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Warrior
May 9th, 2005, 07:09 PM
Commemorating a World War
And starting another one by Justin RaimondoThat the commemoration of the end of World War II is being used to announce the commencement of World War IV is just another one of those little ironies that the Bush administration seems to delight in. The president's five-day four-nation journey, which takes him to Latvia, Holland, Russia, and the former Soviet republic of Georgia, quickly took on the aspect of a proselytizing trip, in which George W. Bush went door-to-door, so to speak, with his message of spreading "freedom" around the globe. It was in Riga that the thematic coloration of his journey to the East took on its most vivid hues. Instead of focusing on the defeat of Nazism or on the U.S.-Soviet alliance, he took out after the Russians and the postwar Soviet occupation of Europe: "For much of Eastern and Central Europe," he averred in a speech (http://www.startribune.com/stories/484/5391368.html) in the Old City's Small Guild House (http://www.gilde.lv/maza/2mgi01.html), "victory brought the iron rule of another empire." Well, yes, thanks to the U.S.-Soviet alliance and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (http://antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=5126)'s enthusiastic cooperation, but to the astonishment of many, the president not only acknowledged that – he also tried to atone for it:

"This attempt to sacrifice freedom for the sake of stability left a continent divided and unstable. We will not repeat the mistakes of other generations – appeasing or excusing tyranny, and sacrificing freedom in the vain pursuit of stability."

This act of presidential contrition, while certainly welcome, does not go nearly far enough. By entering the war at all, and opening up a "second front" in the West – at the urging of American leftists (http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/hiss/hissvenona.html) and other friends (http://www.aim.org/media_monitor/A3215_0_2_0_C/) of the Soviet Union – the U.S. saved the Bolsheviks from probable extinction at Hitler's hands. Without American support (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0817919015/antiwarbookstore) via the Lend-Lease Act (http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:Ml3FMALDwIwJ:www.geocities.com/mark_willey/lend.html%2BLend%2BLease%2Bto%2BRussia&hl=en&start=1), the Soviet regime might not have survived the war – which was precisely the hope of those conservative opponents of U.S. intervention, supporters of the America First Committee (http://www.fff.org/freedom/0495c.asp) such as Colonel Robert R. McCormick (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0395533791/antiwarbookstore), the publisher of the staunchly anti-interventionist Chicago Tribune. When Hitler turned against Stalin, his ally and ideological soul-mate (http://www.historyguide.org/europe/lecture10.html), and German panzer divisions drove toward Moscow, McCormick presciently warned in an editorial that while "our war birds" would "welcome" the dissolution of the Nazi-Soviet alliance (http://www.answers.com/topic/molotov-ribbentrop-pact) "as reason for getting into the war," the people still didn't want it:

"To other Americans, the majority of them, it presents the final reason for remaining out…. Should we aid Stalin to extend his brutalities to all of Finland, to maintain his grip on the Baltic states, or to keep what he has of Poland and Rumania? Should we enter the war to extend his rule over more of Europe or, having helped him to win, should we then have to rescue the continent from him?"

McCormick was right. By the time Roosevelt (http://www.mises.org/misesreview_detail.asp?control=49&sortorder=issue) met with Stalin and Churchill at Yalta (http://www.antiwar.com/justin/j062501.html), in mid-February of 1945, it was too late to reverse the effects of our entry into the war: the enslavement of Eastern Europe (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0674076087/antiwarbookstore) by the Kremlin was an accomplished fact. As the three leaders (http://www.globalgeografia.com/attualita/img/yalta.jpg) sat down to plan the postwar world, Soviet troops were already ensconced (http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/ww2time.htm#1944) in Bucharest, Sofia, Warsaw, Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn. A few months later, they would "liberate (http://www.usembassy.cz/holidays/may8.htm)" Prague and Vienna. At Yalta, the American president merely acknowledged the facts on the ground: when the Red Army raised its flag (http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/april/21/newsid_3560000/3560175.stm) over the bombed-out ruins of the German Reichstag, the Bolshevist banner was hoisted over half of Europe (http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/02/maps/). No other result could have been imagined.

