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Old 7th February 2018, 09:13 AM   #441
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
If you scroll down to the bottom of the page at this website there are several quotes from military experts about the matter of Czech defences including Brigadier Stronge, who seems to have been the British military attache there:

https://www.quora.com/What-would-hav...he-Sudetenland

Poland was a Czech enemy at the time and eventually did a Czech land grab after Munich.

Chamberlain was playing a diplomatic poker game. For him to go to war in 1938 would have resulted in a world war in which he would have had practically no reliable allies, and for which the British armed forces were ill-equipped and ill-trained. The verdict of history is that Hitler started the war by breaking the Munich agreement, and the German-Soviet pact. That's when conscription was introduced. There are people on the internet now who accuse Churchill of starting the war. If there had been war in 1938, which nearly happened, Chamberlain and the Czechs would have been blamed for starting it.
According to the source cited in your link Stronge was of the opinion that CS could "hold the Germans for several months".
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Old 7th February 2018, 09:24 AM   #442
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As it says down the bottom of that book snippet (I can't see what book that page or two is from), the official military history of Czechoslovakia reckoned about a month with no support.

The idea of the Czech air force, even with Soviet support, raiding Vienna or any other German targets in any meaningful way is a bit optimistic as well.
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Old 7th February 2018, 09:25 AM   #443
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
According to the source cited in your link Stronge was of the opinion that CS could "hold the Germans for several months".
My reading is :

Quote:
He estimated that the Czechoslovak army could hold out against a German attack unassisted by allies for three months.
It was assuming there would be Soviet assistance from their air force which never came.
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Old 7th February 2018, 09:50 AM   #444
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
My reading is :



It was assuming there would be Soviet assistance from their air force which never came.
I am quoting from the bottom of the second para on the first page of the image of the book reproduced in your link, where that opinion is attributed to Stronge and to the head of the French military mission, described as a "seasoned observer". Other less sanguine opinions are related, but you chose to name Stronge. If you think he was wrong, why did you not direct our attention to the commentator you think is right.

May I say that the quality of your referencing of sources, and the choice of sources that you cite, are open to serious criticism, time and time again.
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Old 7th February 2018, 10:44 AM   #445
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
By and large the defences were there to channel troops. There was a limit to the fire zones, and the whole Czech plan was to withdraw from the Western part to buy time. Post-Austria, this withdrawal became faster as they feared getting a large chunk of their army trapped by a pincer.
Thanks. I'd note that defenses in North-East Bohemia (Krkonoše and Orlické hory) were mostly complete including Heavy Objects, so any advance through that part would be fairly difficult. That includes terrain itself. (It's quite nasty)

See map I linked. (Heavy Objects by default are not shown)

I suspect that biggest problem for us would be Southern Moravia because of wide lowlands around river Dyje and that was concern he was talking about. (Also fits based on being narrowest point of republic)

Quote:
This was how long (and I do wish I could find the reference) they would stand without significant Western intervention. Considering what happened the following year, the French would not have been in a position to do a great deal.

Where things change is what happened next.

As Pacal suggests, how would a Germany without the 2 or 300 Czech tanks fare against the French and British. I'm not convinced they would do any worse...however, the big question is what happens in the east. And I have no idea on that one.
Note: Absence of Czech tanks means that Germany had to invade us. There would be far bigger changes then that. For one, it would cost Germany a lot (soldiers and material) and factories would be in far worse condition. Also infrastructure wouldn't be intact. Also resistance would be easier, because population registers would be useless. (I suspect many people forget that this point)

East, I suspect would be sum of mobilization and travel time.

Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
By and large the defences were there to channel troops. There was a limit to the fire zones, and the whole Czech plan was to withdraw from the Western part to buy time. Post-Austria, this withdrawal became faster as they feared getting a large chunk of their army trapped by a pincer.



This was how long (and I do wish I could find the reference) they would stand without significant Western intervention. Considering what happened the following year, the French would not have been in a position to do a great deal.

Where things change is what happened next.

