Review of “The Last Lion” by Paul Reid

Given their distrust of Stalin, why did two such brilliant politicians as Churchill and Roosevelt remain so loyal to an ideological enemy who for almost twenty years had terrorized his own people while declaring capitalism to be his mortal foe?

– Paul Reid

This post is divided into three parts: 1) some brief thoughts on the book; 2) a very long digression on the very interesting question that Reid raises above; and 3) some thoughts on what to make of Churchill.

The Book

William Manchester wrote two volumes of a planned three volume biography of Churchill. He suffered a stroke during his research for the third. He asked Paul Reid to write the last volume.

Manchester was a protege of H. L. Mencken. I very much enjoyed Manchester’s biography of MacArthur and I very much enjoyed the first two volumes of this book.

Churchill leaps off the page and slaps the reader in the face. I remember laughing out loud – a not impressive feat for a massive, multi-volume biography.

Reid’s book is not nearly as good as a biography – frankly, it’s not even close. His Churchill is at times, almost an afterthought to the war narrative, as opposed to the shaper of events that Manchester described.

However, Reid makes up for his less-than-stellar biography skills by being a rather decent military historian (though he does make one absolutely unforgivable omission).

The book sucked me in, not as a biography of Churchill but as a meditation on the question that opens this post – how did Stalin win the peace? Indeed, Reid seems to lose himself (and his subject) in this question. How did FDR and Churchill get pwned by Stalin?

How Did the Soviets Win?

Churchill fought the war to save the empire. Alas, his only strategy for winning the war consisted in getting the US to join the war on his side. The price the US would ultimately demand was the end of the empire.

Churchill once said that if hell would fight Hitler, he’d find something nice to say about the devil. I’m sure he meant it in jest – but it ended up being all too true. A fact Churchill saw well before the war ended and decades before the most brilliant minds in US diplomacy figured it out.

In the end, the story of Churchill is a tragedy. The very values he fought for were compromised by the Allies he ultimately chose. Far from delivering the world into the sun-lit uplands of liberty, his victory delivered most of the world into hands of horrors at least bad – likely worse – than the ones he fought. (Admirers of Manchester – and Mencken – can’t help but think but think Manchester would have delivered something more concrete on this subject at the end of the book).

Thank you, gentle reader, for allowing me such a long preamble. Anyway . . .

The story of the war – in Reid’s telling – is almost nicely split into thirds. In the first third, Britain fights alone. In the second third, Russia does 90% of the fighting. In the last third, the US joins (though Russia still does the vast majority of the fighting and dictates the strategy for all powers combined).

In each third, it’s worth considering why Churchill kept wanting to fight Hitler . . . and whether (in hindsight) he made the right decision considering his original objectives.

The First Third

The mystery of the first third is why Churchill didn’t even consider seeking terms with Hitler during the years Britain fought alone.

Others – Lord Halifax, for example – suggested negotiating peace with Hitler to facilitate “safeguarding the independence of our Empire.” At the time, Churchill viewed these men as appeasers.

Years later, after starvation, bombing, cruelty, death, destitution, the end of the empire, and the deliverance to the Soviets of the very nations Churchill fought to protect, Lord Halifax’s suggestion doesn’t seem so crazy.

On the contrary, statements from Churchill like, “If this Long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground” seem a bit crazy. (Especially since, after an initial scare, there was no prospect of this happening).

Take a moment and imagine the situation for the next few years. France is gone. The Soviets and Hitler have carved up Eastern Europe and are allied. The US has no interest in joining the war, and even if it does it won’t be effective for years. German submarines control the Atlantic and English cities are under bombardment.

To fight is crazy. To fight without even considering some sort of truce is crazier. The Germans were baffled – they had no plans to invade. Hitler was prepared to offer generous terms (no demands of unconditional surrender were made, as was the case in France) to the British.

Yet many, including Jack Colville (who shuddered at the idea of a Nazi victory), thought the prospects afforded by a compromise peach preferable to the prospect of “western Europe racked by warfare and economic hardship; the legacy of centuries, in art and culture, swept away; the health of the nation dangerously impaired by malnutrition, nervous strain and epidemics; Russia and the U.S. profiting from our exhaustion; and at the end of it all compromise or Pyrrhic victory.”

Churchill’s crazy desire to fight was balanced by his absurd prescience. Soon after the French surrendered, he said, “Hitler must invade [England] or fail. If he fails, he is bound to go East [to Russia], and fail he will.”

So he fought on. He had no strategy to win the war, other than to wait for the Soviets and the Americans to be drawn to his side.

Churchill did all he could to milk fears of invasion, which he basically used to build himself an offensive army. His strategy – while he waited – was to harass Hitler and force him to spread out.

Churchill was obsessed with invading Norway – forcing Hitler to keep (and waste) troops there for the entirety of the war. But Churchill’s real obsession was the Mediterranean. Fighting here would keep open the route to India (and keep the empire together), spread Hitler’s forces out, allow his troops to fight Italians and not Germans, maintain access to Middle Eastern oil, and – one suspects – allow him a short route to German soil, if one was ever needed.

All this must be placed against the background of what the British people were suffering. And the peace terms actually achieved at the end of the war.

The Second Third

It would be a measureless disaster if Russian barbarism overlaid the culture and independence of the ancient states of Europe.

– Winston Churchill

And yet it was for this measureless disaster that the war was ultimately fought.

When the Soviets entered the war, it becomes a bit easier to see why the British continued to fight. The bombings slowed dramatically, for example.

It’s worth noting that Churchill tried to warn Stalin several times of German invasion (as did some of the Soviets’ incredibly successful spies). The warnings were unheeded. Stalin would prove to be far more skillful than Churchill, and infinitely more skillful than FDR, in winning the peace (it’s worth how tactically brilliant Stalin was in this regard), however Stalin was caught unprepared by Hitler’s invasion.

Though the Russians seemed vulnerable (Churchill was not among the majority that thought the Soviets would soon be overrun), one can’t help but wonder in retrospect if it would have been better had the Soviets lost.

Churchill had been a long time critic of Communism. I certainly can’t improve upon this: “‘Communism,’ Churchill declared . . ., was ‘Christianity with a tomahawk.'”

We’re left with a confused picture. On one hand, Churchill says,”No one has been a more consistent opponent of communism that I have for the last twenty-five years,” but “all this fades away before the spectacle that is unfolding.” On the other hand, he would later write that, “from 1942 on, he put every strategic decision in the war against Hitler under two lenses: ‘How will it shorten the war, and how will it prevent the Bear from stealing the peace.'”

If this was true, he was smart in 1942, but he lost the peace. Surely, it’s fair to judge a man against his own standards?

He also continued to say, things like, “And in that morning of hope and freedom . . . all that is noble and fearless in the New World as well as in the Old, will salute the rise of Poland to be a nation again.”

Nay nay, but far otherwise, all that is now considered noble allied with the oppressor of Poland.

The Third Third

Churchill did not rise to the bait until Stalin [at Yalta] proposed to shoot at least 50,000 German officers after the surrender in order to ensure Germany’s docility well into the future. “I would rather,” Churchill replied, “be taken out to the garden here and now and be shot myself than sully my own and my country’s honor by such infamy.” Roosevelt then chimed in with a compromise; he suggested that only 49,000 officers be shot. [Whether FDR was joking at the time, or not, both he and Churchill knew of Katyn at the time].

[Later at the conference, FDR]: “Poland has been a source of trouble for over five hundred years.”

So much for America’s best President. At Yalta, he proves himself an ass. Has any other President ever been so absolutely dominated in foreign policy as FDR was at Yalta?

When the US finally joins the war, it does so with – as best as one can decipher – only a few clear war aims: 1) demanding unconditional surrender (of Germany and Japan – aka the only bulwarks against Soviet domination of post-war Europe and Asia); 2) establishing the United Nations; and 3) ending European (excluding Soviet) colonialism.

If you, gentle reader, can come up with a list of war aims that would be more destructive to mankind at the time than those, the next round is on me. Perhaps entirely coincidentally (or perhaps not) these aims would seem to all work towards the direct benefit of the Soviets. It’s almost like Soviets were making US foreign policy.

At this point the book chronicles a huge number of strategic disagreements between the Allies. The Soviets want a big Western Front as soon as possible, preferably in France. The Americans . . . wait for it . . . want a big Western Front as soon as possible, preferably in France. Churchill preferred operations around the periphery of Nazi-occupied areas, culminating in an invasion of the Balkans. (He did briefly support an immediate invasion of France when he thought the Soviets were winning ground very quickly).

As I read it, Churchill was objectively correct during the first couple years of American involvement in the war. American troops would have been crushed if they’d immediately invaded France.

As time wore on, the Soviets and Americans got more impatient and the troops got battle-hardened. At this point, the best action depends on your aims.

If the goal in ’44 was to defeat the Germans as quickly as possible, the Americans and the Soviets were right. If, however, the goal was defeating the Nazis while ensuring the Soviets paid the maximum possible price, Churchill was undoubtedly correct.

Churchill

What to make of the man?

You can’t help but admire certain aspects of the guy. He would have been a hell of a lot of fun to hang out with, he was right about so many things a long time before anyone else was, and his will included a provision inviting Ian Smith to his funeral (much to the chagrin of the establishment at the time – which Churchill undoubtedly planned).

Churchill was an ardent supporter of British colonialism. For him, “the fact that more than a million Hindu and Muslim men volunteered to serve in defense of India, trumped all criticisms of HMG’s imperial policy.” (While Ghandi was advising them to prostrate themselves before the Japanese invader (and advising Jews to do the same for the Germans)).

Churchill was incredible – old but energetic, worked ridiculously, drank, smoked, flew around the world (“asked the RAF ground crew to customize his oxygen mask in order to allow him to smoke his cigars. The request was dutifully carried out.”)

“When, during his second premiership, his cabinet debated the adoption of new laws limiting West Indian immigration, Churchill proposed his suggestion for a national motto: ‘Keep England White.'”

He believed that “the British alone had managed to combine Empire and Liberty.”

“Churchill believed that had the victors in the Great War fished a Hohenzollern or Hapsburg heir out of oblivion and put him back on the German or Austrian throne to lead a constitutional monarchy, there would have been no Hitler.”

Churchill to an American feminist who criticized British colonialism in India: “Before we proceed further let us get one thing clear. Are we talking about the brown Indians in India, who have multiplied alarmingly under benevolent British rule? Or are we talking about the Red Indians in America, who, I understand, are almost extinct?”

In the House of Commons, Churchill: “I think the Communist Members and fellow travelers have a pretty good run in this House.” Reid notes that this statement goes further than anything Joe McCarthy ever said.

Churchill: “I read with great interest all you have written me about what is colonialism; namely, bringing forth backward races and opening up the jungles.” In India, “with all its history, religion, and ancient forms of despotic rule, Britain has a story to tell which will look quite well against the background of the coming hundred years.”

In a world of pseudo-multiculturalism, it’s worth pausing to marvel at the real thing: “In the Imperial Army: Britons, Canadians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Newfoundlanders, Indians, Ceylonese, Swazi, Mauritians, and Caribbeans.” And, of course, Rhodesians.

On the other hand, it’s really difficult to understand why he fought at the beginning and why he had so much faith in FDR – so much so that one can’t help but wonder if at some point, in his darkest thoughts, he wondered if he’d made a mistake. Churchill did title the last volume of his war memoirs: “Triumph and Tragedy.”

What would a non-propaganda-filled history of WWII look like?

As Reid puts it:

Why did Churchill and Roosevelt during the next three years fail, utterly, to hatch any plans between themselves that addressed the possible – probable, even – consequences to Europe of their alliance with the Soviet dictator? . . . The wonder is not that in late 1941 Churchill foresaw future problems with Stalin, but why he ever could have thought otherwise.

Part of the explanation surely lies with Stalin and FDR. Stalin outsmarted FDR and Chruchill. “He was perhaps the most politically adroit of all the principals, Allied and Axis.”

It was pretty easy to outsmart FDR, who said stuff like, “I think you will not mind me being brutally frank when I tell you that I think I can personally handle Stalin better than either your Foreign Office or my State Department.” Probably true – but not saying much.

FDR is a very odd ally for a guy who wanted to defend the empire – indeed, the Empire didn’t survive very long after the American alliance. Besides tactical differences of opinion, there were numerous post-war differences of opinion. For example, Roosevelt wanted to absolutely dis-aggregate Germany (his vision included five separate states) – Churchill was of the opposite belief. Roosevelt would have gone further and disarmed all of Europe other than England and Russia (even breaking up France). “Churchill’s France, unlike Roosevelt’s France, would reclaim its glory.”

Roosevelt overruled Eisenhower and Churchill and demanded unconditional surrender – prolonging war in Germany and Italy. Churchill desperately wanted to get to Vienna before the Russians, again overruled.

The Germans never seemed to figure out what the heck Churchill was thinking. In the end, it appears that Churchill fought to preserve empire, Roosevelt for financial gain, and Stalin fought for territory. Churchill lost.

Brooke perhaps best sums up the British view of the American strategy: “All right, if you insist on being damned fools, sooner than falling out with you, which would be fatal, we should be damned fools with you, and we shall see that we perform the role of damned fools damned well.”

After Churchill and FDR heard of mass killings in Warsaw: “Churchill proposed cutting off convoys to Russia” . . . “Days later, Moran told his diary, ‘Winston never talks of Hitler these days; he is always harping on the dangers of communism.'”

Churchill had to argue with Eisenhower and FDR about extremely obvious points, for example Churchill actually had to explain the strategic importance of getting to Berlin and not letting Soviets get there alone. FDR replied, “I do not get the point.” Indeed – truer words are hard to come by.

(Before concluding, I must parenthetically note that Reid commits an act of historical malpractice by failing to mention that Harry Hopkins was quite possibly a Soviet agent.

Hopkins was Churchill’s main contact with FDR’s aides – they really spoke more than Churchill and FDR. Surely, the fact Hopkins was potentially a Soviet agent deserves a mention. Arguably, it changes everything).

Of course, you can always go a bit further down the rabbit hole of real WWII history:

Similarly, American historians overlook the obvious fact that Alger Hiss could have done nothing without FDR’s personal permission, and mistake the Hiss-Hopkins backchannel to the KGB for a case of “espionage” – not even considering the idea that FDR, the New Deal, or America as a whole could be seen as generally guilty for our collaboration, concealment, and general complicity with Stalin’s enormous crimes.