If Bush really wanted to repent for a U.S. policy (http://www.rationalrevolution.net/war/mccollum.htm) that essentially created the postwar Soviet empire, he would have commemorated the end of World War II by forthrightly ruing the day we got into it (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0743201299/antiwarbookstore). Instead, the very itinerary of his trip – his arrival in Moscow bookended by stops in Riga (http://www.latvia-usa.org/presgeorwbus.html) and Tbilisi (http://www.interfax.ru/e/B/politics/28.html?id_issue=11281049) – is a provocation (http://www.guardian.co.uk/leaders/story/0,3604,1477372,00.html) designed to underscore Russia's encirclement (http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0115-08.htm). Gloating in Riga at the success of U.S.-funded-and-directed color-coded revolutions from Ukraine (http://www.antiwar.com/pat/?articleid=4114) to (http://antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=5039) Kyrgyzstan (http://antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=5331), Bush disingenuously declared (http://www.startribune.com/stories/484/5391368.html):

"All the nations that border Russia will benefit from the spread of democratic values, and so will Russia itself. Stable, prosperous democracies are good neighbors, trading in freedom and posing no threat to anyone."

If that's true, then why is Ukraine clamoring (http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/EAA78CF9-F152-4AE0-8140-346406516D99.htm) to enter NATO – or, better yet, why is NATO still in existence (http://www.antiwar.com/paul/?articleid=2256) over a decade after the demise of Communism (http://www.mises.org/misesreview_detail.asp?control=45&sortorder=issue)? If the prospect of NATO troops stationed minutes (http://www.oksanas.net/Western%20Russia%20and%20Eastern%20Europe%20map.jp g) from Moscow is "no threat to anyone," then one has to wonder when Putin is supposed to start worrying. Presumably, when they reach the gates of the Kremlin.

That those gates are about to be breached by another kind of army – legions of "activists (http://www.freedomhouse.org/)," armed with U.S. tax dollars and plenty of logistical and strategic support from Washington – seems all too likely. All indications are (http://www.freedomhouse.org/media/pressrel/050405.htm) that America's fifth column (http://ngo.org.ru/ngoss/en/cngos.html) inside the former Soviet Union is mobilizing for a mighty push (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-putin8may08,0,33760.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions) to prevent Putin from running for a third term.

Imagine if the Russian foreign minister had arrived on our shores in the late 1930s and denounced the very idea of Roosevelt running for a third term as evidence that America was veering off the path (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0870044427/antiwarbookstore) of democracy. What a sensation it would have caused! We don't have to imagine what would happen if an American secretary of state traveled to Russia and said exactly the equivalent about Putin's ambitions, because Condoleezza Rice has done it (http://www.washingtontimes.com/world/20050420-121607-6903r.htm) – alienating the Russian people, as well as their popular leader, who had no choice but to answer in kind.

In an interview (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/05/06/60minutes/main693422.shtml) with 60 Minutes, Putin wondered why America goes abroad in search of undemocratic monsters to destroy when the dragon of elitist rule survives in the Electoral College (http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A2Sec1). He reminded Americans that Bush came to power thanks to the Supreme Court (http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-949.ZPC.html), rather than a majority vote of the electorate. He noted Russia is criticized (http://www.jamestown.org/publications_details.php?volume_id=396&issue_id=3114&article_id=2368717) for appointing rather than electing regional governors, but India has a similar system – yet no one is diagnosing New Delhi's healthy democracy as afflicted with terminal authoritarianism.

