Munich: Edge of War

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by SteveDee, Jan 7, 2022.

  1. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    BBC Radio 4 - Great Lives, Series 40, AA Gill on Arthur Neville Chamberlain

    AA Gill on Arthur Neville Chamberlain
    Great LivesSeries 40
    Episode 8 of 9
    The writer and critic AA Gill nominates Neville Chamberlain as his great life.
    But his choice is someone who is regarded as one of the worst Prime Ministers Britain has ever had. Chamberlain is someone entrenched in popular legend, as the man who failed to stand up to Hitler.
    So will AA Gill’s choice stand up to the scrutiny and will he be able to convince presenter Matthew Parris that this was a great life?
    To help tell the story of Arthur Neville Chamberlain they are joined by Stuart Ball, Professor of Modern British History at the University of Leicester.
    Producer: Perminder Khatkar

    Edit - and...

    Tim Bouverie, author of Appeasing Hitler, joins Al Murray and James Holland to discuss history’s assessment of Neville Chamberlain.

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2022
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  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Re-writing history is familiar territory? ;-) Isn't it what happens all the time :)

    Reading... Munich: Edge of War gives Neville Chamberlain a makeover

    I found myself thinking of...

    Inglourious Basterds - Wikipedia

    As there was almost a nudging hint that the juxtaposition between fact and fiction meant that in Harris's Munich... the "end" was not in doubt...

    "But how will audiences react to a plot to assassinate Hitler and avert war, when the ending is well-known?" ;-) :)

    Mind you there may not be 100% of a global audience that do "well know" the ending. ;-)

    Survey finds 'shocking' lack of Holocaust knowledge in people under 40
  4. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    Many thanks for the link, I enjoyed listening to that programme.

    I tend to agree that Chamberlain did the right thing by trying to avoid war.
    But what I don't understand is why Britain seemed to wait for Germany to 'throw-the-first-punch' after war was declared.

    I think it was clear at the time that Germany were in a position to build up their war machine quicker than Britain. And as we had a very powerful Royal Navy, why didn't we start a sea-war, attack the German dockyards and sink as many ships as we could?
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  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I guess one problem is it devolves into a bit "what if"

    Plus there are plenty of reasons and it is incredibly complex.

    Not least that there was a "hope" that the Germans themselves would depose Hitler. That France was "strong" and that attacking Germany would stiffen German attitudes and provoke heavy retaliations, particularly as London was thought to be particularly "vulnerable" to German airpower as the British built up their own complex means of defence.

    Things just happened as they "did" - which is why blends of facts and fiction can cause various trails of "what ifs" and multiple comparisons in the forms of "then vs. now"...

    BBC Radio 4 - Seriously..., The Phoney War

    Such as reticence in some parts to appease anything and pressure(s) for "war now" rather than "war later" etc.

    Thoroughly complex etc.
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  6. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    WW2 films/TV dramas are the closest thing most people get to a history book. Such a shame. Especially when the Americans write themselves into history, as they mostly did in many a 1950s/1960s WW2 film (...and to add insult to injury, any British actors were often made to look incompetent, just to make the Americans look more like heroes!)

    I can only hope that it will spark an interest in some viewers, and they will research events more closely ( I did after watching "The Last Kingdom")
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  7. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I read this - in association - with another thread (on here *) yesterday...

    The Fury of Hell on Wheels: Tank Warfare, April 1945

    "What is captured by Fury, that isn’t included in the Universal Newsreels is how horrific the conditions were that men faced at the end of the war. The Volkssturm protecting the towns in Germany, mainly made up of older men and Hitler Youth, were relentless and fanatical in their attempt to hold out against The Third Army. While the Allies won the day in the long run, they paid dearly for the honor in men, minds, and morale."

    And I guess researching events more closely is often prompted, case in point, perhaps also "Saving Private Ryan" and countless other "blockbuster films", and fact vs. fictions and "this was based on a true story" largely fictional stories etc.

    Documentaries, articles and Podcasts - get made commenting on such - still one solution I guess is to tell more of our own stories** and figure out how to make them successful in terms that the "backers" can get onboard with.

    * Nature of German actions after Veritable

    Edit ** - - Popular Myths ;-)
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2022
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  8. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    Thanks for another great link (...I wont get any work done today at this rate!)

    The bit about "the bomber will always get through" and the very high predicted casualty estimates, underlines why my granny got the family out of the east end of London, early in 1939.

    Also like the bit about BBC listeners complaining about drab wartime programs, saying they would rather face German guns than another programme by so-and-so ...I often feel the same way about 'Thought for the Day'
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  9. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Well, what would have been the possible alternatives:
    When Hitler tried to force Czechoslovakia to cede the Sudeten region by threatening war in September 1938, various opposition forces around Oster, Beck and Goerdeler were determined to depose or even assassinate Hitler in the event of war. This intention was also known in London, for Goerdeler had put the Foreign Office in the picture through an intermediary:
    Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin had traveled to London in August 1938 and met with Robert Vansittart, Winston Churchill, and Lord Lloyd, whom he informed of Hitler's unconditional intention to wage war. With the "Munich Agreement", however, the preconditions for the planned military coup ceased to exist.

    One can only speculate about what motivated Chamberlain to agree to this deal. However, one may assume that the prospect of a military coup in Germany (and its possible consequences) might not have been particularly attractive either. It was probably a choice between plague and cholera....
    However, Churchill obviously realized much more clearly that Corporal Schicklgruber would only understand a fist in the face...

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  10. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Perhaps one day we will discover that there are parallel worlds...

