World War II Day by Day - Page 12 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The Second World War (1939-1945).
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By Doug64
#15311253
If we're looking for definitions of fascism, I rather like Jonah Goldberg's: "Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. it is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the "problem" and therefore defined as the enemy."

Nazism is almost the same thing, except it substitutes race for nation. Both are solidly creatures of the Left rather than the Right, and were recognized as such before the war.
By Doug64
#15311323
April 9, Tuesday

Germany opens Scandinavian assault


German troops move into Denmark and Norway in the early hours of this morning. The attack takes the Allies by surprise—which is something of a surprise itself, since the Allies themselves have just mined Norwegian waters against German shipping, had been warned of the invasion by Colonel-General Beck (of the anti-Hitler opposition) and, until the Finnish-Soviet armistice of March 13th, had themselves been planning to occupy northern Norway. Germany aims to secure safe passage for its iron ore imports from Sweden and build naval bases beyond the blockaded North Sea. The Allies’ aim for their projected invasion was to disrupt ore shipments and open a second front away from France—though cynics say it was to open a second front away from Whitehall.

HMS Cossack’s daring release of 299 British seamen on the Altmark in Norwegian waters—threatening by implication both Germany’s iron ore supply and the ribbon of neutral Norwegian water giving German ships access to the Atlantic—concentrated German minds. While the Allies fumble, Germany moves. Using mostly second-rate reservists, with Major-General Eduard Dietl’s Mountain Division and the Luftwaffe’s First Parachute Regiment as the spearhead, the German army under General Kaupitsch is occupying Denmark with hardly a shot fired. Simultaneously, the German navy has landed troops under General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst in every major Norwegian port as far north as Narvik, in a daring amphibious operation that takes the Royal Navy entirely by surprise.
#15311342
late wrote:In his 1995 essay "Ur-Fascism", cultural theorist Umberto Eco lists fourteen general properties of fascist ideology.[13]

"The cult of tradition", characterized by cultural syncretism, even at the risk of internal contradiction. When all truth has already been revealed by tradition, no new learning can occur, only further interpretation and refinement.
"The rejection of modernism", which views the rationalistic development of Western culture since the Enlightenment as a descent into depravity. Eco distinguishes this from a rejection of superficial technological advancement, as many fascist regimes cite their industrial potency as proof of the vitality of their system.

etc, etc

He precisely proves my point. A shopping list of vague ideas and sentiments. That could be applied to anyone, everyone or no one. There was nothing new in fascism, just people with similar sentiments to before responding to a new situation. World War 1 and 2 were massive, massive wars, leading to immense sacrifice and suffering. There is inevitable a massive, massive need to fit those wars, those conflicts, that suffering and that sacrifice into a giant supra-historical narrative. Its like when some big murder case hits the headlines, some child gets murdered or the like. There is always this demand that their death, their suffering not be in vain. Lets have a new law, sarah's law, debbies's law, Jenny's law, I can't remember what their names were, but it seems that every murdered kid has to have a law named after them. No matter whether we need another law. No matter whether its a good law, just as long as there's a law so their parents can feel like there child didn't die for nothing.

The second reason is that its always nice if evil has a name. "Satan" has fallen out of a favour as a unifying anti hero, so we're always on the look out for new ways to demonise people. The Nazis burnt books, Never again! Never again, we must never allow them to take power again even if we have to burn every book in the universe.
By late
#15311373
Rich wrote:
He precisely proves my point. A shopping list of vague ideas and sentiments. That could be applied to anyone, everyone or no one.



Which tells us that you haven't looked into it.

Or that it is telling you something you'd rather not deal with...
By Doug64
#15311522
April 10, Wednesday

After 24 hours, Danish king orders a ceasefire and surrender


German troops are in occupation of all Denmark. As a German General Staff paper confidently predicted, the occupation has taken a mere 24 hours. Denmark’s airfields, ports, islands, and inlets are now available to the Germans as forward bases for their attack on Norway, now in its second day.

The invasion began at 5 am yesterday when three troopships sailed silently into Copenhagen harbor. A lone policeman who resisted the invaders with a pistol fell, and the city was taken without further fighting. Simultaneously, trawlers escorted by E-boats brought German troops into all of Denmark’s ports and major islands, giving them control of the vital sea passages, the Skagerrak and the Kattegat, between Denmark and Norway. At the same time, airborne troops landed at the airfield of Aalborg, and motorized troops crossed Denmark’s land frontier at Flensburg and Tondern. At Gjedser, a ferry came in carrying troops and an armored train.