Never mind the facts: the Americans seem intent on applying the Ukrainian template (http://antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=4156) to Russia. Get out the rock bands; roll out the scenery and the loudspeakers; set up the slick Web sites and the networks of useful idiots (http://aussiethule.blogspot.com/2005/04/orange-revolution-takes-congress-by.html), misguided idealists (http://www.orangeukraine.squarespace.com/stories/2004/11/29/rallying.html), and seekers after the main chance; pump in plenty of dollars (http://www.freedomhouse.org/aboutfh/funders.htm) (and euros (http://trans-int.blogspot.com/2004/12/europes-ukraine-iii-who-supports.html)) via "non-governmental organizations (http://www.cafonline.org/cafrussia/main.cfm);" and – presto! – you have an Instant Revolution.

There is no lack (http://www.hpronline.org/media/paper450/news/2002/04/01/Interviews/Meet-Putins.Opposition-219071.shtml) of candidates for the beneficiaries of American largess: these guys (http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?ID=11213) seem like they're looking (http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:MrHHKRisagkJ:newswww.bbc.net.uk/2/hi/europe/4308655.stm%2B%22national%2Bbolshevik%22%2Bamerica %2Bputin%2B&hl=en) for some kind of a handout, although the media might have some trouble marketing a group that calls itself the "National Bolsheviks (http://www.nbp-info.org/)." With Radio Free Europe (http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson/9135-14.cfm) taking an interest in this sect of "former" Communazis moving toward (http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/routledg/pop/2002/00000036/00000003/art00005) a pro-Western/anti-Putin (http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:oGQ11isM1CMJ:www.progressive.org/march05/kag0305.html+%22national+bolshevik%22+america+puti n+&hl=en) position, it won't be long before some slick public relations firm working on a fat U.S. government contract gives them a complete makeover and tweaks them into "National Mensheviks."

What color will the anti-Putin "revolutionaries" choose as their chromatic theme? Red (http://www.battlefront.co.nz/Images/Soviet%20Flag.jpg) is out, of course, and orange (http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20050301faessay84205/adrian-karatnycky/ukraine-s-orange-revolution.html), yellow, pink (http://www.newropeans-magazine.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2015&Itemid=86), and rose (http://www.antiwar.com/deliso/?articleid=3864) are already taken. White (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Russians) is not recommended, either, and black (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hundred) has similarly unfortunate historical connotations. I leave it to the geniuses over at the newly refurbished (http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-04-28-voa59.cfm) CIA, or perhaps the National Endowment for Democracy (http://www.cato.org/pubs/fpbriefs/fpb-027.html), to come up with something tasteful: perhaps they might want to ask one of these guys (http://www.bravotv.com/Queer_Eye_for_the_Straight_Guy/).

The last leg of Bush's journey is surely the most ominous. Georgia sits amid the smoldering cinders of a low-level brush fire that could well flare up, on any pretext, into a more generalized conflagration: the Caucasus is the Balkans (http://antiwar.com/malic/) of the 21st century, where a single spark could set off World War IV (http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/04/03/sprj.irq.woolsey.world.war/). When the Soviet empire imploded, the region splintered into a welter of mutually antagonistic "republics" and "autonomous" regions – one for every sub-ethnic language group – and they are still splintering and seceding from one another. Russian troops remain in parts of Georgia, protecting the Russian-speaking minority from the tyranny of the Georgian majority, while torture still goes on routinely in Georgian prisons (http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/04/13/georgi10475.htm) and opposition groups have a hard time of it. According to the report (http://washtimes.com/upi-breaking/20050426-092712-8764r.htm) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, amendments to the Georgian constitution enacted by the Rose Revolutionaries:

"Gave the president too many powers over the weakened parliamentary opposition, embryonic civil society, and first tender shoots of local self-government. The European body also noted a failure to ensure an independent and effective judicial system, the introduction of self-censorship in the Georgian media, and unjustified limits put on the independence of Adzharia."

