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Hitler decides to finish Britain


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#1 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 06:26 AM

What if Hitler following the fall of France decides that finishing Britain needs to be done before proceeding in the East against Russia? Now, this means either conquest or getting a negotiated surrender / peace. Either will suffice.

I think that this is within Germany's ability to actually do. Some initial steps would include:

Throwing a larger force into North Africa. This would include sufficent engineers and logistics units to support a larger force there than was historically possible.

The Luftwaffe commences a crash program of pilot training to ensure sufficent replacements for an ongoing air war.

The Luftwaffe sizes operations against Britain such that they can be sustained for a longer period.

The Germans also begin looking at alternatives for the "destruction" of England by various means of bombardment.

U-Boat production is ramped up to put more into the Atlantic.

If Germany is able to either stall or eliminate the British in North Africa (emminently doable) while increasing the pressure on Britain through their u-boat campaign, the Germans might be able to gain a negoitated peace.

#2 mac_bolan00

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 09:02 AM

seems like they tried all of that except a larger force in africa, even asking the japanese to try and bottle the eastern colonies. it took only a wrong move (russia or the US) to make the whole thing not doable.

ok, all of what you said, plus an anti-commonwealth strategy by the japanese in the far east.

lastly, getting either one to join them or at most stay on the sidelines: the US or the USSR.

how 'bout that?

#3 Tomcat

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 09:54 AM

IS this scenario before the Luftwaffe and RAF loses during the BoB?

If not, then the Germans still had the problem of not having a proper escort aircraft with a long enough range to operate over Britain, at least not until the FW190.

Germany also already went with bombardment of the British Isles around the Dover area by long range rail and stationary artillery, as well as the V rocket series not really a war winning effort.

More Uboats, could in theory starve Britian, but what about the hugh amount of E destroyers being built to counter the Uboat, Surface Raiders as ween in the war, really didn't do enough to either divert ships from the defense of the British Isle or sunk enough merchant ships.

Assuming that the Germans never invade Russia, then they would certainly have the men and materials to give to Rommel to push the allies out of Africa, but would that really make the British think twice?

So with that I am leaning towards the fact, that it is possible but unprobable.:)
For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe the horse was lost, for the want of a horse the rider was lost, for the want of a rider the battle was lost, For want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

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#4 Kai-Petri

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 11:07 AM

If the Germans had concentrated on destroying the shipping to and out of Britain, at least there would have been a lot of trouble to fight the war for the British.

Condors, U-boats, Bombers not flying further inland than the harbours with fighter cover. I recall that the Luftwaffe did not have much plane losses at all during the early phase when they bombed only the shipping in the channel but I guess RAF did not want to show its nose and lose planes unnecessarily as the major battle was clearly ahead.

Wonder if anyone got any figures for supplies getting to Britain monthly vs the required minimum figures?
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#5 redcoat

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 11:36 AM

If Germany is able to either stall or eliminate the British in North Africa (emminently doable) while increasing the pressure on Britain through their u-boat campaign, the Germans might be able to gain a negoitated peace.

All your proposals are militarily sound.
I would just add an extra, political angle. Publicise the terms you are willing to allow the British in order for a negoitated peace. Hitler made it easy for Churchill to reject any peace moves within the British cabinet because the terms were unknown.
if in doubt....Panic!!!!

#6 tikilal

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 11:53 AM

This is certainly possible. Finishing off Africa should have been the priority, as soon as Italy jumped into the war. Once the Suez is in Axis hands every other position in the Mid east would be come untenable. After this the destruction of the Royal Navy should have been the priority. With the Med closed to allied shipping you know where the shipping would have to go, this would make for better hunting.

While the German surface fleet was no match for the Brits using the surface ships as bait or in some way to help the Luftwaffe engage the navy and destroy it. Once the Navy is damaged or destroyed the focus shifts to the RAF, As long as the focus is on the destruction of the RAF and not terror bombing the Luftwaffe can win. At this point you cross the channel if necessary and England is through.

