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Old 22nd March 2019, 05:38 PM   #2081
HansMustermann
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It's even more complex about the Maginot Line.

Short version: it was a good idea. In fact, for France it was the BEST idea.

Long version: it's long. You were warned.

The French entered WW1 with idiotic ideas that elan is all that matters, and a few determined guys with bayonets beat machineguns. They discovered very quickly that they were wrong. They lost IIRC some 27,000 men in one day discovering it.

So now it was obvious that to win a war, you need to plan long term, and you need industrial capacity. You'll need to produce a LOT of bullets and artillery shells and so on, and keep producing it.

And therein was the problem: most of France's mines and factories were within 100km of the German border. The mines because that's where the mountains are, and the factories because of civilian logistics. You need to haul those resources to the factories, and the closer you are to them, the better.

So France COULDN'T do a Russian elastic defense thing and trade territory for time. If they retreated more than 100 km, the war was lost already. Because there goes the industrial capacity to make more bullets and shells and so on.

France had to stop the Germans right on the border.

Hence the Maginot Line.

However, now where do you fight the Germans if the border with them isn't looking so great? Well, how about fighting in Belgium?

That plan was actually a bit more complicated than "let's fight in Belgium." The idea would be more like, look, we'll help defend you, so let's build some common prepared positions. Not as fortified as the Maginot Line, so it still works as a bait, but still, let's prepare for an attack on the border between Belgium and Germany.

Problem is: France and Britain failed to respond to the remilitarization of Rheinland. Now a big question started to be asked: so, are they going to defend us if push comes to shove? They certainly don't seem keen on fighting Germany.

So by 1936, Belgium goes, in the best Bender immitation, "Screw you, guys! I'm making my own defense! With blackjack! And hookers! In fact, forget the defense!"

Well, not in those words, but they declare themselves neutral and kick the French army out of their country. In 1937, Hitler actually guarantees that he'll respect the Belgian neutrality. Presumably after he stopped laughing his ass off. Yeah, we all know how THAT guarantee was upheld

So there go those prepared positions in Belgium. Now France starts scrambling to produce some transportable fortification materials that they can take into Belgium if push comes to shove, or use at the border if Belgium just surrenders. But they prove to be no substitute for the original plan.
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Old 22nd March 2019, 11:29 PM   #2082
Roger Ramjets
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
That's a complete misinterpretation of the events of May 1940.
Commander F. W. Winterbotham completely misinterpreted the events of May 1940?

Quote:
Winterbotham, with the full knowledge of MI-6, escorted Rosenberg around Britain, made some appropriate introductions, and played up to him. Neither Ropp nor Rosenberg knew that Winterbotham had any intelligence connections—he was just a civilian official of the Air Staff.

Winterbotham continued in this role for the next seven years. He became a regular visitor to Germany, and an apparent Nazi sympathizer. As such, he was welcomed into the highest circles in Germany, meeting Hitler and Göring, and with Göring's Luftwaffe subordinates such as Erhard Milch and Albert von Kesselring. He gathered a tremendous amount of information on the Luftwaffe and on German political and military intentions.
If a man in that position was unable to figure it out, what hope did anyone else have?

But of course it's all ancient history now, and as they say hindsight is 20/20. Especially now that we have the Internet, where any anonymous poster can claim that they know what the real situation was without any need to back it up with evidence.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 03:30 AM   #2083
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Commander F. W. Winterbotham completely misinterpreted the events of May 1940?

If a man in that position was unable to figure it out, what hope did anyone else have?

But of course it's all ancient history now, and as they say hindsight is 20/20. Especially now that we have the Internet, where any anonymous poster can claim that they know what the real situation was without any need to back it up with evidence.
Ironic to talk about evidence when the Winterbotham quotes constitutes nothing but an unsupported claim recorded in a book 30 years after the event. Maybe Wintherbotham's account is true, maybe he thought it would make a good story and sell a few books, maybe at the height of the Cold War Winterbotham convinced himself that there had been another way that could have saved the British Empire and crushed Communism. With nothing to go on but Winterbotham's decades old recollection of what was said how can we Know? And why should we put aside other evidentiary sources that contradict him and simply take his word for it?

The facts that have been discussed at length in this thread make it clear that in 1938 Germany was in no position to crush France and if Winterbotham gathered so much information on the Luftwaffe it was either ignored or inaccurate given that the records show British intelligence massively overestimated the strength and capability of the Luftwaffe.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 03:46 AM   #2084
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Part of the trouble with regard to Churchill's want of judgment with regard to appeasement is that he seemed to have every confidence, and very great confidence, in the French because as he said the French had more divisions and aircraft than the Germans. Chamberlain and General Alan Brooke had their doubts and very little confidence in the French, and as events turned out they were proved correct. France and Soviet Russia were never reliable allies of the Czechs.

This is from the book The Turn of the Tide by Arthur Bryant published in 1957 about the matter:

Quote:
Alan Brooke had been born and educated in France and spoke French like a native. He loved the country and sympathised with their difficulties, but he was as instinctively critical of her shortcomings as any Frenchman. On the day he landed at Cherbourg, though he spoke of the personal kindness and hospitality of the military authorities, he observed in his diary that French slovenliness, dirtiness and inefficiency were worse than ever. Before he had been in France a few days he had begun to wonder whether the French still possessed the spirit and fighting qualities that in the first War had enabled them to transcend these defects. All the outward signs of patriotism were there: total mobilisation, ceaseless official propaganda, speeches and affirmations of solidarity and the will to victory. Yet, noting the universal slackness and listlessness of the troops on the Belgian frontier, Brooke began to "entertain most unpleasant apprehensions as to the fighting qualities of the French in this new war."
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Old 23rd March 2019, 05:08 AM   #2085
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Part of the trouble with regard to Churchill's want of judgment with regard to appeasement is that he seemed to have every confidence, and very great confidence, in the French because as he said the French had more divisions and aircraft than the Germans. Chamberlain and General Alan Brooke had their doubts and very little confidence in the French, and as events turned out they were proved correct. France and Soviet Russia were never reliable allies of the Czechs.

This is from the book The Turn of the Tide by Arthur Bryant published in 1957 about the matter:
Again your quote relates to 1940, long after appeasement was over and yes we get that you hate Churchill and the Irish but it really has zero to do with appeasement. It's still odd that you will take the opinions of every officer of the period except the German ones who thought Germany would have been crushed if went to war in 1938, especially as their opinions seem to be backed up by the cold hard numbers of logistics and operational capabilities. why don't they count Henri?
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Old 23rd March 2019, 05:09 AM   #2086
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He wasn't entirely wrong, either. I would also add a couple of relevant issues here:

1. The lost generation. The age of conscription in France being 21 at the time, 1914+21=1935. Yep, in 1935, you suddenly didn't have the recruitable kids of all those folks who had been drafted in 1914. You know, on account of them being in a miserable trench or dead instead of boning the missus. This would get worse over time until the invasion in 1940, since more and more people had been missing from home until 1919. France's recruitable population was dropping fast.

