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Old 10th December 2018, 08:52 AM   #1961
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No it wasn't.
It was spending only a smidge less in 1939 than the UK spent in 1944, with an equivalent GDP. Unless the UK is considered to have not been on a war footing then I think it's safe to say Germany was also.

1937 and 38 were well into the realms of "war footing" as well, though less than 39.
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Old 10th December 2018, 11:39 AM   #1962
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
The economy of Germany during the war's beginning was still a peace time economy.
German war production had already passed anything that could be called a peace time economy by 1939. Rearmament was seriously impacting agriculture, infrastructure, living standards and exporting industries. One reason for starting the war in 1939 was that Germany was tapped out, only going to war would allow it to gain the resources it needed and abandon any pretence of maintaining the civilian sector.

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They had only dreams of lightning wars early in the war. Consumer goods were still being produced to keep the people happy.

They were produced to keep the people productive.As the war went on money became less and less useful and consumer goods were the carrot to encourage people to work hard, along with the stick of increasing repression in the workplace. Consumer goods were also needed to maintain trading relations with the few neutral countries still willing to do business with Germany, the Reichsmark being effectively worthless.

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Only Albert Speer after taking over in 1942 made the decision to devote the entire economy to wartime production.
Speer was only good at promoting Speer. The uptick in production when he took over was the result of a number of factors. Investment in plant made before the war started to come on line, and much of the industrial reorganization Speer took credit for was already underway. Also Germany industry received a major injection of labour, the food to keep them fed and raw materials. The labour was slaves, the food was obtained by starving people in the occupied territories, and the raw materials came by cannibalizing every other part of the economy.
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Old 10th December 2018, 01:30 PM   #1963
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
The economy of Germany during the war's beginning was still a peace time economy.

They had only dreams of lightning wars early in the war. Consumer goods were still being produced to keep the people happy.

Only Albert Speer after taking over in 1942 made the decision to devote the entire economy to wartime production.
You really need to read Adam Tooze's The Wages of Destruction. Germany in 1939 did not have a "peace time economy". It was an economy gearing up for war and by 1939 a little over 1/2 of massively increased government spending was being spent on defence spending! To quote another source:

Quote:
The military budget expanded rapidly, taking 17 percent of GNP in 1938-39. In the last peacetime year 52 pefennigs out of ever mark the German government spent went on defence. These were not remotely moderate proportions. In 1913, at the height of the pre-1914 arms race, the German government spent an estimated 3 percent of GNP, and devoted 24 percent of a much smaller state budget to defence purposes.(Misjudging Hitler, Richard Overy, The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered, 2nd Edition, Gordon Martel, Routledge, New York, 1999, pp. 93-115, at. 109)
The myth that Germany started the Second World War with a economy that was "peace time" largely was a myth that emerged in the aftermath due to a misreading of the production figures of German armaments production and what they meant. Further it was powerfully aided by the myth Speer created and many accepted of the "miracle" in production Speer achieved after he took over. Thus we heard for decades after the war about how the German economy was not preparing for a prolonged war, that civilian production continued on a massive scale etc. It is all largely crock has shown in detail by Tooze's book.
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Old 10th December 2018, 02:53 PM   #1964
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Whereas they didn't do so well in the Winter War. I'm not exactly sure what season that was fought in, but I'm sure that whatever the Red Army did in 1940 was something everyone factored into their assessments in 1938.

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Do you think your cat would be able to learn what season the Winter War was fought in?
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Old 10th December 2018, 03:59 PM   #1965
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Do you think your cat would be able to learn what season the Winter War was fought in?
Not any more, I'm afraid.

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Old 10th December 2018, 04:07 PM   #1966
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Not any more, I'm afraid.

Dave
Sorry to hear that.

Maybe it could still warn May about how Gove is planning to replace her.
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Old 10th December 2018, 04:41 PM   #1967
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Sorry to hear that.
That's OK, at least he's still under consideration for the next Brexit minister.