As Pacal suggests, how would a Germany without the 2 or 300 Czech tanks fare against the French and British. I'm not convinced they would do any worse...however, the big question is what happens in the east. And I have no idea on that one.
Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
According to the source cited in your link Stronge was of the opinion that CS could "hold the Germans for several months".
Several months? Bloody unlikely. Not that many soldiers and unfinished rearming. Also I don't think we had yet sufficient supplies like ammunition.

Maybe if we had finished Border Defenses as was planned,. we might have lasted longer because there would be salso second layer of defenses . Assuming attacker didn't develop better anti-bunker weapons...

Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
As it says down the bottom of that book snippet (I can't see what book that page or two is from), the official military history of Czechoslovakia reckoned about a month with no support.

The idea of the Czech air force, even with Soviet support, raiding Vienna or any other German targets in any meaningful way is a bit optimistic as well.
Maybe six weeks. it would depend strongly on how well some of newer weapons (like AA guns) performed against German material.
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Old 7th February 2018, 11:32 AM   #446
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Weren't the "flying artillery" tactics already in place?
I know other parts were changed, but I thought the core tank and air support tactics were in place by Munich?
Its more than just "tactics in place"

Czechoslovakia, even though it was mostly achieved without shooting, taught the Germans a vast amount about how to co-ordinate and move armoured divisions through hostile territory.

This was priceless experience no one else in the world had at the time.

Although we think of Poland as a curb-stomp, it came as a pretty nasty shock to the Wehrmacht. They lost almost a thousand tanks, 25% of their aircraft, and around 20,000 fatal casualties.

Realising the depth of tactical and operational deficiencies - particularly of command, control, and co-ordination - they undertook a crash-retraining program to absorb the lessons learnt.

By the time you get to 1940, the Germans were using the lessons learnt in Czechoslovakia and Poland to good effect, their armies used captured Czech equipment, and the war was funded by looting the Polish and Czech gold reserves.

Standing up to Hitler in 1938 would have meant the Nazi state collapsing under the weight of its own fiscal incontinence long before it became a serious threat to any more of its neighbours.
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Old 7th February 2018, 12:00 PM   #447
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Well, in 1938 the Czech's didn't have Czech tanks, at least not the ones the Germans ended up nicking (the ones renamed Pz38t).

And the British hardly had any of the tanks they used in 1940. I don't think any Mathilda's had been delivered, for example.

As I said above, the Germans had a head start on pretty much everyone.

As for the Soviets, one of the questions raised over defending Czechoslovakia was how the Soviets could intervene meaningfully.
The Germans also didn't have much in the way of effective tanks in 1938. They could perhaps scrape together a hundred PzIII's and PzIV's and the rest were PzI's and PzII's which were hardly tanks at all.
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Old 7th February 2018, 12:08 PM   #448
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
By and large the defences were there to channel troops. There was a limit to the fire zones, and the whole Czech plan was to withdraw from the Western part to buy time. Post-Austria, this withdrawal became faster as they feared getting a large chunk of their army trapped by a pincer.



This was how long (and I do wish I could find the reference) they would stand without significant Western intervention. Considering what happened the following year, the French would not have been in a position to do a great deal.

Where things change is what happened next.

As Pacal suggests, how would a Germany without the 2 or 300 Czech tanks fare against the French and British. I'm not convinced they would do any worse...however, the big question is what happens in the east. And I have no idea on that one.
Czech tanks made up just about all of the 6th Panzer Division, and all of the medium tanks the 7th Panzer and 8th Divisions.

Taking these away would leave Hoth's Corp with only 1 Panzer Division (not much of a Corp then) and deleting Kliest's XXXI Corps while only slightly bolstering the remaining Panzer Divisions with the left-overs.

Would it have made a difference to the outcome? Given the French command paralysis, probably not, but it certainly would have affected German planning which could have made a difference.
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Old 7th February 2018, 12:13 PM   #449
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Originally Posted by Hubert Cumberdale View Post
Czech tanks made up just about all of the 6th Panzer Division, and all of the medium tanks the 7th Panzer and 8th Divisions.

Taking these away would leave Hoth's Corp with only 1 Panzer Division (not much of a Corp then) and deleting Kliest's XXXI Corps while only slightly bolstering the remaining Panzer Divisions with the left-overs.