Georgia's "revolutionary" pro-Western regime – put in power by the U.S. (http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:S83qA8f-lrQJ:www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/gtep.htm%2B%22planned%2Band%2Bcentrally%2Bcoordina ted%2Bby%2Bthe%2BUS%2Bgovernment%22&hl=en) and maintained by massive amounts of "foreign aid" – has (http://www.eurasianet.org/resource/georgia/links/rights.shtml) restricted freedom of assembly, cracked down on opposition groups, and engaged in arbitrary arrests and detentions. The "pro-democracy" activists of the "Rose Revolution," once in power, launched what amounts to a massive purge of former officials and Schevardnadze-era business moguls. Victims of the "revolution" are blackmailed, hauled before a kangaroo court, imprisoned, and brutally mistreated – that's according to (http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2004/41682.htm) our own State Department country report on human rights practices in Georgia.

If George W. Bush scolds Putin for an alleged "authoritarian" streak, then what will he say to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Saakashvili)? He led a "Rose Revolution" fueled, in large part, by the claim (http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/112403a.shtml) that the Shevardnadze party had rigged the 2003 parliamentary elections (http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav110303.shtml) – and he was elected president in 2004 with a disquieting 96 percent (http://www.saakashvili.com/page2.html) of the vote, an achievement second only to the results (http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/10/16/iraq.vote/) of Saddam Hussein's 2002 "referendum," in which he claimed 100 percent assent for another seven-year term.

You can count on Bush not mentioning any of the above in Tbilisi, but instead pointing to Saakashvili as a model leader of Georgia's "aspiring" democracy. As a prospective NATO member (http://www.nato.int/pfp/ge/d001010.htm), Georgia is on the front lines of the new anti-Russian alliance: along with Ukraine (http://www.nato.int/issues/nato-ukraine/) and the Baltics (http://www.eisenhowerinstitute.org/programs/globalpartnerships/securityandterrorism/coalition/usandnato/Grazin.htm), it is slated to become an important forward base for the West. Before a substantial American military presence can be implanted, however, all Russian troops must leave Georgian soil – or what Georgia claims as its soil, though some who dwell there would disagree. Saakashvili, who is even more nationalist and centralist than his old opponent, Shevardnadze (http://www.osgf.ge/all/ika/eduard_shevardnadze.htm), would welcome American intervention, and I wouldn't be surprised if Bush publicly raises the issue on his visit. It won't be as easy as getting the Syrians out of Lebanon, although the Western media is bound to frame the coming conflict in similar terms.

The Caucasus rumbles with seismic tremors, as the tectonic plates of power shift. In newly "liberated" Kyrgyzstan (http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/b4e93b84ca7c37e6c38812406e7a6983.htm), the pink-and-yellow "revolutionaries" are seizing the property of Russian speakers and effectively carrying out an anti-Russian ethnic cleansing. Moldova smolders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transnistria), while the Americans openly incite (http://www.arabtimesonline.com/arabtimes/breakingnews/view.asp?msgID=8908) the Belarusians to rise. Oh, but we aren't Jacobins (http://www.antiwar.com/cs/roberts2.html), protests the president:

"The idea of countries helping others become free, I hope that would be viewed as not revolutionary but rational foreign policy, as decent foreign policy, as humane foreign policy."

The new Bush Doctrine (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2320.htm) of instability as the central motivating factor – the motor – of American foreign policy is anything but rational: it is nihilism (http://www.amconmag.com/2005_02_28/article.html) writ large. There is nothing humane (http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1338749,00.html) about the wars it incites, nothing decent about the lost lives and shattered hopes of nations crippled by age-old ethnic and religious strife.

That Moscow now finds itself in a circle of steel, surrounded by enemies (http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=4120) armed and brought to power by the West, should disabuse Putin of any notion that he can successfully appease the West and avoid being targeted as the latest "dictator" to fall. They will come for him, or they will come for his successor. They are already on the way (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22national+endowment+for+democracy%22+russia+). Bush's foray was the first tentative incursion, to be followed, soon enough, by other less overt efforts to bring Putin to heel. Supplying the Iranians with nuclear technology was bad enough (http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/08/01/russia.iran/), and sending missiles to Syria only increased (http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/2/16/132333.shtml) Washington's growing ire – but sending all those Kalashnikovs to Venezuela was really the last straw (http://www.mosnews.com/news/2005/02/10/venezuelaarms.shtml)! They can't – and won't – let him get away with it.

