Why did Hitler declare war on the United States? - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The Second World War (1939-1945).
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#14280346
Care_Bear wrote:Germany was already stretched thin in Russia. Why declare war on the United States too?


As one can clearly take from the historical records and the speech of Hitler, the US was practically already at war with Germany. Now the US is a 'democratic' country and there was a large portion of US citizens who were opposed to a war and even more a unilateral declaration of war either against Japan or Germany and the Axis. So the US administration steadily increased the force until it's enemies would eventually declare war. (What do you think would the US accept such a treatment by another country ??).
Domestically and to it's Allies this step showed leadership and confidence for victory of the german leadership to the german people, which was already a bit shaken regarding the setbacks in Russia, which the public didn't really know the extent, only rumours.
Beside that the war declaration strengthend the position of Japan, because in the beginning the US had to divert forces to two theaters. German U-Boats (Class IX Boats) operated at the US shores and took a heavy toll on it's shipping and that of germany's other enemies in 1942, the US had to divert forces to counter this threat which could otherwise have been used against Japan solely. Also Stalin demanded aid from the US in it's struggle against Germany to stay in the Allied camp (He played with them sending out signals here and there to be prepared for separate peace with Germany). And Germany at that time could still hope to fight a victory against the UdSSR in 1942.

The US needed the war badly to bring her economy into gear, just take the numbers of 1938 and compare them with 1944, where the NY Stock exchange went from record to record after the fall of Paris and before the Ardennes offensive which was a major psychological blow.
And of course Hitler was spot on regarding the British Empire, something which needed time to sink into Winnie's head and dawned to him not prior 1944. That the US in reality did not fight for freedom but just plain power was already visible when the American President himself (leaving Winnie out) split Europe into sphere's of interest together with Stalin and hand the Poles (those who were fighting alongside them in Normandy) and many other countries over to Stalin. Why ? To set a stage for a future conflict which would then bring world domination. First they had to incorporate the British Empire and consolidate their new position. The rest we all know NOW.
#14280568
FDR's hands were tied severely from 1936 on by American public opinion, particularly to stay out of the European war, which he vowed "again and again and again" not to send American boys to die in. Of course, he never said we wouldn't go to war if we were attacked. The start of the war in 1939 in Poland, coupled with the sudden collapse of the French in 1940, and the crippling of the British, which rescued an army at Dunkirk, but not its equipment, led to America gearing up its industrial might to supply England with food, supplies and equipment, to withstand a possible Nazi assault on their island. England was the "home team" in what most American's considered just another European conflict among long standing enemies. Supplying England with Lend Lease supplies allowed them to build up their defenses to withstand what was expected to be a German onslaught on the island, (Sea Lion), which Hitler never implemented.

Interesting that the British were able to suddenly, overnight, assemble a rag-tag flotilla of ships, pleasure craft and tramp steamers and cross the English Channel to rescue their army off the Dunkirk beaches. That wouldn't have been possible if Hitler hadn't ordered his troops to stop for three entire days before continuing the mop up of the BEF in France. That 72-hours allowed for the "Miracle @ Dunkirk" to occur. Even more surprising, is that the German's probably didn't expect to have such quick success in splitting the BEF and the French army in their 1940 campaign, with France falling so suddenly. Had the German General Staff had a plan for crossing the English Channel available at the time, using their U-Boats to wreak havoc on the British Navy in the Channel, and forge a crossing, England would have also fallen. They didn't have a plan, because they never expected such tremendous success so quickly, and also because Hitler never expected England to remain a belligerent once Poland and France were conquered. He fully expected (and rightly so), that England would sue for peace, which surprisingly would have left the British Empire intact in 1940.

Of course, Churchill would have none of it, and FDR and America were standing by, willing to supply the Brits with the supplies needed to remain fighting. The Battle of Britain was fought at the far reach of the Luftwaffe's range, particularly for their fighter's, which only had minutes over England to engage in air-to-air combat with the RAF, and protect German bombers over London and Birmingham. Every one shot down, meant a lost pilot. British fliers shot down over the Channel could be rescued to fight another day, German's couldn't. Because Hitler fully expected England to make peace after France fell, he really didn't have his heart in it for defeating the British, and was surprised they kept on fighting, with American supplies, which, of course, angered him. However, he also knew that America's entry into World War I had turned the tide against Germany, and he fully expected to complete his "plan" for European conquest, defeating Russia, and than face and deal with America alone, without us having allies. Politically, it was a shrewd and correct plan, but Churchill and Roosevelt prevented it from happening. Thus, Hitler turned East against the USSR in 1941, and Roosevelt sent America's Lend Lease armaments and military supplies to Stalin, putting the Soviet Army on wheels, figuring that any German's they killed would be to our advantage in not facing them later in Normandy. It worked, barely.