Now to add a little fuel to the fire. If Stalin was planning to attack Germany this would have been the best opportunity all of Germanys strength would have been in the west and Germany would only have gotten stronger after the fall of England. So does Russia invade, if so how does Germany prepare against it?
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#7 Tomcat

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 12:04 PM

While the German surface fleet was no match for the Brits using the surface ships as bait or in some way to help the Luftwaffe engage the navy and destroy it. Once the Navy is damaged or destroyed the focus shifts to the RAF, As long as the focus is on the destruction of the RAF and not terror bombing the Luftwaffe can win. At this point you cross the channel if necessary and England is through.


The British were and probably always will be great mariners and I doubt they would ever exposed there fleets to the enemy bombers so easily.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe the horse was lost, for the want of a horse the rider was lost, for the want of a rider the battle was lost, For want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

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#8 Joe

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 12:23 PM

"It takes three years to build a ship, but it takes three hundred years to build a tradition"

Event if it meant sacrificing the Home fleet, the Royal Navy would try everything to stop a German landing. The purpose of the Navy, after all, is to stop Britian from being invaded.
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#9 Tomcat

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 08:22 PM

"It takes three years to build a ship, but it takes three hundred years to build a tradition"

Event if it meant sacrificing the Home fleet, the Royal Navy would try everything to stop a German landing. The purpose of the Navy, after all, is to stop Britian from being invaded.


Of course that I am not arguing, but why would they throw there ships away? I was more referring to feints by the Germans, I think that they would need conformation on an invasion before commiting there Home Fleet into a certainly doomed operation. The Germans did not possess the freedom on the sea that the British did at D-day, the allies got to chose when and where, I think that the Germans still would have attacked in the southern part of england, otherwise they risk to much exposure to the RN, and if they operated further, that means less air coverage, so it would have been a quick operation across the channel.:)
For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe the horse was lost, for the want of a horse the rider was lost, for the want of a rider the battle was lost, For want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Robert,


#10 tikilal

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 09:49 PM

The British were and probably always will be great mariners and I doubt they would ever exposed there fleets to the enemy bombers so easily.


Of course that I am not arguing, but why would they throw there ships away? I was more referring to feints by the Germans, I think that they would need conformation on an invasion before commiting there Home Fleet into a certainly doomed operation. The Germans did not possess the freedom on the sea that the British did at D-day, the allies got to chose when and where, I think that the Germans still would have attacked in the southern part of england, otherwise they risk to much exposure to the RN, and if they operated further, that means less air coverage, so it would have been a quick operation across the channel.:)


The problem with not responding to warships out side of your harbor is that they shoot at you in harbor if you do not come out. With a German flotilla sitting off shore either you make targets for the ships or you leave your protection from air attack. Either way you get shot up. If you send out your planes to fight with the enemy it is a German win win situation. This is the point to engage the enemy. That is what I was saying. Germany did not have the coordination between branches to pull this off, and The British would have been filled with joy to get an opportunity to fight the German Navy. Thats why they are British.
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#11 kingthreehead

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 10:49 PM

Russia would of just got to berlin quicker. The american forces would of defended Britian and germany would of had no chance of winning
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#12 Tomcat

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 06:05 AM

The problem with not responding to warships out side of your harbor is that they shoot at you in harbor if you do not come out. With a German flotilla sitting off shore either you make targets for the ships or you leave your protection from air attack. Either way you get shot up. If you send out your planes to fight with the enemy it is a German win win situation. This is the point to engage the enemy. That is what I was saying. Germany did not have the coordination between branches to pull this off, and The British would have been filled with joy to get an opportunity to fight the German Navy. Thats why they are British.


