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mdeminico
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Postby mdeminico » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:58 pm

Skipjack wrote:Interestingly the US was the only real winner, of both world wars...


Yeah, and then we promptly expended OUR resources and OUR tax dollars to rebuild our former *enemies* who were just months earlier trying to murder every single one of us.

To this day, we expend MY resources and MY tax dollars to defend those same former enemies with OUR military.

Complain a little more about it, maybe you're entitled to more from us. That certainly seems to be your take on things, that people are entitled to anything and everything just because.

Diogenes
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Postby Diogenes » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:12 pm

Skipjack wrote:
The US was not part of the tripple Entente. It had no business getting into the war and supporting the Brits! It was unfair and unjustified!




I agree. The US should not have gotten involved in World War I. Thank Democrat Woodrow Wilson (Who screwed up a lot more than just World War I.)

Diogenes
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Postby Diogenes » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:22 pm

Tom Ligon wrote:The US did not enter WWI on the side of the Brits. At that point in history we still resented the US Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. We entered the war to support the French, to whom we owed our nationhood.

On the subs, I've read a biography about a German sub captain, written by a popular American author. How hated were the German WWI sub crews here? We copied the sub designs and deployed them in WWII. When the German captains in WWII were threatened with trial for war crimes, our sub captains said "I hope not. We used the same tactics on the Japanese."

Which is not to say sub tactics were not used to motivate the public, along with our connections with the French.

Countries go to war because the leadership of at least one side thinks it sees an advantage of doing so. It probably has little to do with the publicly-stated motives. In the case of WWI the motivations were not with just one country, and they were grossly off-target, failing to anticipate the result.


I don't think Austria went to war because they saw an advantage, I think they went to war for revenge and pride.

I likewise think the Confderacy fired on Ft. Sumter for reasons of pride, and not because they saw the Ft as such a great asset, it was because they wanted the Union troops out of it. By the same token, since not a single person was killed in the conflict, why send thirtyfivethousand troops to fight in the south except as revenge for wounded pride?

I'm thinking that there are plenty of wars fought not for financial or land gain, but for pride and arrogance.

Diogenes
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Postby Diogenes » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:38 pm

Skipjack wrote:
We entered the war to support the French, to whom we owed our nationhood.


Then why did the US send war materials to the British, even before you officially entered the war? The Luisitania was full of ammunition in its cargo hole.



I have read this. I have also read that this belief was based on how quickly it blew up and sunk after getting hit by a torpedo. However, I've also seen a documentary that indicates that the Lusitania was a victim of an unintended fuel air burst inside it's hull.

Apparently coal dust migrated into the spaces between it's hull and the inner part of the ship, and when the torpedo hit the hull and exploded, the concussion threw all the coal dust into the air where the flames from the explosion ignited it. In other words, it was a fluke.

Now I've also been told that Churchill sent divers down to collect the explosives that the Lusitania was carrying.

Who knows what the truth is?


Skipjack wrote:
We copied the sub designs and deployed them in WWII.


And you also copied the German sub designs after WWII. Even the famous Nautilus still had the shape of the Type 21. It was not until the Albacore experiments were completed that this changed.

When the German captains in WWII were threatened with trial for war crimes, our sub captains said "I hope not. We used the same tactics on the Japanese."


Nimitz said something simillar in defense of Karl Dönitz.
Dönitz never commited a war crime (and never was a member of the NSDAP). What they held against him was his direct order to not take survivors from torpedoed ships onto German submarines anymore.
A decision that he made in the wake of the Laconia incident in which subs of the Uboot Gruppe Eisbär were attacked by allied planes and ships during rescue operations (after sinking an allied ship!), even though the subcaptain broadcast their intentions and location on all open frequencies (and they had red cross flags on their decks).
This incident is well documented, but usually not talked about. The allies dont look so good in it.


This often seems to be a problem for holier than thou types. I recall reading that when the British started their bombing campaign against Germany, they explained that they would only be striking "Military Targets." After many forays of dubious worth, one British officer pointed out that their accuracy was so bad that it was impossible for them to accomplish anything useful unless they adopted a "carpet bombing" approach.

They thenceforth declared that the Houses of the people who worked in the Factories were now considered "Military Targets." Then they declared that cities and towns were also "Military Targets". By the end of the war, they'd pretty much given up on the fiction that they were doing anything other than bombing civilians and any target of opportunity. There were no distinctions anymore. In Japan, they started bombing cities right off the bat. No need for opining on false morality.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:05 pm

Apparently coal dust migrated into the spaces between it's hull and the inner part of the ship, and when the torpedo hit the hull and exploded, the concussion threw all the coal dust into the air where the flames from the explosion ignited it. In other words, it was a fluke.