It’s hard to blame to Churchill for not figuring that out.

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116 Responses to Review of “The Last Lion” by Paul Reid

  1. Handle says:

    Bravo. Terrific review. One trivial quibble:

    It’s worth noting that Churchill tried to warn Stalin several times of German invasion (as did some of the Soviets’ incredibly successful spies). The warnings were unheeded. Stalin would prove to be far more skillful than Churchill, and infinitely more skillful than FDR, in winning the peace (it’s worth how tactically brilliant Stalin was in this regard), however Stalin was caught unprepared by Hitler’s invasion.

    My understanding was that both Hitler and Stalin were arming to the teeth on their wartime border in preparation for invading the other, or countering an invasion if the other guy moved first. That’s was Count Ciano’s impression as well. Frank Sanborn also notes that Axis relationships with each other or any other country were characterized by intense distrust and mutual suspicion.

    I think Stalin knew that Hitler was planning to invade, and he was getting a lot of warnings about it and taking those warnings seriously, but he didn’t understand the imminence of invasion or anticipate that Hitler would invade as soon as he did.

    In this way the Russians behaved like the Americans in regard to Pearl Harbor. We knew the Japanese were going to invade, and we even had a good idea as to when. G2 was correct in all their other estimated locations of attack, but they missed one, because no one believed the Japanese could or would strike as far as Hawaii.

    • Foseti says:

      Yeah. I can’t tell. Stalin sure got some important resources across the Urals very quickly if he was really taken by surprise.

      I’ve read good histories that are on both sides of this issue. Reid was firmly in the surprise camp (i believe he notes that Stalin built up resources in preparation for conflicts on its periphery other than Germany – though I may have read that somewhere else). Odd that there isn’t any sort of consensus on this point.

      • Handle says:

        Heh. I guess it’s tough for ’embarrassing to Stalin’ primary-source documentation, what little was committed to record, to survive Stalin’s victory.

    • asdf says:

      “People do what is most necessary to them at any given moment.”

      So says George Clooney in “Three Kings”. He was saying that what was necessary to Saddam was to crush the rebels, so if they (the three dudes in the movie) rode into Iraq to steal some gold they would let them as long as they didn’t interfere.

      What was necessary to Stalin was internal control of the USSR. Hence why he decided to slaughter his entire officer core in the 30s. Officers don’t grow on trees, it takes time, so he wasn’t ready to fight when Hitler invaded. He hoped giving Hitler all the oil and concessions he wanted would buy him another year. When the invasion happened he was so worried about his position he spent the early part of the invasion on an alcoholic bender.

      When Hitler was knocking at the doors of Moscow even he sent for the rebellious officers that were away in the gulag to organize a defense. And they too swallowed their hatred of Stalin to defend the homeland. It was the most necessary thing.

      Its no surprise that Stalin had contingency plans to move equipment. He wasn’t dumb. But equipment can be moved at a moments notice. Training officers takes years.

    • Candide III says:

      @Handle — There is plenty of information available in open Soviet sources — newspapers, memoirs, non-secret military journals and so on, the only drawback being that these are all in Russian. Suvorov did quite a job collecting such material and his case, unless taken to extremes, is solid. On the other hand, I can’t bring myself to trust any Western historian of the XX century who had access to any Soviet archives, for obvious reasons.

      • Handle says:

        Thanks for the reference!

      • Sam says:

        I’ve read Viktor Suvorov’s “Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?” and “The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Grand Design to Start World War II”. Icebreaker is less detailed than the Chief Culprit. The Chief Culprit is an extremely convincing and detailed book about what matters in War. Logistics. He details all the different types of weapons systems and how in every case Stalin opted for mass production of offensive weapons. It’s extremely convincing.
        Hitler had to attack. That or be destroyed. The reason that Stalin was surprised by the timing of Hitlers attack was I believe two pieces of faulty information or disinformation that Stalin had. Stalin was watching the German market for evidence of the Germans buying material for winter coats and he was watching the Germans formulation of gun oil. He knew that the formulation of gun oil used by the Germans would freeze and they would have to change oil. Maybe Hitler knew this too and decided to gamble. He had nothing to lose he was going to be attacked anyways. Both books are well worth reading. Here’s a copy of “Icebreaker” for free.

        http://www.jrbooksonline.com/PDF_Books/icebreaker.pdf

      • Colmainen says:

        David Glantz, the English-speaking Russian, spewed a bunch of lies along the military history crowd and caused an incalculable damage to the historians of Eastern Front of WWII. He had an exclusive access to Soviet military archives.

    • Anonymous says:

      We knew the Japanese were going to invade, and we even had a good idea as to when. G2 was correct in all their other estimated locations of attack, but they missed one, because no one believed the Japanese could or would strike as far as Hawaii.

      Heh.

      They never believed the Japs would strike Hawaii…

      That’s why
      1. The military wargamed exactly that scenario throughout the 1930s.

      2. The military deployed radar, hundreds of anti-aircraft guns, hundreds of fighters, and dozens of long-range patrol aircraft on Oahu. They always do that when they think there’s no chance of air attack!

      3. The Admiral who commanded in the Pacific when FDR moved the fleet to Pearl Harbor was fired for saying we should move it back to the West Coast because it was vulnerable to Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor.

      Yessirree, we spent forty years planning for war with Japan, and we somehow overlooked that one pesky little detail…

      • Handle says:

        A long term strategic concern, heavily reinforced, is not the same as a short-term best-available-intelligence assessment of the details of a proximate attack.

        When you build a fortress far from the enemy, you expect them to attack weak outposts closer to their offense and farther from your defense, especially when their expected aim is to expand their naval superiority and break the Anglo-Dutch-American blockade of raw materials.

        The US fully expected the Japanese to attack Guam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia and Singapore, Hong Kong, and Wake and Midway Islands.

        Naval intelligence estimated that they would expect US counterattack and thus devote the mass of their resources to form a defensive screen to solidify their gains.

        So, there is nothing whatsoever inconsistent about the notion that the US military prepared for years for a possible attack on Hawaii, but didn’t anticipate it’s actual occurrence at the time and manner of its execution.

        Again, Frank Sanborn’s ‘Design For War’, and his frequent reference to the multi-volume study, ‘Pearl Harbor Attack’ is an invaluable examination of the events and beliefs leading up to the attack.

      • Anonymous says:

        A long term strategic concern, heavily reinforced, is not the same as a short-term best-available-intelligence assessment of the details of a proximate attack.

        You are moving the goalposts. “No one believed the Japanese could or would strike as far as Hawaii” (i.e., ever under any circumstances) is not the same as “no one believed Japan would strike Hawaii on the morning of December 7.”

        The U.S. obviously did believe Japan could, and would, strike Hawaii under certain circumstances. As I said, we had wargamed this possibility throughout the 1930s. General Martin and Admiral Bellinger made exactly this prediction in February and March 1941 – i.e., Japan could make a surprise air attack on the fleet at Pearl Harbor.

        http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/pha/misc/martin_2.html

        (a) Relations between the United States and Orange are strained, uncertain, and varying.

        (b) In the past Orange has never preceded hostile actions by a declaration of war.

        (c) A successful, sudden raid, against our ships and Naval installations on Oahu might prevent effective offensive action by our forces in the Western Pacific for a long period.

        (d) A strong part of our fleet is now constantly at sea in the operating areas organized to take prompt offensive action against any surface or submarine force which initiates hostile action.

        (e) It appears possible that Orange submarines and/or an Orange fast raiding force might arrive in Hawaiian waters with no prior warning from our intelligence service.

        III. Possible Enemy Action.

        (a) A declaration of war might be preceded by.

        1. A surprise submarine attack on ships the operating area.
        2. A surprise attack on Oahu including ships and installations in Pearl Harbor.
        3. A combination of these two.

        (b) It appears that the most likely and dangerous form of attack on Oahu would be an air attack. It is believed that at present such an attack would most likely be launched from one or more carriers which would probably approach inside of three hundred miles.

        (c) A single attack might or might not indicate the presence of more submarines or more planes awaiting to attack after defending aircraft have been drawn away by the original thrust.

        (d) Any single submarine attack might indicate the presence of a considerable undiscovered surface force probably composed of fast ships accompanied by a carrier.

        (e) In a dawn air attack there is a high probability that it could be delivered as a complete surprise in spite of any patrols we might be using and that it might find us in a condition of readiness under which pursuit would be slow to start, also it might be successful as a diversion to draw attention away from a second attacking force. The major disadvantage would be that we could have all day to find and attack the carrier. A dusk attack would have the advantage that the carrier could use the night for escape and might not be located the [556‑h] next day near enough for us to make a successful air attack. The disadvantage would be that it would spend the day of the attack approaching the islands and might be observed. Under the existing conditions this might not be a serious disadvantage for until an overt act has been committed we probably will take no offensive action and the only thing that would be most would be complete surprise. Midday attacks have all the disadvantages and none of the advantages of the above. After hostilities have commenced, a night attack would offer certain advantages but as an initial crippling blow a dawn or dusk attack would probably be no more hazardous and would have a better chance for accomplishing a large success. Submarine attacks could be coordi­nated with any air attack.

        Given this clear possibility, we were taking significant steps to defend against such an attack. We even thought an attack could happen soon — this was why there were constant air raid drills and blackouts on Oahu in late 1941 as well as all the efforts to improve the defenses.

        So no, we did not think a Japanese attack on Hawaii was unthinkable in December 1941. Kimmel and Short were rightly crucified for getting caught with their pants down — and crucifying them wouldn’t make any sense at all if an attack on Pearl Harbor was actually totally unexpected.

  2. Foseti, I have been scratching my head over why all this puzzles you, and I think I have the answer. You don’t understand that the English are really, really, really, really, really evil. I mean *really* evil. The English could not tolerate any dominant power on the continent- they hated Napoleon, and they hated the Germans with a passion. Churchill was less evil than a lot of the English, but he was still pretty evil. He didn’t like the idea of the Russians terrorizing and destroying eastern and central Europe, but if it would destroy Germany, so be it. The attitude of Lord Halifax was held by a tiny minority. Most of the English didn’t even have Churchill’s scruples. They didn’t (and don’t) regard most non-English people as even being human.

    And how is the British Empire gone? It’s doing great, better than ever. The recall of the colonial administrators and troops came because the victory in WWII meant they were not needed any more.

    • Tarl says:

      The British did not want to destroy Germany, they wanted to cut it down to size and put it under new management.

      The Soviets and Americans wanted to destroy Germany.

    • josh says:

      Have you read Human Smoke? It paints a pretty evil portrait of St. Winston.

    • Foseti says:

      Not wanting a dominant Continental power isn’t necessarily evil (actually that seems like pretty decent strategy to me).

      Nevertheless, I take some of your point.

      Finally, in good fashion, it’s worth noting that Churchill seemed to try to hold to that policy – shifting his focus from Germany to Russia. But he didn’t really insist on it, like you’d expect from a pure evil genius.

      • Well, not wanting a continental power helped lead to WWI, which led to Hitler, and Lenin, which led to WWII, the Holocaust, the Holomodor, 70 years of communism, etc. etc. The English have a lot of responsibility for all the evil that happened.

      • Red says:

        Churchill was an exceptionally gift orator and thinker but utterly incompetent and freckles at leading. He had no long term planing other than acting like a bulldog. He seems to be one of the great fools of history.

      • Red says:

        >>The English have a lot of responsibility for all the evil that happened.

        The Americans have more culpability. Without the democratization they forced on Europe after WW1 and the saving the Reds during the Russian civil war neither Stalin or Hitler would have been in power.

      • Anonymous says:

        not wanting a continental power helped lead to WWI,

        The continental powers were going to come to blows anyway. France wanted revenge on Germany for 1870; Russia wanted to dismember Germany, Austria, and Turkey; Austria wanted to pound Serbia; Germany and Austria wanted a showdown with Russia before it got too strong.

        All Britain did before WW1 was pick sides.

        The idea that the British have a lot of responsibility for WW1 and its aftereffects is spectacularly weak.

    • georgesdelatour says:

      Nyah-nyah-nyah-ing that the English are “really, really, really, really, really evil” is infantile, and has pretty much zero information content or explanatory usefulness. There’s nothing inherently evil in the English/British not wanting their island to come under the command of a continental hegemon. Continental hegemons have, after all, tried to invade it a few times: in 1588, 1805 and 1940. Philip II, Napoleon and Hitler don’t make the best adverts for the excellence of such hegemony.

      There is arguably no greater duty incumbent on any national government than to secure that nation’s independence. That’s why many people – including the “grunts” who do most of the dying – will put their nation’s independence before any supposedly wonderful democratic freedoms foreigners might impose on them, according to their own foreign agenda and timetable.

      If you look on a map, you’ll see that Russia is a lot further away from Britain than Germany is. This is CRUCIAL. In 1940 Hitler’s Germany was an imminent menace to Britain’s self-government. Its planes and ships were a mere 23 miles away from the Kent coast. The Stalin-Khrushchev-Brezhnev Russia never posed this kind of threat to Britain. It probably never could have without starting a World War Three which was bound to bring the USA into the fight on the opposite side, and which Russia was likely to lose.

      Britain reaching an accommodating alliance with an illiberal Russia in 1941 was no surprise. We did the same with autocratic Tsarist Russia in 1812, in a similar war for the mastery of Europe (earlier still, Ivan the Terrible proposed a marriage alliance to Elizabeth I; so the tendency of Britain and Russia to ally whenever a European hegemon emerges has a very long history).

      The real failure of British foreign policy happened not during the war, but after, especially from the 1950s onwards. The rot really set in with Harold Macmillan. I urge you to read “The Macmillan Years, 1957-63: The Emerging Truth”, by Richard Lamb, based on declassified government documents.

      I don’t’ have my copy to hand. But I seem to remember Edward Heath explaining to Macmillan why Konrad Adenauer didn’t want Britain in the European Community. Adenauer was terrified of the “Stalin Note” – the Soviet offer to permit a reunited, democratic, but neutral Germany. He feared that many Germans would be happy to accept Germany becoming a giant Switzerland, in return for unification, and was desperate to keep West Germany armed and in the American alliance.