2. While they did increase the duration of the military service to make up for that, it only increased resentment.

Because, and get ready for this, because I'm not making it up,

3. France didn't trust its own army. You can't make this up.

The general perception was that the army are a bunch of right wing royalists, who are just itching to coup the very leftist republic and install their own dictatorship. When, for example, De Gaulle wrote a paper advocating a larger professional core for the army, to man the tanks and such, at least one MP waved it around in the parliament as PROOF that the army is planning a coup. Look! They want a professional praetorian guard! What else would they want it for?!

Derp.

Instead of getting his professional army, trust in the army took another nose dive.

4. Worse yet, the impression was that being in the army puts people under the brainwashing influence of those evil officers. Give them enough recruits to brainwash, and they'll overthrow the republic that way.

Derp.

The result is that time served by conscripts had been kept to a bare minimum. Worse yet, because nobody trusted a professional army, new recruits were mostly trained by the previous wave of conscripts who had just finished half their term. And because that was a mere few months experience, they were hardly in a position to teach anyone.

Effectively, everyone who had turned 21 before 1936 or so, barely knew which end of the gun to point at the enemy.

5. And finally, in case it wasn't clear already, all that distrust of the army also caused massive resistance to any attempt at mobilizing, and massive morale problems when France HAD to start a mass mobilization before being invaded. People would rather protest with slogans like "Why die for Danzig?!" than figure out that, hey, we have an army for a reason, we can use it.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 05:18 AM   #2087
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Basically, to clarify, what I'm saying is what I've been saying all along: sure, Germany was in no position to crush France in '38, but sadly enough nor viceversa. France would have probably done the same it did in '39: advance a couple of miles past the Maginot Line, then be ordered back behind it.

The French didn't even HAVE a plan for an offensive war at the time, nor the popular and political support for one. Their whole plan was to let the Germans grind their army against the Maginot Line and against the Belgian border, and only eventually figure out how they can actually advance. Ask them to do anything else, and they just had no plan how to do it.

And you can't win a war by staying purely on the defense.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 11:03 AM   #2088
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
It's still odd that you will take the opinions of every officer of the period except the German ones who thought Germany would have been crushed if went to war in 1938, especially as their opinions seem to be backed up by the cold hard numbers of logistics and operational capabilities. why don't they count Henri?
I agree that there was opposition to Hitler by some of the army in Germany in 1938, and even more opposition to the invasion of Soviet Russia. But what could they do about it? Go on a demonstration? It's like saying now that something should be done about the wall on the Mexican border, or that bugging devices should be banned, or that there should be gun laws. Admiral Canaris and Colonel Oster of the Abwehr just supplied the Allies with high grade military and political intelligence. Chamberlain was politically wise.

There is some background to this at this website:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German...ance_to_Nazism

Quote:
The German opposition and resistance movements consisted of disparate political and ideological strands, which represented different classes of German society and were seldom able to work together – indeed for much of the period there was little or no contact between the different strands of resistance. A few civilian resistance groups developed, but the Army was the only organisation with the capacity to overthrow the government, and from within it a small number of officers came to present the most serious threat posed to the Nazi regime.[5] The Foreign Office and the Abwehr (Military Intelligence) also provided vital support to the movement.[6] But many of those in the military who ultimately chose to seek to overthrow Hitler had initially supported the regime, if not all of its methods. Hitler's 1938 purge of the military was accompanied by increased militancy in the Nazification of Germany, a sharp intensification of the persecution of Jews, homosexuals,[7] communists, socialists, and trade union leaders[8] and aggressive foreign policy, bringing Germany to the brink of war; it was at this time that the German Resistance emerged.

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Old 23rd March 2019, 02:13 PM   #2089
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I agree that there was opposition to Hitler by some of the army in Germany in 1938, and even more opposition to the invasion of Soviet Russia. But what could they do about it?
Stage a coup, you know the very thing that they planned to do in 1938 if Hitler chose to go to war? You know the thing that's been mentioned twenty times in this thread?
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Old 23rd March 2019, 02:19 PM   #2090
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Basically, to clarify, what I'm saying is what I've been saying all along: sure, Germany was in no position to crush France in '38, but sadly enough nor viceversa. France would have probably done the same it did in '39: advance a couple of miles past the Maginot Line, then be ordered back behind it.

The French didn't even HAVE a plan for an offensive war at the time, nor the popular and political support for one. Their whole plan was to let the Germans grind their army against the Maginot Line and against the Belgian border, and only eventually figure out how they can actually advance. Ask them to do anything else, and they just had no plan how to do it.

And you can't win a war by staying purely on the defense.
The French probably wouldn't have mounted an offensive in 1938, but the Germans had no better idea plans for an offensive in the west that a rerun of the Schlieffen Plan. The French however can win on the defensive. The Wehrmacht needs a quick decisive victory in 1938/39 even more than 1940 and they lack the means to achieve one. If the German offensive bogs down in Belgium then its game over for the Nazi's. This assumes the Wehrmacht is even going to go pay along with starting a war in 1938.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 03:01 PM   #2091
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Maybe, but it still shows that Chamberlain wouldn't have been wrong to have doubts about the French army at the time.
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Old 23rd March 2019, 03:18 PM   #2092
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Also, let's talk more complications. Because the whole situation is complicated AF, unlike the simplifications here.

In 1928, Britain and France have a bright idea: they could solve all their defense problems by just outlawing war I wish I were kidding. They and for that matter Germany (which wasn't yet Nazi) and the USA sign the Kellogg–Briand Pact, a.k.a. the Pact Of Paris, in which they officially renounce war as diplomacy tool, and promise to never declare war to resolve "disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them".

You may remember it as the thing that allowed including the charge of starting a war of aggression in the Nuremberg trials.

Fast forward to the remilitarization of the Rheinland. Now what? What everyone has been basically DEMANDING of England and France for the last 50 pages is basically that they break the pact and admit that they were just hypocritical about that. The only clause that would allow them to declare war on Germany is if Germany breaks the pact first by declaring war on someone. As long as they just move troops around their own country, sadly that doesn't count as breaking the pact.

Problem is, sure, the UK and France could just break the pact, but doing that's a political nightmare of its own.

Fast forward to Munich. Not only the same pact is still in effect (as it remains to the present day), but Germany claims that not only the Sudeten Germans are terminally oppressed by the Czechs, but that even 300 Sudeten Germans have been killed by the Czechs. (They weren't, but the press ran with it anyway.) Benes is slow to issue clarifications. (Presumably because it's damn near impossible to prove a negative.) The Runciman report confirms that the Sudeten ARE treated rather tactlessly, and just about the only good thing it has to say about the handling of that situation by the Czech government is that it's not outright terrorist.

Even without that, at the end of WW2 everyone proclaimed the right of everyone to self- determination. Which was used to dismember the losing nations. So now Hitler is asking: why don't the Sudeten have the same right?

Now what?

So now you have to explain at home why you want to start a war, AND break a pact by threatening war, to... deny the Sudeten the right you've been proclaiming for the last 20 years straight.

