack plan against Chemnitz, 800 Lancasters in two waves. The cloud was so thick and the winds were so high that the Pathfinders had to use parachute-flare sky-markers that rapidly drifted off target and the Master Bomber was heard to say over the R/T (radio-telephone), 'The hell with this, I'm off. See you at breakfast.' The bombing was so scattered that most people in Chemnitz were unaware that they had been the target of a major raid.

Sir Arthur Harris explained the sentimentality over Dresden very well, in his memo of 29 March 1945. 'The feeling, such as there is, over Dresden could be easily explained by any psychiatrist. It is connected with German bands and Dresden shepherdesses. Actually Dresden was a mass of munitions works, an intact government centre and a key transportation point to the East. It is now none of those things.'

When British bien-pensants began to make a hypocritical fuss over Dresden around that time, with the usual 'innocent civilians' line (people making components for U-boats or Focke-Wulf 190s are killing Allied servicemen and are not in any way 'innocent'), George Orwell was characteristically repelled, asking, 'And what, precisely, is so moral about killing young men who happen to be in uniform?'
Thanks for setting us straight. If I hadn't known about the 20 Jewish souls who lost their lives in the Dresden firebombings, I never could have put a human element to it. Those 80,000 crisped up Nazi's had no souls, not even the 1-5 year old children, for they were certainly going to be soulless Hitler youth! Thankfully we freed them from Hitler's spell and gave them back their souls! But I fear that those who died without souls went straight to hell! (If that's even possible - that may be a better discussion in the religion and philosophy section).

Tah tah
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:44 PM   #190
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Re: The Second World War

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Cheerfully consigned? I thought the story went that most Germans had no idea about the concentration camps, and after they were liberated, the German people's who lived close by the camps were paraded around the camps to show them the ghastly horrors that were going on just a short distance from where they lived.
No, Germans knew all about those damned camps. They just pretended not to. They knew because they all either listened to the BBC German service illegally or they knew someone who did. In the Klemperer Diaries (The Diaries of Victor Klemperer 1933-1945: I Shall Bear Witness to the Bitter End, abridged and translated Martin Chalmers, London, 2000), Victor Klemperer, forbidden to own a radio set because he was Jewish, mentions hearing about a BBC report that detailed the gassing operations at Auschwitz. 'Truth?' he writes.

A year or so later, he got used to inhabitants of the 'Jew house', which he and his Aryan wife were compelled to live in, being deported for 'labour duty', and a few days later a postcard would arrive from Auschwitz to announce that the person had died of 'heart failure' immediately on arrival, so obviously the BBC wasn't lying. But he only had the same sources of information that everybody had. They all knew.

People around him in Dresden were always pretending not to notice. He was once standing on the platform on a tram and the driver said, 'There's plenty of seats,' and Professor Klemperer explained that, as he was wearing the yellow star, sitting down on the tram was a death-penalty offence. The driver just looked ahead like he hadn't heard that.

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Old 11-11-2015, 03:57 PM   #191
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Re: The Second World War

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Thanks for setting us straight. If I hadn't known about the 20 Jewish souls who lost their lives in the Dresden firebombings, I never could have put a human element to it. Those 80,000 crisped up Nazi's had no souls, not even the 1-5 year old children, for they were certainly going to be soulless Hitler youth!
The death toll at Dresden, in the only heavy raid that the city received in the course of the entire war, was established by the recent German government commission at 25,000. (Smaller than the total wartime death toll in London, and smaller than the death toll at Hamburg.) This is in line with the initial Dresden police report of March 1945, before all bodies had been recovered, of 20,204, cited in the well-known SS Tagesbefehl Nr47 at the time. In releases to the neutral -- mainly Swedish -- press, which caught on all too well, Dr Goebbels notoriously inflated the figure to 202,040 by adding a nought. (Frederick Taylor, Dresden: Tuesday 13 February 1945, London 2004, p424.) Inflated figures were similarly favoured after the war by the Communist government of East Germany, and by neo-Nazis.