I have heard this explanation as well.
Multiple reasons why it is not true:
1. Experts say that coal dust in a ship can not explode like that. It is too damp an environment.
2. The water entered the ship too quickly through the hull. This would have prevented coal dust from exploding.
3. They found lots (millions) of rounds of ammo when they visited the wreck years later with submarines.
4. That despite the best efforts by the British navy to cover this up (after all it means that the US enterd the war against Gemany based on a lie).
For the longest time they tried to prevent people from going down there in submarines.
Then they have bombed the wreck with depth charges over and over again to destroy evidence. The whole thing looks like swiss cheese. So much about rest and "disturbance of the dead" that they used as an excuse to stop people from going down there. Yeah sure!

There is even evidence that things were removed from the ship, some even claim cannons and other arms that could have been used to sink a submarine. I am not too sure about that and quite frankly it is not necessary. The ship was transporting ammunition to GB. Reason enough to sink it.

I recall reading that when the British started their bombing campaign against Germany

I find it funny that the number of victims in the bombing of Dresden has been revised downwards almsot every year. My father still learned "more than 300,000" at school. He was surprised to check Wikipedia to read 35,000 a couple of years ago. Now it is only 28,000.
Give it a few more years and they dropped aid packages instead of bombs...

Yeah, and then we promptly expended OUR resources and OUR tax dollars to rebuild our former *enemies* who were just months earlier trying to murder every single one of us.

Only after WW2 and that was a very wise decision. Germany would have turned to the communists/Russians otherwise. The US could not afford that. The BRD turned out to be the most important wall against the east during the cold war.
And the "murder" part is highly exaggerated. First, neither the British nor the US HAD to enter the war. Hitler actually begged the British not to enter the war.
The war could have been over in 1943, but the allies did not want to support the attempted coup against Hitler. Churchill said "Even if a priest was counceler of Germany, we would go and destroy it". That did not help with getting support for the resistance within the Wehrmacht. The Morgenthau plan did not help either.
Had the Morgenthau plan happened, I can promise you, all Germans would have defected to the communists.

CaptainBeowulf
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Postby CaptainBeowulf » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:20 pm

Poison gas - ok, the French tried to use some tear gas against the Germans in August or September 1914. IIRC the Germans didn't even notice it.

The Germans tried to use some irritant gas against the British in 1914 as well, but again, it had no really noticeable effects.

I was thinking of the Germans trying to make widespread use of tear gas against the Russians in Poland in early 1915, and the Germans being the first to use chlorine gas in 1915. As opposed to tear gas or irritant, the chlorine gas was designed to kill, not to simply disable the enemy.

I mean, tear gas has sometimes been used as a crowd control measure with riots... a little different than chlorine.

Tanks - the Brits had primitive experiments with tanks underway, but they had nothing deployable until late 1916 at the battle of the Somme. And they didn't really deploy a large number of them and have real success until late 1917. Tanks probably would have remained on the drawing boards for another couple of decades if WWI hadn't happened. The Brits hardly had a tank fleet in 1914 ready to attack the Germans. All sides were pretty comparably equipped.

Some of the British troops were well-trained with their bolt-action Lee Enfield rifles and could lay down a lot of fire quickly. IIRC one German officer's report from fairly early fighting in 1914 was that the British must have been using a large number of machine-guns in one engagement, but actually they only had a few machine guns.

The Germans had been busy developing their own super-weapons, like massive "big bertha" guns.

Bombing in WWII - yeah, well, everyone did that. Again, you can argue over who started it. The German air force "volunteers" in the Spanish civil war bombed Guernica pretty hard. Then Germany bombed Rotterdam pretty hard in the spring of 1940. Then the Luftwaffe tried to create firestorms in London with blitz, and they succeeded in burning out the center of Coventry. Goebbels even started boasting about how the Luftwaffe would "coventrieren" all the cities in Britain. And the Russians claimed that, for example, 40,000 civilians were killed when the Luftwaffe bombed Stalingrad before the Wehrmacht reached the city.

So, the RAF and USAAF ended up doing the same thing. Britain, Canada, and the U.S. had a combined greater industrial capacity to churn out heavy bombers (Lancasters and Flying Fortresses), and ended up bombing Germany a lot more heavily. But it was the predictable result of escalation.