But anyway, at the end of the day, the charge against Chamberlain is basically, what? That he actually sought a peaceful resolution, AS STIPULATED IN A PACT SIGNED BY THE UK?
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Old 24th March 2019, 05:06 AM   #2093
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Stage a coup, you know the very thing that they planned to do in 1938 if Hitler chose to go to war? You know the thing that's been mentioned twenty times in this thread?
To stage a coup is not an easy task. It seems to be tried nowadays by the CIA with regard to countries like Syria and Turkey and Iran, and it's usually called regime change. Chamberlain prepared for war but he was not prepared to go to war over the Sudetenland, and neither was America or Canada or Australia or South Africa or New Zealand, or even France and Soviet Russia. Chamberlain never prevented any Germans from trying to stage a coup. Our secret service were interested in the matter at the time but they came a cropper when some of their agents were arrested by the Germans, I think on the Dutch and German border. A lot of the German plotters later died horrible deaths, including I think General Beck.

There is some background to this matter at this website:

http://valkyrie-plot.com/1938.html

Quote:
While not all generals in the Army supported Beck, by no means did all oppose him. Generals von Witzleben and von Stülpnagel, supported by Hans Oster in the Counter Intelligence Agency, were just as opposed to the Nazis as Beck. These men, under the leadership of Beck's immediate successor, Franz Halder, chose to pursue Beck's goal of bringing down the Nazi regime by employing conspiratorial – rather than confrontational – means. The first loose ties were established to civilian leaders equally outraged by the Nazis, and a plan was forged to arrest Hitler and try him either as a traitor or have him committed to a mental institution.

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Old 24th March 2019, 06:05 AM   #2094
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
To stage a coup is not an easy task. It seems to be tried nowadays by the CIA with regard to countries like Syria and Turkey and Iran, and it's usually called regime change. Chamberlain prepared for war but he was not prepared to go to war over the Sudetenland, and neither was America or Canada or Australia or South Africa or New Zealand, or even France and Soviet Russia.
Henri please stop repeating the same nonsense that has been debunked a dozen times in this thread.
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:00 AM   #2095
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Also, let's talk more complications. Because the whole situation is complicated AF, unlike the simplifications here.

In 1928, Britain and France have a bright idea: they could solve all their defense problems by just outlawing war I wish I were kidding. They and for that matter Germany (which wasn't yet Nazi) and the USA sign the Kellogg–Briand Pact, a.k.a. the Pact Of Paris, in which they officially renounce war as diplomacy tool, and promise to never declare war to resolve "disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them".

You may remember it as the thing that allowed including the charge of starting a war of aggression in the Nuremberg trials.

Fast forward to the remilitarization of the Rheinland. Now what? What everyone has been basically DEMANDING of England and France for the last 50 pages is basically that they break the pact and admit that they were just hypocritical about that. The only clause that would allow them to declare war on Germany is if Germany breaks the pact first by declaring war on someone. As long as they just move troops around their own country, sadly that doesn't count as breaking the pact.

Problem is, sure, the UK and France could just break the pact, but doing that's a political nightmare of its own.

Fast forward to Munich. Not only the same pact is still in effect (as it remains to the present day), but Germany claims that not only the Sudeten Germans are terminally oppressed by the Czechs, but that even 300 Sudeten Germans have been killed by the Czechs. (They weren't, but the press ran with it anyway.) Benes is slow to issue clarifications. (Presumably because it's damn near impossible to prove a negative.) The Runciman report confirms that the Sudeten ARE treated rather tactlessly, and just about the only good thing it has to say about the handling of that situation by the Czech government is that it's not outright terrorist.

Even without that, at the end of WW2 everyone proclaimed the right of everyone to self- determination. Which was used to dismember the losing nations. So now Hitler is asking: why don't the Sudeten have the same right?

Now what?

So now you have to explain at home why you want to start a war, AND break a pact by threatening war, to... deny the Sudeten the right you've been proclaiming for the last 20 years straight.

But anyway, at the end of the day, the charge against Chamberlain is basically, what? That he actually sought a peaceful resolution, AS STIPULATED IN A PACT SIGNED BY THE UK?
Speaking of simplifications thanks for the examples.

For example the Kellogg–Briand Pact. First the pact did not outlaw wars in self defence against attack. Secondly it was a public relations exercise not taken with complete or very much seriousness by the diplomats at the time, or National Governments. It was however a public relations exercise done to satisfy the public desire to do something to avoid another Great War. It had of course absolutely no effect on the various European powers when it came to crushing colonial revolts. The pact was a nice piece of public relations massaging, it's influence on actual governments and diplomats was bluntly very limited. At best it was a document of aspiration.

As for the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936. Keep in mind the following. The remilitarization occurred a few months after the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, (An independent nation with a seat in the League of Nations.), in an act of blatant aggression that set the stage for 5 years of gruesome atrocities in that country at the hands of the Italians. The feckless response of the French and English to that made Hitler think he could get away with remilitarization of the Rhineland. He was right. And may I repeat for the another time in a long list of times; Hitler had given specific instructions that if the French sent in any troops in response into the Rhineland all German troops would withdraw at once. The French, Belgics and British would not have needed and did not need to declare war at all. And may I point out the remilitarization of the Rhineland was a clear and brazen violation of the Treaty of Versailles and such violations of a treaty are traditionally considered good and moral reasons for a forceful response. And has I mentioned above there was very little danger of war if the allies had responded by sending troops in, instead very likely the Nazi regime would likely have been fatally discredited.

And may I point out Nazi Germany didn't sign the Kellogg-Brand Pact and both French and British intelligence knew about Nazi expansionistic plans in Europe.

As for breaking the pact, well since Germany had broken the peace treaty of Versailles the allies could have said that the Germans were the aggressors, which they were, and that demanded a forceful response. That would not have broken the Kellogg-Brand pact at all. But then the pact was basically meaningless public relations, which diplomats didn't take all together seriously in the first place.

As for Munich. You seem to not know that Hitler, really, really, wanted a war with Czechoslovakia. He didn't want just the Sudeten Land Germans he wanted the whole country. And that was clear at the time to a lot of people not lost in illusions. Hitler kept upping the ante in negotiations because he wanted war. It was not Britain and France that wanted war over Czechoslovakia but Hitler. And Hitler did an enormous amount to try to get the war he wanted. It was Hitler's Generals who forced Hitler to back down, because they were rightly convinced that a war with France and Britain at this time would be a disaster and basically forced Hitler to back down and more or less get the samething without war. And of course Munich took place in a atmosphere of a rising tide of aggression by various states. (Japans invasion of China for one.)

Of course Hitler and German propaganda shrieked a great deal about the plight of the Sudeten Germans and their right to self determination. A right the European powers didn't feel applied to Colonial peoples or the fact that by 1938 the concept was held in severe disrepute in Europe by diplomats because of the mess it had created in Europe after the Great War. Needless to say though the Sudeten Germans didn't just serve has a handy propaganda tool for the Nazis they also served has a useful tool for France and Britain to pressure the Czechs to accept suicidal terms. The Runciman report is useful in that it was designed to give the British and French what they wanted to hear in order to pressure the Czechs. Lets just say Runciman's report while not fanciful was exaggerated.

Like the Kelllogg-Brand pact self determination was subject to the real-politick interests of the great powers, or should I say perceived real-politick interests. You see many of the politicians in Britain and France didn't want war and so used all sorts of excuses to avoid it. It was actually quite utterly cynical. It was very clear at the time that Hitler could not be trusted, that his aim was the annexation of all of Czechoslovakia. (The self determination of the Czechs ad Slovaks, like that of the Ethiopians didn't matter much to them.)

