Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Winston Churchill and the years of appeasement

Discussion in 'Prelude to War & Poland 1939' started by harolds, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    170
    Location:
    Poland
    The alliance with France was signed (in bad faith) four days after the war had started.
    The earlier pact wasn't good for anything.
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    In other threads that touch on this subject I have maintained that the time to arrest German aggression was Munich, but why did it not happen?

    All the anti-fascist nations were willing to fight to defend their own ground, but all were less than enthused about fighting in someone else's war. The Czech's were adverse to becoming involved in a German-Polish war, the Anglo-French wanted to avoid a German-Czech war, etc. In effect they all played a version of blind man's bluff. Germany however was not bluffing, it wanted war

    If the 21/23 treaty was 'worthless' when France was at its military height relative to other European powers, why would they (Poland) rely upon a alliance ratified on the 4th day of the war, except as a matter of desperation? Let's be honest with ourselves here, military planners all thought a new European war would move at a slower pace than it actually did. In simple terms military/political planners thought they had more time than they did.

    Nor with respect can we take at face value Poland had no idea that aid was not going to be limited. All though the '20's and '30's France put millions into a defensive stance at the expense of a offensive capability. Also Polish military attaches would have kept their government apprised of the French governments determination to hand cuff the French military's ability to wage a aggressive war. Then there is the push by the Anglo-French to have Poland accept Soviet troops to repel any German invasion. I can understand Poland's reluctance to let the Russian's in, but that they would float the idea it a pretty good indication they had little/limited faith they could act in time.
     
    Kai-Petri likes this.
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,200
    Likes Received:
    1,856
    Location:
    Finland
    I noticed of the number of pacts made in the 1930s that in January 1934 Germany and Poland made a pact which if I understood correctly meant peace for ten years between the countries. Well not the only time in WW2 that Germany started war without first declaring war or negotiating terms for Peace.
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,200
    Likes Received:
    1,856
    Location:
    Finland
    The final chapter to German attack was Molotov-Ribentrop pact. Without this Hitler would not have attacked. And with the resources from Stalin Hitler had fuel etc to drive his tanks to West later on.
     
  5. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    170
    Location:
    Poland
    Hitler badly wanted the war with Czechoslovakia, so that would be playing into his hands.
    And really, a war to prevent the Sudeten Germans to choose their homeland would be morally weak, nobody really wanted to die by millions for morally weak causes.
    The Sudeten Germans didn't want to live in Czechoslovakia, Czechoslovakia gained those pure German territories (and not only those) using underhanded methods so in 1938 chickens come home to roost for the Czechs.

    It had nothing to do with military power. France didn't want to die pointlessly for other people's Danzigs and Sudetenlands so gave herself the right to weasel out from the commitments if needed.
    The French alliances weren't that good but were better than nothing.
    The only other possibility was a Polish-Hungarian-Romanian alliance but Czechoslovakia prevented that.
    The predatory Soviets were worthless it was known they didn't want to fight Hitler but to annex other people's territories.

    It wasn't about "buyer beware" because Poland would fight even alone.
    It was about the fact that never in history so insincere alliance was signed.
    Politicians hid the truth, twisted facts but it was strictly "thou shalt not lie blatantly." And that is true even today.
    Because alliances can't function without trust.
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,200
    Likes Received:
    1,856
    Location:
    Finland
    Do I remember correctly but was Hitler shocked on 3rd September when the Allied declared war? He was so sure they would not care that much anyway?! And shouted in anger to Ribbentrop for this although had plans to attack west at some time.
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,200
    Likes Received:
    1,856
    Location:
    Finland
    I read more about the moment when the war declaration was translated to Hitler. He sat quietly for a moment and then turned to Ribbentrop:' What now?' as if Ribbentrop had misled him. Ribbentrop replied: " I guess we can expect war declaration from France within an hour."
     
  8. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    170
    Location:
    Poland
    Maybe - who knows, but Hitler didn't blindly follow other people's advice. He brooded endlessly before making up his mind. Ribbentrop could give his opinion but the decision must have been his.

    And he really wanted a war with France, but he needed a justified war because the Germans wouldn't support naked aggression.
    He couldn't achieve any of his goals without dealing with France first. And as it happened France declared war on him - as he wanted.
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,200
    Likes Received:
    1,856
    Location:
    Finland
    It is true Hitler wanted war early on. I believe just like pretty much all the Germans Hitler believed in the 'stab in the back theory.' That is without coward generals Germany would have had Victory. When Hitler returned to Berlin from Poland the streets were empty and Hitler was furious because he expected flowers and cheering people because he was returning Germany's self confidence back.
    Something of the same happened in Finland after Winter war. Propaganda was creating a picture of a victorious Finnish army and Peace in March 1940 was considered the wrong decision as we were 'winning..The power of propaganda.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
  10. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,515
    Likes Received:
    1,176
    Many wonder why (as I did) France did so poorly early in the war. I would recommend watching the you tube video made by The Chieftan (Nick Moran) on the development of French armor in the inter war years. While it concentrates on armor, it also explains many of the hows and why's one army wins a long war, and loses a short one. It also goes far to explaining the political and military choices made in the lead up to and its early war. The truth is far more complex than incompetent, duplicitous 'surrender monkey's'.
     
    green slime likes this.
  11. green slime

    green slime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,150
    Likes Received:
    582
    Who and how? What "underhanded" methods did this nameless person pursue?

