Anglo-German Alliance In WWII - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The Second World War (1939-1945).
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#14362938
There has been some discussion that within the British political class of the 1930s there were some elements sympathetic or influenced by Germany. They saw Hitler and National Socialism as a bulwark against the USSR and communism. How prevalent were they?

1) What was the chance of an Anglo-German alliance?

2) Would British soldiers have been willing to fight fellow English speaking Americans?
#14362942
How prevalent were they?


Not much.

What was the chance of an Anglo-German alliance?


Slim, to say the least.

Would British soldiers have been willing to fight fellow English speaking Americans?


I don't see, why not. They have done it already before.
#14362957
fuser wrote:Slim, to say the least.


Why was this?

Was it because they were terrified of German expansion and the possibility that Hitler could not be stopped? Did they worry about a continental Europe under German domination which could then either control (through threats of invasion and economic measures) or isolate the UK?
#14362985
Wallis Simpson, an American socialite who was divorced from her first husband and was pursuing a divorce of her second, was a German spy working assiduously to forge such an alliance between Germany and Britain. If Edward VIII had only kept her as a mistress without getting married with her, Ms Simpson could have had her way and Britain could have become a German ally. But the abdication crisis of 1936 removed a man with Nazi sympathies from the throne and Britain's indigenous fascist movement was not powerful enough to coerce George VI, his brother who succeeded him, into appointing a fascist prime minister, quite contrary to Japanese and Italian fascists who were borderline terrorists. Most British fascists were singled out and imprisoned for the duration of the war and British authorities contained the rise of fascism very effectively as the political establishment overall did not sympathise with them.

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#14363110
Edward VII was a weak man. The British Monarch had very limited powers, and convention further limited them. They could only appoint as Prime Minister someone who had the confidence of the house of commons (they could in theory appoint a member who had not the confidence but they would immediately be forced to resign by no confidence in the house of commons) there was no fascist leader or fascist sympathiser who could shave commanded anything other than a couple of votes in the house of commons. Even a strong Monarch could not force the a leader on the house of commons. British customs and conventions meant that Parliament had a much stronger hand than in Germany or Italy. A monarch could perhaps 'promote' Nazi Germany by state visits, speeches, but that about it. None of those in Civilian or Military positions of power would pay much attention to the Monarch trying to chart a course of actions against the House of Commons.

Fascist supporters in Britain were a very fringe group, they were some people in various circles who were supporters or sympathetic who would have supported a alliance with Nazi Germany but they so small in number as to be without any real influence.

The influential design makers were by and large supporters of the status quo. Nazi Germany was seen as a dangerous Rogue state. Appeasement was tried, after that reluctantly but firmly they moved into opposing Hitler. There was a fair agreement amongst the design making class.
#14380087
I would say Hitler was viewed as a man the could do business with until they realized his goals for Europe. But an actual alliance even against the communist seems unlikely.
#14380095
I was all for anti- Communism and I totally get why people were not enthusiastic about America becoming the world's dominant power. But Hitler?

How exactly did genciding Poles and Jews help either the fight against Communism or the fight against America? Or the struggle against international banking come to that. How exactly did genociding the Russians and Ukrainians, which had already been intimated in Mein Kampf help either the fight against Communism or the fight against America? In 1939, Hitler destroyed Czechoslovakia, Poland and gave half of Poland to the Soviets. How exactly did this help the anti Communist cause?

If Hitler had made peace with Poland after his victory, taken Germany's 1914 lands and restored an independent Poland, then I'm sure the allies could have reconsidered. Sitzkrieg could have developed into peace. But no Hitler was determined to prove correct the most extreme of the anti- Nazi demagogues. War against Germany in 1939 made total sense. What didn't make sense was prosecuting the war with such mind blowing incompetence.
#14380344
Early on enough it could have been done. Churchill was initially an admirer of fascism. If there would have been a stronger worker movement in Britain, no succession crises, and some event to trigger fears of the commies or a demand to go back to the old days (Ireland may have provided such a thing), it may have been enough to trigger a fascist movement that had legitamacy. But by that point, Britain had substantial trade they were dealing with that tends to favour a liberal parliament, Ireland was a thorn in their side right next door that had extended war weariness long beyond 1918, and most of the organized radical workers and socialists were content to make Spain their crusade or put their energy into preserving the socialism in one country of Russia. Which meant no big revolutionary effort in Britain (compared to other places) and also no reaction to it.

So it's conceptually possible had everything for just right, but even in the depression things were better in Britain than Germany or Italy.
#14380790
Britain might have considered Germany an ally, but it became clear that Germany was the most dangerous competitor on mainland Europe because they knew that Germany could not be kept artificially weak indefinately. Britain only adopted appeasement as a means to buy time while it could engage in internal capacity building and forging alliances to balance Germany. The only way an Anglo-German alliance could have come to fruition is if Germany had accepted the order imposed by Versailles and that the Soviet Union was more even more powerful and expansionistic.
#14408881
Political Interest wrote:There has been some discussion that within the British political class of the 1930s there were some elements sympathetic or influenced by Germany. They saw Hitler and National Socialism as a bulwark against the USSR and communism. How prevalent were they?

1) What was the chance of an Anglo-German alliance?

2) Would British soldiers have been willing to fight fellow English speaking Americans?