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Old Yesterday, 01:33 AM   #1968
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Frankly, fighting strength of USSR is irrelevant, All they would have to do is stop selling oil to Germany...
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Old Yesterday, 07:27 AM   #1969
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
Frankly, fighting strength of USSR is irrelevant, All they would have to do is stop selling oil to Germany...
This. And the constant refrain of abysmal Soviet performance in the Winter War is accurate but misapportioned. The first stage of the war was marred by political factors, i.e., Stalin having mucked up the command structure to the extent he was essentially on operational control. When he finally appointed Timoshenko to command the operation things improved though even then Stalin's restrictions on what Timoshenko could do hamstrung Soviet attempts to outmaneuver the Finns where possible. Tactically, Soviet soldiers performed well enough when the leadership was competent which it frequently was.
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Old Yesterday, 09:42 AM   #1970
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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
I also note that in the Munich agreement the Brits and the French guaranteed the territorial etc., integrity of the rump Czechoslovakia. When Hitler violated the agreement Chamberlain did very little and was still looking for ways to continue appeasement. Chamberlain ruled out sanctions of any kind and even has I have said before agreed to turn over the Czech gold reserves held in the Bank of England to the Nazis. The only positive acts were that Chamberlain was forced very reluctantly to agree to greater rearmament measures. But those like certain other policies he adopted at the time were things he was basically forced to do. I also note that after the invasion of Poland Chamberlain tried to find a petty fogging legalistic reason to avoid declaring war on Germany. His Cabinet revolted and forced him to do so.
I have never made a profound study of exactly why Chamberlain never declared war in about March 1939 when Hitler occupied Prague, after Hitler had promised the Sudetanland was his last territorial demand at Munich. I can only assume that it was after careful consideration by Chamberlain of the military weakness in France and the unreliability of Stalin and the disinterest of the British Commonwealth countries and of America, and the military advice of the British generals and secret service, and the usual 'with what' due and careful thought.

There is a bit of background to all this and the Czech problem at this website:

http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar...h/tr-czech.htm

Quote:
Chamberlain responded to Hitler's aggression by claiming the British were not bound to protect Czechoslovakia since the country in effect no longer existed after Slovakia had voted for independence on March 14th. And Hitler's actions had occurred the next day, March 15th.

The Prime Minister's willy-nilly statement caused an uproar in the British press and in the House of Commons. Chamberlain was lambasted over his lack of moral outrage concerning Hitler's gangster diplomacy. Angry members of the House of Commons vowed that Britain would never again appease Hitler.

Interestingly, while traveling on a train from London to Birmingham on Friday, March 17, Chamberlain underwent a complete change of heart. He had in his hand a prepared speech discussing routine domestic matters that he was supposed to give in Birmingham. But upon deep reflection, he decided to junk the speech and outlined a brand new one concerning Hitler.

In the new speech, which was broadcast throughout England on radio, Chamberlain first apologized for his lukewarm reaction to Hitler's recent actions in Czechoslovakia. Then he recited a list of broken promises made by Hitler dating back to the Munich Agreement.
"The Führer," Chamberlain asserted, "has taken the law into his own hands."
"Now we are told that this seizure of territory has been necessitated by disturbances in Czechoslovakia...If there were disorders, were they not fomented from without?"
"Is this the last attack upon a small state or is it to be followed by others? Is this, in effect, a step in the direction of an attempt to dominate the world by force?"

If so, Chamberlain declared: "No greater mistake could be made than to suppose that because it believes war to be a senseless and cruel thing, this nation has so lost its fiber that it will not take part to the utmost of its power in resisting such a challenge if it ever were made."

Now, for the first time in the history of the Third Reich, Great Britain had finally declared it would stand up to the German dictator and was willing to fight.

The next day, March 18, British diplomats informed the Nazis that Hitler's occupation of Czechoslovakia was "a complete repudiation of the Munich Agreement...devoid of any basis of legality." The French also lodged a strong protest saying they "would not recognize the legality of the German occupation."

However, Hitler and the Nazis could care less what they thought. Hitler had seen his "enemies" at Munich and considered them to be little worms.

But now, in an ominous development for Hitler, Britain and France went beyond mere diplomatic protests. On March 31st, Prime Minister Chamberlain issued a solid declaration, with the backing of France, guaranteeing Hitler's next likely victim, Poland, from Nazi aggression.

The era of Hitler's bloodless conquests had ended. The next time German troops rolled into foreign territory there would be an actual shooting war.
It had been just six months since the Munich Agreement and there were only about six months left until the outbreak of World War II. During these months, the various countries of Europe formed military alliances, choosing up sides like schoolboys preparing for a game of football – France with Britain and Poland, Italy with Germany and so forth. No one, however, could figure out what Soviet Russia under Josef Stalin would do.

Last edited by Henri McPhee; Yesterday at 09:50 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:46 AM   #1971
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I have never made a profound study of exactly why Chamberlain never declared war in about March 1939
We are well aware of this.
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Old Yesterday, 10:01 AM   #1972
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
We are well aware of this.
I'd only have quoted the first seven words.