    I would instead suggest that the growing right-wing nationalism, with the idolisation of nation-state, unleashed in the wake of the destruction of the Imperial dynasties, caused the issue.

    WRT Chickens and roosting: A lot of chickens came back to roost in the Reich 1945...
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,200
    Likes Received:
    1,856
    Location:
    Finland
    I read that while the Allied did not practise for war so intensely ( one theory) during the phoney war the Germans had heavy training especially as Hitler did order attack some dozen times during Winter 39-40. Every time bad weather cancelled the attack until may 40.
     
  13. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,826
    Likes Received:
    613
    The "stab in the back" theory was that Germany and the army had been let down by defeatist civilians, particularly socialists, Bolsheviks, and Jews. Perhaps the lack of enthusiasm of the populace in 1939 reminded Hitler of that "betrayal".

    Ironically Ludendorff, who promoted the "stab in the back" idea (the term was suggested to him by an Englishman in conversation) was the premier defeatist among the generals, the one who told the Kaiser that the army could not win the war.
     
  14. green slime

    green slime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,150
    Likes Received:
    582
    How is it defeatist, when it is obvious that Germany did not have the resources to win the war in the West once the Spring Offensive faltered and the US forces entered the field? How is it defeatist, when it was he that harboured the German Army's strength for more than year, from January 1917 to the Spring Offensive of 1918, in order to have a hope to procure a total victory over the Western Allies?

    The Tragic Pursuit of Total Victory: Germany's Unrelenting Offensive That Lost WWI
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,200
    Likes Received:
    1,856
    Location:
    Finland
    The German army had lost its logistics after the first part of attack 1918 and the forces turned into robbers for food not a fighting army anymore. They lost their will to fight. Not saying the Allied were not getting stronger but also the Spanish flu made big losses to both sides. Not sure but I´d recall also reading that at some point Ludendorf thought of changing his comment of the front´s situation to Kaiser.
    I´d recall that once the east front war ended Ludendorff/Hindenburg received a huge amount of new soldiers to beat the allied?? That must have been a booster to the spring 1918 attack.
    The home front and Ludendorff led to the German loss although Ludendorff had just the 1918 spring-summer to win the war.
    Whatever the reason the German nation and people believed in the stab in the back and Hitler used this to gain power to himself.
     
  16. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    170
    Location:
    Poland
    In 1918 millions of Germans took part in that "stabbing." Entire regions rebelled against the war. Many Germans actually knew that they didn't want the war anymore.
     
  17. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    170
    Location:
    Poland
    They practiced in Poland, that experience was invaluable and gave them an edge over the Allies.
     
  18. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    25,200
    Likes Received:
    1,856
    Location:
    Finland
    True.People were starving and the long war took its toll. However Hitler"s stab in the back theory was working when he aimed to take power as we know.

    Also we must remember the US people were angry bcause they "only" lost their sons in WW1 and were not getting any "repayment" for their effort and FDR got the country behind him after Pearl Harbor only truly.Helping Europe was not the first thing they thought to start with in WW1 and WW2.

    US public opinion:

    How did Public Opinion About Entering World War II Change Between 1939 and 1941? - Americans and the Holocaust - United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
     
  19. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    170
    Location:
    Poland
    The story is, in 1918 the Czech created their government (without defined borders, that happened later) simultaneously with the Sudeten Germans who created their own on the premise of self-determination.

    The Sudeten Germans were willing to join Czechoslovakia as an autonomous region but the Czech refused.
    Then the Germans voted to join Austria but the Czechs invaded and put a quick end to that.
    The Sudeten Germans didn't resist but still 54 protesters were killed by the Czechs.

    Then the Czechs forced the Allies to accept their conquest by citing fake statistics and threatening a general collapse as a result of revolutions in Russia and Germany.
     
  20. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    170
    Location:
    Poland
    They believed in that and supported Hitler but not that many were ready to die for their beliefs. This is from Goebbels' diaries.

    As the deadline for Hitler’s ultimatum [over the Sudetenland] approached, Goebbels decided to head him off. The British and French ambassadors got to Hitler first, bringing fragrant fresh proposals. Ribbentrop was furious that war might be averted.

    ‘He nurtures a blind hatred of Britain,’ decided Goebbels. ‘Göring, Neurath, and I urge Hitler to accept. . . You can’t get into what may well turn into a world war over procedural issues.
    Göring . . . totally shares my viewpoint and gives Ribbentrop a piece of his mind.’

    ‘Mein Führer,’ he blurted out over lunch in Hitler’s chancellery on the twenty-eighth, ‘if you think that the German public is thirsting for war, you are wrong. They watch its approach with a leaden sense of apathy.’

    In that instant Hitler changed his mind. According to Ribbentrop’s Staatssekretär Ernst von Weizsäcker it was primarily Goebbels who persuaded Hitler to back off from war at this, the eleventh hour.

    David Irving, Goebbels Mastermind of the Third Reich
     

Share This Page