spikegifted - Random thoughts
|WW2: Eastern Front|
November 9, 2003
I'm surprised and amazed by your ill-judge comment regarding the French during the WWII.
If you've any understanding of history, you'd recognized that the French had a lot of people killed in WWI and that gave rise to pacifist approached to international politics in the 1930s. As a nation, they just didn't want to fight. Moreover, due to the lack of political and military insight into the next generation of conflict, the French was ill-equipped, ill-trained and lack leadership at the highest level to allow them to go to the fight with any chance of winning.
If you've any understanding of military history, you'd also recognized that at the beginning of WWII, the Germans had the most advanced military machine combined with the, probably, the best battlefield tactics known at the time. Utilizing speed, power and surprise, the German army were capable of more than anything the participants on the Western Front could handle. As the B.E.F. found out, they were simply no match for the German war machine. Why else should the B.E.F. evacuate from Dunkirk?
Don't forget, WWII was not a 'CNN war', there was little or no coverage, but the few brave correspondents attached to a few units. Moreover, these people seldom see real action, if at all.
Should you want to be more informed about the bloodiest chapter of human history, I've a list of books that I've read, which I think are good starting point for getting a better insight into this horrific conflict.
November 11, 2003
I just I'd correct your assumption there... Luxembourg didn't surrender because the Grand Duchy was simply over ran by the German armies en route to France and Belgium. The Belgians and Dutch surrendered when their countries were overran also.
There is a fine balance between 'fighting to the last man, the last bullet and the last gun' and calling it a day when all is lost. The Nazis had the former philosophy and German nation layed in ruins at the end of the war. You've to question yourself, are you prepare to send ill trained farmers, clerks, taxi drivers, secretaries, school boys, etc to fight against a professional army? That is simply a case of pushing the lamb into the slaughter house. Throwing adolescent boys and their granddads into an unwinnable war/battle is, in my eyes, criminal.
The Germans did have the best land based fighting machine know to man in 1940-1941. The combination of speed, shock, tactics and flexibility made them what they were. No more, no less. As the war went on, the supreme commander, Hitler, interfered more and more. Some of his decisions flied against military sense. Out of all of his decisions at critical times, the only one which proofed to correct was the command to make Army Group Center to halt its retreat from Moscow. Additionally, fact that it didn't turned into another 'stand and fight' disaster (like Stalingrad, Tunis, etc.) was that command came at a time when the Soviets were running out of steam in their own counter-attack from around the Soviet capital. Hitler did not have a better understanding of how to fight a war/battle than you and I. He was a madman who managed to gain power and was fortunate enough to have a very able army at his command. The true geniuses in the German army were the front line / army group commanders.
November 12, 2003
The Germans' Operation Sealion was actually well in advance planning by July 1940, after the defeat of France. They actually transferred a large number of barges from various large rivers in Germany, especially the Rhine over to Holland and Belgium in preparation for the seaborne invasion. However, the air force could not achieve superiority over the British skies, largely due to the superior Hurricane and Spitfire built by the British, but also the poor strategic planning and the lack of long range goals on the German side. If the Germans continued to bomb and destroy air fields and maintenance facilities for the air force, the British could not be able to sent the plane up and the German would have achieve superiority over the British sky. In addition, due to the lack of strategic planning, the Germans missed the opportunity to capture/eliminate a large portion of the B.E.F. before it managed to be extracted from Dunkirk. Should the evacuation of the B.E.F. was not achieved in the scale that it did, the land-based forces in the UK will significantly smaller and less well trained. The possibility of sending a smaller initial invasion force would mean the invasion with the materiale available at the time would become higher.
In general, the US troops were not accustomed to fighting outside North American soil. Additionally, at the outbreak of war, the US army was still largely non-mechanized. There were a few very able commanders who knew and preached mobile warfare to the army establishment, notably Patton and Ike. However, after the rather steep learning curve at Operation Torch and the strict discipline imposed by Patton afterwards, the US troops became one of the most efficient fighting machine on the Allied side.
November 29, 2003
everything has a cause whether it be just or unjust.
i am not a mind reader i read what you put in ur posts when some1 puts there thoughts down in words. its just called reading not mind reading.
"Why would russians defect to an invading army and why would russia want to be allies with germany? That doesn't make sense"
i never said that the russian,s did defect i said they were offered the chance to and i also never said the russian,s wanted to be allies with germany.
i may not be a mind reader but there is better chance of that than you becoming my voice so read what i said b4 saying i said it
twisting words to ur advantage wont help the fact that the war was over when the russian,s did these things.
"But now that you mention it does murder and rape in wartime not count then? Is that why its ok if the germans did it?"
