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Chamberlain remains in office


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#1 steverodgers801

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 05:41 AM

I read an interesting thought that if Chamberlain had remained in office during the fall of France he may have been willing to agree to terms with Germany. Im not sure but it is interesting.

#2 brndirt1

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 02:54 PM

Chamberlain had finally seen Hitler as the lying snake he was, started the largest military build-up in British peace time history, started conscription, and knew he was dying of cancer before he retired. I don't see his remaining in office any longer than he did historically.
Happy Trails,
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#3 Carronade

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:20 PM

No offense, but whether Chamberlain might remain in office is a different question from what he might do if he did. From what I've read, once the war started, he seems to have been determined to see it through, for example when discussing the budget he said "the only thing that matters is to win the war, though we may go bankrupt in the process".

#4 lwd

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 07:38 PM

It's wiki but from reading Neville Chamberlain's European Policy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia it looks like Chamberlain was already trying to build up the British military before Munich with an imphasis on the RAF.
Indeed this source: Winston Churchill's Prewar Effort to Increase Military Spending suggest that the RAF fighter force started it's build up in 37 due in part to Chamberlain although it credits Churchill with providing a lot of the push.

On the other hand I don't see him as being nearly as inspirational a orator as Churchill was.

#5 phylo_roadking

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:09 PM

It's wiki but from reading Neville Chamberlain's European Policy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia it looks like Chamberlain was already trying to build up the British military before Munich with an imphasis on the RAF.
Indeed this source: Winston Churchill's Prewar Effort to Increase Military Spending suggest that the RAF fighter force started it's build up in 37 due in part to Chamberlain although it credits Churchill with providing a lot of the push.


There are TWO schools of thought on this....

1/ yes he DID foresee a European war, and his apparent continuing of the mid-'30s policy of Appeasement was to "buy time"....

2/ No he didn't - at best it was to have something to "negotiate away" during the "eventually failed) Air Parity talks...


Some things to add into the debate...

...there's no sign he WASN'T taken by suprise when Hitler occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia in 1939...

....the preparedness of the cabinet to sign up to I.E. pay for the Air Plan...in 1935-36 was perhaps more because the Air Staff had shown that the RAF hadn't had a hope in hell of doing anything in any real timescale against the Italians if the British had gone to war with them over Abyssinia...Hitler was a major concern when he was forming his policy thoughts but not as important as Italy!


"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#6 lwd

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:47 PM

Well at least with 20 20 hind sight but I believe even at the time it looked like things were spinning out of control and that war was likely some time in the early 40's. With just who and where was probably not clear. In which case he could have been trying to buy time and still been surprised over Czechoslovakia. Of course having something to negotiate away wouldn't hurt his position either.

#7 phylo_roadking

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 11:02 PM

Well at least with 20 20 hind sight but I believe even at the time it looked like things were spinning out of control and that war was likely some time in the early 40's. With just who and where was probably not clear


And don't forget....who it was clear to! ;)

Looking again at The Paladins - it's pretty obvious that only the Air Staff clearly anticipated a war against Germany early enough to do something effective about preparing for it....and they had to demonstrate the need to replace...okay, actually have a strategic bombing capabaility as a deterrent...to Cabinet via the Air Exercises of 1934 and 1935. The Admiralty didn't do much except for laying down a few new light cruisers and two new classes of destroyers pretty late in the decade....and the only buildup on the part of the Army before everything went to hell in early 1939 was the doubling of the size of the territorials immediately after Munich.

"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#8 steverodgers801

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 04:59 PM

Chamberlain allowed his fear of war to overshadow his thinking. He thought that because Germany had bombers they would automaticly be able to reach Britain and destroy everything. I am interested in knowing if anyone tried to tell him that this was not true. It is strange on how both Chamberlain and Stain badly underestimated what Hitler would do. BUt yes Chamberlain did start the process of building up fighter command, but considering that Germany only had the DO217 there was no need for defence at the time, Germany had no or few ocean capable subs.

