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Old 3rd May 2017, 02:13 AM   #41
Henri McPhee
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There was a 2016 documentary on a British TV channel yesterday, with an American commentary, called Hitler v Churchill. The trouble with it is that it wasn't the pure unadulterated historical truth.

It started off by saying that the democracies did nothing about Hitler's occupation of the Rhineland and Austria in the 1930s. Then it stated that Churchill at the time oversaw the British Army and British Navy and our secret service. That is not absolutely correct. Churchill had nothing to do with it after Churchill was in charge of the Admiralty, and then left after the Gallipoli fiasco in the 1914-18 war. The RAF was strengthened during the prime ministership of Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain, and radar introduced.

Churchill was put in charge of the Admiralty at the outbreak of the second world war and he then commenced a disastrous intervention into Norway which ended in retreat. It was ill-equipped and lacking in administrative officers, or very efficient intelligence officers.

There was talk of replacing Churchill when the war was going badly in 1942, which only ceased when one dull MP suggested in parliament that the Duke of Gloucester should replace him.

Churchill suffered from want of judgement. It was only because he was guided by Field-Marshal Alanbrooke that there were not further disasters.
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Old 4th May 2017, 12:02 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
There was a 2016 documentary on a British TV channel yesterday, with an American commentary, called Hitler v Churchill. The trouble with it is that it wasn't the pure unadulterated historical truth.

It started off by saying that the democracies did nothing about Hitler's occupation of the Rhineland and Austria in the 1930s. Then it stated that Churchill at the time oversaw the British Army and British Navy and our secret service. That is not absolutely correct. Churchill had nothing to do with it after Churchill was in charge of the Admiralty, and then left after the Gallipoli fiasco in the 1914-18 war. The RAF was strengthened during the prime ministership of Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain, and radar introduced.

Churchill was put in charge of the Admiralty at the outbreak of the second world war and he then commenced a disastrous intervention into Norway which ended in retreat. It was ill-equipped and lacking in administrative officers, or very efficient intelligence officers.

There was talk of replacing Churchill when the war was going badly in 1942, which only ceased when one dull MP suggested in parliament that the Duke of Gloucester should replace him.

Churchill suffered from want of judgement. It was only because he was guided by Field-Marshal Alanbrooke that there were not further disasters.
That sounds like an uncharacteristically inaccurate program right there. Are you absolutely sure that you are not misremembering in some way, like for example they said that Churchill had been in charge of those things at some time in the past rather than being in charge at the time ?
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Old 4th May 2017, 02:13 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
That sounds like an uncharacteristically inaccurate program right there. Are you absolutely sure that you are not misremembering in some way, like for example they said that Churchill had been in charge of those things at some time in the past rather than being in charge at the time ?
I suppose I might have misunderstood exactly what the commentary on that documentary was saying about Churchill having been in charge of everything before the war. It will probably be repeated so it can be checked. It's just to my mind Churchill has taken the political credit for everything just because he said he will write the history. Americans at the time thought Churchill was an armchair strategist, while now he is used by 'blame everything on Russia and Assad' Americans and Israelis as an example of what should have been done. Churchill's Foreign Secretary, Eden definitely did have want of judgment, which was proved in the Suez crisis of 1956. Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax had his head screwed on in the 1930s. It's just that he didn't want to be prime minister.

It was people like Lloyd George and the Duke of Windsor who were the appeasers.

My own opinion is that our secret service was well aware that Hitler intended to march on Moscow from at least 1934, and that the British prime Ministers and Foreign Secretaries at the time would have been informed of that, if not the Russians. Chamberlain waving his piece of paper is what is known technically as political cunning and trickery. Fools and damned fools rush in where angels fear to tread. The Czechs would have lasted about three weeks.

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Old 4th May 2017, 05:18 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
My own opinion is that our secret service was well aware that Hitler intended to march on Moscow from at least 1934, and that the British prime Ministers and Foreign Secretaries at the time would have been informed of that, if not the Russians.
Do you have any evidence to support this opinion ?
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Old 4th May 2017, 08:55 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Do you have any evidence to support this opinion ?
I have always been under the impression that our secret service gave Stalin proper warning that he was about to be attacked by the Germans in 1941, but that the Russians ignored the British because of their Nazi--Soviet pact with Ribbentrop. The Russians didn't trust what the British were saying. I wasn't around at the time. All the reports I have seen about the matter say Stalin was in a state of total shock for a couple of weeks after he had previously eliminated his best officers, and that he was expecting a coup against him.

The trouble is that the media, and people like Donald Trump, and even Mrs. May, are not profound and unbiased thinkers.

There is some hard documentary evidence about all this in a book called the Ultra Secret by F.W. Winterbotham published in 1974 by Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London. He was in Air Intelligence and heavily involved in the Enigma secret The prime minister and Foreign Secretary would have been informed about all this and Winston Churchill when he became prime minister.

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From my personal meetings with Hitler I learned about his basic belief that the only hope for an ordered world was that it should be ruled by three super powers, the British Empire, the Greater Americas and the new greater German Reich. he gave me an assurance that the Germans themselves would destroy the Communists by the conquest of Russia. he admitted that in 1934 the generals had too much to say and told me he had had 'to sell them half his birthright'. He totally rejected the Versailles treaty and gave me the figures and plans for his great new Air Force. Conversations with him inadvertently also revealed to me that he had some sort of dual personality which he could switch on and off at will. Later, I have no doubt, the unreasonable one took over.

From General Walther von Reichenau, Hitler's favourite general, I learned in 1934, details of the German plans against Russia, and the strategy of the blitzkrieg, the massive tank spearheads supported by their mobile artillery, the dive bomber. From Air Force General Kesselring I discovered the composition to the air fleets and how the operation of dive bombing had finally been perfected. It all came true in the battle of France.
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Old 4th May 2017, 09:23 AM   #46
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Stalin was told about the invasion by his own spies.
He didn't need to be told by ours.

As for 1934, he talked about Germany's need to expand east in Mein Kampf, a decade prior.

And finally, Winterbotham is one of the reasons the whole Coventry bombing foreknowledge nonsense took hold. So take his book with a pinch of salt as he seems to have had a tendency to embellish things.
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Old 4th May 2017, 11:08 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The Czechs would have lasted about three weeks.
Do you have any evidence to support that?

1) The Czechs had their own "Maginot line" along the German border. I concede, that was in Sudetenland, so the local population would have been more or less hostile. But when the German generals inspected it after the annexation of Sudetenland, they were relieved they didn't have to fight their way through.

