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Skarphol
03-08-2005, 03:00 PM
Hi!

I should probably be able to find out of this myself, but here is a chance for you historybuffs to impress me! The question is:

Germany went to war on Poland September 1st 1939. Brittain and France decleared war on Germany September 3rd 1939. But AFAIK hostilities between France and Germany didn't start until may 1940! There where a lot of french, british and polish soliders fighting the germans on norwegian soil during april 1940, but what about the several houndred kilomteres of common border between France and Germany in the period between September 1939 and May 1940? Was there no hostilities here?

Skarphol

BaldieJr
03-08-2005, 03:12 PM
I don't recall seeing anything about it on Discovery Channel.

plumps_
03-08-2005, 03:19 PM
Phoney War (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phony_War)

Lots of bunkers on both sides of the border (Maginot Line (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maginot) vs. Westwall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westwall)) and very little fighting, only a few skirmishes.

LStarosta
03-08-2005, 03:19 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BaldieJr:
I don't recall seeing anything about it on Discovery Channel. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/mockface.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Capt_Haddock
03-08-2005, 03:19 PM
That's The Phoney War

I'm sure you can find betterlinks on the subject, but this one has a simple explanation:
http://www.johndclare.net/wwii3.htm

By the end of September, Germany and Russia had defeated Poland. Everyone expected Hitler to attack western Europe with his €˜blitzkrieg€ tactics, but nothing happened (indeed, on 6 October, Hitler offered peace).

Meanwhile, Britain and France made no effort to attack Hitler. A British Expeditionary Force of four divisions €" 158,000 men with 25,000 vehicles €" left for France on 11 Sept, but it was too small and poorly-equipped to challenge the Nazi army. And France€s strategy was dominated by the Maginot line, a defensive super-trench on the border, which French generals believed would keep France safe from Nazi attack).

The period came to be called €˜the phoney war€.

By Spring 1940, many people had decided that war was never going to happen, and they followed the advice of the newspaper headline which suggested: €˜Forget Hitler €" take your holiday€. They stopped carrying their gas-masks. Six million people every night tuned in to listen to €˜Lord Haw-Haw€, the British Nazi who broadcast on the wireless from Germany...

... until, suddenly, on 9 April 1940, Nazi forces attacked Denmark and Norway.

http://www.haddock.f2s.com/sig/F19bannerh.jpg
http://www.haddock.f2s.com/sig/F19banner.jpg

icrash
03-08-2005, 03:23 PM
It wasn't until Hitler decided to secure Germany's industrial heartland that the serious battle with France started (through the Ardennes just like WW1 if iirc). By removing France, it closed a two front war and the straight shot at the industrial heartland of Germany. From what I remember, the did the same thing in WW1.

MrOblongo
03-08-2005, 03:36 PM
Something that had always been in my mind is: If the German Invasion of Poland, 1st Sept of 1939, made France and UK declare war to Germany, why the Russian invasion of Poland which took place JUST 17 days after had no response from Allies?. (As far as i know).

Or was the russian involment in hostilities what stopped the western allies to make a fast move against germany?

Just something i would want to know.

joeap
03-08-2005, 04:06 PM
Bahh someone forgot to tell the sailors...the liner Athenia was torpedoed the first day or so after war broke out between the British/French and Germans...the Battle of the River Plate (pocket battleship Graf Spee and some Brit Cruisers) occured in December 39...U-47 commander Gunter Prien sinks Royal Oak in Scapa Flow, other surface raiders went out in early 1940 and so on. Still not the scale it would take later (when Germany had more U-boats, they really didn't have enough).

blakduk
03-08-2005, 07:00 PM
One thing to remember about the phoney war- most people were ambivalent about starting another land war in western europe. The horror of the stalemate of the ww1 trenches was still fresh in peoples minds. The numbers of troops killed and maimed numbered in the millions! Above all Hitler was a clever politician who knew how to intimidate his opponents- he demonstrated this with his annexation of Austria and Chzechoslovakia. At this time no democratic government wanted to be seen as a 'warmonger'- a term that was freely used to describe Churchill at that time (before history provided him with a chance to be viewed as a saviour). Rather than strengthening the allies position on the western front, the delay in land hostilities commencing actually weakened their position as they were accused of 'crying wolf'. Their economies were also nearly bankrupt and they couldnt maintain large numbers of troops on the ground for long.
Another factor was the strong facist elements in a number of countries- especially France, USA and England. As the war progressed and propoganda more effective, facism became more distasteful to the general populace and many 'forgot' their association with such parties. One only has to look at the photos of facist rallies in the western democracies to realise just how popular they were, or how powerful the antiwar (isolationist) movement was in the USA. Vichy France was a horrible example of what could have happened had the Nazis succeeded.

Daiichidoku
03-08-2005, 07:08 PM
phoney war...also known as "sitzkreig" hahaha

wayno7777
03-08-2005, 08:34 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/351.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif
Just be glad for the phoney war. It gave Britain time to gear up.

p1ngu666
03-08-2005, 08:50 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Daiichidoku:
phoney war...also known as "sitzkreig" hahaha <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

p1ngu666
03-08-2005, 08:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by wayno7777:
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/351.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif
Just be glad for the phoney war. It gave Britain time to gear up. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

ive always wondered what would have happened in france and britain had attacked germany, while german army was busy in poland..

civildog
03-08-2005, 08:59 PM
We wouldn't have this game to play. That's what would've happened.

blakduk
03-08-2005, 09:10 PM
It would have been chaos- France and Britain were woefully unprepared, the french had spent all their resources on the Maginot line (a series of fancy trenches and fixed gun positions). The french army had barely any working communications infrastructure and had extremely low morale- their political system was in shatters and their military leadership rested on reputation rather than ability.
The British expeditionary force was substantial but hardly equiped for an offensive campaign. They learned a lot from their experience in the battle of France as to the use of close support aircraft and motorised unit tactics. They were lucky they could retreat across the moat that was the English channel and contemplate their harsh lessons.