      Adenauer believed Britain’s rational self-interest was in siding with Russia. He saw that mutual self-interest had always brought the two great powers of Europe’s west and east into alliance to checkmate the continental heartland. It was only a matter of time before the Brits stopped viewing the world through the distorting prism of Cold War ideological enthusiasm, and started again to notice where countries actually were on the map. When they did, they’d be Russia’s friend and Germany’s enemy.

      Adenauer’s analysis is brilliant – in the same class as Bismarck. It’s only turned out wrong because the Brits were too stupid to see what he’d seen.

      • zhai2nan2 says:

        >Nyah-nyah-nyah-ing that the English are “really, really, really, really, really evil” is infantile, and has pretty much zero information content or explanatory usefulness. There’s nothing inherently evil in the English/British not wanting their island to come under the command of a continental hegemon.

        No, seriously, Albion’s government, social classes, and traditions of tyranny are actually evil. God has a corner of hell set aside for Brits who sought to make “Britain” into “Great Britain” at the cost of their souls.

        Albion really is perfidious Albion.

        The average Anglo-Saxon is not as evil as the average power-seeker of the British government. The average Anglo-Saxon is happy enough to have a pint and a game of darts and to leave the rest of the world alone. The problem comes when they follow their leaders, and when they believe their bards.

        “If any ask you why we died, tell them –
        because our fathers lied.”

        There’s nothing wrong with being English. G. K. Chesterton managed it without giving into the dark ambitons of Great Britain. GKC was happy to be a “Little Englander” rather than a “Great” Briton.

      • Anonymous says:

        Zhai2nan2…. the stupid, it hurts!

      • I’m not saying it wasn’t in the rational self-interest of the English ruling class to do what they did- it certainly was, and it has been very successful. But Jesus said something like “by their fruits you will know them”. You’re making the argument that Derbyshire makes towards Irish and others complaining about English oppression- “Tough shit, it was good for England.”

        If you’re taking the trouble to read this blog, you probably don’t care for the system we live under. But it comes directly from the English hegemons, is not optional under them and there is no alternative to it under them. Pre-1990 the system gave you two choices- live under the authoritarian oligarchy of secular priests called “social democracy” by the rulers or “the Cathedral” by us soreheads or communism. Post-1990 the choice is internationalist global capitalism, run by the same secular priesthood, period.

        I would prefer not to- I would prefer to live under any kind of European nationalist system, but the English won’t let me. Everything comes back to one segment of English society gaining control over England and then over the world, and their complete lack of conscience in how they did it.

  3. jamesd127 says:

    Assume the Cathedral was targeting the near enemy (Americans, colonials) and was unconcerned by the far enemy.

    Thus while Stalin thought he owned the state department, the state department thought it owned Stalin, and was not entirely wrong.

  4. Canuck says:

    With great respect, you may benefit from reading David Irving’s books, especially Churchill’s War vol I & II. Some of the ideas you’re expressing here are pretty far out for a fellow of your obvious brilliance.

  5. SOBL1 says:

    Tremendous review. I will break down and buy this book, which I swore I would not do out of respect for Manchester’s 2nd volume. For a great book on the eastern front, check “When Titans Clashed”. Churchill did read Mein Kampf and while not able to hear the Hitler table talk recordings, may have understood Hitler’s plans for England had the Germans ever stepped foot on the island.

    • etype says:

      SOBL1
      Anyone closely paying to attention to Hitlers strategy, personal statements and his statements recorded by those around him understand that Hitlers great mistake was that he was an uncompromising Anglophile.
      His greatest mistake was Dunkirk. He could have annihilated the British there and been on the island practically unopposed the next week, achieving a one front war and taking the Americans out of the picture.
      It was the fatal mistake of the war to which all others are misdirection. He actually never, and he stated it many times, ever wanted to dissemble the British empire, but it’s existence was essential to his world view. The reason why the German’s didn’t build long range bombers was because they never conceived or desired to bomb Britain or use bombs against civilian targets.
      If Hitler had not been an anglophile, chances he would of won the war rise exponentially. And I think there is a lesson in that.

  6. Tarl says:

    “Churchill fought the war to save the empire. Alas, his only strategy for winning the war consisted in getting the US to join the war on his side.”

    Not true. He had specific things he wanted the US to do once it entered the war, which would have acted to contain the expansion of Soviet influence. The problem was that FDR wouldn’t play along.

    “In the end, the story of Churchill is a tragedy. The very values he fought for were compromised by the Allies he ultimately chose.”

    But he had no other choice.

    “The story of the war – in Reid’s telling – is almost nicely split into thirds. In the first third, Britain fights alone. In the second third, Russia does 90% of the fighting. In the last third, the US joins (though Russia still does the vast majority of the fighting and dictates the strategy for all powers combined).”

    Does he not think there was a war in the Pacific? Where the Russians did no fighting? “Russia did all the fighting” is bullshit. Also, Russia did not dictate the strategy for the others. FDR did.

    “In each third, it’s worth considering why Churchill kept wanting to fight Hitler . . . ”

    Because Hitler had proven himself totally untrustworthy.

    “The mystery of the first third is why Churchill didn’t even consider seeking terms with Hitler during the years Britain fought alone.”

    As above. Hitler and his scurvy crew could not be trusted.

    “Years later, after starvation, bombing, cruelty, death, destitution, the end of the empire, and the deliverance to the Soviets of the very nations Churchill fought to protect, Lord Halifax’s suggestion doesn’t seem so crazy.”

    Sure it does — because it involved TRUSTING HITLER. Who had repeatedly violated other people’s trust.

    “Take a moment and imagine the situation for the next few years. France is gone. The Soviets and Hitler have carved up Eastern Europe and are allied. The US has no interest in joining the war, and even if it does it won’t be effective for years. German submarines control the Atlantic and English cities are under bombardment.”

    These assumptions are flawed, and were not the ones Churchill held. He thought the Germans and Soviets would come to blows (he was right) and the US would join the war (which it did). German subs did not control the Atlantic; therefore, increased US aid could be expected. The Luftwaffe was relatively ineffective at bombing Britain, and could not even gain air superiority over southern England.

    “To fight is crazy. To fight without even considering some sort of truce is crazier.”

    No. Britain produced more aircraft than Germany EVERY SINGLE YEAR from 1940 to 1945, and could control the Atlantic to gain access to American resources. To surrender is crazy. To sign a crappy compromise peace is crazy.

    “Hitler was prepared to offer generous terms”

    And Britain should believe him because…?

    Time was on Britain’s side, not Germany’s. Britain had no good reason to bow out.

    “He had no strategy to win the war, other than to wait for the Soviets and the Americans to be drawn to his side.”

    Nope. Blockade, bombardment, and subversion of the occupied lands was the strategy before the US and USSR joined in.

    Besides which, “wait for two mighty powers to join you” is not a stupid strategy.

    “Churchill was obsessed with invading Norway – forcing Hitler to keep (and waste) troops there for the entirety of the war.”

    The goal was to deny Germany the Swedish iron ore imports and to secure the lend-lease route to Russia. Not unsound ideas at all.

    “Churchill’s real obsession was the Mediterranean.”

    There were excellent military reasons to fight there, it was not just a psychological impulse.

    “All this must be placed against the background of what the British people were suffering.”

    In point of fact they were not suffering much at all. Not compared to what the Russians, Germans, Japanese, Chinese or Poles suffered. Or even the French!

    “And the peace terms actually achieved at the end of the war.”

    Which has to be weighed against the hypothetical alternatives if Britain made peace with Hitler in 1940:
    1. Hitler attacks Russia and loses. Stalin now rules from the Channel to Vladivostok. Uh oh.
    2. Hitler attacks Russia and wins. Hitler now rules from the Channel to Vladivostok. Uh oh.

    “yet it was for this measureless disaster that the war was ultimately fought.”

    Not from the Russian perspective, anyway.

    “one can’t help but wonder in retrospect if it would have been better had the Soviets lost.”

    As I said above — Hitler now rules from the Channel to Vladivostok. NOT GOOD for Britain.

    “If this was true, he was smart in 1942, but he lost the peace. Surely, it’s fair to judge a man against his own standards?”

    The problem is that the power to “win the peace” was not under his control. He had to persuade FDR to do so.

    ” all that is now considered noble allied with the oppressor of Poland.”

    Let’s keep in mind that Stalin wanted to “oppress” Poland but Hitler wanted to EXTERMINATE Poland. From the British perspective, a pro-Soviet Poland is still a win.

    ‘When the US finally joins the war, it does so with – as best as one can decipher – only a few clear war aims: 1) demanding unconditional surrender (of Germany and Japan – aka the only bulwarks against Soviet domination of post-war Europe and Asia); 2) establishing the United Nations; and 3) ending European (excluding Soviet) colonialism.”

    These are all actually subsidiary aims of the primary war aim, which was to establish a world order based on US-Soviet partnership.

    This idea never went away amongs the East Coast political establishment. It was later called “detente”.

    ” Perhaps entirely coincidentally (or perhaps not) these aims would seem to all work towards the direct benefit of the Soviets.”

    Exactly! And purposely, not coincidentally!

    “It’s almost like Soviets were making US foreign policy.”

    This wasn’t externally imposed treason, this was internally generated treason.

    ” Churchill preferred operations around the periphery of Nazi-occupied areas, culminating in an invasion of the Balkans.”

    Actually, he wanted a big Western Front as soon as possible, preferably in France, so that he could get to Germany before the Soviets.

    The delay of D-Day only benefited the Soviets, not the British. This should tell you who was really behind the delay of D-Day, which is always blamed (incorrectly) on the Brits.

    “As I read it, Churchill was objectively correct during the first couple years of American involvement in the war. American troops would have been crushed if they’d immediately invaded France.”

    In 1942 this was true, but what he proposed was an invasion of France in 1943.

    “You can’t help but admire certain aspects of the guy. He would have been a hell of a lot of fun to hang out with,”

    So long as you’re happy with sitting there listening while he talked and talked and talked.

    ” it’s really difficult to understand why he fought at the beginning and why he had so much faith in FDR”

    He had no alternative but to try and convince FDR to go along with what he wanted to do.

    “Why did Churchill and Roosevelt during the next three years fail, utterly, to hatch any plans between themselves that addressed the possible – probable, even – consequences to Europe of their alliance with the Soviet dictator?”

    Roosevelt did have a plan for Europe. It was to facilitate Soviet expansion. He didn’t want to talk to Churchill about it or listen to Churchill’s contrary ideas.

    “Part of the explanation surely lies with Stalin and FDR. Stalin outsmarted FDR and Chruchill.”

    Stalin did not outsmart FDR. Roosevelt knew exactly what Stalin wanted, and deliberately set out to give it to him.

    “FDR is a very odd ally for a guy who wanted to defend the empire”

    Who else had the money and guns Britain needed?

    ” In the end, it appears that Churchill fought to preserve empire, Roosevelt for financial gain, and Stalin fought for territory.”

    FDR did not fight for financial gain. He fought for the progressive goal of “peace” — which he thought could be achieved in cooperation with Stalin. Giving Stalin the territory he wants is a small price to pay for peace. Territory for peace… hmmm, sounds a lot like Munich, doesn’t it?

    “Churchill had to argue with Eisenhower and FDR about extremely obvious points, for example Churchill actually had to explain the strategic importance of getting to Berlin and not letting Soviets get there alone. FDR replied, “I do not get the point.” Indeed – truer words are hard to come by.”

    No, no, no! FDR knew what the point was. He WANTED the Soviets to have it.

    Read the book again, but this time think of FDR as an evil Leftist rather than a well-meaning dupe.

    • Foseti says:

      Trusting Hitler may have been crazy, but trusting him to attack the Soviets seemed quite reasonable. During much of this time, it’s certainly not more difficult to understand long-term strategy than British strategy.

      • Tarl says:

        Strategy doesn’t stop when Hitler does that.

        If Britain cuts a deal with Hitler and bows out of the war, America will never be in the war. This means Britain is all alone versus whoever wins the Hitler-Stalin fight. Not Good for Britain.

    • Red says:

      >>Sure it does — because it involved TRUSTING HITLER. Who had repeatedly violated other people’s trust.

      Trusting FDR was even dumber than trusting Hitler.

      The invasion of the UK was never going to happen once the UK gained the upper hand on airplane production. Churchill could have sued for peace right then and there and his nation would have been secure.

      • Tarl says:

        Churchill could have sued for peace right then and there and his nation would have been secure.

        For five years maybe.

        And after that the nation and the empire would be doomed.

  7. I think you can argue that FDR played it rather brilliantly if you look at it through the lense of Naval strategy; he gave Stalin nothing of value on that front, and Stalin’s acquisition of the iron curtain/warsaw pact countries forced all the previously independent players in Western Europe into the US-dominated NATO military alliance and also into US-dominated financial arrangements like Bretton Woods and the Marshall Plan. USA becomes the predominant naval and financial world power in alliance with basically every major country except USSR.

    • Red says:

      Now that you mention it, FDR re-created the empire of Athens and the empire of Sparta on a global scale. Only this time Athens won.

      • interesting, I would add that in this case “Athens” is much stronger — a sea power accessible only by sea and a food exporter — while “Sparta” is weaker, with a mediocre military culture and also reliant on food imports.

    • Tarl says:

      NATO, containment, and confrontation of the USSR were not the intended outcome of FDR’s strategy. Just the opposite — his intended outcome was partnership with the Soviets.

      Truman realized FDR made a bad bargain, and changed the strategy.

  8. Alat says:

    @Tarl

    FOSETI “Churchill fought the war to save the empire. Alas, his only strategy for winning the war consisted in getting the US to join the war on his side.”

    TARL Not true. He had specific things he wanted the US to do once it entered the war, which would have acted to contain the expansion of Soviet influence. The problem was that FDR wouldn’t play along.

    How this makes Foseti’s point “not true”? Churchill may have wanted many specific things from the US, but he had no leverage with Washington, knew it, and knew Washington knew it. So he knew from the beginning he’d have to do Roosevelt’s bidding whatever that ended up being. So, “his only strategy for winning the war consisted in getting the US to join the war on his side” and hope he was lucky. He wasn’t. And it was not terribly difficult to foresee that the U.S. would want to sink the British Empire, especially for someone with Churchill’s record of far-sightedness.

    Because Hitler had proven himself totally untrustworthy.

