Op SEELOWE

SpiderFox

Old-Salt
The counter suggestions are:

That we sacrificed the Czech army (30 Divisions) a very defendable border and Czechoslovakia's industrial resources for a time interval where Germany was rearming faster and the military disparity widening

Actually bequeathed the Nazis the resources to continue their armaments and indeeed expand it.

View attachment 635015
Did Chamberlain know he was sacrificing this in '38?
 

ches

LE
Did Chamberlain know he was sacrificing this in '38?

Indeed. And in further defence of Chamberlain, there wasn't much we could have done about the Czech invasion with the force levels we had at the time. Even in early May 1940 our front line fighter strength was very low hundreds - fast forward 30 days & we had another 150+ air frames ready & manning squadrons. Time was always on our side as long as we could delay delay delay.
 
Yep same opinion here.

I have, in the last few days while reading James Hollands' excellent Battle of Britain just finished the chapters about the Halifax/Chamberlain/Churchill dust ups during Dynamo & its immediate aftermath. In this book & many others, as well as the excellent Oldman film, Halifax comes across as a solid diplomat keenly aware of WW1 legacy & a man (as was Chamberlain) desperate to avoid war with a passion. Churchill was of a different cloth & saw war (despite his own experiences) as a noble enterprise with a romantic edge to his thinking especially when against the likes of the Germans & Hitler. There is certainly nothing to suggest any sort of sympathy with Germany from any one in the pre-Churchill cabinet.

As for Ironside he did a sterling job with very few resources & any loose association with Fuller aside there isn't any evidence he was a Germanophile.
However, there was in parallel a lot of admiration amongst the chattering classes for Hitler and casual support for his anti-Semitism. This did fade away after war was declared but there were some very high profile pro-Nazis who were protected by the Establishment, including the 12th Duke of Bedford, Capt Archibald Ramsay MP (Con), Adm Sir Barry Domvile RN (ex DNI) and Conservative writer Anthony Ludovici. A very good summary is in Tim Tate's 2018 'Hitler's British Traitors' Icon, London. However, he reports that Security Service and Home Office files in the National Archives had been well weeded and many files on other alleged high-profile pro-Nazi are closed until 2050.
 
Take brexit for example, we voted for it. Non of the horror stories have materialised, yet there’s quite a few people who were so pro EU that even now they can’t help but admit the scare stories they were peddling were based on falsehoods.
Name names and give quotes rather than making vague statements.

Germans voted for Hitler BTW.....
 

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
True. But by making aircraft procurement the absolute priority, and Naval procurement a close second, it has been stated that sending our armoured corps to Belgium as was as murder. It's in the book handy to my left hand, The Second World War Tank Crisis (Dick Taylor) but I can't be àrrsed to look.

Okay. Hold on.

Tank crews were murdered because they were sent into battle so ill-prepared.
Peter Beale, Death By Design, 2009
Aircraft production was the task given to Beaverbrook by Churchill and unlike the Germans concentrated of few successful designs, which in particular came back to bite the Germans hard later in the war.

Was the loss of tank crews and tanks in part down to tactics from WW1, poor communications and decisive leadership at a strategic level, plus the German concept of Blitzkreig.
 
Aircraft production was the task given to Beaverbrook by Churchill and unlike the Germans concentrated of few successful designs, which in particular came back to bite the Germans hard later in the war.

Was the loss of tank crews and tanks in part down to tactics from WW1, poor communications and decisive leadership at a strategic level, plus the German concept of Blitzkreig.
The majority of the tanks. Vickers VIb with a main armament of a .303" MG, thin armour. I think four came back from the entire BEF.

¾ of 15/19H personnel were lost on the day they first met the Germans. The Vickers VIb was little better than a carrier, and there were so few VIbs that half their "tanks" actually were carriers.

Edit. And on arrival in France, only four weren't technically VOR.
 

