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Old November 17th, 2012, 01:03 AM   #21

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Grimald - let us be fair. Without the USSR, Hitler would not have dared to start the war, and without Germany, the USSR would have not dared to start its own war. I think the reason that the Soviet Union is not blamed for the WWII is because, honestly, it alone won the war with Hitler and the loss in manpower was way higher than any other country's, including Germany (although I can not blame Hitler alone for it, the Soviet Union had lousy generals in that war. And a dense megalomaniac as its head). If you ask people of Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia, who started the war, they will tell you, the Soviet Union. But since the Soviet Union did not start the war with France or GB, did not wage the war at the main European military scene, in the eyes of the most historians, and for most Europeans, it is much less culpable. In my personal view, the Soviet Union aggressively invaded its own areas of interest, but the the World War II as such was started by the Germany.
I have no problem at all admitting that the main culprit in the prelude to WWII was Hitler's Germany. I just wanted to point out that the Soviet Union was far from innocent. It was at this time Germany's ally and both countries carved up their spheres of interests in the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and then started wars, invasions, occupations, and massacres in their respective spheres.

Interestingly, the Western powers of France and the UK were not really opposed against the expansion of the Soviet Union - thus they declared war on Germany alone, and so Germany became the sole culprit. Probably, practical considerations also played a role - who wanted to fight a war against both Germany and the Soviet Union? Nevertheless, wasn't this policy just a little bit hypocritical? Similar to the cover-up of the Katyn massacre, which was happily attributed to Nazi Germany by the Western powers against the evidence? Obviously, it was difficult for the Western powers to admit that they had been allied to Beelzebub in order to defeat the Devil.

I have noticed that many people are not even aware what was going on in Finland or the Baltic states in 1940; and, as can be seen from this forum, the Russians still appear to have problems to admit that the Katyn massacre was perpetrated by the Soviets. Western people are often amazed how WWII is interpreted in these states adjacent to the Soviet Union, just ask our members from these states.

I also don't deny that the Soviet Union starting in 1941 was bearing the main burden of the war against Germany. And certainly, the occupation by the Soviet Union from 1944-1989 was much better for the affected countries than a Nazi German occupation would have been.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 02:25 AM   #22

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I do not think history of WWII is been presented honestly. That is not surprising history is written by victors and world till today is based on results of that war. Even if those results are been dismantled by USA one by one.

What happened before and during war was basically game of where two fights, third one wins. Tree players were English, Germans and Soviets. There was also USA which hoped to bankroll whole spectacle and therefore get ultimate prize. Those who bankroll war are ultimate winners.

Hitler and Germans were given role of fools who will be first one to enter fight and therefore losers from the beginning. Not that somebody had to convince them, they accepted their role with appetite.

Question was who will be second. Until 1939 it looked like it will be USSR. British let Hitler to rearm and swallow Austria and Czechoslovakia. USSR was natural enemy of Germany because of Communism, nazi idiotic racial theories and most importantly because Germans in the mind of nazis had their new "Living Space" in the East.

However Hitler turned to be much smarter than everybody thought and managed to do nearly impossible, to spoil whole game. After taking Austria, Czechoslovakia, he made sudden U turn, offered Stalin peace, took Poland and struck on unprepared and unsuspecting Western Allies and blew them to shreds. Stalin at that time must have been thinking he won biggest lottery in his life. Except Hitler was done with brave French and English so quick that he was back on Stalins neck before Stalin could say f**k, making jet another sudden U turn!

And so Hitler and Germans nearly managed impossible, testimony of his incredible skill and quality of German army no doubt and forced Soviets, British and even Americans to form uneasy alliance just to survive. And so after war game had to continue, this time with just two players. But that is story of Cold War.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 04:57 PM   #23
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Mulligan it was a historical tradition. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 only took place because the Hohennzollern Geram Imperial govt aranged for Lenin to enter what became the Soviet Unon in a sealed train from Switzerland via Finland where Communist egalitarian Lenin, obliged his German monarchist masters by pulling the Russian Empire out of the war so that Kaiserine Germany could mount its massive March 1918 offensive in the west against the British Empire and France.
So, helping each other diplomaticaly and militarily- despite being ostensibly bitter ideological enemies was not a Nazi/ Soviet historical invention.
The Commies and the Kaiser patented this cynical game.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 11:29 PM   #24

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Too easy to blame it all on one person. Uncle Joe was no nice guy but really it was probably a shared decision of the soviet leadership. And likely had YOU (or anyone else) been in charge at the time (without the benefit of hind sight) you would have done something similar.
Tomar, I would have never been in charge by definition, I hate being in charge. But my grandmother, one of the devout Communists and in a mini-charge, was absolutely supportive of Stalin. I think the Soviet leadership was so much afraid of Stalin, afraid for their lives, they would simply do whatever he said. The ones who had a shred of independence were simply not there. Same for the Soviet generals.