    I fail to see how Hitler’s trustworthiness or lack thereof matter in any way for an agreement at the time, unless Hitler demanded things like a military presence in the UK or the Empire, the dismantlement of the British fleet and air force and other such things – which, to the best of my knowledge, the Germans did not contemplate. So, in the worst case scenario that Churchill signed an agreement with Germany and Hitler first didn’t implement it and then scrapped it after a few months, the UK would be faced with the difficult situation of fighting alone against a German-dominated European continent… which was how it was to begin with. I can’t see how an agreement with Hitler in July 1940 that failed by September 1940 could have made things worse for the British. BTW, when is it that the papers relating to the Rudolf Hess escapade will be opened to the public? I have a faint memory it might be in 2019. Then he shall probably know what were the actual peace terms Germany offered… if a providential fire or something doesn’t happen first.

    Nope. Blockade, bombardment, and subversion of the occupied lands was the strategy before the US and USSR joined in.

    Great strategy. Blockading the entire European continent, that’s sure to work very quickly given how small and poor it is. Bombardment was also sure to work, but only in that alternate history universe in which Churchill folded soon after the beginning of the London blitz. Subversion? Great idea. The Nazis would soon be overwhelmed by partisans armed with plane-dropped rifles, because they wouldn’t be ruthless enough to just exterminate the civilians in areas where partisans were present. No, they’d never, ever, do that. Hint: almost all the great deeds of the French Resistance were done post war, in the silver screen. This is not to belittle the patriotism and fortitude of heroes such as Jean Moulin, only to say that “subversion” had very little impact in the course of the war.

    Besides which, “wait for two mighty powers to join you” is not a stupid strategy.

    Of course it is, if you have no leverage with them, you’ll be carried along. That’s how Churchill fought a war to save the empire, won the war, and lost the empire. You yourself recognize this when you say The problem is that the power to “win the peace” was not under his control. He had to persuade FDR to do so.. Yeah, that’s kind of the point of this criticism of Churchill’s choises.

    Which has to be weighed against the hypothetical alternatives if Britain made peace with Hitler in 1940:
    1. Hitler attacks Russia and loses. Stalin now rules from the Channel to Vladivostok. Uh oh.
    2. Hitler attacks Russia and wins. Hitler now rules from the Channel to Vladivostok. Uh oh.

    You forget option 3: Hitler attacks Russia, or Stalin attacks Germany, and the two fight it out. If the Germans are winning, the British Empire aids the Soviets. If the Soviets are winning, the Empire aids the Germans. Keep doing that until either (i) they are exhausted and you can go in if that’s your thing; (ii) internal revolution destroys one or both the regimes.

    Oh, Germany (or Russia) dislikes the British helping their enemy and declares war? That would be stupid, since the dictator in question would be adding another enemy to a war he wouldn’t be winning in the first place. But people make stupid decisions, so suppose it happened. Then the British Empire would end up allied with Russia against Germany, and so in a position try to limit the extent of the Russian victory (as was done in the real world), or allied with Germany against Russia, and in a position to try to limit the extent of German victory. Again, the worst case scenario is no worse that the option Churchill actually followed from the start. He’d have lost nothing if he had kept out at first to see how the situation would develop.

    • josh says:

      I’d like to know to what lengths Churchill went to get the US to join the war. Did he initiate civilian bombings in Germany knowing it would lead to retaliatory bombing in Britain purely because it would play in the American press?

      • Foseti says:

        Reid doesn’t mention that. However he did go to great (but much more defensible) lengths to get the US to join. Much of it was propaganda though.

      • Canuck says:

        Joe Kennedy was so convinced that the UK would assassinate him in a false flag operation designed to bring the US into the war that he sent a telegram pleading that the US not join the war if his ship were sunk.

        There was a massive clandestine PR campaign initiated by the UK in USA to get them to join the war. Irving claims that it went so far as murder in some cases.

        Churchill knew the location of virtually every bombing target well in advance thanks to Bletchley Park. When he knew London was safe he stayed there, when he knew otherwise he stayed at Chequers. He wanted London bombed and said so not a few times because he believed this would lead the the US joining the war. Limeys play the loooooooong game.

        Re: bombing civilians, the German retaliation was pretty small compared to Allied bombing so I don’t think this was the reason, & Churchill knew full well he had air superiority. He bombed Germany because he was a genocidal maniac.

        Most of David Irving’s books are available for free online at his website.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: bombing civilians, the German retaliation was pretty small compared to Allied bombing so I don’t think this was the reason, & Churchill knew full well he had air superiority. He bombed Germany because he was a genocidal maniac.

        He bombed Germany because Germany was bombing Britain, and because that was the only thing Britain could do to Germany, dumbass.

      • josh says:

        I’m not an expert, so correct me if I am wrong, but England bombed for a month before German retaliation.

      • Alat says:

        He bombed Germany because Germany was bombing Britain,

        Actually, it was was Churchill who began bombing German cities. He baited Hitler, and the Führer fell for the trick and diverted the German bombing targets from RAF bases to the British cities – and thereby gave the RAF enough time to mount a successful defense,

        From Hitler’s speech of September 4th, 1940, easily found online, in which he declared open season on British cities:

        . This is exactly what we are experiencing at this time, as Mr Churchill is demonstrating to us the aerial night attacks he has concocted. He is not doing this because these air raids might be particularly effective, but because his Air Force cannot fly over German territory in daylight.

        Whereas German aviators and German planes fly over English soil daily, there is hardly a single Englishman who comes across the North Sea in daytime. They therefore come during the night – and as you know, release their bombs indiscriminately and without any plan on to residential areas, farmhouses and villages. Wherever they see a sign of light, a bomb is dropped on it.

        For three months past, I have not ordered any answer to be given; thinking that they would stop this nonsensical behaviour. Mr Churchill has taken this to be a sign of our weakness.
        You will understand that we shall now give a reply, night for night, and with increasing force. And if the British Air Force drops two, three or four thousand kilos of bombs, then we will drop 150,000, 180,000, 230,000, 300,000 or 400,000 kilos, or more, in one night. If they declare that they will attack our cities on a large scale, we will erase theirs! We will put a stop to the game of these night-pirates, as God is our witness.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, it was was Churchill who began bombing German cities. He baited Hitler, and the Führer fell for the trick and diverted the German bombing targets from RAF bases to the British cities

        No, the Germans bombed London first. And I am suuuure that Hitler would have remained the very model of prudence, restraint, and moderation if mean ole Churchill hadn’t tricked him, LOL.

    • Tarl says:

      How this makes Foseti’s point “not true”? Churchill may have wanted many specific things from the US, but he had no leverage with Washington, knew it, and knew Washington knew it. So he knew from the beginning he’d have to do Roosevelt’s bidding whatever that ended up being. So, “his only strategy for winning the war consisted in getting the US to join the war on his side” and hope he was lucky. He wasn’t. And it was not terribly difficult to foresee that the U.S. would want to sink the British Empire, especially for someone with Churchill’s record of far-sightedness.

      He argued for a sane and sensible strategy, and one that the United States eventually did adopt under Truman — namely, a reduction of German power and the engagement of American power to keep the Germans AND the Soviets in check. He was not a crazy gambler hoping to get lucky when he argued for this, because there were at least some figures within the Roosevelt administration who did not trust the Reds. Britain was not completely without leverage, because she had significant military and economic assets to contribute to the cause.

      I fail to see how Hitler’s trustworthiness or lack thereof matter in any way for an agreement at the time,

      It certainly mattered a hell of a lot from the standpoint of internal British politics. An effort to do so would have shattered the wartime coalition.

      Beyond that, how can you fail to see that it “matters”, when you’re making an agreement, that the person with whom you’re making the agreement has a 100% track record of breaking his agreements as soon as it is convenient for him to do so?

      unless Hitler demanded things like a military presence in the UK or the Empire, the dismantlement of the British fleet and air force and other such things

      It doesn’t matter if he makes no such demand. In making a peace agreement, the British are saying, “we can live with Hitler – he will not attack us again as soon as it is convenient for him”. This would have been magical thinking indeed.

      in the worst case scenario that Churchill signed an agreement with Germany and Hitler first didn’t implement it and then scrapped it after a few months, the UK would be faced with the difficult situation of fighting alone against a German-dominated European continent… which was how it was to begin with.

      No, it is worse than that, because making an agreement would eliminate the Churchill government and eliminate any hope of aid from the USA.

      I can’t see how an agreement with Hitler in July 1940 that failed by September 1940 could have made things worse for the British.

      Hitler wouldn’t have started the war again in September. He wanted peace with Britain so he could attack the Soviets. So yaay, Britain gets over a year of peace! Except she does not get lend-lease from the Americans, and she has to maintain a huge military machine anyway with little hope of financing it through exports. In 1942 or 1943, the Red Army arrives on the Channel coast. Uh oh.

      when is it that the papers relating to the Rudolf Hess escapade will be opened to the public? I have a faint memory it might be in 2019. Then he shall probably know what were the actual peace terms Germany offered…

      There was an article about it in the Daily Telegraph a few weeks ago. But again, it doesn’t matter what he offered, because he had already betrayed other agreements repeatedly.

      Great strategy. Blockading the entire European continent, that’s sure to work very quickly given how small and poor it is.

      You’d be surprised. Read Adam Tooze, Wages of Destruction. German-controlled Europe had a huge deficit in food and oil.

      Bombardment was also sure to work, but only in that alternate history universe in which Churchill folded soon after the beginning of the London blitz.

      The plan was to bomb Germany with more, bigger, and better planes than Germany used against Britain. Not unreasonable.

      Subversion? Great idea. The Nazis would soon be overwhelmed by partisans armed with plane-dropped rifles, because they wouldn’t be ruthless enough to just exterminate the civilians in areas where partisans were present.

      That makes all other civilians in occupied areas hate the Germans — which is a win for Britain, too.

      “subversion” had very little impact in the course of the war.

      It did what it was supposed to do, which was tie down large German forces and frustrate German efforts to exploit the occupied areas economically.

      Of course it is, if you have no leverage with them, you’ll be carried along.

      I disagree that Britain had no leverage with America or Russia.

      You yourself recognize this when you say The problem is that the power to “win the peace” was not under his control. He had to persuade FDR to do so.. Yeah, that’s kind of the point of this criticism of Churchill’s choises.

      That Churchill did not convince FDR to play along does not mean that Churchill could not, under any circumstances, have convinced FDR to play along or that it was totally unreasonable for Churchill to think he could get FDR to play along.

      You forget option 3: Hitler attacks Russia, or Stalin attacks Germany, and the two fight it out. If the Germans are winning, the British Empire aids the Soviets. If the Soviets are winning, the Empire aids the Germans. Keep doing that until either (i) they are exhausted and you can go in if that’s your thing; (ii) internal revolution destroys one or both the regimes.

      Such a policy was not within the realm of political possibility in Britain in 1940. An effort to do so would most likely provoke an internal revolution in Britain that would destroy the British regime not in Germany or the USSR.

      It’s great to pretend you’re playing Avalon Hill’s Diplomacy and can freely backstab whoever you want, but real life wasn’t and isn’t like that, least of all for a democracy like Britain.

      Even if such cynicism were politically possible, Option 3 is fundamentally short-sighted. At the end of the German-Soviet struggle, one or the other will control Europe from the Channel to the Urals. This is a bad deal for Britain no matter whether Hitler or Stalin wins, even if Hitler or Stalin is greatly weakened in the process.

      But people make stupid decisions, so suppose it happened. Then the British Empire would end up allied with Russia against Germany, and so in a position try to limit the extent of the Russian victory (as was done in the real world), or allied with Germany against Russia, and in a position to try to limit the extent of German victory.

      In both cases you are forgetting that Britain would have forfeited American assistance, and therefore British ability to “limit the extent” of German or Soviet victory would be negligible. The only way to limit the extent of victory is to put large forces on the ground, which Britain alone could not do.

      The second one (limit the extent of German victory) is especially laughable. Britain would have no ability to do that at all.

      Britain alone facing victorious Germany or Russia is much, much worse off than Britain plus America facing victorious Russia.

      Again, the worst case scenario is no worse that the option Churchill actually followed from the start. He’d have lost nothing if he had kept out at first to see how the situation would develop.

      It would certainly have been worse for Churchill himself, because he would have lost the premiership. His basic political program was to keep fighting Germany. Stop fighting Germany and he’s out. It should be self-evident that there was overwhelming political support in Britain for Churchill’s program, because Churchill never faced a serious political domestic challenge from 1940 to 1945. It follows that an alternative program in keeping with your fantasies (stop fighting Germany, help Germany fight Russia) would have had ZERO political support in Britain in 1940.

      That aside, he would have lost American support with such a policy. Thus, the outcome would be Britain alone versus a victorious Germany or USSR – a catastrophic outcome far, far worse than what actually happened.

      • Alat says:

        He argued for a sane and sensible strategy

        I agree with that. He just had no way of guaranteeing that his strategy would be adopted, Because he was the junior partner in an “alliance” in which he didn’t call any shots.

        It certainly mattered a hell of a lot from the standpoint of internal British politics. An effort to do so would have shattered the wartime coalition.

        The wartime coalition nearly shattered as it was. Maybe it would, but maybe it wouldn’t.

        Beyond that, how can you fail to see that it “matters”, when you’re making an agreement, that the person with whom you’re making the agreement has a 100% track record of breaking his agreements as soon as it is convenient for him to do so?

        I certainly don’t fail to see that. It would certainly be preferable, from the British standpoint, to have a credible negotiator on the other side of the table. But it’s not up to you to decide. Putin has to negotiate with Barack Obama, do you think he likes that? But you apparently do fail to see that the same Churchill that could not have tried an agreement with Hitler because Hitler can’t be trusted made agreements with Stalin and Roosevelt.

        It doesn’t matter if he makes no such demand. In making a peace agreement, the British are saying, “we can live with Hitler – he will not attack us again as soon as it is convenient for him”. This would have been magical thinking indeed.

        Of course not. They’d be saying, “we’re out of this… for now. Let’s rearm and wait in the wings for the Führer’s next move. A next move which he’ll have to make from a somewhat diminished position, for he’d have, at least, to evacuate France outside of Alsace-Lorraine”. That’s why my point about Germany not asking the British fleet or air force mattered indeed; if the British capacity to fight in case of a renewed war were not affected in a peace deal with Germany, they had nothing to lose from it no matter how short the deal was to last.

