Author Topic: A discussion on WWII Germany  (Read 12845 times)

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Offline Gryzor

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A discussion on WWII Germany
« on: 12:43, 26 August 11 »
Well, it's neither a time of peace nor of European spirit. Therefore...

Offline TFM

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #1 on: 18:13, 26 August 11 »
Well, it's neither a time of peace nor of European spirit. Therefore...

Well, currently I'm living a third world country, so I only have idealistic memories about Europe. Let's take the times of change as a chance to make things better and to get there where we want to be.
 
Just to stay offtopic:
Here my favorite questions from the Americans...
 
- Oh Germany, isn't that the country in the south of Mexico?
 
- Do you have television and microwaves in Germany?
  (If I tell them that both was invented by Germans, they die!)
 
- Well, why do you Nazis wear long hairs?
  (Since we've been freezing the butt off in Russa...)
 
- What is Adolf Hitler doing today?
  (Sitting in hell, getting an pineapple in the a*** every day)
 
- Which language do you speak there?
  (Usually Polski, but some do speak Korean too)
 
And so on and on.... BTW: The USA is currently in war with a lot of other countries.
 
So don't tell me that Europe is NOT peacefull  :)  and don't tell me that there is no European spirit  :)  ;-) Let's focus on that what we have and let's make the best out of it :-)
 
Happy weekend!!! :)
 
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #2 on: 19:10, 27 August 11 »
Well, the TV, microwaves, the radar and thousands of other devices were developed in tandem by different people/teams in different countries, but anyhow :) The use of TV-controlled missiles with joysticks by Luftwaffe in WWII, however, was really sci-fi stuff.

The US has bombed more countries than anyone could count since WWII, but Europe, out of its own interests or for purposes of sucking up to the US has followed suit. As for the "European" spirit, this has been a product of propaganda and we're currently experiencing its falling away...

Offline PhilZeVibe

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #3 on: 19:55, 27 August 11 »
The use of TV-controlled missiles with joysticks by Luftwaffe in WWII, however, was really sci-fi stuff.

The V2 was really impressive technically speaking. But it didn't do much result respective to the war.

The V2's program goal was to destroy the moral of English people so that they put pressure on their government to end the war. But after throwing some missiles, the nazis came to the conclusion that it wasn't doing much in that regard.
It was even perhaps doing the opposite, reinforcing the patriotic spirit of the English people.

The nazis knew it but they kept throwing V2 anyway, just to keep the German people's motivation high!  :o Then they weren't expecting anything from England.

A least that's what I heard on a TV documentary on the subject.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #4 on: 20:04, 27 August 11 »
Oh yes; it was impressive any way you see it, especially from the perspective of resources wasted :D

It's interesting that the Germans were not alone in this fallacy: the allies also bombed the hell out of the German populace to induce a revolt, but all they did was to pull them together. Talk about refusing the evidence...

Offline MaV

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #5 on: 20:19, 27 August 11 »
As for the "European" spirit, this has been a product of propaganda and we're currently experiencing its falling away...

You're being cynical here. The EU is hardly what I call an effort to form a European spirit. And be honest, we've known that for 10, 15 years, perhaps even much longer. They thought that by reducing the idea to economical interests the spirit will form itself out of thin air. That's about as neo-con as it can get, and the result of this is served to us right now.
What is falling away is the belief in a bunch of numbers on sheets to correctly represent the real world - the indoctrination of hollow men.
What can you expect from people who want to define the correct length of gherkins and the curvature of bananas that are fit to be sold? The tasteful tomatoes are not to be found in the supermarket, and a spirit will not be found on a sheet of paper with numbers on it.

Oh great, with that retort you make me look like a hippie now. :P

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Offline MaV

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #6 on: 20:32, 27 August 11 »
It's interesting that the Germans were not alone in this fallacy: the allies also bombed the hell out of the German populace to induce a revolt, but all they did was to pull them together. Talk about refusing the evidence...

Don't forget that the German population from '33 on has been learning that's it is better not to voice your opinion unless you want to shorten your life expectation to a few months at most.
A revolt could only have happened if you'd trust the people around you to have the same ideas.
Especially once the war was coming to Germany itself, the SS put a lot of effort into making sure the typical German will stay obedient.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #7 on: 20:44, 27 August 11 »
I'm not sure I agree with the assertion about the threat to your life etc. Historians have come to the conclusion that threats were not nearly enough a motivator for the behavior of the German people. What's more, it has been shown that various acts of collective resistance against specific policies/events were successful and were not met by any retaliation. My favorite book on the matter is Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, though ultimately it fails (as do most - I have not read a convincing answer) to explain why it was that ordinary people (another excellent book) behaved in such a way.

I don't think we disagree at all about the "European" spirit. Indeed, driven by economic interests they tried to create this spirit and shoehorn all the different nations into a new mentality. It's absurd, of course, that this could work within 10, 20, 50 or 100 years - the first crisis would (will) wash all this bullshit away like the Irene typhoon.