#9 phylo_roadking

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 05:25 PM

I am interested in knowing if anyone tried to tell him that this was not true.


Yes - the Air Staff!

The Air Plan of 1935 wasn't JUST to build up the RAF's strategic bombing capacity....it was to build up its defensive capacity AGAINST bombing so that the "UK Home Base" for launching a strategic air campaign would remain safe. Again, see John James...

However - even the Air Staff for some considerable time believed that "the bomber would always get through"...after all, THEIR capacity to hit Germany was predicated upon that! It only began to change in the very late 1930s after RDF proved its worth and thus gave the RAF...ideally...the ability to DOUBLE the damage it did to bombers - attriting them on the way TO a target as well as on the way home.

But even they still ascribed to the "sudden onslaught" three-day campaign idea by the Luftwaffe that would supposedly result in half a million casualties etc.. In fact don't forget it was an RAF officer who was misled by the Germans into believing that they had far more aircraft than they really had on the eve of the Munich Crisis (unfortunately I'm away from my shelves today and can't remember his name offhand)...

So for everything the Air Staff said about defending the UK Home Base...they were ALSO playing up the potential threat from Germany ;)

"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#10 Tamino

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 06:07 PM

...
On the other hand I don't see him as being nearly as inspirational a orator as Churchill was.

Indeed, and not only an orator: he was the right man to lead the nation into the War.

Chamberlain staying in office after "the deal" with Nazis would be worse than appointing John Formby Jr. to position of the Chief of Ministry of Defence!

Aut viam inveniam aut faciam.


#11 Carronade

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 06:48 PM

It wasn't just Chamberlain - in the interwar years, there was a widespread belief that airpower would devastate cities, break civilian morale, and quickly compromise the ability of a nation to carry on a war. This was pushed by airpower advocates like Mitchell, Seversky, Douhet, or Trenchard and books and movies like Victory Through Air Power and The Shape of Things to Come. They envisioned area bombing and the use of incendiaries and even poison gas. This was coupled with the belief that "The bomber will always get through" which was basically true when Baldwin said it, several years before the invention of radar. The Germans proved adept at showing off their air power, and reports and exagerrations of events like Guernica fed the fire, so to speak. The fear of Prague or Paris or London laid in ruins by Hitler's new Luftwaffe was real to a lot of people.

#12 steverodgers801

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 07:47 PM

I wonder if any one bothered to see if the DO217 could actually reach Britain. I am aware of Douhet, I just wonder if any body bothered to check the numbers.

#13 phylo_roadking

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 12:13 AM

Steve, there were others in the early Luftwaffe roster, like the bomber version (!!!) of the Ju52, the early versions of the He111, even a couple of squadrons of the Ju86...which tho' unsatisfactory in many ways DID have a 980 mile total range; some even survived to be operational in Poland in 1939...!

The Do 17 had the shortest range of the three....but the He 111 had a 1,400 mile plus range range out of the box in all marks.

"Et Dick tracy, il est mort? Et Guy LeClair?"


#14 vakarr

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:09 AM

The question is incorrect, Chamberlian wasn't going to stay, it should be what if Lord Halifax had got the job instead of Churchill, or what if Churchill had been killed in his New York car accident. Most people seem to think that this could have led to peace on German terms - Britain allowed to retain its empire as long as they gave the Germans a free hand in Europe. They probabaly would also expect the Duke of Windsor to be allowed to return to the UK as its king. If such a peace had been declared, it probably would have been used to build up the British/Commonwealth armed forces to such a point that they could attack the Germans again unless Leonard Moseley was able to take over.

#15 British-Empire

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:13 PM

Negotiated peace in the summer of 1940.
Would be interesting to see who became Conservative party leader not long after when Chamberlain resigns through ill heath.
I would think it would be Sam Hoare.




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