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Tags "Dunkirk" , war movies , World War II history

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Old 21st April 2017, 08:46 AM   #41
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Beady View Post
Hitler saw the British as natural allies. I believe this was because he considered them as racial cousins to the Germans.

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Were Dutch people not also, or even more closely, racial cousins? How did he treat the Netherlands?
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Old 21st April 2017, 09:16 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Were Dutch people not also, or even more closely, racial cousins? How did he treat the Netherlands?
Beats me.

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Old 21st April 2017, 09:18 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Were Dutch people not also, or even more closely, racial cousins? How did he treat the Netherlands?
A damned sight less harshly than he treated the Poles or the Czechs. ISTR, also, that Denmark was given particularly light-handed treatment, to the extent that it wasn't till 1942 that the Nazis started arresting and deporting Danish Jews.

Dave

ETA: Not sure about the Czechs, actually; but certainly true of Poland.
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Old 21st April 2017, 10:57 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Aber View Post
Especially after the retreating British started the engines, drained the oil, and let them run until they seized up.
And this differed from parking a Brit vehicle for a week...how?
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Old 21st April 2017, 11:41 PM   #45
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
A damned sight less harshly than he treated the Poles or the Czechs. ISTR, also, that Denmark was given particularly light-handed treatment, to the extent that it wasn't till 1942 that the Nazis started arresting and deporting Danish Jews.

Dave

ETA: Not sure about the Czechs, actually; but certainly true of Poland.
Did he treat the Dutch state as a "natural ally" on grounds of the Germanic language spoken there? Or the Norwegians as "natural allies"? Granted he treated them better than he treated the Poles, but not as allies. He plundered and oppressed them.
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Old 22nd April 2017, 12:18 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Was Hitler capable of such restraint by that point? If he had been, he would have treated France with greater consideration when it capitulated. But instead he plundered that rich country mercilessly and imposed on it his insane racial obsessions.
I don't see how that follows. France fell quite quickly and without too much loss for the Germans, either in terms of blood or resources. Britain wouldn't have. Peace with Britain was in his best interests and would have allowed him to focus more resources on the conflict with the USSR. Whether or not he would have seen it that way is a different matter of course, but coming to terms of peace with an active foe is different in kind from showing restraint toward a defeated opponent.
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Old 22nd April 2017, 12:41 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Did he treat the Dutch state as a "natural ally" on grounds of the Germanic language spoken there? Or the Norwegians as "natural allies"? Granted he treated them better than he treated the Poles, but not as allies. He plundered and oppressed them.
True, the big difference was more that he was able to invade and conquer them. That's fundamentally different to a negotiated peace settlement. But there certainly were differences in how Nazi Germany treated conquered countries based on perceived racial characteristics; it was part of what defined Nazism.

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Old 22nd April 2017, 01:38 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I don't see how that follows. France fell quite quickly and without too much loss for the Germans, either in terms of blood or resources. Britain wouldn't have.
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
True, the big difference was more that he was able to invade and conquer them. That's fundamentally different to a negotiated peace settlement.
Can I let you two sort this out? Would he have treated the uk as an ally because it resisted him, or because it negotiated a capitulation to his power? Then he could have zapped the commies I suppose, either way.
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Old 22nd April 2017, 02:04 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Can I let you two sort this out? Would he have treated the uk as an ally because it resisted him, or because it negotiated a capitulation to his power? Then he could have zapped the commies I suppose, either way.
I don't think there's a difference here. Hitler was never in a position to invade and conquer Britain in the same way he did France, so the terms of any peace settlement would have to have been fundamentally different, which is pretty much what Roboramma just said. But I get the impression Hitler felt that Britain should have been either on his side or at worst neutral against the USSR, and that fighting Britain was the wrong war for Germany.

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Old 22nd April 2017, 03:49 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
I don't think there's a difference here. Hitler was never in a position to invade and conquer Britain in the same way he did France, so the terms of any peace settlement would have to have been fundamentally different, which is pretty much what Roboramma just said. But I get the impression Hitler felt that Britain should have been either on his side or at worst neutral against the USSR, and that fighting Britain was the wrong war for Germany.

Dave
Yep.
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Old 22nd April 2017, 06:35 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
I don't think there's a difference here. Hitler was never in a position to invade and conquer Britain in the same way he did France, so the terms of any peace settlement would have to have been fundamentally different, which is pretty much what Roboramma just said. But I get the impression Hitler felt that Britain should have been either on his side or at worst neutral against the USSR, and that fighting Britain was the wrong war for Germany.