Would it have made a difference to the outcome? Given the French command paralysis, probably not, but it certainly would have affected German planning which could have made a difference.
Well the command paralysis was in no small part due to the speed of the German advance and the unexpected direction they came from. In 1938 it's debatable whether the Germans could have mounted such a swift assault with much more limited armour (especially bearing in mind they would potentially have to worry about the eastern front as well) and that the Ardennes attack plan wasn't formulated until much later and only adopted because of a chain of circumstances unlikely to be repeated in 1938.
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Old 7th February 2018, 02:07 PM   #450
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Personally, I think it would have been quite jolly to have gone to war in 1938 with the might of the Czechs as allies, and weak little Germany, the war might have been over by Christmas. It's just that Chamberlain was taking military advice at the time, and advice and information from our secret service about Hitler's intentions. Britain was not up to the job at the time, and public opinion could not be disregarded.

There is an interesting opinion from 1952 about all this. I'm not sure this is entirely accurate:

http://www.carrollquigley.net/misc/Q...hoslovakia.htm
What would have been the response in America if Czechs and Brits attacked Germany? Would it have reinforced as US isolationist position? Would Japan have moved on British far eastern possessions sooner?
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Old 7th February 2018, 03:18 PM   #451
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Well the command paralysis was in no small part due to the speed of the German advance and the unexpected direction they came from. In 1938 it's debatable whether the Germans could have mounted such a swift assault with much more limited armour (especially bearing in mind they would potentially have to worry about the eastern front as well) and that the Ardennes attack plan wasn't formulated until much later and only adopted because of a chain of circumstances unlikely to be repeated in 1938.
True. I was just commenting on the hypothetical "what if" scenario where Germany has no Czech tanks in 1940.

Although I think if a glacier had invaded France in 1940 it would still be moving inside Gamelin's decision making circle, I don't think the Germans would have formulated anything like Plan Yellow with two fewer Panzer Corps than they actually had.
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Old 7th February 2018, 05:00 PM   #452
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Fair point.
The Saar defences were not in existence, but the line behind them was.
In essence the earlier defences were intended to forestall an attack in depth, sacrificing the ground around Aachen.
Aachen is much futher north, it's near the Dutch-Belgian-German border tripoint. How much behind the Saar defences was the line behind them?

Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
The German plans (Green) had pretty much as many troops in the defences in the West as they had the following year, so that wouldn't make much odds.
OK. Which takes away from the offensive forces that could be deployed against CS.

Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
It is possible a solid Czech defense, with a more aggressive French attack, would result in the Germans deciding to withdraw troops to the French frontier. But that involves an aggressive French command, which does not seem to have been the case.
The latter seems to me to have been the most deciding factor in the abject failure of the 1939 "invasion".

Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
I'm also not convinced Poland would act.
After all, if they attacked Czechoslovakia then that would instantly open them up to Soviet reprisals.
And that would open up the possibility for the SU to transport troops and supplies to CS.
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Old 8th February 2018, 02:19 AM   #453
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Aachen is much futher north, it's near the Dutch-Belgian-German border tripoint. How much behind the Saar defences was the line behind them?
My error, sorry.
The wiki for the Siegfried Line has a nice map, and the building work for '39 was called Aachen-Saar. I should have said Saarbrucken.

The completed lines were about 30 miles back?

Originally Posted by ddt View Post
OK. Which takes away from the offensive forces that could be deployed against CS.
no different to '39, though. And these were fortification troops anyway. They would never be deployed for an offensive.

Originally Posted by ddt View Post
The latter seems to me to have been the most deciding factor in the abject failure of the 1939 "invasion".
And Gamelin (the root of the French problems) was in charge as well. I really don't see the French being anymore proactive in '38 than they were in '39.

Originally Posted by ddt View Post
And that would open up the possibility for the SU to transport troops and supplies to CS.
Which is why Poland wouldn't do it.
Hungary might have, though. Not that they were exactly a major force.
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Old 8th February 2018, 03:53 AM   #454
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
What would have been the response in America if Czechs and Brits attacked Germany? Would it have reinforced as US isolationist position? Would Japan have moved on British far eastern possessions sooner?
That's an intelligent comment and, in my opinion, something that was in the mind of Chamberlain at the time.