After twelve Danish deaths, King Christian X ordered a ceasefire at about 6 am. The Danish C-in-C, General Pryor, recalling an earlier battle at Copenhagen, applied the Nelson touch and ignored the order. Then, at 6:45 am, the king sent his personal adjutant to ensure it was obeyed. The occupation puts Germany in an unprecedented legal position. Since Denmark has not resisted, Denmark is not at war with Germany. It is still neutral. The Germans are faced with a coalition government embracing most Danish democratic parties, which they cannot depose without undermining their claims, however tenuous, of not threatening other neutral nations.

German justification for the occupation is that it had to act to prevent the Allies from occupying northern Norway and depriving Germany of its iron ore supply from neutral Sweden. The most crucial gain for Germany is control of the airfields at Aalborg, at the northern tip of the Jutland peninsula—a key strategic location in the air battle for Norway and patrolling the sea passages to Germany’s Baltic ports.

British cause heavy German naval loss despite fleet delays

With battle ensigns straining from their mainmasts and all guns blazing, six British destroyers race through a snowstorm today to surprise a larger flotilla of German ships at the end of a Norwegian fjord. In the short and furious battle that follows, two German destroyers are sunk and two more crippled. Two British destroyers, Hardy and Hunter, are sunk and their flotilla commander, Captain Warburton-Lee, is killed in the engagement.

The naval action off Norway began with a mine-laying operation aimed at forcing ships carrying iron ore to Germany out of neutral Norwegian waters. The operation was set to begin on April 8th, and on April 5th, a force left Scapa Flow under Vice-Admiral Whitworth.

The destroyer Glowworm was separated from the force when one of her seamen was washed overboard in heavy seas. The last heard from her was that she was sinking after taking on the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. Four minelayers and Warburton-Lee’s destroyers joined Whitworth’s force.

As early as April 4th the admiralty had intelligence of a German move on Norway, and signs of naval activity in the Baltic grew stronger on April 6th. The admiralty concentrated on the possibility of a breakout of German warships via the North Sea to the North Atlantic rather than the invasion of Norway. Thus, when major German naval groups were known to be heading northwest into the North Sea, and the Home Fleet finally sailed, it steered northeast, leaving the central North Sea uncovered.

By April 8th the Germans’ invasion intentions were clearer, and Admiral Forbes, the C-in-C, adjusted course and sent more destroyers to the mine-laying force to the north.

The next day, the Germans lost two cruisers, one sunk by a submarine, the other by torpedoes fired by the Norwegians in Oslo fjord.
By Doug64
#15311878
April 13, Saturday

Swastikas fly over Oslo, but battles begin in mountains


In the early hours of April 9th, the German cruiser Blucher led a troop convoy into Oslo harbor. The assault was a failure, although there were only a few hundred guards on ceremonial duties defending the capital. Torpedoes from Fort Oscarsborg sank the Blucher, and the attack was abandoned.

It was left to a battalion of paratroopers to take the capital from the rear. However, King Haakon, the Labor government, the Storting [parliament], and Norway’s gold reserves had left for Hamar, 70 miles (112 km) inland, to organize resistance. At the same time the Blucher was sinking, the German fleet was carrying troops to six Norwegian ports as far north as the Arctic Circle: Kristiansand, Egersund, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, and Narvik.

Norway’s army, a few hundred guardsmen and a part-time militia, is no match for the German army. The only effective unit was far away guarding the Finnish frontier when the invasion started. Still, the unit is raced south and, together with what is left of Norway’s reservists, is now under Norway’s new C-in-C, General Otto Ruge, an intellectual reputed to work well under pressure.

Ruge’s strategy is to prevent the main German force now landed at Oslo from linking up with the coastal foothold by blocking the valleys. Thus, the German advance has been punctuated by bloody localized assaults, sending back a steady stream of casualties among General von Falkenhorst’s reservists. Falkenhorst’s tactics have been to use his elite 169th Mountain Division to outflank the Norwegian blocks and to apply “aerial artillery” (dive-bombers) against them.

Despite the Stukas, General Ruge is unlikely to surrender. “The defeat or captivity of her forces is better for the nation than their voluntary capitulation,” he says.

