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Old October 1st, 2017, 02:03 PM   #51

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Originally Posted by Mr Higson View Post

Yes, well everybody seems to have forgotten this. One could perhaps argue for WW1 being the death knell for British power more than any other major event.

I recall a claim that the British Establishment had accepted the independence of its greatest possession, India. Was inevitable, by the early 1930's. With only the 'nutter' Churchill being vehemently opposed to the notion.
Evidence is otherwise.

1917:

Here is a speech reproduced by a Indian newspaper in its 'Hundred Years Ago' column. Original was published on 14 Sep 1917 [1]:

"To-day [Sept. 13] the Hon’ble Mr. N.D. Beatson Bell, Senior Member of the Bengal Executive Council, presided over the celebration of the 82nd commemoration of the Founders Day in La Martiniers College [in Calcutta].

In concluding a lengthy speech he said the British had come to India to stay. In these days the air is full of schemes of political reconstruction, some of them wise, some of them otherwise, but they all seem to be or nearly all of them false and out of drawing because they ignored the simple fact that the British have come to stay.

We are sometimes told that we are birds of passage. We are not... and when I hear people talk of birds of passage, I generally think of my own children and I remember that their father, grand-father and their great grand-father have already between them put in nearly one hundred years’ of work in India and I naturally smile when I hear people talk of birds of passage.

I am sure many another smiles when he hears that foolish expression and when we look round on tea gardens and jute-mills, when we look round upon all railways and all steamers — and they are the freights and the traffic of the British Empire — and what British have done in India we smile when we hear ourselves talked of as birds of passage."

1930s:

The British knew even in 1840s that one day they will have to leave. This is from a book on 'History of Sikh' by Peter Cunningham published in 1849 (just finished reading). This knowing the future does not mean British were ready to pack their bags from India even in 1930s.

In 1928 Gandhi "asked" for independence in one or two years (as if it is a choclate kept for him). But British did not agree.

There were Round Table Conferences in London, the usual divide and rule tactics, and the final British action was 'Communal Award' which proposed representation to each religious community, the Princely States, the Untouchable.

At the end of these events, Govt of India Act (1935) was passed which was not really much. It suited the British but picture from Indian side was different: Nehru called it,"a machine with strong brakes but no engine." Jinnah called it,"thoroughly rotten, fundamentally bad and totally unacceptable."

We all know one day we will die - but that does not make us ready to jump from 2nd floor today! Britain wanted to continue its rule in India as long as it could even though it knew one day it has to leave. To think otherwise was Gandhi's folly (or political stance?) and ours too.

Regards

Rajeev

[1] http://www.thehindu.com/archive/the-...le19677861.ece

Last edited by Rajeev; October 1st, 2017 at 02:14 PM.
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Old October 5th, 2017, 01:50 AM   #52

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I'm inclined to think that Grest Britain was in fact the biggest loser in the WWII. Not only that the country suffered tremendous loses, but also, they had to give up colonies and dismantle the British Empire. Its influence has diminished as USA took its place as the most powerful country in the world, and Brits had to forge a good relation with USA and depended heavily on being allies with USA. What are your thoughts on this?
I think the age of Empire was over for everyone, I think we did blow our 'greatness' on defeating the Axis but if ever there was a justified price to pay...?
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Old October 8th, 2017, 04:42 AM   #53
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D-Day was a mainly British-conceived-and-led operation.
Tell that to General Eisenhower.
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Old October 8th, 2017, 04:49 AM   #54
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It wasn't a direct consequence, though the occupation by the Japanese obviously fueled the independence movement.

Years back I did a paper in the Dutch Indian navy. In short my conclusion was that the costs were getting too high (which is why our navy sucked) and the benefits didn't weigh up against it. From 1900 onward you didn't need to own the land in order to get a good deal on spices (plus spices weren't that hot anymore ).
Sambal Oelek can be pretty “hot”.
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Old October 8th, 2017, 07:54 AM   #55
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Tell that to General Eisenhower.
I think it's well documented that Churchill was increasingly marginalised in the months before D-Day. And, quite right too as he didn't exactly have form for getting things right.

D-Day was certainly an American led operation. They had the resources to run the show.

As early as 1915, Wilson and associates were aiming to have Britain in their collective pocket, at their beck and call. An associate once said: "keep lending to the British and we'll soon have them dancing to our tune".

And, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Anyone daft enough to get themselves involved in wars they really don't need to be involved in, and subsequently borrow an inordinate amount of money to fund that war, deserves everything they get.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 08:40 AM   #56
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Tell that to General Eisenhower.
I can't. He's dead. But I would have liked to have told him that fact - that D-Day was a mainly British-conceived-and-led operation - had he still been alive.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 08:45 AM   #57
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D-Day was certainly an American led operation. They had the resources to run the show.
Are you REALLY sure about that? Are you sure you don't want to learn more about D-Day before making such an assertion?

I wish people - especially Britons - would stop peddling the historical myth that D-Day was an American-dominated operation. It wasn't - it was a British-dominated operation.

Last edited by Warwolf; October 9th, 2017 at 08:47 AM.
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Old October 9th, 2017, 10:48 AM   #58
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Are you REALLY sure about that? Are you sure you don't want to learn more about D-Day before making such an assertion?

I wish people - especially Britons - would stop peddling the historical myth that D-Day was an American-dominated operation. It wasn't - it was a British-dominated operation.
I'm listening: what made it a British led operation?

Everything I have read suggests Churchill was marginalised in the run up to D-Day.
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Old October 11th, 2017, 03:49 AM   #59
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True, but it still could be saved if it wasn't for the war. After the war, Britain has different priorities and had to invest heavily into rebuilding the country and the economy.
Well, from the economic point of view, I'd say that the way in which England was rebuilding the country largely contributed to the problems, and the difference between 1950s America and Britain/France (both countries adopted similar policies) is quite shocking. Sure, you can say that both countries were ruined because of the war, but the U.S. spent a lot too and the rationalization (critized by some economists) meant shortages too, and the economy was not able to function properly for a few years. That hit the U.S. hard too but it never adopted something as radical as a widespread nationalization after the war.

But, overall, you can't really stop a force as strong the entire nations of the Indian Subcontinent who were quite enlightened in the 1940s, saw their status as elevated after serving bravely in WW2 and especially so when you've lost so many men in the war that any large-scale policing action was pretty much impossible, not to mention highly unpopular because of the war weariness of the Britons. They couldn't really defeat Irish when they were still quite strong and the public wasn't as anti-war as in the 1940s, they surely stood no chance against peoples of India.

Last edited by DrStrangelove; October 11th, 2017 at 03:52 AM.
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Old October 11th, 2017, 05:04 AM   #60
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I'm listening: what made it a British led operation?
The fact that it was a Briton who thought of it, a Briton who led the naval operation, a Briton who led the land operation, a Briton who led the air a operation and most of the equipment was British:

1. MYTH: D-Day was predominantly an American operation


REALITY: For many people, D-Day is defined by the bloodshed at Omaha -- the codename for one of the five beaches where Allied forces landed -- and the American airborne drops. Even in Germany, the perception is still that D-Day was a largely American show; in a German TV mini-series shown in recent years, "Generation War," there was a reference to the "American landings" in France.

But despite "Band of Brothers," despite "Saving Private Ryan," despite those 11 photographs taken by Robert Capa in the swell on that morning of June 6 1944, D-Day was not a predominantly American effort. Rather, it was an Allied effort with, if anything, Britain taking the lead. Yes, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme Allied commander, was American, but his deputy, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder was British, as were all three service chiefs. Air Marshal Sir Arthur "Mary" Coningham, commander of the tactical air forces, was also British.

The plan for Operation Overlord -- as D-Day was codenamed -- was largely that of Gen. Bernard Montgomery, the land force commander. The Royal Navy had overall responsibility for Operation Neptune, the naval plan. Of the 1,213 warships involved, 200 were American and 892 were British; of the 4,126 landing craft involved, 805 were American and 3,261 were British.

Indeed, 31% of all U.S. supplies used during D-Day came directly from Britain, while two-thirds of the 12,000 aircraft involved were also British, as were two-thirds of those that landed in occupied France. Despite the initial slaughter at Omaha, casualties across the American and British beaches were much the same. This is not to belittle the U.S. effort but rather to add context and a wider, 360-degree view. History needs to teach as well as entertain.


D-Day: Exploding the myths of the Normandy landings - CNN
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