CapBackassward
03-08-2005, 09:36 PM
A lot of it had to do with troop placement. The Germans had already commited a lot of troops to the Eastern Front and to the Northern part of Europe. There was resistance building to the south in the Med. Germany was already spread thin by trying to cover these areas. To move all the way to the coast of France - north and south - would have meant a hell of a lot of troops and that's a lot of coast line to defend. So Germany was left to wait and see. That's why the Germans tried to guess accurately where the Allies would land if and when then finally moved. The Germans thought the logical place to be Calais in northern France. There is historical precedent for thinking this the logical spot. ( i.e...past wars in history)

When the Allies started flying flights into Normandy months before D-Day, pilots observed there wasn't much resistance with only an ocassional German flight to contend with. Even after the D-Day landing it was a little while before the Germans started throwing enough fighters at the Allies to matter.

Rick

Spartan_GR
03-09-2005, 12:24 AM
Chamberlain, in the period of the "phoney war" said about Hitler that he "lost the bus" ... A few months later, when London was bombed from the luftwaffe, a joke in the city that people often said whenever they were seeing a destroyed bus was "theres a bus Hitler didnt lost" :P

Blackdog5555
03-09-2005, 04:32 AM
LOL, What history books are you reading Blakduk. Close it and never read it again! LOL. Thanks Capt_Hadduck. Sitzkrieg...thats funny. hheee. Mr. Oblongo; Google Moltov-Rippentop Pact. Also Mr Roosevelt was elected (40)on the promise that he would keep America out of the European war. The phoney war was only half phoney..I leave it at that.

BBB_Hyperion
03-09-2005, 04:35 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MrOblongo:
Something that had always been in my mind is: If the German Invasion of Poland, 1st Sept of 1939, made France and UK declare war to Germany, why the Russian invasion of Poland which took place JUST 17 days after had no response from Allies?. (As far as i know).

Or was the russian involment in hostilities what stopped the western allies to make a fast move against germany?

Just something i would want to know. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thats not all the lack of reaction of the "Allies" when finland was attacked by Soviet Union is another point. The Question is who had troops and equipment ready to deploy in finland ?

The answer to the original question is little tricky there were connections between france and soviet union later even a secret treaty would be signed. But in general you can say both the brits and the french were aware that a fight against germany and russia cant be won.

Airmail109
03-09-2005, 05:29 AM
The idea that appeasment was to allow us to gather strength is a myth! In 1937 our Army was stronger than Germanies, our navy was stonger than Germanies and the RAF was at least on par with the Lufwaffe!

"(1) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry (5th December, 1936)

I had a long conversation with Lord Halifax about Germany and his recent visit. He described Hitler's appearance, his khaki shirt, black breeches and patent leather evening shoes. He told me he liked all the Nazi leaders, even Goebbels, and he was much impressed, interested and amused by the visit. He thinks the regime absolutely fantastic, perhaps even too fantastic to be taken seriously. But he is very glad that he went, and thinks good may come of it. I was rivetted by all he said, and reluctant to let him go."

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm make you think doesnt it!

"(4) Lord Halifax, Fulness of Days (1957)

The advent of Hitler to power in 1933 had coincided with a high tide of wholly irrational pacifist sentiment in Britain, which caused profound damage both at home and abroad. At home it immensely aggravated the difficulty, great in any case as it was bound to be, of bringing the British people to appreciate and face up to the new situation which Hitler was creating; abroad it doubtless served to tempt him and others to suppose that in shaping their policies this country need not be too seriously regarded."

Seems to be the attitudes of the people....not the military!

"(6) Robert Boothby, Boothby: Recollections of a Rebel (1978)

Reflecting the mood of the country, the Conservative Party was rotten at the core. The only thing they cared about was their property and their cash. The only thing they feared was that one day those nasty Communists would come and take it. The Labour and Liberal Parties were no better. With the exception of Hugh Dalton (and even he, speaking from the Front Opposition bench, announced that they would give no support of any kind to resistance to Hitler's military occupation of the Rhineland), they made violent, pacifist speeches; and voted steadily against the miserable Defence Estimates for the years 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1938."

Its not that they couldnt go to war earlier....and stop germany in its tracks.....it was the fact that they were blind/arrogant and still desperately hoping for peace!

" 7) Hugh Christie, report to MI6 on a meeting he had with Hermann Goering on 3rd February, 1937.

I asked the General straight out "What is Germany's aim in Europe today?" Goering replied "We want a free hand in Eastern Europe. We want to establish the unity of the German peoples (Grossdeutschegemeinschaft)'. I said "Do you mean to get Austria?" Reply "Yes". I said "Do you mean to get Czechoslovakia?" Reply "Yes"."

") Hugh Christie, report to MI6 in March, 1938.

The crucial question is How soon will the next step against Czechoslovakia be tried? ... The probability is that the delay will not exceed two or three months at most, unless France and England provide the deterrent, for which cooler heads in Germany are praying."