I guess it all depends on where the Home Fleet is based. If they are based at Scarpa Flow, then the German flotilla will be over exposed and almost out of range of the Luftwaffe, but certainly in range of the RAF's bomber command. Plus I never meant that they wouldn't engage them, just that I don't think they would ever expose the Home Fleet to a near death situation, The use of artillery on the English coast, or bombers could deal with the ships, or submarines positioned in defence or fast gunboats, would that not be a good counter?
For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe the horse was lost, for the want of a horse the rider was lost, for the want of a rider the battle was lost, For want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Robert,


#13 Falcon Jun

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 08:13 AM

Hmmm... this is a what if worth considering. Under this what if, Germany is looking for a way to force a settlement of the war, short of an actual invasion of England because an actual invasion is admittedly beyond the means of Germany.
What is not yet being mentioned here is the probable use of the Italian fleet.
If the Med is closed to Allied shipping, then the Italian fleet would be free to join up with elements of the German Navy, thus providing the Axis with a viable surface blocking force.
Historically, German surface raiders were not as effective as they could have been because they were few in number. Thus, Germany was forced to rely on U-boats.
But with major warships of Italian Fleet operating in the Atlantic in conjunction with the German fleet, this would poise as a major blockade threat to the UK. It's possible that the Axis would stage a large and powerful enough series of naval surface sorties to supplement the German U-boat campaign.
As to a Russian stab in the back, I think Germany would have sufficient strength to deter such an attempt. Remember, the German Army wouldn't really be involved in the attempt to starve off UK to force a settlement. The key elements to the blockade would be Navy and Luftwaffe.
Of course, this postulates that the US is not yet in the war.
The question I would ask is this: how long would it take for a joint Italian-German blockade of the Atlantic before the UK is forced to a settlement?
It's also important to know what concessions the UK would accept for a settlement.

#14 cross of iron

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 10:02 AM

What if Hitler following the fall of France decides that finishing Britain needs to be done before proceeding in the East against Russia? Now, this means either conquest or getting a negotiated surrender / peace. Either will suffice.

I think that this is within Germany's ability to actually do. Some initial steps would include:

Throwing a larger force into North Africa. This would include sufficent engineers and logistics units to support a larger force there than was historically possible.

The Luftwaffe commences a crash program of pilot training to ensure sufficent replacements for an ongoing air war.

The Luftwaffe sizes operations against Britain such that they can be sustained for a longer period.

The Germans also begin looking at alternatives for the "destruction" of England by various means of bombardment.

U-Boat production is ramped up to put more into the Atlantic.

If Germany is able to either stall or eliminate the British in North Africa (emminently doable) while increasing the pressure on Britain through their u-boat campaign, the Germans might be able to gain a negoitated peace.


I assume that your what-if doesn't exclude the attack on Pearl Harbor, which means the negotiation must end before then,

1. Losing North Africa will damage only the moral of the British people[FONT=宋体],[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] it will not break their will to fight.[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]2. Air superiority means little if your land force can't exploit it.[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]3. Air raids alone can't bring a nation to her knees, as shown by Germany during 1944-1945.[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]4. America can replace more ships than Germany can sink. Germany can't hope to starve Britain into giving up as long as America exists.[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]Germany[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] needs to build a strong navy to bring Britain to her knees, which can not be done before the Japs bring America to the war. Even if the Japs don't attack Pearl Harbor, Germany still won't be able to build a navy large enough, not if Hitler wishes to maintain a strong army. [/FONT]

The only possible way to defeat Britain is to land a few divsions on British soil before the battle of Dunkirk. Any plan of invasion after that is nothing more than a foolish dream.

#15 lwd

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 10:11 AM

Much of the Italian fleet was not well suited for operations in the Atlantic. British subs could also have been pretty effective in the straits of Gibraltar.

Historically raiders have done better when they are few in number.

