Myth: Britain won World War II

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by grimmy, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member

    Well said Allan Allport.

    I seems to me the important point is that Britain didn't lose WW2 which would have been disasterous for at least 50% of humanity. It required a "little" assistance for Britain to win.

    Must buy the Jenkin's book.
     
  2. John Lawson

    John Lawson Arte et Marte

    Thought I'd chip in,

    It is of course ridiculous to suggest that Britain won the war, anyone who is a reader of history or has half a brain can understand that.

    However, there was a point in time when we could have sided with the the Germans or at least accepted an offer of a non-aggression/neutrality (could have been a Vichy Britain) if not an alliance with the Nazis.

    I know people don't like "what ifs", but what would the world have done then, with Poland split between Uncle Joe and Adolf. Would the Uncle Sam have entered a world war to defend the free world, or just a Pacific war to remove Tojo from his hair?

    Shit happens, and it has to be cleaned up. We were all in it, though the depth often varied for each involved, and it was eventually cleaned up. You don't get "owt f' nowt"; so our enemies became our friends and our friends became our enemies, nothing new there then, it's called politics!
     
    Za Rodinu likes this.
  3. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    As FDR said about some banana republic dictator (actually Somoza of Nicaragua), "He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch". Yes, the Sovs were so-an-so, all of us already know that very well, but if they had been kept out of the equation all those Germans that were bumped off the roster over there in the East would be present at the Normandy Beaches and that wouldn't be a Good Thing, would it? So say a silent prayer for all who died and thank them for their sacrifice, for each ten or whatever number you fancy of dead Soviet soldiers meant a Commonwealth one spared.
     
  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Thought I'd chip in,

    It is of course ridiculous to suggest that Britain won the war, anyone who is a reader of history or has half a brain can understand that.

    However, there was a point in time when we could have sided with the the Germans or at least accepted an offer of a non-aggression/neutrality (could have been a Vichy Britain) if not an alliance with the Nazis.

    I know people don't like "what ifs", but what would the world have done then, with Poland split between Uncle Joe and Adolf. Would the Uncle Sam have entered a world war to defend the free world, or just a Pacific war to remove Tojo from his hair?
    Roosevelt was doing all he could to get the US involved in the European war. He understood the need for our participation. As it was, US support for isolationism was wanning during 1941 and it was becoming an issue as to how to provoke a war with Germany, for lack of a better term. Hitler solved his dilema after Pearl Harbor was bombed by his declaration of war on December 11.
    Without the Japanese attack, at some point I can't help but see the US getting involved in the fighting in Europe/Africa, but when, that is anyone's guess.
     
  5. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    Slip is right. Everything that I have read to date regarding US intervention in the war indicated that it wasn't going to happen without provocation in the largest part. We lost the destroyer USS Ruben James in the Autumn of 1941 to hostile action with u-boats and nobody back home was screaming bloody murder. After the "Greer Incident" FDR issued the "shoot on sight" order to the USN which initiated a naval war of sorts with the Kreigsmarine three months before Pearl Harbor. And until the Japanese p1ssed in our cornflakes at Pearl Harbor, it was not our war. It was viewed in the US as a continuation of WW1 by the common folk. And it was the common folk who pulled the lever at the ballot boxes and shouldered the rifles in shootin' wars. The Germans invited us to the dance of madness on December 11, 1941 and then and only then it was our war.
     
  6. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Slip is right. Everything that I have read to date regarding US intervention in the war indicated that it wasn't going to happen without provocation in the largest part. We lost the destroyer USS Ruben James in the Autumn of 1941 to hostile action with u-boats and nobody back home was screaming bloody murder. After the "Greer Incident" FDR issued the "shoot on sight" order to the USN which initiated a naval war of sorts with the Kreigsmarine three months before Pearl Harbor. And until the Japanese p1ssed in our cornflakes at Pearl Harbor, it was not our war. It was viewed in the US as a continuation of WW1 by the common folk. And it was the common folk who pulled the lever at the ballot boxes and shouldered the rifles in shootin' wars. The Germans invited us to the dance of madness on December 11, 1941 and then and only then it was our war.