Why on eath did britain and France give Czechoslovakia to Geramny....when Czechoslovakia had a modern militay that could have resisted Germany and with Britain and/or Frances help could have easily driven them back! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

"(9) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry (11th March, 1938)

An unbelievable day, in which two things occurred. Hitler took Vienna and I fell in love with the Prime Minister. The morning was calm, the PM enchanting. I am in and out of his room constantly now. Early on, there were messages announcing mysterious movements of troops in Bavaria with the usual denials from Berlin. Then there was a grand luncheon party at 10 Downing Street at which, the Chamberlains entertained the Ribbentrops, the Halifaxes, Winston Churchills, etc. By then the news had reached the FO that the Germans had invaded Austria, and from 5 to 7 p.m. reports poured in. I was in Halifax's room at 7.30 when the telephone rang 'The Germans are in Vienna', and five minutes later 'The skies are black with Nazi planes'. We stood breathless in the Secretary of State's room, wondering what would happen next. All night messages flowed in; by midnight Austria was a German province. Rab Butler was dining with the Speaker, and as he was already late, I drove him there. Later Peter Loxley and I called on him about midnight and told him the latest news; he was still in his Minister's dress and we sat, an unreal trio, in the Butlers' flat in Little College Street, discussing the event. It is certainly a set-back for the Chamberlain Government. Will my adorable Austria become Nazified?



(10) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry on the opponents of appeasement in the Conservative Party (22nd March, 1938)

The Insurgents: Winston Churchill, Leo Amery, Duncan Sandys, Harold Nicolson, Godfrey Nicholson, Leonard Ropner, Derrick Gunston, Ronnie Cartland, Ronnie Tree, the Duchess of Atholl, Paul Emiys-Evans, Vyvyan Adams, Louis Spears, Bob Boothby, Victor Cazalet, Brendan Bracken and Jack Macnamara."

The insurgents wanted to go to war earlier on! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

(12) Neville Chamberlain, letter to George VI (13th September, 1938)

The continued state of tension in Europe which has caused such grave concern throughout the world has in no way been relieved, and in some ways been aggravated by the speech delivered at Nuremberg last night by Herr Hitler. Your Majesty's Ministers are examining the position in the light of his speech, and with the firm desire to ensure, if this is at all possible, that peace may be restored.

On the one hand, reports are daily received in great numbers, not only from official sources but from all manner of individuals who claim to have special and unchangeable sources of information. Many of these (and of such authority as to make it impossible to dismiss them as unworthy of attention) declare positively that Herr Hitler has made up his mind to attack Czechoslovakia and then to proceed further East. He is convinced that the operation can be effected so rapidly that it will be all over before France or Great Britain could move.

"On the other hand, Your Majesty's representative in Berlin has steadily maintained that Herr Hitler has not yet made up his mind to violence. He means to have a solution soon - this month - and if that solution, which must be satisfactory to himself, can be obtained peacefully, well and good. If not, he is ready to march.

In these circumstances I have been considering the possibility of a sudden and dramatic step which might change the whole situation. The plan is that I should inform Herr Hitler that I propose at once to go over to Germany to see him. If he assents, and it would be difficult for him to refuse, I should hope to persuade him that he had an unequalled opportunity of raising his own prestige and fulfilling what he has so often declared to be his aim, namely the establishment of an Anglo-German understanding, preceded by a settlement of the Czechoslovakian question.

Of course I should not be able to guarantee that Dr. Benes would accept this solution, but I should undertake to put all possible pressure on him to do so. The Government of France have already said that they would accept any plan approved by Your Majesty's Government or by Lord Runciman."

The part about Czechoslovakia being easily taken by Hitler is BS! If the Czechoslovakia army had not been told to stand down they would have been able to put up a formidible defence. The german army would have got involved in bitter fighting with a cleverly constructed Anti-Tank defence network.

" (13) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry (14th September, 1938)

Towards the end of the Banquet came the news, the great world stirring news, that Neville (Chamberlain), on his own initiative, seeing war coming closer and closer, had telegraphed to Hitler that he wanted to see him, and asked him to name an immediate rendezvous. The German Government surprised and flattered, had instantly accepted and so Neville, at the age of 69, for the first time in his life, gets into an aeroplane tomorrow morning and flies to Berchtesgarten! It is one of the finest, most inspiring acts of all history. The company rose to their feet electrified, as all the world must be, and drank his health. History must be ransacked to find a parallel. Of course a way out will now be found. Neville by his imagination and practical good sense, has saved the world."

This gos to show that they wanted to avoid war at all costs.......they had the capacity to defeat hitler early on but not the courage!

" (17) Neville Chamberlain held a Cabinet meeting on 24th September 1938. Duff Cooper, First Lord of the Admiralty, wrote about it in his autobiography, Old Men Forget (1953)

The Cabinet met that evening. The Prime Minister looked none the worse for his experiences. He spoke for over an hour. He told us that Hitler had adopted a certain position from the start and had refused to budge an inch from it. Many of the most important points seemed hardly to have arisen during their discussion, notably the international guarantee. Having said that he had informed Hitler that he was creating an impossible situation, having admitted that he had "snorted" with indignation when he read the German terms, the Prime Minister concluded, to my astonishment, by saying that he considered that we should accept those terms and that we should advise the Czechs to do so.

It was then suggested that the Cabinet should adjourn, in order to give members time to read the terms and sleep on them, and that we should meet again the following morning. I protested against this. I said that from what the Prime Minister had told us it appeared to me that the Germans were still convinced that under no circumstances would we fight, that there still existed one method, and one method only, of persuading them to the contrary, and that was by instantly declaring full mobilisation. I said that I was sure popular opinion would eventually compel us to go to the assistance of the Czechs; that hitherto we had been faced with the unpleasant alternatives of peace with dishonour or war. I now saw a third possibility, namely war with dishonour, by which I meant being kicked into the war by the boot of public opinion when those for whom we were fighting had already been defeated. <span class="ev_code_RED">I pointed out that the Chiefs of Staff had reported on the previous day that immediate mobilisation was of urgent and vital importance</span>, and I suggested that we might one day have to explain why we had <span class="ev_code_RED">disregarded</span> their advice. This angered the Prime Minister. He said that I had omitted to say that this advice was given only on the assumption that there was a danger of war with Germany within the next few days. I said I thought it would be difficult to deny that such a danger existed."

