Help support TMP


"Alsace 1945" Topic


16 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the WWII Discussion Message Board



756 hits since 1 May 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango0101 May 2018 12:18 p.m. PST

"Like any dying organism, the Nazi regime lashed out against its enemies during late 1944 and early 1945. Along the southern portion of border between France and Germany lay the plain of Alsace and the city of Strasbourg. The province of Alsace and its political capital, Strasbourg, had been annexed by the Germans in 1871, returned in 1918 and retaken by the Germans in 1940. The city in many ways represented the prestige of France and its capture would exercise an immense influence over Allied operations in the battles that raged across the plain in the closing months of the Second World War…."
Main page
link

Amicalement
Armand

BillyNM01 May 2018 2:26 p.m. PST

As many of the place names are still German, Alsatian is a German dialect, they drink beer and eat sauerkraut and even though recognised as a French conquest in 1648 (Treaty of Westphalia) regiments raised there were still classified as foreign regiments in the French Army. All of this really indicates that Alsace, or Elsass in German, is 'German' and perhaps instead of saying it was annexed by the Germans 1871 it would be more correct to say recovered and then retaken by the French…

laretenue01 May 2018 3:18 p.m. PST

Billy, you are threatening to open a huge and teeming can of worms …

I rather sympathise with your general point. But apart from knowing Alsace fairly well, I have come to notice how twitchy the French get if you somehow implicitly undermine the region's Francite and its attachment to its French identity. For a petty example, I'm a Bit who speaks decent French and German, so it seemed absurd to labour 'German' place names with a French pronunciation … still, non-Alsatian French people around me took this almost as a provocation.

And in fairness, anecdotal evidence of Alsace's historic loyalty to the Republic is not hard to find. Think about it: if you were an Alsatian offered the choice in 1792 or 1871 between a citizen's republic and an autocratic monarchy, which would you choose? Or the losing and winning side in 1918? Its French inheritance caused German officialdom to look suspiciously on Alsatian Volksdeutschen after 1940, and yet the region rather had to prove its loyalty to the rest of France after 1945, hence the cult of the 'malgre nous'.

No-one can dispute that Strassburg was a proper Imperial German city before Louis XIV's cynical seizure, or that Johannes Gutenberg was in any way French. Alsatian is a Franconian German dialect, and Spaetzle a shared feature of SW German cuisine. Alsace's wines are related to Moselle and Rhine. When my parents visited in the 1960s, the TV in the hotel was tuned to Frankfurt. But for all this, Alsace will not be subject to Berlin again …

This will not be understood in some parts of the UK at present, but today's Europe softens these distinctions. Alsace remains culturally German, but politically French. And actually, given how other bits of France remain culturally Italian or Celtic, this is a subtlety to enjoy.

I've probably taken you to task for far more than you meant, but these things are frequently not understood.

Now: lets have a go with Ireland …

Legion 401 May 2018 3:46 p.m. PST

Billy, you are threatening to open a huge and teeming can of worms …
BTW … Many places in the USA are American Indian names …

Osterreicher01 May 2018 3:53 p.m. PST

@laretenue

Thanks for the note, just one minor correction. Elsass or Elsaß is an Alemmanic region not Franconian (assume you mean Fränkisch?). The version of the German language in Elsass is closer to Swabian (Würtemburg area) or Swiss-German (Schwyzertüütsch) than other regions (e.g., Hessisch, Bayrisch, usw.).

laretenue01 May 2018 4:21 p.m. PST

Osterreicher:

Happy to be corrected. Although as I recall, up by Hagenau/Haguenau there is a Franconian-speaking pocket …

jdginaz01 May 2018 5:43 p.m. PST

I read once that one of the reasons France wouldn't support Wilson's 14 point was that one of them would have let the populations of Alsace & Lorraine vote to decide whether they would go with France or Germany. The French felt that Alsace would vote to stay with Germany.

jdg

Mark 101 May 2018 6:30 p.m. PST

BTW … Many places in the USA are American Indian names …

Perhaps even more directly analogous to the question of Alsace would be the place names in the US Southwest. Texas, Arizona, Colorado, California and (well, yes, that might be obvious) New Mexico were all parts of Mexico originally. Two of them managed to declare themselves independent of Mexico before they were annexed by the US, three of them were quite simply seized in the Mexican-American war. They were, of course, formally ceded in the treaty that ended that war.

