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Tags adolf hitler , Josef Stalin , Robert Conquest , Soviet Union history , Tim Snyder , World War II history

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Old 10th May 2018, 08:40 AM   #321
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Where they failed was not bringing the low countries into the alliance,
To be fair to France, that wasn't for lack of trying. Both Belgium and the Netherlands were very hesitant to have an open alliance with France. AFAIK, Belgium had least had some informal military coordination with France, but the Netherlands didn't even do that, thinking/hoping they could sit out this was as a neutral power as well.
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Old 10th May 2018, 08:52 AM   #322
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
To be fair to France, that wasn't for lack of trying. Both Belgium and the Netherlands were very hesitant to have an open alliance with France. AFAIK, Belgium had least had some informal military coordination with France, but the Netherlands didn't even do that, thinking/hoping they could sit out this was as a neutral power as well.
True. But, and I forget my source for this, it harmed France's defenses quite badly. They weren't willing to build much in the way of fortifications between themselves and Belgium because they wanted the Belgians to join them in a war with Germany. If they had extended the Maginot then it would be like signally to Belgium: bye, you're on your own. Then of course the fact is there is generally more defensible terrain in both Belgium and the Netherlands than NE France.
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Old 10th May 2018, 12:57 PM   #323
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Actually, I've come to the conclusion that it was a pretty good use of funds. France's biggest problem after WW1 was manpower. Nazi Germany had some 75% more people in 1939 than France. Once you throw in Italian manpower, which they knew was a potential enemy, they were in serious trouble if another WW1 style war started. Where they failed was not bringing the low countries into the alliance, spreading their tanks too thin, and well just generally bad leadership. Had Belgium been in the alliance, some halfway decent fortification in the Ardennes prevents an armored thrust, Germany loses the campaign. Or one decent reserve armored corps and De Gaule's counterattack is successful. The 1st and 10th Panzer Divisions are destroyed... Germany loses.
France made real attempts to bring the Low Countries into an alliance, but the low Countries refused.
With Holland there was some excuse, since Holland was not attacked in the First World War, but Belgium's attitude given what happened in 1914 is pretty inexplicable. They should have picked up that staying Neutral in a Franco German war was pretty much an impossibility.
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Old 12th May 2018, 07:23 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Of course that's right. Stalin's victims were mainly his own subjects, while Hitler's were residents of countries he invaded.

If Hitler's invasion career had been curtailed, his opportunity to commit murder would have been reduced, but Stalin's would have remained the same. In that case Stalin would without question have killed more that Hitler. But that's not how things worked out.
But what if things did turn out that way? Would Hitler have been more admired by mainstream conservatives and rightists as a defender against communism? There are some who defend Franco so maybe Hitler would have the same status.
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Old 12th May 2018, 08:29 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Of course that's right. Stalin's victims were mainly his own subjects, while Hitler's were residents of countries he invaded.

If Hitler's invasion career had been curtailed, his opportunity to commit murder would have been reduced, but Stalin's would have remained the same. In that case Stalin would without question have killed more that Hitler. But that's not how things worked out.
But what if things did turn out that way? Would Hitler have been more admired by mainstream conservatives and rightists as a defender against communism? There are some who defend Franco so maybe Hitler would have the same status.

In short; if Hitler hadn't been as bad, then maybe some people would think he hadn't been as bad?

Yeah. Probably.
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Old 13th May 2018, 06:26 AM   #326
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
In short; if Hitler hadn't been as bad, then maybe some people would think he hadn't been as bad?