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
Indeed. And in further defence of Chamberlain, there wasn't much we could have done about the Czech invasion with the force levels we had at the time. Even in early May 1940 our front line fighter strength was very low hundreds - fast forward 30 days & we had another 150+ air frames ready & manning squadrons. Time was always on our side as long as we could delay delay delay.
Aircraft were not the problem for the British but available aircrew, and that was the same on both sides. German aircraft production was on a peacetime basis, whereas the British were working 24 hours a day.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
. However, he reports that Security Service and Home Office files in the National Archives had been well weeded and many files on other alleged high-profile pro-Nazi are closed until 2050.
<cough>Duke of Windsor........
 
And yet Rudolph Hess thought it was worth risking everything to come to Britain as late as May 1941!
Either he was the victim of the biggest WAH in history or he thought there was enough support to broker a peace deal before Hitler invaded the Soviet Union.
He was bonkers, in a nutshell.
 
He was bonkers, in a nutshell.
You could accuse him of many things. Idealistic, devoted to the Furhrer, desperate,mis-guided..but stupid, no.
 
casual support for his anti-Semitism. This did fade away after war was declared but
The fact is that Joe Public had not a scoobie about the extremity of Nazi anti-Semitism until Brit troops stumbled on the Belsen atrocity in 1945.

Only after the war was over did subsequent generations mistakenly conclude that their forebears were fighting explicitly because of it, and this conflation of ideas has rather muddled the national perception of our history, IMHO.
 
You could accuse him of many things. Idealistic, devoted to the Furhrer, desperate,mis-guided..but stupid, no.
Didn't say stupid. I said bonkers, as in "capable of firm belief in irrational things".

I've a strong suspicion the Nazi hierarchy felt likewise about him: AFAIUI he didn't wield much authority in Party or Government once Onkel Adolf got the top job, for pretty much that reason, but I'll qualify that by saying I've never troubled to research the internal politics of the NSDAP
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
I've never really seen an explanation for Hess's flight, seems to me, with not a lot of background knowledge etc, he just has some sort of breakdown. Anybody give me a pointer for a decent book etc?
 
The fact is that Joe Public had not a scoobie about the extremity of Nazi anti-Semitism until Brit troops stumbled on the Belsen atrocity in 1945.

Only after the war was over did subsequent generations mistakenly conclude that their forebears were fighting explicitly because of it, and this conflation of ideas has rather muddled the national perception of our history, IMHO.
There is a display of cartoons at The Keep in Dorchester. One that I found striking was from The Express of two senior nazi's (Himmler and Streicher?) walking past crematorium ovens with Himmler saying that when this was over he would settle down in a nice English country house. Dated May 1944.
 
There is a display of cartoons at The Keep in Dorchester. One that I found striking was from The Express of two senior nazi's (Himmler and Streicher?) walking past crematorium ovens with Himmler saying that when this was over he would settle down in a nice English country house. Dated May 1944.
I'm mildly sceptical, in truth
But if you're correct, I'm intrigued to know where they got the knowledge. WSC was aware, if memory serves, but wasn't keen on making it public.

In any case, anti-Nazi cartoons were just thst; cartoons.
 
All in all, whatever his aims, he managed to use whatever he had to avoid the noose at Nuremberg.
Err, no.

He'd been in a Brit jail for most of the holocaust, and in any case the Sovs wanted a scapegoat to put on display, since Adolf had opted out at Gotterdammerung.

That's what saved him

It was apparent from his first appearance at Nuremberg that he wasn't the full shilling.
 
I've never really seen an explanation for Hess's flight, seems to me, with not a lot of background knowledge etc, he just has some sort of breakdown. Anybody give me a pointer for a decent book etc?
I saw recently-released Cabinet Office papers about the time he was held in Aldershot, and haos interviews with an RAMC psychologist, who basically concluded he was bonkers. He attempted suicide and as a result permanently had a medic watching him.
 

QRK2

LE
I seem to recall that Chamberlain was dying of cancer and was determined to do his best for peace, not as a legacy but because he along with the others knew how painful another war would be!
Halifax wasn’t in the best of health either I think.

This is well worth a listen and the Novel/Netflix film are also worth a read/watch and rather better than Oldman's overrated 'The Darkest Hour' film not least as they admit to being fiction.

 
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