2) The Czechs had a good army. In fact, most of the German tanks used in the Poland campaign were Czech ones.

3) The German generals, under leadership of Beck, had a plot to depose Hitler in case of a war with Czechoslovakia. British intelligence knew this, but they didn't quite trust it.

4) Germany didn't have any army units to spare for the West. While they could give some resistance to the token French invasion in 1939, in 1938 this would have been totally impossible. Even an army as low on morale as the French would have noticed that advance was a walk in the park.
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Old 4th May 2017, 01:52 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
Britain and France did not ignore Hitler's violations, and did what they could to prevent them leading to another Great War.

The war in Europe was the action Britain and France took against Hitler when efforts to prevent a war failed.

You have to und...
Yeah, their actions like giving Hitler Czechoslovakia with high value industrial base and very good tanks were very good bright ideas. (Terminal Case of Sarcasm) Without us, Hitler couldn't do that much. Wehrmacht might have succeeded in conquering us but only after taking heavy loess and nothing would be here intact (industrial base and infrastructure).

BTW: Calling initial action by France and GB after invasion of Poland as "waging war" is terminally idiotic. They did nothing. If they did, we wouldn't have had mega war.

Originally Posted by CapelDodger View Post
This your conclusion eighty years later. No doubt you have a firm opinion of what military action (aka war ; it was a simpler world in those days) should have been undertaken and at what point, given what you know of what subsequently happened. You'll appreciate that people at the time were living at the time.

That infamous piece of paper might have worked, and prevented any war, something greatly to be desired.

You'll only learn from history if you can put yourself in the position of the people involved at the time, unaware of their future and the ultimate consequences of their actions, just as we are now.

What would have been the ultimate consequences if the French had fired on German troops re-occupying the Rhineland? Not WW2 as and when it happened, but another war sometime, perhaps with a worse outcome. And so on.

They did what they thought was appropriate at the time, with the best of intentions. Perhaps it was the best they could have done.
Those "best intentions" were total and brutal failure and directly lead to biggest war to day. Oh, nad it was very clear to quite few people that appeasement was idiotic bad idea. Certain Winston Churchill. was against it and got proven totally right.

And that infamous Piece of **** (I usually don't use swear words, but that is the only correct name and descriptor for that "thing") was so great idea that it gave Hitler fresh industrial base and Wehrmacht new much better tanks. And almost got some interesting freshly developed things.

It was one of things that directly enabled entire war! It was idiotic idea, obvious already back then.

Chamberlain and co were idiots and world paid the price for their total idiocy.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I agree with JihadJane.

This website is closer to the truth about Chamberlain. He used cunning and subtlety, unlike the average Joe in America who tend to be a lot of armchair admirals. From:

www.politicalbistro.com/neville-chamberlain
All that "subtlety" and "cunning". To bad all of it lead directly top war.

Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
It could have been worse, having 56-million killed, and the Nazis ruling an empire from the Atlantic to the Urals would do that.

We *now* know that Hitler was willing to remove his troops from the Rhineland. This wasn't known at the time.

Similarly by Munich, some people argue that it bought time for Great Britain to rearm and update the RAF in particular.
...
If they forced Germany to have to fight us, they'd get more time and they ever needed. (And it was clear back then, they just ignored all of it in favor of idiotical fantasy)

Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Do you have any evidence to support that?

1) The Czechs had their own "Maginot line" along the German border. I concede, that was in Sudetenland, so the local population would have been more or less hostile. But when the German generals inspected it after the annexation of Sudetenland, they were relieved they didn't have to fight their way through.

2) The Czechs had a good army. In fact, most of the German tanks used in the Poland campaign were Czech ones.

3) The German generals, under leadership of Beck, had a plot to depose Hitler in case of a war with Czechoslovakia. British intelligence knew this, but they didn't quite trust it.

4) Germany didn't have any army units to spare for the West. While they could give some resistance to the token French invasion in 1939, in 1938 this would have been totally impossible. Even an army as low on morale as the French would have noticed that advance was a walk in the park.
Precisely. Just little reminder: Large sections of defense line weren't finished at that time. (Although at bare minimum most of times bunkers were already in-place)

===

And last reminder: Especially GB was very lucky that Germans failed to get their hands on quiet few pieces of military technologies being developed here. Look up LittleJohn Adapter and Anti-tank rifle for some examples...
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Old 5th May 2017, 03:54 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
Yeah, their actions like giving Hitler Czechoslovakia with high value industrial base and very good tanks were very good bright ideas. (Terminal Case of Sarcasm) Without us, Hitler couldn't do that much. Wehrmacht might have succeeded in conquering us but only after taking heavy loess and nothing would be here intact (industrial base and infrastructure).

BTW: Calling initial action by France and GB after invasion of Poland as "waging war" is terminally idiotic. They did nothing. If they did, we wouldn't have had mega war.
Oh yes, they did. The French invaded the Saar over a 32km front and advanced some 8km. They tried to pass through a forest that was heavily mined, but they hadn't brought their anti-mining equipment (which they had). They had instruction to halt at least 1km before the Siegfried Line. And after two weeks, they withdrew.

If Daladier and Gamelin would have had the resolve of their predecessors Louis XIV and Comte de Mélac, the French army could easily have secured the Rhineland before Poland fell. Here's an amusing alt-history thread on that.

Even more so if the French would have done so a year earlier, instead of Munich. The Siegfried Line would have been non-existent at the time.
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Old 6th May 2017, 02:27 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Stalin was told about the invasion by his own spies.
He didn't need to be told by ours.

As for 1934, he talked about Germany's need to expand east in Mein Kampf, a decade prior.

And finally, Winterbotham is one of the reasons the whole Coventry bombing foreknowledge nonsense took hold. So take his book with a pinch of salt as he seems to have had a tendency to embellish things.
That's being an armchair strategist, and an armchair admiral.

Others, especially Churchill hoped that a strong military alliance with France would permit a more robust foreign policy towards the dictators. Many shared Churchill's confidence in the large French Army, although fewer shared his belief that France would be a resilient ally.

Russia had spies but they didn't seem to get it into Stalin's head that he was about to be attacked. Stalin trusted Ribbentrop, who was later executed at Nuremberg.