    I still think it was the biggest mistake of WW2. Hitler only declared war on one country.......America?

    Silly Adolf!!!
     
  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

    I still think it was the biggest mistake of WW2. Hitler only declared war on one country.......America?

    Silly Adolf!!!


    I've been meaning to post a question on that here for a while.

    Why did he do that?

    Dave
     
  8. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    I've been meaning to post a question on that here for a while.

    Why did he do that?

    Dave

    I think he was just showing solidarity with his Japanese National Socialist friends - he certainly didn't think it through first though did he? :D
     
  9. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    We old boys won the war..The whole of the second world war hinged on Great Britain. Had we succumbed then the war was lost. For many generations a dark evil force would have ruled Europe. The fact that we held out in this Island was the moment that we won the war...... The other vets know that...You ask them:)

    That moment when Hitler failed to destroy us was the very instance that the war was won. Had Hitler known it, that was the critical poinr of no return.
     
  10. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Why? "Because it's there" :;

    Adolf was itching for a fight with America, he had defeated the entire Western Europe (except for that afterthought), had already defeated the Soviet Union (although not quite), so the only obstacle for world hegemony was the Land of Sam. As the Japanese had finally decided to go themselves, all conditions for final victory were fulfilled. Well, almost.
     
  11. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    We old boys won the war..The whole of the second world war hinged on Great Britain. Had we succumbed then the war was lost. For many generations a dark evil force would have ruled Europe. The fact that we held out in this Island was the moment that we won the war...... The other vets know that...You ask them:)

    That moment when Hitler failed to destroy us was the very instance that the war was won. Had Hitler known it, that was the critical poinr of no return.

    Oho! Quite right you are, Sir.
     
  12. Peccavi

    Peccavi Senior Member

    Absolutely right Sapper.

    If ever I say to my father - Monty did this or Patton did that, he always corrects me. Monty\Patton's soldiers did it. Quite right - comes down to the guts of that raw civilian soldier to climb out of that trench under gunfire or that fireman to enter the burning wrecks of the East End Blitz.
     
    A-58 likes this.
  13. Gibbo

    Gibbo Senior Member

    I've been meaning to post a question on that here for a while.

    Why did he do that?

    Dave

    According to Ian Kershaw's Fateful Choices, Hitler thought that war between Germany and the USA was inevitable, but he hoped to delay it until after Germany had defeated the USSR. After Pearl Harbor, he assumed that the USA would concentrate on Japan. A German declaration of war on the USA would force the Americans to fight on two fronts. He hoped that this would prevent them defeating Japan before Germany could beat the USSR.

    I read somewhere else that Hitler said that a great power should always declare war, not have war declared on it.

    The USA was already heavily involved in the war, and a German declaration of war allowed the U-boats to attack US shipping without fear of the political consequences.

    These reasons may not be sensible or logical, but that doesn't mean that Hitler didn't believe them.
     
    L J and Dave55 like this.
  14. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

    According to Ian Kershaw's Fateful Choices, Hitler thought that war between Germany and the USA was inevitable, but he hoped to delay it until after Germany had defeated the USSR. After Pearl Harbor, he assumed that the USA would concentrate on Japan. A German declaration of war on the USA would force the Americans to fight on two fronts. He hoped that this would prevent them defeating Japan before Germany could beat the USSR.

    I read somewhere else that Hitler said that a great power should always declare war, not have war declared on it.

    The USA was already heavily involved in the war, and a German declaration of war allowed the U-boats to attack US shipping without fear of the political consequences.

    These reasons may not be sensible or logical, but that doesn't mean that Hitler didn't believe them.

    That's the best explication I've ever read, especially that part about keeping Japan in the war until he could defeat the USSR.

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  15. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    I still think it was the biggest mistake of WW2. Hitler only declared war on one country.......America?

    Silly Adolf!!!