As for the Japanese, who had come on the world scene with a modern navy to defeat the Soviets in the Japanese-Russian war earlier (with another surprise attack kicking off that one), Roosevelt attempted to simply keep Japan weak, denying them the raw materials they needed for a modern navy and army (oil, steel, tin and rubber). The Japanese Navy which attacked Pearl Harbor was constructed mostly with "old Buick parts" from America before FDR froze the import of oil and steel to that country, and kept them "negotiating" right up until the day before Pearl Harbor. After Pearl Harbor, and the destruction of America's naval power and also Britain's in the Orient, Japan went on a one year run, conquering most of the territory from the old European colonists of England, France and the Dutch, which gave them all the oil, rubber, tin and steel and supplies they needed to sustain them, and counter the American embargo. That was the reason for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and it worked, until America got lucky with the Coral Sea naval battle and the victory at Midway, destroying Japan's aircraft carriers, and more importantly, all of their front line, experienced combat pilots, who had participated in the Pearl Harbor raid. That brought the Japanese march to an end in the Pacific, putting them on the defensive and allowing America to fight the Pacific War exactly as they had always planned to at the Naval War College.

The "Doolittle Raid" over Tokyo, although it caused little damage, embarrassed the Japanese warlords who blundered into making a naval move to draw the American fleet out to insure they could never again get close enough to bomb the Japanese capital. Midway was the result, as the American navy surprised them and destroyed three carriers, to only losing one of ours (Yorktown). The rest of the war is history, but one shouldn't lightly dismiss Hitler or the Nazi's. While fighting the Soviets, they controlled, with Italy, the entire land masse of Europe (Spain and Portugal being non-belligerent's), with their enemies scattered around their rim. Hitler's "wonder weapons" development of the "buzz bomb," the V-1 and the V-2, and the first jet fighter aircraft, kept the Nazi's potent right to the end, when the Soviets troops entered Berlin and Hitler committed suicide. A coward's death, he made Europe run red with blood for seven years. Napoleon did the same, and is buried in a magnificent tomb in Paris, France. Hitler's body was immolated with gasoline, such was his end..........Stan..........
#14280674
On the 28th November, 1941, ten days before the attack on Pearl Harbour, Ribbentrop encouraged Japan, through her Ambassador in Berlin, to attack Great Britain and the United States, and stated that should Japan become engaged in a war with the United States, Germany would join the war immediately. A few days later, Japanese representatives told Germany and Italy that Japan was preparing to attack the United States, and asked for their support. Germany and Italy agreed to do this, although in the Tripartite Pact, Italy and Germany had undertaken to assist Japan only if she were attacked. When the assault on Pearl Harbour did take place, the defendant Ribbentrop is reported to have been "overjoyed," and later, at a ceremony in Berlin, when a German medal was awarded to Oshima, the Japanese Ambassador, Hitler indicated his approval of the tactics which the Japanese had adopted of negotiating with the United States as long as possible, and then striking hard without any declaration of war. Although it is true that Hitler and his colleagues originally did not consider that a war with the United States would be beneficial to their interest, it is apparent that in the course of 1941 that view was revised, and Japan was given every encouragement to adopt a policy which would almost certainly bring the United States into the war. And when Japan attacked the United States fleet in Pearl Harbour and thus made aggressive war against the United States, the Nazi Government caused Germany to enter that war at once on the side of Japan by declaring war themselves on the United States.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/judunite.asp
#14281028
StanFan wrote:In control of China, a Japanese attack from the opposite direction against the Soviets could easily have succeeded

The battle of Khalkin Gol suggests otherwise. And describing Japan as being in control of China is pretty misleading, large swaths of China were not in Japanese hands and parts nominally under Japanese rule were not in practice under their control.

StanFan wrote:Roosevelt would never have been able to send the American navy at Pearl Harbor sailing 12,000 miles west to Japanese waters based on their invasion of China, Korea or the Philippines.

The idea that the Japanese could have attacked the Phillippines, a US client state complete with US troops based there, without a response from the US is farcical. Given you go on to cite US sanctions against Japan during this period, I'm also unclear how you can believe that the US let the Japanese do whatever they wanted in China.
#14281637
A lot of it arose out of the fact that Hitler recognised that war with America was at some point in the future inevitable. The Tripartite pact was signed between Italy, Japan and Germany partly with a view to this. Hitler commented that it was better that the USA have to face all three axis powers at once rather than allow the USA "to defeat us singly one by one".