It has been said that Stalin was warned by Churchill in mid 1940, and from other sources. There was a Russian spy ring in Switzerland, I think called Lucy, which some say consisted of British double agents being fed with information from our secret service. The British, with the help of some brainy people in Poland had cracked the German codes. Our secret service knew German reserves were being massed on the Russian border in January 1941. The Americans had cracked the Japanese codes.

It has also been said that the German Admiral Canaris, was one of ours, and Oster who warned of the German attack through the Ardennes in 1940, but he was not believed. They both died in concentration camps towards the end of the war.

The Coventry bombing foreknowledge was a false story because, according to Peter Calvocoressi, Enigma never deciphered that information. The first casualty of war is the truth. That may not be the historical truth.
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Old 7th May 2017, 09:13 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Oh yes, they did. The French invaded the Saar over a 32km front and advanced some 8km. They tried to pass through a forest that was heavily mined, but they hadn't brought their anti-mining equipment (which they had). They had instruction to halt at least 1km before the Siegfried Line. And after two weeks, they withdrew.

If Daladier and Gamelin would have had the resolve of their predecessors Louis XIV and Comte de Mélac, the French army could easily have secured the Rhineland before Poland fell. Here's an amusing alt-history thread on that.

Even more so if the French would have done so a year earlier, instead of Munich. The Siegfried Line would have been non-existent at the time.
The French High Command was in a bad state. They still had the defensive warfare mind set of the 1914-18 war, unlike the Panzer Grenadier air and land blitzkrieg and dive bomber tactics, which are now used by Israel.

I used to think the Duke of Windsor was used by our secret service to spy on the Germans, and even to deceive them, because of his powerful political and family connections in Germany, and his wife's connection to Ribbentrop. I now think that because of his lack of a sense of proportion, and lack of discretion with his Nazi sympathiser pals, that he became a security risk, and he was then packed off to the colonies for the rest of the war.

The Duke of Windsor, as a Major-General, had a job at the beginning of the war of spying on the French Army. What he reported was reasonable and sensible, but not regarded as credible, and there were worries that those reports were going to Berlin.

There is a bit of waffle about this in a book called Edward V111 by Philip Ziegler, Collins, London 1990:

Quote:
In his report he had 'dealt at length..... with the obvious weaknesses and defects of the French defences along the Belgian frontier'. The French were not digging in and were physically unfit;' They are determined if possible to give the Germans battle in Belgium. Of course they will burrow like rabbits at the sound of the first shell, but French logic says never dig unless you have to.' He was not impressed by the majority of the French commanders, the best being Georges and Billotte. Gaston Billotte, he believed, was 'a man who might well reach the very top if the war were to last a long time' - or, unhappily, as it fell out, if Billotte was to last a long time; he died in May 1940, cutting short what most people believed could have been a remarkable career and, incidentally, removing a possible rival to de Gaulle.

At times the Duke's commentaries were strikingly prescient. The French, he wrote in his final report, were obsessed by the wonders of the Maginot Line. there was no provision for defence in depth, and in the Meuse valley there were virtually no defences at all. 'It is perhaps fortunate the Germans did not attack through Luxembourg and Belgium in November. But he was by no means always right.: Hitler would attack Holland but would not march into Belgium, he assured Ironside, 'because that country will provide him with a buffer state and put Holland out of reach of the Allies by land. It would be extravagant to claim for the Duke either great strategic acumen or detailed military knowledge; what can fairly be said is that his reports were conscientious, sensible, and well worth studying by those concerned.

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Old 8th May 2017, 02:33 AM   #52
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There is a bit about strategy and Winston Churchill in a 1947 book called The Russian Outlook, by Lieutenant-General Sir Giffard Martel, Michael Joseph, London:

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Here was our golden opportunity, but the landing craft were not there. Could we take a chance and land in France without much preparation, as we did in North Africa at the end of 1942? We would be heavily attacked by the German air forces. Our Allied air forces had not yet gained any great supremacy over the Luftwaffe. Only a proportion of the American forces that would be landing were fully trained. Mr. Winston Churchill was intent on supporting the American desire to land in France in 1942, if it could possibly be carried out.

Before a decision of this nature can be made a very detailed examination of the facts is necessary. There are so many conflicting factors to balance up. Can you land in sufficient strength and sufficiently quickly to hold the ground? Will you have sufficient air cover? is the necessary shipping available? Is the U-boat menace too great at the time? Will it be possible to supply the troops after they have landed? And above all is the supply of landing craft and all the organisation necessary for an opposed landing sufficiently advanced to ensure that there will not be a ghastly failure on the beaches?.........

What would have happened if we had accepted the American plan of concentrating all our efforts on the cross-Channel operations at a much earlier date? Could we have launched these operations at a much earlier date? Could we have launched these operations in 1943? We were still very short of landing craft, but we would have been better off if all supplies had been concentrated for this purpose. Our air superiority was already very marked, but we did not have the overwhelming superiority that we eventually possessed in 1944. The American troops were not all fully trained, but they were not far behind in this respect. But even with all these points of view it would have been a difficult operation to launch the crossing in 1943.
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Old 8th May 2017, 05:48 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
That's being an armchair strategist, and an armchair admiral.
I have no idea what this has to do with my response.
Or indeed much of the rest, so I've cut to the parts that at least seem related to my post.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Russia had spies but they didn't seem to get it into Stalin's head that he was about to be attacked. Stalin trusted Ribbentrop, who was later executed at Nuremberg.
And? I said he had his own spies. He ignored them quite happily, he didn't need British spies for that.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
Our secret service knew German reserves were being massed on the Russian border in January 1941.
So did the Russians!
You cannot hide that sort of troop movement.

Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The Coventry bombing foreknowledge was a false story because, according to Peter Calvocoressi, Enigma never deciphered that information. The first casualty of war is the truth. That may not be the historical truth.
Since I brought it up because of Winterbotham, the foreknowledge fell down because none of the timings he used fitted in with documented events. As I said, he had a tendency to make stuff up.
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Old 9th May 2017, 02:13 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post

And? I said he had his own spies. He ignored them quite happily, he didn't need British spies for that.