There is a huge difference between seeing Germany as the bullwark against communism and an outright alliance with them.
Most of the Western world except the communist sympathisers were delighted by Germany attacking the USSR.
But again there is a gap between this and generally being allied to them.

To answer questions.
1. Zero. Same as for France, USA, etc. Anti communism doesnt mean alliance. See balance of power.
2. Second question makes no sense. Alliance with Germany against USA? Why would England ever fight USA? What you're saying is if all of Europe including UK was fascist, then USA declares war on all of Fascist Europe? I think that if all of Europe was allied to Germany, its a stretch to say that USA would just declare war on everyone and ally with Soviets to change the order of Europe!
#14409049
I think it's more interesting to examine the american financial class alliance with Nazi Germany.
#14409311
By the time of WWII, things were pretty much decided and there wasn't the scope for a change of alliance. The real question is why did Britain decide to join the Russian-French alliance against Germany prior to WWI. Britain was up against Russia in the Pacific, India, Central Asia and South East Asia. France was a serious competitor in the colonies, while Germany was in no position to challenge Britain on the seas. Historians like Ferguson believe that it was a serious mistake for Britain to join the fighting in 1914. WWI and WWII might never have happened and Britain might have retained its empire in one form or another.
#14409322
Atlantis wrote:while Germany was in no position to challenge Britain on the seas.


Only with hindsight. UK was having a naval arms race up to ww1 with Germany.
#14409504
fuser wrote:Only with hindsight. UK was having a naval arms race up to ww1 with Germany.


"In 1905, the director of British naval intelligence could confidently describe Britain's naval preponderance over Germany as 'overwhelming'."

"Foreign Secretary Edward Grey in 1907: We shall have 7 dreadnoughts afloat before they [the Germans] have one. "

"the German battleships rose from 13 to 16 in the years 1898-1905, the British battle fleet rose from 29 to 44 ships."

"In 1913, the German naval command formally and unilaterally renounced the Anglo-German arms race, Tirpitz declaring that he was satisfied with the ratios demanded by Britain."

Sleepwalkers, Christopher Clark, p. 150
#14409549
Atlantis wrote:The real question is why did Britain decide to join the Russian-French alliance against Germany prior to WWI. Britain was up against Russia in the Pacific, India, Central Asia and South East Asia. France was a serious competitor in the colonies, while Germany was in no position to challenge Britain on the seas.
I think you mean why did the four great megalomaniac terrorist empires: America, Britain, France and Russia all end up ganging up together. And the reason is that having carved up the world between them, they were scared of each other and so it made sense to ally together and exclude new entrants.

What is amazing is how they've managed to spin their aggressive encirclement and destruction of Germany and Austria as some noble act of non aggression. I mean seriously imagine if Serbians had assassinated the Prince of Wales and his wife. And as for Belgium, it was accepted that Germany would need to attack through southern Belgium in the event of war with the Russians and French vultures. The Germans attempted to keep infringement of Belgium sovereignty to the absolute minimum required by military necessity.
Last edited by Rich on 21 May 2014 10:02, edited 1 time in total.
#14409628
@ Atlantis

In 1914

Germany had 17 Dreadnaughts and Britain 29 while France 10. Britain of course won the race (I never claimed otherwise) but it won only because it took up the challenge posed by Germany. Germany was the only nation in Europe looking to challenge and out-compete Britain, of course it was the no.1 threat on high seas for Britain more than France.

And as such your statement that "France was a serious competitor in the colonies, while Germany was in no position to challenge Britain on the seas." is wrong. Germany was more of a challenge than France or any other European country prior to 1914 specially given the Industrial capacity of Germany which was larger than all other European nations.
#14409708
fuser wrote:
Only with hindsight. UK was having a naval arms race up to ww1 with Germany.


For me it the opposite of what Atlantis said!
It's more the joining in WW2 against Germany which made no sense to the British Empire than joining the fight in WW1!

The Kaiser was obviously wanting to challenge British sphere of influence. He had dreams of rivalling the British Navy and carve up large parts of Africa and other continents for himself. "The place in the sun" as its called.
So I fully accept the involvment in WW1 by British. The Kaiser was a fool in this regard.

On other hand its clear that Hitler vision was not to challenge British Empire anywhere in its sphere of influence.
So in my opinion British joined WW2 purely to destroy Nazism (or German power irrelevant of politics...), which is fine, but they lost their Empire this way!
#14409729
anondragon2012 wrote:The Kaiser was a fool in this regard.
The Kaiser may have been a fool but he was dealt an awful hand. Bismark's leadership after 1871 was catastrophic. It was absolutely vital to use the window of opportunity while France was down to smash Russia. He intensified the equally disastrous culture Kampf. Germany desperately needed to unite and end the Catholic / Protestant divisions, if it was to push outwards into the world and take on the other Empires.

In sum after 1971 Germany needed to unite with Austria, break up Russia, knock France even further down, gain control of the Mediterranean, seize France's African possessions, then they would have the economic base to go on and compete with Britain and America. German policy was driven by a reckless timidity, and a gullible attachment to so called "international law" that bordered on the suicidal. These traits reached insanity in 1905 when Germany failed to use the revolution to finish off Russia as a threat once and for all.
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