Hence when he declared war on the USA it meant that America faced a war on two fronts rather than one. In Hitler's view (rightly or wrongly) this gave Germany a better chance of defeating the US. Also showing solidarity with Japan could result in Japan invading Russia from the east, complementing the ongoing operation Barbarossa, which at that point had begun to grind to a halt.
#14281943
The japanese Army was simply not suited to or equipped for major land combat against a first world army. It did not have the logistical capability to project significant force into Russia. It could provide pressure, and make theRussians keep a large Garrison, or perhaps get involved once the Germans had effectively beaten the Russians in the east.

What they could have easily done is stopped the Russians using Valdivostock to import lean lease goods into Russia. US ships with Russians flags just steamed past Japan to Russian pacific ports. Their only real defence was these Russian flags, when push came to shove the Japanses were amore afraid of the Russians than wanting to hep the Germans.
#14281971
Not to mention the fact that Soviet eastern borders were not undefended, more than one million men were always present there during the whole war with more afvs and planes than Japanese army had in Manchuria and Korea. A attack on eastern border of USSR was destined to failure specially when most of the IJA was tied up in China and Japanese were aware of this.
#14282387
The battle of Khalkin Gol suggests otherwise. And describing Japan as being in control of China is pretty misleading, large swaths of China were not in Japanese hands and parts nominally under Japanese rule were not in practice under their control.


The idea that the Japanese could have attacked the Phillippines, a US client state complete with US troops based there, without a response from the US is farcical. Given you go on to cite US sanctions against Japan during this period, I'm also unclear how you can believe that the US let the Japanese do whatever they wanted in China.[/quote]

Japan's first move in World War II was the invasion and occupation of Korea and China. Did they control the entire land mass of China? No, they really didn't have to, but there was no response, other than diplomatic outrage at the Rape of Nanking and other Japanese atrocities in China. A Japanese attack from the east against the USSR, would have proved tremendously advantageous to the German's on the Eastern front, not only in forcing Stalin to either defend against it, or supply needed manpower and Lend Lease supplies diverted from the main assault by the Nazi's. It also would have had a terrible morale effect on the Russians if they were suddenly attacked by the Japanese, while simultaneously fighting for their lives against the German's. We will never know, because Hitler never demanded quid pro quo of Japan when he declared war on America.

Very few military supplies were available in the Pacific Theater after Pearl Harbor, simply because most of those supplies had already been sent to England and Russia, and General Marshall had shrewdly convinced Roosevelt that Germany First should be America's policy in World War II. Marshall was correct, Germany was the greater threat. Surrounded by two oceans, and immune from air attack until very late in the war (the Nazi V-2 rocket could have reached New York), America was in the position to fight a two-front war, Germany was not. The oddest thing about that was American convoy ships with war material for the Russians, sailing, unchallenged through Japanese controlled waters, beefing up the Soviets to fight the Germans. Had the Japanese put a stop to those convoy runs, and they had the navy to do it, America' navy was mostly sitting in the silt at the bottom of Pearl Harbor at the time, perhaps the outcome would have been different. Even fighting against the huge Soviet Union, the Nazi's were still in a strong military position before Pearl Harbor to win the war. Had they conquered Russia, there would have been no Normandy invasion, the British would have been forced to sue for peace, and Japan would have maintained its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity sphere.

The Japanese attack on the Philippines, under American control, took place on December 8, 1941, a day after Pearl Harbor, when the Japanese bombers caught General MacArthur's American-based combat aircraft sitting row-to-row, wing-tip to wing-tip, at Clarke Field, and destroyed all 200 aircraft, making the Philippines indefensible against the Japanese land assault that followed. Nobody ever mentions Mac's failure to disperse his aircraft, even with 24-hour warning that the navy had lost the battleships at Pearl Harbor, and even the Japanese couldn't manage to coordinate their attack against Pearl Harbor and the Philippines to occur on the same day, because of the International Date Line. Even so, had it only been the destruction of our aircraft, and soldiers in the Philippines, which is what occurred, America couldn't come to the rescue. Public opinion wouldn't allow it, Roosevelt wouldn't have risked the navy sailing all that way without sufficient air cover and submarine escort, and that is exactly what did occur. Because our battleships were destroyed at Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt ordered MacArthur out of the Philippines (afraid his capture would be too severe a blow to American morale), leaving General Wainwright to fight on at Bataan and Corregidor, and be forced to surrender. America abandoned the Philippines, simply because they couldn't do anything about it. Public opinion prior to Pearl Harbor would never have allowed Roosevelt to send our fleet to attack Japan's, in their seas, if they had initially just attacked the Philippines. China was our ally, we didn't do a thing about their attack on that country by Japan. MacArthur would live to fight another day, and his finest achievement, surprisingly, would not be military, but civilian, in dismantling the Japanese warlord mentality and nation, and rebuilding it into a great Western-style democracy after the war.