That just goes to show Chamberlain was a god**** fool!


"(21) A. D. Lindsay, a strong opponent of appeasement, he stood as the anti-Munich candidate in the by-election that took place in Oxford in October, 1938. Although defeated by the Conservative Party candidate, Quintin Hogg, he reduced the majority from 6,645 to 3,434. This article about the election appeared in the Picture Post on 5th November, 1938.

Then there was the confusion of policy. Both candidates were for: the League of Nations; re-armament; peace; democracy; unity against war. At least, they said so. Underlying everything was a simple unpolitical moral issue, whether or no we had gained peace with honour. But barrister Hogg scored one of the big laughs when he said :

"The issue in this election is going to be very clear. I am standing for a definite policy. Peace by negotiation. Mr. Lindsay is standing for no definite policy that he can name. He stands for national division against national unity. His policy is a policy of two left feet walking backward!"

But Lindsay, lemonade-loving Presbyterian son of a Theology Professor, had a unique line of approach, remote from the usual thumping. In his very first speech, he read part of the lesson for the previous Sunday, to illustrate his argument. It went across - for he was sincere. He got headlines when a man asked him : "Now that our prayers have succeeded in bringing peace from the Munich agreement, is it not ungrateful to doubt and to question that peace?"

Lindsay answered like this: "Suppose you had a child desperately ill. All night long you pray without ceasing, and in the morning she seems better. You thank God that your prayers have been answered. Then, later on it is discovered that owing to some error in the doctor's treatment, she is going to be disabled for the rest of her life. Would your gratitude to God for saving your daughter's life prevent you from calling in a better doctor who might restore your daughter to health? That is how I feel about our present very precarious peace. I am sure that Mr. Chamberlain did his best, but I know that it was also he who brought us very near to war. I am sure that it is owing to his policy that we are now in such a very dangerous situation. That is why I oppose him"

"(22) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry (15th March, 1938)

Hitler has entered Prague, apparently, and Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist. No balder, bolder departure from the written bond has ever been committed in history. The manner of it surpassed comprehension and his callous desertion of the Prime Minister is stupefying. I can never forgive him. It is a great day for the Socialists and for the Edenites. The PM must be discouraged and horrified. He acceded to the demand of the Opposition for a debate and the business of the House was altered. Then he rose, and calmly, but I am sure with a broken heart made a frank statement of the facts as he knew them. The reports were largely unconfirmed and based on press reports; consequently the PM was obliged to be cool and so was accused of being unmoved by events. I thought he looked miserable. His whole policy of appeasement is in ruins. Munich is a torn-up episode. Yet never has he been proved more abundantly right for he gave us six months of peace in which we re-armed, and he was right to try appeasement. I was relieved at how little personal criticism there was of the Apostle of Peace, and Grenfell who opened for the Opposition, was more impressive than Attlee he was saner, more manly, more eloquent and he held the attention and regard of the House."

Hmmmmmmm most odd.........Britain and France actually agreed to give Czechoslovakia to germany! I smell a rat!

"
(24) Neville Chamberlain, radio broadcast (27th September, 1938)

How horrible, fantastic, incredible, it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing! I would not hesitate to pay even a third visit to Germany, if I thought it would do any good.

Armed conflict between nations is a nightmare to me; but if I were convinced that any nation had made up its mind to dominate the world by fear of its force, I should feel that it must be resisted. Under such a domination, life for people who believe in liberty would not be worth living; but war is a fearful thing, and we must be very clear, before we embark on it, that it is really the great issues that are stake."

I think we can all see the stupidity in that speach! As the saying goes "Evil only prevails when good men do nothing"

" (26) R. V. Jones was one of those who was opposed to the appeasement policy of Neville Chamberlain and his government.

I returned to London on the evening on Monday 26th September, and felt the tense calm of the London streets as people braced themselves for the seemingly inevitable war.

Then came Chamberlain's return with his pathetic scrap of paper and his "Peace in our time" speech. I was as angry as a cat which has just been robbed of its mouse. Those who felt like that were a minority among the almost hysterical majority who thought that Chamberlain had done a great thing.

On 15th March Hitler had invaded Czechoslovakia and on 7th April Mussolini had taken over Albania. The treachery of the Munich Agreement was as last obvious, even to Chamberlain; he now gave a guarantee to Poland, and so all would depend on whether the Germans would be satisfied with their present gains."

" (27) Winston Churchill, The Second World War (1948)


For the French Government to leave her faithful ally Czechoslovakia to her fate was a melancholy lapse from which flowed terrible consequences. Not only wise and fair policy, but chivalry, honour, and sympathy for a small threatened people made an overwhelming concentration. Great Britain, who would certainly have fought if bound by treaty obligations, was nevertheless now deeply involved, and it must be recorded with regret that the British Government not only acquiesced but encouraged the French Government in a fatal course"

"(32) Herbert Morrison, An Autobiography (1960)

Seldom can any British prime minister have suffered such a sense of desolation and disaster as Chamberlain did in the summer days of 1940. It was impossible not to feel a certain sympathy for such an end to a long career of an ambitious man and a member of a family which had served its country over the years. Perhaps fate was kind in making him a person with few feelings.