Technically some of his spies were supposed to be British spies:

Kim Philby
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Old 9th May 2017, 03:50 AM   #55
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Well, the most well known Soviet one (though not only) was Sorge in Japan.
Stalin seems to have just been hoping none of it was true. Hell, Churchill told him.
He essentially had a breakdown in the immediate aftermath...
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Old 9th May 2017, 06:31 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Well, the most well known Soviet one (though not only) was Sorge in Japan.
Stalin seems to have just been hoping none of it was true. Hell, Churchill told him.
He essentially had a breakdown in the immediate aftermath...
Stalin's colleagues expected a German invasion too, but didn't dare to contradict their master. Here's Beria, covering his rear
Just a day before the German invasion when Beria sent Stalin a report with the prediction of Vladimir Dekanozov, the Soviet ambassador in Berlin, that the attack was imminent, the secret police chief prefaced it with the declaration: "My people and I, Joseph Vissarionovich, firmly remember your wise prediction: Hitler will not attack us in 1941!"
Beria knew Dekanosov was right, and was insuring himself in case Stalin decided to make Beria a scapegoat in the event of an invasion. The ruse was successful.
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Old 9th May 2017, 08:38 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Technically some of his spies were supposed to be British spies:

Kim Philby
I have never been clear about exactly what Kim Philby told Stalin. I agree Stalin believed his spies in Japan, who told him the Japanese were not going to attack Russia in 1941. That was crucial information as Stalin was then able to transfer Siberian troops to the defence of Moscow in the mud and frosts of 1941. The German tanks and equipment froze up in the extreme cold of a Russian winter. The German troops were not given winter clothing.

I have always had a gut feeling, though no hard documentary evidence, that for some reason the Russians knew EXACTLY where and when, and the exact time of the attack, when the Germans started that decisive tank battle at Kursk in 1943. In previous years they did not have that kind of information, a bit like the British at Dunkirk.

There is a reference in that Ultra Secret book by Winterbotham in 1974 to Kim Philby:

Quote:
As our successes in breaking Ultra increased, it became obvious that these signals carried the very highest command traffic, from Hitler and his Ober Kommando Wehrmacht (OKW) High Command, from the Chiefs of the Army, Air and Naval Staffs, and from Army, Airfleet and Armoured Group Commanders. The German Abwehr, which dealt with spies and counter-espionage, used a different cypher of their own which was also broken. It was widely use by our own security services and was responsible for the picking up and neutralization of German agents. It has been referred to by Professor Hugh Trevor Roper, Kim Philby and others.
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Old 10th May 2017, 01:40 AM   #58
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Seriously...don't use Winterbotham.

As for Kursk, yes they did know. That's well documented. They had a spy in Bletchley, as well as their network in Switzerland, who all informed them of the build up around Kursk. All helped by the off-again, on-again nature of the German planning for the attack.
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Old 11th May 2017, 02:37 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Seriously...don't use Winterbotham.

As for Kursk, yes they did know. That's well documented. They had a spy in Bletchley, as well as their network in Switzerland, who all informed them of the build up around Kursk. All helped by the off-again, on-again nature of the German planning for the attack.
I don't know about the Russians having a spy in Bletchley. Evidence and source?

In that World at War TV documentary in 1973, which keeps being repeated on British TV, there is an interview with a Russian army officer who was involved in that Kursk tank battle in 1943. He said that the Russians obtained their intelligence information from reconnaissance and information from German prisoners of war. I think that's most unlikely. Most, if not all, of those German prisoners would not have the high grade information about times and strategic and tactical decisions. That Russian army officer was being economical with the historical truth.

There is some waffle about all this in a book called Top Secret Ultra by Peter Calvocoressi published by Sphere Books , London, 1981

Quote:
In practice this meant deciding how much should be imparted and how. The answer to the second question was straightforward. There was no need for the devious channels which some postwar writers have suggested such as spy rings in Switzerland. There were direct and regular links between the intelligence services in London and the British embassy in Moscow and these were used to convey intelligence of all kinds to the ambassador who in turn passed on personally to Stalin whatever secret intelligence London decided to vouchsafe. How much was conveyed varied with circumstances. In general Churchill himself, while he never considered telling Stalin whence Ultra came, was temperamentally in favour of giving more information rather than less. He was not the only one in this frame of mind, but he had on occasions to be restrained by others, who feared that he was taking too many risks.

In sum a considerable amount of intelligence was passed to the Russians. We do not know whether they guessed where it came from. If they did not, then they were of course ignorant of the peculiar authenticity of what they were being told. In the case of the great tank battles of 1942, for example, when they were warned that they were pouring men and materials into a huge German trap, it is difficult to suppose that they gave full credence to warnings which, if heeded, would have saved them terrible losses.

If on the other hand they did guess that we had a very special source which we were unwilling to share with them, what did they make of that? They must have captured Enigma machines and cypher books and they must have supposed that we did so too. They were not lacking in mathematicians and chess-players capable of appreciating what was involved in breaking the cyphers. They may themselves have been without an organisation like Bletchley Park capable of making the most of such skills, but it would be have been natural for them to harbour at least suspicion that we possessed a precious advantage which we were withholding from them. They were certainly suspicious in general, often unfairly. Yet neither directly nor indirectly did they probe Eden or anybody else on the subject of Ultra.
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Old 11th May 2017, 03:17 AM   #60
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John Cairncross.

As for info from prisoners, that's a very common event, especially for operations like the one planned for Kursk when they get postponed. It just gives the other side more time to get useful information.
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Old 11th May 2017, 04:17 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
In that World at War TV documentary in 1973, which keeps being repeated on British TV, there is an interview with a Russian army officer who was involved in that Kursk tank battle in 1943. He said that the Russians obtained their intelligence information from reconnaissance and information from German prisoners of war. I think that's most unlikely. Most, if not all, of those German prisoners would not have the high grade information about times and strategic and tactical decisions. That Russian army officer was being economical with the historical truth.
The officer is being quite accurate with the truth. You get a lot of information from interrogating prisoners - units, type of equipment, state of said equipment, morale, short term operational information. When you capture a few panzermen and they tell you they've been pulled slightly back for refits/new kit, combine that with a slackening of the artillery strikes your own forces are getting, and the reinforcements arriving to the infantry units (which you've confirmed by grabbing a few landsers) then you can tell that the enemy is getting ready for offensive ops. This is something all militaries do
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Old 11th May 2017, 08:24 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
John Cairncross.

As for info from prisoners, that's a very common event, especially for operations like the one planned for Kursk when they get postponed. It just gives the other side more time to get useful information.
I grant you that John Cairncross might have provided crucial information for the Russians for the battle of Kursk in 1943, but not in 1942. This is getting into deep waters and much of it is still secret. Cairncross seems to have died in 1995. Previously to 1995 he had quite willingly confessed to his activities. He might, though there is no hard evidence to back this up, have been controlled by our secret service to provide the Russians with information. The Russians seem to think he was one of theirs.