        Except she does not get lend-lease from the Americans, and she has to maintain a huge military machine anyway with little hope of financing it through exports.

        She wouldn’t need lend-lease. She’d have open sealanes with the whole empire, and American goodwill would certainly not disappear, especially if Hitler treacherously renewed the war, whether in 1940, in 1941, in 1942…

        You’d be surprised. Read Adam Tooze, Wages of Destruction. German-controlled Europe had a huge deficit in food and oil.

        Richard Overy’s Why the Allies Won is also good. But despite all these “deficits”, German war production peaked in damned 1944. The Krauts were just horrendously inefficient in harnessing their resources until near the end. Even as it was, a strategy predicated on continuing German imbecility did not prove to be wise.

        The plan was to bomb Germany with more, bigger, and better planes than Germany used against Britain. Not unreasonable.

        Unless Churchill had plans to build a British atom bomb already in June 1940, it was very much unreasonable.

        That makes all other civilians in occupied areas hate the Germans — which is a win for Britain, too.

        Hate doesn’t win wars. Big, well trained and magnificently armed armed battalions do. These the civilians in occupied areas did not have and had no hope of getting.

        [Subversion] did what it was supposed to do, which was tie down large German forces and frustrate German efforts to exploit the occupied areas economically.

        I agree. But this would have been irrelevant if there were no possibility of a British invasion of Europe – which, in June 1940, there wasn’t.

        Such a policy was not within the realm of political possibility in Britain in 1940. An effort to do so would most likely provoke an internal revolution in Britain that would destroy the British regime not in Germany or the USSR.

        I’ll grant a good argument can be made along these lines; if true, it would lay all the horrors of the continuance of WWII and its aftermath on the feet of democracy. (Up to June 1940, the combined casualties of the war had not yet reached a week of the average casualties of WWI). But there’s also the possibility that the British elite could sell this policy as a continuance of the old directive to avoid having a hegemon in continental Europe. Which was the reason Britain got into the war with Germany in the first place…

        At the end of the German-Soviet struggle, one or the other will control Europe from the Channel to the Urals.

        That doesn’t follow. Did France or Russia control Europe from the Channel to the Urals at the end of the French-Russian struggle of 1812-1813? No, because the UK balanced from outside. Of course it would be a risk – but the option Churchill chose had the same risk from the beginning, and without the flexibility that Britain would have gained if it had remained outside and tried to balance. And it lost the Empire. You seem to forget why Britain had to go to war with Germany in 1939 in the first place.

        there was overwhelming political support in Britain for Churchill’s program

        Of course there was: Britain was already at war. Would you want to speak out and be branded a traitor? If the political elite itself had proposed a different program, it would be a different situation altogether. Thought experiment: Halifax, not Churchill, gets the spoils of Chamberlain’s fall. Is peace still unthinkable?

        That aside, he would have lost American support with such a policy

        I doubt it, for the U.S. would have the same reasons to support Britain as it did in the scenario which actually happened. And let’s not forget the immense wisdom of an obscure fellow named Harry S. Truman (NYT, 24 June 1941, two days after the outbreak of the German-Soviet war):

        “If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible”.

        a catastrophic outcome far, far worse than what actually happened.

        This raises an interesting question. The way you put it, Britain was doomed from the start. No matter what happened, the formerly glorious Empire would become an appendage of some other empire, either Nazi, Soviet or American. Given these options, I too would choose to become a vassal of the Americans. But I wonder if Churchill saw the choice with this starkness in June 1940. If he did, indeed, kudos to him. But I suspect he actually hoped and expected to keep Britain an independent world power. If so, he chose the wrong way and failed; a different way might have failed too, but would at least have given Britain a fighting chance.

        Mr Tarl, I imagine we’ll only reiterate our points from now on. You may have the last word in this conversation if you wish.

      • Tarl says:

        But you apparently do fail to see that the same Churchill that could not have tried an agreement with Hitler because Hitler can’t be trusted made agreements with Stalin and Roosevelt.

        The British DID make several agreements with Hitler, and he broke them. (Fool me once, shame on you, and all that…)

        The British thought that what Stalin wanted – secure frontiers in Eastern Europe – was compatible with their interests. They also thought that the Americans would “see reason” about limiting Soviet influence in Europe. The British were right about that – after 1945.

        There was no reason, in 1940, to think Roosevelt was untrustworthy.

        if the British capacity to fight in case of a renewed war were not affected in a peace deal with Germany, they had nothing to lose from it no matter how short the deal was to last.

        British capacity to fight in a renewed war would automatically be diminished if they quit the war with Germany, because they would lose all hope of present or future American aid.

        She wouldn’t need lend-lease. She’d have open sealanes with the whole empire, and American goodwill would certainly not disappear, especially if Hitler treacherously renewed the war, whether in 1940, in 1941, in 1942…

        She would absolutely need lend-lease if she hoped to hold off the Germans.

        American goodwill would absolutely disappear – it was totally based on British resistance to Hitler. America would wash her hands of the Brits if they quit.

        Unless Churchill had plans to build a British atom bomb already in June 1940, it was very much unreasonable.

        Based on the knowledge available in mid-1940 it was not at all unreasonable.

        Hate doesn’t win wars.

        Yes it does. People will fight against hopeless odds if they hate the enemy. A well-armed people will get tired and quit if they do not hate the enemy.

        if true, it would lay all the horrors of the continuance of WWII and its aftermath on the feet of democracy.

        Disregarding the fact that Germany wanted to keep fighting, too, of course.

        there’s also the possibility that the British elite could sell this policy as a continuance of the old directive to avoid having a hegemon in continental Europe.

        How do you figure that? That’s exactly what Germany would be if Britain quit the war.

        Did France or Russia control Europe from the Channel to the Urals at the end of the French-Russian struggle of 1812-1813? No, because the UK balanced from outside.

        First of all, Russia did not WANT to control Europe from the Urals to the Channel. Secondly, there were other powers in the equation (Prussia, Austria). Thirdly, the UK in 1815 had MUCH more capability to “balance from outside” than the UK in 1940.

        the option Churchill chose had the same risk from the beginning, and without the flexibility that Britain would have gained if it had remained outside and tried to balance.

        No, because the option Churchill chose involved bringing in the Americans to restore the balance.

        And it lost the Empire. You seem to forget why Britain had to go to war with Germany in 1939 in the first place.

        It wasn’t to defend the Empire. It was to prevent continental hegemony.

        I doubt it, for the U.S. would have the same reasons to support Britain as it did in the scenario which actually happened.

        No! A major reason to support Britain that would not exist if Britain quit was Britain’s evident determination to fight Hitler.

        And let’s not forget the immense wisdom of an obscure fellow named Harry S. Truman (NYT, 24 June 1941, two days after the outbreak of the German-Soviet war):

        “If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible”.

        You’re forgetting the rest of the quote, as people often do:

        “I don’t want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances.”

        Which was Churchill’s policy.

        The way you put it, Britain was doomed from the start.

        Britain could not benefit from war, period. Only others could benefit. That’s why Chamberlain was so desperate to prevent it.

        I suspect he actually hoped and expected to keep Britain an independent world power.

        Yes he did. He thought that Roosevelt would see the benefits of that result.

      • etype says:

        Tarl:
        The British DID make several agreements with Hitler, and he broke them. (Fool me once, shame on you, and all that…)

        These treaties, were based on one premise – British hegemony. They were in substance; ‘We will not attack or conduct economic warfare or blockade to create famine and starve your citizens, if you agree to maintain a military small enough that any major power can attack and occupy your country at any time.”
        Meaning that they were wars conducted on paper, that anyone would repudiate.
        In the meantime Britain was arming and financing Poland to attack every country on it’s frontier, but with a special incentive to attack German ethnic minority/majorities and remain intransigent over the Danzig question.
        The spirit of these treaties, that no country can exist not in vassalage to British hegemony, and the ‘moral’ and ‘ethical’ reasoning that was used to corral the British populace into a war against Europe on behalf of Communism/Capitalism, is the same ‘moral’ and ‘ethical’ reasoning used today to dispossess ironically: Britons in Britain, Europeans in Europe and White American in America, and men everywhere. No one anywhere has a right to self-sovereignty, unless Britain or some other self- aggrandized midget is managing it for you.
        Your argument Tarl, is the fossilized, obverse missing half of Cultural Marxism – except your sources are the British yellow press instead of Marx and Gramsci… still, the same war on sanity.

        British capacity to fight in a renewed war would automatically be diminished if they quit the war with Germany, because they would lose all hope of present or future American aid.

        Aid they would not have been given, and should not have been given, if the American people would have had any say in the matter. The world would be an infinitely better place, not poised on the edge of complete dissolution, if Britain’s warlike spirits such as Tarl; best expressed in action as ‘Lets you and him fight’, had they been curbed by sense in 1918 and not remain to mutate into today’s dystopia.
        Islamists everywhere thank you Britain (and you Tarl). Without your ability to start wars you cannot fight without ‘aid’, without dragging the rest of the world in to do the fighting you cannot do yourself, what chance would Mohammedans and sub-saharans have of burning down London?
        Britain laid the template still being used today, the same two-faced half-lie/half moral-prerogative to step in and ferment a programme of civilizational suicide – because she knows what’s best for us, acquired from the experience of preying on half the globe for it’s own betterment.

        She would absolutely need lend-lease if she hoped to hold off the Germans.

        – in fact, she would not be able to declare war at all, or finance the Poles into sparking the fire! What then? Where would we be now without two world wars? Without destroying Europe? Without the usurping of American government and policy from the intent of it’s founders? Thanks Britain for saving the day. Hows it going with that anyway?

        Hate doesn’t win wars.
        Tarl: Yes it does. People will fight against hopeless odds if they hate the enemy. A well-armed people will get tired and quit if they do not hate the enemy.

        It is always extremely important that people not know the truth about events that effect their society, people or future, nor should they be given accurate impartial information – lest they decide for themselves. There are simply too many Hitlers out there… by god they’re everywhere, envying our ‘freedoms’. In fact you may be one yourself, and that’s why they must keep an eye on you. Feeling tired? Hopeless? Read the press today and find out who to hate, you’ll feel better for it.
        Disregarding the fact that Germany wanted to keep fighting, too, of course.

        Disregarding the fact Germany offered peace repeatedly if given it’s historic territories. Disregarding Britain financing and arming of Poland to start a war. Disregarding Britain’s only card was only ever war…and nothing else. Disregarding a war with Communism was inevitable, so Britain’s foresight in betting all on that, to destroy Europe as a competitor, and herself, must be held up as a moral victory forever! Now Britain is an insignificant American mini-me (the hegemonies transplanted to Washington, where the cities namesake rolls over in his grave in agony) and Britain’s historic people are being fractioned into mulattoes, eunuchs and whiggers – well you can see all the fruits being harvested from such pluck and forebearance ® for yourself….

        there’s also the possibility that the British elite could sell this policy as a continuance of the old directive to avoid having a hegemon in continental Europe.
        Tarl: How do you figure that? That’s exactly what Germany would be if Britain quit the war.

        Go Soviets! The underlying lesson of the war is Britain should not quit a war she cannot fight herself, or allow history to proceed as it should, allowing others to manage their own affairs, while she manages her own, for Britain cannot maintain an empire if she has to compete in skills other than starting world wars. In the way that British manufacturing is unable to compete unless others manufacturing facilities and workers aren’t regularly bombed, their banking system isn’t administered by London, or the populace isn’t diversified by the rejects of Britain’s empire. Strangely similar, we are still told today we will be unable to compete unless we follow these dictums, which leads next to Tarl’s deluded, but in his own way accurate admission:

        And it lost the Empire. You seem to forget why Britain had to go to war with Germany in 1939 in the first place.

        It wasn’t to defend the Empire. It was to prevent continental hegemony.

        And make it a suitable home for ‘vibrancy’ and ‘dynamic freedumb’ of various sorts…. Change? Yes we can!
        But first we need to bomb and blockade all advanced, historic civilizations and peoples first… it’s not war, it’s ‘affirmative action’ alá Anglais.

        Britain could not benefit from war, period. Only others could benefit. That’s why Chamberlain was so desperate to prevent it.

        The International bankers, the Cultural Marxists, the Islamists, the Radical Feminists and the refuse of the Third World in general are truly Britain’s heirs. All the European and American dead of two world wars thank you Britain! You died so others could benefit. And that’s why Chamberlain was so desperate to prevent it, but Churchill and his cabal so determined whatever the cost to start it. Pax Brittanica! Civilizations finest hour.

        I suspect he actually hoped and expected to keep Britain an independent world power.
        Tarl: Yes he did. He thought that Roosevelt would see the benefits of that result.

        Obviously Roosevelt failed to see the benefit of preserving a regime that twice in 40 years started world wars for the benefit of others, that others would also have to fight, for her benefit. Britain as ‘international leader’ and ‘moral hall-monitor’ seemed a rather queer thing really, if you stop and think about it. But not if you don’t! It’s Great! Like Tarl! He’s as adament about this as can be! Take your medicine, don’t question the mainstream media, stay calm. but above all, don’t think for yourself. Britain had to declare war first in both wars, because without those wars there wouldn’t be the progress you see today. Are you afraid of change? Good! Because otherwise they’ll have to come after you. You think we should have a total surveillance society? Stay calm, the British thought of it first. You think international bankers should control the economy of the world from either London or later when London is burnt to the ground, Jerusalem? Stay calm, the British thought of it first. You think we should engage in multilateral world wars? Stay calm, the British thought of it first. You think the media and social choke points should be owned by an important and untouchable alien class? Stay calm, the British thought of it first. You think you should scan the media and accept without question the moral reprobates you are directed by law to hate? Stay calm, the British thought of it first. You think history should not be done by historians but is the proper office of propagandists, ax-grinders and social engineers? Stay calm, the British thought of it first.You think sovereignty should be abrogated and ruled by a ‘united nations’(sic) run by trans-national elites? Stay calm, the British thought of it first. You think modern society is undeserved white-priviledge and you say ‘Yes WE CAN!’ to change? Stay calm, the British thought of it first.
        The British laid the template for today’s social progress, so that others can benefit. The bombardment of society with half-facts braced by moral platitudes, the replacement of scholarly offices with place seekers, the replacement of political representatives with rent-seekers, the replacement of social growth with diversity and vibrancy….Stay calm, the British thought of it first. They had to… for you don’t have the moral compass to do such things yourself, so your betters did it for you.