Neville Chamberlain was a sad and to me pathetic man. He appeared to have but little love for his fellow men. The coldness of his character encompassed him like an aura. If he had little heart he certainly had a brain. He was a first-class administrator, probably one of the most capable Ministers of Health of this century. When he became prime minister his personal tragedy was that he was genuinely aghast at the possibility of war and he adopted the role of a man of peace because he was convinced that he had the political acumen to achieve it. But he hadn't. He would not drive for collective security which could have held Hitler, and Hitler would not make a genuine peace.

<span class="ev_code_RED">I believe that in 1938 and 1939 he genuinely felt that God had sent him into this world to obtain peace</span>. That he failed may or may not be due to the inevitable ambition of Hitler to dominate the world, but there can be little doubt that in his mental attitude Chamberlain went the wrong way about it. He decided in the early stages of his discussions to treat Hitler as a normal human being and an important human being at that. At the time of the Munich crisis I said extremely critical things in public speeches about the German Chancellor with the result that I was approached by one of Chamberlain's more important ministers who asked whether I would be good enough to desist, as the prime minister had been informed that Hitler resented it."

Skarphol
03-09-2005, 06:31 AM
Wow! Such a response! I'm at work right now, and will have to read through all this later!
Thanks, anyway, all of you!

Skarphol

MrOblongo
03-09-2005, 09:40 AM
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

The Molotov-Ribbentop pact, sometimes called the Hitler-Stalin pact, was a non-aggression treaty between Nazi-Germany and the Soviet Union. It was signed in Moscow on August 23, 1939 by the foreign ministers Vyacheslav Molotov and Joachim von Ribbentrop.

The European balance of power established at the end of World War I eroded step by step from the Abyssinia crisis[?] (1935) to the Munich Agreement (1938). The dissolution of Czechoslovakia was the beginning of a new political development, where Germany and the Soviet Union aspired to regain territories and provinces lost in the aftermath of World War I. Hence the Soviet Union was not interested in maintaining the status quo, but rather in encouraging the conflict between capitalist countries - also in order to enhance the spread of the revolution.

Negotiations between the Soviet Union and France/Britain for a military alliance against Germany stalled, mainly due to mutual suspicions. The Soviet Union sought guarantees for support against German aggression beside recognition of Soviet commitment to interfer against "a change of policy favorable to an aggressor" in the countries along the western Soviet border, which the Soviet Union preferred to express as "Soviet guarantees for the independence of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Rumania, Turkey and Greece", regardless of if those countries wanted such guarantees, or not.

Instead Stalin opened for negotiations with Nazi-Germany by replacing the Jewish Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov[?] by Molotov, and the negotiations could then soon be successfully concluded.

The pact was announced as a non-aggression pact, but in a secret appendix Eastern Europe was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union. Bessarabia, Finland, Estonia and Latvia was Soviet's agreed share. The rivers Narev[?], Vistula and San were agreed on as a new suitable border between Germany and the Soviet Union, and a week after the pact was signed in Moscow, the partition of Poland was commenced with Germany's attack on September 1st followed by the Soviet Union on September 17th (see also: Partitions of Poland).

September 28th 1939 the three Baltic Republics were given no choise but to sign a so called Pact of defense and mutual assistance, which permitted the Soviet Union to station troops in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Finland was less humble and had on November 30th 1939 to suffer an attempted invasion, which however was resisted in the Winter War. After over three months of hard fights and heavy losses the Soviet Union confined with 10% of Finland's territory.

In June 1940, after Germany's swift victories and occupation of Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and France it was time for Bessarabia and the three Baltic states to suffer occupation, and soon annexion, to the Soviet Union. Thereby the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was exhausted, as Germany opposed further assaults against Finland (see: the Continuation War).

A famous cartoon by David Low from the London Evening Standard of 20 September 1939 has Hitler and Stalin bowing to each other over a corpse, with Hitler saying "The scum of the Earth, I believe?" and Stalin saying "The bloody assassin of the workers, I presume?". The pact had been a particular shock to supporters of communism in the West.

TEXT OF THE PACT: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1939pact.html

telsono
03-09-2005, 10:05 AM
I had read that the Molotov Cocktail was named after the Russian Foreign Minister Vyacheslav by the Finns. They made a desparate use of gasoline bombs against the Soviet tanks. Toasting his armor (so to speak) with their bottles. I don't know if our Finnish friends can verify this, but I was led to understand that the first Molotov Cocktail was a kerosene lamp thrown out of frustration by a Finnish soldier who hadn't anything else left to stop a Soviet tank with. The tanks heavily greased for winter operations were more flammible due to the extra lubrication and lit up.

Blackdog5555
03-09-2005, 11:35 AM
See how complicated the world was! Still is today. Your historical account doesnt even mention the fact that Hitler never intended to be bound by the pact. It was a sucker deal for Russia prior to Operation Barbarossa. (phoney pact) Cheers BD

civildog
03-09-2005, 01:56 PM
I always thought the Molotov Cocktail was an empty (naturally, why waste good vodka?) vodka bottle filled with gasoline. Stuff a bit of burning Nazi flag or uniform in it and drop in onto the Tiger tank as it passes by.

Oh, better add a .50 round to the mixture or it won't get through the armor!

LStarosta
03-09-2005, 04:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CivilDog:
Oh, better add a .50 round to the mixture or it won't get through the armor! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

Aztek_Eagle
03-09-2005, 06:49 PM
on the skys there was not phoney war, as in the german bight there were constand enagements.. during the battle of poland the french and british lost the change to give germany a cripling blow, as the german troops on the western frontier were badly outnumbered by the british and french troop, germans were very glad of the lack of agresiveness in the part of the western allies at the outbreak...

those campers, and lack of agresive comanders could have win the war in 1939! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif thats why i hate them

Spartan_GR
03-10-2005, 03:57 PM
in 1st september 1939 Germany did not had the largest army in the world ( the famous panzer divisions were only 6, and most of their tanks were of the type PzKw 1 & 2 ), but it was surely the most modern of the world at the time. Both in tactics and in formation of the army. Propably it was the first real "modern" army ( with today's standards ) in the world. For this reason i believe that it would be impossible for England or France ( of 1939 ) to win a war against Germany. Simply because both of them were still stuck in WW1.