The Battle of Midway, where America surprised the Japanese navy, destroying four of their carriers and all their front line combat pilots, only losing one carrier (the Yorktown), ourselves, allowed America to stand pat in the Pacific Theater, and concentrate on building up England and Russian war supplies. The Guadalcanal Navy and Marine attack was an effort to flush the Japanese navy out into the open again, as the "Doolittle Raid" had flushed their carriers out at Midway. Admiral Spraque abandoned the Marines to fight alone on Guadalcanal, fearing the loss of his carrier's, and sailing away to safer waters. Roosevelt replaced him with Admiral Halsey. However, the Marines were abandoned and stuck fighting for an airstrip on Guadalcanal, using captured Japanese gasoline, parts, armaments and food. A desperate defense on a small strip of land, with the ocean to their back, Guadalcanal proved that the Japanese army and navy were vulnerable and could be beat. The Marines situation on Guadalcanal was so desperate, and we couldn't get any supplies in there because of Sprague's actions in sailing away, that Roosevelt, who already had ceded the Philippines to the Japanese, started talking about Guadalcanal in past tense. Halsey returned with the fleet and both the Marines and the Navy fought desperately against the Japanese day and night to win that vital airstrip. By a strange coincidence, Guadalcanal took place at the same time as the desperate battle for Stalingrad, both being last ditch defenses with troops with no place to go, the Marines into the Pacific Ocean, the Soviet's into the river. They were both turning points in World War II, however, few historians make the connection. At both places, the enemy, Nazi Germany and Shogun Japan, were stopped in their tracks. The Russian winter, and Hitler's "stand or die" order, cost him a huge army at Stalingrad, which could have turned the tide on the central Eastern front if he didn't order its destruction. The Marines destroyed and burned out the Japanese defenders on Guadalcanal, fanatical troops who would fight to the death throughout the entire Pacific island hopping campaign. America would fight a two pronged war in the Pacific, the Marines and Navy island hopping at Tarawa, Bougainville, Peliu, Saipan, Guam, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, establishing airstrips on those islands and moving steadily toward the Japanese homeland, while the U.S. Army, under General MacArthur, would parallel the naval assault with a land assault through New Guinea and the Philippines, keeping the Japanese from moving against New Zealand and Australia. Meanwhile, America would go ahead with the North Africa landing's, fighting through Sicily, Italy, than Normandy and on to Germany, and the end of the war in Europe. The atomic bombs would be used to end the war on the Japanese, because of their fanatical defense against our attacks, it was estimated a million American casualties would occur if we had to invade their home islands. Truman was correct in dropping them.

Many historians have criticized Roosevelt for allegedly dividing up Eastern Europe with Stalin into spheres of influence and control prior to the end of the war, but in actual fact, America's troops only got halfway into Germany, and were ordered to stand down and allow the Russian Army to take Berlin. We than traded an entire province of Germany over to Soviet control for a 1/4 interest in the city of Berlin, which, maintaining that "piece" would turn into one of the first confrontations with the Soviets in the new Cold War with the Berlin Airlift. As late as 1947, the Soviets were still considered "tentative" allies of America, at least in American public opinion, and saving Central and Eastern Europe from Soviet control, would have meant America going to war with the USSR over Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, etc. Their troops were already standing on those territories when the war with Germany ended. Truman and MacArthur, did however, keep the Soviets from having any input on the rebuilding of Japan, even though they declared war on Japan with a month left in the war...........Stan............
#14282783
StanFan wrote:Did they control the entire land mass of China? No, they really didn't have to, but there was no response, other than diplomatic outrage at the Rape of Nanking and other Japanese atrocities in China.

- If Japan didn't need to control the entire landmass of China, how to you propose explaining the continued military campaigns in China through the 1930s and 1940s? Operation Ichi Go, occurring in 1944 for example, was an offensive that had to be waged essentially because the Japanese didn't control areas that were developing as a threat.
- Suggesting there was no response to the invasion of China, when it was a combination of the Japanese war in China and their occupation of Indochina that prompted the US embargo, is totally misleading.
- Comparing the Japanese invasion of China with a Japanese invasion of the Phillipines is like comparing apples and oranges.

StanFan wrote:A Japanese attack from the east against the USSR, would have proved tremendously advantageous to the German's on the Eastern front

Assuming it was at all effective, which you've failed to demonstrate. Also while it may have been advantageous to the Germans, the value that the Japanese would have gotten out of it would have been highly questionable. All the resources they needed were in the south, and would have been more easily had there. Expecting the Japanese to attack simply because it aids a pretty distant ally without reward seems bizarre.

StanFan wrote:not only in forcing Stalin to either defend against it, or supply needed manpower and Lend Lease supplies diverted from the main assault by the Nazi's.

As fuser correctly notes, a sizeable garrison force was maintained against the Japanese during Soviet struggle of the Eastern Front. Unless you can explain where the Japanese are going to rustle up more troops and tanks from, I don't see why the existing forces available wouldn't have been sufficient.