Neutrality of Italy and Hungary looks ever more unsure

Italy and Hungary seem to be sliding ever nearer involvement in the war. In Italy’s case, only the dictator Mussolini’s fear of the consequences has kept him out. He has so far not fulfilled his obligation to Hitler under the “Pact of Steel,” which committed Italy to go to Germany’s aid with “all its military forces” in time of war.

“I must emphasize to you,” he has written to Hitler, “that I cannot assume the initiative of warlike operations, given the actual conditions of Italian military preparations.” However, with Germany’s continued military success, there are indications that the Duce is preparing himself to go to war to avoid missing out on the spoils.

Hungary’s case is different. It is caught between Russia and Germany, and although its army is reputed to be the best in the Danube basin, its central plain makes an ideal tank country.

Every time its giant neighbors move, Hungary trembles. Admiral Horthy, the regent of this kingless kingdom, tries to placate both of them. Soon he may be forced to choose between Nazi Germany and Communist Russia.
By Doug64
#15312024
April 14, Sunday

Danes ignore their German “protectors”


The German occupation of Denmark is now five days old, and the Germans are finding it unexpectedly embarrassing. Since the Danes didn’t resist, they have not been defeated. Germany is obliged to keep to its word that German troops went in to “protect” Scandinavia from the Allies. Thus, it is faced with a king, a constitution, and a recognized democratic government.

Outside Denmark, the Danes are flocking to the Allies, 5,000 Danish seamen bringing 90 percent of Denmark’s tonnage into friendly ports. Inside Denmark, Danes continue to live as if the Germans don’t exist, ignoring them, as King Christian ignores the salutes of the German sentries.

For Germans to disband the government and rule directly would be a great blow to its prestige among neutrals. But to continue is exasperating. These Nordic people, who should be welcoming Germans, are responding with a policy once favored by illiterate Irish peasants: the “boycott.”
By Rich
#15312130
Tainari88 wrote:@Pants-of-dog an entire academic book explaining in fine details and many more. An entire library of scholarly works detailing how nationalist movements are linked thoroughly to capitalist development.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/178866

The title is How is Nationalism related to Capitalism?

That others never studied it has to do with a severe lack of knowledge of their own political philosophy.

That someone else has to point out the obvious to them is really bad.

If you have a library card you join, jstor and you download dozens of books on that topic specifically linking with long bibliographies on how Nazis and capitalism are linked and how they depend on each other to survive.

What the Nazi leadership in redneck areas of the USA are teaching their minions is not sound. They need to go back to the drawing board.


Good video here dubunking the lie that big capitalists financed Hitler's rise to power.



What is so amazing about the German capitalists of late Weimar Germany is not how much they supported the Nazis, but how little. How long they held back. How desperately they tried to keep Hitler out of power. Conservatives and pro market liberals were faced by a massive socialist majority in the July 1932 elections. In November 1932, they faced another massive socialist majority, but this time the Communist share of that socialist majority increased. Yet still the vast majority of the big capitalists refused to throw their lot in with Hitler. Hitler acquired the Chancellorship because of the individual machinations and personal competition of Schleicher and Von Papen. In a way a bit like the way Britain ended up leaving the EU because of the personal competition between David Cameron and Boris Johnson.

Even after Hitler attained the Chancellorship, Hitler's securement of a dictatorship was not a done deal, but came about to some extent by chance of fate. Hitler had promised Hindenburg that he would restore the monarchy and their is little doubt that Hindenburg had the loyalty of the army not Hitler. In June 1934 the Nazis or rather the SS and Nazi leadership committed a socialist coup or part coup disguised as an anti socialist coup. They were only able to get way with this because Hindenburg was dying of cancer and would die a mere five weeks later.
#15312182
Rich wrote:Good video here dubunking the lie that big capitalists financed Hitler's rise to power.



What is so amazing about the German capitalists of late Weimar Germany is not how much they supported the Nazis, but how little. How long they held back. How desperately they tried to keep Hitler out of power. Conservatives and pro market liberals were faced by a massive socialist majority in the July 1932 elections. In November 1932, they faced another massive socialist majority, but this time the Communist share of that socialist majority increased. Yet still the vast majority of the big capitalists refused to throw their lot in with Hitler. Hitler acquired the Chancellorship because of the individual machinations and personal competition of Schleicher and Von Papen. In a way a bit like the way Britain ended up leaving the EU because of the personal competition between David Cameron and Boris Johnson.

