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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines

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Alternate Timelines The plausible "what if's" of military history.

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  #31  
Old 27 Aug 17, 23:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walle View Post
So what you're telling me is that he was merely expressing his fixation with everything English?

In any case.
I never said merely a branch office of Whitehall, I said no independent foreign policy, and that it was ratified in 1942.


Anyway, this is supposed to be a what if's thread, we're getting a bit off target here.
"Fixation" ? It has been described thus.

But then, he was a man of his time: which is not to say that he was in any way at subservient to London .Rojik expressed the position better than I could.
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Last edited by BELGRAVE; 27 Aug 17 at 23:12..
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  #32  
Old 28 Aug 17, 16:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walle View Post
I happen to recognize that England is the biggest country in the union, and in the drivers seat, and that's more of a fact than it is a fixation.



Now you're projecting your own issues onto me.



No need to apologize we all know that they did.

I never said independent either I said “independent”. Clearly you don't nuances very well either.

So again, these countries declaring war on Germany was directly linked to England's declaration of war on Germany. Otherwise they would not have declared war on Germany in the first place, there would have been no cause for war. Unless of course Germany had declared war on them first.

That's my evidence for them not being "independent" and with strong enough ties to England to join the war against Germany.

Actually, your post said:-

Which they would not have done had they been “independent” countries.

and my reply said, in Post 24 :-

Which they would not have done had they been “independent” countries.

Sorry, but they were, and they did.

Which wonderfully nuanced comment of yours did I fail to detect?

The supporting evidence for Churchill the warmonger ( your post 22 ), i.e:-

My "evidence" for that is that he was a warmonger, and that war with Germany was not as popular as we have been led to believe, and if the army had been annihilated at Dunkirk, he would have lost his political capital. He was the one pushing for war.

has also not been forthcoming. Certainly, Churchill had been a leading opponent of appeasement, but to accuse him of 'pushing for war' when the war had already been a reality for over seven months before he became Prime Minister is not really a credible argument.

Finally, your post 25, i.e:-

They had no independent foreign policy, which was recognized by Menzies in 1939.

"Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty to inform you officially, that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war"

Why didn't you quote a fuller text of Menzies' speech as the very next sentence would have confirmed the accuracy of my remark:-

Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that, in consequence of the persistence of Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her, and that, as a result, Australia is also at war. No harder task can fall to the lot of a democratic leader than to make such an announcement.

Great Britain and France, with the cooperation of the British Dominions, have struggled to avoid this tragedy. They have, as I firmly believe, been patient; they have kept the door of negotiation open; they have given no cause for aggression. But in the result their efforts have failed and we are, therefore, as a great family of nations, involved in a struggle which we must at all costs win, and which we believe in our hearts we will win ...

It is plain - indeed it is brutally plain - that the Hitler ambition has been, not as he once said, to unite the German peoples under one rule, but to bring under that rule as many European countries, even of alien race, as can be subdued by force.

If such a policy were allowed to go unchecked there could be no security in Europe, and there could be no just peace for the world.

A halt has been called. Force has had to be resorted to check the march of force. Honest dealing, the peaceful adjustment of differences, the rights of independent peoples to live their own lives, the honouring of international obligations and promises - all these things are at stake.

There was never any doubt as to where Great Britain stood in relation to them. There can be no doubt that where Great Britain stands there stand the people of the entire British world.

Bitter as we all feel at this wanton crime, this is not a moment for rhetoric; prompt as the action of many thousands must be, it is for the rest a moment for quiet thinking; for that calm fortitude which rests not upon the beating of drums, but upon the unconquerable spirit of man, created by God in His own image. What may be before us we do not know, nor how long the journey. But this we do know, that Truth is our companion on that journey; that Truth is with us in the battle, and that Truth must win.