Putin, the quintessential patriot (http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=3598), is standing up for Holy Mother Russia, and he is far from the authoritarian monster (http://www.guardian.co.uk/chechnya/Story/0,2763,1300043,00.html) that Western liberals have conjured. He is, however, (a) no angel (http://www.time.com/time/europe/eu/magazine/0,13716,107338,00.html), and (b) burdened by major economic problems (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/04/25/AR2005042501452.html). His country is crippled by consequent social dislocations – drug addiction, rampant alcoholism, underpopulation, a vast criminal underground – that threaten to overwhelm the system and undermine the foundations of post-Soviet reforms.

What is important to keep in mind, as the demonization of Russia proceeds apace, is that Russia is no threat to the United States at present, and it is not in our interests to institute a policy of "regime change" in that country, either by funding "pro-democracy" movements and institutions or by other means. Putin has an interest in fighting the al-Qaeda-affiliated (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2372971.stm) units in Chechnya – the source of so much of the terrorism that afflicts the Russians, such as occurred at Beslan (http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/09/10/1094789691824.html?from=storylhs&oneclick=true). Russia is barely a decade out of the worst tyranny (http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.ART.HTM) the world has ever seen, and the progress it has made in the direction of individual liberty, the democratic process, and the rule of law is remarkable by any measure. Yet our president and his chief foreign policy advisors are engaged in a campaign of full-time finger-wagging, while ignoring the substantive mutual interests that make for a natural Russo-American alliance against terrorism.

Our policy toward Russia brings out the underlying theme of American foreign policy, which is not Democracy but Domination – American domination (http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance8.html), that is. In the endless search for enemies that keeps the interventionists perpetually busy, it is Russia's turn, once again, to play the bogeyman. We can only hope that the Fourth World War, like the Third, will remain a cold war.

http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=5879

tennisjam
May 10th, 2005, 03:44 PM
Bush's attitude is more than ironic...:o

...and when it comes to the history, the Soviet army would have won the war with or without american intervention...:rolleyes:

Soviet regime was terrible but it is stupid to use this argument even nowadays to disrespectfully underestimate the first importance of the Soviet army in the final victory over nazis...

Soviet Union liberated Europe from nazis but unfortunatelly occupied in another way the eastern Europe afterwords

western Allies "eventually liberated" the western Europe from the Soviet Union

...

Lord Nelson
May 10th, 2005, 06:48 PM
The Soviets were winning the war because of their allies, the AMericans and Britain. They would not have been able to win the war by themselves. Yeah sure, the Soviets would have 'liberated' Paris etc. Nice one :D

tennisjam
May 10th, 2005, 08:21 PM
based on the objective facts, what makes you believe that it was impossible...???

SelesFan70
May 10th, 2005, 09:28 PM
So the United States was to sit idly by and allow Germany to take Europe and let Japan take the Pacific rim? :shrug: Peace through superior firepower is always a viable stance to take. :wavey:

tennisjam
May 10th, 2005, 11:46 PM
It is outrageously stupid how even nowadays, 16 years after the end of the cold war, western Allies and mostly America tries to compare its role in freeing world from nazis to the Soviet one...

This is more than just over-rating. It is a true propaganda that hasn't to envy anything to the once so critisized soviet one...

The (nearly) only ones who beat nazis are Soviets...for the facts and analysis and despite the long cold-war propaganda that is still in fashion on this theme, anyone is able to realise this by consulting different historical sources by its own means...

Halardfan
May 11th, 2005, 10:57 AM
World War 2 was won by countries who all played interlocking vital roles, but that each made some terrible mistakes...

Its true Russia's sacrifce was immense, dreadful, but also true that Stalin carved up Europe in his deal with Hitler, trusted him, a huge mistake...the bravery and courage of the Russian people wasn't matched by the murderous stupidity of its leadership.

