70 years since WW2 started

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Yokel, Sep 3, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Today is seventy years on from the day when Britain and France declared war on Germany, following the invasion of Poland two days previously. A new conflict that would involve most of the world, see the use of modern industrial means to both wage war and to murder Jew, Slavs, Gypsies, Homosexuals and other minorities on an unimaginable scale, and see large parts of the free world occupied by a tyrannical invader. A conflict that would kill something like sixty million people, about half of them civilians.

    Am I the only person surprised that there have been no ceremonies to mark this anniversary?
  2. I think there haven't been any ceremonies as really, declaring war on someone isn't what people want to remember is it? It's the end of the war that people will want to celebrate.
  3. I blame the Germans.
  4. LancePrivateJones

    LancePrivateJones LE Book Reviewer

    I think most of the media have recognised 1st September as the anniversary of the outbreak of WW2 which is fair enough I suppose.
    There was a ceremony at the Westerplatte Peninsula in Gdansk, Poland on Tuesday which was attended by the leaders of Poland, Germany and Russia.

    It has been rather quiet though.

  5. Oh I dunno, the Russians were pretty bullish and upfront about their part in things.
  6. LancePrivateJones

    LancePrivateJones LE Book Reviewer

    Yes, I think there was a bit of a Bitchfest between Putin and the Polish President, Merkel wisely kept schtum.
  7. Oh! I see. For sixty plus years I was told that the Second World War started on the 3rd of September 1939. Of course, I should have known - the European Soviet Union (unelected, unaccountable but very expensive) has directed history to be changed.

    The gallant Poles and the Nazis went to war on the 1st of September 1939 - we did not!

    The Americans joined in on .................................

    Having said that, I don't blame the Americans for not joining in before, I don't blame them one jot. Why should they have joined in? They were not run a 'grinning spiv yclept Bliar' whose nose was inches up Churchill's rectum. The Americans joined in, praise be to God, when they were attacked by the disgusting Japanese.

  8. There certainly was! :D
  9. There's a documentary in Monday on History channel "Outbreak 1939" examining the events that lead to the declaration of war that looks quite good.

    Wasn't it a 1100 on 03/09/1969 that Chamberlain announced that the expiration of the deadline for the withdrawal of German troops from Poland had expired, but when a U Boat sank a British Passenger liner in off the coast of Ireland in the Atpantic causing the loss of hundreds of lives that kicked things off?

  10. SS Athenia

  11. Well after reading your post it really was something to celebrate!! :twisted:
  12. mercurydancer

    mercurydancer LE Book Reviewer

    I suppose it depends on perspective.

    WW2 started for us Brits when Chamberlain declared war. For Poland it was two days earlier. In defence of Chamberlain it was a hugely brave act to declare war. He did the deed. OK Churchill did what he had to do, and as history showed, he did it superbly in leading Britain from the Dunkirk debacle to the finish.

    One of the greatest privileges of being in the RAMC and in the NHS has been to talk with the old people about the war, many with astounding histories to tell. it is also immensely sad that as time passes their voices become silent one by one.
  13. I think you'll find that the Chinese would say that the Second World War began at the Marco Polo bridge in July 1937. And since they suffered a claimed 35 million casualties, dead and wounded, between then and the Jap surrender in 1945, I guess they have a point.

    The Americans certainly were attacked by the Japanese. I doubt if the term 'disgusting' Japanese would get much of an argument, especially in China. It just happens to be a completely stupid and totally incorrect statement as far as the US-German war is concerned.

    It was Hitler who declared war on America, not the other way around. He did so three days after Pearl Harbour. There was no agreement he'd signed with any other country which compelled him to do so. No strategic reason compelled him to do so. It was lunacy on a grand scale. Lunacy he rapidly compounded by sending his U-boats to the happy hunting grounds along the American Eastern seaboard.

    "Operation Paukenschlag" ("Drum Roll") began in the middle of January '42, and initially involved only five U-boats, manned by veteran crews, operating off the North American coast between the Gulf of St Lawrence and Cape Hatteras. In the space of two weeks the five U-boats sank 20 merchant ships totaling 150,000 tons. This was merely a foretaste of the massacre to come.

    Though a hell for the crews of so many merchant ships, the eastern US seaboard in the spring of 1942 was a paradise for U-boat men. There was as yet no convoy system ; vessels sailed individually, making free use of their radios, fully lit at night, against the brilliantly illuminated backdrop of coastal cities where a blackout would not be fully in operation for another five months. During daylight hours the U-boats remained submerged, and surfaced at nightfall to wreak havoc with guns and torpedoes. On an average night, a U-boat might hope to claim three victims, with resulting immense losses in supplies and munitions.

    Which was exactly why the Americans couldn't simply ignore Hitler's declaration of war as hot air. Not with drowned US sailors littering the beaches every morning when the locals came down for a dip and to make sand castles. Like Harpers Ferry and 9/11, the German war of '41 came knocking on America's door. No American ever volunteered to come to Europe to fight the nazis, give or take a handful who fancied themselves as Spitfire pilots.
  14. Tropper66 was probably there at the start as well
  15. I doubt it, It wasn't a cold winters night. :D :D