StanFan wrote:the Nazi V-2 rocket could have reached New York

The V2 (ie. the A-4) did not have that kind of range. The A9/A10 might have, however those were still at the test stage in February 1945.

StanFan wrote:Had the Japanese put a stop to those convoy runs... perhaps the outcome would have been different.

Except that if you compare the volume of material that arrived via the Pacific Route as opposed to the Persian or Northern routes, the Pacific wasn't that important in relative terms.

StanFan wrote:Even fighting against the huge Soviet Union, the Nazi's were still in a strong military position before Pearl Harbor to win the war.

An interesting assumption seeing as two days prior to the attack on Pearl Harbour, the exhausted and battered German troops outside Moscow were subject to a big counter-attack by the Red Army. By January German troops were being pushed right back. German forces were not able to conduct another major offensive till June 1942. Which would also suggest that your claim of simultaneous offensives by Japan and Germany would also be unlikely to occur - the Wehrmacht had already come to a stop.

The next three paragraphs of your post aren't really relevant to the topic, but one error jumps out.

StanFan wrote:Shogun Japan

The shogunate ended with the Meiji Restoration... well before WWII
#14283023
Shogun, warlords, fanatical, they all pretty much mean the same thing. I have already pointed out the Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 as one of the main reason the German's didn't take Moscow, they had to start from the middle of Poland, which Hitler ceded to the Russians for "hands-off" in attacking. If they had started the 250 miles further east, they would have overrun Moscow and ended the war with the USSR. The Soviets were on the counter-attack in 1941 because of the huge Lend Lease supplies America shipped there to put their army on wheels, and they cut the heart out of the German's. Not sure why you don't make the connection of Guadalcanal and Stalingrad occurring at the same time as turning points in the war. Hitler's experimental weapons (not even counting their investment in the race to develop uranium and the atomic bomb), the V-1 and V-2 and others, were deadly. They were able to set the launching sites up in a matter of days, launch, and then dismantle and move on to another site. Destroying those launching sites was one of the main reason's the allies were slowed in their attack in France. The British couldn't move forward because Churchill needed those rocket sites destroyed. If the American army moved ahead of the British, it would have created a gap which the German's could have easily penetrated, and repeated their success of 1940 splitting the BEF off from the French army, and conquering the rest of mainland Europe. The Japanese fought with the Chinese Nationalists, and the British in China, and the Flying Tigers provided supplies by flying over the Himalayan mountains. However, at the end of the war, they Japanese still had 300,000 men in China and Korea, a formidable force to be reckoned with. One of the reason for using the atomic bomb on them. Stalin had a sizable force in the East, however, a million man army defending there? Would like to see some source for that. Other than that, thanx for you thoughts.......Stan.......
#14283061
The US didnt deliver massive lend lease in 1941, and the Red Army generally wasnt counter attacking in 1941.

Perhaps if the Russians didnt occupy Poland, there wouldn't be any Soviet-Nazi pact and the Germany Economy would have been much weaker, thus the German army less prepared and equipped, the Pact which by the Germans ceded eastern poland also included much resources from Russia. If you are going to change history you have to evaluate the difference in resources would have made to German preparedness, and effect of the lack of the machine tools etc that the soviets got.

Without the pact the Stalin might not have been sucked in to delusional behavior over the start of Barbarossa, sensible defense in depth and preparations could be worth a lot more to the soviets than 250km.

The Blanket statement that no soviet occupation of eastern Poland = German victory, needs some analysis. There are factors that cut both ways.
#14283110
I'd agree with Pugsville on the Ribbentrop pact. If the pact had not been signed then what would have been the Russian response to an invasion of Poland? This could have created a much earlier war in the east which Hitler did not want. If anything the German army would not have been prepared for a large scale continental war in 1939.

If anything the failure to reach Moscow is nothing to do with not having a 250km "head start". There are a number of factors, such as Hitler changing the direction of attack southwards towards the oilfields with Moscow in reach. You can even take it back to having to intervene in Greece and Yugoslavia which set back the timetable for war by 6 weeks.
#14283114
The most importasnt factor was resistance of Red Army, the war dependent on Soviet actions too.

There are a number of factors, such as Hitler changing the direction of attack southwards towards the oilfields with Moscow in reach


Moscow was not in reach, the red army was concentrated in the front of army group centre, fall blau was not solely Hitler's decision and it was indeed a logical one as the southern sector was the only region where Axis had numerical superiority during the start of campaign, an attack o moscow sector was doomed to failure whereas fall blau was a great sucess initially.

You can even take it back to having to intervene in Greece and Yugoslavia which set back the timetable for war by 6 weeks.