Little difference from the case in Alsace. Lots of the cities in these areas still have Spanish names (San Antonio, El Paso, Los Angeles … etc.). And the food style that is most frequently considered "local" is Mexican or has a heavy Mexican influence ("Tex-Mex" anyone?).

Fortunately for all concerned, this region only changed hands once, rather than being passed back and forth several times as Alsace has.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Walking Sailor01 May 2018 8:37 p.m. PST

And actually, given how other bits of France remain culturally Italian or Celtic, this is a subtlety to enjoy.

Other bits Celtic Breton is a suppression not enjoyed.
Now: lets have a go with Ireland …

Do you mean northern Eire?
BTW … Many places in the USA are American Indian names …

It has been found that several names in New England thought to be so have been denied and are now thought to be corrupted pronunciations of Scots-Gaelic handed back to the white-man.
Perhaps even more directly analogous to the question of Alsace would be the place names in the US

I am in Loudoun County, mid way between Frederick, Md. and Fredericksburg, Va. It is not German. In fact this is Mosby's Confederacy, and it was nevah surrendered.

Katzbalger02 May 2018 3:50 a.m. PST

In Virginia, there are several Amerind names used for various places:
Potomac
Accomac
Powhatan
Mattaponi
Shenandoah

We even have a Spanish name: Buena Vista (though, in fairness, I think named after the Mexican-American War battle and definitely not pronounced like it is written).

Rob

Legion 402 May 2018 6:46 a.m. PST

Like I said, many, but more accurately not all, places, towns, etc., are in Amerind names or words. Or a derivative of those.

Regardless, there are many … And I'm glad if for no other reason it may help some remember the native peoples of the "New World" … link

[And please accept my apologies if I upset anyone by going so OT]

Personal logo foxbat Supporting Member of TMP03 May 2018 2:46 a.m. PST

A little known bit of history about the battle of Alsace in 1945, is that Strasbourg was liberated by the French 2e DB (Leclerc), at the end of an astounding campaign where Leclerc perforated 2 GErman defence lines before envelopping Strasbourg on five axes (the northernmost prong, Rouvillois, won the race). When Wacht am Rhein happened, there was some talk at Bradley's HQ to evacuate Alsace if the Germans pushed farther south. Leclerc, with De Gaulle's support, was more than willing to give these orders, should they have been issued, Cambronne's answer, and make Camerone with his division in Strasbourg.

Legion 403 May 2018 6:22 a.m. PST

Vive' la' France' ! thumbs up

donlowry03 May 2018 9:33 a.m. PST

Texas, Arizona, Colorado, California and (well, yes, that might be obvious) New Mexico were all parts of Mexico originally.

No originally they were Amer-Indian; then they were Spanish. When Mexico won its independence from Spain it claimed all these areas, but that doesn't mean the people there liked the idea or thought of themselves as Mexicans.

Legion 404 May 2018 1:13 p.m. PST

That is very true, the real native Americans were here long before any Europeans found the New World.

Plus many forget, there were a number "Hispanics" from the local area. Who fought along side Houston, Bowie, etc. They wanted nothing to do with Mexico, Santa Anna, etc. Anymore than the native Americans/American Indians did …

And as we know in many cases native tribes fought among themselves and with many "types" of Europeans, etc.

jdginaz06 Jun 2018 11:19 p.m. PST

As a matter of fact the areas that are now Arizona ad New Mexico had long before lost contact with the government of Mexico due to Indian attacks and the difficulty in traversing the deserts. Also the only contact with California was by sea to the ports and there was very little of that. By the time of the Mex-Am war those areas were self governed.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.