Part of the trouble is that much of the hard documentary historical evidence is still secret, or been destroyed. It has been said that more documents have been found and revealed in places like Moscow and Prague in recent years. I still think the German-Soviet pact was a load of bullcrap, like the Munich agreement, and Stalin was a fool to not appreciate that at the time. Poland was pro-German at the time of Munich.

This is a bit of waffle about Poland and the Czechs which I admit comes from a Russian perspective:

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201...ce-italy-nazi/
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Old 8th February 2018, 04:26 AM   #455
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post

This is a bit of waffle about Poland and the Czechs which I admit comes from a Russian perspective:

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201...ce-italy-nazi/
It does, and it duly displays a striking omission. Can you spot it?
When Stalin later observed the Anglo-French hesitance to go to Warsaw's aid when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, "he could only have concluded that his putative 'allies' would have left the Soviet Union in similar straits," Carley stressed.

When Word War II was over the question arose as to whom to blame for the catastrophe. Incredible as it may seem, the Western powers pointed the finger of blame at the USSR
Yes, you've spotted it. The entire history of the period 1939-1945 is deleted from the Sputnik account. We have poor Stalin forced into the Nazi pact in 1939; then we're immediately at poor Stalin forced into the Cold War in 1945, and nothing at all in between! No invasion of Poland. No annexations of the Baltic states. No Winter War, no refusal to believe the evidence of Nazi intentions to invade the USSR ... nothing of any of this. Remarkable? No.

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Old 8th February 2018, 05:33 AM   #456
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
My error, sorry.
The wiki for the Siegfried Line has a nice map, and the building work for '39 was called Aachen-Saar. I should have said Saarbrucken.

The completed lines were about 30 miles back?
Thank you. Make that less than 30 km. For a measure of size on that map, put Aachen-Cologne at 100 km (actually a bit less I think). It says the "Limes" part of the Siegfried Line was started on in 1938, but also:
Quote:
The Siegfried Line at the start of the Second World War had serious weaknesses. German General Alfred Jodl said after the war that it was "little better than a building site in 1939", and when Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt inspected the line, the weak construction and insufficient weapons caused him to laugh.
so it's not clear how much was finished at the time of Munich.

Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
And Gamelin (the root of the French problems) was in charge as well. I really don't see the French being anymore proactive in '38 than they were in '39.
Oh yes, I agree.
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Old 8th February 2018, 08:43 AM   #457
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
It does, and it duly displays a striking omission. Can you spot it?
When Stalin later observed the Anglo-French hesitance to go to Warsaw's aid when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, "he could only have concluded that his putative 'allies' would have left the Soviet Union in similar straits," Carley stressed.

When Word War II was over the question arose as to whom to blame for the catastrophe. Incredible as it may seem, the Western powers pointed the finger of blame at the USSR
Yes, you've spotted it. The entire history of the period 1939-1945 is deleted from the Sputnik account. We have poor Stalin forced into the Nazi pact in 1939; then we're immediately at poor Stalin forced into the Cold War in 1945, and nothing at all in between! No invasion of Poland. No annexations of the Baltic states. No Winter War, no refusal to believe the evidence of Nazi intentions to invade the USSR ... nothing of any of this. Remarkable? No.
I agree that article has a Russian bias. We don't know for certain what Stalin was thinking at the time because it was secret, apart from that he was suspicious of the British. Personally, I think Stalin was fooled by Hitler with empty promises of land grabs in the Baltic states and Eastern Poland and that Stalin was complacent about the grave peril he was in. There is some background waffle about all this at this website:

http://spartacus-educational.com/2WWmunich.htm

Quote:
Munich Agreement
Benito Mussolini suggested to Hitler that one way of solving this issue was to hold a four-power conference of Germany, Britain, France and Italy. This would exclude both Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, and therefore increasing the possibility of reaching an agreement and undermine the solidarity that was developing against Germany. The meeting took place in Munich on 29th September, 1938. Desperate to avoid war, and anxious to avoid an alliance with Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union, Chamberlain and Daladier agreed that Germany could have the Sudetenland. In return, Hitler promised not to make any further territorial demands in Europe.