No its not called murder in war its called a statistic and im totally with you that rape is a bad thing from either side during or out of war.
as i can also tell from the words you have written that this arguement will soon turn into some kind of personal vendeta i will end it here.
i am not defending the germans actions
during the war im just outraged at the actions of the russians after the
The German nation didn't really fight for a cause... With the exception of the Nazis, the majority of the Germans just fought because they were told to. The problem with the German culture then was the questioning nature of their obedience towards state authority.
The Nazis' reason for invading the Soviet Union was to wipe out 'international Jewry and Bolshevism'. In Nazi philosophy, Jews and Bolsheviks were, in many instances, one and the same thing. Therefore, in the eyes of the true Nazis, the conflict against the Soviet Union was a 'just war' - as the Jews (who were also supposed to have been running the USA) were behind the Bolshevism.
In the Nazi scheme of things, people of the East (along with the Jews) were 'not really human' - in fact they were called 'sub-human' or 'Asiatic hoard'. By adopting these views, they really didn't see any problems mistreating POWs and the indigenous population. For the Nazis, murdering them was not a crime... Their thinking was that they were actually doing Europeans a favor by killing these 'sub-humans'.
At the outset of Operation Barbarossa (the invasion of the Soviet Union), the Germans were seen as liberators for many of the non-Russians living under Soviet rule - Ukrainians, Latvians, Estonians, Lithuanians, etc... However, owing to the initial military success (between June-September 1941), the senior Nazi leadership chose to ignore that and preferred to treat all these national groups as 'sub-humans'. The plans for the Ukrainians were the most ridiculous - the Nazi planned to use them as slaves to farm and feed the Germany and eventually shipped off their land to make way for German settlements, who will in turn farm the land.
Curiously, there were many Russian defectors - they didn't want to live under Soviet rule either. However as word of German maltreatment of POWs leaked out from those who escaped back into the Soviet side, Russian defectors became less and less the war progressed.
Atrocity against the non-fighting population was equally bad on both side of the war - German killed Soviet 'political officers', Communists, partisans and just about anyone they didn't like the look of... The Soviet NKVD (predecessor of the KGB) were killing anyone that was not 'politically reliable'... Those included anyone who returned to the Soviet line after being cut off by the invading Germans and anyone who retreated. When the Soviets got into pre-1939 German territories, they went about raping, robbing, shooting and killing whenever and wherever that pleased them... The entire Soviet military machine carried institutional robbery against the German people, from the lowest rank private all the way up to front commanders. It was basically 'payback time' for the German people. Based on my understanding, Germans didn't really rape Soviet women, as they were not seen as 'Aryan' enough to be allowed even close contact.
November 30, 2003
That is completely correct... Hitler was hoping to 'do a deal' with the UK. The idea was that German will be allow to conduct its affairs in Continental Europe with interference from the British and they, on the other hand, will not interfere with the UK's overseas interests.
There was a problem in this arrange - Germany has no power what so ever to trouble the British in its overseas 'spheres of influence', while the British was perfectly capable of causing the Germans problems in Continental Europe. To add to that, the British had chosen to ally themselves with the French and together they provided a guarantee to the Poles. Whoops...
November 30, 2003
A treaty on rules of engagement have been made signed way before the WWII and the Germans were one of the countries signed up to the Geneva Convention, but they later pulled out. Just because one side fights a dirty war doesn't mean that all participants can/want to decent to barbaric behavior...
December 5, 2003
I was really struggling to read your sentence there, but I think I’ve gotten what you try to say...
Yes, you're completely right in that respect - the 'strategic' bombing campaign conducted by the British and American during WWII was barbaric. The only reason why people didn’t and don’t make a bigger deal out of it is because it was justified as a ‘necessity’ - it was the only way the Allies could hit the Germans until the landings in North Africa, Sicily and Normandy. Additionally, there was no way of reducing the Germans’ capabilities to arm themselves without bombing the living daylight out of them.
The problem, of course, was the precision of the bombing. While the planners of the bombing raids set out the targets, it did not mean the flyers could locate them. More often than not (at least in the beginning anyway), bombs were dropped at the first possible opportunity and then it’s off home. As the war moved on, the technologies improved and the precision of the raids improved, but, again, that didn’t mean there was no ‘collateral damage’.
The fact that we hear little about Allied bombings outside the context that it was ‘necessary’ and ‘justified’ is because history, as it's often the case, is written by the victors. We just chose to forget (or not emphasize) the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of Germans who suffered under Allied bombings. I’m sure this fact is mentioned somewhere in history books, but they’re ‘tame’ relative to what the Germans, Russians, Japanese did to their enemies. A grand sweeping stroke to move the issue under the carpet...