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Old Yesterday, 10:39 AM   #1973
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
We are well aware of this.
And as always ignorance doesn't stop Henri from drawing conclusions and restating the same discredited claims, its Henri's 'greatest hits':

Quote:
I can only assume that it was after careful consideration by Chamberlain of the military weakness in France and the unreliability of Stalin and the disinterest of the British Commonwealth countries and of America, and the military advice of the British generals and secret service, and the usual 'with what' due and careful thought.
The only thing missing is 'Britain would be defeated in a week'.
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Old Yesterday, 10:40 AM   #1974
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I agree that it was absurdly credulous to believe Hitler that the Sudetenland was his last territorial demand and I don't think Chamberlain did believe that. It's just that the whole geopolitical situation was more complex than that. There is a sensible website about all this at:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24300094

Quote:
As the leader of a militarily weak and overstretched empire, such fears were crucial in shaping Chamberlain's strategy, but this meant steering a course within the relatively narrow parameters defined by a complex inter-related web of geo-strategic, military, economic, financial, industrial, intelligence and electoral constraints.
Despite interminable scholarly debate, no consensus has emerged - particularly about the degree of choice enjoyed by policy makers in the face of such threats and constraints.

Last edited by Henri McPhee; Yesterday at 10:42 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 02:35 PM   #1975
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I agree that it was absurdly credulous to believe Hitler that the Sudetenland was his last territorial demand and I don't think Chamberlain did believe that.
No one gives any weight to what you believe and your last sentence illustrates why:

Quote:
It's just that the whole geopolitical situation was more complex than that. There is a sensible website about all this at:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24300094
Henri, no one is interested in yet another website you've dredged up. Yes the situation was more complex than that, which is why you're insistence on relying on blogs and editorials causes you to make so many ludicrous claims and cling to so many false beliefs. Pick up a book Henri, 'Wages of Destruction' would be a good choice and learn about this period of history.

If Chamberlain believed Britain was in a weak position why then did he pursue a policy that made it weaker still? Munich destroyed a useful ally, handing its resources over to Hitler. It drove the Soviet Union towards a deal with Nazi Germany and utterly crushed internal opposition to Hitler. Short of disbanding the RAF and Royal Navy there was little more Chamberlain could have done to weaken Britain and strengthen Nazi Germany.
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Old Yesterday, 03:52 PM   #1976
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Not any more, I'm afraid.

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After the sad loss of Dave’s cat I am happy to offer up my own new kitty. He is named after Lord Percy of Blackadder fame and has the brains to match, but I still hold out high hopes, relatively speaking.
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Old Yesterday, 04:07 PM   #1977
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I have never made a profound study of exactly why Chamberlain never declared war in about March 1939 when Hitler occupied Prague, after Hitler had promised the Sudetanland was his last territorial demand at Munich. I can only assume that it was after careful consideration by Chamberlain of the military weakness in France and the unreliability of Stalin and the disinterest of the British Commonwealth countries and of America, and the military advice of the British generals and secret service, and the usual 'with what' due and careful thought.
What a tissue of assumptions. I note that you do not deal with the rest of my post. And your assumptions are fantasies that are not I evidence. Chamberlain didn't want to go to war period. He also by then had made it clear that he didn't want to hear assessments of German military strength that would agree with what he wanted to do. The result is that he heard what he wanted to hear. Chamberlain systematically ignored different and much more accurate assessments of German military strength.

Further my point was not that Chamberlain should have gone to war at the time, March 1939, although that probably would have been better than September 1939. My point was that Chamberlain did very little, (Chamberlain was under considerable pressure to do much more than what he actually did.), not even sanctions and his turning over of the Czech gold reserves in the Bank of England to the Nazis is pretty shocking. Chamberlain wanted the whole crisis to go away and to continue appeasement even though Hitler was so obviously untrustworthy.

Chamberlain did feel compelled to make a public statement condemning the occupation of Prague and to make what he thought were mere public relation moves to increase the pace of rearmament. To his vast surprise the outpouring of anger and rage among the British population over the occupation along with the notion that enough was enough caught him by surprise and pushed him and his cabinet to adopt a sterner attitude in public and push more rearmament measures. Chamberlain hoped that this attitude among the British population was only temporary and that the British would revert to a more "sensible" attitude and allow appeasement to continue.

Oh and I should also point out that the Commonwealth countries were also outraged by the occupation of Prague and supported further British efforts to stop Hitler. Ditto for the French. The American public was not disinterested, it wanted to avoid going to war. The Roosevelt administration had by then made it abundantly clear they wanted Hitler thwarted and would support the allies one way or the other. And I will point out that Hitler felt that behind the British and French was the "real" enemy of Germany in it's fight for Global Supremacy - the USA and that he would have to be prepared eventually to deal with that.

As for Stalin being unreliable. Much has I don't want to defend one of the most horrible tyrants in history; the whole Munich crisis had taught Stalin , at least from his point of view, that the allies were unreliable and not interested in getting Soviet impute. In fact Chamberlain had deliberately frozen the Soviets out of Munich entirely. (Although Mussolini was involved). This made Stalin suspect that the allies were trying to get Hitler to attack him in order to weaken both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Very sadly this suspicion was not entirely groundless. One thing Stalin was, was paranoid and the whole Munich Crisis fed into his paranoia.