Chamberlain thought of himself has a politician practicing real-politick, not an idealist working for peace. In fact it appears that Chamberlain viewed the Kellogg-Brand pact has a nice piece of airy abstractions not to be taken too seriously. He had the same attitude regarding "self determination". Has for "idealism" Chamberlain and the French seemed to have had no problem forcing a democracy to commit suicide solely to support what they thought was real-politick in their own interest.

Chamberlain honestly and absolutely believed that going to war with Germany in 1938 was not in the best real-politick interests of Britain and her Empire. In the face of that "idealism" meant very little to him. He also made damn sure that has much has possible the advice and information that reached him fitted those preconceptions. The result was Chamberlain, seriously overestimated, in 1938 and later, the size and power of the German military and seriously overestimated the military "weakness" of France and Britain.

And has I mentioned before it was Hitler who wanted war and who did his level best to force one, until his Generals got him to back down. It is ironic that Hitler later on regretted Munich, and thought in retrospect it might have been better to have war then, in 1938, than later. Of course Hitler was wrong in this. But it is almost funny that Hitler's greatest diplomatic triumph, he later saw has a defeat. It is all most comically funny that Hitler was basically forced to accept via diplomatically virtually everything he wanted from an aggressive war. Of course the Czechs and the Slovaks didn't find it that funny. No doubt they were impressed by Chamberlain when Nazis officials starting arresting and torturing "enemies of the state", which included thousands of Sudeten Germans. But then in terms of cold blooded real-politick they just don't matter.

And if Chamberlain and the French were moved, they thought, by cold-blooded real-politick it was a curious form of real-politick. In that they kept undermining and destroying their interests, massively strengthening their great enemy, which was very obvious at the time. After Munich the British-French system of alliances in Eastern Europe largely fell apart, which was another foreseen development of Munich. And of course both Britain and France "guaranteed" the integrity of rump Czecholslovakia. And when Czechoslovakia was in fact absorbed in March 1939, Chamberlain did zero, except for a few frothy words which he was shocked that people took seriously. So much for observing that pact. And of course has mentioned before Chamberlain and his government disgraced themselves by in the wake of the occupation of Czechoslovakia turning over the Czech gold reserves held in the Bank England to the Nazis! Right tell the end Chamberlain tried to pursue appeasement, it didn't work in stopping war but it did help greatly strengthen Nazis Germany and undermine the interests of France and Britain.

Possibly the greatest mistake people make over Chamberlain's appeasement policy is assuming it was based on "idealism" etc. It wasn't. It was based on a rather constipated idea of real-politick which was ultimately based on a fear of war, that actually made things worst. Chamberlain was absolutely convinced that war would undermine the interests of Britain and her Empire, perhaps fatally, and therefore felt that appeasement was the ultimate in terms of realistic, unidealistic policy. Things like the Kellogg-Brand pact and self determination didn't mean much to him except has tools to help implement his real-politick strategy.

At the time their were so many who predicted the actual outcome of Munich and what it would mean. I find it very funny that sometimes politicians think they are pursuing real-politick but they aren't and appeasement is an excellent example of that.

Last edited by Pacal; 24th March 2019 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 24th March 2019, 10:20 AM   #2096
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
Speaking of simplifications thanks for the examples.

For example the Kellogg–Briand Pact. First the pact did not outlaw wars in self defence against attack.
Never said it did. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I said right in the part you quoted that someone who starts a war themselves loses the protection of the pact. So all in all, I'm not sure who that's actually aimed at, 'cause it has nothing to do with what I was saying.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
Secondly it was a public relations exercise not taken with complete or very much seriousness by the diplomats at the time, or National Governments. It was however a public relations exercise done to satisfy the public desire to do something to avoid another Great War. It had of course absolutely no effect on the various European powers when it came to crushing colonial revolts.
Again, I'm not sure why you think that's even relevant, since we're not talking about a colonial revolt. Such revolts were typically not considered an actual war, and even if you were to recognize it as one, the colony would be the one declaring the war of independence, and thus lose the protection of the pact.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
The pact was a nice piece of public relations massaging, it's influence on actual governments and diplomats was bluntly very limited. At best it was a document of aspiration.
Public relations are important for a democratically elected government.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
As for the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936. Keep in mind the following. The remilitarization occurred a few months after the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, (An independent nation with a seat in the League of Nations.), in an act of blatant aggression that set the stage for 5 years of gruesome atrocities in that country at the hands of the Italians. The feckless response of the French and English to that made Hitler think he could get away with remilitarization of the Rhineland. He was right. And may I repeat for the another time in a long list of times; Hitler had given specific instructions that if the French sent in any troops in response into the Rhineland all German troops would withdraw at once. The French, Belgics and British would not have needed and did not need to declare war at all. And may I point out the remilitarization of the Rhineland was a clear and brazen violation of the Treaty of Versailles and such violations of a treaty are traditionally considered good and moral reasons for a forceful response. And has I mentioned above there was very little danger of war if the allies had responded by sending troops in, instead very likely the Nazi regime would likely have been fatally discredited.
A fine gish-gallop that misses any point that I was making, and is a merry mix of stuff that's at best irrelevant and at worst silly. I mean, really? You can send troops into a country against their will, without needing to declare war? Seriously?

Or you can bypass a treaty that explicitly stipulates "disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin" by just saying, nah, but our reason used to be considered a moral response? Really?

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
And may I point out Nazi Germany didn't sign the Kellogg-Brand Pact
Bullcrap. Germany had signed it in 1928, and was still a signatory. I'm not sure what kind of confusion would make you think that it would need signing again every time the ruling party changes, or anything of the kind.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
and both French and British intelligence knew about Nazi expansionistic plans in Europe.
Nope, still not an actual clause in the pact. They had to actually declare war to lose the protection of the pact, not just have plans for one.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
As for breaking the pact, well since Germany had broken the peace treaty of Versailles the allies could have said that the Germans were the aggressors, which they were, and that demanded a forceful response. That would not have broken the Kellogg-Brand pact at all. But then the pact was basically meaningless public relations, which diplomats didn't take all together seriously in the first place.
Again, bullcrap. That's not what the treaty actually says. Again, the only exception listed that would cause one to lose the protection of the pact is declaring war against another signatory. Period. Silly ideas like boohoo, they broke a completely different treaty, so let's teach them a lesson are exactly what it was supposed to prevent.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
As for Munich. You seem to not know that Hitler, really, really, wanted a war with Czechoslovakia. He didn't want just the Sudeten Land Germans he wanted the whole country. And that was clear at the time to a lot of people not lost in illusions. Hitler kept upping the ante in negotiations because he wanted war. It was not Britain and France that wanted war over Czechoslovakia but Hitler. And Hitler did an enormous amount to try to get the war he wanted. It was Hitler's Generals who forced Hitler to back down, because they were rightly convinced that a war with France and Britain at this time would be a disaster and basically forced Hitler to back down and more or less get the samething without war. And of course Munich took place in a atmosphere of a rising tide of aggression by various states. (Japans invasion of China for one.)
Not sure where I said otherwise, but I guess when you have a speech prepared, might as well do it even if it's fully irrelevant to what was actually being said

