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Appeasement: Right or Wrong?

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  • Originally posted by Arrian
    I know we didn't always back Israel the way we do now. But your comment that Israel is an exception because it survives w/o a security guarantee is contradicted by a) the massive amount of aid we give Israel and b) the large US military presence in the region, which few doubt would be brought to bear if Israel was really in danger of falling, and c) our decision not to take issue with Israel's nuclear weapons.

    I have no problem with our withdrawl from Vietnam, and I would not call it appeasement. I don't think it is relevent to our discussion.

    I see what you're getting at now: Britain decided to take a stand, and thus "caused" WWII. Continuing to appease Hitler in '39, however, would have been a mistake. Britain new it had to "throw down the gauntlet." Hitler was not going to stop gobbling up countries, and the UK & France finally figured that out. That the UK & France finally chose to oppose Hitlers' aggression does not make them responsible for the war. Hitler invaded Poland.

    Had the UK and France decided not to fight over Poland, then Hitler would have gotten exactly what he wanted: a free hand in Eastern Europe to create his "lebensraum" (sorry if I butchered the spelling). He could have invaded and fought the USSR without a western front. There would still have been a huge war, with millions of casualties, not to mention the distinct possibility of an even more complete "final solution."

    But if you want to believe that WWII was Britain's fault, go right ahead. I suppose the United States is actually to blame for the Pacific war, because we cut off Japan's steel? The attack on Pearl Harbor, after all, was simply a result of our failure to appease Japan, right? So obviously it was our fault.

    -Arrian
    So, if Britain had not declared war on Germany, Germany would have declared war on the USSR without Lend Lease, Allied bombing and no Western front. Maybe. I don't know. But certainly both Britain and France would have had time to build up their forces to deter a German invasion of the West.

    As to your second point, defensive alliances are supposed to deter war. In order to be effective, the attacker must know that he cannot win and will probably loose.

    Obviously, Britain simply was not strong enough to deter Germany. Taking a stand launched WWII.

    I believe Kennedy came to the same conclusion in his book, Why England Slept. Weakness invites attack. Weakness leads to war.

    I believe we, the United States, have learned this lesson. We today believe in an invincible military primarily to avoid war.
    http://tools.wikimedia.de/~gmaxwell/jorbis/JOrbisPlayer.php?path=John+Williams+The+Imperial+M arch+from+The+Empire+Strikes+Back.ogg&wiki=en

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    • Sandman, Since Chamberlain in his infinite wisdom had concluded that negotiations would have been fruitless, I agree, they never should have been attempted.
      Chamberlain was not appeasing to save Britain, he was appeasing because he hated war. Despite your ongoing baseless assertion that it was 'obvious' that Germany would win, it was certainly not the case. No-one could have predicted France would fall so easily.

      As far as the Allies were concerned, it would be a re-run of the First World War, a conflict in which they would hold all the aces.

      Comment


      • Sandman, In WWI, Britain and France had Italy, Serbia, Russia and later the United States. At the beginning of WWII, Britain and France did not have Russia or the United States. As well, it looked like both Italy and Spain would join Germany.

        Strictly from a WWI replay perspective, I don't understand how Britain and France could believe that the would win such a war without most of their major allies from WWI.
        http://tools.wikimedia.de/~gmaxwell/jorbis/JOrbisPlayer.php?path=John+Williams+The+Imperial+M arch+from+The+Empire+Strikes+Back.ogg&wiki=en

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        • So, if Britain had not declared war on Germany, Germany would have declared war on the USSR without Lend Lease, Allied bombing and no Western front. Maybe. I don't know.
          Yes. Hitler was dead-set on attacking the USSR. That was his real target all along. The western front was an unwanted distraction, however much he enjoyed rubbing France's nose in its defeat.

          Strictly from a WWI replay perspective, I don't understand how Britain and France could believe that the would win such a war without most of their major allies from WWI.
          Germany didn't begin seriously rearming until Hitler came to power, and was weaker than the combined forces of France and the UK right through to 1939. If they had gone in when Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland, there were standing orders for the German forces to retreat.

          When war did come, it was tactics that defeated the French and the BEF, not numbers or machines. As has been said before, the Allies had no reason to expect the collapse of France. ESPECIALLY from a WWI perspective (which was really their whole problem - they had a WWI perspective, whereas the Germans had moved on).

          -Arrian
          grog want tank...Grog Want Tank... GROG WANT TANK!

          The trick isn't to break some eggs to make an omelette, it's convincing the eggs to break themselves in order to aspire to omelettehood.

          Comment


          • Sandman, In WWI, Britain and France had Italy, Serbia, Russia and later the United States. At the beginning of WWII, Britain and France did not have Russia or the United States. As well, it looked like both Italy and Spain would join Germany.
            Germany didn't have Austria-Hungary or Turkey like in WW1. All they had were a gaggle of useless balkan states. Italy was not certain to join, and played no role in the defeat of France in any case. Spain was devasted by civil war, and could not be expected to defeat the French. There were also the British dominions, and Free Czech and Polish forces.

            Strictly from a WWI replay perspective, I don't understand how Britain and France could believe that the would win such a war without most of their major allies from WWI.
            It's quite simple, they had more manpower, resources and industry than Germany.

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