Offline TFM

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #8 on: 23:47, 27 August 11 »
Well, I do know some stories from my family. For me it's hard to imagine who these days have been. So just two things about that.
 
- For example the army was coming to my mothers uncle. They told him he has to join the army. He refused by "No, I was a peaceful man throughout my life". The shot him immediately, the other from that small village decided not to get shot.
 
- A friend of my gradfather told a joke about Adolf Hitler (a pretty funny one though). They put him to Dachau (KZ), he was never seen again.
 
In these days people in Germany has no choice.
 
Coming back to EU spirit. My guess is, it's up to all of us. We are the people and we can decide how we treat other people. We don't have to buy all the stories from TV, it's up to us.
 
As an example (for more universal spirit) look at this nice forum, we are fooling around, we are serious, we create, we struggle, but we are still there and talking to each other  ;)  Let's take this as a basis for a well future. We decide now about our lives!
 
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Offline MaV

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #9 on: 03:21, 28 August 11 »
I'm not sure I agree with the assertion about the threat to your life etc. Historians have come to the conclusion that threats were not nearly enough a motivator for the behavior of the German people.

Well, TFM already gave you some examples. Let me add:

Be careful with historians. Most of them have their own private agenda, and you need to know that and put it in context to understand their works.

No, threats alone are not the motivator. Take brainwashing (especially the youth), brutal extermination of the opposing parties in 1933 (communists, socialist, you name them) shortly after the Nazis came to power, and the indoctrination that the German people stand out above all others, and you'll probably come a little closer to the truth.
The occasional shooting, or deportation of those not in sync with the party's manifest have surely helped tremendously. And don't forget that the Nazis' organization was quite thoroughly implemented; every block in the city had their own Nazi-ward (that's down to the level of about 50 families). Anything not conforming to the rules was noticed, and usually punished by jail or concentration camp.

About brainwashing: It was not unheard of that even teenagers who spent their time in the Hitler youth were consciously ratting their parents out. In one such case, a father was listening to foreign radio, punishable by death. Yes, he was never seen again.

And don't forget that up to the time the bombing of German cities started, the German population otherwise lived quite a comfortable live at home (the soldiers on the frontline are another thing).

Interesting as well: After the bombardments started, the V2 was very useful for the Nazi propaganda to rally the people to their support. The were stating at that time that the new "Wunderwaffe" would turn the tide of the war. And if it wasn't the V2, then the next Wunderwaffe is to come soon.

We should just hope that we'll never get into such a situation, because I honestly can't tell you how I personally would have behaved in light of those facts. Would I have resisted, obeyed, or even actively supported the sick cause?

Quote
What's more, it has been shown that various acts of collective resistance against specific policies/events were successful and were not met by any retaliation. My favorite book on the matter is Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, though ultimately it fails (as do most - I have not read a convincing answer) to explain why it was that ordinary people (another excellent book) behaved in such a way.

A unit of order police is hardly what I would call ordinary men. We're leaving the normal German population here and entering state institutions. These were the ones pulling the trigger if you did not obey. A whole different position in the Nazi state. They were able to make the ethical decision to kill someone or let them live.
I'd like to see the numbers of units which behaved similar to this battalion in relation to those which did the atrocities.

In light of what we know today, these are very special men in both my explanation here, and in the sense that they decided to disobey the orders they were given.

But still, after all of the above, you need to have a lot of faith in your comrades not to give you away, if you state some uncomfortable truths. They may have had a common history in the police before '33.


Quote
I don't think we disagree at all about the "European" spirit. Indeed, driven by economic interests they tried to create this spirit and shoehorn all the different nations into a new mentality. It's absurd, of course, that this could work within 10, 20, 50 or 100 years - the first crisis would (will) wash all this bullshit away like the Irene typhoon.

Yep, it's up to us.
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Offline TFM

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #10 on: 04:07, 28 August 11 »
Well, I totally agree.
 
As you mentioned before in a more diplomatic way: The winner writes the history books.
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Offline robcfg

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #11 on: 11:19, 29 August 11 »
I  agree too.


In fact, the only country that used nuclear weapons against another country is the United States, but nobody cares about it. And as soon as another country has an enrichment plant, they all go mad about it.


My grandfather was in Africa, and it was a matter of "you're going to Africa or we shoot you right here".


And things are not always black and white. Rommel was a brilliant general and respected its prisioners, on the other side, when the allies won, they also set up concentration camps for germans that were the same or worst as the nazi camps (my grandfather was also 2 years in one of these camps).


So, in the end, there's no good and bad people on a war; only winners and losers, which are quite different concepts.

Offline MaV

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #12 on: 12:20, 29 August 11 »
... that were the same or worst as the nazi camps

I'd be *very* careful with such a statement.

I agree with the other points.


Quote from: TFM/FS
The winner writes the history books.

