True False or ?

#1
Gents below is a reply I got on another board replying to a statement of mine that basically the USA cleaned up Brit/German assets before entiering WW I and that WW II bankrupted UK.
Any informed comments:- Quote

"The Uk lost 25% of its wealth in WWI. Up until mid 1941 the USA did a good job of siphoning off as much British wealth, technology and overseas bases as possible. It could be said that Roosevelt's new deal didn't kick start the USA out of depression but the wealth flowing out of the Uk into the USA probably did. The Uk lost approaching 100% of its overseas wealth in WWII - the US insisted that Uk owned companies in the US were liquidated and that Uk owned companies elsewhere were sold for cash. The USA had had its fingers burnt in WWI giving loans to the UK and wasn't going to make the same mistake again. Who could blame her?

"After two years of war, Roosevelt had drained Britain dry, stripping her of all her assets in the USA, including real estate and property. The British owned Viscose Company, worth £125 million was liquidated, Britain receiving only £87 million (note the lost £63 million was equivalent to the cost of manufacturing 12,600 spitfires at the time). Britain's £1,924 million investments in Canada were sold off to pay for raw materials bought in the United States million. To make sure that Roosevelt got his money, he dispatched the American cruiser, 'Louisville ' to the South African naval base of Simonstown to pick up forty two million Pounds worth of British gold, Britain's last negotiable asset, to help pay for American guns and ammunition. Not content with stripping Britain of her gold and assets, in return for 50 old destroyers, he demanded that Britain transfer all her scientific and technological secrets to the USA. Also, he demanded leases on the islands of Newfoundland, Jamaica, Trinidad and Bermuda for the setting up of American military and naval bases in case Britain should fall."

The Canadian assets sold off were equivalent to 384,800 spitfires - it is fair to say the USA benefited enormously from the UK's involvement in WWII up to mid 1941 - a fact that has been forgotten by almost everyone on both sides of the Atlantic. Apparently Churchill never could quite get his head around the overriding American foreign policy dictum of following its own self interest. Perhaps it was because his mother was American. I'm not quite sure what self interest the Uk was following fighting Germany after Hitler had offered peace on a plate after the fall of France.

Anyway, no matter the rights or wrongs of the USA benefiting financially from the wars in Europe it is fair to say that the Uk was on its last legs financially by mid 1941.

Chamberlain - I have read that in the run up to WWII he was advised by the Ministry of Defence that if he risked war with Germany then Japan would almost certainly attack British possessions in the Far East. He had been told that the Uk had no chance of being successful in both theatres at the same time. Britain needed time to prepare for war and to be fair, under Chamberlain the UK was preparing for war as fast as it could.

Was he hoping for the best and preparing for the worst?

Quite clearly on the face of it, with an impartial view of the facts, he was. He was talking peace while feverishly preparing for war."end of quote

I also understand that it will be 2014 before we have paid off our debts to USA from WW II.
john
 
 
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#2
Makes you wonder whether we'd have been better off speaking German.

Quite an eye opener that one John.
 
#3
Unfortunately, the boxhead lessons would have been cut short by Uncle Joe's social workers and you and I would be typing these posts in cyrillic on a keyboard held together with five-eighths nuts and bolts.
 
#5
The American historian Ambrose makes some good points about this in the World at War documentary series.


Simply compare Britain and the US in 1914 and again in 1945. 'nuff said really.
 
#6
jonwilly said:
Gents below is a reply I got on another board replying to a statement of mine that basically the USA cleaned up Brit/German assets before entiering WW I and that WW II bankrupted UK.
Any informed comments:- Quote

"The Uk lost 25% of its wealth in WWI. Up until mid 1941 the USA did a good job of siphoning off as much British wealth, technology and overseas bases as possible. It could be said that Roosevelt's new deal didn't kick start the USA out of depression but the wealth flowing out of the Uk into the USA probably did. The Uk lost approaching 100% of its overseas wealth in WWII - the US insisted that Uk owned companies in the US were liquidated and that Uk owned companies elsewhere were sold for cash. The USA had had its fingers burnt in WWI giving loans to the UK and wasn't going to make the same mistake again. Who could blame her?

"After two years of war, Roosevelt had drained Britain dry, stripping her of all her assets in the USA, including real estate and property. The British owned Viscose Company, worth £125 million was liquidated, Britain receiving only £87 million (note the lost £63 million was equivalent to the cost of manufacturing 12,600 spitfires at the time). Britain's £1,924 million investments in Canada were sold off to pay for raw materials bought in the United States million. To make sure that Roosevelt got his money, he dispatched the American cruiser, 'Louisville ' to the South African naval base of Simonstown to pick up forty two million Pounds worth of British gold, Britain's last negotiable asset, to help pay for American guns and ammunition. Not content with stripping Britain of her gold and assets, in return for 50 old destroyers, he demanded that Britain transfer all her scientific and technological secrets to the USA. Also, he demanded leases on the islands of Newfoundland, Jamaica, Trinidad and Bermuda for the setting up of American military and naval bases in case Britain should fall."

