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Old June 30th, 2012, 02:19 PM   #191

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Originally Posted by Frog33inUK View Post
Considering how Hitler tried to charm the Brits and convince them to sign peace with him in 39, 40 and even after that point, the thesis of François Delpla about it being a calculated action while Hitler was once again trying to convince the Brits to let go makes perfect sense and his book has strong arguments in this respect.
It's complete and utter nonsense.


Hitler didn't order the panzer divisions to halt, it was the commander of Army Group A, von Rundstedt who gave the order, he was fearful the panzer division's were over extended and in need of refitting. Hitler merely confirmed the order several hours later, and it should be noted that the halt order only lasted 3 days and ended the day the British started the evacuation.

Last edited by redcoat; June 30th, 2012 at 02:34 PM.
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Old June 30th, 2012, 02:32 PM   #192
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From the German side, that's because Hitler was, as usual, gambling and hoping for the best, passivity and complacency from the other side.
It had worked for years up to that point, and it was just another step.
Hitler was already busy and was gambling on the Allied passivity while he finished his business in central Europe.
Then after Poland, buying time to polish his army and his plans.

On the French and British side, a lack of resolution about what to fo, for various reasons, with Generals interfering with politics in France, undermining harliners' position in the government, British appeasers happy to avoid confrontation and hope for the best: Germans and Russians killing each other.

So, highly political reasons they were.


It was the politicians who were in charge of the general conduct of strategy and decisions, not the army, although in France the military interfered a lot and to some extent, were more involved in politics than what they should have been involved in.
Try Ockham's razor.

Your complex thesis above would require several independent speculative political factors simultaneously acting on each one of the major players (Germany, France and Britain); a bizarre coincidence lasting more than eight months in a weird balance to explain the utterly unlikely and unexpected passivity of all players.

The well-attested prevalent tactical doctrine of the time is all that is required to explain this military (not political) decision from all major players involved of waiting the other side to make the first move.

Just IMHO.

Last edited by sylla1; June 30th, 2012 at 02:38 PM.
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Old June 30th, 2012, 03:22 PM   #193

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Originally Posted by redcoat View Post
It's complete and utter nonsense.


Hitler didn't order the panzer divisions to halt, it was the commander of Army Group A, von Rundstedt who gave the order, he was fearful the panzer division's were over extended and in need of refitting. Hitler merely confirmed the order several hours later, and it should be noted that the halt order only lasted 3 days and ended the day the British started the evacuation.
Well I don't know if it's complete nonsense, I think there were more factors which resulted into the BEF being able to make an escape. The Battle of Arras shook the German command and influenced Von Runstedt to halt the advance and regroup. Herman Göring promised Hitler his Luftwaffe could finish the job. Hitler also did not think it likely that the forces could retreat across the channel very quickly, Hitler was pretty oblivious to naval matters and obviously underestimated the British navy.

However, seeing how he demanded the impossible from his 6th army in Stalingrad why did he not do the same here? It could very well be that even a small possibility of appeasing the British by not destroying their forces in Dunkirk, made it an acceptable delay.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 01:57 AM   #194

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However, seeing how he demanded the impossible from his 6th army in Stalingrad why did he not do the same here?
His ego had not yet been bloated by victory at this time, he was still fearful of a French counter attack
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It could very well be that even a small possibility of appeasing the British by not destroying their forces in Dunkirk, made it an acceptable delay.
But if he wanted appease the British by letting their forces escape answer me these questions.

Why did the halt order only apply to the panzer divisions not the infantry divisions ?

Why did he withdraw the halt order on the day the British started the evacuation?

Why was the Dunkirk pocket under constant attack from German land forces throughout the evacuation period ?

Why did he order the Luftwaffe to stop the evacuation ?

Why did he not at the time inform any of his general staff that he wanted to allow the British to escape ?

Why didn't he inform the British he was allowing them to escape, instead giving them the impression they had escaped though their own military endevours ?..this fact weakened the appeasers not strengthened them.

I'm sorry, but the claim that Hitler allowed the British to escape does not make the slightest sense.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 03:47 AM   #195

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I'm sorry, but the claim that Hitler allowed the British to escape does not make the slightest sense.
This isn't what I said or implied.
I was not talking about Hitler letting the Brits escape.

The way we can view this depends a lot on how we view Hitler in all this.
Is he following the military movement with no clear idea of what he wants and how he's going to get it, or is he orchestrating everything with cunning political manipulation, clear plans he wants to carry out and the skills of a virtuoso at pragmatic and calculated improvisation as events unfold and regarding how the "other side" reacts.

Personally, I tend to favour the second option.

The 3 days of halt were part of another of his attempts to convince the UK - while keeping the pressure on - that it wasn't too late to step out and accept his offer, basically: I leave the British Empire alone, you leave me alone on the continent, and I can even do you a favour in smashing the Reds at some point...
It's about giving some time to French and UK governments, at the most favourable moment of the campaign, to think again, while being in the most favourable pisition to crush all remaining resistance if necessary.
Concerning the evacaution, your comment is only in hindsight as nobody and Hitler no more than anyone else, could foresee its outcome.
On 24th May, Hitler wasn't even contemplating the possibility for the Brtis to organise an evacuation, least a successul one.

Nordling and Dehlarus were very active on behalf of the German goverment before and after 10th May. On 25th May, Raynaud went to London after seeing Norlding about German proposals of peace.