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
Of course Hitler and German propaganda shrieked a great deal about the plight of the Sudeten Germans and their right to self determination. A right the European powers didn't feel applied to Colonial peoples
Still not sure why that's relevant, because Czechoslovakia wasn't a colony. The idea that it's not for every race was actually clear for everyone since 1919, when they rejected Japan's plea to make it actually say it's for everyone.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
or the fact that by 1938 the concept was held in severe disrepute in Europe by diplomats because of the mess it had created in Europe after the Great War. Needless to say though the Sudeten Germans didn't just serve has a handy propaganda tool for the Nazis they also served has a useful tool for France and Britain to pressure the Czechs to accept suicidal terms.
You realize you're making my point, right? It was useful for propaganda BECAUSE it was an easier sell to the people at home that you really care about that (duly noted, in Europe, not in India) than to say that it had been all a piece of diplomatic hypocrisy in the first place.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
The Runciman report is useful in that it was designed to give the British and French what they wanted to hear in order to pressure the Czechs. Lets just say Runciman's report while not fanciful was exaggerated.
Maybe. It still made one choice easier than another.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
Like the Kelllogg-Brand pact self determination was subject to the real-politick interests of the great powers, or should I say perceived real-politick interests.
Obviously.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
You see many of the politicians in Britain and France didn't want war and so used all sorts of excuses to avoid it.
Sure, but they also represented the rest of the society, which also didn't want a war. Which was my point all along.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
It was actually quite utterly cynical. It was very clear at the time that Hitler could not be trusted, that his aim was the annexation of all of Czechoslovakia. (The self determination of the Czechs ad Slovaks, like that of the Ethiopians didn't matter much to them.)
Maybe. But until he actually went and made a mess in Czechoslovakia, he still was under the protection of the treaty.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
Chamberlain thought of himself has a politician practicing real-politick, not an idealist working for peace.
Never said he was an idealist, so again I'm unsure who you're really answering to.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
In fact it appears that Chamberlain viewed the Kellogg-Brand pact has a nice piece of airy abstractions not to be taken too seriously. He had the same attitude regarding "self determination". Has for "idealism" Chamberlain and the French seemed to have had no problem forcing a democracy to commit suicide solely to support what they thought was real-politick in their own interest.

Chamberlain honestly and absolutely believed that going to war with Germany in 1938 was not in the best real-politick interests of Britain and her Empire. In the face of that "idealism" meant very little to him.
Ditto.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
He also made damn sure that has much has possible the advice and information that reached him fitted those preconceptions. The result was Chamberlain, seriously overestimated, in 1938 and later, the size and power of the German military and seriously overestimated the military "weakness" of France and Britain.
Citation please. What other estimates were made at the time, and what is the evidence that they were filtered like that?

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
And has I mentioned before it was Hitler who wanted war and who did his level best to force one, until his Generals got him to back down. It is ironic that Hitler later on regretted Munich, and thought in retrospect it might have been better to have war then, in 1938, than later. Of course Hitler was wrong in this. But it is almost funny that Hitler's greatest diplomatic triumph, he later saw has a defeat. It is all most comically funny that Hitler was basically forced to accept via diplomatically virtually everything he wanted from an aggressive war.
Yes, well, nobody said that Hitler was always rational

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
Of course the Czechs and the Slovaks didn't find it that funny. No doubt they were impressed by Chamberlain when Nazis officials starting arresting and torturing "enemies of the state", which included thousands of Sudeten Germans. But then in terms of cold blooded real-politick they just don't matter.
Still not sure what that has to do with anything I was saying, other than as an appeal to emotion.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
And if Chamberlain and the French were moved, they thought, by cold-blooded real-politick it was a curious form of real-politick. In that they kept undermining and destroying their interests, massively strengthening their great enemy, which was very obvious at the time. After Munich the British-French system of alliances in Eastern Europe largely fell apart, which was another foreseen development of Munich. And of course both Britain and France "guaranteed" the integrity of rump Czecholslovakia. And when Czechoslovakia was in fact absorbed in March 1939, Chamberlain did zero, except for a few frothy words which he was shocked that people took seriously. So much for observing that pact. And of course has mentioned before Chamberlain and his government disgraced themselves by in the wake of the occupation of Czechoslovakia turning over the Czech gold reserves held in the Bank England to the Nazis! Right tell the end Chamberlain tried to pursue appeasement, it didn't work in stopping war but it did help greatly strengthen Nazis Germany and undermine the interests of France and Britain.
That's a different topic than the appeasement in '38, innit? Sure, they could have gone to war in '39, but that's a different topic.

Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
Possibly the greatest mistake people make over Chamberlain's appeasement policy is assuming it was based on "idealism" etc. It wasn't. It was based on a rather constipated idea of real-politick which was ultimately based on a fear of war, that actually made things worst. Chamberlain was absolutely convinced that war would undermine the interests of Britain and her Empire, perhaps fatally, and therefore felt that appeasement was the ultimate in terms of realistic, unidealistic policy. Things like the Kellogg-Brand pact and self determination didn't mean much to him except has tools to help implement his real-politick strategy.

At the time their were so many who predicted the actual outcome of Munich and what it would mean. I find it very funny that sometimes politicians think they are pursuing real-politick but they aren't and appeasement is an excellent example of that.
Again, I'm not sure where I said or implied that Chamberlain was an idealist. Seriously, which part about having to sell a war and its reasons to the electorate at home sounds to you like I'm talking about an idealist? If other unspecified people hold that opinion, please do set them straight
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Old 24th March 2019, 02:21 PM   #2097
Pacal
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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

Speaking of simplifications thanks for the examples.

For example the Kellogg–Briand Pact. First the pact did not outlaw wars in self defence against attack.
Never said it did. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I said right in the part you quoted that someone who starts a war themselves loses the protection of the pact. So all in all, I'm not sure who that's actually aimed at, 'cause it has nothing to do with what I was saying.
Actually it does because efforts to stop Nazi Germany can very easily be called self defence. And lets face it self defence can be a slippery concept. Hitler used it in his attack on Poland.

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

Secondly it was a public relations exercise not taken with complete or very much seriousness by the diplomats at the time, or National Governments. It was however a public relations exercise done to satisfy the public desire to do something to avoid another Great War. It had of course absolutely no effect on the various European powers when it came to crushing colonial revolts.
Again, I'm not sure why you think that's even relevant, since we're not talking about a colonial revolt. Such revolts were typically not considered an actual war, and even if you were to recognize it as one, the colony would be the one declaring the war of independence, and thus lose the protection of the pact.
Again your missing the point. The point is the pact was pure public relations and not intended to have much if any actual impact. And the entire exercise was swathed in hypocrisy. It was not intended to provide "protection" or anything else and it had very little to no effect on the actual conduct of diplomacy etc.

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

The pact was a nice piece of public relations massaging, it's influence on actual governments and diplomats was bluntly very limited. At best it was a document of aspiration.
Public relations are important for a democratically elected government.
Again its actual effect on the behavior of governments was minimal. It was propaganda and was not intended to supersede Treaties like The Treaty of Versailles.