I actually see the large-scale firebombings of WWII as a failure of air power theory. The early air power theorists, including Douhet, Marhsall etc., all convinced themselves that bombing civilian populations would cause them to give up and demand that their governments make peace. Instead, it just pisses people off and makes them want to keep fighting. After Germany started extensive bombing of Britain in the late summer of 1940, a desire for revenge helped keep the U.K. in the war. In the same way, the bombing of Germany in 1943-45 probably kept more Germans supporting continued resistance.

I agree that 28,000 civilians killed in Dresden seems too low. I always heard over 100,000. Not a nice thing to do, but it was "total war."

Also, Hamburg was firebombed in the same way and had similar civilian casualties - but for some reasons one only hears about Dresden.

Hitler assassination - IIRC the bomb placed on Hitler's plane in Ukraine by some German generals in early 1943 was supplied by the British - but it failed to work.

Morgenthau Plan - I agree it was stupid. It was counterproductive in that it added incentive to the Germans to keep them fighting. Also, it was very poor strategy to propose gutting central Europe of industry. Talk about creating a power vacuum that could cause more wars. However, the U.S. quickly reversed its policy after 1945.

Austria - well, the breakup of the Austrian empire at the end of WWI was messy. The populations of east-central Europe were quite mixed up... and had been pretty much forever. Different groups naturally ended up on the "wrong" side of various borders. In the case of the "Sudeten" Germans of Czechoslovakia, expulsion was a result of WWII and the Soviet takeover. I admit I don't know much about the part of Styria you're talking about - is it now in Slovenia or Italy? Were the Germans forced out after WWI or WWII?

As I said before, I think F.D.R. was a poor negotiator and foolish for trusting Stalin. I would not have agreed to large-scale "population transfers" (i.e. ethnic cleansings) to the aggrandizement of the Soviet Union. However, Germany started WWII and did genocide first...

And as others have said, under Truman and Eisenhower the U.S. did its best to help West Germany and the rest of western Europe - and succeeded very well. It also nixed suggestions from France and Holland that they annex large areas of western Germany. To me, this was a more reasonable approach: pound the heck out of the enemy while he insists on continuing the war, but accept that he's human and help him rebuild when the fighting is over.

CaptainBeowulf
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Postby CaptainBeowulf » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:30 pm

The war could have been over in 1943, but the allies did not want to support the attempted coup against Hitler.


Not sure exactly what you're talking about here. The only time an attempted coup against Hitler came fully out in the open and almost succeeded was in July 1944, with Stauffenberg's attempt. It was crushed by the Nazis before it had a chance to consolidate any power. What exactly could the Allies do? Drop a couple of parachute divisions into Berlin on 24hrs notice? Large-scale military operations inevitably take at least weeks to plan.

Tensions were high - it was war, after all. If Stauffenberg had succeeded in getting control over a large part of the German armed forces, and they'd appointed someone like Rommel Chancellor, the allies might have decided to change their approach. But it would have taken a couple of weeks to work out the diplomatic niceties. They would still have demanded German surrender, but they conceivably would not have handed half of Europe over to the Russians - but instead occupied it themselves.

djolds1
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Postby djolds1 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:21 am

Diogenes wrote:
Skipjack wrote:Then why did the US send war materials to the British, even before you officially entered the war? The Luisitania was full of ammunition in its cargo hole.
I have read this. I have also read that this belief was based on how quickly it blew up and sunk after getting hit by a torpedo. However, I've also seen a documentary that indicates that the Lusitania was a victim of an unintended fuel air burst inside it's hull.
Wall Street and the City of London (i.e. US & UK Financial Industries) were joined at the hip even in 1914. Elite pressure in the US to join the Allied side was strong.
Vae Victis

CaptainBeowulf
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Postby CaptainBeowulf » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:04 am

Also, Britain and France were democracies.

The U.S. often repudiated them for ruling over colonies, but the actual British and French homelands were democracies.

Furthermore, France for a while tried to give colonies some representation in the National Assembly.

Britain, meanwhile, was gradually allowing self-governing dominions like Canada and Australia greater independence. So, both could be perceived as showing signs of becoming less "evil imperialist" from an American perspective.

(U.K. had the monarchy, but already the monarchy was just a figurehead. The elected parliament was in control and could, if it deemed it necessary, remove the monarch.)

Also, Belgium, which Germany had invaded, was a democracy.

Germany had an elected governmental assembly, but the Kaiser and the Chancellor could overrule it. It was easy to portray Germany as an imperialist tyranny, and an aggressor against democracy. If you look at war posters from the time, some of them clearly portray things that way.

WWII, much more so: it was seen as the fight of democracies against fascism.