Before I end, may I say this to you? In the bitter months that are to come, calmness, resoluteness, confidence and hard work will be required as never before. This war will involve not only soldiers and sailors and airmen, but supplies, foodstuffs, money. Our staying power, and particularly the staying power of the mother country, will be best assisted by keeping our production going; by continuing our avocations and our business as fully as we can; by maintaining employment and with it our strength.

I know that, in spite of the emotions we are all feeling, you will show that Australia is ready to see it through. May God in His mercy and compassion grant that the world may soon be delivered from this agony.


Menzies is clearly, as he himself states, the 'Democratic Leader' to whom 'no harder task' fell. He identifies himself by this phrase as the leader of a free nation, not as a subservient lackey of the English.

Finally, as Belgrave and Rojik have already tried to get you to grasp, there was overwhelming support for the United Kingdom in Australia, as there was also in Canada, New Zealand and, to a lesser extent, South Africa.

Incidentally, 'anglophilia' does not mean, as you apparently believe ; 'fixation with everything English' it simply means admiration.

I have no doubt at all that Mr. Menzies, however much of an anglophile he might have been, would have taken great pleasure in watching Don Bradman dispatching our gallant English bowlers to all corners of the ground, as he did for many years, the callous bounder.
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  #33  
Old 28 Aug 17, 16:57
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One important fact to consider in measuring the success of Dunkirk and what may have happened next is that the number of men evacuated vastly exceeded the number expected to be evacuated.
I recall reading Churchill thought 30000 would be rescued and Admiral Ramsay had a number of 45000 IIRC. So what were the plans in place after an evacuation that met the UK leaders' lower than reality expectations?
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  #34  
Old 28 Aug 17, 22:28
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I love when we get new members who think they know everything and get into a "debate" with someone they don't know who actually does know more about the subject than them. Sometimes it's best to just sit back and observe before you say anything.
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  #35  
Old 29 Aug 17, 08:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scupio
The minutes of the War Cabinet are freely available on line. Read these and the book by Roy Jenkins (Senior Minister in Harold Wilson's Government and exceptionally astute bloke) and I think there is only one conclusion, Churchill's Government would fall.

During the events of 26th to 28th Churchill was very careful to treat Halifax and his arguments with respect and to out argue him. The reason was Chamberlain. Churchill could ride out a Halifax resignation but not that of Chamberlain.*

Chamberlain and Attlee sat on the fence with only Greenwood giving Churchill full support. Churchill knew he had won only when Chamberlain eventually was persuaded by this "the slope argument"but this still depended upon getting 30 to 50 thousand of the BEF rescued from Dunkirk.

Chamberlain was still the favourite of the majority of Conservative MPs and was arrogant enough to believe that he could negotiate the best peace with Germany.*

The massive majority of the Tories would result in a Government willing to negotiate a pro-Nazi peace for a neutral Britain with Chamberlain (not Halifax) as the interim head of the Government.

The 150 thousand rescued during Cycle and Ariel were mostly non-combatant line of communication troops with the exception of the 52 Lowland Division and Arkforce (remnants of 51st Division) at Cherbourg - very small even with the addition of the Canadian Division in England to provide the nucleus of a new BEF.
Appreciate the tip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BELGRAVE
"Fixation" ? It has been described thus.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Doveton Sturdee
Why didn't you quote a fuller text of Menzies' speech as the very next sentence would have confirmed the accuracy of my remark:-
Because the first sentence did not conflict with the second one.

It hadn't been ratified in 1939, it became ratified in 1942.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doveton Sturdee
Finally, as Belgrave and Rojik have already tried to get you to grasp, there was overwhelming support for the United Kingdom in Australia, as there was also in Canada, New Zealand and, to a lesser extent, South Africa.
....and with strong enough ties to England to join the war against Germany....and these countries declaring war on Germany was directly linked to England's declaration of war on Germany...hence the nuance of "independent".

Confirmed by Rojik when he said..

