Comments on: September 1939 and the outbreak of war http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2009/08/28/september-1939-and-the-outbreak-of-war/ Wed, 16 Nov 2016 01:37:11 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: harrys http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2009/08/28/september-1939-and-the-outbreak-of-war/comment-page-1/#comment-6638 Thu, 10 Sep 2009 10:52:20 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/?p=3017#comment-6638 So the Terry Charman “revelation” is that Chamberlain spent a anxious night after declaring war.He finds it incredible that Chamberlain had a “time or two” with nothing to do and thus was no war leader. I find it incredible that that Mr Charman thinks we are so credulous. The pre war planning was all being put into effect by then.His hero Churchill was presumably filling his time by:1/ “Sleeping off” the night before.2/ Composing a love letter to Good old Uncle Joe.3/Plotting his “walk with destiny” with the Labour (Disarmanent) Party.4/Getting his crony Beaverbrook to find a use for the venerable left winger Michael Foot.Namely to criticise Baldwin and Chamberlain for not rearming fast enough a few years after criticising Baldwin and Chamberlain for rearming.Being the genius he was Churchill did all this and more at the same time. Mr Charman is welcome to read between these lines to read what I mean.

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By: Gordon http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2009/08/28/september-1939-and-the-outbreak-of-war/comment-page-1/#comment-6430 Wed, 02 Sep 2009 21:49:11 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/?p=3017#comment-6430 So what did WE (the US) learn?What I learned from history is:1. The best way to win a war is not to start- Sun Tsu2. To win a war you must know your enemy and yourself- Sun Tsu3. Some things are worth fighting for- Revolutionary War4. War is brutal, no matter where it is – Civil War, WWI5. To win a war you need ALL your resources to be available (War economy) – WWII6. You must be as aggressive and brutal as the enemy and willing to go all the way- Korean War7. If it isn’t worth it pull out – Vietnam War8. Have the best trained/equiped military in the world with an objective – Desert Storm9. Have an exit strategy- OIFExperience tells me if we are going to do war it should be worth it, we should be aggressive, We should be “all in”, and we should have a “National” objective with an exit strategy…..

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By: Matthew http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2009/08/28/september-1939-and-the-outbreak-of-war/comment-page-1/#comment-6397 Wed, 02 Sep 2009 03:50:48 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/?p=3017#comment-6397 The defencelessness of Britain in 1939 and its failure to re-arm have always been somewhat exaggerated in my view. In 1939 Britain had by far the largest navy in the world – absolutely colossal and capable of wiping the floor with all-comers. The RAF already had the Spitfire – don’t forget we fought and won the Battle of Britain just a few months later, in an era that certainly wasn’t one of computerised production lines. Certainly the army’s equipment was rather antiquated compared to the German stormtrooper’s, but it wasn’t a small army – it numbered many hundreds of thousands of men before war was even declared.Our main problem in 1938 was the unwillingness of our allies to fight. The French and the Belgians had 1.5 million men under arms in the spring of 1940. Had they fought, and not turned tail and run, the whole war would have been very different. The blitzkrieg was a massive gamble, a gamble largely (as it proved correctly) on your enemy’s lack of backbone.We still need to learn the lessons of all this today, in Afghanistan for a start. The Taliban will never be defeated while some of our allies have no stomach for a fight.

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By: Mike http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2009/08/28/september-1939-and-the-outbreak-of-war/comment-page-1/#comment-6316 Sun, 30 Aug 2009 20:13:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/?p=3017#comment-6316 Rhoops, it is a fact that “war is directed by the old, but experienced mostly by the young”, as you say. The very natures of war and politics dictate that this has been and always will be, true. It is also a fact that aggressors, like Germany, Italy, and Japan have always been with us. So, if a nation wishes to survive, and diplomacy fails (as it did for Chamberlain), war or capitulation are the two alternatives.If so, “can [we]look forward to WWIII in 2017-23 with a degree of indulgent indifference?” The answer is no.As should’ve been the case in England before WWII, it is the responsibility of our government to prepare us FOR, as well as protect us FROM war, using BOTH diplomacy and — if it comes to that — war. And war preparedness these days cannot begin when the war does. In our modern world. it is far too late by then.BOTH the US and England failed to prepare adequately for war. The US, as luck would have it, had the two oceans to shield us (for a time), an advantage which England did not have. In the next war, if there is one, the oceans will not shield us as they did in 1941.–Mike

