Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

interestrateripoff

Churchill, Hitler, And "the Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire And The West Lost The World

Recommended Posts

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Churchill-Hitler-The-Unnecessary-War-ebook/dp/B0011UGM3W/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1405602108&sr=8-1

I've been reading this, I think it may have been 1929crash that mentioned it on a thread somewhere. It has an interesting thesis that Britain blew the empire because of rash stupidity that was the 1st World War and then followed this up with starting WW2 a war that Hitler didn't want but was forced into because Britain didn't compromise.

A conflict with Hitler might have been inevitable but Buchanan argues that Britain should have just let Hitler fight Stalin and then to pick up the pieces afterwards. Britain of 1939 wasn't ready for war and starting a war with Germany with just France as an ally was monumental stupidity which destroyed the empire.

I've have always thought Hitler would have welcomed a pact with Britain just as long as he got free reign in Europe. Then we have the point that Stalin was the bigger killer of the two and if Hitler had been allowed to beat the Russians than Mao may never have taken over in China and killed even more people than Stalin.

An interesting book to read, especially when I realised who the author actually was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, that would have led to a German Empire covering all of Europe and a fair chunk of Russia. Possibly not in the long term interests of the British.

Hitler would indeed have been happy to leave Britain alone or come to terms in 1940.

The real problem in 'How the West Lost the World' was 1945 - with the US having a vast army facing an exhausted USSR, as well as the atomic bomb, they could have at the least forced the Russians to go back to Russia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EDIT: The other issue was of course the Japanese who invaded large parts of the British Empire to secure resources. So his pact would have brought conflict at that point probably just as he had to declare war on the USA after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour.

fwiw according to Liddell Hart, quoting von Blumentrit, Hitler would have helped with that and mentioned at a staff meeting that he would give Britain support if it made peace with Germany and subsequently experienced difficulties in its colonies.

Hitler was reasonably consistent in his attitude to Britain and talked about the British as fellow Anglo-Saxons (e.g. Hitler's Second Book) Then there are incidents like the debated Dunkirk stop order, Hess' flight to Scotland, Hitler offering peace on several occasions between the fall of France and the entry of Russia/ US into the war.

According to Irving, and whatever people say about him, his use of primary sources, rather than just rehashing other historians' books, has been strong, Hitler knew he had a seriously dodgy ticker and was obsessed with getting on with the main event; the destruction of 'Judeo-Bolshevism' and expansion East. Britain and its Empire wasn't on the menu.

There's a reasonable case, based on cold-blooded self-interest that Britain might have done better for itself to keep out. Morally speaking, not such a strong case. You can pick up signs here and there that there was a tussle along those lines within the British government at the time and it'd be interesting to know the full story.

What has arguably validated WW2 was the Nazis persecution of Jews. Without that it might be seen today as just another suicidal European War, which didn't achieve much other than swop the threat of one tyranny with another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, that would have led to a German Empire covering all of Europe and a fair chunk of Russia. Possibly not in the long term interests of the British.

Hitler would indeed have been happy to leave Britain alone or come to terms in 1940.

The real problem in 'How the West Lost the World' was 1945 - with the US having a vast army facing an exhausted USSR, as well as the atomic bomb, they could have at the least forced the Russians to go back to Russia.

Yes, it would have saved a lot of trouble in the world. Shortage of nuclear fuel?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EDIT: The other issue was of course the Japanese who invaded large parts of the British Empire to secure resources. So his pact would have brought conflict at that point probably, just as he had to declare war on the USA after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour.

If I read that right and you understand that Germany was in a treaty obligation to join Japan in any war Japan initiated, the Tripartite Pact was a mutual defensive agreement, not offensive. Hitler was under no obligation to declare war in support of Japan in 1941. According to Irving (again), what swung the decision for Hitler to declare war on the US was pressure from the German navy which was already in a de facto state of war with the US Navy in the North Atlantic.

Hitler wasn't much of stickler for pacts and treaties anyway. The argument that he would have made an honest peace with Britain is based on a belief that it would have suited his long term interests and ideology. In those respects, Japan could swivel as far as AH was concerned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, that would have led to a German Empire covering all of Europe and a fair chunk of Russia. Possibly not in the long term interests of the British.