There is another funny business with regard to parachuting British agents into Holland, who were then immediately captured, which was SOE business. I think somebody called Leo Marks became suspicious about why things were going wrong. I have always thought, though I may be wrong, that those British and Dutch agents were sacrificed in order to protect Admiral Canaris, and to give him political credit with Hitler for out-tricking the British.

There is a bit of waffle about this on the internet:

Quote:
In November 1943, the same month as the RAF demanded an investigation into the loss of so many aircraft during Dutch clandestine missions, the Dutch legation in Berne reported that two of the captured agents had escaped to Switzerland. Though they revealed the existence of the Funkspiel, Bingham remained unconvinced anything was amiss, especially when the Germans radioed London that the two agents had not really escaped at all but had been returned to the fold as double agents. When the two escapers eventually arrived in the UK in February 1944 the authorities, erring on the side of caution, imprisoned them.

By then, however, the Joint Intelligence Committee (see UK, 8) had concluded that penetration of the Dutch network had probably occurred and further communications with it were forbidden. On 1 April 1944 Giskes broke off contact with a mocking message.

Although Englandspiel had been a great tactical success, it had not produced the strategic secret he sought, the date and place of the Allied invasion of Europe (see OVERLORD).

Englandspiel not only cost the lives of 54 agents-most of whom suffered terrible deaths in concentration camps-but those of a number of other Dutch civilians and about 50 RAF personnel. It also caused havoc in two French resistance networks when, through information received by the Funkspiel,Giskes was able to penetrate their organizations. As a result at least 132 people lost their lives and many others were arrested.
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Old 12th May 2017, 01:39 AM   #63
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Where did 1942 come from?
You brought up Kursk (1943) in the middle of a discussion of Barbarossa (1941)!

Please...I know I keep asking this, and it's probably a vain hope...please focus, Henri.
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Old 12th May 2017, 02:53 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Where did 1942 come from?
You brought up Kursk (1943) in the middle of a discussion of Barbarossa (1941)!

Please...I know I keep asking this, and it's probably a vain hope...please focus, Henri.
The point I have been making all along is that Chamberlain and Halifax knew Hitler was going to attack Russia and march on Moscow. That was the British strategy. Stalin didn't believe the British. Our secret service were loathe to explain to Stalin about the Ultra and Enigma secret because they were afraid the Germans would find out about it once the Russians were informed.

Stalin was provided with information through official channels from Barbarossa onwards, but still by 1942 he was ignoring it. The Russians launched a massive counter-attack after the Germans nearly reached Moscow in 1941, and then they fell into a German trap in 1942, with extremely tough Siberian troops, in which three Russian armies were lost and taken prisoner. I don't know how much Ultra information the Russians were given with regard to Stalingrad at the end of 1942.

It's plausible that John Cairncross was used by our secret service to provide the Russians with information that would be in the British national interest, but no more, and which Stalin would believe.

As F.W. Winterbotham wrote in his book:

Quote:
Let no one be fooled by the spate of television films and propaganda which has made the war seem like some great triumphant epic. It was, in fact, a very narrow shave, and the reader may like to ponder, whilst reading this book, whether or not we might have won had we not had Ultra.
It would have been far worse in 1938 if the armchair strategists and armchair Generals and Admirals had been in control.

There is information about John Cairncross on the internet:

www.alchetron.com/John-Cairncross-1375595-W

Quote:
Operation Citadel

Operation Citadel was the codename given by Nazi Germany to their offensive which led to the Battle of Kursk, a turning point on the Eastern Front. After being defeated at Kursk, the Wehrmacht retreated steadily until Berlin was taken.

Tunny decrypts (transcripts) gave the British advance intelligence about Operation Citadel whilst it was being planned. Almost all raw transcripts were destroyed at the end of the war but a surviving transcript dated 25 April 1943 from German Army Group South signed von Weichs shows the high level of detail available to British intelligence officers. Analysts deduced the northern and southern attack routes, and a report based on this transcript was passed through official channels to Stalin.

During this period, Cairncross provided a second clandestine channel, supplying raw Tunny transcripts directly.
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Old 12th May 2017, 03:08 AM   #65
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Henri, when do you think they started planning Barbarossa?
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Old 12th May 2017, 03:53 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
Henri, when do you think they started planning Barbarossa?
If I may intrude. The wiki article on this subject states
the German High Command began planning an invasion of the Soviet Union in July 1940 (under the codename Operation Otto), which Adolf Hitler authorized on 18 December 1940.
Neville Chamberlain died on 9 November 1940, so it is most unlikely that he could have had advance warning of the operation.
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Old 12th May 2017, 08:22 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
If I may intrude. The wiki article on this subject states
the German High Command began planning an invasion of the Soviet Union in July 1940 (under the codename Operation Otto), which Adolf Hitler authorized on 18 December 1940.
Neville Chamberlain died on 9 November 1940, so it is most unlikely that he could have had advance warning of the operation.
As a previous poster on this forum has said Hitler wrote in his Mein Kampf book in the 1920s that he wanted to attack Russia. F.W. Winterbotham has written that he found out in 1934 from his sources in Germany the approximate time Hitler intended to attack Russia. I don't know if the mainstream media at the time ever informed the public and the House of Commons about all this, but I'm convinced Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax were fully aware of it.

There was a report on a TV documentary once that the Czech prime minister, I think called Benes, fainted when Hitler threatened to bomb Prague in 1938.

Many writers with regard to the matter seem to suggest that the British tried to delay Hitler's invasion of Russia by moving into Greece and Crete. Field Marshal Alanbrooke had something to say about that in The Turn of the Tide book by Arthur Bryant in 1957:

Quote:
This is one of the very few occasions on which I doubted Dill's advice and judgment, and I am not in a position to form any definite opinion as I was not familiar with all the facts. I have, however always considered from the very start that our participation in the operations in Greece was a definite strategic blunder. Our hands were more than full at that time in the Middle East, and Greece could only result in the most dangerous dispersal of force.
Personally I believe Hitler hoped and intended to have the Russian campaign over by Christmas 1941. In the same way he thought he could win the Battle of Britain.