The balkan campaign had nothing to do with the ddate of Barbarossa, the weather dictated that any major campaign will happen in Soviet Union in late summer/june. To illustrate my point just look at the starting date of all major Summer campaign : Barbarossa, Fall Blau, Citade, Bagration all happened in late june or early July.
#14283325
[quote="Rokossovsky"]I'd agree with Pugsville on the Ribbentrop pact. If the pact had not been signed then what would have been the Russian response to an invasion of Poland? This could have created a much earlier war in the east which Hitler did not want. If anything the German army would not have been prepared for a large scale continental war in 1939.

Neither were the Russians. Precisely the reason for the Ribbentrop Pact, from the Soviet side. Germany to keep the USSR pacified when they launched in 1939. Things were not well for the Soviet Army in 1939, their poor performance against Finland leads one to believe that Stalin's purge of their general's had a major impact on their failure to knock off a tiny country they should have occupied without a problem. They had to commit massive troops to finish off the Fins, an attack that probably saved Leningrad from falling later. One can speculate, however, that the German's, with Hitler taking the chance that the defensive minded French Army wouldn't pour over his undefended western borders, after declaring war when he invaded Poland, could have launched Barbarossa against the Russians then, and perhaps won with his swift tank formations. His Luftwaffe, which in 1939 had been tested in the Spanish Civil War, had the Stuka's and they were hugely effective in destroying ground installations, troops, trains, tanks and civilians on the roads. He would, of course, later waste his fighter portion over England, battling the RAF. Except for the U-Boat campaign, and terror bombing of English cities, particularly London, which Goering assured Hitler, would bring the Brits to surrender terms, Germany had no serious plans to execute an attack across the English Channel, ever. Had the General Staff made one up prior to going to war, never foreseeing the French collapse and the British Expeditionary Force evacuation in 1940, Hitler's instinct's probably would have implemented it on the spot, as he had approved the Ardennes campaign. He had more important ideas for conquest than worrying about England. Barbarossa and the conquest of Poland, the Balkans and the Soviet Union, not England, were on his mind, along with the destruction of European Jewry with his "Final Solution."

The German Army had their instructions and date of attack weeks ahead, and actually witnessed Soviet trains pulling into their section of Poland the night before the Barbarossa attack with supplies for the German's. Such was the state of Soviet political thinking at the time, they never suspected a German attack was coming against them until it hit. The Ribbentrop Pack gave Stalin a buffer area away from the Soviet borders, and was hailed in the USSR from 1939 to the 1941 attack as the "Leader's Wise Peace Policy."

Hitler, like Churchill, was an amateur military strategist, and occasionally overruled his general staff with last minute changes. His adoption of the Ardennes attack against the Netherlands and France was against all of the planning of their General Staff for 15-years and worked magnificently. On other occasions, his decisions worked against his success. The central push against Moscow reached that cities suburbs, within sight of the Kremlin' spires and Stalin and the rest of the government fled into the interior of Russia. Stalin later had those who were aware of his retreat, killed. There was no Communist ideology used in the Soviet Union during their fight with Germany, it was all rolled up in defense of Mother Russia." The central front of the German attack should have taken the capital and ended the war right then. I have never read anything regarding the moves in the Balkans or toward the southern Russian oil fields as anything significant, or a major aim of Barbarossa. Both were sideshows. The real intent of the southern move was Stalingrad falling, along with Moscow and Leningrad, under siege for 982 days.

Interesting, that while the Soviets were engaged with the Nazi's in a fight to the death, there are unsubstantiated claims here that Stalin was keeping a million man army in the Orient east, to defend against a Japanese attack against him? Haven't seen any evidence of that yet. If Stalin had a million soldiers available, they wouldn't have been sitting on the butts watching the Japanese run through Mongolia and China, there was little in the USSR's eastern border to interest the Japanese, they already had access, because of their amazing first year run of conquest through the old British, French and Dutch colonies (gaining rubber, tin, oil and steel), all the war materials of interest to them. An attack against the Soviets would have been to destroy Soviet morale, already in trouble with the death grip fight with the Nazi's. If Stalin had a million soldiers, they would have been spread evenly across the huge Barbarossa front of the USSR, he, and the Russian officers under him, didn't believe in idleness and preserving regular army soldiers' lives. Soviet soldiers on the offensive met German machine guns, on retreating, were met with Soviet machine guns. Naturally, they maintained the offensive..........Stan..........
#14283368
Interesting, that while the Soviets were engaged with the Nazi's in a fight to the death, there are unsubstantiated claims here that Stalin was keeping a million man army in the Orient east, to defend against a Japanese attack against him? Haven't seen any evidence of that yet. If Stalin had a million soldiers available, they wouldn't have been sitting on the butts watching the Japanese run through Mongolia and China,


Obviously, you haven't seen any evidence of it, judging by your post you have a very old and ridiculous caricature of ww2 but here you go :

from the 11th volume of the Soviet official history of WW2 :

Image

An attack against the Soviets would have been to destroy Soviet morale, already in trouble with the death grip fight with the Nazi's. If Stalin had a million soldiers, they would have been spread evenly across the huge Barbarossa front of the USSR, he, and the Russian officers under him, didn't believe in idleness and preserving regular army soldiers' lives.


