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Old 11th February 2018, 01:39 AM   #481
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Just a side point. Stalin had intervened in the Spanish civil war therefore demonstrating a desire/ability to intervene outside of his own country and having no concerns about taking casualties.



A couple of hundred Soviets died in that war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreig...r#Soviet_Union
Was that a premeditated act of Soviet expansionism? Or was it an example of response to a fascist putsch, handled with his usual opportunism by Stalin? It illustrates something else: that in 1938 Nazi and Soviet military personnel were on opposite sides in a war. Soviet planes were engaging German ones. (ETA see Spanish_Republican_Air_ForceWP/ETA). Are we to believe that this war would be happening in Western Europe while the USSR collaborated with Germany in Central Europe, against one of he USSR's most valued allies?

Last edited by Craig B; 11th February 2018 at 02:29 AM. Reason: Add wiki link.
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Old 11th February 2018, 03:28 AM   #482
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
There may have been no guarantee Stalin would have joined the war in 1938, but the chances were far higher than a year later when he was an ally of Hitler and supplying Germany with much needed war materials. All of this after Hitler had acquired valuable equipment and industrial capacity after taking over a prostrate Czechoslovakia.

If you would like to make a case that the delay of 18 months before war broke out was more valuable to the UK than Nazi Germany, feel free. Up to this point all you've posted is irrelevant or just plain inaccurate information from second rate websites.
The geopolitical situation was more complex for Chamberlain than that. That's like saying Chamberlain should have gone to war in 1938 with what? Because he chose dishonour instead?:

http://markcallagher.com/history/ww2...-%20Gelber.pdf

Quote:
....... French* conducted* their* Moscow* negotiations* without*enthusiasm.*They*sent*comparatively*junior * officials*and*refused*to*engage*in*the*military*ta lks* which* the* Russians* thought* should* be* the* precondition,*not*the*consequence,*of*the*politica l* discussions.* These* discussions* finally* came* to* nothing.* The* major* reasons,* according* to* the* British*negotiator,*Mr.*William*(later*Lord)*Stran g,* were*twofold:* '……were*the*Western*Powers*to*be*trusted?*Woul d* they*not,*having*got*the*Soviet*Union*into*war,*le ave* her*to*bear*the*German*onslaught*alone?* 'The* British* Government* could* not* in* honour* disregard* Polish* (and* Rumanian)* susceptibilities.

* They*had*tried*to*find*a*way*to*bring*the*Soviet* Union* in* without* doing* violence* to* Poland's* interests.*The*question*was:*if*Soviet*troops*ente red* Poland,*even*in*Poland's*defence,*would*they*ever* quit?*This*was*a*question*which*was*never*satis** factorily*answered;*and*upon*it*the*whole*operatio n* ultimately*broke*down.'*

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Old 11th February 2018, 04:06 AM   #483
Henri McPhee
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I'm sorry about those stars which popped up in my previous post.

I remember years ago reading a book from the public library by a senior Czech military intelligence officer at the time of the Munich agreement. The trouble is I have now clean forgotten what he wrote, except for something saying that military intelligence is what is on the other side of the hill, and that he somehow managed to come to Britain during the war.
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Old 11th February 2018, 04:36 AM   #484
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I'm sorry about those stars which popped up in my previous post.

I remember years ago reading a book from the public library by a senior Czech military intelligence officer at the time of the Munich agreement. The trouble is I have now clean forgotten what he wrote, except for something saying that military intelligence is what is on the other side of the hill, and that he somehow managed to come to Britain during the war.
That isn't the most enlightening post on this subject.

To paraphrase,

I read a Czech officer's autobiography but can't remember anything except for one very obvious thing that he said and the fact that he ended up in Britain, but I can't remember the details... and nothing I remember has anything to do with appeasement
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Old 11th February 2018, 06:02 AM   #485
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The geopolitical situation was more complex for Chamberlain than that.
What do you base that claim on? you've offered nothing by the way of evidence to support, or established that your opinion should carry any weight, quite the opposite in fact.