France did attack during the Poland campaign ( in 7th of september some french units passed the borders and entered Germany ). And did nothing. The orders were to advance with care, to wait to gather forces before a defensive position, to gain ground with caution etc. Those were tactics used in WW1...

Airmail109
03-10-2005, 04:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aimail101:
The idea that appeasment was to allow us to gather strength is a myth! In 1937 our Army was stronger than Germanies, our navy was stonger than Germanies and the RAF was at least on par with the Lufwaffe!

"(1) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry (5th December, 1936)

I had a long conversation with Lord Halifax about Germany and his recent visit. He described Hitler's appearance, his khaki shirt, black breeches and patent leather evening shoes. He told me he liked all the Nazi leaders, even Goebbels, and he was much impressed, interested and amused by the visit. He thinks the regime absolutely fantastic, perhaps even too fantastic to be taken seriously. But he is very glad that he went, and thinks good may come of it. I was rivetted by all he said, and reluctant to let him go."

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm make you think doesnt it!

"(4) Lord Halifax, Fulness of Days (1957)

The advent of Hitler to power in 1933 had coincided with a high tide of wholly irrational pacifist sentiment in Britain, which caused profound damage both at home and abroad. At home it immensely aggravated the difficulty, great in any case as it was bound to be, of bringing the British people to appreciate and face up to the new situation which Hitler was creating; abroad it doubtless served to tempt him and others to suppose that in shaping their policies this country need not be too seriously regarded."

Seems to be the attitudes of the people....not the military!

"(6) Robert Boothby, Boothby: Recollections of a Rebel (1978)

Reflecting the mood of the country, the Conservative Party was rotten at the core. The only thing they cared about was their property and their cash. The only thing they feared was that one day those nasty Communists would come and take it. The Labour and Liberal Parties were no better. With the exception of Hugh Dalton (and even he, speaking from the Front Opposition bench, announced that they would give no support of any kind to resistance to Hitler's military occupation of the Rhineland), they made violent, pacifist speeches; and voted steadily against the miserable Defence Estimates for the years 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1938."

Its not that they couldnt go to war earlier....and stop germany in its tracks.....it was the fact that they were blind/arrogant and still desperately hoping for peace!

" 7) Hugh Christie, report to MI6 on a meeting he had with Hermann Goering on 3rd February, 1937.

I asked the General straight out "What is Germany's aim in Europe today?" Goering replied "We want a free hand in Eastern Europe. We want to establish the unity of the German peoples (Grossdeutschegemeinschaft)'. I said "Do you mean to get Austria?" Reply "Yes". I said "Do you mean to get Czechoslovakia?" Reply "Yes"."

") Hugh Christie, report to MI6 in March, 1938.

The crucial question is How soon will the next step against Czechoslovakia be tried? ... The probability is that the delay will not exceed two or three months at most, unless France and England provide the deterrent, for which cooler heads in Germany are praying."

Why on eath did britain and France give Czechoslovakia to Geramny....when Czechoslovakia had a modern militay that could have resisted Germany and with Britain and/or Frances help could have easily driven them back! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

"(9) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry (11th March, 1938)

An unbelievable day, in which two things occurred. Hitler took Vienna and I fell in love with the Prime Minister. The morning was calm, the PM enchanting. I am in and out of his room constantly now. Early on, there were messages announcing mysterious movements of troops in Bavaria with the usual denials from Berlin. Then there was a grand luncheon party at 10 Downing Street at which, the Chamberlains entertained the Ribbentrops, the Halifaxes, Winston Churchills, etc. By then the news had reached the FO that the Germans had invaded Austria, and from 5 to 7 p.m. reports poured in. I was in Halifax's room at 7.30 when the telephone rang 'The Germans are in Vienna', and five minutes later 'The skies are black with Nazi planes'. We stood breathless in the Secretary of State's room, wondering what would happen next. All night messages flowed in; by midnight Austria was a German province. Rab Butler was dining with the Speaker, and as he was already late, I drove him there. Later Peter Loxley and I called on him about midnight and told him the latest news; he was still in his Minister's dress and we sat, an unreal trio, in the Butlers' flat in Little College Street, discussing the event. It is certainly a set-back for the Chamberlain Government. Will my adorable Austria become Nazified?



(10) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry on the opponents of appeasement in the Conservative Party (22nd March, 1938)

The Insurgents: Winston Churchill, Leo Amery, Duncan Sandys, Harold Nicolson, Godfrey Nicholson, Leonard Ropner, Derrick Gunston, Ronnie Cartland, Ronnie Tree, the Duchess of Atholl, Paul Emiys-Evans, Vyvyan Adams, Louis Spears, Bob Boothby, Victor Cazalet, Brendan Bracken and Jack Macnamara."

The insurgents wanted to go to war earlier on! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

(12) Neville Chamberlain, letter to George VI (13th September, 1938)

The continued state of tension in Europe which has caused such grave concern throughout the world has in no way been relieved, and in some ways been aggravated by the speech delivered at Nuremberg last night by Herr Hitler. Your Majesty's Ministers are examining the position in the light of his speech, and with the firm desire to ensure, if this is at all possible, that peace may be restored.