Has I said Chamberlain's policy was extremely effective in undermining and largely destroying western influence and power in Eastern Europe. Way to go Chamberlain!! The result was a massive expansion of German power and influence in Eastern Europe and it's division into spheres of influence and territorial control between Germany and the Soviet Union.

We know a great deal about the advice Chamberlain was given and much of it was tailored to agree with his preconceptions, and therefore very, very wrong. We know he ignored more accurate intelligence and made it plain what he wanted to hear.

The result was a misguided policy executed ineptly.

Henri I think I speak for a lot of people who post on this thread that we are getting tired of your almost sublime ignorance of even the most basic facts of this whole topic. You make fantasy assumptions which are, from the record, false and you continually exhibit an absolute refusal to do any real research. Your knowledge of this topic seems to be minimal.
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Old Today, 03:48 AM   #1978
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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
As for Stalin being unreliable. Much has I don't want to defend one of the most horrible tyrants in history; the whole Munich crisis had taught Stalin , at least from his point of view, that the allies were unreliable and not interested in getting Soviet impute. In fact Chamberlain had deliberately frozen the Soviets out of Munich entirely. (Although Mussolini was involved). This made Stalin suspect that the allies were trying to get Hitler to attack him in order to weaken both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Very sadly this suspicion was not entirely groundless. One thing Stalin was, was paranoid and the whole Munich Crisis fed into his paranoia.
In my opinion there may be truth in what you say in that remark, though very few people then or nowadays ever say that publicly. There is Russian historical propaganda now that the Russians were prepared to send God knows how many divisions to assist the Czechs if war was declared over the Sudetenland in 1938, but that would mean the Russians passing through Poland, which the Poles objected to, and it would not have guaranteed free and fair elections in Czechoslovakia. The French army which was supposed to help the Czechs was a shambles in 1938 and not much better in 1940. The fact is that Stalin thought his better option was to appease Hitler and for him to acquire the Baltic states and eastern Poland. What a twit, honestly! Even the posters on this forum can see that Hitler intended to invade Soviet Russia.

Chamberlain was a wealthy manufacturer who understood British manufacturing. He was thoroughly acquainted with the whole business of the practical difficulties of shipbuilding and aircraft manufacture, and components,, and military equipment and vehicles and logistics and administrative officers and things like bombs and shells and rifles. That was unlike Churchill and Eden, and the London politicians and journalists, and university lecturers and economists who seem to be making the decisions on Brexit nowadays.

It all reminds me so much of the Pirates of Penzance Gilbert and Sullivan opera on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs3dPaz9nAo

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Old Today, 04:18 AM   #1979
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Even the posters on this forum can see that Hitler intended to invade Soviet Russia.
To be fair, even the posters in this thread realise that things that are obvious 77 years later may not be quite so obvious three years before they happen.

Well, most of us realise that, anyway.

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Old Today, 10:41 AM   #1980
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
IThe fact is that Stalin thought his better option was to appease Hitler and for him to acquire the Baltic states and eastern Poland. What a twit, honestly! Even the posters on this forum can see that Hitler intended to invade Soviet Russia.
Three things:

Firstly everyone at the time knew Hitler intended to attack the USSR it was no sort of secret. The question was when and how? These were questions that had not been addressed in 1938 or 1939 so Chamberlain was in possession of no special knowledge on the subject.

Secondly you've now added hypocrisy to ignorance. You call Stalin a twit for doing precisely what you claim Chamberlain did and praise him for, that is buying time for rearmament. Of course Stalin struck a rather better bargain than Chamberlain. He got not only territorial concessions but a trade deal that among other things obtained German machine tools that went into the very factories that were building new weapons for the Soviet armed forces.

Thirdly yes Hitler intended to carve out an empire on the territory of the USSR, but he also wanted to crush the French, to remove their army(which the Germans did not regard as a laughing stock) as a threat, regain Alsace-Lorraine and avenge the humiliation of 1918. Stalin was eager to see the Germans concentrate their efforts in the west and sooner rather than later, the M-R Pact practically guaranteed that outcome. In 1939 everyone, including the German High Command expected a campaign against France to last months if not years. Stalin hoped the capitalist powers would bleed themselves dry while the USSR rebuilt and could then export the Communist revolution to western Europe. An extraordinary series of events that no one could have foreseen thwarted that hope.

In short Henri Stalin's actions in 1939 were entirely reasonable, which is more than can be said for Chamberlain.
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