Did Chamberlain see Munich as buying time, or did he genuinely think he had obtained 'peace in our time'?

Who benefited more from the Munich Agreement? Britain or Germany?

These are relevant questions in assessing Chamberlain and Munich and so far you've utterly failed to address either of them.
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Old 11th February 2018, 09:27 AM   #486
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
What do you base that claim on? you've offered nothing by the way of evidence to support, or established that your opinion should carry any weight, quite the opposite in fact.

Did Chamberlain see Munich as buying time, or did he genuinely think he had obtained 'peace in our time'?

Who benefited more from the Munich Agreement? Britain or Germany?

These are relevant questions in assessing Chamberlain and Munich and so far you've utterly failed to address either of them.
Chamberlain didn't genuinely believe in "peace in our time" any more than Farage and Boris Johnson believed in an extra £350 million for the NHS after Brexit. Our Secret Service knew from 1934 that Hitler intended to attack Russia, even if Stalin didn't believe it in 1939. Munich did buy time and allowed British armed forces and the RAF to become organised. There is a quote somewhere, which I now can't find, that Hitler blamed his loss of the war on Chamberlain. The matter is mentioned at this website, with which I agree:

http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.c...itains_03.html

Top secret intelligence decoding information was available to the British from 1940 onwards, even if it was in its infancy. As F.W Winterbotham wrote in that The Ultra Secret book 1974:

Quote:
While Britain waited, we in Intelligence believed that the German High Command wouldn't attempt the sea crossing so long as the Royal Air Force was still operational.
The RAF would not have been operational in 1938.

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Old 11th February 2018, 09:34 AM   #487
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But the Navy would have been there and in 1938 the Germans would have had even less naval assets than they had in 1940.
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Old 11th February 2018, 09:49 AM   #488
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
But the Navy would have been there and in 1938 the Germans would have had even less naval assets than they had in 1940.
The British Navy were in danger of being sitting ducks in 1938. It was not the same as in the First World War. Air power was now involved. From that The Ultra Secret book:

Quote:
The Germans needed total control of the air, not only for their massive air-lift operations and the defence of their seaborne armada, but also to ensure that no British ships could operate in the English Channel.
Britain would have lasted a week in 1938, and Churchill would have fled to America, even if the Czechs lasted for three months.
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Old 11th February 2018, 09:52 AM   #489
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How were the RN any more 'sitting ducks' in 1938 than they were in 1940?

Look att he attacks on shipping after Dunkirk and before the 'Blitz' proper. The Luftwaffe had a miserable score against ships in the Channel and North Sea.

How would the Germans have defended their strings of towed barges any more effectively in 1938 than they were expected to do in 1940?

All it needed was for a couple of Destroyer flotillas and a few Cruisers in among them and it would have been a massacre then just as it would have been later.
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Old 11th February 2018, 10:09 AM   #490
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The British Navy were in danger of being sitting ducks in 1938. It was not the same as in the First World War. Air power was now involved. From that The Ultra Secret book:



Britain would have lasted a week in 1938, and Churchill would have fled to America, even if the Czechs lasted for three months.
Utter nonsense, but gives you a pretext to include a completely unevidenced unprovable slander on Churchill. Maybe Chamberlain would not have fled, but would have personally surrendered to Hitler, and accepted appointment as Gauleiter, for all I know.
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Old 11th February 2018, 10:30 AM   #491
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I agree with what Chamberlain said about the matter:

http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.c...itains_03.html

Quote:
On the outbreak of war, Chamberlain said: “My long struggle for peace has failed.” Though he was convinced (and it may be true) that by delaying the start of what became known as World War II through the Munich settlement, he significantly increased Britain’s chances of victory. As he told the National Union in 1940:

“After the Munich agreement, the Labour Party were relieved that we had escaped the war. Now they want to know why we did not call Hitler’s bluff. If we get through this war successfully, then it will be to Munich that we shall owe it. In the condition our armaments were in at that time, if we had called Hitler’s bluff and he had called ours, I do not think we could have survived a week.”