      • Tarl says:

        These treaties, were based on one premise – British hegemony. They were in substance; ‘We will not attack or conduct economic warfare or blockade to create famine and starve your citizens, if you agree to maintain a military small enough that any major power can attack and occupy your country at any time.”

        No. The agreements were concluded *after* Germany had already broken the Treaty of Versailles by reintroducing conscription, creating the Luftwaffe, and remilitarizing the Rhineland. Thus, they were based not on the premise that Germany would be defenseless, but on the premise that Germany would not alter the European balance by force. The British were prepared to accept *peaceful* revisions of Versailles — and Munich was just that.

        In the meantime Britain was arming and financing Poland to attack every country on it’s frontier,

        Again with the crazy talk. Britain was doing no such thing.

        Your argument Tarl, is the fossilized, obverse missing half of Cultural Marxism

        Your “arguments” are just insane raving with no basis in fact.

        Aid they would not have been given, and should not have been given, if the American people would have had any say in the matter.

        They did have a say in the matter. They overwhelmingly approved aid to Britain.

        (additional drivel ignored)

        in fact, she would not be able to declare war at all, or finance the Poles into sparking the fire!

        Idiot, what sparked the fire was Hitler’s absolute determination to destroy Poland.

        It is always extremely important that people not know the truth about events that effect their society, people or future, nor should they be given accurate impartial information – lest they decide for themselves.

        The British people knew the truth about Hitler, which was why there was NO constituency for peace with him after the war started.

        Disregarding the fact Germany offered peace repeatedly if given it’s historic territories.

        Uh huh. Like the non-German parts of Czechoslovakia and Poland that Germany deliberately invaded? What an idiot you are.

        Disregarding Britain financing and arming of Poland to start a war.

        Poland didn’t start the war, dolt, Germany did. Britain was desperate to avoid war, as she could not benefit from it.

        And make it a suitable home for ‘vibrancy’ and ‘dynamic freedumb’ of various sorts…. Change? Yes we can!

        You are retarded. Mass non-white immigration to Europe was NOT an inevitable consequence of WW2.Britain did not fight for that and did not want it.

        first we need to bomb and blockade all advanced, historic civilizations and peoples first

        Who are bombing and blockading us…

        The International bankers, the Cultural Marxists, the Islamists, the Radical Feminists and the refuse of the Third World in general are truly Britain’s heirs. All the European and American dead of two world wars thank you Britain! You died so others could benefit. And that’s why Chamberlain was so desperate to prevent it, but Churchill and his cabal so determined whatever the cost to start it.

        If you think Churchill was a cultural marxist, a feminist, or a lover of the Third World, you really are retarded.

        Obviously Roosevelt failed to see the benefit of preserving a regime that twice in 40 years started world wars for the benefit of others,

        Britain did not start the war either time, halfwit.

        (Further babbling stupidities ignored.)

      • etype says:

        No. The agreements were concluded *after* Germany had already broken the Treaty of Versailles by reintroducing conscription, creating the Luftwaffe, and remilitarizing the Rhineland. Thus, they were based not on the premise that Germany would be defenseless, but on the premise that Germany would not alter the European balance by force. The British were prepared to accept *peaceful* revisions of Versailles — and Munich was just that.

        Half – truths and misdirection. I refer to Versailles and it’s amendments, you refer to Munich in reference to armaments treaties… but it comes to the same thing. The point you cling to – but on the premise that Germany would not alter the European balance by force is a rewording of the basic premise ‘Germany or any other European power is denied self-determination under threat of war by Britain.’ Yet the threat is not to be misunderstood as solely ‘war by Britain’, but World War instigated and planned in advance by Britain.

        In the meantime Britain was arming and financing Poland to attack every country on it’s frontier,
        Tarl: Again with the crazy talk. Britain was doing no such thing.

        Partially true, in fact the bulk of the financing was coming from Roosevelt, but was directed by the British into rebuilding the German armaments factories seized by the Polish under Versailles, recorded in the Swiss ‘Züricher Zeitung’ in 1936 well after the threat from the Soviet Union (as it was originally explained as aid following the Polish/Soviet war of 1919-21)… but continued on straight on to 1939.
        The International Herald Tribune, (based in Paris) commenting on this matter, remarked in 37:

        “War is coming, and a segment of British Foreign Office are active participants in steering this runaway carriage off the cliff, well before Chamberlain attempted to place the guard rails alongside the track….”

        )They (Americans) did have a say in the matter. They overwhelmingly approved aid to Britain.

        Complete nonsense spoken by either an ignoramus or a liar. American public opinion and the vast majority of political figures were overwhelmingly against aiding Britain in WWII or WWI, but especially WWII. The work done by British propaganda on America from that period on in this matter is the subject of enough books , to fill a small library. Americans rightfully distrusted British machinations. Americans overwhelmingly did not approve aid to Britain – a recent article in the BBC notes:
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4757181.stm

        “In a 1945 state department survey on the US public’s attitudes to its wartime allies, Britain was one of the least trusted countries,” says Dr Clavin.

        The American military considered Britain it’s #1 enemy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Plan_Red

        A google search on American wwii anti-British attitudes returns 749.000 results – wwII American isolationism – 460.000 results. The fact you would argue against such a patently open and obvious fact is why it is more advisable for one to simply call you names like liar and faggot, because you are not at all interested in discussing this honestly, nor are you worth the time to argue with, since you hide behind a screen of half-truths, open lies and appeals to stupidity, much like an ingenuous lawyer.

        And they thought rightly, a result of allying with Britain, was that their hegemonic process was transplanted from a ruined and inconsequential Britain to America. A fact every informed American should know more about in order to understand how did we get from there to here.

        The British people knew the truth about Hitler, which was why there was NO constituency for peace with him after the war started.

        cut from wiki :

        In 1940 the Ministry of Information launched an “Anger Campaign” to instill “personal anger… against the German people and Germany”, because the British were “harbouring little sense of real personal animus against the average German”. This was done to strengthen British resolve against the Germans.

        I suggest you read that article, it’s pretty even handed for a wiki article… British antipathy towards peace with the Reich was the result of the usual British atrocity propaganda you deal so well with, not the innate feelings of the public.

        “The British Institute of Public Opinion (BIPO) tracked the evolution of anti-German/anti-Nazi feeling in Britain, asking the public, via a series of opinion polls conducted from 1939 to 1943, whether “the chief enemy of Britain was the German people or the Nazi government”. In 1939 only 6% of respondents held the German people responsible; however, following the Blitz and the “Anger Campaign” in 1940, this increased to 50%.”

        If you think Churchill was a cultural marxist, a feminist, or a lover of the Third World, you really are retarded.
        Churchill cared for only one thing – power and war. As a result he initiated generations of propaganda crazed idiots such as Tarn. He made these things inevitable by giving such monstrocities a reasonable air, and a sense in inevitability of victory, by comparison to your type – who would destroy the world simply because you are stupid, and you refuse to understand it.

        Britain did not start the war either time, halfwit.

        If you look at the dates war was declared, it was Britain declaring war on Germany both times.

      • Tarl says:

        Not even gonna read your ravings. You are ignorant, insane, and obnoxious. I’ve already wasted too much time on you.

      • elsid says:

        @Tarl

        These agreements that you speak of were of far more significance and importance for germany due to the implications of these agreements in the first place were of much greater immediate interest to germany rather than the england. IOW these agreements were about hemming up germany which the germans had to absolutely break or subvert in some way in order to not become a pariah as the outsider powers wanted her to be.

      • Tarl says:

        @elsid,

        These agreements that you speak of were of far more significance and importance for germany due to the implications of these agreements in the first place were of much greater immediate interest to germany rather than the england.

        Don’t know what you mean here.

        IOW these agreements were about hemming up germany which the germans had to absolutely break or subvert in some way in order to not become a pariah as the outsider powers wanted her to be.

        With respect to the agreements made before Hitler came to power, the British and French were willing to permit Germany to revise the treaty of Versailles so long as she did so peacefully. It was only when she grabbed non-German territory (Czechoslovakia) and when she did so violently (Poland) that she became a pariah. The British and French did not make Hitler a pariah; he did so by his own actions. They had nothing at all to gain from war with Germany, and were desperate to avoid it.

        Look at the agreements Hitler made after he came to power: the German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact of 1934, the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935, the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1936, the 1935 assurance that Germany would respect the integrity of Austria, the Austro-German agreement of 1936, the Munich agreement of 1938, the assurances of 1937 and 1939 that Germany would respect the neutrality and territorial integrity of Belgium and the Netherlands, the assurances of 1939 that Germany would respect the neutrality of Norway and Luxemburg, and the German-Danish non-aggression pact of 1939.

        Hitler voluntarily assumed these agreements and then broke them. They were not forced on a defeated Germany. He was not forced to break them by anything the Allies did.

        Moreover, when he broke them, Germany was stronger than when he signed them. Therefore, the British would have to be completely stupid and deluded (even stupider and more deluded than etype) to think Hitler would keep any agreement he made with them after his victory in the West, when he was at the peak of his power. The basic lesson was that Hitler would break any agreement he made as soon as he had the power to do so and it was convenient to do so.

  9. Alat says:

    BTW, great post, Mr. Foseti. I’ll take a look at the Reid book.

  10. Kgaard says:

    Great review. Thanks for this.

    Why did Russia come out of WWII so well? Perhaps Stalin had some moral credibility after the war because of the ratio of Russian dead to American dead in WWII: It was 60 Russians per 1 American.

    • Red says:

      Having no remaining man power to continue fighting with should result in Russia getting nothing from the peace. Moral credibility is a bullshit term.

    • Tarl says:

      I question the premise that Russia came out of the war so well. Her country was devastated and she’d lost over 20 million dead.In exchange for this she got to occupy the primitive nations of Eastern Europe, which were also devastated and hated Russia. If I were Truman or even Churchill I sure wouldn’t trade places with Stalin.

      That aside, the moral credibility did not come from the large number of Russian dead, a great many of which were the product of Stalin’s grossly immoral military incompetence and brutality.

      • josh says:

        Didn’t Russia also get access to access to coal fields in Manchuria, as well railways and abandoned Japanese artillery, which it used to aid the Chi-Coms, in exchange for a promise to join the war in the Pacific. Things went pear shaped, but had Stalin been able to dominate China, the way he dominated Eastern Europe, things would have been different.

      • Tarl says:

        He did not occupy Manchuria as a result of a “promise” to join the Pacific War… he occupied Manchuria as a result of actually doing so.

        You might even argue that he did dominate China, since he backed Mao in the Chinese Civil War. But how much good did that victory really do him? The ChiComs were a bigger threat to the USSR than to the West.

      • cassander says:

        Eastern europe was not primitive. Part of it were, but Czechoslovakia, austria, eastern germany, and parts of the balkans and poland were all fairly developed

      • georgesdelatour says:

        Russia ended the war governed (however badly) by Russians, and recovering all the territory she’d lost at Brest-Litovsk. But at a terrible human cost.

        There are plenty of hints in the historical record that Russian leaders knew their territorial advance westward and the partition of Germany were both temporary. Their strategy was to make sure their eventual undoing occurred on terms as favourable to Russia as possible. In the end, they failed even at that, with both a reunited Germany and Poland joining NATO.

        in 1945 Soviet strategists saw control of Poland as a vital national interest, because this was the historical invasion route into Russia. But very soon these same strategists were making all kinds of contingency plans: basically, to route as few Red Army supplies through Poland as possible. Because, in the event of war with America, they realised the Poles would do everything in their power to sabotage the Soviet war effort.

        It would be an absurd exaggeration to suggest that Russian strategists were actually frightened of Poland. But they were aware of the ferocity of Polish national feeling; from the constant stream of Polish insurrections they’d faced in the 19th century, to Poland actually defeating the USSR in 1920, to the suicidal bravery of the Warsaw Uprising. Even the most wide-eyed Russian Marxist didn’t think that the common Marxist governance of the two countries would lead to the waning of such a powerful national feeling.

        The Red Army intervened directly in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968. But in 1981, the Soviets prevailed on a Polish general, wearing a Polish uniform, to do their bidding. The sight of Russian uniforms on the streets of Warsaw would have been too much of a provocation.

  11. etype says:

    Much of this is nonsense. Churchill was only one part of a Anglo conspiracy to destroy European power, despite being a European power – England had grander aims. Unfortunately it all came to grief. Anglo-American society now faces inevitable doom, it’s fate was written there with Churchill, with the unintended inheritance of his plans for empire, or ‘new world order’.
    These reviews derived from hagiographies, are all flawed – one is unsure if the reviewer/critic /reader is trying to defend, recover or rehabilitate the subject for or ‘from’ the left, or for/from the right.
    The commentator above is mostly correct, the WWI & WWII project was an entirely British derived plot to destroy the continental competition and place all blame on their enemies – a complete moral victory a’la Anglais.
    And now you are destined to go down in utter ignominy, but still you can’t read a book on Churchill without wishing you could have a drink with the man, oh and throw out a few offhand lies about Hitler and the Nazi’s because you’ve been trained by such books in the Pavlovian manner to feel good about such things, morally….

    • josh says:

      Has anyone else read “Conjuring Hitler”, or (the extremely suspect, but still…) “Hitler’s Secret Backers”?

  12. B says:

    Churchill assumed the terms of the partnership with the US would be more equal, along the lines of what they were during WW1. He didn’t understand that FDR’s America was not Wilson’s; that FDR had a much tighter grip on its resources and population and that he saw the British Empire as an obstacle to be eliminated, rather than a partner in a joint scheme. In other words, Churchill made the exact same mistakes about the US as FDR did about the USSR.

    I would really like to read your feedback on Muller’s purported American diary (http://www.docshut.com/mkqpiw/gregory-douglas-the-cia-covenant-nazis-in-washington-the-journals-of-ss-general-gestapo-heinrich-muller-1999.html) and Sutton’s works on Wall Street and the rise of the Communists and Nazis (http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/pdf/Sutton_Wall_Street_and_the_bolshevik_revolution-3.pdf).

    • Foseti says:

      I’ll check them out. Thanks

    • josh says:

      The finder of the diary “Gregory Douglas” does not appear very credible. He also claims to have a minutes log James Angleton kept while plotting the assassination of JFK. It appears from a quick google that he has a reputation for forgery among the conspiracy/revisionist community.