Dave
I don't agree. I accept that Hitler's main chosen enemy was the USSR, but in fact he was no more capable of maintaining peaceful relations with the democratic imperialist powers than he was with the communist one. When he defeated one, e.g., France, Netherlands, Denmark or Belgium, he plundered and oppressed it ruthlessly. This was not a "wrong war" for Hitler.
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Old 22nd April 2017, 09:18 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
I accept that Hitler's main chosen enemy was the USSR, but in fact he was no more capable of maintaining peaceful relations with the democratic imperialist powers than he was with the communist one. When he defeated one, e.g., France, Netherlands, Denmark or Belgium, he plundered and oppressed it ruthlessly.
Is there a connection between the first sentence and the second?
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Old 22nd April 2017, 09:53 AM   #53
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Is there a connection between the first sentence and the second?
Why don't you simply say whatever it is you mean?
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Old 22nd April 2017, 02:48 PM   #54
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My grandfather had a rather different view from those above. He was a conscript in WW2. He said that the events pre-Dunkirk showed the professional army was not fit for purpose, the whole lot equipment and men were useless. His view was that most of the professional (peacetime soldiers) were more interested in finding a safe job than in fighting a war, Dunkirk allowed the re-equipment of the army and the realisation that the conscripts would be the ones to fight the war. His view was it was a propaganda success but Britain would have lost nothing of use if the army had not been evacuated. In his view conscripts wanted to win the war and go home, professional soldiers wanted to avoid the war. I suspect this was a bit unfair but may not have been a unique view.

Now what did he know? His brother was a professional soldier and spent most of the war in a prisoner of war camp. I never got a clear answer about what my grandfather did (he talked quite a lot about what he did in the war that was not fighting including taking me for a tour around London and explaining what it was like), the only active details I got was the he landed on D-day (he still remembered his landing craft allocation) and spent most of the subsequent period in advance of the allied front line doing SigInt, someone here may know what that actually entailed. The only other relevant fact is that he once said that that they were under orders to shoot their officers and not allow them to be captured because the unit were aware of enigma - the assumption being that the officer would be interrogated but not the squaddies. He also said that this was an obvious mistake because the officers did not really understand what the unit did, but the army insisted that they had an officer in charge.
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Old 22nd April 2017, 03:08 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
My grandfather had a rather different view from those above. He was a conscript in WW2. He said that the events pre-Dunkirk showed the professional army was not fit for purpose, the whole lot equipment and men were useless. His view was that most of the professional (peacetime soldiers) were more interested in finding a safe job than in fighting a war, Dunkirk allowed the re-equipment of the army and the realisation that the conscripts would be the ones to fight the war. His view was it was a propaganda success but Britain would have lost nothing of use if the army had not been evacuated. In his view conscripts wanted to win the war and go home, professional soldiers wanted to avoid the war. I suspect this was a bit unfair but may not have been a unique view.
.
Maybe not unique. But almost certainly wrong.
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Old 22nd April 2017, 05:44 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Why don't you simply say whatever it is you mean?
That's actually pretty much what I wanted to say to you. I'm not trying to hide my meaning here, but I'll try to make it more clear. You said that:

Quote:
I accept that Hitler's main chosen enemy was the USSR, but in fact he was no more capable of maintaining peaceful relations with the democratic imperialist powers than he was with the communist one.
Which might be true, but I'm not entirely convinced of that. I can see an argument for it, but rather than putting words in your mouth can you make the argument explicit?

You then said this:
Quote:
When he defeated one, e.g., France, Netherlands, Denmark or Belgium, he plundered and oppressed it ruthlessly.
And the placement in your post seems to imply that it's an argument to support the former point, but either you didn't mean it that way or you've failed to make that argument because there's no implicit connection between what he did after defeating those countries and the idea that he is incapable of maintaining peace.
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Old 23rd April 2017, 03:40 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
... And the placement in your post seems to imply that it's an argument to support the former point, but either you didn't mean it that way or you've failed to make that argument because there's no implicit connection between what he did after defeating those countries and the idea that he is incapable of maintaining peace.
There's a very clear logical connection. If Hitler had been concerned to maintain peace with France or the Netherlands, but somehow against his intentions he had become involved in a "wrong war" with them, when he really intended only to fight the commies - that is a preposterous reading of the situation by the way - then after defeating these unintended opponents, would he have treated them with such murderous rapacity?

He was hostile to these western powers and intended to defeat them if he could. We may recall that in the event he secured Soviet non-intervention before attacking the west. He went west first. That was not to him a "wrong war" waged by inadvertence against countries he would have preferred as allies.
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Old 23rd April 2017, 03:44 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Were Dutch people not also, or even more closely, racial cousins? How did he treat the Netherlands?
That was a major reason why the Netherlands had a civilian administration, headed by Seyss-Inquart, and not a military administration as most other Nazi-occupied territories. Hitler certainly intended to try and turn the Dutch to his cause, and go relatively easy on them.
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Old 23rd April 2017, 04:49 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
There's a very clear logical connection. If Hitler had been concerned to maintain peace with France or the Netherlands, but somehow against his intentions he had become involved in a "wrong war" with them, when he really intended only to fight the commies - that is a preposterous reading of the situation by the way - then after defeating these unintended opponents, would he have treated them with such murderous rapacity?
I don't think I ever suggested that Hitler had not intended to fight a war with the western european powers, so if that is what you were arguing against then I can only agree with you.