‘Peace in our time’ provided valuable breathing space, for the Battle of Britain of 1940 was won only by a whisker, and would almost certainly have been lost had it taken place in 1938.

For this, we must thank Neville Chamberlain.

Last edited by Henri McPhee; 11th February 2018 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 11th February 2018, 10:39 AM   #492
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The RAF would not have been operational in 1938.
What are you talking about Henri? lol

Quote:
1 Jan 1939- At the turn of the year, RAF strength stood at 135 squadrons (74 Bomber, 27 Fighter, 12 Army co-operation, 17 Reconnaissance, 4 Torpedo-bomber and 1 Communications). In addition to this, the Auxiliary Air Force comprised 19 squadrons (3 Bomber, 11 Fighter, 2 Army co-operation and 3 Reconnaissance).
Quote:
On the whole, it appears very probable that in September 1939 the Luftwaffe was not as superior in the air as it had been a year earlier. Its first-line strength had grown from 2,847 in August 1938 to 3,609 in September 1939 whereas the British first-line metropolitan strength in mobilisable squadrons was 1,854 in September 1938 and 1,978 in September 1939.
http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/from...34-1940.html/8
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Old 11th February 2018, 10:42 AM   #493
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
How were the RN any more 'sitting ducks' in 1938 than they were in 1940?

Look att he attacks on shipping after Dunkirk and before the 'Blitz' proper. The Luftwaffe had a miserable score against ships in the Channel and North Sea.

How would the Germans have defended their strings of towed barges any more effectively in 1938 than they were expected to do in 1940?

All it needed was for a couple of Destroyer flotillas and a few Cruisers in among them and it would have been a massacre then just as it would have been later.
Yes but I seem to recall some bloke in the pub saying something about German engineering being really good.
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Old 11th February 2018, 11:18 AM   #494
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Chamberlain didn't genuinely believe in "peace in our time" any more than Farage and Boris Johnson believed in an extra £350 million for the NHS after Brexit. Our Secret Service knew from 1934 that Hitler intended to attack Russia, even if Stalin didn't believe it in 1939. Munich did buy time and allowed British armed forces and the RAF to become organised. There is a quote somewhere, which I now can't find, that Hitler blamed his loss of the war on Chamberlain. The matter is mentioned at this website, with which I agree:

http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.c...itains_03.html

Top secret intelligence decoding information was available to the British from 1940 onwards, even if it was in its infancy. As F.W Winterbotham wrote in that The Ultra Secret book 1974:



The RAF would not have been operational in 1938.
Not to forget that the people who where the most disappointed by Chamberlain and Daladier capitulation were some high rank Wehrmacht officer who were hoping on a strong reaction of the British and French governments (including a declaration of war) in order seize this opportunity to force Hitler to resign from his functions and get rid of the nazi party.

Once Hitler could get want he wanted without having to go to war this opportunity was gone and Hitler's popularity at the highest. This made any possibility to set up a coup almost unthinkable.
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Old 11th February 2018, 05:38 PM   #495
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I agree with what Chamberlain said about the matter:

http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.c...itains_03.html

Quote:
On the outbreak of war, Chamberlain said: “My long struggle for peace has failed.” Though he was convinced (and it may be true) that by delaying the start of what became known as World War II through the Munich settlement, he significantly increased Britain’s chances of victory. As he told the National Union in 1940:

“After the Munich agreement, the Labour Party were relieved that we had escaped the war. Now they want to know why we did not call Hitler’s bluff. If we get through this war successfully, then it will be to Munich that we shall owe it. In the condition our armaments were in at that time, if we had called Hitler’s bluff and he had called ours, I do not think we could have survived a week.”