As to the oil and natural resources... when was Hjalmar Schacht released from his post? I have to check, but I think, in 1939. Because as a financist he saw too well that the resources of Germany were limited. As to Ploeshti, its resources was not enough to wage a European war.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 11:58 PM   #25

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I have no problem at all admitting that the main culprit in the prelude to WWII was Hitler's Germany. I just wanted to point out that the Soviet Union was far from innocent. It was at this time Germany's ally and both countries carved up their spheres of interests in the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and then started wars, invasions, occupations, and massacres in their respective spheres.

Interestingly, the Western powers of France and the UK were not really opposed against the expansion of the Soviet Union - thus they declared war on Germany alone, and so Germany became the sole culprit. Probably, practical considerations also played a role - who wanted to fight a war against both Germany and the Soviet Union? Nevertheless, wasn't this policy just a little bit hypocritical? Similar to the cover-up of the Katyn massacre, which was happily attributed to Nazi Germany by the Western powers against the evidence? Obviously, it was difficult for the Western powers to admit that they had been allied to Beelzebub in order to defeat the Devil.

I have noticed that many people are not even aware what was going on in Finland or the Baltic states in 1940; and, as can be seen from this forum, the Russians still appear to have problems to admit that the Katyn massacre was perpetrated by the Soviets. Western people are often amazed how WWII is interpreted in these states adjacent to the Soviet Union, just ask our members from these states.

I also don't deny that the Soviet Union starting in 1941 was bearing the main burden of the war against Germany. And certainly, the occupation by the Soviet Union from 1944-1989 was much better for the affected countries than a Nazi German occupation would have been.
Grimald, everyone is aware, and Katyn massacre has been officially acknowledged by Russia. Many people know the difficult position of Mannerheim, who had no choice but to join the axis, etc, etc. But Germany started WWII by invading Poland, and this is a fact. As to GB and France, they disliked communism as much as nazism, were afraid of both, and for a reason, and hoped that finally the SU and the Germany would clash with each other and destroy each other. No one was enthusiastic about SU attacking Finland.

Stalin was horrible to his people, the movie that I saw and liked "World War II, day by day, which some of people here intensely dislike, showed what NKVD did before the Nazis entered Russian cities. Not a pretty sight. But he was ... not selectively cruel. Hitler loved his people and knew how to work with his generals. He made talented people work for him, he did not destroy them. Trouble is, he was selective. Killing millions of Jews because they were Jews, killing Gypsies, killing its own mentally ill patients, homosexuals, stating that the Slavs were Untermenchen (sorry, I have studied German for one year, 20 years ago, I am probably using some words wrong), it was disgusting and everyone in Europe took it for what it was.

As to the rest... occupation of some countries by the Soviet Union, and forcibly pushing its regime on other countries, happened. Was it better? I said to one of my Polish co-debator on another forum that "Hitler would have killed all Poles. Stalin would have destroyed the best of you, your elite". And in one way the postwar Germans were much better than postwar Russians. Germany repented. It acknowledged its historic fault. As to Russia, I think many countries are still waiting for the country to say, we are sorry. It does not mean I should accept the historic guilt of my nations and its tragedy as personal fault. But I have to be fair. USSR was the part of this tragedy and that war, and Germany was, and it started the war. And one has to acknowledge the historic guilt of own country. I feel ashamed for Afghanistan, for example. It started with the SU invading it, and never stopped for the Afghani. And since I live in the USA, I have to share the blame for Iraq, although I was vehemently against that war. Likewise, I believe that most Germans were against being part of WWII, and who wants to get on the Eastern front - but they had no choice.