It looks like the Russians used spies and intelligence other than reconnaissance and German prisoners of war for the Battle of Stalingrad at the end of 1942. This is a quote from the book Enemy at the Gates The Battle of Stalingrad by the American William Craig published 1973:

Quote:
November 11, 1942, to Dora: [Lucy Network in Switzerland] Where are the rear defense locations of the Germans on the southwest of Stalingrad and along the Don? Are defense positions being built on sectors Stalingrad-Kletskaya and Stalingrad-Kalach? Their characteristics?....
This is what F.W Winterbotham wrote in his book about the invasion of Russia by Hitler. I think it's true and not embellished:

Quote:
From Eric Koch, who showed me all over the great concrete preparations in East Prussia for Operation Otto, I found out the approximate date of the operation against all Russia..........

Ever since I had joined the Secret Service in 1929 I had realized that amongst those who trod the carpeted corridors of power in Whitehall it was fashionable to smile in tolerant disbelief at anything the Secret Service told them. It was frustrating to see the information on German rearmament being quietly ignored.. As my efforts with Hitler and company had had the full backing of Admiral Sir Hugh Sinclair (Quex to his friends, "C" to the establishment, to me the Chief), he complained to the Prime Minister when he saw no use was being made of my knowledge. In 1935 I was finally summoned to appear before a Cabinet Committee to substantiate my reports. They were accepted by the committee. When Baldwin retired, Lord Swinton took over as Air Minister from Lord Londonderry, and I got the help and backing I wanted...........

After thirty years of somewhat smug propaganda on the subject of Nazi Fascism, it is difficult to tell people now how very nearly it never happened. How those of us who knew the might of the German war machine, and the accurate facts of our fight for existence, wondered at the blind optimism of the Army Staff, and of Winston Churchill himself, that we could hold the Germans in France.

It took the fall of France and great pressure from the Air Staff to convince him that things had changed since World War 1. It was at this critical moment that the greatest Intelligence triumph of all time came to our rescue, a secret that was kept throughout the war and after.

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Old 12th May 2017, 08:40 AM   #68
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How can Hitler have known in 1934 the time when he would invade Russia? That is preposterous. He didn't have an Air Force or a substantial army then. Of course he hated the Jewish Bolsheviks, as he perceived the rulers of the USSR to be, and presumably always intended to deal with them if and when an opportunity presented itself. But that is a very different thing from Dekanozov and Beria being aware on the eve of the invasion, that it was going to take place very shortly.

If Chamberlain had merely said to Stalin in 1938: the fascists will attack you if they get a chance, Stalin would merely have said, I know that. Didn't I warn in 1931 that we mustn't fall behind technologically, we must achieve a hundred years of progress in ten years, or the capitalists will invade and defeat us?

Prescient, eh? And all done with the magic powers of Marxism-Leninism, not deciphering machines.
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Old 12th May 2017, 03:21 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
The officer is being quite accurate with the truth. You get a lot of information from interrogating prisoners - units, type of equipment, state of said equipment, morale, short term operational information. When you capture a few panzermen and they tell you they've been pulled slightly back for refits/new kit, combine that with a slackening of the artillery strikes your own forces are getting, and the reinforcements arriving to the infantry units (which you've confirmed by grabbing a few landsers) then you can tell that the enemy is getting ready for offensive ops. This is something all militaries do
THis is true.

Though the Russians did have other sources of intelligence.....they had,as someone mentioned, a mole at Bletchly Park...though I suspect that if Ultra had picked up info on the German build up, it would have been passed on to the Soviets,with suitable cover stories as to where it came from.
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Old 13th May 2017, 12:30 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
If I may intrude. The wiki article on this subject states
the German High Command began planning an invasion of the Soviet Union in July 1940 (under the codename Operation Otto), which Adolf Hitler authorized on 18 December 1940.
Neville Chamberlain died on 9 November 1940, so it is most unlikely that he could have had advance warning of the operation.
Ouch
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Old 13th May 2017, 08:39 AM   #71
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In a way you could accuse Stalin of appeasement. He should have read Hitler's Mein Kampf and talked to Hitler and his associates in 1934, like our secret service did, instead of trusting Ribbentrop with an agreement and piece of paper. Hitler wanted to smash up the Red army. Chamberlain and Lord Halifax were well aware of that.

There is a bit of historical background to all this in a book called the Russian Outlook by Lieutenant-General Sir Giffard Martel published in 1947. Some of this applies today:

Quote:
The Russian attitude towards Great Britain

What was passing through the minds of the Russians when war became inevitable in 1939? From their point of view they looked back on a very grim period as regards their relations with our country. Without going into full details of this past record, we can see clearly enough the sort of unpleasant thoughts that remained uppermost in their minds. While the British Empire was expanding in the last century we had consistently opposed any expansion on their part. We had resisted Russian influence in Persia and Turkey. We had opposed the opening of a Russian warm-water port in the Persian Gulf. We intervened in their country and tried to re-establish the East front in Russia towards the end of the First World War. In doing so we brought chaos and internal strife to Russia. They were not asked to attend at Versailles.

After a time the relations between our two countries improved and trade was reopened, but the Russians remained deeply suspicious. When Hitler rose to power and war was imminent the Russians were not invited to come to Munich for the discussions. They were not consulted as regards the fate of Poland or Rumania. It is small wonder that the Russians remained suspicious. Russia decided that her actions must be guided entirely by what was best for her country, as her cooperation was not invited by her former Allies. At a late hour efforts were made to rectify these faults. We sent a mission to Russia to do so. The final tragedy was that Russia made her non-aggression pact with Germany while our mission was still discussing co-operation between our countries.
The Russians were helped by Navy convoy work and by the Americans transporting military equipment by road from Persia/Iran, and in my opinion by 1943, by Ultra intelligence information. The Germans were beginning to penetrate through the Caucasus. They might have broken through in the spring of 1943, and if they had done so it would have been very difficult to stop them from seizing the Persian oil fields. Our operations in the Middle East were entirely dependent on the oil which we obtained from those oil fields. That was a very serious threat to the Allies.
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Old 14th May 2017, 02:53 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
Henri, when do you think they started planning Barbarossa?
As I have said before Hitler intended to invade Russia from the time he wrote Mein Kampf in the 1920s. This was well known by our secret service, and by Neville Chamberlain and Lord Halifax. At the Nuremberg trials after the war it was mentioned that the political plans for Russia were discussed in April 1941, before Barbarossa. That was to be an 'Armenian' genocide of the Slav peoples including the Polish people and Ukrainians and Russians. This was only postponed after the Stalingrad and Kursk battles, which dwarfed most of the other battles in the war. My own father was involved in some of the battles in North Africa and Italy.