‘Peace in our time’ provided valuable breathing space, for the Battle of Britain of 1940 was won only by a whisker, and would almost certainly have been lost had it taken place in 1938.
For this, we must thank Neville Chamberlain.
Chamberlain's post hoc rationalizations are just that post hoc. The British rearmament effort had been put in place before Chamberlain became Prime Minister and we now know that Chamberlain didn't like it but was forced to accept it. Chamberlain genuinely wanted peace and felt that he had indeed achieved "Peace in our time". Chamberlain didn't want war with Germany and strove right to the end to avert it. It is known that even after Hitler invaded Poland Chamberlain sought to avoid war, trying to use petty and technical excuses to avoid it. His Cabinet revolted and forced him to send the ultimatum to Germany and then when Germany rejected the ultimatum declare war.

Chamberlain showed his commitment to preparing Britain for war by ending the agreement with the Republic of Ireland that allowed Britain to use Irish ports in the republic in the event of war. This would cause never ending headaches for Britain in the Second World War. Further even after Hitler broke the Munich agreements by seizing Prague and turning Slovakia into a protectorate Chamberlain allowed the Czechoslovakian gold reserves held by the Bank of England to be sent to Germany. Thus strengthening Germany. Right to the end Chamberlain pursued appeasement.

Further Hitler's Germany gained through Munich the considerable military material of the Czech state along with Czech industry and a considerable armaments industry and financial resources. And of course Germany had c. 1 more year to re-arm. And of course the British-French alliance system in Eastern Europe was largely destroyed by Munich giving the area to German diplomatic and economic penetration.

I could mention that yes Hitler desperately wanted war in 1938 but was forced by his Generals to back down because they felt that Germany was not ready for war at that time. In effect the Germans while they dealt with Czechoslovakia would have had to leave skeleton forces in the west facing France. In fact some German generals felt so strongly about this they plotted a coup against Hitler and tried to gain contact with France and Britain. They were rebuffed. Bluntly the German Generals overall felt Germany was not ready for war in the fall of 1938, hence they basically forced Hitler to accept Chamberlain's mediation instead of the war Hitler wanted with Czechoslovakia.

If France and Britain gained by a c. one year delay; Hitler's Germany gained more. Hitler later in the war complained that he would have been better off if he had started the war in 1938. The likelihood is that here has in so many military matters Hitler was wrong.
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Old 12th February 2018, 03:20 AM   #496
Henri McPhee
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You need a bit of wisdom and judgment and common sense about this Nazi
General's revolt in 1938. I can't now remember the full details but our secret service had some bad experiences when a couple of our spies were captured by the Gestapo on the Dutch border and sent to concentration camps who were supposedly getting information from revolting German generals. I'm not sure this website is historically accurate, but most of it makes sense to me:

https://www.shmoop.com/rise-and-fall...2-summary.html

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Old 12th February 2018, 03:42 AM   #497
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There is an interesting opinion about all this so-called appeasement on the internet which makes sense to me:

Quote:
Interesting post. But I am not sold on it yet. The French Army, alone, was indeed bigger than the German Army in 1938, but France was just finishing the building of the Maginot Line and its military mindset was wholly defensive. France sat through the Phoney War until it was attacked in 1940; I contend that it would have been even more inclined to sit out a Phoney War in 1938, especially as the concrete on its spectacularly passive barrier to the German threat was still drying. I cannot see the circumstances under which the USSR would have attacked Germany in 1938; they seem to have a much more step by step game plan... Finland, Baltic States, Poland. The British were ready for nothing in 1938 and needed until 1940 to be able to cobble together even the flimsy British Expeditionary Force which was quickly overrun, even on the defence-favouring semi-urban and bocage terrain of Belgium and north France. If you're looking to France and Britain to nip German ambitions in the bud in 1938, I just can't see it. I see the Allied brass breathing a sigh of relief when they saw Neville Chamberlain waving his piece of paper.

Of course the German generals didn't want to go to war as soon as 1938 but it does not mean that they would have lost it. I reckon that we can see from Allied actions and decisions in 1940 that they would have been beaten in a similar way in 1938, regardless of the fretting of some of Germany's generals. More pertinent perhaps is whether French generals thought they could beat Germany in 1938, 1939 or 1940.