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

As for the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936. Keep in mind the following. The remilitarization occurred a few months after the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, (An independent nation with a seat in the League of Nations.), in an act of blatant aggression that set the stage for 5 years of gruesome atrocities in that country at the hands of the Italians. The feckless response of the French and English to that made Hitler think he could get away with remilitarization of the Rhineland. He was right. And may I repeat for the another time in a long list of times; Hitler had given specific instructions that if the French sent in any troops in response into the Rhineland all German troops would withdraw at once. The French, Belgics and British would not have needed and did not need to declare war at all. And may I point out the remilitarization of the Rhineland was a clear and brazen violation of the Treaty of Versailles and such violations of a treaty are traditionally considered good and moral reasons for a forceful response. And has I mentioned above there was very little danger of war if the allies had responded by sending troops in, instead very likely the Nazi regime would likely have been fatally discredited.
A fine gish-gallop that misses any point that I was making, and is a merry mix of stuff that's at best irrelevant and at worst silly. I mean, really? You can send troops into a country against their will, without needing to declare war? Seriously?

Or you can bypass a treaty that explicitly stipulates "disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin" by just saying, nah, but our reason used to be considered a moral response? Really?
Seriously? So it is irrelevant that Ethiopia was conquered and the British and France let it happen despite the alleged contents of the Kellogg-Brand pact and that this encouraged Hitler to remilitarize the Rhineland. It is also irrelevant that Hitler made it very clear to his commanders that if France sent troops into the Rhineland he would withdraw his troops. And yes you can send troops into a country against their will without a declaration of war. It happened in 1923 with the French Belgic occupation of the Ruhr. And yes troops can be sent in without declaring war at all. You've heard of Vietnam and Afghanistan haven't you? And may I point out that by sending troops into the Rhineland Hitler was violating the Treaty of Versailles and in effect was declaring war. A fact Hitler was all too well aware of. I could of course give example after example of troops invading a country without declaring war. The Kellogg-Brand pact was just that a pact. May I repeat myself it was not taken very seriously at the time. May I also repeat that sending troops into the Rhineland in violation of the Treaty of Versailles was an act of war. Sending troops in response would have been perfectly reasonable.

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

And may I point out Nazi Germany didn't sign the Kellogg-Brand Pact
Bullcrap. Germany had signed it in 1928, and was still a signatory. I'm not sure what kind of confusion would make you think that it would need signing again every time the ruling party changes, or anything of the kind.
In the case of Nazi Germany yes. Given that they were not just a new party in power but a New government that did not consider themselves bound by Treaties negotiated by the Weimer Republic. In fact the Nazis publically rejected the Kellogg-Brand pact. Of course they were careful about publicizing that. And in fact they considered that they had finished the Weimer republic once and for all. I do suggest you read The Foreign Policy of Hitler's Germany, (two volumes), By Gerhard L. Weinberg, to find out just how much utter contempt the Nazis had for the Treaties signed by the Weimer Republic and all other Treaties for that matter. And once again why do you consider a piece of puff propaganda binding in anyway to begin with?

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

and both French and British intelligence knew about Nazi expansionistic plans in Europe.
Nope, still not an actual clause in the pact. They had to actually declare war to lose the protection of the pact, not just have plans for one.
Sending troops into the Rhineland in violation of the Treaty of Versailles was an act of war in and of itself. And just why are you so wedded to the idea that the Kellogg-Brand pact means much of anything at all except has a statement of good intentions. You do realize that you can invade a country without declaring war. It happens a lot.

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

As for breaking the pact, well since Germany had broken the peace treaty of Versailles the allies could have said that the Germans were the aggressors, which they were, and that demanded a forceful response. That would not have broken the Kellogg-Brand pact at all. But then the pact was basically meaningless public relations, which diplomats didn't take all together seriously in the first place.
Again, bullcrap. That's not what the treaty actually says. Again, the only exception listed that would cause one to lose the protection of the pact is declaring war against another signatory. Period. Silly ideas like boohoo, they broke a completely different treaty, so let's teach them a lesson are exactly what it was supposed to prevent.
The Kellogg-Brand pact was not intended to supersede the Treaty of Versailles. Your faith in the validity of the Kellogg-Brand pact is touching and very funny. The Treaty that mattered was Versailles not Kellogg-Brand. The Kellogg-Brand Treaty was designed to indicate a desire that stopping wars between states was a good thing not to render utterly impotent acting against aggressors. anyway.

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

As for Munich. You seem to not know that Hitler, really, really, wanted a war with Czechoslovakia. He didn't want just the Sudeten Land Germans he wanted the whole country. And that was clear at the time to a lot of people not lost in illusions. Hitler kept upping the ante in negotiations because he wanted war. It was not Britain and France that wanted war over Czechoslovakia but Hitler. And Hitler did an enormous amount to try to get the war he wanted. It was Hitler's Generals who forced Hitler to back down, because they were rightly convinced that a war with France and Britain at this time would be a disaster and basically forced Hitler to back down and more or less get the samething without war. And of course Munich took place in a atmosphere of a rising tide of aggression by various states. (Japans invasion of China for one.)
Not sure where I said otherwise, but I guess when you have a speech prepared, might as well do it even if it's fully irrelevant to what was actually being said.
I find it funny you don't get what I'm getting at. Hitler wanted a war and pushed the world to the brink to get it. At the time many thought that was the case. His backing down had little to do with Chamberlain etc., and everything to do with the German Generals. Negotiating with such a person is shall we say self defeating, which soon became apparent to any but the most hidebound appeaser. You seemed to have assumed that France and Britain would have had a choice about war in 1938. Well Hitler made every effort to make sure they did not and only backed down at the last moment. And astoundingly France and Britain gave Hitler just about everything he wanted, but he later still complained about not getting exactly what he wanted.

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

Of course Hitler and German propaganda shrieked a great deal about the plight of the Sudeten Germans and their right to self determination. A right the European powers didn't feel applied to Colonial peoples.
Still not sure why that's relevant, because Czechoslovakia wasn't a colony. The idea that it's not for every race was actually clear for everyone since 1919, when they rejected Japan's plea to make it actually say it's for everyone.
It's relevant because it shows the selectivity and hypocrisy of claiming "self determination" has an excuse for appeasement. It was little more than an excuse.

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

or the fact that by 1938 the concept was held in severe disrepute in Europe by diplomats because of the mess it had created in Europe after the Great War. Needless to say though the Sudeten Germans didn't just serve has a handy propaganda tool for the Nazis they also served has a useful tool for France and Britain to pressure the Czechs to accept suicidal terms.
You realize you're making my point, right? It was useful for propaganda BECAUSE it was an easier sell to the people at home that you really care about that (duly noted, in Europe, not in India) than to say that it had been all a piece of diplomatic hypocrisy in the first place.
And your making my point. "self determination" like the Kellogg-Brand pact were mere tools, puff pieces to sell a policy decided for other reasons. I.e., another Great War would be bad for Britain and France and must be avoided at all costs even if it involved cutting your own throat. This was the real-politick that appeasement served. Thus Germany's act of aggression in remilitarizing the Rhineland could be ignored, not because a forceful policy would violate the Kellogg-Brand pact, which was considered basically a nice piece of aspirations on paper with little to no application to the real world. After all Kellogg-Brand wasn't used for Ethiopia or China why would it suddenly apply to the Rhineland anyway?