Idleness? Do you realize that war can be unpredictable? These men were there for "in case" scenario. In real life (unlike video games) no nation lefts his any Border unguarded, as there was no 100 % certainty that Japan will absolutely not attack.

Soviet soldiers on the offensive met German machine guns, on retreating, were met with Soviet machine guns. Naturally, they maintained the offensive..........Stan..........




And Germans were so fucking incompetent that they couldn't even defeat such a pathetic enemy.
#14283393
No, the Russian Army was in a fight to the death with the German's, and any Soviet officer who permitted his troops to retreat forfeited his life in World War II. After a rather minor skirmish along the Chinese borders, which the Soviets, under Zukov won, Japan and the USSR signed a peace treaty so neither would have to worry about the other. That battle decided the "southern" strategy for the Japanese, and allowed Stalin to move five complete armies from his Eastern border, to the main conflict against Germany. What supports the graph? There is nothing there but Soviet military statistics, none which happen to identify where those troops and supplies were. Plus the Soviet-Japanese fight was throughout 1938 to 1941, by 1942, the Soviets were well on the offensive against Germany. Put up a statistics with documentation, and I will give it some credence, but just posting an unsubstantiated graphic doesn't prove the point that the USSR held a million man army on their Eastern front to protect against the Japanese attacking them. The reputable World War sources contradict the idea that the USSR had a million man army in the East, they used their forces against the Germans, than when that war was decided, switched and attacked Manchuria (Japan), right after the first atomic bomb was dropped. That was something Stalin promised Roosevelt he would do in return for all the Lend Lease supplies America sent which kept the Russians fighting while they moved all their armaments industries inland, and engaged in a "scorched earth" policy leaving nothing for the Nazi's to use of areas they had retreated from at the start of the war. Seems a rather minor point, but considering the fight to the death that the USSR and Nazi Germany engaged in during World War II, and the fact that the Russians and Japanese signed a peace treaty in 1941, the idea of a million man army to protect against the possibility of a Japanese aggression in their eastern border isn't supported by fact. Don't know where you come up with the video games post, or your opinions, mine come from reliable sources. Yours?.........Stan..........
#14283617
What supports the graph?


Are you kidding? The source for that graph has been clearly mentioned, reread the post again.

the idea of a million man army to protect against the possibility of a Japanese aggression in their eastern border isn't supported by fact. Don't know where you come up with the video games post, or your opinions, mine come from reliable sources. Yours?


Yes it is supported by fact, its just invisible to you because it contradicts your dearly held preconceived notions of the war. Btw you haven't provided one single source for any of your faulty assertions.

Finally the idea (yours) that a country can leave her entire border unguarded is just ridiculous and a video game esque argument only. Even in ww1 substantial German forces were present in east even after Russia was knocked out.
#14283681
StanFan wrote:Shogun, warlords, fanatical, they all pretty much mean the same thing.

1. Throwing around inaccurate terms brings your whole post down.
2. You probably used the term because you thought it made your argument more convincing. Much like you keep bringing up topics which are only indirectly relevant to your point. You're backing away from it now because it is doing the opposite.

Stalin had a sizable force in the East, however, a million man army defending there? Would like to see some source for that.

If you would just take the time to read about the Battle of Khalkin Gol you would notice that the Red Army, though outnumbered, delivered a heavy defeat on the Japanese. It's probably not an entirely fair comparison, but Operation August Storm again in 1945 would suggest that the Red Army had no problem with walking all over the Japanese army.

One can speculate, however, that the German's, with Hitler taking the chance that the defensive minded French Army wouldn't pour over his undefended western borders, after declaring war when he invaded Poland, could have launched Barbarossa against the Russians then, and perhaps won with his swift tank formations.

The German tank arm had to be significantly reorganised after the invasion of Poland. Those swift tank formations didn't really exist in 1939 and generally would not have been up to the job of enacting Barbarossa two years early. Especially without logistical preparation. The march on Moscow was hard enough even with all the preparations prior to 1941, it would have been an even bigger disaster without stockpiling supplies first. Never mind you're talking about the invasion starting effectively three months earlier than it orginally occurred.

Hitler's instinct's probably would have implemented it on the spot, as he had approved the Ardennes campaign

Only because the original plans are been made available to the enemy. Prior to that it was just going to be a repeat of German's plan in WWI with a slightly better material base.

and was hailed in the USSR from 1939 to the 1941 attack as the "Leader's Wise Peace Policy."