Your point about the Czechoslovakian army and its fortified positions is very interesting but are we assuming that the hypothetical war that replaces the actual war that "Neville Chamberlain could have avoided" would have had the same sequence of conquests?
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Old 12th February 2018, 04:03 AM   #498
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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
Chamberlain showed his commitment to preparing Britain for war by ending the agreement with the Republic of Ireland that allowed Britain to use Irish ports in the republic in the event of war. This would cause never ending headaches for Britain in the Second World War.
This was a matter of difficult Anglo-Irish relations which continue to this day. There is a bit of waffle and background to this matter at this website:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty..._%28Ireland%29

Quote:
With the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, Churchill's concerns appeared justified. The escort Groups refuelling facilities at Berehaven and Queenstown were 200 miles (320 km) further west than the nearest ones in Northern Ireland and Great Britain. To compensate for the distance, allied convoys from North America were routed via Iceland to the ports in Northern Ireland in the early months of the Battle of the Atlantic.

However, this decision eventually proved more practical because the shorter sea lanes around Ireland's southern coast soon became vulnerable to German anti-shipping air attacks following the fall of France in June 1940. The Iceland route also provided better air cover and escort refuelling for allied convoys. Nevertheless, many in the Royal Navy felt resentment towards the handover of the Irish Treaty Ports because they would have provided some cover to convoys heading south to Gibraltar and North Africa.

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Old 12th February 2018, 04:09 AM   #499
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France mobilised as soon as war was declared but, as it had a mostly reservist army it took a long time.
Then they sat doing nothing and some units were demobilised as they were needed to go back to work.
Because of that when the Germans finally attacked the French were caught in a semi mobilised state.
The plan wasn't entirely defensive.
History taught that the Germans came in through Belgium, it was open flat country ideal for an advancing army.
When an attack came the Anglo French forces were to push forwards in to Belgium and using the western end of the Maginot line as a pivot swing north and to the east like a door turning on it's hinges.
Essentially the Maginot line wasn't going to be a shell that the French hid behind, it was intended as a funnel to push the Germans in to the chosen battle ground.
This would ensure any fighting was in Belgium and not France.
That an army would emerge from the Ardennes wasn't considered seriously as it was well understood that a horse drawn army with it's artillery train couldn't get through the narrow roads, forests and hills.
When the Germans attacked through the Netherlands and Belgium as expected the Allies moved north as planned to meet them.
We know the rest
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Old 12th February 2018, 04:16 AM   #500
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Originally Posted by Hans View Post
What are you talking about Henri? lol

http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/from...34-1940.html/8
The key numbers there are the output of Hurricanes and Spits.
In September 1938 there were a handful of squadrons with any Hurricanes, and the first Spitfire only arrived at a squadron in August. A year later there were over 500 Hurricanes in service, and some 300 Spitfires.

That's a marked difference.
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Old 12th February 2018, 04:29 AM   #501
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
at an army would emerge from the Ardennes wasn't considered seriously as it was well understood that a horse drawn army with it's artillery train couldn't get through the narrow roads, forests and hills.
When the Germans attacked through the Netherlands and Belgium as expected the Allies moved north as planned to meet them.
We know the rest
There is a bit about this in the Winterbotham The Ultra Secret book 1974:

Quote:
Eventually it was one of our Spitfire spy planes flying over the French sector which saw the vast armada of German tanks assembling in the Ardennes on May the eighth. Barratt told me that he had suggested a bombing operation from Britain on the massed armour. It never came off for various reasons, one of which was the lack of bombs large enough to do any real damage.

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Old 12th February 2018, 04:57 AM   #502
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
The key numbers there are the output of Hurricanes and Spits.
In September 1938 there were a handful of squadrons with any Hurricanes, and the first Spitfire only arrived at a squadron in August. A year later there were over 500 Hurricanes in service, and some 300 Spitfires.