Stalin was not much better with his Katyn massacre of the Poles at the beginning of the war, in which about 22000 Poles were murdered, including the Polish officer class and Polish intelligentsia.

I remember reading a book by an Indian General once who said Hitler should have defeated Britain before he invaded Russia. Personally, I believe that if Winston Churchill had been in control in 1938, and Britain had gone to war then over the Czechs, then Britain would have been defeated. Chamberlain provided another year to get organised, instead of a 'with what' strategy.

I don't know what Hitler's plans for the British and Irish and Canadians and Americans was once they were defeated. The Japanese wanted Australia and New Zealand. The Jews and Jehovah Witnesses were the priority, and they now get most of the historical publicity.

There is a bit of waffle about this matter on the internet:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Order_(Nazism))

Quote:
The United Kingdom was then to be plundered for anything of financial, military, industrial or cultural value,[16] and the remaining population terrorised. Civilian hostages would be taken, and the death penalty immediately imposed for any acts of resistance.[17]

The deported male population would have most likely been used as industrial slave labour in areas of the Reich such as the factories and mines of the Ruhr and Upper Silesia. Although they may have been treated less brutally than slaves from the East (whom the Nazis regarded as sub-humans, fit only to be worked to death), working and living conditions would still have been severe.[18]

In late February 1943 Otto Bräutigam of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories claimed he had the opportunity to read a personal report by General Eduard Wagner about a discussion with Heinrich Himmler, in which Himmler had expressed the intention to kill about 80% of the populations of France and England by special forces of the SS after the German victory.[19] In an unrelated event, Hitler had on one occasion called the English lower classes, descendants of Anglo-Saxons - a Germanic people, "racially inferior".[20]

By annexing large territories in northeastern France, Hitler hoped to marginalize the country to prevent any further continental challenges to Germany's hegemony.[21] Likewise, the Latin nations of Western and Southern Europe (Portugal, Spain and Italy) were to be eventually brought into a state of total German dependency and control.

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Old 14th May 2017, 03:03 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
As I have said before Hitler intended to invade Russia from the time he wrote Mein Kampf in the 1920s.
Of course he did, but that has nothing to do with ultra intercepts indicating the date of Barbarossa and this being passed to Stalin by double agents. These are two separate things, and mixing them up produces complete nonsense. Yes Chamberlain knew the Nazis hated Bolshevism in the 1920s. No, the UK didn't send forces to Greece to delay the onset of Barbarossa until too late in the campaigning season. To suggest that the second of these propositions is proved by the first is an absurdity.
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Old 14th May 2017, 07:57 AM   #74
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My father once said when he was alive as a kind of joke that Hitler's decision to invade Russia was the best news of the war. In the end it turned out to be a strategic blunder for Hitler.

There is some story which keeps being repeated on various TV documentaries that Hitler launched a huge bombing raid on London in May 1941 as a deception to fool his enemies into thinking Britain was going to be the next target, and not Russia. It didn't fool our secret service or Chamberlain.

Much of the documentation about the invasion of Russia, and about German extermination plans and concentration camps, was deliberately destroyed by the Germans towards the end of the war so that they could categorically deny everything and say they were only obeying orders. I find it annoying that many German war criminals prospered after the war, and many others went to America. I think there was a decision in about 1953 to forgive Germany of all its debts which never applied to the UK

There is a bit about the matter in that Peter Calvocoressi Top Secret Ultra book published in 1981:

Quote:
The most convincing volume of evidence about Hitler's plans for 1941 came from signals intelligence and Ultra. I have already described how the monitoring of undecyphered wireless traffic disclosed the movements of Luftwaffe units to eastern Poland, and this intelligence was supplemented by Ultra which reported a massive shift of both air and ground forces from the western and Balkan fronts to the Russian front. Even the German Army's General Staff was transferred from Berlin eastward, a fact which we knew from Ultra before the beginning of 1941.
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Old 14th May 2017, 09:33 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
There is some story which keeps being repeated on various TV documentaries that Hitler launched a huge bombing raid on London in May 1941 as a deception to fool his enemies into thinking Britain was going to be the next target, and not Russia. It didn't fool our secret service or Chamberlain.
It didn't fool Chamberlain because he had died six months earlier.
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Old 14th May 2017, 06:20 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
And this anti-democratic feeling in Germany was fueled by the first great mistakes the Allies made, and that was on 11 November 1918. When the German army command sued for an armistice, the Allies allowed it to be signed in German side by a MP, the catholic Centre party member Matthias Erzberger, and not by the military. German supreme commander Hindenburg and his chief of staff Ludendorff should have done that; armistices aren't signed by civilians but by military. This crucial piece allowed that piece-of-work Ludendoff, who later was Hitler's co-conspirator in the Beer Hall Putsch, to perpetrate the stab-in-the-back legend: the army had been undefeated in the field, it was those pesky democratic politicians which had lost the war for Germany.

And to top it off, the Allies should have held a victory parade on the Kudamm.

On its own, the Versailles Treaty was not that harsh: it was milder than the 1871 Treaty of Frankfurt, which in turn referred in its amount of indemnities to the 1806 Treaty of Tilsit, in previous Franco-German wars. Also, the much-maligned "war guilt clause" is a red herring: It was a standard clause about Germany's responsibility for indemnifying the victors, and the same clause appeared in the peace treaties with Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, and none of those countries ever whined about that they got stuck up with admitting guilt of starting the war.

And on top of that, the democratic government in Germany decided to spite its face by cutting of its nose with an unnecessary hyperinflation in 1923, and blamed it all on "Versailles". And the Allies fell for it all hook, line and sinker. But by the time that Hitler came to power, the Versailles payments had all been stopped for a few years already.

Of course, that is all hindsight and all, but it still strikes me as unreal that the Allies let a civilian sign an armistice, and then let the chief of staff who begged for that armistice run for years a slander campaign that his army had not been defeated in the field.

And maybe Germany was simply still not up for truly democratic governance. The whole bureaucracy, judiciary and all educators were still deeply steeped in the aristocratic class society of Wilhelminian Germany. If there's one thing we can thank Hitler, as well as Stauffenberg, for, then it's the elimination of the German nobility, in particular the Prussian junkers.
One of the most interesting facts that I've learned reading German scholarly literature about Weimer and the Nazi period is the almost gobsmacking mendacity of much of the German Right in the period between the wars. It is in my opinion one of the great examples of what has been called "Treason of the Intellectuals". So much of the intellectual and political leadership of the German Right between the wars was dedicated to promoting the stab in the back lie, along with blaming every little thing that went wrong for Germany on the Treaty of Versailles.