Yeah. Probably.
My point is, would they be so adamant to disassociate with him.
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Old 15th May 2018, 07:56 PM   #327
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Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
But what if things did turn out that way? Would Hitler have been more admired by mainstream conservatives and rightists as a defender against communism? There are some who defend Franco so maybe Hitler would have the same status.
Oh, give it a couple years, we'll get there. Sigh.
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Old 16th May 2018, 12:11 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
Oh, give it a couple years, we'll get there. Sigh.
It's also useful to keep in mind that the utter stigma associated with Hitler in Western society is not universal. A lot of people around the world collaborated or considered collaborating with the Nazis in one form of another especially against Imperial Britain, leading to a complication of the legacy of Hitler and Nazi Germany in these places. Maybe the most famous in the West, if completely undeservingly so considering what an diminutive figure he was in the grand scheme of things, would be Haj Amin al-Hosseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. More important individuals would be Reza Shah of Iran, who was inspired by German nationalism (leading to his eventual overthrow in the early 1940's) and Subash Chandra Bose, who is still today a national hero in India. Or just look at Erdogan's fairly recent casual use of Hitler as a vaguely positive example of authoritarian rule in Europe.
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Old 16th May 2018, 01:18 AM   #329
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I think France's biggest problem was really EVERYONE's problem at the moment. Nobody foresaw a massive armoured spearhead in one point. They spread their anti-tank weapons thin along the front line, but when you concentrated all your forces in one point, the AT guns there just couldn't cope.

It was only after the fall of France that for example the USA came up with the mobile TD arm to counter a concentration of forces with another mobile concentration of forces.

I will submit the idea that even the Germans weren't much smarter. They also distributed their AT guns and even TDs evenly among infantry divisions.

Or let's take Rommel since I keep talking about him these days anyway. Tactical genius, right? Surely we can learn about how he used his AT guns to defeat the British tanks.

Well, no. Rommel just got a LOT of AT guns. He got the lion's share of the superior captured 76.2mm Soviet AT guns, both towed and converted to Marders. Even while the Germans were getting it up the rear end from the T-34's, more of those guns were going to Africa than, say, to keep the Soviets from retaking Rostov. So basically he had a lot of them EVERYWHERE, considering the relatively short front lines he had to defend.

He also didn't really have to contend with a real massed armoured attack until much later, since the Brits took a long time to build up that kind of force in Africa. And he did have incompetent opponents.

The French or anyone else simply didn't have nearly enough to defend the kind of front line they were fighting on, against a concentrated attack in any particular point.

And incidentally neither would the USSR next year. Nor (yet) a doctrine for countering a mobile armour concentration. They had an in-depth defense idea, but even that was subverted by Stalin's insane orders in '41.

Now I'm not saying that France didn't have some real problems. But the biggest one was the same as everyone else's at the time. Nobody, not even the Germans, really knew how to deal with an armoured spearhead at the time.

So, well, I wouldn't be THAT hard on the French.
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Old 16th May 2018, 01:56 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
But what if things did turn out that way? Would Hitler have been more admired by mainstream conservatives and rightists as a defender against communism? There are some who defend Franco so maybe Hitler would have the same status.
Why not? He was already pretty popular in the west.

Plus, his ideas were nothing special. His eugenics views were mainstream AMERICAN eugenics theories, for example. Not only they were popular at the time, they STILL are, minus the explicit part about doing something about it.

E.g., Idiocracy is standard eugenics scare: OMG, the inferior people are gonna out-breed us and take over! And it takes as a self-obvious premise the social darwinism idea that, basically, the poor are stupid.

His antisemitic views were also pretty standard at the time. Hell, even the more general ideas of white supremacy, and other races being inferior, were bog standard at the time.

In fact, I would say that it's not as much that we disassociate with Hitler because of those ideas, but that it's the exact other way around: we ended up disassociating with those crap ideas because of Hitler. It took a bloody war and witnessing what those ideas lead to, for those ideas to no longer seem that great.

And he WAS also popular because he rattled the sabre against the USSR and communism, so the perception of him as a defender against communism was already there.

Imagine a Hitler contained in '39, maybe forced to pay some reparations, but otherwise not a lot of reason to hate him. Do you see any reason why all I've written above would change?