The Canadian assets sold off were equivalent to 384,800 spitfires - it is fair to say the USA benefited enormously from the UK's involvement in WWII up to mid 1941 - a fact that has been forgotten by almost everyone on both sides of the Atlantic. Apparently Churchill never could quite get his head around the overriding American foreign policy dictum of following its own self interest. Perhaps it was because his mother was American. I'm not quite sure what self interest the Uk was following fighting Germany after Hitler had offered peace on a plate after the fall of France.

Anyway, no matter the rights or wrongs of the USA benefiting financially from the wars in Europe it is fair to say that the Uk was on its last legs financially by mid 1941.

Chamberlain - I have read that in the run up to WWII he was advised by the Ministry of Defence that if he risked war with Germany then Japan would almost certainly attack British possessions in the Far East. He had been told that the Uk had no chance of being successful in both theatres at the same time. Britain needed time to prepare for war and to be fair, under Chamberlain the UK was preparing for war as fast as it could.

Was he hoping for the best and preparing for the worst?

Quite clearly on the face of it, with an impartial view of the facts, he was. He was talking peace while feverishly preparing for war."end of quote

I also understand that it will be 2014 before we have paid off our debts to USA from WW II.
john

This is a common argument John. Some people just refuse to believe that the Americans can do anything for the right reasons and see dark forces everywhere.

The fact is that in 1940 the Americans had the choice between lending us the goodies (and charging us a reduced rate for the privilege) or not doing so. If they hadn't done so, Britain almost certainly would have fallen and the world's largest empire would then have been picked up by.........the US. They were the only power that could project themselves globally. What's more, the only international competitors that came even halfway close to challenging them, were all busy killing each other. Had Britain fallen the US would have made damned sure that as the Union flag went down, the Stars and Stripes went up. For the most part the colonies would have been happier with the yanks than the alternatives and America would now have 100 extra states, probably including Canada and Australia, but certainly the rest, and be massively more wealthy than it currently is.

America's actions in 1940 were not entirely free (but then, what's wrong with asking for a loan to be repaid?), but if they were really trying to screw us during our most desperate hour, they didn't do a very good job.
 
#7
Apart from the fact that I like his avatar, I'm with Awol on this. His opinion strikes a chord with what I have read in the past. The original reply posted by jon is somewhat emotive in languge used - nothing wrong in that but it makes me a bit suspicious of the guy;s interpration of bald facts.
 
#8
stickybomb said:
Unfortunately, the boxhead lessons would have been cut short by Uncle Joe's social workers and you and I would be typing these posts in cyrillic on a keyboard held together with five-eighths nuts and bolts.
How do you come to that conclusion, Germany would only have one front to fight on. The US would have had to fight from the USSR as the UK (and its technology) would have been German controlled. Also the UK would not have contributed to the Manhattan Project etc. So we would have had German Spitfires, bouncing bombs, radar etc.
 
#9
WhiteHorse said:
stickybomb said:
Unfortunately, the boxhead lessons would have been cut short by Uncle Joe's social workers and you and I would be typing these posts in cyrillic on a keyboard held together with five-eighths nuts and bolts.
How do you come to that conclusion, Germany would only have one front to fight on. The US would have had to fight from the USSR as the UK (and its technology) would have been German controlled. Also the UK would not have contributed to the Manhattan Project etc. So we would have had German Spitfires, bouncing bombs, radar etc.
The Pact of Steel between Stalin and Hitler was basically a truce of convenience. The Soviet political ambition was both secretive and immense and it was only a question of who broke the terms of the Pact first.

Had the Germans invaded the UK it would have required the cream of the Wehrmacht to do it. Whilst we were weak on the ground, the Royal Navy would still have had the capability and motivation to destroy an invasion force at sea or inside their bridgehead. You only have to examine the relevant memoirs from people like Speer and Raeder to know that the German Army demanded a wide frontage to deny the defending forces the ability to form the concentration of force needed to defeat the invasion ashore whilst the Kriegsmarine maintained that they could only ensure the security of an invasion force on a narrow front.

Given the resistance put up by us during the Battle of France -- and before anyone makes any jibes about full scale retreats I would recommend that you read up on actions like Hazebrouck, Cassell (Oxf & Bucks) and Calais (30 Bde) where regular and TA formations held up the German advance for days whilst inflicting serious casualties -- a fight on home territory would have been a very bloody affair.

