Cameron foot in mouthitis

#1
Cameron WWII 'junior partner' gaffe - Yahoo! News UK

"I think it's important in life to speak as it is, and the fact is that we are a very effective partner of the US, but we are the junior partner," the PM told Sky News.

"We were the junior partner in 1940 when we were fighting the Nazis."

Downing Street on Thursday insisted Mr Cameron's comments were not intended to belittle the efforts of Britain's troops at a time when the UK and its empire stood alone against the Nazis.


Shame that expensive Eton education didn't include any history lessons.
 
#3
1941 was the year the USN outstripped the RN in terms of tonnage.....

The US outproduced the entire global economy combined by 1944 (it was 67%+ of global manufacturing by 1945). We were 'officially' the Junior Partner after the breakout from Normandy when Churchill caught on.

So he got the date of critical lend lease (which was equal to or greater than national production in several critical areas) wrong along with US entry.

But fuckit, one mistake in a slick presentation plus a bit of a sign pointing out that WWII started long before Pearl Harbour is always useful with the Yanks.

I presume you would prefer Gordon 'I saved the world' Brown, or the gaff per sentence Prezza over there?

Pointless story.
 
#4
Well, I suppose in reality we already were technically the 'junior' in 1940.

Churchill was doing everything in his power to get the Yanks on board as he knew our only hope of defeating Hitler was getting the Yanks in. Roosevelt was also doing everything he could to keep Britian in the fight until such time as he could get the US into the fight.

The Destroyers for Bases Agreement of 1940 set in train the mechanisms that would lead to the dismantling of the British Empire post war.

So yes, we were effectively playing second fiddle in 1940.
 
#6
In terms of actual fighting power in theatre the date is rather later, but as SF aptly points out in 'Total War' terms we were the junior partner from the Fall of France onwards.
 
#7
In terms of actual fighting power in theatre the date is rather later, but as SF aptly points out in 'Total War' terms we were the junior partner from the Fall of France onwards.
And who was the "senior partner" after the fall of France?

France capitulated on 22nd June 1940
The Germans invaded the USSR a full year later
The USA did not enter the war for another 6 months after that.
 
#8
And who was the "senior partner" after the fall of France?

France capitulated on 22nd June 1940
The Germans invaded the USSR a full year later
The USA did not enter the war for another 6 months after that.


Follow the money dear boy, follow the money. We were utterly broke by the middle of 1940 and it was US money that kept us in the fight.
 
#9
The first or last half of 1940? What's the difference? The US didn't enter the war till the following December.
I was focusing on the junior partner part, not the US part vis-à-vis the size of the French army compared with the size of the BEF in early 1940. Just me being obtuse. :)
 
#10
And who was the "senior partner" after the fall of France?

France capitulated on 22nd June 1940
The Germans invaded the USSR a full year later
The USA did not enter the war for another 6 months after that.
Follow the money dear boy, follow the money. We were utterly broke by the middle of 1940 and it was US money that kept us in the fight.
I think you might be mistaken there SF, Lend Lease did not begin until March 1941, prior to that the USA gave us nothing without cold hard cash (well, gold actually) or in some cases the transfer of British bases around the world to the USA.
It was only once the treasury was emptied that the USA entered into Lend Lease and that was considerably after 1940 and the fall of France.
 
#11
Jag we still imported vast quantities of war specific material from the states in 1940 beyond our own productive capacity, namely machine tools.

I am not saying that Cameron was correct in him saying 1940 but it could be said that the global balance of power shifted from the Anglo French pact (which on paper was really rather powerful) to the USA and in terms of dictating the direction of the conflict with Germany they became the major influence if not the senior power. If the US had chosen to take isolationism to its next logical step and stop the sale of goods to belligerent parties we are looking at the near total collapse of the British Empire by 1941.
 
#12
I was focusing on the junior partner part, not the US part vis-à-vis the size of the French army compared with the size of the BEF in early 1940. Just me being obtuse. :)
No problem! Anyway, CMD's blunder is minuscule in comparison to some of Cyclops' clangers (Obama Beach, the Battle of Allemagne etc.). As has been said, bit of a non-story.
 
#13
Jag we still imported vast quantities of war specific material from the states in 1940 beyond our own productive capacity, namely machine tools.

I am not saying that Cameron was correct in him saying 1940 but it could be said that the global balance of power shifted from the Anglo French pact (which on paper was really rather powerful) to the USA and in terms of dictating the direction of the conflict with Germany they became the major influence if not the senior power. If the US had chosen to take isolationism to its next logical step and stop the sale of goods to belligerent parties we are looking at the near total collapse of the British Empire by 1941.
We did, but we bought and paid for it, in gold, right up until March 1941
The USA intitiated Lend Lease in the full knowledge that they could shift the balance of world power by mortgaging Britain (for the following 60 years) for war materials. Lend Lease accounted for around 25% of British munitions etc, we would have survived without the USA and Lend Lease, we wouldn't have survived without the rest of the Empire. We may not havebeen in a position to mount an invasion of France in 1944 but we would still have won in North Africa
I am not making a moral judgement on it, its just the way it was.
 
#14
"I think it's important in life to speak as it is, and the fact is that we are a very effective partner of the US, but we are the junior partner," the PM told Sky News.

"We were the junior partner in 1940 when we were fighting the Nazis."
.....

.....

Just how has he put his foot in his mouth in that factual statement. Unpalatable yes, untruthful? not in mho.
 
#16
"I think it's important in life to speak as it is, and the fact is that we are a very effective partner of the US, but we are the junior partner," the PM told Sky News.

"We were the junior partner in 1940 when we were fighting the Nazis."
...



Just how has he put his foot in his mouth in that factual statement. Unpalatable yes, untruthful? not in mho.
Just to play devil's advocate, surely its political suicide for a PM to imply GB is anything less than a world power worthy of sitting at the "top table" of global politics?
 
#17
Just to play devil's advocate, surely its political suicide for a PM to imply GB is anything less than a world power worthy of sitting at the "top table" of global politics?
Probably true. A bit like the manager of the England football squad being truthful and saying what a load of useless overpaid knobbers we are as a team.
 
#18
From the historical perspective that "The business of the United States is business", I would suggest that The USA does not see the UK as a partner, except in terms of "Brace yourself Sheila".

B
 
#19
Jagman I know the lendlease totals but the real story is what was imported and when. Machine tools were the critical bit because this allowed us to increase efficiency and output domestically, we were not as utterly dependent on the US as the USSR was in 42-43 but we still needed critical bits of kit to fill out our domestic intergrated industrial chain as well as the gaps in our ORBAT. The Empire whilst useful for everything from rubber, food to uranium suffered from the British productive oversight when it came to batteries and machine tools.

I am not suggesting that the British Empire was not powerful, it outproduced Germany in many areas by 42 (a ramp up to total war production in far less time than it took the Nazis) but just as with Russia, without the US to plug the gaps there is no way we could have won. Even if the Nazis could not have beaten us.
 
#20
I am not suggesting that the British Empire was not powerful, it outproduced Germany in many areas by 42 (a ramp up to total war production in far less time than it took the Nazis) but just as with Russia, without the US to plug the gaps there is no way we could have won. Even if the Nazis could not have beaten us.
Surely the issue is based more around the USA's post war attitude- finacially crippling Britain by demanding the quick return of war debts, while pouring millions (or was it billions) of re-building money into W. Europe lest they become EVIL COMMIES
 

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