On the one hand, reports are daily received in great numbers, not only from official sources but from all manner of individuals who claim to have special and unchangeable sources of information. Many of these (and of such authority as to make it impossible to dismiss them as unworthy of attention) declare positively that Herr Hitler has made up his mind to attack Czechoslovakia and then to proceed further East. He is convinced that the operation can be effected so rapidly that it will be all over before France or Great Britain could move.

"On the other hand, Your Majesty's representative in Berlin has steadily maintained that Herr Hitler has not yet made up his mind to violence. He means to have a solution soon - this month - and if that solution, which must be satisfactory to himself, can be obtained peacefully, well and good. If not, he is ready to march.

In these circumstances I have been considering the possibility of a sudden and dramatic step which might change the whole situation. The plan is that I should inform Herr Hitler that I propose at once to go over to Germany to see him. If he assents, and it would be difficult for him to refuse, I should hope to persuade him that he had an unequalled opportunity of raising his own prestige and fulfilling what he has so often declared to be his aim, namely the establishment of an Anglo-German understanding, preceded by a settlement of the Czechoslovakian question.

Of course I should not be able to guarantee that Dr. Benes would accept this solution, but I should undertake to put all possible pressure on him to do so. The Government of France have already said that they would accept any plan approved by Your Majesty's Government or by Lord Runciman."

The part about Czechoslovakia being easily taken by Hitler is BS! If the Czechoslovakia army had not been told to stand down they would have been able to put up a formidible defence. The german army would have got involved in bitter fighting with a cleverly constructed Anti-Tank defence network.

" (13) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry (14th September, 1938)

Towards the end of the Banquet came the news, the great world stirring news, that Neville (Chamberlain), on his own initiative, seeing war coming closer and closer, had telegraphed to Hitler that he wanted to see him, and asked him to name an immediate rendezvous. The German Government surprised and flattered, had instantly accepted and so Neville, at the age of 69, for the first time in his life, gets into an aeroplane tomorrow morning and flies to Berchtesgarten! It is one of the finest, most inspiring acts of all history. The company rose to their feet electrified, as all the world must be, and drank his health. History must be ransacked to find a parallel. Of course a way out will now be found. Neville by his imagination and practical good sense, has saved the world."

This gos to show that they wanted to avoid war at all costs.......they had the capacity to defeat hitler early on but not the courage!

" (17) Neville Chamberlain held a Cabinet meeting on 24th September 1938. Duff Cooper, First Lord of the Admiralty, wrote about it in his autobiography, Old Men Forget (1953)

The Cabinet met that evening. The Prime Minister looked none the worse for his experiences. He spoke for over an hour. He told us that Hitler had adopted a certain position from the start and had refused to budge an inch from it. Many of the most important points seemed hardly to have arisen during their discussion, notably the international guarantee. Having said that he had informed Hitler that he was creating an impossible situation, having admitted that he had "snorted" with indignation when he read the German terms, the Prime Minister concluded, to my astonishment, by saying that he considered that we should accept those terms and that we should advise the Czechs to do so.

It was then suggested that the Cabinet should adjourn, in order to give members time to read the terms and sleep on them, and that we should meet again the following morning. I protested against this. I said that from what the Prime Minister had told us it appeared to me that the Germans were still convinced that under no circumstances would we fight, that there still existed one method, and one method only, of persuading them to the contrary, and that was by instantly declaring full mobilisation. I said that I was sure popular opinion would eventually compel us to go to the assistance of the Czechs; that hitherto we had been faced with the unpleasant alternatives of peace with dishonour or war. I now saw a third possibility, namely war with dishonour, by which I meant being kicked into the war by the boot of public opinion when those for whom we were fighting had already been defeated. <span class="ev_code_RED">I pointed out that the Chiefs of Staff had reported on the previous day that immediate mobilisation was of urgent and vital importance</span>, and I suggested that we might one day have to explain why we had <span class="ev_code_RED">disregarded</span> their advice. This angered the Prime Minister. He said that I had omitted to say that this advice was given only on the assumption that there was a danger of war with Germany within the next few days. I said I thought it would be difficult to deny that such a danger existed."

That just goes to show Chamberlain was a god**** fool!


"(21) A. D. Lindsay, a strong opponent of appeasement, he stood as the anti-Munich candidate in the by-election that took place in Oxford in October, 1938. Although defeated by the Conservative Party candidate, Quintin Hogg, he reduced the majority from 6,645 to 3,434. This article about the election appeared in the Picture Post on 5th November, 1938.

Then there was the confusion of policy. Both candidates were for: the League of Nations; re-armament; peace; democracy; unity against war. At least, they said so. Underlying everything was a simple unpolitical moral issue, whether or no we had gained peace with honour. But barrister Hogg scored one of the big laughs when he said :

"The issue in this election is going to be very clear. I am standing for a definite policy. Peace by negotiation. Mr. Lindsay is standing for no definite policy that he can name. He stands for national division against national unity. His policy is a policy of two left feet walking backward!"

But Lindsay, lemonade-loving Presbyterian son of a Theology Professor, had a unique line of approach, remote from the usual thumping. In his very first speech, he read part of the lesson for the previous Sunday, to illustrate his argument. It went across - for he was sincere. He got headlines when a man asked him : "Now that our prayers have succeeded in bringing peace from the Munich agreement, is it not ungrateful to doubt and to question that peace?"