Mind you, I'm not saying he was a good guy, nor that his ideas were good. I'm just saying that pretty evil ideas were mainstream at the time.
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Old 16th May 2018, 02:14 AM   #331
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
His antisemitic views were also pretty standard at the time.
I'm not sure I would go that far. Some degree of antisemitism and distrust of the "Jewish character" was standard, but Hitler's deep-seated fear of the almighty Jew and the all-penetrating paranoia that flowed from it was on a level of its own.
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Old 16th May 2018, 04:30 AM   #332
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Well, maybe I should have qualified it better. Sure, Hitler was a bit more extreme in his view than many (and not any more extreme than many others), but the views he expressed in his speeches in the 30's were massively toned down. Some didn't even mention Jews at all.

Remember that before 1942, even the SS was maintaining a thin facade that they're totally not even considering something as inhumane as outright murdering the Jews. Sure, they had ideas like deporting the Jews to Madagascar and letting them starve there, but not outright murdering them

Incidentally even that isn't as unique as it sounds. Poland for example was studying the same idea of deporting all its Jews to the same Madagascar in 1937.

So anyway, my thesis there is just that as far as the rest of the world was aware, as far as they were seeing in his speeches at the time, etc, the guy didn't seem any different than the run-of-the-mill antisemitism they had at home.
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Old 16th May 2018, 08:19 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
But what if things did turn out that way? Would Hitler have been more admired by mainstream conservatives and rightists as a defender against communism?
In the 1930's he was admired by rightists (both liberals and conservatives) as a defender against communism. Only the left (social-democrats, the communists were already repressed by then) voted against the Enabling Act in 1933 giving Hitler dictatorial powers to defend from the "communist threat." Even in 1938, surrounding the Munich Agreement, Chamberlain stated that Britain and Germany were "the two pillars of European peace and buttresses against communism."

Nothing much changed after WW2 in this respect anyway. The democrats in the US considered the Nazis respectable anti-communists and offered them a safe haven in the US and new positions to continue combating communism in South America and elsewhere. There was also barely any denazification in Western Europe after the war, the Nazi judges etc were still highly respected and retained their positions, as did the State Security apparatus continuing to fight "communist influence" in the labour movement etc.

Just because the right (liberals, conservatives, fascists) sometimes has infighting doesn't mean they won't admire and/or support each other in the larger fight against the left. The same is true for the left, communists and anarchists and socialists have a lot of infighting but when it comes down to it they'll still unionize together and all that.
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Old 16th May 2018, 10:15 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, maybe I should have qualified it better. Sure, Hitler was a bit more extreme in his view than many (and not any more extreme than many others), but the views he expressed in his speeches in the 30's were massively toned down. Some didn't even mention Jews at all.

Remember that before 1942, even the SS was maintaining a thin facade that they're totally not even considering something as inhumane as outright murdering the Jews. Sure, they had ideas like deporting the Jews to Madagascar and letting them starve there, but not outright murdering them

Incidentally even that isn't as unique as it sounds. Poland for example was studying the same idea of deporting all its Jews to the same Madagascar in 1937.

So anyway, my thesis there is just that as far as the rest of the world was aware, as far as they were seeing in his speeches at the time, etc, the guy didn't seem any different than the run-of-the-mill antisemitism they had at home.
Yeah, agred.
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Old 21st May 2018, 12:37 PM   #335
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Stalin killed millions of people before WW2 even started. Churchill and Roosevelt both knew about the holodomor or deliberate man made famine in Ukraine and couldn't care less. The morally bankrupt Allied leaders backed Stalin to the hilt during the war -
www.ucrdc.org/Film-Harvest_of_Despair.html
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Old 21st May 2018, 12:55 PM   #336
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Originally Posted by Mondial View Post
Stalin killed millions of people before WW2 even started. Churchill and Roosevelt both knew about the holodomor or deliberate man made famine in Ukraine and couldn't care less. The morally bankrupt Allied leaders backed Stalin to the hilt during the war -
www.ucrdc.org/Film-Harvest_of_Despair.html
They were more concerned with how many Nazi's the Soviets were killing at the time...
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Old 21st May 2018, 05:54 PM   #337
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*shrug* It seems to me like it was Hitler who merged the wars into one world war. Up to 1941, it was just a series of regional conflicts. E.g., the Japanese were officially still fighting a border incident with China... even if by now half of China away from the railway segment where the incident supposedly happened.