That's a marked difference.
So what? The Germans had precisely zero chance of staging a successful invasion of the British mainland at any point since the creation of Germany as a state.
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Old 12th February 2018, 05:11 AM   #503
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The British Navy were in danger of being sitting ducks in 1938. It was not the same as in the First World War. Air power was now involved. From that The Ultra Secret book:



Britain would have lasted a week in 1938, and Churchill would have fled to America, even if the Czechs lasted for three months.
lolno
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Old 12th February 2018, 05:41 AM   #504
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
You need a bit of wisdom and judgment and common sense about this Nazi
General's revolt in 1938. I can't now remember the full details but our secret service had some bad experiences when a couple of our spies were captured by the Gestapo on the Dutch border and sent to concentration camps who were supposedly getting information from revolting German generals. I'm not sure this website is historically accurate, but most of it makes sense to me:

https://www.shmoop.com/rise-and-fall...2-summary.html
The Venlo Incident was 9 November 1939. I don't know how that would influence British decision making around Munich, unless you again invoke time travel.
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Old 12th February 2018, 06:05 AM   #505
Tolls
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
So what? The Germans had precisely zero chance of staging a successful invasion of the British mainland at any point since the creation of Germany as a state.
I'm not disputing that.

But from the standpoint of British Generals at the War Office the idea was not to be fighting off an invasion of Britain, but to be fighting in France and the Low Countries. So for that (and any bombing raids they felt the Germans might try) they needed decent fighters, which were few and far between in '38 when compared to the Luftwaffe.
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Old 12th February 2018, 06:09 AM   #506
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Not only the aircraft. Just as important was the Radar network and command and control infrastructure.
That was as much a part of the Battle of Britain as the aircraft.
It wasn't up and running in any effective way in 38.
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Old 12th February 2018, 10:55 AM   #507
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Not only the aircraft. Just as important was the Radar network and command and control infrastructure.
That was as much a part of the Battle of Britain as the aircraft.
It wasn't up and running in any effective way in 38.
True but against that with a war in 38 what are the chances the Luftwaffe could mount any sort of air campaign against Britain. The Bf109 was an excellent fighter but lacking range, the Bf-110 was only available in its early less capable variants and the Ju-88 hadn't entered service yet. Add to that a war on two fronts and the lack of bases in Northern France and it's not the threat it would turn into by 1940. And that doesn't allow for the potential issue of fuel with no oil supplies from Russia or Romania.

And on another front neither Bismarck nor Tirpitz are commissioned until 1939 so that's two problems the RN doesn't have to worry about.

Other potential issues for Germany are that they're unlike to get any helpful diversion of British resources as Italy is not formally allied with them at this time and unless the much weaker German forces can repeat their success of 1940 Mussolini is unlikely to pick a fight with the British and French. If he is that stupid there's unlikely to be an Afrikacorps to save him from disaster and no Greek campaign to distract the British.

The Japanese are nowhere near ready for war in 1938, and there's no oil embargo to drive them to desperate action and no reason to impose one as again they aren't a Nazi ally yet.

As costly and difficult as a war in 1938 might have been it would quite likely have been far less so for Britain and France than the historic events.
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Old 13th February 2018, 03:56 AM   #508
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
As costly and difficult as a war in 1938 might have been it would quite likely have been far less so for Britain and France than the historic events.
That's absolute nonsense. Britain would have lost the war in a week with the state of armaments and the RAF in 1938. This is a sensible website about the matter which takes into consideration public opinion about the matter at the time, and the state of British and French military capability. It's no good keep using this weak little Germany argument. Churchill has been described as a blowhard in the past:

http://www.johndclare.net/EII6.htm

Quote:
Finally, at Munich, Britain had not been strong enough to go to war – it is arguable that Chamberlain was just buying time for Britain to rearm. In January 1939, the navy had been strengthened and production of planes had been increased; in February, defence spending was increased to £580 million and free air-raid shelters were given to ¼ million Londoners. Chamberlain was able to change his policy in March 1939 because Britain had the military capacity to go to war.

