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The Falaise pocket is closed

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by T. A. Gardner, Aug 26, 2004.

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  1. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Of course! What did he care about those bloody capitalist Yanks and Brits? He did it because the survival of his régime and the very existance of the people of the Soviet Union were threatened. But by defeating the fascist hordes he helped, directly or indirectly, a helluva lot to the western allies. He destroyed 4/5 of the German war machine for the Allies, maybe not because he wanted to. But he did.

    Stalin was no better than Hitler (maybe he was even worse), and totalitarian communism wasn't better than totalitarian fascism.

    However, there is no comparisson at all between communist and nazi occupation in Poland. I do consider that a liberation. Poland passed from a totalitarian foreign régime to a puppet autoritarian of its own. From the 7th circle of hell to the 2nd, perhaps, but still an improvement.

    Do you have any idea of how much the Polish people suffered under nazi rule? No other people in occupied Europe suffered as much as did the Poles, Jewish and gentile Poles. 50 years of communist rule in Poland and even the Katiin massacre and the gulags compared to 5 years of nazi occupation are nothing! 6 million Poles died in WWII.

    There is no excuse for communist opression, secret police, censorship, etc. But it cannot be remotely compared to those 5 years of slavery and ultimate genocide.

    Have you heard about the systematic and summary assassination by SS special commandos of Polish intellectuals, politicians, professionals, every one with a university title just to follow Himmler's orders: 'We must behead the Polish people, so they become a stupid and servile mass of slaves with no capacity to rebel'? Have you heard of the millions of Polish men, women and children brought into Germany to work as slaves in Speer's industry? Have you heard of the public executions of Poles by 'racial crimes' in Germany? Have you heard of the assassination of 120.000 Polish civilians during the Warsaw uprising? What about 1,5 million Jewish Poles locked in ghettos and then gassed in Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka and Sobibor —all in Poland, by the way—?

    Getting rid of all that is a liberation. A partial, uncomplete one. But anything is betther than that.

    Another one who claims 'Roosevelt was a commie'? Please! Don't try to sell me your reviosinist-conspiracy arguments. Now, according to your post it was Roosevelt who started the Pacific War… he damned provoked the poor and opressed Japanese to attack the imperialist American giant! And he deliberately put the entire fleet within range… he killed 2.500 men. What a bastard! [​IMG]
     
  2. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

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    Never said he was a communist. I would suggest a book by his son, ( my manipulated father ).Here is a quote from the man himself; The truth is as you & I know it, The US gov is controlled by big business & has been ever since the days of Andrew Jackson. Man of vision? Who's vision? His vision was manipulated & controlled by big biz. Here's another; The Japanese did us a favor by attacking pearl, most of those ships were old & outdated. Doesn't srike me as a comment a "sensitive" man would make. I suppose the men were expendable as well.
     
  3. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Freid go talk to some Polish folk to get their first hand impressions of living under Soviet domination and then maybe your feelings will change. Yes under a dictator can be hell
     
  4. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Erich, please tell me exactly where did I say the communist régime in Poland was a good thing? I very clearly said it was an autoritarian puppet régime. A horrible dictatorship.

    But it cannot be slightly compared to the Nazi occupation.
     
  5. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    ah but you said it could not be compared but yes it can. The KGB did not always operate druing daylight hours. When my deceased freidn Helmuth Reichert went back to Insteburg to visit his town what was left of it and his farm taken over by two Polish families, he interviewed them at length, two days through a German/
    Polish friend and I can say if helmuth was telling me the truth; no reason not too, that the Poles suffered terribly with all types of afflictions(let your mind wander) under a Soviet fist. Being run over by a truck, tractor, taken in the back of your farm and shot, strangled in front of your familie............you get the picture.

    any way this is getting quite off topic

    Erich
     
  6. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    No, it can't.

    That's what dictatorships do. But one thing is autoritarism —Poland, 1945-1989— and another is totalitarism —Poland, 1939-1945. For studying the latter there are Hannah Arendt's works and George Orwell's "Nineteen Eightyfour".

    But we're talking exclusively about the Germans occupying Poland from September 1939 until early 1945. 6 million Poles were assassinated in this period by the occupants.

    Almost two million of them were isolated in very small urban areas and then transported en masse, not to prisons or labour camps, but to industrialised killing centres, not to mention the thousands who died of starvation, decease and of mistreatment by Germans.