Even after Hitler attained the Chancellorship, Hitler's securement of a dictatorship was not a done deal, but came about to some extent by chance of fate. Hitler had promised Hindenburg that he would restore the monarchy and their is little doubt that Hindenburg had the loyalty of the army not Hitler. In June 1934 the Nazis or rather the SS and Nazi leadership committed a socialist coup or part coup disguised as an anti socialist coup. They were only able to get way with this because Hindenburg was dying of cancer and would die a mere five weeks later.


Rich there is a lot of material on the website of the opposite. They needed the industrialists and the bankers to bankroll the goals of the Hitler regime. They also explicitly stated they had to take the 'socialism' away from what was highly popular for workers in Germany and make it about not challenging the class structure and accept being worker bees and that the highest priority would be nationalism for Germany and not if they were working class people having to obey Germans of a higher socioeconomic class. They were anti Marxists. In that you have some commonalities with them. Unfortunately you do.

But, that Hitler did not need capitalist or industrialists investing? He did. Did they fall into line with Hitler? Many did so.
By Doug64
#15312456
April 18, Thursday

The rise of a canny classroom warrior


General Sir John Dill, the commander of 1 Corps of the British Expeditionary Force in France, has been brought back to England to become the vice-chief of the Imperial General Staff.

Aged 59, Dill is a former director of military operations. Before the war he commanded the army’s Staff College. In France he has earned a considerable reputation as commander of one of three army corps holding ground between two French army groups, an allied wall of men which has the impregnable fortress of the Maginot Line on its right. Dill is a man of mature judgment whom friends describe as “canny” and opponents as irresolute. However, among his admirers is Winston Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty, who is not known for his dithering.

Like some French military leaders, Dill has risen to prominence as a classroom warrior who prefers to make his move only after all information is to hand. The German High Command is reputed to have a low opinion of British officers who are averse to making decisions, but Dill is probably of tougher mettle than his detractors think.

People queue to Gone With the Wind

Gone With the Wind, the film colossus famed for costing $4 million (£1 million) to make, taking three hours and 40 minutes to see, and winning Oscars galore, including one for Vivien Leigh as best actress, has its premiere at no fewer than three West End movie theaters tonight. It has broken box office records in the United States. The critics’ reception in Britain has been warm but not ecstatic. “Very good indeed but no masterpiece,” declares Campbell Dixon in the Daily Telegraph.
By Doug64
#15312586
April 19, Friday

Allied troops land on Norway coast


British and French troops have landed in Norway at Namsos and Andalsnes and in the Lofoten Islands. A force left Scapa Flow and the Scottish mainland in three convoys. Some units, initially earmarked for a preemptive Allied occupation of key ports in Norway (a plan overtaken by events), had been embarked, disembarked, and then re-embarked, losing their artillery in the process. Naval and army staffs were so mentally and strategically separate that they traveled in separate ships.

The aim of the Lofoten Islands force, under Major General Mackesy, is to take Narvik, while the Namsos and Andalsnes forces, under Major General Carton de Wiart, aim to take Trondheim. So far, however, there is scant evidence that the aims will be carried out. Mackesy’s force dithers off Narvik, so fearful of the memories of Gallipoli that it can’t make a seaborne assault. De Wiart’s Namsos force, as yet without artillery, anti-aircraft guns, or transport, is being constantly harassed by Stukas; yesterday, the Andalsnes force was diverted south to Lillehammer to give support to the hard-pressed Norwegian army.

But what help these troops—who, except for the French Chasseurs Alpins, are untrained in mountain warfare—will be against General Eduard Dietl’s crack 169th Mountain Division is uncertain.
By Doug64
#15312723
April 20, Saturday

Londoners still wait for war to arrive


Everywhere in London, there are signs of preparation against an air attack by ten million Londoners—the biggest bombing target in Europe—who are still waiting for the action to begin.

It’s a city of sandbags piled high around the windows and doorways of public buildings, shopfronts, and underground shelters. They are beginning to turn green as they weather and leak at the corners.

Estate agents’ boards blossom in Belgravia and Mayfair, where the rich and titled have flown to safer nests in the shires. In Eaton Square, only six out of 120 houses are occupied. There are no takers.

But daily life has returned to near-normal in the City, which was so quiet six months ago when 3,500 firms fled to the provinces. At least 700 firms are back again, and thousands of office workers pour along almost traffic-free streets. Hardly anyone carries a gas mask.