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Old 8th February 2018, 03:19 PM   #458
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I agree that article has a Russian bias. We don't know for certain what Stalin was thinking at the time because it was secret, apart from that he was suspicious of the British. Personally, I think Stalin was fooled by Hitler with empty promises of land grabs in the Baltic states and Eastern Poland and that Stalin was complacent about the grave peril he was in.
You do understand that the USSR actually got all those things? Hitler, for once, stuck to his bargain.

Quote:
There is some background waffle about all this at this website:

http://spartacus-educational.com/2WWmunich.htm
And why exactly did you feel the need to reiterate the origins of the Munich conference? And quoting yet another second-rate source.
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Old 8th February 2018, 03:37 PM   #459
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
You do understand that the USSR actually got all those things?
And actually some more. In the original Molotov-Ribbentrop plan, Lithuania belonged to Germany's influence sphere, but that was amended to become Soviet. And when Stalin grabbed Bessarabia from Romania, he also grabbed the Northern Bukovina which was not planned. Hitler did not protest, but then Romania was particularly the whipping boy among his allies - losing about one third of its territory.

Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Hitler, for once, stuck to his bargain.
Cough cough. Hitler also stuck to the bargain of Munich - for half a year.
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Old 8th February 2018, 03:40 PM   #460
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
You do understand that the USSR actually got all those things? Hitler, for once, stuck to his bargain.
I read it differently: The USSR thought they were getting those things, and actually Hitler went so far as to allow them to take those things... right before he reneged on the deal and set out to take those things back.
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Old 8th February 2018, 03:43 PM   #461
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
And actually some more. In the original Molotov-Ribbentrop plan, Lithuania belonged to Germany's influence sphere, but that was amended to become Soviet. And when Stalin grabbed Bessarabia from Romania, he also grabbed the Northern Bukovina which was not planned. Hitler did not protest, but then Romania was particularly the whipping boy among his allies - losing about one third of its territory.


Cough cough. Hitler also stuck to the bargain of Munich - for half a year.
True, Stalin should have known better, but I think he genuinely didn't believe that Hitler would risk a war on two fronts.
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Old 9th February 2018, 03:11 AM   #462
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There is an interesting article about this appeasement business which indicates Britain's military weakness in 1938 at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...reed-pact.html

The pure unadulterated historical truth is still a mystery.

Quote:
When asked what forces Britain itself could deploy in the west against possible Nazi aggression, Admiral Drax said there were just 16 combat ready divisions, leaving the Soviets bewildered by Britain's lack of preparation for the looming conflict.
The Soviet attempt to secure an anti-Nazi alliance involving the British and the French is well known. But the extent to which Moscow was prepared to go has never before been revealed.

Professor Donald Cameron Watt, author of How War Came - widely seen as the definitive account of the last 12 months before war began - said the details were new, but said he was sceptical about the claim that they were spelled out during the meetings.
"There was no mention of this in any of the three contemporaneous diaries, two British and one French - including that of Drax," he said. "I don't myself believe the Russians were serious."

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Old 9th February 2018, 10:14 AM   #463
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The pure unadulterated historical truth is still a mystery.
And it will continue to be so for you until you stop using newspaper articles and random websites as your source of information.
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Old 9th February 2018, 10:43 AM   #464
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
There is an interesting article about this appeasement business which indicates Britain's military weakness in 1938 at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...reed-pact.html

Quote:
When asked what forces Britain itself could deploy in the west against possible Nazi aggression, Admiral Drax said there were just 16 combat ready divisions, leaving the Soviets bewildered by Britain's lack of preparation for the looming conflict.
The Soviet attempt to secure an anti-Nazi alliance involving the British and the French is well known. But the extent to which Moscow was prepared to go has never before been revealed.