    What about the labour recruitment of Polish civilians, all able men and women between the ages of 15 and 60 to re-fit Polish motorways and railroads. Most were ill-fed and mistreated, and many didn't have shovels nor shoes. How many died this way?

    Millions of others were transferred into Germany to work as slaves, where they were immediately executed by the Gestapo when anonimously denounced on the charge of 'racial crimes'. If a Polish worker slept with an Aryan woman he was executed and she was sent to Ravensbrück. If a Polish worker raped or killed an Aryan woman he and 12 other Poles were publicly hanged —and this was reported in newspapers— and she was also sent to Ravensbrück. If a German man raped a Polish girl, she was sent to Ravensbrück and he paid a 50 RM fee.

    But yeah… they're in the same bloody cathegory…
     
  7. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Can we agree both regimes were unspeakably awful, a blot on mankind's honor, and then please return to topic?
     
  8. TheRedBaron

    TheRedBaron Ace

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    Za,

    Sod the topic... I just fell off my chair laughing at your signature...

    :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
     
  9. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

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    Here's a thought. If Roosevelt were such a great diplomat, perhaps he could have told Stalin, ( before arms were shipped to him), that The US & Britain would be more than happy to give him 20.000 aircraft, millions of tons of aviation spirit & food & tanks & I think 10.000 studebaker trucks he got. Anyway, we'd be happy to give it to him if he would respect Polands right to be independent after Germany was beaten. all of east Europe for that matter. We didn't stay in France or Italy after liberating those countries.

    He could have made this position a public declaration. Yes perhaps Stalin would have kept it anyway, but Roosevelt could have at least tried. Instead, according to the book, he gave Poland to Stalin.

    Who is he to make such decisions for Poland? They are not a toy for him to bargain - play with. They have just as much right to be free as the USA or any nation for that matter.When Hitler invaded Poland, the world was up in arms, & one cannot help but feel badly that when Stalin occupied, much less was said. Having said that, I do realize the US & rest of the participating nations were tired of war & this left Poland in a bad situation.

    I have spoken to Polish people in Chicago. They are "not" happy about having to catch up 60 yrs with rest of western world.

    Yes both regimes were awful. One lasted 5+ yrs & the other much longer 40-50 yrs. nuff said.
     
  10. TheRedBaron

    TheRedBaron Ace

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    Actually the Lend-Lease program supplied, not 10,000 trucks...

    But...

    351,715, mainly the Studebaker US-6 2 1/2 Ton.
     
  11. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    If I remember well Stalin did promise free democratic elections publicly at Yalta, and most Red Army troops were de-mobilised and sent home.

    But again, what did Stalin care about self-determination of the peoples? Who could have stopped him? I ask again: were Roosevelt and Churchill in the position to tell anything to Stalin? They could have make him declare publicly anything, but in the end he did what he wanted and there was anything the other two could do about it.

    And the Poles didn't have any option. Stalin was a true machiavellic who cared nothing for the Romanians, Hungarians or Czechs. But he, as did most Russians, hated the Poles, who had taken advantage of the collapse of the Russian Empire in the early 1920s and who had just jumped over Czechoslovakia in 1939, without even considering that this would worsen their own strategic position. The Poles didn't care for self-determination either and the 1920s régime was a military dictatorship.

    Enough said? That's just silly. 400 years of the communist régime in Poland just couldn't have comitted as many attrocities as in those 5+ of nazi rule. Period.
     
  12. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

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    I am not comparing atrocities or saying one was worse than the other. I am merely pointing out that for a nation to be given no chance of recovery or to determine its own destiny for 50 odd yrs should not be trivialized.
     
  13. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

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    And. Roosevelts complicity in it should not be admired.
     
  14. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

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    were Roosevelt and Churchill in the position to tell anything to Stalin?

    Of course they were. It was their responsibility to do so. They were world leaders in high positions of responsibility. One of which was to protect the free peoples of the world against the spread of Communism. The very fact That Stalin did what he wanted was exactly why they needed to stand up to him. Instead of sucking up to him as Roosevelt did in tossing Poland to him instead of arguing for its freedom.
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Some of my opinions on what I have read:

    It seems that Roosevelt was totally believing that Stalin was a very good guy, "Uncle Joe" as he put it. Churchill was totally surprised by this and in time noticed he couldn´t change Roosevelt´s view. The bad thing was that Churchill tried to make the Eastern Europe into districts which would be ruled by either side like Greece by the British etc. This was done in a meeting where the countries to be ruled were written on a tobacco or match box (!). To have a free Poland was Churchill´s main ideas. But this was a very bad idea ( the meeting without Roosevelt ) as definitely after hearing about this Roosevelt was probably getting quite mad, never did read how Roosevelt reacted but he surely did not send Churchill flowers.