But Germany would be the world superpower and we would be a wealthy by proximity. The USA would be some pastoral bread basket economy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been reading this, I think it may have been 1929crash that mentioned it on a thread somewhere. It has an interesting thesis that Britain blew the empire because of rash stupidity that was the 1st World War and then followed this up with starting WW2 a war that Hitler didn't want but was forced into because Britain didn't compromise.

Next up on the unnecessary(?) war list, why not consider...

The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War

There's a parallel, I think, maybe with WW2 in that any vexatious or complicated questions about why the war started, how it was executed and what it achieved have been smoothed out by reducing it all to having been about one issue which everyone can agree was Very Bad Indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it would have saved a lot of trouble in the world. Shortage of nuclear fuel?

No, not really. While there was a temporary shortage of weapon cores in August 1945 the Americans had the reactors at Hanford in Washington state producing weapons grade plutonium and the uranium enrichment plant at Oak Ridge Tennessee running flat out and by the end of the year were stockpiling both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After pressurising Czechoslovakia to make peace with Germany (and we know what happened next, the Germans walked in a few months later) I can't see how a majority of Brits at the time could have accepted another "peace in our time", although it could have been sold after the fall of France as an inevitable acknowledgement of grim reality. It really is to Churchill and the Brits' credit that they decided to keep fighting at that time, despite military failure after failure by the armed forces (Norway, France, and then Greece)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next up on the unnecessary(?) war list, why not consider...

The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War

There's a parallel, I think, maybe with WW2 in that any vexatious or complicated questions about why the war started, how it was executed and what it achieved have been smoothed out by reducing it all to having been about one issue which everyone can agree was Very Bad Indeed.

I'll look for that book in a moment.

I think the point Buchanan is making is that the choice as Nazism very bad and Stalinism even worse. We went to war to defend Poland from Nazi oppression and the Poles ended up under oppression for 50 years+ first the Nazi's and then the Communists. The victory won wasn't freedom for over half of Europe who got took over by Hitler only to be replaced by an even worse tyrant in Stalin.

Stalin's plan was to allow Britain/Germany/France to have another war and for him to install his peace. I think Buchanan is suggesting that Britain and France would have been better letting Hitler head off east and weaken both himself and the Soviets in a bloody war, use the time to rearm and then strike when the two evil sides had exhausted themselves. There is also a suggestion that Hitler saw the British as crucial to world stability with it's vast empire. Something which the US didn't and that when the empire imploded after WWII it triggered massive global instability as no one picked up the pieces.

Britain declared war in 1939 it appears with 2 divisions in home forces, this was insane considering German Army strength and ultimately the only thing which saved Britain was the Channel as Hitler's Army couldn't get across. Similarly the evacuation at Dunkirk could only have been because Hitler allowed it as he didn't want to destroy the British Army, which supports the idea he didn't want the British empire to fall as he couldn't take it as he lacked the Navy. Far better to keep Britain friendly. He also feared the Japanese and shared the "yellow peril" idea.

Ultimately Britain declared war on Germany to save Poland which Britain lacked the ability to do. There's more in the book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After pressurising Czechoslovakia to make peace with Germany (and we know what happened next, the Germans walked in a few months later) I can't see how a majority of Brits at the time could have accepted another "peace in our time", although it could have been sold after the fall of France as an inevitable acknowledgement of grim reality. It really is to Churchill and the Brits' credit that they decided to keep fighting at that time, despite military failure after failure by the armed forces (Norway, France, and then Greece)

But Buchanan's point is that Britain actually encouraged the beginning World War 2 by giving the Guarantee to Poland.

Fortified by the belief that Britain would stand by them, they became intransigent over Danzig and the Polish Corridor, the issue which pushed Hitler towards invasion. They then found out that the British Guarantee was worthless. Not only that, but when they were liberated from German occupation, it was by the nightmare of Soviet occupation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I should also have added there also appears to be a hint that America helped push Britain into the war with forcing Britain to pick between the US and Japan. Buchanan says the British should have picked the Japanese and this would have perhaps stopped the Japanese military taking over to the extent to what they did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with developing alternative histories is that there is an infinite number of potential 'what-if?'s.