Guderian and Rommel were quite open about the inherent weaknesses of the German Army of 1940 but Hitler became intoxicated with a sense of his own invincibility following the successes in Poland, Norway and the Low countries.

There is reason to believe that had the Soviets moved against the West in the months after such a clash, no credible resistance could have been mounted by the Germans. Indeed some historians have postulated that had Stalin siezed his chance during Sealion, Hitler could have been forced to make a hasty peace and alliance with us. Now how bizarre would that have been!

His long term plans -- according to Halder -- did not include the subjugation of the British unless absolutely necessary. He realised that the best people to run the British Empire would be the British and that an alliance would be by far the better outcome. Hitler held off making his victory speech to the Reichstag for some time until he was reluctantly convinced that the British would not either fall in line or go quietly.

Incidentally, I am interested to know more about US ambitions in former British colonies. FDR conducted his entire war around the principle that the outcome should see the end of empirical rule...including the British one. He intended to use the industrial and military might of the US to impose a new world order in the shape of the UN. What he miscalculated was the extent of Soviet political ambition, possibly because he did not heed Churchills repeated warnings. The whole idea behind Churchill's Greek campaign was to shove a western iron fist into the Balkans to dissuade Stalin from what he eventually succeeded in doing -- namely creating a slavonic buffer zone around himself...hang on...

STOOOOP! UNLOAD! Apply safety catch and step away from the Rant.

I just read your post again WH. You thought I meant Uncle Sam didn't you? Sorry, if I say Uncle Joe Stalin does that make any more sense of my original post?
 
#10
The person who made the reply to me, his 'profile' suggests he is Scots and he says he is in education. He has not comeback to another statement I made on this or one other subject, but has done 155 posts since 2002.
For several years I have been very intrested in the decline of UK, rise of USA and I now beleive I have a grandstand seat on the rapid fall of the American empire.
I have refered to King George II as such since 9/11 and I have 'provoked' US citizens with comments for even more years.
10-15 years ago I read that in 1938 the main US war games of that year where to stimulate a projected invasion from the only world power capable of invading, Britian ! in a pincer move from Canada and West Indies.
100 years ago Britian had the worlds largest navy and we where on the Gold standard.
Yesterday Matihir Mohammed suggested the US $ would fall very soon, wishful thinking, I do beleive.
Current US financial policy is frieghtning, Chiana must be laughing to the bank.
john
 
#11
Has anyone here ever read Len Deighton's XPD?

For the history buffs, Churchill was in France from June 11th to the 13th I think.
 
#12
I had an e-mail from my 85 year old former RE major to whom I sent a copy of the original message. He was born and spent his childhood in Argentina and is very knowledgeable on matters argy and takes a great intrest in all UK events.
Quote
"Many thanks for the info quoted and your comments.   I knew that the UK had to sell all its interest in Argentina (railways, meat factories, etc) but had no idea of the  extent of the stripping of its assets elsewhere totalled almost 100%.   Am glad you have told me about this. "
End of quote
john
 
#13
Maybe Britain and the Commonwealth just shouldn't have bothered with WW1?
Could the "Russian revolution" have been prevented, or even have happened, then?
Would Hitler still have risen to the position that he did after?
Was France grateful anyway?
 
#14
PartTimePongo said:
Has anyone here ever read Len Deighton's XPD?

For the history buffs, Churchill was in France from June 11th to the 13th I think.
According to Alistair Horne in 'To lose a battle' (about fall of France - a damned good read), Churchill was there offering 'an indisolluble union between Britain and France'.

Not seen this mentioned elsewhere, and didn't follow up his sources Must re-read now the web tells us everything..... I wonder how events would have turned out if this had been accepted by les Grenouilles?.
 
#15
At the end of the day "What ifs" are only "what ifs" history has happened. My point is that had the UK and Germany been an alliance (not saying it should have been 8O ) then Russia would be speaking German/British and the yanks would not be the only big player, however Canada might have been in trouble :wink:
 
#16
WhiteHorse said:
At the end of the day "What ifs" are only "what ifs" history has happened. My point is that had the UK and Germany been an alliance (not saying it should have been 8O ) then Russia would be speaking German/British and the yanks would not be the only big player, however Canada might have been in trouble :wink:
My favourite platoon sergeant used to say that Dunkirk should have been a rendezvous not an evacuation after which we should have moved south and turned France into a giant Euro car park. Mind you, he is slightly to the right of Genghis Khan.

When weighing these possibilities up (and it is a bit of fun after all) don't lose sight of the fact that the legendary German superiority of arms was in fact mythical. One of the primary reasons that Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia was to sieze the excellent Czech engineering capability. When he marched into Austria what the newsreels didn't show was the huge number of Panzers that just broke down on the way. When he headed in our direction there were a considerable number of Czech 38t in his force, and I have heard a rumour that there were also a few vehicles built on British Carden-Lloyd chassis'.