CaptainBeowulf
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Postby CaptainBeowulf » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:25 am

Only after WW2 and that was a very wise decision. Germany would have turned to the communists/Russians otherwise. The US could not afford that. The BRD turned out to be the most important wall against the east during the cold war.


Actually dude, in the aftermath of WWII it was the Russians who came closest to implementing a Morgenthau Plan.

Of course they stripped any former German territory east of the Oder-Neisse line of anything valuable before the expelled they Poles into it.

However, in what became east Germany they busily disassembled any factories that were still intact and carted them back to Russia as well.

Aside from this, they took most of the captured German troops off to Siberian gulags. Few returned. They brought in a few ethnic German communists who'd lived in the Soviet Union for decades, and a few former German soldiers who'd been captured in 1942-44 and had been especially enthusiastic about converting to communism in order to help manage things.

East of the Oder-Neisse, in many places, they used any male Germans they found (including boys and old men) as slave labor, and then also deported them to Siberia. In other places they simply expelled them west.

It's estimated that Red Army soldiers committed at least 2 million rapes of German women (conceivably more), and in some cases they killed the women after raping them (or the women simply died from the injuries).

I daresay that if the U.S. and British armies hadn't been on the Elbe in May 1945, western Germany would have suffered a similar fate.

The Soviets genuinely started rebuilding German industry in the east when they realized that the allies were doing that in the west. Both sides got into a competition over making "their" Germany an example of economic success to the other side.

One old English language phrase is "the proof of the pudding is in the eating" - what did the U.K. and U.S. do in 1945, and what did the Soviets do?

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:42 am

All sides were pretty comparably equipped.

Nope, Germany and Austria were badly equipped compared to the Entente. You can read this up pretty much anywhere.

and the Germans being the first to use chlorine gas in 1915. As opposed to tear gas or irritant, the chlorine gas was designed to kill, not to simply disable the enemy.

Well, it always depends on how you look at it, if you want to say "who started it".
The French were also the first to use weaponized gas specifically developed for killing (Phosgen). The way the Germans used the chlorine gas was comparably primitive.
Anyway, it depends on how you look at it. The French were the first to use gas, then Germans used gas, then the French used more gas, then the Germans used deadlier gas, then the French used even deadlier gas.
WW1 was a terrible war and neither side was being kind to their enemy.

Different groups naturally ended up on the "wrong" side of various borders.

Marburg was purely German and is now Slovenia. It was still mostly German until the partisans massacred everyone at the end of WW2.
Then they destroyed everything that the Germans build there and now they are asking our money again (through the EU) to rebuild what they destroyed and plundered. Personally I would not give them a cent.

I agree that 28,000 civilians killed in Dresden seems too low. I always heard over 100,000. Not a nice thing to do, but it was "total war."

There were more than 320,000 apartments destroyed in Dresden, which at the time was full of fugitives too. 28,000 deaths is a mathematical impossibility.

Not sure exactly what you're talking about here. The only time an attempted coup against Hitler came fully out in the open and almost succeeded was in July 1944, with Stauffenberg's attempt. It was crushed by the Nazis before it had a chance to consolidate any power. What exactly could the Allies do? Drop a couple of parachute divisions into Berlin on 24hrs notice? Large-scale military operations inevitably take at least weeks to plan.

Tensions were high - it was war, after all. If Stauffenberg had succeeded in getting control over a large part of the German armed forces, and they'd appointed someone like Rommel Chancellor, the allies might have decided to change their approach. But it would have taken a couple of weeks to work out the diplomatic niceties. They would still have demanded German surrender, but they conceivably would not have handed half of Europe over to the Russians - but instead occupied it themselves.

As I said, the problem was that the allies did not want a peace treaty with Germany, even if Hitler was gone and "a priest was to become German councelor". They wanted unconditional surrender and rumors like the Morgenthau plan did not help.
These things were responsible for the conspirators not finding the support in the Wehrmacht and the WaffenSS that they would have needed in order to succeed. The assassination attempt was only a last way out, a high risk gamble to take down Hitler. Had the British proposed a fair peace negociation for the case that Hitler was removed from power, the Germans would have revolted much earlier. Instead the assholes Roachevelt and Churchill kept insisting on "unconditional surrender". With the Morgenthau plan looming over the German people, to many just would rather fight until the bitter end. Sloagans like "wade in the blood of the German women" posted by the red army were not helping either.

And as others have said, under Truman and Eisenhower the U.S. did its best to help West Germany and the rest of western Europe

Truman was a good man, Eisenhower was an asshole and strong supporter of the Morgenthau plan. He wanted to "erase Germany from the map".
Not a nice guy.