#16 Tomcat

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 10:18 AM

The axis certainly would have fun getting past Gibraltar.
For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe the horse was lost, for the want of a horse the rider was lost, for the want of a rider the battle was lost, For want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Robert,


#17 Falcon Jun

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 10:26 AM



1. Losing North Africa will damage only the moral of the British people[FONT=宋体],[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] it will not break their will to fight.
Morale is part of what makes a people willing to fight. If it's damaged, then it's possible to consider that one's will to fight is not as strong as it used to be. This would make this what-if feasible.
[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]2. Air superiority means little if your land force can't exploit it.
True. But under the context of this what if, conquering Britain is not the direct goal. Getting the UK out of the war is. So establishing air superiority over the UK without utilizing the land force is, in my opinion, is one way to convince the UK to think about a settlement, not neccessarily a surrender.
[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]3. Air raids alone can't bring a nation to her knees, as shown by Germany during 1944-1945.
I think this is a different context. I agree air raids alone can't do it but in the case of England, air raids would be more devastating if coupled with an effective naval blockade.
[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]4. America can replace more ships than Germany can destroy.
If I understand T.A. correctly, this what-if takes place before the US is involved in active hostilities. So the United States is not yet a factor under this what-if.
[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]Germany[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] needs to build a strong navy to bring Britain to her knees, which can not be done before the Japs bring America to the war.
That's why I suggest that the Italian fleet be involved. With the Italians in the Atlantic, the presence of their major surface ships and other smaller craft would strengthen the German fleet.

Still, the UK was still an empire at this time. I'm sure that the UK would've gathered the rest of its naval forces from other parts of the globe to supplement its Home Fleet and break the German/Italian blockade.
Also a question, a quick look at the map would show that there is a land route to get to North Africa from India. Could this mass of Indian troops, supplemented with other Commonwealth land forces, effectively use the land route? Or would it be too costly or risky?
[/FONT]


#18 Joe

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 11:24 AM

I guess it all depends on where the Home Fleet is based. If they are based at Scarpa Flow, then the German flotilla will be over exposed and almost out of range of the Luftwaffe, but certainly in range of the RAF's bomber command. Plus I never meant that they wouldn't engage them, just that I don't think they would ever expose the Home Fleet to a near death situation, The use of artillery on the English coast, or bombers could deal with the ships, or submarines positioned in defence or fast gunboats, would that not be a good counter?


Don't forget the RN still has considerable strength on Britian's south coast.

And Falco Jun, The Italian Navy would be decimated if it tried to sortie out to the Atlantic.
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#19 cross of iron

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 11:29 AM


1. Losing North Africa will damage only the moral of the British people[FONT=宋体],[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] it will not break their will to fight.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]Morale is part of what makes a people willing to fight. If it's damaged, then it's possible to consider that one's will to fight is not as strong as it used to be. This would make this what-if feasible.[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]2. Air superiority means little if your land force can't exploit it. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]True. But under the context of this what if, conquering Britain is not the direct goal. Getting the UK out of the war is. So establishing air superiority over the UK without utilizing the land force is, in my opinion, is one way to convince the UK to think about a settlement, not neccessarily a surrender.[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]3. Air raids alone can't bring a nation to her knees, as shown by Germany during 1944-1945. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]I think this is a different context. I agree air raids alone can't do it but in the case of England, air raids would be more devastating if coupled with an effective naval blockade. [/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]4. America can replace more ships than Germany can destroy. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]If I understand T.A. correctly, this what-if takes place before the US is involved in active hostilities. So the United States is not yet a factor under this what-if.[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]Germany[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] needs to build a strong navy to bring Britain to her knees, which can not be done before the Japs bring America to the war.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]That's why I suggest that the Italian fleet be involved. With the Italians in the Atlantic, the presence of their major surface ships and other smaller craft would strengthen the German fleet. [/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]Still, the UK was still an empire at this time. I'm sure that the UK would've gathered the rest of its naval forces from other parts of the globe to supplement its Home Fleet and break the German/Italian blockade. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]Also a question, a quick look at the map would show that there is a land route to get to North Africa from India. Could this mass of Indian troops, supplemented with other Commonwealth land forces, effectively use the land route? Or would it be too costly or risky?[/FONT]