Many modern German historians have been quite scathing about this intellectual betrayal.

The stab in the back lie started even before the Treaty of Versailles was signed and was heavily promoted. If their letters are anything to go on both Ludendorf and Hindenburg quite deliberately off loaded signing the armistice onto civilians precisely so that those civilians could be blamed and the Weimer republic discredited and of course to enhance their own political prospects. This absolute refusal to accept responsibility is dare I say unpatriotic and was a disservice to the German nation that those two professed to love.

Further both Ludendorf and Hindenburg knew the truth that Germany had militarily lost the war and was very likely only c. 6 months or so removed from crushing defeat when they signed the armistice. But coolly and deliberately they lied and knew they were lying.

Of course Ludendorf and Hindenburg who spouted these lies to a Reichstag investigation committee in 1919, (Which was only one of the many, many occasions they spouted these lies.), were only two of the many, many intellectuals ands leaders on the German right who lied, fabricated and exaggerated, many if not most of them doing so while they knew the truth; and all for political gain. And they achieved such gain by promoting nonsense and conspiracy theories of betrayal.

What amazes me is how such people can be called Patriots.

Last edited by Pacal; 14th May 2017 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 15th May 2017, 01:27 AM   #77
Craig B
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Originally Posted by pacal View Post
... what amazes me is how such people can be called Patriots.
It's because Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
Boswell tells us that Samuel Johnson made this famous pronouncement that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel on the evening of April 7, 1775. He doesn't provide any context for how the remark arose, so we don't really know for sure what was on Johnson's mind at the time.
I think Johnson wasn't quite right. Patriotism is the first recourse, as well as the last refuge, of a scoundrel.
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Old 15th May 2017, 02:13 AM   #78
Henri McPhee
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It didn't fool Chamberlain because he had died six months earlier.
The point is that Chamberlain knew Germany was going to invade Russia when he was alive. Chamberlain was clever. His Munich waving of a piece of paper was a spoof full of blah- blah about the Anglo-German Naval agreement, which was a load of bollocks, and he knew it, even if the public and House of Commons and media didn't. Chamberlain had said previously that treaties and agreements can't be depended on to keep the peace.

There was some kind of politician called Chips Channon at the time who described Chamberlain and Halifax as great men, unlike the hare-brained Edenites, like Winston Churchill. Channon described Chamberlain as the best Minister of Health we have had and a good administrator.

There is an analysis of Churchill and his Gathering Storm book at this website, with which I agree:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwa...storm_01.shtml

This is part of it:

Quote:
........ his whole reading of events leading up to World War Two was badly flawed, and looks good only with the advantage of hindsight. Because the war was won by a 'Grand Alliance' of Britain, America and the Soviet Union, it is easy to argue that Churchill's advocacy of such an alignment in 1938 should have been listened to at the time. As the pressure on Czechoslovakia from Hitler mounted in early 1938, Churchill did indeed call for a 'Grand Alliance'; but far from this being an example of his far-sightedness, it actually showed the myopia and want of judgement that kept sensible men away from him during the 1930s. As Neville Chamberlain commented at the time, 'there is everything to be said for Winston's plan, until you examine it.' If Churchill was crying in the wilderness, it was the wildness of his own ideas that had taken him there.

Contrary to the view promoted by Churchill, Prime Minister Chamberlain did not reject his plans without taking official advice, but as far as the Foreign Office was concerned, Churchill's ideas were the equivalent of amateur night at the karaoke bar, and the arguments against them were very strong. First, America, the first part of the 'Grand Alliance', was still an isolationist power. It had no army capable of intervening in Europe and no politician arguing for such a policy. Next, the second part of the alliance, the Soviet Union, which (as Stalin had not forgotten) Churchill had tried to strangle at birth, was actually part of the problem, not of the solution; only a mentality as Anglocentric as Churchill's could have imagined otherwise.

Last edited by Henri McPhee; 15th May 2017 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 15th May 2017, 03:01 AM   #79
Craig B
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
The point is that Chamberlain knew Germany was going to invade Russia when he was alive. Chamberlain was clever. His Munich waving of a piece of paper was a spoof full of blah- blah about the Anglo-German Naval agreement, which was a load of bollocks, and he knew it, even if the public and House of Commons and media didn't. Chamberlain had said previously that treaties and agreements can't be depended on to keep the peace.

There was some kind of politician called Chips Channon at the time who described Chamberlain and Halifax as great men, unlike the hare-brained Edenites, like Winston Churchill. Channon described Chamberlain as the best Minister of Health we have had and a good administrator.

There is an analysis of Churchill and his Gathering Storm book at this website, with which I agree:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwa...storm_01.shtml

This is part of it:
This is drivel. And the reference to Stalin's Russia is drivel too. The USSR became part of the solution when Hitler invaded it, and it found itself on the same side as the western allies whether it wanted to be or not. What should Churchill have done? Joined Hitler in his war against the Bolsheviks? In the event nine tenths of the German troops killed in the war were killed by Soviet forces' action. That was the main part of the solution of the problem presented by Hitler.

Now Chamberlain, like everybody else (including Stalin), knew that Hitler desired to destroy the Bolsheviks and would make war on them if opportunity arose. But the question at issue is, if Chamberlain knew that Hitler was plotting war imminently in early 1941. Stalin refused to accept the evidence that war was imminent. Chamberlain never examined the evidence, because he was dead.
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Old 15th May 2017, 03:13 AM   #80
Tolls
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Originally Posted by Henri McPhee View Post
I
The Russians were helped by Navy convoy work and by the Americans transporting military equipment by road from Persia/Iran, and in my opinion by 1943, by Ultra intelligence information. The Germans were beginning to penetrate through the Caucasus. They might have broken through in the spring of 1943, and if they had done so it would have been very difficult to stop them from seizing the Persian oil fields. Our operations in the Middle East were entirely dependent on the oil which we obtained from those oil fields. That was a very serious threat to the Allies.
Well, that's a tad unlikely, having had their 6th army annihilated at Stalingrad, and a ton of other casualties during the Soviet counterattack during the winter.

Or did you mean 1942? Which might be at least arguable, if you don't analyse the situation too closely.
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