  13. lelnet says:

    “Surely, the fact Hopkins was potentially a Soviet agent deserves a mention. Arguably, it changes everything.”

    More credibly, it changes very little. If the American president is a Soviet sympathizer, how much can it really be said to matter that the dude who serves as his go-between with Churchill is an out-and-out spy? (Yes, Stalin probably got information from Hopkins that he wouldn’t have gotten from FDR. But it is hard to make a credible case that the geopolitical result for Stalin or the Soviet Union would have been in any meaningful respect different, were Hopkins _not_ a spy.)

  14. RS says:

    > No. Britain produced more aircraft than Germany EVERY SINGLE YEAR from 1940 to 1945, and could control the Atlantic to gain access to American resources. To surrender is crazy. To sign a crappy compromise peace is crazy.

    Overall tl;dr, but I will tend to side with you here… conditionally.

    So . . . Huge Nazi Empire on Map. But what’s it consist of? To Germany’s east, some cows. To Germany’s west, some very serious industrial and human capital that was rapidly running out of fossil energy over ’40-45 . . . as well as being pinched on iron ore as you mention. Nazi behemoth was starving and dying. The coal for the northwest continent had mostly come from England before the war. No coal, no steel, not much oil, potempkin empire.

    I side with you conditionally because if they’d gotten through Stalingrad to the Caucasian oil fields (or any other oil), that would have made a huge difference. Had Red Army been cowed or even just well-checked and the Empire seriously jouled up, its hard to see how US could have seriously contested with the Empire for the Isles. Fourteen-mile supply chain versus 3,000-mile supply chain, ja? England would have basically surrendered or been crushed, and there’s no way Churchill could have known the outcome of Stalingrad.

    • RS says:

      > Fourteen-mile supply chain versus 3,000-mile supply chain, ja?

      Had the US wanted to continue the war, and had there been considerable men, resources, and infrastructure in Siberia, US could have gone around and supplied/joined the Russians across the Pacific. Leaving the Atlantic placid, presumably.

      I don’t know if that would have been workable at all, but I don’t think contesting the Isles after Hitler is supra-hegemonic in Eurasia would have been workable.

      Assuming USSR had a good basis in Siberia, they could have had a serious fight, if USA was fully committed. USA resources were vast.

    • Tarl says:

      I shall simply note that at the time, the prospect of Nazi conquest of Soviet resources did not fill the British or Americans with the sublime indifference you display 70 years afterward.

  15. John says:

    3) ending European (excluding Soviet) colonialism.

    This wasn’t a “clear war aim” of the US. The US only paid some lip service to national independence for propaganda purposes because it was fighting the Japanese who were claiming to liberate Asians from European colonial rule. After WWII, the US even materially aided the French in their war to maintain control of French Indochina.

    The ending of European colonialism was the product of postwar geopolitics. After the war, the US and the USSR were the only remaining powers and the colonial empires weren’t in much of a position to fight Soviet backed national liberation movements. The US reasonably believed that intervening to help the Europeans try to maintain colonial dominance against Soviet backed national liberation movements would result in greater indigenous support for the Soviets and the nationalists and possibly trigger wider conflict and even WWIII. The US thought it’d be better to just ally with some local nationalists and to install them in power and offer them at least nominal independence in exchange for being pro-US and anti-Soviet, serving wider US geopolitical interests, hosting US military bases, etc.

    • Tarl says:

      Yes it was a clear war aim. That’s what the Atlantic Charter was all about. In FDR’s private meetings with Stalin, FDR was very clear about taking colonial possessions away from the French, Dutch, and even the British.

      • John says:

        The Atlantic Charter was drafted by the British and the US and agreed to by all the Allies – the USSR, the French, the Netherlands, etc. None of whom were interested in dismantling their empires. If you’re going to assert that this was a “clear American war aim”, you’ll have to assert that this was also a “clear war aim” of the British, the USSR, the French, the Netherlands, etc.

        Here’s some background to the charter:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_charter#Impact_on_imperial_powers

        The problems came not from Germany and Japan, but from those of the allies that had empires and which resisted self-determination—especially Britain, the Soviet Union and the Netherlands. Initially it appears that Roosevelt and Churchill had agreed that the third point of Charter was not going to apply to Africa and Asia.[17] However Roosevelt’s speechwriter Robert Sherwood noted that “it was not long before the people of India, Burma, Malaya, and Indonesia were beginning to ask if the Atlantic Charter extended also to the Pacific and to Asia in general.” With a war that could only be won with these allies, Roosevelt’s solution was to put some pressure on Britain but to postpone until after the war the issue of self-determination of the colonies.[18] In a speech a year after the Charter was published he avoided the issue of whether it applied to the rest of the world even though the Office of War Information draft of the speech had explicitly said it did.[19]

        It’s clear that there was nothing particularly “clear” about it and that it was not some specific “war aim” on par with the unconditional surrender of Germany and Japan. Like I said, it had propaganda value and the US more or less stumbled into it out of postwar geopolitical circumstance.

      • Tarl says:

        The Atlantic Charter was drafted by the British and the US and agreed to by all the Allies – the USSR, the French, the Netherlands, etc. None of whom were interested in dismantling their empires. If you’re going to assert that this was a “clear American war aim”, you’ll have to assert that this was also a “clear war aim” of the British, the USSR, the French, the Netherlands, etc.

        Ha. The British signed it with one idea of what it meant, and the Americans signed it with a completely different idea. In practice, the American view of what it meant was the one that prevailed.

  16. fnn says:

    Not much, but apparently the most detailed study of the British covert ops campaign to bring the US into WW2:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1574882236/

  17. RS says:

    > Churchill assumed the terms of the partnership with the US would be more equal, along the lines of what they were during WW1. He didn’t understand that FDR’s America was not Wilson’s; that FDR had a much tighter grip on its resources and population and that he saw the British Empire as an obstacle to be eliminated, rather than a partner in a joint scheme. In other words, Churchill made the exact same mistakes about the US as FDR did about the USSR.

    I don’t see how you characterize post-WWI as a partnership. “Churchill appears before the Big Four to /demand/ a unified invasion” of a bolshevizing Russia. From memory, everyone else is also for it, and eager to get on the dirty work post-haste without boots-on-ground help (they claimed), but did need US $$, being bankrupted by the war — and Wilson slaps the project down. Some joint scheme ; joint scheme to do what? England/Europa may have been allowed to keep India or something, but wasn’t allowed to intervene in Russia to restore the belle epoque and hopefully obviate 100+ years of Western decline (and fall?).

    Somehow the latter seems way more important than the former.

    I think it was even clearer by WWII that England was a client not a partner, especially since it was still in hock from before, but the above point is more important.

  18. […] the Scribe of the Reaction hits it out of the park with his review of Paul Reid’s Churchill bio “The Last Lion”. We get why FDR ceded half the world to the Soviets. He was a freakin’ crypto-commie himself. […]

  19. etype says:

    Our learned colleague Tarl repeats well-worn propaganda chestnuts ‘simply can’t trust him’ (meaning Hitler’s unending lies to the ‘civilized’ nations of Britain and Britain). But wait, would that be in reference to Czechoslovakia? So after the return of the Sudetenland – Czechoslovakia is attacked by Poland and Germany declares Czechoslovakia a protectorate. This is the source of the ‘simply can’t trust him’ canard, along with the ‘he lies and lies’ explanation, often made with a straight face by someone with British sympathies, referring to the Chamberlain treaty of ‘guaranteed peace’, ignoring the fact it was made void by the Polish attack sanctioned and financed by Britain and France, applauded with great satisfaction by Churchill, who wanted war at all costs.. So Britain and France created and armed Poland to do what it was doing – attack every country on it’s borders (Russia, Romania, Germany, Czechoslovakia) and dispossesses and massacres their ethnic populations. Germany steps in to stop the dispossession and it’s painted as a unending liar by the never-lying British. Or was it the occupation of the Ruhr? German land occupied by Germans – the liars… how dare they? Or was it Austria – more lying?
    Or what exactly besides propaganda do you have to back up this ‘he lies – can’t trust him’ bullshit?

    You evidence a sort of righteousness in your accusations of ‘Hitlers lies,’ Tarn. Do we need to catalogue the complete mastery of lying and propaganda the British perfected and which we still live with today, the same serious righteousness and accusations we get daily about the need to attack and free Korea, Vietnam, Iran, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Russia, Cuba, etc. etc. etc. from Hitlers? It all comes from Britain, including America’s slide into dystopian catastrophe.

    This is the main point of why neo-reactionarism or whatever has no chance of anything except as serving as a bullshit spewing farm team for the big leagues – which you deign the ‘Cathedral’. You spew the same bullshit, but call it ‘reactionary,’ this time for WWII Britain and Churchill, who has a statue in Moscow and a bust in Israel, the initiator of all the programs of dispossession you claim you revolt against.
    Tarn even values the slaughter of millions of European civilians as part of that admirable British pluck and firm reactionary grasp on realpolitik…. (because they couldn’t fight the Germans in the field, despite the fact it was Britain who declared war on Germany, not visa versa) and applaud the historic British strategy of ‘let’s you and him fight’…. because the British can’t fight a war they planned for and started on their own, they are too busy sitting around telling ‘truths’.

    Contemplate this fact Tarn – no matter how bad the imaginary factotums of the ‘Catherdral’ are, you are much worse, and it is you, the British, not chews, not Muslims or Serbians or Germans that are the source and wellspring of the dispossession of Western Civilization.

    • Tarl says:

      Our learned colleague Tarl repeats well-worn propaganda chestnuts ‘simply can’t trust him’ (meaning Hitler’s unending lies to the ‘civilized’ nations of Britain and Britain). But wait, would that be in reference to Czechoslovakia?

      The “propaganda chestnut” is the simple truth.

      Not just Czechoslovakia, though. As of June 1940, Hitler had violated the Treaty of Versailles, the Locarno Pact, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact of 1934, the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935, the Anti-Comintern Pact of 1936, the Hague Convention of 1907, the 1935 assurance that Germany would respect the integrity of Austria, the Austro-German agreement of 1936, the assurances of 1937 and 1939 that Germany would respect the neutrality and territorial integrity of Belgium and the Netherlands, the assurances of 1939 that Germany would respect the neutrality of Norway and Luxemburg, and the German-Danish non-aggression pact of 1939.

      Still more violations of Hitler’s word were to come in 1941!

      So after the return of the Sudetenland – Czechoslovakia is attacked by Poland and Germany declares Czechoslovakia a protectorate.

      Nice try, idiot. German annexation of the Czech rump state was not a reaction to anything Poland did. The day after the Munich agreement was signed, Hitler declared his intention to annex the rest of Czechoslovakia at the earliest opportunity, and he directed the Wehrmacht to begin planning to that effect. Annexing all of Czechoslovakia was what he always wanted to do, even before Munich (duh), and the Munich agreement frustrated Hitler because he thought he should have gotten all of it instead of just the Sudetenland.

      the Chamberlain treaty of ‘guaranteed peace’, ignoring the fact it was made void by the Polish attack sanctioned and financed by Britain and France

      Spectacularly false. The guarantee was not made void by the Polish attack, and the Polish attack was not sanctioned or financed by Britain or France.

      You’re just making shit up now.

      Britain and France created and armed Poland to do what it was doing – attack every country on it’s borders (Russia, Romania, Germany, Czechoslovakia) and dispossesses and massacres their ethnic populations.

      Ditto.

      Germany steps in to stop the dispossession

      That’s your idea of why Hitler occupied Prague?

      Fascinating bullshit!

      Doesn’t have a thing to do with actual history, though.

      Or what exactly besides propaganda do you have to back up this ‘he lies – can’t trust him’ bullshit?

      Try a simple comparison of Hitler’s promises to his actions, dumbass.

      Not even going to bother addressing the rest of your crazy crap.

      it is you, the British, not chews, not Muslims or Serbians or Germans that are the source and wellspring of the dispossession of Western Civilization.

      I’m not British, idiot.

      • etype says:

        @Tarl:
        Your list of violated treaties is something one expects to hear out of the mouth of a foaming maniac. Even the simplest of analyses by the most IQ challenged individual graced by the benefit of a library would understand that by 1940 the Allies had unilaterally declared war on Germany and those treaties were annulled by all parties involved. Citing them simply shows you do not have the intelligence to understand how and why treaties are made and unmade.

        #1: The Treaty of Versailles purpose was as pretext for war, by the Allies, looting the German economy, giving away historic German land with vast majorities of ethnic Germans, who were dispossessed from their ancient homelands, subjection to terrorism, massacres, murders, as desired by the architects of the treaty, in order to facilitate the next war before Germany acquired the means to resist or demand fair and reasonable terms.
        #2 the Locarno Pact was another pretext for war by the allies; however Germany never broke the Locarno Pact, while France constantly threatened in the press and international tribunals to break this pact. The Locarno pact only guaranteed the western borders – making it legal for Germany to strike east in response to Polish aggression.
        #3 By declaring unilateral war on Germany it was the Allies who breached the Kellogg-Briand Pact. This they themselves acknowledged and was subject of debate in the British commons and the American press.

        All the Allies since have routinely breached the Kellogg-Briand Pact numerous times before it’s abrogation. And continue to breach it today.

        #4 The Polish-German non-aggression Pact was breached by Poland repeatedly before 1939 . Once Beck was in power all western powers considered the Polish-German non-aggression Pact abrogated.
        #5 The Anglo-German naval agreement, plus various other disarmament agreements were violated by Britain and France almost immediately after signing. As the naval agreement was determined by ratio of material – it was a sheer impossibility for Germany to break the pact even if they had wanted to.

        etc. etc. I will not list the rest.

        You are a know-nothing idiot who has not done an iota of research to back your claims. Your response is so luridly brain-washed, it’s obvious you lack the mental facilities to understand history is not accurately reflected by Hollywood or the gutter press, even if that is the only level you are capable of comprehending.

        I’m extremely relieved and gratified to hear you are not British, thank you for that clarification, you are however, the idiot I detected you to be. I do not understand why you comment on reactionary sites, you are not a reactionary, but a freakactionary. Your sub-mentality is the acid base in which Western civilization is intended to dissolve. You are the vector of infection – you make the left look good by comparison.