In 1941, essentially everyone found themselves fighting the same Axis countries, thanks to declarations of war by every axis country against the same countries that would become the Allies. Well, except for Japan and the USSR, which weren't at war with each other. At that point it became de facto a world war, since allied or not, the same two groups of countries were at war with each other.

The decision whether the USA wants to fight against Germany together with the USSR, or for that matter with England and France, is rather moot, when Germany actually declared war on the USA AND on the USSR. DE FACTO Germany was already at war with all 4.

You're expecting the USA to do... what? Bend over, when it's just been declared war upon, just because the USSR is in the same war? Or WTH?

And frankly, that was all Germany's decisions. Trying to pin it on the Allies is beyond stupid.

Here's an idea for Nazi Germany: if you don't want the USA, England, France and the USSR all giving you a sack beating, don't frikken declare war on the USSR and USA. It's that simple.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 02:19 AM   #338
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Originally Posted by Mondial View Post
Great, more fascist propaganda! That's 2 out of 2 for "documentary films" in this thread so far.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 06:33 AM   #339
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I still think that even that is irrelevant, though. He makes it sound as if the western powers somehow chose to be in a fight together with the USSR against Germany. The simple fact of the matter is that it was Germany who dragged the USSR into that war, and then in the same year the USA.

It's like, dunno, let's say some of us are in the pub. Gerry starts the fight by punching Polly in the face, Bart and Francois jump to the defense, Francois gets knocked out too. Then Gerry starts punching at Ruslan, the huge guy in the corner with the "I ❤ St Quentin" tattoo on his bicep. And at that Gerry announces "What are you looking at, a-hole?! You're next!!" to Amos, the even bigger trucker in the other corner.

Seems to me like if then Gerry gets beaten savagely by all 4, and wakes up in traction, guess what? It's his own doing.

No amount of "waah waaah! but you knew Ruslan was in mafia, and a murderer! why'd you help him beat me up?!?" is going to change the fact that nobody else than Gerry was involved in choosing that particular combination of foes for him to fight. It wasn't some guys who decided to intervene in the fight to help Ruslan, but some guys who found themselves de facto fighting that same guy, regardless of their feelings on the matter or about each other.

Well, to end this long and pointless alegory, same for WW2.

Nobody was considering helping the USSR before Germany dragged it into the same war they were in. In fact, as little back as '39 (before autumn, anyway), everyone was perfectly happy with Germany opposing the USSR. It in fact brought it a lot of good will from the West.

If Germany had, say, allied with Poland and attacked the USSR in '39, everyone would have cheered for Germany.

Ending up together with the USSR against Germany simply happened when Germany declared war against the USSR too.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 07:10 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I still think that even that is irrelevant, though.
Of course it is, it just bugs me so I point it out in an appropriately derisive tone. I agree with the rest of your post, in particular:
Quote:
Nobody was considering helping the USSR before Germany dragged it into the same war they were in. In fact, as little back as '39 (before autumn, anyway), everyone was perfectly happy with Germany opposing the USSR. It in fact brought it a lot of good will from the West.