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Old 11-11-2015, 11:03 PM   #192
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Re: The Second World War

25,000 even? A nice round number wouldn't you say? Personally I don't trust the current German government. It would be politically correct for them to minimize the tragedy, so they minimized it.

I'm pretty sure that germans knew about the camps, but what I meant to say is that I'm almost 100% positive that the vast majority of the civilian population didn't know about the atrocities going on.

The U.S. and Canada shipped all Japanese citizens to concentration camps. If there had been anything terrible going on in those camps, I doubt most of the civilians would have known either.
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:25 PM   #193
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Re: The Second World War

Hi friends,

quick question,

how did germany go from total economic collapse in the Weimar republic to becoming a war machine that took on Europe in less than a decade??
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:06 PM   #194
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Re: The Second World War

there was no 'total economic collapse' afaik. if you're referring to the hyperinflation of the early 1920's, i believe that was a spiraling devaluation of the German currency as a consequence of having to make repeated reparation payments in foreign notes. this was fixed by a simple currency change. German industry itself was not falling apart or anything like that.

if you're referring to the the conditions of the early 1930's that was the Great Depression which effected all countries worldwide, not just Germany.
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Old 11-21-2015, 02:37 AM   #195
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Re: The Second World War

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there was no 'total economic collapse' afaik. if you're referring to the hyperinflation of the early 1920's, i believe that was a spiraling devaluation of the German currency as a consequence of having to make repeated reparation payments in foreign notes. this was fixed by a simple currency change. German industry itself was not falling apart or anything like that.

if you're referring to the the conditions of the early 1930's that was the Great Depression which effected all countries worldwide, not just Germany.
Yes, I'm referring to the hyperinflation, not that I know a lot about economics, I just found it a little hard to believe it could be fixed by a simple currency change
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Old 11-21-2015, 03:12 AM   #196
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Re: The Second World War

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Hi friends,

quick question,

how did germany go from total economic collapse in the Weimar republic to becoming a war machine that took on Europe in less than a decade??
A few factors, imo, really my opinion, you won't hear this anywhere else.

1) National Socialism Dictatorship.

A dictatorship can get things done easier and faster than a democracy. There are no votes, no compromises with other parties - it's their vision, done their way. I believe Hitler was different from a lot of other dictators whereas he was very smart and ambitious. I'm pretty sure that he started things that were not being done in any other countries, such as a freeway system (Autobahn). I also believe that he started the practice of middle class families going abroad on vacation, every middle class family being able to afford a car (hence the Volkswagen Beetle program, which meant "the people's car). Animal rights (maybe not rights but protection) and conservation were also introduced. I believe that a lot of what Hitler did was copied by other countries postwar.

2) Eliminating the opposition. Many of Hitlers enemy's were driven out of the country, onto hiding or forced to accept NS.

3) Fear. Anyone who disagreed or had another POV was too afraid to speak up.

So essentially you had most of the population go along with NS, I mean really buy into it, and all work together to make it work, since the saboteurs in society that we see in democracy's (Obama supporters claim that Republicans have sabotaged his presidency) were either gone or too afraid to resist.

It's a powerful thing when everyone is enthusiastically on the same page, striving for the same goals, with no resistance.

Last edited by meanboyfriend; 11-21-2015 at 03:18 AM. Reason: spelling/grammar
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Old 11-21-2015, 12:23 PM   #197
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Re: The Second World War

Communism did the same as what I mentioned above so disregard my post.
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:00 AM   #198
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Re: The Second World War

Since Britain and France went to war with Germany to defend Poland why did they not go to war with the Soviets also? They invaded Poland as well.
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:54 AM   #199
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Re: The Second World War

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Since Britain and France went to war with Germany to defend Poland why did they not go to war with the Soviets also? They invaded Poland as well.
Fighting both would've been impossible and Germany,at that time, were seen as the one that had to be stopped.
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:10 AM   #200
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Fighting both would've been impossible and Germany,at that time, were seen as the one that had to be stopped.
That's kinda weak. They should have at least said something to Russia, such as warning them to back off.

Then after the war ended, they didn't utter a peep to Russia AGAIN about letting Poland be free.
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