Balls. We did that because that is who we were. If you think for one second that the Australia of 1939-45 would have stood by and let Britain face Germany without our support, then you have ZERO knowledge of who we are, or the bonds that tie us.


Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa had no reason to go to war against Germany, other than England declaring war on Germany. Else these countries would not have declared war on Germany in the first place.
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  #36  
Old 29 Aug 17, 08:53
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So does this mean that Great Britain isn't an independent country, since they always help the US?
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  #37  
Old 29 Aug 17, 13:13
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Dominions were not automatically obliged to come to Britain's aid. The 1923 Imperial Conference, had granted the Dominions autonomy in external affairs and ended a common Imperial foreign policy. Ireland (the Free State, Eire) was after all still technically a dominion until 1st April 1949 and stayed neutral.
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  #38  
Old 29 Aug 17, 16:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walle View Post
Appreciate the tip.







Because the first sentence did not conflict with the second one.

It hadn't been ratified in 1939, it became ratified in 1942.



....and with strong enough ties to England to join the war against Germany....and these countries declaring war on Germany was directly linked to England's declaration of war on Germany...hence the nuance of "independent".

Confirmed by Rojik when he said..

Balls. We did that because that is who we were. If you think for one second that the Australia of 1939-45 would have stood by and let Britain face Germany without our support, then you have ZERO knowledge of who we are, or the bonds that tie us.


Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa had no reason to go to war against Germany, other than England declaring war on Germany. Else these countries would not have declared war on Germany in the first place.

Because the first sentence did not conflict with the second one.

Rather Weasel words on your part, don't you think? The full quotation was as follows, with the section you quoted in italics, and the sentence you omitted in bold:-

Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that, in consequence of the persistence of Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her, and that, as a result, Australia is also at war. No harder task can fall to the lot of a democratic leader than to make such an announcement.

Of course it doesn't conflict, but it does expand. You claim that Menzies was effectively saying that Australia was at war as a result of the simple fact that Great Britain was at war, whereas the effect of the sentence you chose not to include is to make it clear that Australia, a free, independent, democratic, state, had chosen to support Great Britain in her hour of need.

There is no suggestion that Australia (or Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa, for that matter) were under any obligation to declare war, yet all did.

You haven't produced any evidence in support of your 'Churchill was a warmonger' claim yet, by the way.

Still looking, I suppose!

Martin Gilbert, Churchill's official biographer, makes the following comments on the political situation on 26 May, 1940, by the way:-

On the afternoon of 26 May 1940, at a meeting of the War Cabinet in Churchill’s room in the House of Commons, the Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax, suggested that, with regard to an Italian offer to mediate between Britain and Germany: “We might get better terms before France went out of the war and our aircraft factories were bombed, than we might get in three months time.”

The former Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain added, as the minutes of the meeting recorded, “that, while we would fight to the end to preserve our independence, we were ready to consider decent terms if such were offered to us.” Churchill believed that this willingness to consider “decent terms” was a misreading of the public mood, but he could not
know for certain.

At this point in the discussion, however, he had to ask for a break in the War Cabinet meeting – which had already lasted two hours – to meet, for the first time since he had formed his Government sixteen days earlier, the twenty-five members of his administration who were not in the War Cabinet.

That meeting had been arranged several days earlier. No sooner had these twenty-five Ministers come into his room – the War Cabinet having left – than Churchill told them that although Hitler would probably “take Paris and offer terms” he, Churchill, had no doubt whatever “that we must decline anything like this and fight on.”

To Churchill’s astonishment, as he spoke the words “fight on” there was a sudden outpouring of support from the twenty-five Ministers assembled there – in the very room where the discussion about a negotiated peace had just taken place. Churchill was overwhelmed by this spontaneous determination for continuing the fight. It gave him added strength half an hour later, at the reconvened War Cabinet meeting, when he told Halifax and Chamberlain that he “did not remember having ever before heard a gathering of persons occupying high places in political life express themselves so emphatically.”