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

The Runciman report is useful in that it was designed to give the British and French what they wanted to hear in order to pressure the Czechs. Lets just say Runciman's report while not fanciful was exaggerated.
Maybe. It still made one choice easier than another.
Of course it did. It did what it was designed to do or least was interpreted in that way.

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

Like the Kelllogg-Brand pact self determination was subject to the real-politick interests of the great powers, or should I say perceived real-politick interests.
Obviously.
I agree the problem was that the perceived real-politick interests were in fact wrong and all these alleged hard nosed realists were in fact living in an illusion. Something that was perceived by many, correctly, has an illusion at the time.

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You see many of the politicians in Britain and France didn't want war and so used all sorts of excuses to avoid it.
Sure, but they also represented the rest of the society, which also didn't want a war. Which was my point all along.
By 1938 your exaggerating the extent of appeasement sentiment in Britain. Further the fact that "society", (Actually large sections of the British public would be better.), continued to believe in a suicidal policy doesn't do much to make it less dumb. The bottom line Appeasement was a bad policy and even worst it was to a large extent ineptly executed. (Far too much of the time it came across ha giving into blackmail.) I should also point out Chamberlain devoted a lot of effort via his contacts in the media to encourage support for appeasement. In fact it amounted to a propaganda campaign.

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It was actually quite utterly cynical. It was very clear at the time that Hitler could not be trusted, that his aim was the annexation of all of Czechoslovakia. (The self determination of the Czechs and Slovaks, like that of the Ethiopians didn't matter much to them.)
Maybe. But until he actually went and made a mess in Czechoslovakia, he still was under the protection of the treaty.
If your referring to Kellogg-Brand; that is very funny. The Treaty was like a lot international agreements, a nice bit of pious cant not worth very much and of zero importance at the time. And of course by Hitler by act of war in sending troops into the Rhineland had already committed an act of war. So much for Kellogg-Brand.

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Chamberlain thought of himself has a politician practicing real-politick, not an idealist working for peace.
Never said he was an idealist, so again I'm unsure who you're really answering to.
You keep referring to the Kellogg-Brand pact, which is a piece of pie in the sky idealism has if it had any impact on Chamberlain's policy. It didn't. He was practicing a version of real-politick, although badly. That agreement is of zero relevance, except has a statement of aspiration, in discussing appeasement and Chamberlain's policy. So why are you bringing it up?

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

In fact it appears that Chamberlain viewed the Kellogg-Brand pact has a nice piece of airy abstractions not to be taken too seriously. He had the same attitude regarding "self determination". Has for "idealism" Chamberlain and the French seemed to have had no problem forcing a democracy to commit suicide solely to support what they thought was real-politick in their own interest.

Chamberlain honestly and absolutely believed that going to war with Germany in 1938 was not in the best real-politick interests of Britain and her Empire. In the face of that "idealism" meant very little to him.
Ditto.
So the Kellogg-Brand pact is indeed of zero relevance in this matter.

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He also made damn sure that has much has possible the advice and information that reached him fitted those preconceptions. The result was Chamberlain, seriously overestimated, in 1938 and later, the size and power of the German military and seriously overestimated the military "weakness" of France and Britain.
Citation please. What other estimates were made at the time, and what is the evidence that they were filtered like that?
Go read past posts in this thread. It is very well known that Chamberlain did in fact overestimate German strength and underestimate French and British strength. It is also very well known that Chamberlain liked to be surrounded by men who agreed with him. May I suggest On the Origins of War, Donald Kagan, pp. 366-382, 390-414., as a start.

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And has I mentioned before it was Hitler who wanted war and who did his level best to force one, until his Generals got him to back down. It is ironic that Hitler later on regretted Munich, and thought in retrospect it might have been better to have war then, in 1938, than later. Of course Hitler was wrong in this. But it is almost funny that Hitler's greatest diplomatic triumph, he later saw has a defeat. It is all most comically funny that Hitler was basically forced to accept via diplomatically virtually everything he wanted from an aggressive war.
Yes, well, nobody said that Hitler was always rational
Sadly people like Chamberlain thought Hitler was rational.

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Of course the Czechs and the Slovaks didn't find it that funny. No doubt they were impressed by Chamberlain when Nazis officials starting arresting and torturing "enemies of the state", which included thousands of Sudeten Germans. But then in terms of cold blooded real-politick they just don't matter.
Still not sure what that has to do with anything I was saying, other than as an appeal to emotion.
I just thought the consequence of appeasement for the peoples of Czechoslovakia are worth considering. But then to people like Chamberlain they really didn't matter. Real-politick and all that.

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

And if Chamberlain and the French were moved, they thought, by cold-blooded real-politick it was a curious form of real-politick. In that they kept undermining and destroying their interests, massively strengthening their great enemy, which was very obvious at the time. After Munich the British-French system of alliances in Eastern Europe largely fell apart, which was another foreseen development of Munich. And of course both Britain and France "guaranteed" the integrity of rump Czecholslovakia. And when Czechoslovakia was in fact absorbed in March 1939, Chamberlain did zero, except for a few frothy words which he was shocked that people took seriously. So much for observing that pact. And of course has mentioned before Chamberlain and his government disgraced themselves by in the wake of the occupation of Czechoslovakia turning over the Czech gold reserves held in the Bank England to the Nazis! Right tell the end Chamberlain tried to pursue appeasement, it didn't work in stopping war but it did help greatly strengthen Nazis Germany and undermine the interests of France and Britain.
That's a different topic than the appeasement in '38, innit? Sure, they could have gone to war in '39, but that's a different topic.
Nope it isn't. The consequences of Munich were readily apparent at the time and so was the rather obvious fact that appeasement was not in fact real-politick but only had the appearance of such. It was widely suspected that Hitler wanted the whole of Czechoslovakia, which was correct. It was widely felt that the French / British alliance system in Eastern Europe would fall apart if something like Munich happened. They were right. In fact after Munich Trotsky, of all people, was predicting some sort of pact between Hitler and Stalin. What happened in 1938 is directly relevant to what happened in 1939 and is not a separate topic.

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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post

Possibly the greatest mistake people make over Chamberlain's appeasement policy is assuming it was based on "idealism" etc. It wasn't. It was based on a rather constipated idea of real-politick which was ultimately based on a fear of war, that actually made things worst. Chamberlain was absolutely convinced that war would undermine the interests of Britain and her Empire, perhaps fatally, and therefore felt that appeasement was the ultimate in terms of realistic, unidealistic policy. Things like the Kellogg-Brand pact and self determination didn't mean much to him except has tools to help implement his real-politick strategy.

At the time their were so many who predicted the actual outcome of Munich and what it would mean. I find it very funny that sometimes politicians think they are pursuing real-politick but they aren't and appeasement is an excellent example of that.
Again, I'm not sure where I said or implied that Chamberlain was an idealist. Seriously, which part about having to sell a war and its reasons to the electorate at home sounds to you like I'm talking about an idealist? If other unspecified people hold that opinion, please do set them straight.
You keep bringing up the Kellogg-Brand pact, a perfect example of idealistic prattle, of little real world consequence at the time. That is why I said the above. My other point is that Chamberlain's / Appeaser's real-politick was not in fact very real-politick. It was a bad policy ineptly executed in the face of what looked like sheer blackmail.