    In which any and everything is possible...

    Parallel universes in fiction - Wikipedia

    Hopefully those that want to work out how Hitler could have won will go "there" ;-) although ideas like "what if Hitler was assassinated" or if x, y, or z were done to prevent a, b, or c - would probably mean an unrecognisable (to us now) world.

    Not sure if "Atlantropa" has been mentioned on here previously but it doesn't seem to be found (yet) by search...

    Atlantropa - Wikipedia

    In popular culture

    A version of the Atlantropa project was put forward by former Reichsminister Martin Heusmann, who proposed to drain the entire Mediterranean with a dam across the Strait of Gibraltar, in the universe of the Amazon Studios series The Man in the High Castle, as well as the Philip K. Dick novel upon which the series was based.

    Another variant of the project was featured in the Star Trek: The Motion Picture (novel), but did not make it to the screen. *

    * Thank goodness ;-)
  11. 14/264

    14/264 Active Member

    I recently read a time travel/alternate history novel, Righteous Kill by Ted Lapkin in which a German scientist discovers time travel, and, suffering guilt for his family's part in the Holocaust, offers the secret to the Israelis on the proviso that they travel back in time and assassinate Hitler and the other top Nazis. Supposedly the scientist has calculated, using computers(!), that assassinating Hitler would result in a 94% chance of the resulting world developing along approximately the same lines. However, the date chosen for the assassination was in October 1940. This would certainly avoid the Holocaust as the German Army would take over the country, crush the Nazi party and end the persecution of the Jews, and would probably butterfly away Operation Barbarossa as the German Army would probably not be stupid enough to invade the Soviet Union. Take away the Holocaust and Barbarossa and the world is going to develop very differently, there may not even be a state of Israel in that timeline.

    A bit of thread drift, there, but an enjoyable read even if the author, in my opinion, did not think it through.
  12. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 96% of 26 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.7/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Sharp direction and some outstanding performances make Munich: The Edge of War a gripping historical drama, even though the ending's no secret."[7] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 57 out of 100 based on 8 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews
    Munich – The Edge of War - Wikipedia
  13. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Any thoughts the British had of Hitler being toppled from within was a wish too far. British intelligence was deceived by the events which accumulated in the Venlo incident of November 1939.

    A Major Scheamel was the intermediary to British intelligence presenting the German "Generals conspiracy" to topple Hitler. Unfortunately for the British and their two British intelligence officers, Captain S Payne and Major R H Stevens, the intermediary was Walter Schellenberg, chief of the counterespionage of the Gestapo. The outcome was a coup which never was. The two British intelligence agents were incarcerated in Sachenhausen for the remainder of the war and subject to interrogation by the Gestapo for the extent of their knowledge relating to genuine resistance against Hitler. From their experience of Venlo incident the British were very wary of being involved in any resistance against Hitler from within. Any resistance would be left to German motivation and support and not from the British.

    As for Vansittart, he was the leading British diplomat as the Permanent Under Secretary of the BFO during the Nazi era and had official and informal contact across a spectrum of Germans. Meeting Ribbentrop, he endorsed him as a "ponderous lightweight". Hans Bernd Gisevius, a member of the German resistance was reported as stating that Vansittart did not take
    serious information passed on to him by anti Hitler Germans. Vansittart for his part assured the dissidents that the British knew what was going on and would conclude an agreement with Russians. Vansittart was obviously bluffing, Hitler drew up the controversial German/Soviet Union friendship pact of August 1939,but Vansittart proved to be correct when meeting Hitler at the 1936 Olympic Games when he stated that "the next war would be not a war of nations but a war of ideologies"

    As regards military strength, the RN held the upper hand over the Kreigsmarine in terms of capital ships but were lacking in submarine strength. The Germans had initiated conscription from 1935 and Goring's 4 year plan was geared up for war. Overall the Luftwaffe was equipped with modern aircraft, aircraft to some extent tried and tested as the Condor Legion in supporting Franco in the Spanish civil war from 1936.The RAF were still engaged in working up their new command structure from 1936 and apart from Fighter Command which introduced the Spitfire and Hurricane monoplane fighters, Bomber Command had inferior bomber aircraft ,which may be described as not fit for purpose to operate over the German heartland. For instance until January 1939,three BC squadrons were still equipped with the HP open cockpit machine, designed from similar 1918 models and
    obsolescent from entering service.

    It can be claimed that Chamberlain's "peace in our time" did give the British some respite for a potential conflict but by March1939 when Hitler took the reminder of
    Czechoslovakia as a so called Protectorate, it was clear that a British foreign policy of appeasement to the happenings in Europe had failed. Hitler's appetite for territory could not be satisfied. In a few months the British security guarantee to Poland would have to be delivered.
  14. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    By 1939, everything was already too late:
    In 1938, von Blomberg and von Fritsch were put out of office by intrigues and indiscretions. This gave Hitler control of the army:
    He established the OKW, became supreme commander of the Wehrmacht himself, and appointed Walther von Brauchitsch commander-in-chief of the army.
    Thus the army, which had hitherto been committed to Prussian traditions, was de facto brought into line by the Nazis:

    "In the purity and genuineness of the National Socialist world view, the officer corps must not allow itself to be surpassed by anyone ... It goes without saying that the officer acts in accordance with the views of the Third Reich in every situation."
    Brauchitsch 1938

    Be that as it may, Hitler's negotiating partners in Munich could not have imagined, even in their worst nightmares, what the world would look like just seven years later. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.....

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