If Germany had, say, allied with Poland and attacked the USSR in '39, everyone would have cheered for Germany.
The unwillingness of France and Britain to commit to an anti-nazi alliance with the USSR was one of the decisive factors for the USSR to go for the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, so in a way one could say that the Allies weren't just not particularly trying to be in a war with the USSR against Nazi Germany but were actually trying not to be.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 07:58 AM   #341
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Yep, exactly.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 12:20 PM   #342
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Of course it is, it just bugs me so I point it out in an appropriately derisive tone. I agree with the rest of your post, in particular:


The unwillingness of France and Britain to commit to an anti-nazi alliance with the USSR was one of the decisive factors for the USSR to go for the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, so in a way one could say that the Allies weren't just not particularly trying to be in a war with the USSR against Nazi Germany but were actually trying not to be.
It certainly seems that many in the British establishment admired Hitler in the 30's and were sympathetic to Germany's demands. At the same time they were fearful of Soviet Communism, so it took real 'genius' on Hitler's part to wind up fighting the British and the Soviets.. After 1941 the Western Allies were more than happy to let the Soviets do the heavy lifting when it came to fighting the Wehrmacht and yes to achieve that they were willing to over look much of what Stalin had done, however odious they might have found it. As Churchill put it:

Quote:
If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.
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Old 22nd May 2018, 12:44 PM   #343
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Not that they could do much about it either way. Stalin was doing the heavy lifting there already, not to mention a Zapp Brannigan impression before it was mainstream: being willing to sacrifice wave after wave of his men, just in case the Germans reach a kill limit and stop

Not sure what the Allies were supposed to do there, in Mondial's opinion. Refuse to be in the same war as the USSR? Well, Germany declaring war on the USA kinda took care of that decision for them, didn't it?
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Old 22nd May 2018, 12:48 PM   #344
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That said, I still maintain that, as I was saying in the other thread, the real 'genius' there was Halder. You have to give the man some recognition. That's the one WW2 general that did more to ensure Germany's defeat that Monty, Eisenhower and Zhukov put together
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Old 23rd May 2018, 08:07 PM   #345
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Great, more fascist propaganda! That's 2 out of 2 for "documentary films" in this thread so far.
Wrong. Not "fascist propaganda". A documentary made by Ukrainians interested in their country's history. To you anything that isn't the Hollywood or MSM approved version of events is "fascist propaganda". You're pathetic.
www.ucrdc.org/Film-Harvest_of_Despair.html
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Old 23rd May 2018, 08:15 PM   #346
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I still think that even that is irrelevant, though. He makes it sound as if the western powers somehow chose to be in a fight together with the USSR against Germany. The simple fact of the matter is that it was Germany who dragged the USSR into that war, and then in the same year the USA.
The USSR entered the war in September 1939 by invading Poland -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Poland
Britain and France who declared war on Germany for doing the same thing did nothing. USSR also invaded Finland in 1939, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania in 1940. They were not dragged into the war by Germany.
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Old 24th May 2018, 01:06 AM   #347
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in June 1941, Britain and France were at war with Germany, and Germany also declared war on the USSR. At that point all three were DE FACTO in a war against Germany, and it was Germany's doing that it ended up that way.
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Old 24th May 2018, 02:06 AM   #348
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Mondial View Post
The USSR entered the war in September 1939 by invading Poland -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Poland
Britain and France who declared war on Germany for doing the same thing did nothing. USSR also invaded Finland in 1939, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania in 1940. They were not dragged into the war by Germany.
By the time Germany dragged the SU into a war against Germany, Germany had herself invaded Austria, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania, Poland, Greece and Yugoslavia. She then carried out, after secret preparations, the biggest invasion ever staged, against the USSR. Not to punish Stalin for his crimes, but to murder, or to enslave and exploit, his subjects.