The solely military explanation for the Haltbefehl has been contested for some time now by several historians, for example Karl Heinz-Freiser in his "Blitzkrieg-Legend".
Freiser has shown that, if the fear of counter-attack was real during the advance of the Pz Div, after the 20th May, German HC had no illusions and knew they no longer had anything to fear in this respect (sources, German Military Archives).

Declarations from Hitler himself in April 45 clearly indicate the purpose of the Haltbefehl.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 03:49 AM   #196

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His ego had not yet been bloated by victory at this time, he was still fearful of a French counter attack

But if he wanted appease the British by letting their forces escape answer me these questions.

Why did the halt order only apply to the panzer divisions not the infantry divisions ?
I would assume that it's part of Blitzkrieg as panzer divisions are meant to penetrate and keep pushing forwards. These divisions were much faster than infantry division who would, by that time, have lagged behind and needed to catch up with the infantry divisions. However I'm not saying that is the answer, I would have to look more closely at the situation after the battle of Arras. It's Sunday however, and I'm lazy

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Originally Posted by redcoat View Post
Why did he withdraw the halt order on the day the British started the evacuation?

Why was the Dunkirk pocket under constant attack from German land forces throughout the evacuation period ?

Why did he order the Luftwaffe to stop the evacuation ?

Why did he not at the time inform any of his general staff that he wanted to allow the British to escape ?

Why didn't he inform the British he was allowing them to escape, instead giving them the impression they had escaped though their own military endevours ?..this fact weakened the appeasers not strengthened them.

I'm sorry, but the claim that Hitler allowed the British to escape does not make the slightest sense.
-deleted- bad source

I'm sorry, I had posted something here from a website which is, ahem, not very objective. My bad, I wasn't looking what I was sourcing because I couldn't be arsed to look up the proper source materials from my own collection of books/websites.

What it came down to was that I agreed with your questions and that it's better to put the argument Hitler let the British escape in the land of fantasy. However I also know that Hitler had admiration for the British empire and preferred peace over war with Britain after fall of France.

Last edited by Diced; July 1st, 2012 at 04:19 AM.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 09:48 AM   #197

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Originally Posted by From g33 UK View Post
This isn't what I said or implied.
I was not talking about Hitler letting the Brits escape.

The way we can view this depends a lot on how we view Hitler in all this.
Is he following the military movement with no clear idea of what he wants and how he's going to get it, or is he orchestrating everything with cunning political manipulation, clear plans he wants to carry out and the skills of a virtuoso at pragmatic and calculated improvisation as events unfold and regarding how the "other side" reacts.

Personally, I tend to favour the second option.
Sorry, but option one is clearly the historically accurate one.
Hitler would have launched his attack on French in the winter of 1939 if he hadn't been persuaded to wait by his general staff.

Quote:
The 3 days of halt were part of another of his attempts to convince the UK - while keeping the pressure on - that it wasn't too late to step out and accept his offer, basically: I leave the British Empire alone, you leave me alone on the continent, and I can even do you a favour in smashing the Reds at some point...
It's about giving some time to French and UK governments, at the most favourable moment of the campaign, to think again, while being in the most favourable position to crush all remaining resistance if necessary.
.
Why give your enemy a chance to recover if you are about to defeat them ?
Quote:
Declarations from Hitler himself in April 45 clearly indicate the purpose of the Haltbefehl.
Since when have we had to accept anything Hitler said in a poilitical rant as truthful
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Old July 1st, 2012, 10:05 AM   #198
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Must entirely agree with our Redcoat here.

BTW, what is your opinion (any Historumite) about Noakes & Pridham suggestion (purportedly based on the diaries of both the commander of the German Army Group A & of the OKH chief of staff Jodl) that the halt order was actually given not by the Führer but by General Von Rundstedt, presumably due to the vulnerability of his exposed flanks?
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Old July 1st, 2012, 10:24 AM   #199

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Sorry, but option one is clearly the historically accurate one.
Are you aware of the concept of historical research ?
The point is that some certainties may be contested over time...
Now, if in 10 years time more and more studies show that the military aspect of the Haltbefehl wasn't the main one, will you continue to refuse new evidence just because you've decided that what you've been sure about for years should be the only truth ?

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Hitler would have launched his attack on French in the winter of 1939 if he hadn't been persuaded to wait by his general staff.
Yes, but his primary target was France, not the UK.
What you are saying does not make my point less valid about him consistently trying to woe the UK and convince them they should withdraw from the war against Germany.

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Why give your enemy a chance to recover if you are about to defeat them ?
Hitler was a gambler, he had gambled throughout the 30's and won every time, playing on his potential and future adversaries' fear of another war, lack of determination and political instability.
He gambled again at Dunkirk, taking another risk to reach his goal: crush France and keep the Uk out of continental affairs.

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Since when have we had to accept anything Hitler said in a poilitical rant as truthful
Since when have we had to refuse and discard everything Hitler said about his plans from the beginning to the end ?
Sorry but your reaction is simplistic.
If it is true that Hitler's words need to be taken with caution in many cases, it is ridiculous to consider that 100% of what he said and wrote was rubbish, unless you believe like many others that he was nothing more than a madman and an idiot.
Strangely enough his untrustworthy "political rant" in Mein Kampf turned out to be a bit less untrustworthy than your logic would lead us to think.
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Old July 1st, 2012, 10:30 AM   #200

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Yes, but his primary target was France, not the UK.
Seeing he had no means to make the UK his primary target that's a given.
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