The city’s public monuments and statues have mostly disappeared under sandbag protection. Eros has been removed from Piccadilly Circus to a safe storage place, and his plinth is covered with billboards advertising National Savings.

There are no paintings on view at the National Gallery—they are stored in a slate quarry in Wales—but it is filled daily with music lovers who come to Myra Hess’s lunchtime concerts. The middle of Hyde Park is wired off as a military area, and sandbagged shelters disfigure all the parks. But the barrage balloons shining in the evening sun look almost romantic—like pearls strung from the clouds.
#15312724
Image

Lol. ;)

Don’t worry, peeps. Things get a lot more interesting pretty soon…. :)
#15312791
Potemkin wrote:Image

Lol. ;)

Don’t worry, peeps. Things get a lot more interesting pretty soon…. :)

Yeah, they'll be looking back on the "Phony War" with nostalgia soon enough. :*(
By Rich
#15312798
A popular song from early war.



Its a strange song. A very strange song for a British soldier to write. Why on earth would he expect to be hanging out his washing on the Siegfrieg line? As far as I'm aware no British units were nowhere near the Siegfrieg line. Anyway that was a prediction that totally failed. The British troops never touched the Siegfrieg line after they landed in Normandy in 44 and the British occupation zone didn't touch the Siegfrieg line after WW2.
By Doug64
#15312811
Rich wrote:Its a strange song. A very strange song for a British soldier to write. Why on earth would he expect to be hanging out his washing on the Siegfrieg line?

Yeah, a little overly optimistic. But at least it actually has something to do with the war (unlike, say, Waltzing Matilda) and it can be sung around children (unlike Mademoiselle from Armentières).
#15312815
Rich wrote:A popular song from early war.



Its a strange song. A very strange song for a British soldier to write. Why on earth would he expect to be hanging out his washing on the Siegfrieg line? As far as I'm aware no British units were nowhere near the Siegfrieg line. Anyway that was a prediction that totally failed. The British troops never touched the Siegfrieg line after they landed in Normandy in 44 and the British occupation zone didn't touch the Siegfrieg line after WW2.

“Fixed fortifications are monuments to man’s stupidity.” - General George S. Patton.
By Doug64
#15312816
Potemkin wrote:“Fixed fortifications are monuments to man’s stupidity.” - General George S. Patton.

Actually, fixed fortifications are magnificent force multipliers if they are used properly. Needless to say, the French didn't use the Maginot Line properly.
By Rich
#15312822
So I think my point got missed here. I was referring to the fact that British troops were not deployed along the German French border in 1939/40. British troops did not cross the German French border when they advanced east in 1944/5 and the British occupation zone after the war didn't touch the Franco-German border. Now I'm not sure what definition of the Siegfried line the song's writer and the British public were using. May be it included defenses along the Dutch-German border and the Belgian- German border. But even if these defenses were included, its not clear how the author intended to hang out his washing upon them, without contravening Belgian and Dutch neutrality.

Now you might say, maybe the author envisaged an attack by the Germans into Belgium and the Netherlands, then allowing the British forces to counter attack over the German-Dutch and German Belgian borders. But then the line "if the Siegfried line's still there" doesn't fit, because the defence of the German dutch border was the lower Rhine. Did the author think the Lower Rhine was going to dry up?
#15312826
Rich wrote:So I think my point got missed here. I was referring to the fact that British troops were not deployed along the German French border in 1939/40. British troops did not cross the German French border when they advanced east in 1944/5 and the British occupation zone after the war didn't touch the Franco-German border. Now I'm not sure what definition of the Siegfried line the song's writer and the British public were using. May be it included defenses along the Dutch-German border and the Belgian- German border. But even if these defenses were included, its not clear how the author intended to hang out his washing upon them, without contravening Belgian and Dutch neutrality.

Now you might say, maybe the author envisaged an attack by the Germans into Belgium and the Netherlands, then allowing the British forces to counter attack over the German-Dutch and German Belgian borders. But then the line "if the Siegfried line's still there" doesn't fit, because the defence of the German dutch border was the lower Rhine. Did the author think the Lower Rhine was going to dry up?

Most people, most of the time, have only the vaguest, tangential contact with reality. Facts don’t really matter very much to them; they simply find them confusing. Feelings are all that really matter. The song was anti-German - “the Siegfried Line” sounds German and was something the Germans seemed to care about. That was good enough for your average Tommy Atkins, @Rich. :)
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