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By: Rhoops http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2009/08/28/september-1939-and-the-outbreak-of-war/comment-page-1/#comment-6311 Sun, 30 Aug 2009 09:43:26 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/?p=3017#comment-6311 If Mr Charman, pops up the road to the ‘Futurist’ exhibition at the Tate Modern, he’ll find a proclamation by Marinetti from 1909 glorifying contemporary progress and the prospect of the First World War.If by 1939, the next world war was being anticipated with less enthusiasm, perhaps we can look forward to WWIII in 2017-23 with a degree of indulgent indifference?Since war is directed by the old, but experienced mostly by the young, maybe the remnants of slaughtered Edwardian youth, being the political body of 1939; were somewhat reticent to pass on their legacy of military success in 1918 and total political/diplomatic failure in 1938?Avoid running into or AWAY from war seems the obvious lesson here. But then the Spartans knew that 2500 years ago. Funny, I don’t recall reading that in any of the current over referenced, conceptually barren history books though…

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By: Peter H http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2009/08/28/september-1939-and-the-outbreak-of-war/comment-page-1/#comment-6310 Sun, 30 Aug 2009 08:09:29 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/?p=3017#comment-6310 It’s worth remembering that a lot of Churchill’s achievements have entered popular history on account of his writing the very same history, something he boasted about himself. His actions between the wars included voting against Chamberlains attempts to re-arm, at a time when it was obvious the Germans were re-arming, which is in itself surprising given his contribution during WW1 including development of aerial warfare the tank. But then again Britain was feeling poor at the time.During WW2 he would micro-manage military campaigns and even throw the spanner in the works when an action was underway, with Norway being a classic example where he diverted troops enroute to Norway resulting in vital material not being available to the remainder of troops who did arrive thus voiding their efforts.It’s also a moot point as to weather Britain won the war. It was on the winning side, or alliance, but it would probably be more accurate to say Russia broke the back of the Nazis, and the Americans won the war. It could also be said that Hitler lost the war with his ideological idiocy.

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By: mike http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2009/08/28/september-1939-and-the-outbreak-of-war/comment-page-1/#comment-6275 Sat, 29 Aug 2009 04:56:32 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/?p=3017#comment-6275 The British were left adrift by Chamberlain in terms of defense. They literally had no means with which to conduct a war against Hitler. And Chamberlain certainly conveyed a defeatist attitude throughout the runup to the war.Churchill took over at a time when the British were at low ebb, with no real hope for a military buildup significant enough and quickly enough to hold off the Nazis. It was really a hopeless situation.But, by bringing in the old warhorse Churchill, they did exactly the right thing. And Churchill was able to rally the Brits, engage FDR and the Americans, and begin the process of ramping up the British military strength, based largely on American military transfers (probably illegal at the time, but handled deftly by FDR.)The final impetus was given by the Japanese attack on Pearl harbor, which turned around the isolationist tenor in America and allowed FDR to declare a war on Japan (and soon after, on Germany) where a few months earlier that would’ve been political suicide.As the American industrial base was turned from consumer goods to war goods, the two nations — England and America — slowly became a giant German adversary, based largely on an amazing buildup of American war production, and eventually defeated the Axis powers in a long and costly war (the government-mandated and -funded manufacturing buildup for which, incidently, became the major cause of America finally climbing out of the ’30s depression.)But, all of that came after December, 1941. The years of ’39, ’40, and ’41 before that were grim indeed for England, and it was only the force of Churchill’s public speeches to rally a very desolate English people, and Churchill’s bulldog determination that kept the British Isles afloat until America could enter the war.

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By: Sparty http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2009/08/28/september-1939-and-the-outbreak-of-war/comment-page-1/#comment-6267 Fri, 28 Aug 2009 19:57:15 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/?p=3017#comment-6267 After reading this article, the truth becomes obvious: people may think they know where the world is heading, but in reality, no one knows…

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