Professor Donald Cameron Watt, author of How War Came - widely seen as the definitive account of the last 12 months before war began - said the details were new, but said he was sceptical about the claim that they were spelled out during the meetings.
"There was no mention of this in any of the three contemporaneous diaries, two British and one French - including that of Drax," he said. "I don't myself believe the Russians were serious."
The pure unadulterated historical truth is still a mystery.
Only 16! Zoinks OMG, thats hardly anything. Actually no. Not for a peacetime army from a western democracy who prioritized their Navy and AF over the Army and who depended on France to have a much bigger Army at least at the beginning of a potential war. I'm actually surprised it was that many in '38. The US could mobilize maybe 5 at that time.
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Old 9th February 2018, 10:50 AM   #465
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
And it will continue to be so for you until you stop using newspaper articles and random websites as your source of information.
At least I don't post a lot of gibberish about how powerful the Czech armed forces were at the time, and how incapable Hitler was of launching a war in 1938 against a Britain with practically no Spitfires. There are people who say there should have been no appeasement of Hitler by Britain and America when he occupied the Rhineland in about 1936, which was against the Treaty of Versailles. The trouble is the British public were only interested in beer, cigarettes and football and Strictly Come Dancing at the time. They didn't want to know.

There is a bit of background to all this at this website:

http://www.histclo.com/essay/war/ww2/conf/w2-conf.html

Quote:
The Pact shocked the world and the purpose was immedietly apparent. It meant that Germany could attack Poland without fear of Soviet intervention. Thus after defeating Poland, Germany did not have to fear a full-scale European war on two fronts. What was not known at the time was that there was a secret protocol to the pact which in effect divided Eastern Europe betwen the two countries.

This protocol was discovered after the end of the World War II in 1945. The Soviets continued to deny this protocol until 1989. The NAZIs 8 days after signing the Pact invade Poland on September 1, 1939, launching World War II. Although the Soviets did not enter the War against Britain and France, the Soviets were virtual NAZI allies as they provided large quantaies of strategic materials, especially oil. Communist parties in Britain and France opposed the war effort. The Communist Party in America opposed President Roosevelt's efforts to expand defense spending and assist Britain and France.

Last edited by Henri McPhee; 9th February 2018 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 9th February 2018, 11:11 AM   #466
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Only 16! Zoinks OMG, thats hardly anything. Actually no. Not for a peacetime army from a western democracy who prioritized their Navy and AF over the Army and who depended on France to have a much bigger Army at least at the beginning of a potential war. I'm actually surprised it was that many in '38. The US could mobilize maybe 5 at that time.
I must say I was surprised by that internet quote about the British army having sixteen divisions in 1938. I'm not on firm ground about all that, and I have never researched the matter in the National Archives.

This is on the internet, which may or may not be true:

https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/questio...3131611AAdPvGZ

Quote:
Best Answer: It was around 850,000 for the German Army and approx 220,000 for the British Army. Almost half of the British Army were based around the world.

AndyMc234 · 7 years ago

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Old 9th February 2018, 01:04 PM   #467
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
At least I don't post a lot of gibberish about how powerful the Czech armed forces were at the time, and how incapable Hitler was of launching a war in 1938 against a Britain with practically no Spitfires.
Not one person here has made either claim, but of course facts are not your strong suit. You refuse to do any proper research on the subject and get upset when people point out the endless flaws in your unfounded beliefs. Oh and yet again you provide a link to a second rate site to reiterate information that had already been discussed as if no one else here was aware of it.
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Old 9th February 2018, 01:12 PM   #468
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Not one person here has made either claim, but of course facts are not your strong suit. You refuse to do any proper research on the subject and get upset when people point out the endless flaws in your unfounded beliefs. Oh and yet again you provide a link to a second rate site to reiterate information that had already been discussed as if no one else here was aware of it.
To be fair, I hadn't been aware of Chamberlain's refusal to tell Stalin about the German plans for Barbarossa, previously thinking that being dead before the planning started was sufficient reason.

I imagine most people in this thread (including you) had thought that too.
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Old 9th February 2018, 04:02 PM   #469
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I must say I was surprised by that internet quote about the British army having sixteen divisions in 1938. I'm not on firm ground about all that, and I have never researched the matter in the National Archives.

This is on the internet, which may or may not be true:

https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/questio...3131611AAdPvGZ
Britain was a maritime nation. Our army was secondary to the Naval power.

Last edited by Captain_Swoop; 9th February 2018 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 10th February 2018, 03:27 AM   #470
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
To be fair, I hadn't been aware of Chamberlain's refusal to tell Stalin about the German plans for Barbarossa, previously thinking that being dead before the planning started was sufficient reason.