Your Nazi apologetics are ludicrous.
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Old 24th May 2018, 02:30 AM   #349
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Originally Posted by Mondial View Post
The USSR entered the war in September 1939 by invading Poland -
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Poland
Britain and France who declared war on Germany for doing the same thing did nothing. USSR also invaded Finland in 1939, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania in 1940. They were not dragged into the war by Germany.
The USA entered the war in 1940 by arming a belligerent in the Sino-Japanese conflict
In 1940, Washington went a step further — Roosevelt approved credits to the Chinese government that would be used to purchase war supplies. After Japan signed its Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy in September 1940, the U.S. instituted a full embargo on Japan.
The USA was therefore not dragged into war by Japanese activities in Hawaii in December 1941.
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Old 24th May 2018, 03:41 AM   #350
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Sort of. At the time, both China and Japan were maintaining that they are not, in fact, at war, precisely to continue trading with the USA. They were officially still just having the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and the Japanese were just searching for their missing Private Ryan... err... Private Shimura, in case the Chinese have him captive. The fact that (A) they were by now searching for him 2000 miles from where he went missing, and more importantly (B) Private Shimura HAD ALREADY RETURNED TO HIS UNIT, was apparently just a minor detail.

You can't make up stuff like this, really. Most of the Japanese army marauding all over China to rescue a soldier, and not finding him anywhere in China because he had already returned to Japan... yeah, if you saw that in a movie, it better be a parody

Mind you, I don't think anyone was fooled about there totally being no war over there, but yeah, OFFICIALLY it wasn't a war
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Old 24th May 2018, 03:47 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
The USA entered the war in 1940 by arming a belligerent in the Sino-Japanese conflict
In 1940, Washington went a step further — Roosevelt approved credits to the Chinese government that would be used to purchase war supplies. After Japan signed its Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy in September 1940, the U.S. instituted a full embargo on Japan.
The USA was therefore not dragged into war by Japanese activities in Hawaii in December 1941.
That said, we were talking about the war against Germany.

There were a few different wars going around. E.g., the conflict in China was the Second Sino-Japanese War, if you wanted to call it a war, or the Marco Polo Bridge Incident if you asked either China or Japan, not WW2. Even getting involved in that one didn't mean you were at war with all the other Axis or respectively Allied powers.

They wouldn't be merged into the same war until 1941, when Germany and its allies all declared war on the USA.
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Old 24th May 2018, 03:50 AM   #352
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
That said, we were talking about the war against Germany.
Exactly so. That was my point about the Soviet German war from 1941.
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Old 26th May 2018, 03:25 PM   #353
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Great, more fascist propaganda! That's 2 out of 2 for "documentary films" in this thread so far.
What makes it fascist?

Or does it just need to be critical of Stalin to be fascist in your opinion?
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Old 27th May 2018, 10:25 AM   #354
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post

If Germany had, say, allied with Poland and attacked the USSR in '39, everyone would have cheered for Germany.
Hitler offered Poland an alliance against the Soviet Union several times during the 1930s and it was the Poles who refused. Piotr Zychowicz has written about this in his book Pakt Ribbentrop-Beck.
http://riowang.blogspot.com/2013/02/...of-hitler.html
Jozef Beck was the Polish foreign minister and the title refers to a possible German-Polish alliance which is what Hitler wanted -
https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7737
If Poland allied to Germany and still lost they wouldn't have been any worse off because they allied to Britain and ended up under Soviet occupation anyway.
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Old 27th May 2018, 11:16 AM   #355
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Maybe, but that doesn't contradict anything that I was saying, nor damn the Allies for... ending up de facto in the same war against the USSR when Germany dragged the USSR into the same war, without consulting the allies first. Hitler most certainly didn't ask either London or Washington if they'd like him to add the USSR as an extra belligerent