I am also amused by the notion that the fact Hitler had ordered his troops to leave the Rhine lands if the French sent troops in, response to the Germans violating the Treaty of Versailles by sending in troops themselves, is silly and irrelevant to discussing the Rhineland crisis of 1936. The bottom line is that their would have been no almost certainly no war. The Nazis government would have been discredited and possibly future history changed for the better.
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Old Yesterday, 01:14 AM   #2098
HansMustermann
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No, what's silly and irrelevant are dumbass rationalizations like that you can call someone's NOT declaring war an act of war, whereas actually sending troops into someone else's country would somehow not be. Throw in some more appeals to consequeces, a few red herrings, and generally, the last time I've seen this much reality distortion field was in religion apologetics.

At the point where your argument revolves around even redefining words to seem like you have a point, frankly is there even a point in having a discussion?
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Old Yesterday, 01:57 AM   #2099
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Anyway, let's look at why Chamberlain might not have been all that sure about the French at the time: which French? When dealing with another country, you deal with its government, and French governments weren't exactly stable at the time. I fact, they were about as stable as a blender full of nitroglycerin. They had governments that lasted mere days.

That's not even a hyperbole. For example Fernand Bouisson had lasted as a prime minister from 1 to 7 June 1935. At the time of the Sudeten crisis, the French had just changed two governments in that year alone: in March AND then April of 1938.

So, uh, yeah, EXACTLY the kind of allies you want to be relying on in a war, eh?
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Old Yesterday, 03:25 AM   #2100
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
"
By the end of 1938, the chance had gone. All indications were that if the Maginot Line could be bypassed around the north, which seemed an inevitable probability to those who knew the strength of the German armour, then there was little doubt that there would be complete defeat in France.
"

That's a complete misinterpretation of the events of May 1940.
Commander F. W. Winterbotham completely misinterpreted the events of May 1940?
Yes, that quote I quoted is a complete misinterpretation of the events of May 1940.

First off, bypassing the Maginot line is what was expected. Indeed, had the Germans used their original plan (Schlieffen-revisited) then I have little doubt we would not have seen a collapse of the French. The German armour had issues when tackling well equipped troops.

So it's not the bypassing of the Maginot Line that was the issue.

So that narrows it down to the actual plan used, and even that success was pretty much predicated on the, frankly, uselessness of Gamelin, and his decision to use crap troops in his hinge in front of the Ardennes. Stick someone actually kitted out with anti-tank weapons...

ETA (forgot a "not" in the second para!)

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Old Yesterday, 03:52 AM   #2101
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
I am also amused by the notion that the fact Hitler had ordered his troops to leave the Rhine lands if the French sent troops in, response to the Germans violating the Treaty of Versailles by sending in troops themselves, is silly and irrelevant to discussing the Rhineland crisis of 1936. The bottom line is that their would have been no almost certainly no war. The Nazis government would have been discredited and possibly future history changed for the better.
Nobody in their right mind would have gone to war over Hitler's occupation of the Rhineland. It would have been a wild project. Similarly the Sudetenland crisis in 1938 would have been another wild project without the support of any other allies. With what?
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Old Yesterday, 04:22 AM   #2102
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Nobody in their right mind would have gone to war over Hitler's occupation of the Rhineland. It would have been a wild project. Similarly the Sudetenland crisis in 1938 would have been another wild project without the support of any other allies. With what?
For god's sake, we've been over this!
What allies? Well, it would have been Britain, France, Russia and Czechoslovakia for starters.

What with? Well, us and the French had a fair amount of useful kit...
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Old Yesterday, 06:14 AM   #2103
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post

So that narrows it down to the actual plan used, and even that success was pretty much predicated on the, frankly, uselessness of Gamelin, and his decision to use crap troops in his hinge in front of the Ardennes. Stick someone actually kitted out with anti-tank weapons...
Positioning 'weak' units in a part of the line not expected to be attacked is not unusual though.
It frees up better equipped forces to be used elsewhere.
As we know pushing armoured divisions through the Ardennes was unprecedented at the time.
A lesson lost on the allies later in the war in the same area.
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Old Yesterday, 10:07 AM   #2104
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Gamelin is still to blame, though, for overruling the reports that the Germans HAVE been spotted coming through the Ardennes. Not expecting it, sure, I can understand that. Ignoring your own intel is a whole other issue, though.
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Old Yesterday, 10:11 AM   #2105
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
For god's sake, we've been over this!
What allies? Well, it would have been Britain, France, Russia and Czechoslovakia for starters.

What with? Well, us and the French had a fair amount of useful kit...
There is a sensible article with regard to France and Soviet Russia and their attitude to the Sudetenland in 1938 at this website:

https://history.blog.gov.uk/2013/09/...ich-agreement/

Quote:
France

France was joined in alliance with the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, but very reluctant to risk war with Germany, and certainly not without British support.

Some hoped that in the event of war the Soviet Union would fight on France’s side, but others were less sanguine and feared that neither Poland nor Roumania would willingly let Soviet troops pass through their territories.

On 29 September the French Foreign Minister begged the British Ambassador in Paris to urge on Chamberlain ‘how absolutely vital he felt it was that an arrangement should be reached over the Sudeten question at Munich at almost any price’.

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Old Yesterday, 10:50 AM   #2106
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
There is a sensible article with regard to France and Soviet Russia and their attitude to the Sudetenland in 1938 at this
So basically yet again you dredged up some blog that agrees with you? To date Henri the only thing you have persuaded anyone here of is that you know nothing about appeasement and that you are largely motivated to keep posting because of your hatred of Churchill.
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Old Today, 02:24 AM   #2107
Tolls
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Positioning 'weak' units in a part of the line not expected to be attacked is not unusual though.
It frees up better equipped forces to be used elsewhere.
As we know pushing armoured divisions through the Ardennes was unprecedented at the time.
A lesson lost on the allies later in the war in the same area.
Except that French wargaming in '38 showed the Ardennes was not impassable to armour, and was in fact not the defensive barrier the high command thought.

Gamelin was warned then, and again (as Hans says) in '40 when the Germans were building up to drive through there.

To stick troops who had no anti-tank kit to speak of at that point was a gross mistake. And the fact it happened again in 1944 doesn't absolve him of that.
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Old Today, 02:57 AM   #2108
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Oh, not just when they were building up. They had actually started moving through there when a plane saw them. But Gamelin decided that the pilot was just seeing things.

Also he wasn't just warned at the wargaming AND in '40. In the meantime even Churchill took the time to go over and tell him that that's a weak spot, but he dismissed that too.

Edit: I'd also add that they weren't just lacking AT abilities. Some of the French divisions were really just crap, and had massive morale problems too. To the point where, during his Ghost Division stunt, when going back with just an armoured car to see where the hell he left most of his division, Rommel ran into some motorized French infantry and just told them that THEY are the ones left behind enemy lines (actually HE was) and demanded their surrender, so they did. So he gets back to the German lines with 1 armored car and a whole bunch of trucks full of unguarded French prisoners just following him.

Really, some of their divisions may have had the spirit of the gallic cock, but that was more like the spirit of the gallic cock-up
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