[FONT=Verdana]1. Even if North Africa was lost, Winston Churchill would still NOT give up fighting, nor would any British person. End of story.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]2. If I may quote Mr. Churchill after an air raid: “WE CAN TAKE IT". Good luck trying to convince that man. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]3. Blockade is out of the question, the German navy can not challenge the British navy. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]4. America has been supporting Britain from the very beginning[/FONT][FONT=Verdana][FONT=宋体]。[/FONT][/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]The Italian navy is even more useless than the German one, so more easy meat for the British Empire.[/FONT]

[FONT=Verdana]Germany[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] CAN NOT break Britain after Dunkirk, no way in hell.[/FONT]
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#20 tikilal

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 03:23 PM

Coastal Guns are good but moving targets are harder to hit.

Anyone, ANYONE who thinks Germany could never have conquered England under any circumstances is does not comprehend Germany.

Before Dunkirk....? Land Divisions in England??? How.... ? Sail from Wilhelmshaven? With the entire British Fleet on the prowl?

Air superiority trumps navel superiority. With air superiority
the channel crossing becomes viable.

You will have to fight on English soil before Englishmen will surrender.
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#21 Joe

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 06:13 PM

But then the BoB starts and it ends with the Blitz, and no German invasion is possible.
Hey, that's what happened in reality!
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#22 lwd

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 10:07 PM

Coastal Guns are good but moving targets are harder to hit.

Of course things moving at the speed of the invasion barges almost don't count as moving targets.

Anyone, ANYONE who thinks Germany could never have conquered England under any circumstances is does not comprehend Germany.

After all they did it in what ~600 AD. And Harald came close in 1066. On the other hand the Germany that fought in WWI wasn't going to do it in the first half of the 20th century and probably not in the second half. Unless of course LGM give them a division level teleporter.

...
Air superiority trumps navel superiority. With air superiority
the channel crossing becomes viable.

Some times sort of. But in this case the Germans needed air supremacy and even that may not have been enough. The LW of 1940 wasn't strong enough to keep the RN off the invasion fleet. Particularly since much of the activity would have been small ships at night. Then consider the RAF wouldn't have let them achieve air supremacy and at a time of their choosing could for take out the LW air superiority.

#23 Falcon Jun

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 04:36 AM

Don't forget the RN still has considerable strength on Britian's south coast.

And Falco Jun, The Italian Navy would be decimated if it tried to sortie out to the Atlantic.



Assuming that Gibraltar was no neutralized after North Africa was taken, the Italians would have a relatively easier time to get to the Atlantic. I have to respectfully disagree, though, that the Italian fleet would be decimated. I'm willing to give them a chance. I concede that they may be at a disadvantage but that does not mean the British fleet will just roll over the Italian navy. As I've mentioned, the two Axis navies will be operating in conjunction with one another. Apart, the Axis navies are not a real threat. But what if they operate together? One thing with Hitler, he was a guy who tended to reinforce success. An Italian presence in the Atlantic could entice Hitler to be more amenable for joint fleet operations. Since we are talking about the Axis taking North Africa, this implies that the Italian Navy and Army scored a few victories of their own. So the fleet that the Italians will send to the Atlantic is a seasoned veteran force.

Another thing to consider: with no major land actions, Germany's few resources could be shifted to support a massive aerial and naval build up.
It would take time but with England on the ropes, it's conceivable for Germany and Italy to think that time is on their side.

#24 lwd

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 10:02 AM

Went into this in a fairly detailed way in another forum. Turns out that a lot of the Italian ships had fairly short legs. Furthermore a lot of the smaller ones were not really well suited for operations in the Atlantic. Gibraltar neutralized or not forms a choke point where intercepts are more likely. Even with the additional ships the axis are badly out numbered and the Italian BBs while they have their strong points also have some problems.

#25 diddyriddick

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 10:32 AM

On a little bit of a tangent...I read somewhere that even if Germany was somehow able to attain naval and air superiority they would not have had the transport capabilities to invade. It may have been Bill Shirer.
David

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