Last edited by Henri McPhee; 13th February 2018 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 13th February 2018, 04:09 AM   #509
Tolls
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
True but against that with a war in 38 what are the chances the Luftwaffe could mount any sort of air campaign against Britain. The Bf109 was an excellent fighter but lacking range, the Bf-110 was only available in its early less capable variants and the Ju-88 hadn't entered service yet. Add to that a war on two fronts and the lack of bases in Northern France and it's not the threat it would turn into by 1940. And that doesn't allow for the potential issue of fuel with no oil supplies from Russia or Romania.
Not so sure about France's ability to stand in '39 (say) compared to '40. The leadership was always the problem, and that was the same.

But I do agree that the German ability to push against Britain would be curtailed by events elsewhere.

I do think the people driving strategy in the UK were mostly focused on the ability of Britain and France holding off against Germany, though, which led them to overlook other (possible) advantages. Then again, that's what the politicians should have been doing, and they do seem to have been wary of allying with the Soviets.
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Old 13th February 2018, 04:11 AM   #510
Hubert Cumberdale
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
That's absolute nonsense. Britain would have lost the war in a week with the state of armaments and the RAF in 1938. This is a sensible website about the matter which takes into consideration public opinion about the matter at the time, and the state of British and French military capability. It's no good keep using this weak little Germany argument. Churchill has been described as a blowhard in the past:

http://www.johndclare.net/EII6.htm
How exactly is Britain going to lose the war in a week?

Come one - explain how that one pans out.
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Old 13th February 2018, 04:29 AM   #511
Hubert Cumberdale
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post

And on another front neither Bismarck nor Tirpitz are commissioned until 1939 so that's two problems the RN doesn't have to worry about.
The German surface fleet was absolutely horribad.

Their destroyers were so top heavy they had to have their fuel tanks filled with concrete.

Scharnhorst and Gneisenau couldn't fire their main batteries in autumn 1939 and it took a near complete re-design of their fire control computers and the removal of twenty kilometers of unnecessary wiring to fix the problem.

In Norway, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau failed to even seriously damage a WWI vintage British battlecruiser.

Graff Spee got itself rekt by a couple of RN cruisers.

The only major success was Bismark (which itself was basically an updated SMS Bayern) landing a lucky hit on another WWI vintage RN battlecruiser, after which the RN turned it into a viking funeral pyre.

Not exactly an illustrious record.
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Old 13th February 2018, 04:45 AM   #512
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More importantly, how many U-Boats were available in 1938?
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Old 13th February 2018, 05:30 AM   #513
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
More importantly, how many U-Boats were available in 1938?
I have a listing called The Naval Balance 1940. It lists 55 U-Boats on January 1, 1940. But it gives the launch dates, so by 1938 we can see that there were:

Two Type IA
Six Type IIA
Sixteen Type IIB
Two Type IIC
Seven Type VIIA
Two Type VIIB
Two Type IXA

So, only thirteen ocean-going submarines. Now someone who was an avid reader of A. Conan Doyle's Danger! might think that an adequate force, but taking into account logistics. transit time, logistics, refitting and maintenance, and logistics just might say otherwise.

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Old 13th February 2018, 06:16 AM   #514
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
More importantly, how many U-Boats were available in 1938?
I think they had 36 in total. With U-37 being comissioned by august 1938, so probably not deployable yet.

U-1 - U-6 were training boats, so don't count in the total.

Only U-27 - U-36 were of the type VII class u-boats (and U-37 of course), the rest were the smaller type II classes.

With an average of 33% deployable (which is what the Germans used for their planning, and who am I to disagree with them?), 10 u-boats of which 3 were modern.
Maybe a bit more in a surge.
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Old 13th February 2018, 06:21 AM   #515
Hubert Cumberdale
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On the other hand by 1940 the RN had around 60 Submarines and the French around 80.