Lindsay answered like this: "Suppose you had a child desperately ill. All night long you pray without ceasing, and in the morning she seems better. You thank God that your prayers have been answered. Then, later on it is discovered that owing to some error in the doctor's treatment, she is going to be disabled for the rest of her life. Would your gratitude to God for saving your daughter's life prevent you from calling in a better doctor who might restore your daughter to health? That is how I feel about our present very precarious peace. I am sure that Mr. Chamberlain did his best, but I know that it was also he who brought us very near to war. I am sure that it is owing to his policy that we are now in such a very dangerous situation. That is why I oppose him"

"(22) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry (15th March, 1938)

Hitler has entered Prague, apparently, and Czechoslovakia has ceased to exist. No balder, bolder departure from the written bond has ever been committed in history. The manner of it surpassed comprehension and his callous desertion of the Prime Minister is stupefying. I can never forgive him. It is a great day for the Socialists and for the Edenites. The PM must be discouraged and horrified. He acceded to the demand of the Opposition for a debate and the business of the House was altered. Then he rose, and calmly, but I am sure with a broken heart made a frank statement of the facts as he knew them. The reports were largely unconfirmed and based on press reports; consequently the PM was obliged to be cool and so was accused of being unmoved by events. I thought he looked miserable. His whole policy of appeasement is in ruins. Munich is a torn-up episode. Yet never has he been proved more abundantly right for he gave us six months of peace in which we re-armed, and he was right to try appeasement. I was relieved at how little personal criticism there was of the Apostle of Peace, and Grenfell who opened for the Opposition, was more impressive than Attlee he was saner, more manly, more eloquent and he held the attention and regard of the House."

Hmmmmmmm most odd.........Britain and France actually agreed to give Czechoslovakia to germany! I smell a rat!

"
(24) Neville Chamberlain, radio broadcast (27th September, 1938)

How horrible, fantastic, incredible, it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing! I would not hesitate to pay even a third visit to Germany, if I thought it would do any good.

Armed conflict between nations is a nightmare to me; but if I were convinced that any nation had made up its mind to dominate the world by fear of its force, I should feel that it must be resisted. Under such a domination, life for people who believe in liberty would not be worth living; but war is a fearful thing, and we must be very clear, before we embark on it, that it is really the great issues that are stake."

I think we can all see the stupidity in that speach! As the saying goes "Evil only prevails when good men do nothing"

" (26) R. V. Jones was one of those who was opposed to the appeasement policy of Neville Chamberlain and his government.

I returned to London on the evening on Monday 26th September, and felt the tense calm of the London streets as people braced themselves for the seemingly inevitable war.

Then came Chamberlain's return with his pathetic scrap of paper and his "Peace in our time" speech. I was as angry as a cat which has just been robbed of its mouse. Those who felt like that were a minority among the almost hysterical majority who thought that Chamberlain had done a great thing.

On 15th March Hitler had invaded Czechoslovakia and on 7th April Mussolini had taken over Albania. The treachery of the Munich Agreement was as last obvious, even to Chamberlain; he now gave a guarantee to Poland, and so all would depend on whether the Germans would be satisfied with their present gains."

" (27) Winston Churchill, The Second World War (1948)


For the French Government to leave her faithful ally Czechoslovakia to her fate was a melancholy lapse from which flowed terrible consequences. Not only wise and fair policy, but chivalry, honour, and sympathy for a small threatened people made an overwhelming concentration. Great Britain, who would certainly have fought if bound by treaty obligations, was nevertheless now deeply involved, and it must be recorded with regret that the British Government not only acquiesced but encouraged the French Government in a fatal course"

"(32) Herbert Morrison, An Autobiography (1960)

Seldom can any British prime minister have suffered such a sense of desolation and disaster as Chamberlain did in the summer days of 1940. It was impossible not to feel a certain sympathy for such an end to a long career of an ambitious man and a member of a family which had served its country over the years. Perhaps fate was kind in making him a person with few feelings.

Neville Chamberlain was a sad and to me pathetic man. He appeared to have but little love for his fellow men. The coldness of his character encompassed him like an aura. If he had little heart he certainly had a brain. He was a first-class administrator, probably one of the most capable Ministers of Health of this century. When he became prime minister his personal tragedy was that he was genuinely aghast at the possibility of war and he adopted the role of a man of peace because he was convinced that he had the political acumen to achieve it. But he hadn't. He would not drive for collective security which could have held Hitler, and Hitler would not make a genuine peace.

<span class="ev_code_RED">I believe that in 1938 and 1939 he genuinely felt that God had sent him into this world to obtain peace</span>. That he failed may or may not be due to the inevitable ambition of Hitler to dominate the world, but there can be little doubt that in his mental attitude Chamberlain went the wrong way about it. He decided in the early stages of his discussions to treat Hitler as a normal human being and an important human being at that. At the time of the Munich crisis I said extremely critical things in public speeches about the German Chancellor with the result that I was approached by one of Chamberlain's more important ministers who asked whether I would be good enough to desist, as the prime minister had been informed that Hitler resented it." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That answers a lot incase you didnt read it! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Luftwaffe_109
03-11-2005, 12:55 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I had read that the Molotov Cocktail was named after the Russian Foreign Minister Vyacheslav by the Finns. They made a desparate use of gasoline bombs against the Soviet tanks. Toasting his armor (so to speak) with their bottles. I don't know if our Finnish friends can verify this, but I was led to understand that the first Molotov Cocktail was a kerosene lamp thrown out of frustration by a Finnish soldier who hadn't anything else left to stop a Soviet tank with. The tanks heavily greased for winter operations were more flammible due to the extra lubrication and lit up <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi telsono, I'm not Finnish but perhaps I can answer your question.

The Molotov Cocktail was used as early as the Abyssinian War 1935-36 (when Italy invaded Ethiopia) and was also used during the Spanish Civil War.

The Molotov Cocktail, which as you said got its name during the 1939-40 Winter War where it was used to deadly effect against the Soviets was developed by a design team, led by Captain Eero Kuittinen, commander of the Er.PionK.

There is more information available on this website:

http://www.winterwar.com/Weapons/FinAT/FINantitank2.htm#molotov