I imagine most people in this thread (including you) had thought that too.
There is some background waffle about this matter at this website:

http://bayardandholmes.com/2015/05/0...e-soviet-view/

Chamberlain, and our Secret Service, were fully aware of Hitler's intentions from 1934 onwards. It's just that Stalin did not believe Chamberlain, or Churchill. He believed Hitler's empty promises. That's not Chamberlain's fault.

Quote:
In addition to its direct sources in Germany, Stalin’s intelligence community was aware of US and UK assessments of Hitler’s intentions.

When diplomats from the US and the UK informed Stalin of German plans to invade the USSR, Stalin had already heard this from his spies in the UK and the US. He assumed that all the warnings coming from the Western nations were part of a Western conspiracy to force him to go to war with Hitler prematurely. Stalin preferred to let the West demolish itself, and he planned to step into a convenient power vacuum of a destroyed Western Europe.

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Old 10th February 2018, 06:55 AM   #471
Hubert Cumberdale
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Only 16! Zoinks OMG, thats hardly anything. Actually no. Not for a peacetime army from a western democracy who prioritized their Navy and AF over the Army and who depended on France to have a much bigger Army at least at the beginning of a potential war. I'm actually surprised it was that many in '38. The US could mobilize maybe 5 at that time.
Yes.

By way of comparison, the BEF in 1914 comprised 6 Divisions (5 infantry and 1 cavalry), while the Somme offensive was kicked off with 14 Divisions
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Old 10th February 2018, 07:04 AM   #472
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
There is some background waffle about this matter at this website:

http://bayardandholmes.com/2015/05/0...e-soviet-view/

Chamberlain, and our Secret Service, were fully aware of Hitler's intentions from 1934 onwards. It's just that Stalin did not believe Chamberlain, or Churchill. He believed Hitler's empty promises. That's not Chamberlain's fault.
Make up your mind Henri, you previously claimed that Chamberlain, or rather the British since Chamberlain was dead before it was planned, didn't tell the Soviets about Barbarossa. Now you post a link saying they did. And Stalin hardly needed the British to inform him of Hitler's 'intentions' in 1934 since 'Mein Kampf' was published in 1925 and would have left no one in any doubts about what Hitler planned for Russia and the Ukraine.

Stalin certainly made a massive error, which of course has zero to do with pre-war appeasement, except of course that if war had come in 1938 the USSR would have been at war with Germany from the start and Stalin wouldn't have been able to make that mistake.
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Old 10th February 2018, 08:01 AM   #473
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
There is some background waffle about this matter at this website:

http://bayardandholmes.com/2015/05/0...e-soviet-view/

Chamberlain, and our Secret Service, were fully aware of Hitler's intentions from 1934 onwards. It's just that Stalin did not believe Chamberlain, or Churchill. He believed Hitler's empty promises. That's not Chamberlain's fault.
You're mixing up two things. Hitler had desires to crush the Soviet regime in 1934, he had "intentions". But he did not have "plans for Barbarossa" in 1934. Nor in that year did he have intentions of signing a non aggression pact with the USSR. Therefore Chamberlain couldn't have warned Stalin about Barbarossa, though he could have told Stalin that Hitler didn't like Jews and Communists as a matter of general principle. But that wouldn't have helped Stalin to predict the date of the Nazi attack.

All this has been pointed out to you before, to no avail. You still churn out the same nonsense with not even an attempt to address the cogent objections raised against it.
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Old 10th February 2018, 08:41 AM   #474
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From the book The Ultra Secret by F. W. Winterbotham 1974:

Quote:
Churchill wondered how much information we ought to give the Russians. He consulted Menzies and then wrote a letter to Stalin saying that we had excellent information to the effect that there was a very big build-up of forces in Eastern Germany. Stalin did not reply.
Chamberlain knew what was going on all right. There was no guarantee Stalin would have been on our side if war had broken out in 1938, as nearly happened.
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Old 10th February 2018, 08:56 AM   #475
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
From the book The Ultra Secret by F. W. Winterbotham 1974:



Chamberlain knew what was going on all right. There was no guarantee Stalin would have been on our side if war had broken out in 1938, as nearly happened.
Chamberlain knew because Churchill wrote a letter? Really? Was Chamberlain already dead when Churchill wrote it? When did Churchill come into possession of the information he wanted to impart to Stalin?