Because criticism of Stalin's foreign policy was otherwise a popular item in Soviet media between 1939 and 1941

His adoption of the Ardennes attack against the Netherlands...

The Ardennes forest is actually in Belgium. You might turn around and say you were talking about the campaign as a whole, but then how is you that you failed to mention Belgium along with France etc? This is probably the fault of that inscrutible shogun...

There was no Communist ideology used in the Soviet Union during their fight with Germany, it was all rolled up in defense of Mother Russia."

Go look at the propaganda posters used during the Siege of Leningrad and try to claim that again. "We never surrender the gains of October!" one is captioned.

I have never read anything regarding the moves in the Balkans or toward the southern Russian oil fields as anything significant

perhaps you think the 'swift tank formations' ran on candy and positive thinking?

Soviet soldiers on the offensive met German machine guns, on retreating, were met with Soviet machine guns.

Largely mythical. The number of deaths notionally attributed to this practice is tiny, and in practice they did what MPs do in most nation's militaries - they turn the troops around and send them back into the fight, or arrest them.

That battle decided the "southern" strategy for the Japanese, and allowed Stalin to move five complete armies from his Eastern border, to the main conflict against Germany.

Chronology failure. The 'southern strategy' was not decided in 1939 and the troops you are referring to on the Soviet border were similarly not moved till 1941. Also the Siberian Divisions thing is a bit of a myth.

mine come from reliable sources

Name them. No more nonsense, where are you getting this stuff from?
#14287533
Regarding Pearl Harbor.

It was indeed decided by the Japanese High Command that should a confrontation between America and Japan be unavoidable, a surprise strike being the best option. But they wanted to exhaust all possible diplomatic means first.

But the fact that the Japanese would strike was carefully nurtured by the US-Administration itself. Japan was the ticket into the war.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1Q0rctS_F0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p1TOA99S88

- They had full insight into what the Japanese Delegation was planning and doing.
- They had full insight what the Japanese Navy was doing by transmission intercepts. And they had already also broken into the the Navy code. Therefore they knew the position of the Japanese fleet. Which contrary to myth did make transmissions back to HQ.
All this information was kept secret by purpose from the Pacific Fleet HQ.
- Admiral Kimmel was forcibly kept in the dark, by giving him a totally false picture of the advancing threat, although he requested several times to have access to intelligence information.

Had this not worked out, Hitler would have been forced nonetheless to go to full war against the US because, the US only needed to increase the pressure further and further by intensifying the already shooting war on the Seas to untolerable levels.

However the plot worked wonderfully and propelled the US into the war exactly the right time. The British had burned through already all their gold to buy war goods in the US. The Bahamas, Iceland where cashed in for some old rusty destroyers, so it was time to come onto the stage (not to the dismay of the British though). And cash-in big time. It worked out almost perfectly, though Stalin managed to bag Roosevelt on the future of Eastern-Europe at a hefty drinking Party a la Stalin and poison him (a speciality of his), totally sidelining fuming Winnie.
#14950127
Figlio di Moros wrote:There are many ways WWII could have gone differently, and you can easily see how well the Nazi's started off on all fronts to see why they might have been convinced they could win. However, Poland was conquered in a few short weeks, it's government and officers immediately fled to the border, and the entire matter shows no reason they could've expected a favorable result in such a war. FFS, they sat between Germany and Russia, and, when Germany asked for their help invading Russia, they didn't stop to think they'd end up fighting them, anyways?



There's always the , "What if"? scenario in terms of historical events.

My own one in respect of WW2 is this, " What if Great Britain had been the first country on Hitler's list of countries to be invaded"?

I strongly suspect that he would have won the war for Germany, no doubt at all.

A surprise invasion of Britain would have succeeded because the country was totally unprepared for a war with Germany, the 'elite' establishment was pro-Nazi in it's sympathies, all too ready to betray the country & it's people to the fascist power.
America would not have intervened to help Britain, because it was more sympathetic to the Nazis than it cares to admit & would have been happy back then, as now, to see a Europe dominated by Germany.

In fact, had Germany only invaded Britain, America would have been ecstatically happy to see the old imperialist British Empire collapse into a heap, as it was, America was only too glad to let Britain pay for America's war against Germany, the partner of the axis of 'evil', Japan, the cause of it having to fight Germany in the first place after Pearl Harbour.

France too was militarily ignorant, with a medieval static defence mentality as displayed by the Maginot Line.

Had Hitler confined himself to defeating Britain, as well as France after the Treaty of Versaille, consolidated Germany's economic 'miracle' under Hitler, things could have been very different in a post-war Europe.
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