    We old boys won the war..The whole of the second world war hinged on Great Britain. Had we succumbed then the war was lost. For many generations a dark evil force would have ruled Europe. The fact that we held out in this Island was the moment that we won the war...... The other vets know that...You ask them:)

    That moment when Hitler failed to destroy us was the very instance that the war was won. Had Hitler known it, that was the critical poinr of no return.

    Hello Geoff,

    I disagree. The biggest mistake Hitler made was invading the USSR; Napolean's efforts over a century before showed that to do the long march to Moscow is a massive mistake. But don't tell any of the Soviet admirers on this site I said so. :)

    Hello Brian,

    You are indistructable and are a living example of why the 'British' Tommy won the war - it was a long innings, in a long test match, but we won a hard fought victory against an exceptional enemy through the skill, fighting qualities and bloody minded resilience of our Commonwealth armed forces.

    Bless you all! :D

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  16. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    But don't tell any of the Soviet admirers on this site I said so. :)

    Don't tell me you're going soft :cheers:

    You are indistructable and are a living example of why the 'British' Tommy won the war - it was a long innings, in a long test match, but we won a hard fought victory against an exceptional enemy through the skill, fighting qualities and bloody minded resilience of our Commonwealth armed forces.

    May I disagree with the underlined part?* When you turn the lights on, bogeyman is simply not there. These were not ten feet tall when seen up close.

    march.jpg
    (from here)

    * Which implies I agree with the rest. Now it is I who is going soft :lol:
     
  17. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    May I disagree with the underlined part?* When you turn the lights on, bogeyman is simply not there. These were not ten feet tall when seen up close.

    View attachment 66606
    (from here)

    * Which implies I agree with the rest. Now it is I who is going soft :lol:

    Maybe 'exceptional' is too strong a word Za, but there was a lot to admire about the German soldier; albeit he was on the wrong side. I realise a generalisation such as this covers over the abilities of some poor German soldiers, mainly seen towards the end of hostilities... :)

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  18. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Yes, Steve, but the word that irks me is "generalisation". Picking up your phrase, at the beginning of hostilities even SS troops might get a little twitchy, there were units under tank panic in the Arras counter-offensive, and the 6th Waffen-SS division was less than bright in 1941 in Finland. That's what I mean by not being 10 foot tall, they 'looked' so good because they had such a propaganda machine working for them - the most competent organ of the Nazi system, if not the only - and they were initially compared to other armies with inferior command systems, say, the French, Italian, Dutch, etc. Man for man, I suppose Heinz Schmidt was no better than Tommy Atkins. He only had a prettier uniform, and even that is debatable :)
     
  19. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Yes, Steve, but the word that irks me is "generalisation". Picking up your phrase, at the beginning of hostilities even SS troops might get a little twitchy, there were units under tank panic in the Arras counter-offensive, and the 6th Waffen-SS division was less than bright in 1941 in Finland. That's what I mean by not being 10 foot tall, they 'looked' so good because they had such a propaganda machine working for them - the most competent organ of the Nazi system, if not the only - and they were initially compared to other armies with inferior command systems, say, the French, Italian, Dutch, etc. Man for man, I suppose Heinz Schmidt was no better than Tommy Atkins. He only had a prettier uniform, and even that is debatable :)

    Za, I agree. The Arras counter-attack shook the Germans - and that actively involved elements of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division (which is my main interest), Tommy Atkins was not inferior to the soldier of any other nation and I actually like the British Uniform better than that of the Germans. But I still believe the German soldier was essentially a good soldier and he was for the most part afforded a good deal of respect by the British soldier. That doesn't mean that the German soldier was super-human.

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  20. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    I didn't say the German soldier was a bad one, I only said he was good as any one other. Same for the often derided Italian or French, by themselves they were quite good, and the blood they shed in defence of their homeland was as red as any other, as red as Russian blood. As often said already, there are no bad soldiers, only bad training and command systems, motivation, indoctrination, supply, everything else.

    If one or more of these fails, then Joe Bloggs, Henri Durand, Giuseppe Franchini, or Ivan Ivanovich pay the price.
     

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