Without US intervention the war could not have been won, there's was a crucial role, but it was Pearl Harbor that brought them into the conflct, a considerable time after the war had begun...if Pearl Harbor hadn't occured, when would the US have entered the war?

In the run up to war, the then British government let down the Czechs terribly in trying to appease Hitler, but ultimately Britain too played a key role in Europe's liberation. Many in Britain' leadership wanted to give up to Hitler, to leave the war when the odds looked impossible. If we had done so, then it would have freed up considerable German forces, enough surely to conquer Russia, and leave all of Europe in Hitler's grip. With the help of our commonwealth allies, Britian managed to fight on until help came.

So I think there as plenty of credit to go round, as well as blame...

tennisjam
May 11th, 2005, 01:43 PM
you can't compare the roles of the winners of this war...

there is no doubt that american and especially british role were important...but the soviet one was the only vital one, especially when it comes to the military point...

and when it comes to talking about considerable german forces in the western Europe, I invite you to consider this once more...germans had no problems to conquer and keep their positions on the western front with relatively small army compared to the one they sent to the east all the way to the end of the war...and there is even no need to consider the help they got from different local collaborators in the easily conquered countries to realise that the comparaison between west and east fronts is rediculous...

pla
May 11th, 2005, 01:47 PM
In the run up to war, the then British government let down the Czechs terribly in trying to appease Hitler, but ultimately Britain too played a key role in Europe's liberation. Many in Britain' leadership wanted to give up to Hitler, to leave the war when the odds looked impossible. If we had done so, then it would have freed up considerable German forces, enough surely to conquer Russia, and leave all of Europe in Hitler's grip. With the help of our commonwealth allies, Britian managed to fight on until help came.

So I think there as plenty of credit to go round, as well as blame...

In W. Europe's liberation

tennisjam
May 11th, 2005, 02:14 PM
you should read, at least for some more information:

"The Myth of the Good War: America in the Second World War"

by Jacques.R. PAUWELS

...

Halardfan
May 11th, 2005, 02:39 PM
In terms of the vast human cost, the Russian sacrifice indeed dwarves that of the other allies, but again I believe it is a fact that if Britain had capitulated then Russia would have most likely conquered, as Germany would have had a great deal more fresh troops to send to the eastern front...as it was they came perilously close to Moscow.

All I am saying is that it was a complex formula, we can see where if certain key countries had acted differently the war would have been shorter, longer, or in certain scenarios lost altogether.

Ted of Teds Tennis
May 11th, 2005, 02:45 PM
Perhaps the Soviets would have been able to defeat the Nazis more easily if Stalin hadn't purged much of his officer corps in the 1930s?

tennisjam
May 11th, 2005, 03:50 PM
Stalin was indeed ennemy of his own people and despite this big handicap, Soviet soldiers managed somehow to win...

but madness of Stalin isn't any reason to "simply forget to mention" the unique courage and determinetion of Soviet people to beat nazis...and their unique vital role in this result...

the main reason why Britain didn't capitulate is because Germany had to send its best troops to the east...If Britain had capitulated, it would have looked more like passive alliance with Germany than real military-forced capitulation...

...

Giuliano
May 11th, 2005, 04:02 PM
The Barbarossa operation started after Germany stopped trying to invade England.

tennisjam
May 11th, 2005, 04:22 PM
this try didn't cost Germany too much, especially in terms of human forces and even equipement and even more so considering the fact this was only the real start of the war...

most of the victims in the German-British air confrontations happened to be civils...

there is no comparaison between the means used in barbarossa and in the battle of England...especially if you consider the fact that barbarossa was to be mosly an earth battle...the missed try on England nearly didn't diminish german firepower and even less the human forces for this operation, not even considering the help of collaborators of different conquered countries, neighbours of the Soviet Union...