Last edited by arkteia; November 18th, 2012 at 12:15 AM.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 12:05 AM   #26

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One more thing, I once had a colleague whose parents came from Austria and other people around me were telling me in loud whisper that his parents used to be members of the Nazi party. I alone could understand their situation. In memoirs of Speer, (unfortunately, watery, but I think he could not be more open), there is an interesting moment. He says how after Hitler came to power, he, Speer, did not want to join the NSDAP. And he could not get any job, and he was a talented architect. Then he joined, and the job appeared, plenty of it. Same was in the Soviet Union, no one could, really, achieve anything unless he joined the party.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 01:55 AM   #27

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Originally Posted by arras View Post
I do not think history of WWII is been presented honestly. That is not surprising history is written by victors and world till today is based on results of that war. Even if those results are been dismantled by USA one by one.

What happened before and during war was basically game of where two fights, third one wins. Tree players were English, Germans and Soviets. There was also USA which hoped to bankroll whole spectacle and therefore get ultimate prize. Those who bankroll war are ultimate winners.

Hitler and Germans were given role of fools who will be first one to enter fight and therefore losers from the beginning. Not that somebody had to convince them, they accepted their role with appetite.

Question was who will be second. Until 1939 it looked like it will be USSR. British let Hitler to rearm and swallow Austria and Czechoslovakia. USSR was natural enemy of Germany because of Communism, nazi idiotic racial theories and most importantly because Germans in the mind of nazis had their new "Living Space" in the East.

However Hitler turned to be much smarter than everybody thought and managed to do nearly impossible, to spoil whole game. After taking Austria, Czechoslovakia, he made sudden U turn, offered Stalin peace, took Poland and struck on unprepared and unsuspecting Western Allies and blew them to shreds. Stalin at that time must have been thinking he won biggest lottery in his life. Except Hitler was done with brave French and English so quick that he was back on Stalins neck before Stalin could say f**k, making jet another sudden U turn!

And so Hitler and Germans nearly managed impossible, testimony of his incredible skill and quality of German army no doubt and forced Soviets, British and even Americans to form uneasy alliance just to survive. And so after war game had to continue, this time with just two players. But that is story of Cold War.
1. The British and French were not unsuspecting, they were in fact the ones to declare war and re-armament had already started by then
2 we definitely can not call the British the greater loser, it defended its island and suffered relatively light casualties. Casualties for the Germans and Russians however are astronomical.

Quote:
Stalin was horrible to his people, the movie that I saw and liked "World War II, day by day, which some of people here intensely dislike, showed what NKVD did before the Nazis entered Russian cities. Not a pretty sight. But he was ... not selectively cruel. Hitler loved his people and knew how to work with his generals. He made talented people work for him, he did not destroy them. Trouble is, he was selective.Killing millionsof Jewsbecause they were Jews, killing Gypsies,killing itsown mentallyill patients, homosexuals,stating that the Slavs were Untermenchen (sorry, I have studie
d German for one year, 20 years ago, I am probably using some words wrong), it was disgusting and everyone in Europe took it for what it was.
Hitler could definitely not work with his generals, he was almost in constant conflict with them. Stalin could at least take his hands of the war every now and then.

Last edited by bartieboy; November 18th, 2012 at 02:01 AM.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 02:49 AM   #28

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1. The British and French were not unsuspecting, they were in fact the ones to declare war and re-armament had already started by then
Not true. It is true, that Germans tried to circumvent armament restrictions from Versailles but if Brits knew about it, they should have acted accordingly. Instead they renegotiated new conditions allowing Germans to legally build new army and navy.

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2 we definitely can not call the British the greater loser, it defended its island and suffered relatively light casualties. Casualties for the Germans and Russians however are astronomical.
I newer called Brits "the greater loser". Where do you have it from?

It is however true, that Brits were among loosing nations of WWII. Sure not greatest loser, those were Germans and Japanese but still loser.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 10:03 AM   #29

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Originally Posted by arkteia View Post
Stalin was horrible to his people, the movie that I saw and liked "World War II, day by day, which some of people here intensely dislike, showed what NKVD did before the Nazis entered Russian cities. Not a pretty sight. But he was ... not selectively cruel. Hitler loved his people and knew how to work with his generals. He made talented people work for him, he did not destroy them. Trouble is, he was selective. Killing millions of Jews because they were Jews, killing Gypsies, killing its own mentally ill patients, homosexuals, stating that the Slavs were Untermenchen (sorry, I have studied German for one year, 20 years ago, I am probably using some words wrong), it was disgusting and everyone in Europe took it for what it was.
In my opinion, and probably we agree on that, National Socialism in many aspects was worse than Communism even in its Stalinistic version. Strangely however, for the average German, it was easier to bear than Stalinism for the average Soviet citizen. If you were not Jewish/ homosexual/ politically interested/ resistant etc., life was not that bad in Germany at least until 1943/44. In the Soviet Union, you never knew when the NKVD was waking you up in the middle of the night. However I seriously doubt that A.H. really loved his people; at least in his last orders and his testament he showed nothing but disdain for Germany.