We seem to be disagreeing about the possibility of a peace agreement with Britain. That possibility, in my mind, would be based upon the fact that Germany had three possible weapons to use against Britain: invasion, blockade, and strategic bombing. In hindsight we can see that they wouldn't win the war with any of these, though at the time it wasn't so obvious. Still winning a war with Britain was obviously going to be more difficult, time consuming, and expensive than had been the war with France, and, particularly blockade did risk bringing the Americans into the conflict. Had Britain been willing to sue for peace, there are good reasons for Hitler to have considered it, as while it may have been an objective it certainly wasn't his only objective.

I would suggest that war with both Britain and France was pursued in order to avoid their interference with his other objectives. His initial victories may have been enough to win concessions in that regard, perhaps enough that he would have been happy with a peace.

I don't know, but it doesn't seem impossible to me.
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Old 23rd April 2017, 05:11 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
That was a major reason why the Netherlands had a civilian administration, headed by Seyss-Inquart, and not a military administration as most other Nazi-occupied territories. Hitler certainly intended to try and turn the Dutch to his cause, and go relatively easy on them.
The biographical record of this leader of a "civilian administration", who was finally executed for crimes against humanity, indicates that Hitler was incapable of displaying solicitude, even when it was in his interests to do so.
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Old 23rd April 2017, 05:37 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Dunkirk? Come on. It was a defeat, but with the effects somewhat diminished by the bold and daring rescue mission.

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That's probably the best way to describe it, a defeat followed by a successful rescue mission.
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Old 23rd April 2017, 08:22 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
The biographical record of this leader of a "civilian administration", who was finally executed for crimes against humanity, indicates that Hitler was incapable of displaying solicitude, even when it was in his interests to do so.
Oh, that idea quickly went south, but Seyss-Inquart started out with a charm offensive and little in the way of oppression - except of course against the Dutch Jews who were removed from their government jobs within a few months.
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Old 23rd April 2017, 01:03 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
A damned sight less harshly than he treated the Poles or the Czechs. ISTR, also, that Denmark was given particularly light-handed treatment, to the extent that it wasn't till 1942 that the Nazis started arresting and deporting Danish Jews.
1943 and even then, high ranking German officials made sure that the Jews were given as much advanced warning as possible.

It's always been interesting to watch the public debate on the occupation of Denmark, especially as of late. Most politicians still condemn the policies of Prime Minister Scavenius, despite the fact that most historians agree that it was the only way to keep Denmark from suffering the worst of the war.
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Old 26th April 2017, 09:58 AM   #64
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"We must be careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations."

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Old 2nd May 2017, 12:41 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
Part of the reason why it went so smoothly was Hitler ordering a stop.....
Hitler did not issue any stop orders. At this stage of the war, he wasn't about interfering with military decision making except at the highest level.

The stop order(s) were issued by Von Rundstedt for sound reasons.
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Old 5th May 2017, 03:44 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by TraneWreck View Post
Sure. It's an argument that only makes sense knowing what was to come.

You could have coexisted with Imperial Germany, and avoiding most of WWI is a benefit in its own right, but the real value lies in no Hitler, no Holocaust, arguably no Soviet Union....
And a lot more men alive to produce children who might be able to fight in WWII. Though not predictable at the time.....
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Old 13th May 2017, 01:52 AM   #67
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Evan if we could have somehow avoided getting entangled in 1939, Italian expansion into North Africa would have inevitably drawn us into the war.
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Old 13th May 2017, 02:18 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by thesplund View Post
Evan if we could have somehow avoided getting entangled in 1939, Italian expansion into North Africa would have inevitably drawn us into the war.
Can you justify that suggestion? The Italian colony of Libya had been in its possession since taken from the Ottomans in 1911; and absent a pre-existing state of war with France and the UK it seems improbable that Italy would have encroached on Tunisia or Egypt. Likewise it doesn't seem plausible that Italy would have attacked neighbouring territories in an attempt to expand its possessions in Ethiopia, unless already at war with the colonial powers.
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Old 15th May 2017, 04:38 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Can you justify that suggestion? The Italian colony of Libya had been in its possession since taken from the Ottomans in 1911; and absent a pre-existing state of war with France and the UK it seems improbable that Italy would have encroached on Tunisia or Egypt. Likewise it doesn't seem plausible that Italy would have attacked neighbouring territories in an attempt to expand its possessions in Ethiopia, unless already at war with the colonial powers.
Given Mussolini's propensity to attack when he felt that the other European powers were distracted, probably unable to mount a significant defence and therefore give him a bit of the international spotlight that the parvenu from Austria was hogging (the Italian contribution to the fall of France, and Italy's Albanian/Yugoslavian adventure spring to mind) I think it quite likely that if it looked like Germany was likely to win the war against Great Britain and the Commonwealth, that Italy would have launched an attack on British holdings in the Med if for nothing else then to ensure they got a seat at the table when said holdings were being distributed to the victors.
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Old 18th May 2017, 10:51 AM   #70
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BTW, we now have a full trailer for the upcoming Christpher Nolan film. Looks impressive.
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