Halardfan
May 11th, 2005, 09:50 PM
Again its important to make the distinction between the Russian people themeselves, who showed immense courage, and spirit and played a huge role in the winning of the war, to them we must give our grateful thanks...but Stalin? He did a deal to carve up Europe with Hitler, was too blind to see that Hitler had designs on his country, sent his army into battle terribly ill-equipped, brutalised his own people on a breahtaking, obscene scale, then inlifct his paranoid, delusional, murderous world view on the countries he 'liberated'...for them it was a case of out of the frying pan, into the fire.

I lean very much to the left politcally, and frankly GW Bush and co horrify me, the man contstantly puts his foot in it, and really doesn't seem to have much idea what he is talking about most of the time...but we should also see people like Putin for what they are, he wants to whitewash Stalin's evil, and increase his own power bit by bit...

Its a depressing picture whichever way one looks at it...

Rollo
May 11th, 2005, 10:26 PM
Tennisjam-Without Britain and the entry of the US into the war Russia would never have won the war by itself.

Russia didn't go on the offensive until 1943. By that time the US and Brits had opened up a second land front in North Africa/Italy-not to mention taking it to Germany in the even more important air war. Had Hitler been able to concentrate all his resources against Russia with the advantages of air superiority and an endless supply of oil (Remember a defeated Britain would have given up the Saudi oil fields) who knows what course the war would have taken?

Finally, and crucially, the US entry in the war enabled the Russians to withdraw most their forces from Siberia, knowing that Japan now their hands full with the US. Until then the Soviet Union had the same potential problem Hitler had-fighting a war on two fronts.

Hulet
May 11th, 2005, 11:23 PM
Rollo, I thought the German advance into Russia was stalled by the winter of 1941/42 - much earlier before the second land front was opened by U.S./GB. Infact, the seige of St. Petersburg wasn'tnot going so well for the Germans despite concentrating their aerial and artillery powers on the city defenders, Moscow was far from the Nazi control and the Nazis supply routes were shrinking due to partizan attacks. I don't know about the Russians winning the war without the allies but they already have fought the Germans to a stalemate by the time the Western front was opened.

If someone were to ask Hitler his one mistake before he shot himself, I am pretty sure he would have said it was invading USSR - assuming ofcourse such an ego-maniac would admit to a mistake.

Rollo
May 11th, 2005, 11:37 PM
No doubt Hitler's fatal mistake was in invading Russia-and I certainly don't want to discount Russia's role-but it was a team effort, with Russia supplying the manpower needed to beat Germany and the US-Britian winning the war by diverting German forces and beating Hitler in the air.

Hulet-you are right on all counts about the Germans being stalled by the Russian winter of 1941, but they were strong enough to go on the offensive again the very next year in 1942.

By then Hitler had to contend with a possible invasion of France (the Allies launced the disastrous Dieppe attack in 1942) plus the North African campaign to prop up Mussolini. Also, 1942 saw the first large scale bombing of German cities by the (Western) Allies.

Stalingrad was a great victory-but lets remember that by that time (late in 1942) the Allies were already on the offensive in the West, so even if Russia bore the brunt of Germany's forces the diversion was crucial in turning the tide.

I think we basically agree-I just dispute the "Russia could have won by itself"
theory.

Hulet
May 12th, 2005, 12:41 AM
Yup, I think we are basically saying the same thing - it's interesting b/c growing up in a socialist country, all the history I was thought emphasised the heroism and sacrifice of the Russians and Chinese in ending the war and the contribution of the British and Americans was downplayed (this even when it was the British who liberated my country from Italian Facist troops at the outset of the war). Then, when I moved to the West, not much is said of the Russian contribution. Especially now, this year, it came as a shock to me that some of the Eastern Europeans don't want to pay tribute to the Russian soldiers who freed them from the Nazis. Goes to prove that, winning the war won't do you much good unless you write the history too.

tennisjam
May 12th, 2005, 08:05 PM
There is no comparaison between West and East fronts once again...

and talking about any offensive in the west is more than over-rated...Western Allies only mostly defended the positions they could but the only real offensive to the D-day came from the Soviets...