All that can be said about how it all ended up in that convoluted situation, is that the Allies didn't quite honour their treaty obligations to Poland in '39. And that's true too. A lot of Poles are STILL butthurt about that, and you can't blame them much. But that has NOTHING to do with the Allies liking Stalin
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Old 27th May 2018, 12:32 PM   #356
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Originally Posted by Mondial View Post
If Poland allied to Germany and still lost they wouldn't have been any worse off because they allied to Britain and ended up under Soviet occupation anyway.
Not true as you doubtless know. Stalin didn't intend to annihilate the Poles as Hitler did. Hitler made a start on it during the war with relocation to land that could not support their numbers in the Central Government. That led to starvation and Poles were worked to death in large numbers as slave labour. Of course as a Nazi fanboy you deny the fate of the Polish Jews.
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Old 1st June 2018, 07:56 AM   #357
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
The more vicious aspect of this, in my view, is the construct of the "Holodomor" ("Death by Famine"), widely promoted by Ukranian nationalists. This is a kind of modern foundation myth in the same vein as the Polish "double genocide" thesis, maintaining that the famine in Ukraine was a deliberate effort to stamp out Ukranian nationalism ("And nevertheless, we survived, look how far we have come!" etc etc). I don't recall that Conquest ever states this outright, but it's very easy to read this into his work, and countless authors have drawn upon him to support this thesis. The most significant reveal of the Soviet archives is that there is absolutely no evidence of such a deliberate policy. The Central Committee were dumbstruck and confused by the reports coming in, and Stalin's position was significantly weakened as a result of the short-term failures of his collectivization efforts.
As it was overseen by Molotov and Kaganovich, at least initially (if I recall correctly), and I doubt the 'rerouting' of soooo much grain etc, from the proverbial bread-basket, could've possibly been done without any thought or recognition of the very probable consequences. The proportion the consequences took might've been more than was expected, though I find it hard to believe they were clueless about a very potential case of mass-famine as a consequence. Other policies, enacted quickly after the first signs of the famine appeared, were notably targeting the ukranian area, like "food theft" becoming a capital crime. All of this reeks of them (Stalin et al) knowing very well what was happening and developing there, yet ensured that the increasingly starving populus would be further restricted in partaking of their own darn crops.

So, is it a myth? Well, I usually hear that from communists of various sorts, who have a dog in this fight of course. In some version of the event, there have probably been mythical proportions (which is perhaps more or less true for most tragic events in history), though the general gist is a degree of deliberate effort to simply not give a crapola about the starvation these policies created (which experienced a boooom that may or may not have surprised some of them).
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Old 1st June 2018, 10:41 AM   #358
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Jono View Post
As it was overseen by Molotov and Kaganovich, at least initially (if I recall correctly), and I doubt the 'rerouting' of soooo much grain etc, from the proverbial bread-basket, could've possibly been done without any thought or recognition of the very probable consequences.
That's true. And that means, as you imply, that Stalin and his immediate associates are responsible for these deaths. The question is, what was the motive for these criminal acts? Was Stalin trying to kill millions of people and using an artificial famine as (so to speak) a gas chamber to achieve this purpose?

That's where the question arises. Stalin's anxiety about the population figures revealed in the 1937 census indicates that he probably had no idea how many died in the collectivisation famine, and that his primary motive was to seize grain stocks. If he could have done that without killing millions he probably would have preferred so to do - he needed millions of soldier conscripts for his army after all. But if seizing the grain had to cost millions of lives, he didn't quail before that prospect.

But he was responsible for these deaths whether he directly willed them or not, because he certainly willed the confiscation of peasants' grain and livestock which was the cause of the disaster.

So much for the famine. The deaths due to purges and executions are directly Stalin's responsibility without qualifications of any kind, as are deaths of persons held in confinement. The total in these two categories is in the millions.

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Old 1st June 2018, 01:30 PM   #359
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The figures for Stalin's direct killings appear to be

Great Purge (1936–1938): 900,000–1.2 million
Katyn massacre (1940): 22,000
NKVD prisoner massacres (1941): 100,000–500,000

This would add up to almost 2 million.
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Old 1st June 2018, 01:45 PM   #360
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
The figures for Stalin's direct killings appear to be

Great Purge (1936–1938): 900,000–1.2 million
Katyn massacre (1940): 22,000
NKVD prisoner massacres (1941): 100,000–500,000

This would add up to almost 2 million.
Yes, and I'd be inclined to add the number of deaths due to ill treatment of people unjustly detained in prisons or labour camps as a direct result of Stalin's decrees. Their number must be very large.
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