All talk of peacemaking was dropped.


This rather suggests that support for Churchill, at least within the higher echelons of the Conservative Party, was perhaps rather stronger than has been suggested.

Last edited by Doveton Sturdee; 29 Aug 17 at 16:26.. Reason: Additional comments.
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  #39  
Old 29 Aug 17, 17:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
One important fact to consider in measuring the success of Dunkirk and what may have happened next is that the number of men evacuated vastly exceeded the number expected to be evacuated.
I recall reading Churchill thought 30000 would be rescued and Admiral Ramsay had a number of 45000 IIRC. So what were the plans in place after an evacuation that met the UK leaders' lower than reality expectations?
A couple of theories in the absence of definitive knowledge. The more straightforward is that the defences held up better than expected, including a slower advance by the Germans than originally thought. The second is that Churchill actually expected a higher evacuation figure but 30,000 was put out there for psychological reasons, knowing that the lower target would very likely be significantly exceeded and so could be sold as a good outcome.
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  #40  
Old 29 Aug 17, 19:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escape2Victory View Post
A couple of theories in the absence of definitive knowledge. The more straightforward is that the defences held up better than expected, including a slower advance by the Germans than originally thought. The second is that Churchill actually expected a higher evacuation figure but 30,000 was put out there for psychological reasons, knowing that the lower target would very likely be significantly exceeded and so could be sold as a good outcome.
You're applying modern conditions to those that applied then. Today when a great deal ends up on the media down playing expectations is SOP. Then Churchill's expectations where not made public, we only know today what they where from archived material and post war memoirs. Reading various diaries of the time nobody expected to get so many men back. No one was trying to sell anything - it really did seem like a miracle.
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  #41  
Old 30 Aug 17, 00:07
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Dunkirk was a disaster...
Norway was a disaster...
Greece was a disaster...
Crete was a disaster...
North Africa was a disaster when Rommel showed up...
Malaya and Singapore was a disaster...
Burma was a disaster...

Seems to me, that through 1942, after about 2 years of war, the British didn't have much of a winning track record on land...
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  #42  
Old 30 Aug 17, 02:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Dunkirk was a disaster...
Norway was a disaster...
Greece was a disaster...
Crete was a disaster...
North Africa was a disaster when Rommel showed up...
Malaya and Singapore was a disaster...
Burma was a disaster...

Seems to me, that through 1942, after about 2 years of war, the British didn't have much of a winning track record on land...
East African campaign
Operation Crusader
Anything after 1 July 1942
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  #43  
Old 30 Aug 17, 04:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Dunkirk was a disaster...
Norway was a disaster...
Greece was a disaster...
Crete was a disaster...
North Africa was a disaster when Rommel showed up...
Malaya and Singapore was a disaster...
Burma was a disaster...

Seems to me, that through 1942, after about 2 years of war, the British didn't have much of a winning track record on land...
There was Beda Fomm, of course, other than that you are quite correct.

I must admit, the bugle was about to sound 'Action Stations' and the turrets about to turn until I noticed your last two words!
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Old 30 Aug 17, 06:01
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Its very simple, before mid 1942 Britain was fighting defensive actions and had little choice over where and when to fight. After mid 42 she was mainly fighting offensive actions and could choose where and when much more.
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Old 30 Aug 17, 06:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doveton Sturdee
There is no suggestion that Australia (or Canada, New Zealand, or South Africa, for that matter) were under any obligation to declare war, yet all did.
Never said they were under obligation.

What I've said, and maintained all along, is that had England not declared war on Germany, these countries would not have declared war on Germany. There would have been no reason for them to do so, now that England did, they followed suit and declared war on Germany.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doveton Sturdee
of course it doesn't conflict, but it does expand. You claim that Menzies was effectively saying that Australia was at war as a result of the simple fact that Great Britain was at war
That would be the subtext, correct.

"Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty to inform you officially, that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war"
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