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As to the rest... occupation of some countries by the Soviet Union, and forcibly pushing its regime on other countries, happened. Was it better? I said to one of my Polish co-debator on another forum that "Hitler would have killed all Poles. Stalin would have destroyed the best of you, your elite".
One could also argue that the Soviet Union in 1939/40 only took back what was taken from them after WWI. Poland was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union approximately along the Curzon line, and actually the Poles were in the minority in the Eastern part of their territory. Finland and the Baltic states have been under Russian influence for much of their existence. Nevertheless, the invasion and occupation of these countries was not justified and was part of the beginning of WWII.

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And in one way the postwar Germans were much better than postwar Russians. Germany repented. It acknowledged its historic fault. As to Russia, I think many countries are still waiting for the country to say, we are sorry. It does not mean I should accept the historic guilt of my nations and its tragedy as personal fault. But I have to be fair. USSR was the part of this tragedy and that war, and Germany was, and it started the war. And one has to acknowledge the historic guilt of own country. I feel ashamed for Afghanistan, for example. It started with the SU invading it, and never stopped for the Afghani. And since I live in the USA, I have to share the blame for Iraq, although I was vehemently against that war. Likewise, I believe that most Germans were against being part of WWII, and who wants to get on the Eastern front - but they had no choice.
There is probably no second country that took a 180 turn like Germany, but then there is also no crime that is equal to the Holocaust. Morality aside, I am not sure whether such a 180 turn is good for a nation. If you come to the US as a new citizen, the first thing you learn is to be proud of America and its achievements. In Germany, the first thing you have to learn is to feel ashamed. Not a good start for building the future.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 11:08 AM   #30

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If we suffer from collective and partial amnesia and pretend history started in August 39 then yes the USSR clear position that it would not intervene against Germany, gave Hitler one more reason to go at Poland.

If however we remember that:

- in 1936 France, Britain and the USA pretty much let the nazis and the fascists do what they wanted in Spain (whereas the USSR was the only power to support the republic with weapons)
- Austria was swallowed without a peep
- Czecoslovakia was cowardly abandonned (and even Poland allied with Germany to take a bite out of the Czechs) by the Franco British...... who moreover INSISTED that the czechs hand out part of their country to Germany..... (in this case the USSR was the only one to want to oppose the Germans but Poland - undertstandable but in this case short sighted- did not want to give right of passage to soviet troops en route to Czechoslovakia)
- the USA sat on its hands until 1941 (what if the US had taken a clear position in August 1939 that it would protect Poland's sovereignity, ever think about that ?)
- Italy and later, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Finland and even Yugoslavia (before a coup changed that) joined the axis
- Sweden supplied half the iron that Germany used and allowed German soldiers to transit through its territory
- Britain and France did not want to enter into an alliance with the USSR in summer 39

Under these circumstances, it very much looked like had the USSR opposed Hitler over Poland it would have found itself at war with Germany..... Since Britain and France (and the US) had been falling over backwards to avoid war with Germany why exactly would one expect that the USSR should take on Germany ?


I think the key lesson of WW2 is being forgotten by Europeans and the US. Europe (and the US) are COLLECTIVELY responsible for WW2........ Not a single country comes out well when you check the facts.

I agree on most of this points The problem is that USSR, after such events, turned to be too friendly toward Germany.

They agreed not only on the invasion of Poland, but in a full redesigning of Eastern Europe: Germany internationally supported USSR on claims over the Baltic states and Romania, soon the USSR was ready to invade and take many of these territories.

Furthermore, Germany and USSR agreed on extensive commercial traits. Million tons of crucial materials were exported to Germany, until the last day.


They could reject the western policy toward Germany, triying to adopt a neutral attitude. Another issue were these treaties, that put the Soviets into effective Alliance with the Nazis. This is going too far in my opinion, too far to claim that they weren't guilty.
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