    I also think Roosevelt was not very concerned about Europe so it was the same to him as long as there´s peace and Stalin could have the eastern Europe as well....

    As well by late 1944 Stalin must have gotten a bit nervous on what would happen when the war ends; Would the western allied join with the German forces and try to beat Stalin...So the politics of gaining land is totally understandable as there were Generals like Patton and Monty talking about going to berlin and maybe even further ( at least Patton said the latter ).

    On Poland you must take into account the fact that Stalin himself was fighting in front of Warsaw around 1920 and got a bloody nose. So he had some personal affairs to handle with the Poles as well and Stalin was never very nice to his friends either...
     
  16. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Then, did they have the moral obligation to let Patton go all the way to Moscow then?

    Stalin crushed Poland because the Soviet Union had unsolved matters with her. Throughout centuries, the Russian states and later, the Russian Empire had been fighting the Poles. Some times they lost, some times they won. And Stalin was going to take advantage of the situation and settle things with them once and for all. And unless you had Patton and Monty fighting the Red Army in Poland, then there was no chance that Stalin would have done things any differently.

    Roosevelt had still to deal with the Japanese and public opinion at home —the US was a democracy, right? And Uncle Joe compromised to help in the Pacific in exchange of the Soviet influence in eastern Europe. And he kept his promise: on August 9th 1945 1,5 million Red Army troops swept every Japanese between Mongolia and Korea in an almost perfect Blitzkrieg.

    Great Britain, on the other hand, was fed up of war and she was deeply in debt and with an empire about to collapse. She was not either in any position to argue with Stalin.
     
  17. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

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    Kai. what happened in 1920 could well be a part of Stalins motives in Poland. & yes you're right about Roosevelts naive good guy outlook towards Stalin & Churchill's attempts to wake him up. Polands future could well have been different had Roosevelt shown some spine & not gone into a behind the back agrmt,( according to the book), with Stalin regarding Poland. It's a what if. Perhaps Stalin would take it anyway. Anyway,everything that could be said about it has been said.

    What about baltic states? did Stalin have an old beef with them as well. Good thing same thing didn't happen to Finland. Finlands strategic locale would perhaps not as valuable as Poland. Pushing on to Berlin would've been certainly more important than occupying Finland. Not to mention the stiff resistance put up by the Finns. Being from there, you would have a better perspective. Did the Finns fear occupation as well? after Berlin fell?
     
  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Definitely Chromeboomerang!

    In autumn 1944 Finns made peace with Stalin which incl rather "fancy" demands. The one that Germans should be driven away sounded something they should be asking for, but gave only 2-3 weeks time in the beginning (!!) to do it. At the same time they demanded that the Finnish Army should be weakened down to civil time numbers. So both demands sounded like excuses to start a new battle later on.

    As a matter of fact there has been speculation that once Finns started attacking the Germans in Sept 1944 ( Tornio ) it was less than hours that the Red Army would have entered the country in order to drive the Germans away and probably stay in the country for security reasons...

    Later on there were several crises and alarming situations but fortunately never an armed conflict. Somehow Stalin started to respect Finns or otherwise I am totally sure he would have taken this country one way or the other.

    There´s an old Finnish joke describing the rather tricky situation:

    During a meeting Brezhnev mentioned to president Kekkonen ( Finnish ) that maybe the two nations should unite.Kekkonen answered that he could not possibly lead a country that big...

    ;)

    Also tells how much Finns admired our president back then ( 1956-1981 ).
     
  19. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

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    Interesting. Hitler did fly to Finland once to chat with the Finninsh IC-in charge, forgot his name, anyway, the conversation was recorded & a few yrs back I remember seeing It in an article in a history mag. I believe the meeting was in late 41, & Hitler mentioned how many tanks had been destroyed & that the Russians "had" to be on the verge of crumbling.

    It demonstrates Hitlers poor grasp of Russia's industrial output capacity.
     
  20. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The visit was for 4th June 1942 as Mannerheim had his 75th Birthday. The discussion was recorded as they had dinner on a railway carriage.
     
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