Not even considering some "Allied companies" could be asked about supplying german army , especially in oil and equipement: Esso, General Motors, Kodak, Ford, Du Pont, Singer, JP Morgan, General Electric...and many more used to supply Germany even after the beginning of the war.
So talking about any advantage Soviets could have got from the "western front" seems rather silly...

Stalingrad was not only the turn of the war but it was the battle that destroyed the main firepower of german army that allowed Soviets to begin the offensive which would lead them to Berlin on the huge East Front (nearly 85% of the german military force was concentrated in the east, what else is there to say...)...

Lord Nelson
May 13th, 2005, 02:41 PM
In W. Europe's liberation
I agree with you. Here in W. Europe too, people celebrate the 60 years of the end of World War II though it ended in August 1945, not May. I assume to them the fighting against the Japanese was just a local war. Pfff.

tennisjam
May 13th, 2005, 08:14 PM
Many people here in W.Europe don't even know about the battle of Stalingrad so don't expect many to know much about the battles on the Japanease front...

Helas
May 13th, 2005, 09:20 PM
The Russians (Soviets) made victory over the Nazis possible.

Hulet
May 14th, 2005, 02:50 AM
There is no comparaison between West and East fronts once again...

and talking about any offensive in the west is more than over-rated...Western Allies only mostly defended the positions they could but the only real offensive to the D-day came from the Soviets...

Not even considering some "Allied companies" could be asked about supplying german army , especially in oil and equipement: Esso, General Motors, Kodak, Ford, Du Pont, Singer, JP Morgan, General Electric...and many more used to supply Germany even after the beginning of the war.
So talking about any advantage Soviets could have got from the "western front" seems rather silly...

Stalingrad was not only the turn of the war but it was the battle that destroyed the main firepower of german army that allowed Soviets to begin the offensive which would lead them to Berlin on the huge East Front (nearly 85% of the german military force was concentrated in the east, what else is there to say...)...
It can be argued that if there wasn't a Western Front Hitler wouldn't have let his troops be trapped in Stalingrad. My history is a bit rusty but I thought he was in a big hurry to finish the war in Russia before he faces of the American/British forces, hence, the shift from his tactics of seige (which takes time but were being somewhat effectively used in St. Petersburg and partially at Moscow) to a tactic of pushing into stalingrad despite heavy casualities due to the urban warfare which neutralized the German superiour mechanized units. And, despite the call for reinforcement from his troops in Stalingrad, he couldn't spare any because they were engaged in elsewhere in the rest of Europe. So, I don't think you can totally discount the effect that the enterance of U.S. has on the war in the Eastern Front. If he wasn't rushed by developments in the Western fronts, Hitler might have instead chosen to withdraw his troops from Stalingrad and slowly choked the city into submission just as he did in Kiev and other cities.

tennisjam
May 14th, 2005, 11:57 AM
The Stalingrad win happened more than a year before the D-day...

...and I don't know if it was such a huge mistake that hitler was in hurry to end with the eastern front. Given the immensity and ressources of the Soviet Union, I think he had to count on this plan...

Despite the sudden and extremly violent "barbarossa" which was indeed very efficient because of the bad preparation of the Soviet army to this inevitable "surprise-attack", even german army had its limits of potential advance and had to stop...

And given that Soviets were far from lacking ressources not only to defend but organize upcoming offensives, there was an absolute need for germans to be quick at their own risks...

Stalingrad was too far into the Soviet territory and german advance was nearly uncovered on the sides. But it was strategically important place. So this was indeed very risky for germans knowing that even totally long-sieged St-Petersbourg didn't fall.

Hulet
May 16th, 2005, 09:00 PM
We have to agree to disagree then because, even if you make excellent points, I am not sufficiently convinced that the Soviets would have won the war by themselves.

gentenaire
May 16th, 2005, 09:16 PM
The Americans alone wouldn't have won the war either. So in the end, all countries played a factor. It's not fair for one country to take all the credit, all played their part.