What's more the Germans had no direct access to the Atlantic or the Mediterranean Sea.....
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Old 13th February 2018, 06:43 AM   #516
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
That's absolute nonsense. Britain would have lost the war in a week with the state of armaments and the RAF in 1938. This is a sensible website about the matter which takes into consideration public opinion about the matter at the time, and the state of British and French military capability. It's no good keep using this weak little Germany argument. Churchill has been described as a blowhard in the past:

http://www.johndclare.net/EII6.htm
John D Clare read Modern History at Oxford University, graduating in 1974. He has a Post-graduate Certificate in Specific Learning Difficulties .... He is the author of your linked source
He is the author of some 100 history textbooks, learning packs and children's history books, which have been published in 19 countries and 17 different languages. He has also co-authored a children's bible.
John D Clare retired from Greenfield in 2010, but continues to maintain his website. He is an elected Councillor for both Durham County Council and Great Aycliffe Town Council. He is married, with three grown up children and nine grandchildren.
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Old 13th February 2018, 10:14 AM   #517
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
How exactly is Britain going to lose the war in a week?

Come on - explain how that one pans out.
That's what Chamberlain thought and believed in 1938, and to my mind with good reason. War could have broken out in 1938. The verdict of history is that Britain was not ready for an aggressive war by Germany in 1938. Chamberlain gave a guarantee to Poland in 1939 which meant war, however weak Germany was at the time. That's not appeasement.

There is some background to this at this website, which I admit may not be the pure unadulterated historical truth, but which does not defy logic or common sense:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/higher...se/revision/2/

Quote:
Military weaknesses

The Government was concerned with the weakness of its armed forces, notably the lack of home defences, especially against the bomber. There had been widespread disarmament in the 1920s; there were no troops immediately available to mount a challenge.

The heads of Britain's armed forces - Chiefs of Staff - consistently warned Chamberlain that Britain was too weak to fight. Alongside this Nazi propaganda encouraged Britain and France to believe that Germany’s forces were a lot stronger than they really were.

Last edited by Henri McPhee; 13th February 2018 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 13th February 2018, 10:46 AM   #518
Garrison
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
That's what Chamberlain thought and believed in 1938, and to my mind with good reason.
Well forgive me for placing very little value on your opinion when your choice of supporting evidence is:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/higher...se/revision/2/

A site intended for 12-16 year olds cramming for history exams. Not only that but you choose to ignore the part that mentions:

Quote:
Alongside this Nazi propaganda encouraged Britain and France to believe that Germany’s forces were a lot stronger than they really were.
So no, Britain would not have been defeated in a week.
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Old 13th February 2018, 10:53 AM   #519
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Not so sure about France's ability to stand in '39 (say) compared to '40. The leadership was always the problem, and that was the same.

But I do agree that the German ability to push against Britain would be curtailed by events elsewhere.

I do think the people driving strategy in the UK were mostly focused on the ability of Britain and France holding off against Germany, though, which led them to overlook other (possible) advantages. Then again, that's what the politicians should have been doing, and they do seem to have been wary of allying with the Soviets.
My reason for thinking France doing better really rests on two things. Firstly that the USSR enters the war and this prevents them concentrating their full weight in the west. Secondly that courtesy of Czech campaign the German armoured spearhead would be far weaker and the historical version of Case Yellow would either not happen (the Ardennes stroke only got adopted in February 1940, it faced a lot of resistance) or would have a much higher chance of failure.

Nothing's guaranteed of course but I think the French chances would have been better in a 'Munich War' than what happened historically.
Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
The German surface fleet was absolutely horribad.
All true, but as with so many other things the British grossly overestimated the capability of the German surface ships, ships still under construction could be largely ignored.
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Last edited by Garrison; 13th February 2018 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 13th February 2018, 11:13 AM   #520
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
My reason for thinking France doing better really rests on two things. Firstly that the USSR enters the war and this prevents them concentrating their full weight in the west. Secondly that courtesy of Czech campaign the German armoured spearhead would be far weaker and the historical version of Case Yellow would either not happen (the Ardennes stroke only got adopted in February 1940, it faced a lot of resistance) or would have a much higher chance of failure.

Nothing's guaranteed of course but I think the French chances would have been better in a 'Munich War' than what happened historically.


All true, but as with so many other things the British grossly overestimated the capability of the German surface ships, ships still under construction could be largely ignored.
Indeed, the Germans would have started the war on two fronts, and without the Axis alliance
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