I admit I don't know much about the part of Styria you're talking about - is it now in Slovenia or Italy?

Marburg (now Maribor) where my grandmother used to live is now part of Slovenia.

Also, Britain and France were democracies.

The British are a constitutional monarchy, not a democracy!
The French did not have to declare war on Germany, neither did the British. They wanted to wage war against us!

Also, Belgium, which Germany had invaded, was a democracy.

Belgium was and still is a kingdom, you know?

Both Britain and Belgium are not full democracies and at the time, the monarchs still had more power.
The invasion of Belgium by the Germans was simply them getting ahead of the French. It was a necessity.

Also, one has to say that even if the two countries were to be called democracies, one can not speak nicely about how they treated people in their colonies until long after WW2 (read Belgian Congo). Being a democracy does not automatically mean that you are a good guy.

Anyway, the whole democracy thing is a lame excuse.

Germany had an elected governmental assembly, but the Kaiser and the Chancellor could overrule it. It was easy to portray Germany as an imperialist tyranny, and an aggressor against democracy. If you look at war posters from the time, some of them clearly portray things that way.

Hillarious!, see above!

You are right about the ethnic cleansing and other terrible things commited by the Russians after WW2. Anticipation of this is why the German tactics at the end of the war was to resist the Russians more than the western allies.

CaptainBeowulf
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Postby CaptainBeowulf » Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:18 pm

Yeah, like I said the democracy thing was more a question of portrayal. The U.S. had often been highly critical of British and French imperialism, but then switched to emphasizing democracy in WWI. It went back to criticizing European imperialism between the wars, and helped pressure Britain into rapid decolonization after WWII. That particular comment was not to blame Germany, but rather by way of explanation of why the Western Allies got a fair amount of public support in the U.S.

Belgium - constitutional monarchy, like Britain. Since the late 19th century, constitutional monarchies are full democracies - the monarchs are reduced to figureheads.

As early as the 1780s, the British parliament could effectively remove the king and appoint a regency - they almost did it with George III when he became more insane than usual. By 1914, power had passed firmly to parliament from the monarch. So I would call British constitutional monarchy a variant of democracy.

(The U.S. carried on a lot about overthrowing the tyranny of George III in 1776-80, and you still find that argument in many American history textbooks today, but actually their fight was as much with Parliament as the king. IIRC in 1775 the revolutionary leaders initially disowned parliament but said they were still loyal to the king. It was only when George declared that they were rebels and traitors that they disowned him too.)

But like you said, democracy doesn't necessarily mean, in and of itself, that you're one of the good guys. You're just usually not as bad as straight-up tyrannies.
Last edited by CaptainBeowulf on Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

CaptainBeowulf
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Postby CaptainBeowulf » Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:42 pm

Marburg was purely German and is now Slovenia. It was still mostly German until the partisans massacred everyone at the end of WW2.
Then they destroyed everything that the Germans build there and now they are asking our money again (through the EU) to rebuild what they destroyed and plundered. Personally I would not give them a cent.


Skimmed online sources, and they seem similar to what you say - although claim that many of the Germans left after WWI. I can believe that there was killing at the end of WWII, which is too bad, but it was predictable, given the circumstances (and Nazi Germany had killed a lot of Yugoslavs). However, there's always the Marshall plan example - help fix your former enemies economically and politically so that you can live with them.

What's your view on the EU?

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:15 pm

and Nazi Germany had killed a lot of Yugoslavs

Well that is not entirely true. The partisans have killed a lot more of the inhabitants of Slovenia, Croatia, even Serbia, than the Germans did.
Also the partisans were all war criminals in my book.
Plus, you seem to forget that Croatia and others were on the side of the Germans in WW2.

What's your view on the EU?

Highly sceptical, being a member of a net paying country.
I had two pages of rant following this, but I decided not to post it.
Lets just say that I would have not let any of the countries that used to be partially or wholy German/Austrian join the EU without an appollogy (and I mean face in the dirt and monuments erected) for leaving us in the first place. They left, they deported and killed the Germans, they destroyed everything and now we shall take all the broken shit back and pay for rebuilding it on top of that...

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:17 pm

although claim that many of the Germans left after WWI.

My grandmother had a beautiful apartment in Marburg with a maidens chambers and lots of valuable antiques, paintings and furniture. She was the last one to make it out of Marburg alive. Her maid warned her about the approaching partisans. My grandmother had many, many german friends that lived in Marburg, among them noble men (I think a duke is the correct english word). All of them were never heard of again. They are resting in some mass grave somewhere.


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