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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Vae Victis

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


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


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


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

Last edited by CaptainBeowulf on Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

CaptainBeowulf
Posts: 498
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:35 am
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Postby CaptainBeowulf » Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:42 pm


Skipjack
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Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm
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Postby Skipjack » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:15 pm


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



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