Have you forgotten that in 1938 the USSR and CS were allies? That if France had complied with her alliance Stalin would not have joined the Germans to attack his own ally, CS.
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Old 10th February 2018, 09:59 AM   #476
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Have you forgotten that in 1938 the USSR and CS were allies? That if France had complied with her alliance Stalin would not have joined the Germans to attack his own ally, CS.
How do you know that for sure? As Chamberlain once said, treaties and agreements cannot be depended on to keep the peace, and the public and House of Commons only understand straight lines. It is more complex than you make out

There is some background waffle about this at this website:

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

Quote:
The bottom line was: did the British people want to go to war for the Sudetenland? His answer was ‘no’: and while there were certainly differences between Chamberlain and his colleagues, and indeed with the Foreign Office who had no real hope that Hitler would settle for a peaceful future, very few were prepared to answer ‘yes’ in 1938.

Munich was the logical conclusion. And while in hindsight the inaction of the international community in the face of dictators’ aggression and brutality may seem culpable, more recent history continues to demonstrate that such situations and decisions are never straightforward.

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Old 10th February 2018, 10:24 AM   #477
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
How do you know that for sure? As Chamberlain once said, treaties and agreements cannot be depended on to keep the peace, and the public and House of Commons only understand straight lines. It is more complex than you make out

There is some background waffle about this at this website:

https://history.blog.gov.uk/2013/09/...ich-agreement/
Waffle if may well be, as most of your sources are, but it gives little comfort to believers in Chamberlain's perspicacity as regards the future of the USSR.
Stalin’s paranoid fantasies were quite alien to Chamberlain and his colleagues, who worried, needlessly at this point, about Soviet expansionist intentions.
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Old 10th February 2018, 12:58 PM   #478
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
From the book The Ultra Secret by F. W. Winterbotham 1974:
Chamberlain knew what was going on all right. There was no guarantee Stalin would have been on our side if war had broken out in 1938, as nearly happened.
And yet again all you demonstrate is your ignorance. Ultra didn't exist when Chamberlain was still alive, the code breaking efforts that would lead to it had barely started. 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.
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Old 10th February 2018, 03:43 PM   #479
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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.
You have made that comment, so have I, but according to Henri's own linked source, it was evident even in 1938. In the paragraph on Mussolini, we are told that
Fascist leader Mussolini ... and his Foreign Secretary, Ciano, found it hard to understand why the British should feel they would have to join in if the French fought Germany on behalf of their ally, Czechoslovakia.

Surely, said Ciano, Britain would not want to fight on the same side as the Bolsheviks?
Indeed the U.K. Would have had to do just that, and Hitler would have had to fight a prepared USSR, because both France and the USSR were allies of CS. If France had not betrayed CS, why should the USSR default? And if the USSR also for some reason betrayed CS, it would at worst have stayed neutral; it would not have joined Germany in attacking one of its own most valued allies.

On this point Mussolini was only stating the obvious.
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Old 10th February 2018, 06:41 PM   #480
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Waffle if may well be, as most of your sources are, but it gives little comfort to believers in Chamberlain's perspicacity as regards the future of the USSR.
Stalin’s paranoid fantasies were quite alien to Chamberlain and his colleagues, who worried, needlessly at this point, about Soviet expansionist intentions.
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.

Quote:
The Republic sent its gold reserve to the Soviet Union to pay for arms and supplies. That reserve was worth $500,000,000 in 1939 prices. In 1956, the Soviet Union announced that Spain still owed it $50,000,000. Other estimates of Soviet and Comintern aid totaled Ł81,000,000 ($405,000,000) in 1939 value. The German military attache estimated that Soviet and Comintern aid amounted to:

242 aircraft,
703 pieces of artillery,
731 tanks,
1,386 trucks,
300 armored cars
15,000 heavy machine guns,
500,000 rifles,
30,000 sub-machine guns,
4,000,000 artillery shells,
1,000,000,000 machine gun cartridges,
over 69,000 tons of war materiel, and
over 29,000 tons of ammunition.
A couple of hundred Soviets died in that war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreig...r#Soviet_Union
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