What, for example, would have happened if Britain had decided it would not honour it's pact with Poland? What would heve been the repercussions with respect to all the other pacts Britain had made over the years?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one of the suggestions is the Jews died because Britain didn't seek peace and avoid war. This view is backed up with statements by Hitler prior to WWII.

It's not alternative histories but an alternative analysis of events.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one of the suggestions is the Jews died because Britain didn't seek peace and avoid war. This view is backed up with statements by Hitler prior to WWII.

It's not alternative histories but an alternative analysis of events.

Is Irving finally conceding that millions of Jews died?

My father was in BAOR and escorted Nazi war criminals to the Nurnberg trials, so I am not sympathetic to anyone who denies the Holocaust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll look for that book in a moment.

I think the point Buchanan is making is that the choice as Nazism very bad and Stalinism even worse. We went to war to defend Poland from Nazi oppression and the Poles ended up under oppression for 50 years+ first the Nazi's and then the Communists. The victory won wasn't freedom for over half of Europe who got took over by Hitler only to be replaced by an even worse tyrant in Stalin.

If you'd asked a typical British serviceman in 1940 what he was fighting for his answer wouldn't have been all that different to a WW1 serviceman. A key reason why WW2 is now widely seen as being a good war in a way that WW1 wasn't is the Nazi persecution of Jews. That wasn't, however, the reason why the war was started or fought. That validation came afterwards.

Same as the US Civil War was a more complicated conflict than a straightforward slavers vs non-slavers conflict but has been repackaged and validated as such subsequently.

A key motivation why palaeo conservatives and right wing libertarians such as Buchanan and Dilorenzo are attempting to revise perceptions of WW2 and the Civil War is that both conflicts are popularly understood to have been very straightforward, black and white, Just Wars and regularly invoked to justify contemporary conflicts. Neocons in particular have a tedious habit of labelling every person they wish to nuke as being the New Hitler(never the New Kaiser or the New Napoleon, or even the New Stalin).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you'd asked a typical British serviceman in 1940 what he was fighting for his answer wouldn't have been all that different to a WW1 serviceman. A key reason why WW2 is now widely seen as being a good war in a way that WW1 wasn't is the Nazi persecution of Jews. That wasn't, however, the reason why the war was started or fought. That validation came afterwards.

Same as the US Civil War was a more complicated conflict than a straightforward slavers vs non-slavers conflict but has been repackaged and validated as such subsequently.

A key motivation why palaeo conservatives and right wing libertarians such as Buchanan and Dilorenzo are attempting to revise perceptions of WW2 and the Civil War is that both conflicts are popularly understood to have been very straightforward, black and white, Just Wars and regularly invoked to justify contemporary conflicts. Neocons in particular have a tedious habit of labelling every person they wish to nuke as being the New Hitler(never the New Kaiser or the New Napoleon, or even the New Stalin).

Anti-semitism was quite common in Britain before WW2, even when Jews were obviously being driven out of Germany.

The version of Mein Kampf printed pre-war in English left out some of the more rabidly anti-semitic passages, so the British tended to be less aware of Hitler's pathalogical hatred of Jews.

It seems incredible now, but the Allies genuinely were unaware of Nazi extermination camps until they were liberated - unless, tucked away under lock and key until 2045, there are cabinet papers that prove the contrary. I doubt it. We may know in a few decades.

Technically, we went to war because of a pact with Poland. We most certainly did not go to war to rescue jews from extermination. What we actually went to war for is far more complex, but Britain was incredibly united in the view that the war was necessary and just.

Compare that with now, when our Government seems keen to take military action, apparently without the ability to articulate the need, nor with clear objectives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Irving finally conceding that millions of Jews died?

My father was in BAOR and escorted Nazi war criminals to the Nurnberg trials, so I am not sympathetic to anyone who denies the Holocaust.

For most of his career Irving was a little bit fuzzier than denying millions were killed. Being a Hitler fanboy, and in the absence of primary documentation linking Hitler to atrocities, Irving mostly stuck to a position that Hitler didn't know what was going on and that Himmler and others were engaged in systematic murder as a surprise present for the Fuhrer. Irving crossed a line and became widely known as a 'Denier' when he started to publicly question the role of Auschwitz. Even then I don't think he went so far as to deny that the Einsatzgruppen existed and were a fabrication.

