Was the demand of unconditional surrender for Germany in World War II a mistake?

Was the demand of unconditional surrender for Germany in World War II a mistake?


  • Total voters
    50

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
My vote here is No. After all, the Entente/Allies stopped World War I too early and did not demand unconditional surrender in that war, which in turn helped a Stab-in-the-Back Myth develop in Germany after the end of World War I. Thus, the Allies had to ensure that a new Stab-in-the-Back Myth will not develop in Germany after the end of World War II. In addition to this, though, the Western Allies had to show Stalin that they were committed to fighting Germany until the very end and that they were not going to make a separate peace with Germany; indeed, publicly demanding unconditional surrender from Germany appears to have been a great way for the Western Allies to prove to Stalin their commitment to fight Germany until the very end and their commitment not to make a separate peace with Germany.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
 
Jul 2015
193
Aesir
Western allies gave a easy pass to former Nazi German officials to escape to South America, to serve in French regiment in Indochina and got hold of their scientists and intelligent service to counter communists. This was a stab in back sort to Russians in my opinion. Russians lost huge number of military personnel and citizens to push back Nazi war machine and we are in dept to them for taking the hit for us. Although the action of Stalin afterward ruined everything.
 
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OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
Western allies gave a easy pass to former Nazi German officials to escape to South America, to serve in French regiment in Indochina and got hold of their scientist and intelligent service to counter communists. This was a stab in back sort to Russians in my opinion. Russians lost huge numbers military personnel and citizens to push back Nazi war machine and we are in dept to them for taking the hit for us. Although the action of Stalin afterward ruined everything.
The Soviets fought first for themselves. Any benefit to anyone else was accidental.
 
Jul 2015
193
Aesir
The Soviets fought first for themselves. Any benefit to anyone else was accidental.
While your statement is partially true, but Western allies made sure to get maximum benefit out of it. Just close your eyes and imagine what would be the outcome if Russians were overwhelmed by Germans in WWII. Practically there were no force to stop them until they reach their ally in far east!
 
Last edited:
Jan 2013
1,065
Toronto, Canada
Unconditional surrender was essential to ensure that the Germans knew they had completely and totally lost. The armistice that ended World War I allowed the German military to pretend that they hadn't lost the war, but had only been betrayed by cowardly politicians. In 1945, the German people knew they were completely at the mercy of the Allies. This dispelled any remaining sympathy for the Nazis and forced German society to accept the need for comprehensive change.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
Unconditional surrender was essential to ensure that the Germans knew they had completely and totally lost. The armistice that ended World War I allowed the German military to pretend that they hadn't lost the war, but had only been betrayed by cowardly politicians. In 1945, the German people knew they were completely at the mercy of the Allies. This dispelled any remaining sympathy for the Nazis and forced German society to accept the need for comprehensive change.
I completely agree with everything that you wrote here. :)
 

Vaeltaja

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
3,693
I would say that it was a mistake. It seems to have most likely just needlessly prolonged the war without any real tangible benefits. As a wise man said "to a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape" && "when you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard" (unconditional surrender didn't guarantee that 'way of escape' and did press the desperate foe too hard...). Mind you I'm discussing of Germany as a whole, not of Hitler or the lot.
 

Isoroku295

Ad Honorem
Jan 2009
8,488
In the Past
I would say that it was a mistake. It seems to have most likely just needlessly prolonged the war without any real tangible benefits. As a wise man said "to a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape" && "when you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard" (unconditional surrender didn't guarantee that 'way of escape' and did press the desperate foe too hard...). Mind you I'm discussing of Germany as a whole, not of Hitler or the lot.
It gave us time to close the gap and save most of Germany from the Soviets, who would have likely used the surrender as a chance to take their revenge without needing to fight.

Also, if we allowed a "conditional" surrender, it would show that an aggressor could get away with these acts.
 

Isoroku295

Ad Honorem
Jan 2009
8,488
In the Past
Western allies gave a easy pass to former Nazi German officials to escape to South America, to serve in French regiment in Indochina and got hold of their scientists and intelligent service to counter communists. This was a stab in back sort to Russians in my opinion. Russians lost huge number of military personnel and citizens to push back Nazi war machine and we are in dept to them for taking the hit for us. Although the action of Stalin afterward ruined everything.
If we stabbed them in the back, it was only with a knife in our own back. As a man says after a one night stand, "You knew what this was". (an analogy that works better then one might think)