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04 Aug 2018 7:16 p.m. PST
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TMPISNAFF Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2018 5:08 a.m. PST

A 10 from me, and plus many to toofatlardies

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2018 5:55 a.m. PST


whitphoto Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2018 7:04 a.m. PST

He goes to 11. It's one more.

donlowry14 Jan 2018 9:58 a.m. PST

Suffice to say that Hitler was the one man who could have started WWII, Churchill was the one man who could have thwarted Hitler's plans

Gotta agree with that.

donlowry14 Jan 2018 10:00 a.m. PST

GB surrenders, DAK captures mideast, Suez, oil reserves

How is the DAK going to do that if Germany has made peace with GB?

Begemot14 Jan 2018 11:57 a.m. PST

Fred Cartwright:

Stalin might have been our ally, but that was no reason not to oppose his plans for post war at the Yalta conference.

What do you think could have been effectively done to oppose Stalin's post war plans? Many people over the years have criticized the Allies in general and Roosevelt in particular for failing at Yalta and failing to stop Stalin, yet I can't recall any proposals as to how this failure ("betrayal" is often used) could have been prevented.

Any ideas?

Fred Cartwright14 Jan 2018 12:40 p.m. PST

Begemot I think the best strategy would have been to delay making agreements on as much as possible. Particularly not agreeing to legitimise any Soviet conquests. By delaying any such agreements until after the bomb was dropped might have found Stalin in a more receptive mood. Whether it would have worked or not who knows. Stalin's treatment of the Poles during the Warsaw uprising gave sufficient concern that Stalin would not stick to any agreements about free and fair elections in the areas the Soviets occupied.

RudyNelson14 Jan 2018 6:02 p.m. PST

In college I had a graduate course covering only Winston Churchill. I found his early life fascinating. In later life he had a mixture of good points and mis steps.

Begemot14 Jan 2018 6:25 p.m. PST

Fred Cartwright:

Thanks for your thoughts. Appreciated.

I think the basic problem for those who criticize the 'betrayal' of Yalta is how do you deal with the reality of the Red Army being on the ground and in possession of Eastern Europe and a good part of Central Europe at the end of the war? If the Red Army didn't want to go do you start a new phase of the war and attack them? Churchill asked for a study of the feasibility of this option in April '45 (Operation Unthinkable). The planners told Churchill to forget about it in May '45. Cut off Lend-Lease? Make a separate peace with Hitler to stop Stalin's advance? Follow Churchill's advice and invade Europe through the Balkans? What happens when the Allied and Red Armies are trying to take the same objectives assuming they are even cooperating?

I believe Churchill is supposed to have said, regarding this situation: "We killed the wrong pig." I'm not sure if this speaks to his ability to understand the geopolitical implications of his policies.

I can't think of what could have been done to prevent Stalin taking control of Eastern and parts of Central Europe.

As an aside: Stalin said that a county's political system follows its army and so the East European states found themselves in time with Soviet friendly governments. The democratic/anti-Soviet elements were removed or neutralized. But this also occurred in Western Europe. American friendly governments appeared in the liberated countries of Western Europe. In 1947 in both France and Italy the Communist parties were expelled from their respective governments. Interesting symmetry, but, of course, that would suggest moral equivalence, which isn't acceptable.

Warning: Begemot is an ex-Dawghouser. Approach with caution. May bite.

Skarper15 Jan 2018 5:58 a.m. PST

I agree on the France 1943 invasion. US wanted to invade early, Churchill [and others] were against it. Churchill was also opposed to the 1944 invasion, for much the same reasons. That time he was wrong. IMO anyway.

Legion 415 Jan 2018 7:31 a.m. PST

Churchill always saw and understood … that Stalin was another "bad guy". But at the time, he was the lesser threat at again that time/currently. And things like the Warsaw Uprising demonstrated to Churchill and other. That Uncle Joe very much had his own "agenda".

The Russians waiting until the Germans had killed off most if not all of the Pole partisans. link Before they did anything. They knew they did not want to face Poles who wanted to be free of both German and Russian occupiers. They wanted to be independent, they remember in the early '20s they already fought the Russians in a war. link

In '39 while Hitler was attacking from the West into Poland the Russians were coming from the East. And as time went on things like the Katyn Forest slaughter of 4000 Polish Officers link demonstrated Stalin's overall intent.

Among other things turn Poland into a buffer zone. As this was the second time on about 2 decades the Germans had attacked Russia. And Russia and Poland had been "traditional" enemies for a long time by the time WWII started.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Jan 2018 9:44 a.m. PST

One thing which is often overlooked in regards to Churchill's 'peripheral strategy' in WWII is that it wasn't just Churchill's plan. It had been THE PLAN right from the start. If everything had gone exactly right for the Allies in 1940, the British and French would have stopped the Germans in Belgium and the result would have been another WWI style stalemate. At which point the peripheral plan goes into effect. None of the British and French planners were expecting to BEAT Germany in Belgium and win the war in 1940.

Bill N15 Jan 2018 2:50 p.m. PST

There were times when Churchill was definitely the man of the hour, and possibly the only one on hand who could pull it off. In ranking him his failures as well as his successes should be considered. I would say overall he ranked a 7.

I do not understand the heat he got for the campaign in southern Europe. Italy wasn't the soft underbelly he sold it to be. However after the end of the North Africa campaign the Anglo-American forces couldn't simply sit on their hands and leave all the fighting on land to the Germans and Soviets. Attacking Sicily and the Italian mainland knocked Italy out of the war. It forced the Germans to divert resources not only to Italy itself but to take over security roles the Italians had exercised in the Balkans.

kevanG16 Jan 2018 2:52 p.m. PST

Politician endowed with an old mentality, he made his nation go backward, did not understand what great transformations were being built by acting as an oracle of micro transformations."

Above is true when thinking of his political and imperial thinking. He was a victoirian imperialist

But not regarding war…he was particularly modern in thinking about warfare as his ww1 dalliances showed. Directly involved in tank develment and aircraft in the navy. A lot of the criticism he received is about his urge to use manouvre rather than static fixed positions and set peice battles. That is almost universally accepted as everything in modern warfare today.

Legion 416 Jan 2018 4:29 p.m. PST

A lot of the criticism he received is about his urge to use manouvre rather than static fixed positions and set peice battles. That is almost universally accepted as everything in modern warfare today.
Very true, as we see for quite some time that type of thinking was not very common. In many cases. E.g. the Maginot Line and Eben-Emael …

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