Just to be clear, I don't think Irving is a very pleasant or objective man, and that's irrespective of his position on what the Germans did or didn't do to Jews in WW2. He has, however, done a lot of historical leg work and because he is the person he is a lot of people involved with the German High Command were willing to talk with him and turn materials over to him.

Edit: bad, bad typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with developing alternative histories is that there is an infinite number of potential 'what-if?'s.

What, for example, would have happened if Britain had decided it would not honour it's pact with Poland? What would heve been the repercussions with respect to all the other pacts Britain had made over the years?

But in effect Britain did not honour its pact with Poland. It stood by and let Hitler devour Poland, and then five years later let Stalin do the same.

One thing in the book that is emphasised is the almost personal nature of the Chamberlain Guarantee, made in a fit of pique after Hitler moved into Prague.

Churchill, who comes out badly in the narrative, was, strangely, not really supportive of the policy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But in effect Britain did not honour its pact with Poland. It stood by and let Hitler devour Poland, and then five years later let Stalin do the same.

One thing in the book that is emphasised is the almost personal nature of the Chamberlain Guarantee, made in a fit of pique after Hitler moved into Prague.

Churchill, who comes out badly in the narrative, was, strangely, not really supportive of the policy.

'Let'.

Britain was ill-prepared to back up it's pact with Poland, but went to war all the same. As for the end of the war, Britain was bankrupt and in no position to stand up to Stalin. It doesn't seem that the USA was prepared to either.

I'm not Churchill's greatest admirer, but, not having read the book or seen the evidence, can't really comment on the other points you made.

But I prefer anyone to those psychopaths, Hitler and Stalin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'Let'.

Britain was ill-prepared to back up it's pact with Poland, but went to war all the same. As for the end of the war, Britain was bankrupt and in no position to stand up to Stalin. It doesn't seem that the USA was prepared to either.

I'm not Churchill's greatest admirer, but, not having read the book or seen the evidence, can't really comment on the other points you made.

But I prefer anyone to those psychopaths, Hitler and Stalin.

OK - you are quite right to pick up my use of the word 'let.'

But the Polish Guarantee set off a series of dominoes. Hitler made a pact with Stalin and then a common border between Germany and Russia was created which let Stalin into Europe as a whole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not alternative histories but an alternative analysis of events.

Box 24...

MPs want quick release of Queen Mother's papers

cf. Cliveden set

The Number 2 man in Germany, parachuting solo into Scotland, without Hitler's knowledge, on a punt that someone he was vaguely acquainted with would help him make peace with the United Kingdom?

I don't pretend to have an idea of what was really going on in Germany or Britain at the time but ... nah

But in effect Britain did not honour its pact with Poland. It stood by and let Hitler devour Poland, and then five years later let Stalin do the same.

A small point of order, Britain stood by and 'let' Stalin devour Poland twice, in 1945 and in 1939.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Box 24...

MPs want quick release of Queen Mother's papers

cf. Cliveden set

The Number 2 man in Germany, parachuting solo into Scotland, without Hitler's knowledge, on a punt that someone he was vaguely acquainted with would help him make peace with the United Kingdom?

I don't pretend to have an idea of what was really going on in Germany or Britain at the time but ... nah

A small point of order, Britain stood by and let Stalin devour Poland twice, in 1945 and in 1939.

Yes, you make a good point. Stalin was supposed to invade Poland at the same time as Hitler, but the 17 day wait meant that Hitler took 100% of the blame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK - you are quite right to pick up my use of the word 'let.'

But the Polish Guarantee set off a series of dominoes. Hitler made a pact with Stalin and then a common border between Germany and Russia was created which let Stalin into Europe as a whole.

Surely, if Hitler had not been at war with Britain at that point, he would have been in an even stronger position to attack Russia. I expect that Hitler would still have been defeated by Stalin, even so.

So if irrespective of whether Britaiin went to war or didn't, either Stalin or Hitler would have won in Eastern Europe..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   212 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.