He didn't take on the Soviets until 1941 because he wasn't ready. The French could, technically, have beaten him on their own in 1940 - their armour was far superior in both quality and numbers - but the will just wasn't there. The French political landscape was strewn with post-Great War discord and, without the benefit of a leader like Churchill, their defeatism was inevitable. The Soviets on the other hand would have fought without such a moral handicap and, I believe, would have won.

That said, WH, had an Anglo-German alliance been formed without a clash of arms then yes, the myth of invincibility which stayed Stalin's hand would almost certainly have prevailed. Unfortunately, because even Chamberlain was prepared to fight, the possibilities of either a war of attrition in France or on British soil were always far more likely and it would have been this opportunity that Stalin would probably have siezed.
 
#17
In addition to using the czech 38 (t) and 35 (t) in 1940\41 the Germans made heavy use of almost all military equipment taken from occupied countries throughout the war. They had to, a military of that size, expanded from the 100 000 man army of 1933 simply couldn't be fully equipped by German industry alone.

For example. Did you know that in the Normandy area of operations in 1944 at least one panzer unit fielded ex-French tanks from 1940? Not that they survived too long mind.

All non-German weapons were given there own German designations with a country of origin code, in the case above (t) for Czech. British equipment was given (e).
 
#18
WhiteHorse said:
stickybomb said:
Unfortunately, the boxhead lessons would have been cut short by Uncle Joe's social workers and you and I would be typing these posts in cyrillic on a keyboard held together with five-eighths nuts and bolts.
How do you come to that conclusion, Germany would only have one front to fight on. The US would have had to fight from the USSR as the UK (and its technology) would have been German controlled. Also the UK would not have contributed to the Manhattan Project etc. So we would have had German Spitfires, bouncing bombs, radar etc.
The UK contribution to the Manhattan Project would have been made whether fortress Britain stood or fell. Scientists smart enough to get on the first west bound ship or plane to cambridge U., would probably have moved on to Cambridhe, Mass in short order...

As for fighting through the USSR, just how many million tons of materiel did Uncle Sam send Uncle joe anyway???
 
#19
Gents this thread is going well off topic, but then it is April 1st.
Does anyone doubt the 'facts' from the original post ? Just how much truth is there?

The 20 C was the American century they took over from UK as the world dominant power. By accident or design?
The more I read the more I personall think by design. I have mention that as late as 38 the US considered UK the only power that could invade the US and we have all seen what happens when the US gets pizzed with a nation.
N. Korea,Cuba,Iran one day they will get theres for all have stood up to and humiliated the Yank.
I consider the $ to be the main conncern now and to be capable of dragging the whole of the western economy down with it. Things will not happen too fast for all nations have massive $ holdings.
The rise of China will continue but if they will provoke a major war I remain somewhat doubtful.
john
The Red Army of 45 was a vastly different force from the one of 41. It had leaned the lessons of practically employing mobility on a grand scale and had battle trained commanders, niether of which it could have employed in 41. Yes I know Zukhov had tanked the jap in Manchuria but he was still a junior commander.
Hitler may have had some admiration for the British Empire but I doubt that Chamberlin would have thrown his lot in, memories of 14-18 where just too recent.
 
#20
I received this post from a US lawyer
Quote:-
Hi John:

The financial decisions that were of real consequence were made by both England and France, not the United States. Both countries continued to loot Germany after World War 1, taking all the coal from the Ruhr, and the entire German Merchant Marine Fleet, while inturn refusing to repay their World War 1 debts back to the United States.

The result of the aforementioned was to cause all the shipbuilding workers and coal miners in both England and Germany to lose their jobs, while alienating the population of the United States against Europe by not paying back their war debts. There is no doubt that this was one of the causes for the Great Depression which was world wide.

If England and France were not going to pay back the United States they should have let the Germans off the hook, a policy that was propounded by the United States when they offered to forgive the war loans of France and English if England and France would forgo the terms of the World War 1 settlement against Germany.

The United States also lent the Germans more money after the war to enable the German economy to recover from the war. This was done under the Dawes Plan in the 1920’s. When the Nazis came to power in the 1930’s they abrogated those debts as well. The British government agreed to support the Nazis in abrogating the German debt to the United States under the Dawes plan, in exchange for German repayment of British loans made to Germany, and of course for more English loans to be made to the Nazis, who of course used the proceeds to build up their military machine.

So please don’t think that the British and French capitalists were innocent little flowers in the sunshine. (And I am not holding that the American capitlists were innocent flowers either.) The fact of the matter is that the war started as a result of economic greed, among other factors. So what else is new?

Fred
End of quote
john
 

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