      • Tarl says:

        Even the simplest of analyses by the most IQ challenged individual graced by the benefit of a library would understand that by 1940 the Allies had unilaterally declared war on Germany and those treaties were annulled by all parties involved.

        Your historical ignorance amuses me. If you knew anything, which you don’t, you would know that Germany broke all the agreements that involved Britain before war was declared in 1939.

        The ones that Germany broke in 1940 – assurances that she would respect the neutrality of Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway – did not involve Britain or France, and thus were not annulled by the declaration of war.

        DUMBASS.

        I’m not going to waste any more time on you.

      • etype says:

        Tarl:
        You hopelessly stupid, incorrigible, histrionic whore (+ mouth foaming reptilian rat face). Do you have a new list of treaties now? You bypass your previous assertions, to come up with a new list of broken treaties by the Germans, and fail to mention ‘why’ they broke those treaties, in that it was the British that had made them null and void, in spirit as well as intent, which is why I call you rightfully a soiled whore, in that you have no personal honour, which would require knowing both sides of the story – and conceding to facts and common sense, my dull witted, slow-thinking, faeces-slurping friend.
        Particularly in armaments, which is possibly to what you refer, Britain signed and broke those treaties well before Hitler, during the Weimar republic. Hitler tried to take those armament treaties before international committees many times and was rebuffed. It was the British arming and financing Poland in attacking every country on it’s frontier, massacring civilians through cross-border guerilla action – terrorism – the list is long – Russia, Lithuania, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Germany, etc.
        What was the purpose of the Locarno pact, covering only the western frontier, while Britain signed a mutual assistance pact with Poland, provided she only attack Germany – ‘let me see… what could be the outcome?
        Your pompous bloviations regarding Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark and Norway are pathetic. It was Belgiums fate to be in a geographic position where neutrality was not in question. Britain had active plans to occupy the Netherlands and Norway, we all know about that, it is a measure of your bad faith that you pretend to make an issue of this. Denmark’s neutrality was respected, why do you even mention this? Was Icelands? Was the settlement of South Africa respected? Has Britain ever respected any treaties unless it was in it’s interest? It is not so much the fact that you don’t know what you are speaking of – than it is that you are an instinctive liar, and can’t help yourself .

      • Tarl says:

        fail to mention ‘why’ they broke those treaties, in that it was the British that had made them null and void,

        Moron, war with Britain did NOT make Hitler’s non-aggression pact with Denmark or her promise to respect Belgian, Dutch or Norwegian neutrality null and void, because Britain was not a party to those German agreements and promises with those neutral countries.

        conceding to facts and common sense, my dull witted, slow-thinking, faeces-slurping friend.

        You wouldn’t recognize a fact if it slapped you in the face.

        Particularly in armaments, which is possibly to what you refer, Britain signed and broke those treaties well before Hitler, during the Weimar republic.

        Bullshit. Wrong.

        It was the British arming and financing Poland in attacking every country on it’s frontier, massacring civilians through cross-border guerilla action – terrorism – the list is long – Russia, Lithuania, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Germany, etc.

        This is simply insane bullshit. Fascinatingly stupid, though.

        What was the purpose of the Locarno pact, covering only the western frontier, while Britain signed a mutual assistance pact with Poland, provided she only attack Germany – ‘let me see… what could be the outcome?

        The purpose of Locarno was to improve relations between Britain, France, Belgium and Germany, not to start a war, you imbecile.

        Your pompous bloviations regarding Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark and Norway are pathetic. It was Belgiums fate to be in a geographic position where neutrality was not in question. Britain had active plans to occupy the Netherlands and Norway, we all know about that, it is a measure of your bad faith that you pretend to make an issue of this. Denmark’s neutrality was respected, why do you even mention this? Was Icelands? Was the settlement of South Africa respected? Has Britain ever respected any treaties unless it was in it’s interest? It is not so much the fact that you don’t know what you are speaking of – than it is that you are an instinctive liar, and can’t help yourself

        You are an amazingly ignorant fool. Your entire paragraph is insane.

        “Denmark’s neutrality was respected” — LOLOL, I guess the German invasion of April 9, 1940, counts as “respecting neutrality” in your tiny mind.

        “Was Icelands” — the occupation of Iceland was a direct consequence of the German invasion of Scandinavia, idiot.

      • etype says:

        Tarl:
        Thank you for your reply; you cross-eyed, hair-lipped, shrieking Castrato. War most certainly did make said treaties contingent – Germany is mostly land-locked, and war with Britain and France put all her frontiers in danger of invasion by land, sea and by air. Of course such matters are above your mental pay-grade, and outside your usual frames of reference (ie.) sodomy & cross-dressing.
        So mentioning Churchill’s plans to invade Norway is insane ‘bullshit’? – necessitating placing Denmark under protectorate status by consent of her sovereign authority? But occupation of Iceland, Greenland and the Faro Islands by the British is just customary? Well, my jingoist, propaganda – intoxicated, dull witted, slow-thinking, faeces-slurping friend, the thesis here is that after aiding the Islamist Turks against the Russians in the Crimean war, so that a European power would not once again occupy it’s historic Rome, but rather it remain an Islamist possession on European soil… and after conducting aggressive warfare on the peaceful independent settlement of South Africa, where she erected concentration camps in which she interred women, children and the elderly, murdering by starvation and disease an estimated 10.000 in one camp alone – because she could not face the Boers in the field without being defeated and showing her worth – she embarked on a plan to destroy Europe and Hitler and his Nazi’s were the slightly unexpected but not unprepared for result. Your British ‘empire’ is the fount of all dispossession and the enemy of the liberty of all people, not just Europeans or Americans or even the indigenous British people, but human civilization – not the chews, or the cultural marxists, or communists – these people are just specialists, allies or opportunists working side by side – and fools like you are their donkeys.

      • Tarl says:

        Not even gonna read your ravings. You are ignorant, insane, and obnoxious. I’ve already wasted too much time on you.

      • etype says:

        In both wars it was Britain declaring war on Germany, check dates if you are unaware. Moral qualifications mean nothing in statesmanship, except as fodderall to deal the public. States do not declare war ‘for others’ as you say so childishly and simplistically – and no state is less likely to do so than Britain. States declare wars with clear long term objectives, long deliberated and pre-laid plans, contingency and fall-back options and alternate methods of action.
        And if they don’t, those statesman are as worthy of hanging by constituents as the opposite.

        Because the public and ‘you’ believes the British elite when they say they must declare war because of Serbia, or Poland and it’s the moral thing to do, ‘for others’ – does not mean that this is the truth, it means it is almost exclusively a lie.

        One is as fatally damnable and as stupid as the other. However one fatal mistake, the one I put before you, is the result of sophisticated statesmanship tinged with fatal hubris. The other, the one you suggest, is the height of stupidity and folly… and the least likely, almost impossible given what we know.

        A massive preponderance of evidence, and it is a great preponderance indeed, in the published accounts, personal remarks, writings, letters, actions show clearly Britain was working on destroying Europe as competitor to it’s goal of a world empire in the late 19th century. The idea that Britain dealt in good faith at any time in it’s history, because they say so, it is laughable historically. It’s actions in Europe previous, the Crimea and the Boer war laid bare it’s intentions in deeds.

        Now you stick arrogantly to the party line – and will twist logic or any fact to support this party line. I think you are naturally a prejudiced and narrow minded person, or/and simply a troll with a superficial mind. Perhaps. but with no concessions to me, or disavowal of your argument, but just as an intellectual experiment contemplate what I am telling you

      • Tarl says:

        Still not reading your nonsense, fruitcake.

      • etype says:

        I’m glad to see you’re not letting anything get in the way of you natural state of complete ignorance.

      • Tarl says:

        Think whatever you want. You have already demonstrated that you are ignorant and insane. Nothing I say will change that, so I’m not going to waste my time trying.

      • etype says:

        I understand, it is inconvenient for you to change your mind, unless you have a diaper on hand.

      • etype says:

        Yours changes after every enema

      • Tarl says:

        If only you had a mind to change.

  20. John says:

    “The ‘Atlantic Charter’ Smokescreen
    History As A Press Release”

    http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v05/v05p203_Lutton.html

    “[Churchill] explained that “We had the idea when we met there — the President and I — that without attempting to draw final formal peace aims and war aims, it was necessary to give all peoples, and especially the oppressed and conquered peoples a simple rough and ready war-time statement of the goal towards which the British Commonwealth and the United States mean to make their way and thus make a way for others to march with them upon a road which will certainly be painful and may be long.””

    “Any notion that the provisions of the Atlantic Charter might apply to India and other British colonial possessions were quickly dashed. The British government’s position was clarified when on September 9, 1941, Churchill told the House of Commons:

    “The Joint Declaration does not try to explain how the broad principles proclaimed by it are to be applied to each and every case which will have to be dealt with when the war comes to an end. It would not be wise for us, at this moment, to be drawn into laborious discussions on how it is to fit all the manifold problems with which we shall be faced after the war…

    “The Joint Declaration does not qualify in any way the various statements of policy which have been made from time to time about the developments of constitutional government in India, Burma, and other parts of the British Empire… At the Atlantic meeting we have had in mind, primarily, the restoration of the sovereignty, self-government, and natural life of the States and nations of Europe now under the Nazi yoke… so that is quite a separate problem from progressive evolution of self-governing institutions in the regions and peoples which owe allegiance to the British Crown.”

    The Secretary of State for India, L.S. Amery, reported that the government did not consider the Atlantic Charter to be relevant to India and other parts of the Empire. Speaking at Manchester on November 20, 1941, Amery declared that while the Indian Congress “has demanded that India’s future constitution should be settled by a Constituent Assembly, this is an impossible demand,” and went on to deplore “the clamour for the application of the Atlantic Charter to India,” which he described as “a typical example of loose thinking.” /13

    The London News Chronicle pointed out that “What the British Government will gladly concede to Yugoslavia, it will withhold from the jewel of the British Empire.” The paper went on to characterize the Atlantic Charter as a “symbol of hypocrisy.””

    “Another of the British Prime Minister’s Parliamentary critics, Mr. MacGovern, called Churchill “a self-confessed advocate of aggression.” He went on to say that in his estimation “the Atlantic Charter was one of the grossest pieces of deceit in modern times,” because Churchill was prepared to apply it to countries overrun by Hitler “while the independent government which it proposes to give them is denied to territories that have been overrun in the past by Britain herself.””

  21. Toddy Cat says:

    Why hasn’t someone called Ike a Communist yet? MM, I’m disappointed…

  22. […] tries to make some sense of Winston […]

  23. JI says:

    Foseti is being naive. Hitler had every intention of eventually conquering the British, and the Brits knew they couldn’t compete against the industrial, technological, numerical, fanatical and scientific resources the Germans could bring to bear in a war. Hitler just wanted the Soviet Union out of the way before he turned his eyes toward Britain. And he was right next door whereas the Soviet Union was further away from Britain. So to me it’s obvious why Churchill viewed Hitler as the greater threat.

    • Tarl says:

      Don’t you know? Poor Hitler was afraid he was going to be conquered by Poland, LMAO.

      • etype says:

        Tarl:
        You ill- smelling, mental defective, unsightly hunchback. The Polish-German non-aggression pact of 1935 was made because of Pilsuldski’s threats of per-emptive war on Germany. Pilsuldski in 1930 openly trying to convince the French to agree to joint attack and dismemberment of Germany. Jozef Beck, Pilsuldski’s successor had threatened many times to ‘be in Berlin in a week’, and Polish guerilla’s were regularly slaughtering German civilians in the towns around Danzig (Dershou and others, as reported by the Red Cross and Swiss and French press) and in Silesia. The Polish army was one of the most highly regarded in Europe at the time. The Wehrmacht was universally considered a paper tiger in 1939 (despite present day propaganda it was a juggernaut, it was not, the BEF outnumbered the regular Wehrmacht, and combined with the French it was massively outnumbered in men and material, and combined with the Poles it was considered an insignificant gnat.

        British newspaper Daily Mail of August 6th, 1939, reported Polish Marshal Edward Śmigły-Rydz as saying:
        “Poland wants war with Germany and Germany will not be able to avoid it even if she wants to”.

        Polish leader Edward Rydz-Śmigły, had himself painted parading through the German capital and, instead of considering Germany’s peaceful solutions regarding the Free City of Danzig, lobbied for war

        Australian Newspaper account of nazi speech in Danzig which records Polish threats, and below assassinations of Germans in Danzig
        http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/41083410?searchTerm=Smig%C5%82y-Rydz

        Monday Aug 7 1939
        General Sosnkowski, second in command of the Polish army, declared : — ‘Pilsudski’s legionnaires were particularly favoured by history because it seems that they will participate in a second international war in which Poland will be one of the most important and most exposed actors in the drama. It seems that after 20 years the main act in the stabilisation of Polish independence is beginning.’
        http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/94852275?searchTerm=sosnkowski

      • Tarl says:

        LOLOL, you ARE truly retarded. I’m not going to respond to all your stupid shit, which I know is false, because you are nuts and the truth means nothing to you.

      • etype says:

        Tarl: – You’re not only dull yourself, you’re the cause of dullness in others. Stupid people, like yourself, are the constituency that make lying in politics indispensable and inevitable.
        Go back to your village, it’s been without it’s idiot too long.

      • Tarl says:

        Pot, kettle, black. You’re incapable of recognizing the truth, and you’re an asshole to boot.

      • etype says:

        You need to call 911 for a paramedic team with a hydraulic ‘jaws of life’ to remove your head from your ass.

      • etype says:

        A one-word summation of your being – omitting anything regarding your stupidity, not quite a confession…yet still an improvement.

      • Tarl says:

        A one-word summation of my boredom with your stupidity, ignorance of history, and insane, profane ranting.

      • etype says:

        Here’s a nifty four-word summation for why you are unable to deal with counter-facts, or argue beyond the level of a retard:
        (a) you’re a stupid coçk$ucker.
        and
        (b) you’ve $hit for brains.

      • Tarl says:

        I can deal with “counter-facts”. You don’t have any. I see no need to deal with your fantasies.

        The constant stream of filth from you demonstrates very clearly who has the inferior intelligence and disordered personality – namely, you.

    • K(yle) says:

      Well duh! He was going to conquer the whole entire world just so he could get all the Jews!

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