That may be true to a certain extent, except that:
  • This sentence has been abused by Neo-Nazis to further their cause.
  • There are historians on the winner's side which do give a balanced view of recent history. I'm usually not good with names, so I can't give an example of World War II, however I remember that John Keegan a British military historian wrote an excellent book on World War I.
@Gryzor: Let me clarify something. The story of Battalion 101 is about the deportation of Jews, while I wanted to explain the reasons why the German population did not revolt in light of the bombings of German cities. I'd like to keep that apart.

Thanks for moving the posting, btw! demoniak must have felt occupied. ;)
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #13 on: 12:22, 29 August 11 »
Well, I split the topic because this is turning into a proper discussion and taking over the other thread. Let's keep it on here - assuming we keep it civilised :)

@TMF: oh, there are countless such stories, I have no difficulty accepting this specific one as I've read about so many of them. On the other hand, there are countless other documented stories of dissent - and how those who expressed their dissent got away with it. And, actually, even though many people *did* disappear behind barbed wire for their jokes, an examination of the Gestapo archives shows that the state was quite lenient against the "perpetrators". They considered humor to be a safety valve of sorts.

Also, I'm sorry, but people always have a choice. And the choice fo the majority, for some reason, was to go along with a regime that slaughtered and plundered countrless millions of innocent people, sometimes actively, sometimes passively. A prime example of concerted reaction to the doings of the regime, for instance, was the public outrage against the program of euthanasia performed on "spezial" segments of the population. Noone got punished.

About the European spirit, it's one thing tolerating and accepting other peoples; it's another thing declaring oneself as "European" before "German" or "Greek" or whatever, which is the spirit they have been trying to impose.

@Mav: of course you're right about historians. But I've been reading about WWII Germany for almost twenty years now and I've read pretty much anything worthy that's out there (actually when we moved my girlfriend made me move all the WWII books to the upper shelves because she was fed up with the swastikas adorning our living room :D ). And they all tend to agree. I have not read a single book belonging to the modern WWII bibliography (post-80s) that attributes the collective tolerance and violence to fear of reprisals.

What's more you're quite wrong (sorry!) on the Nazi-ward apparatus; as a matter of fact, after a while authorities realised that most of the denunciations were based on personal motivation and started ignoring most of them. Not that there wasn't fear. Of course there was. But what I was saying was that those that chose to not act according to orders were not summarily shot as is widely assumed.

And you're right in questioning our own personal possible standing; who knows if you or I would have acted differently; but that's another issue.

As for the specific book: you haven't read it I take it? :) The author chose specifically that unit because it was comprised of a cross-section of the German society. Those were not careerist policement but mere reservists, coming from all the strata of the German world - a shepperd here, a butcher there, a teacher, a postman... And it's exactly the fact that those ordinary people turned into cold-blood murderers overnight that has been puzzling historians ever since. What's more, it has been proven (in this book, among others) that those that could not accept those assignments (like concentration camp guards or executioners) met no punishment and were actually merely transferred to other units. And, to answer your question, the problem precisely is that all the units that were assigned similar duties did just that - their "duty".


...of course the winner writes history. There's a lovely sci-fi book (forget the name... darn) that argues that Satan was the good guy, but lost. But this doesn't mean that what is written about the German people pre- and during-WWII is wrong.

As a matter of fact, some of the conditions prevalent in Nazi Germany were not specific to that country; a Jewish historian had once written, "if, before WWII, you came and told me that there would be a nation that would torture and slaughter millions of Jews within a few short years I'd have no trouble believing that indeed the French would be capable of that". But it was the Germans who did that, and it takes a whole lot more than fear to do it.

On the other hand, it's the same thing with the US, the nukes and the moral burden they have to bear even though they don't accept it: others had it too and could have used it but they're the only ones who fucking did it. But, to come back to the historians issue, there are strong and articulate voices exposing the barbarity of the winners, whereas the revisionist voices who try to apologise for the Nazis are just plain ridiculous, so it's not really an issue of the winners writing history.

Sure, we could argue many things: the Americans had started the war against Japan long before Pearl Harbor with their oil blockade, the British (especially, since they didn't dare do day raids) razed cities to the ground, the Russians - well, let's not even touch this, etc etc, but this doesn't change an iota in the story of how Germany begun the most brutal and efficient terror of all times. This is *their* moral burden.

@Robcfg: Nor can I put the allied PoW camps at the same level as the Nazi ones; for one, you're talking about PoW camps; however, when we're talking about German camps we generally talk about slavery or extermination camps. Also, a Russian would have to be unbefuckinlievable lucky to survive two years in a Nazi PoW camp.

I don't believe there's "no good and bad people". For sure, there are good people and bad people in all sides. Naturally. But that's entirely different from the generalisation. Or you mean to say that if Hitler had won the Nazis would be automagically the "good guys"? Come on... Here you have one people who terrorized half the world hell-bent on its enslavement; on the other hand, you have - let's say average nations, with good or bad people and sometimes with *very* bad people at their top (Stalin, Churchill) who did nothing but fight back and exact some measure of revenge. How can you put these two together?

@Mav (you posted as I was typing... :) ). No, Battalion 101 is not about the deportation but about the extermination of said Jews. As for the rest on this book I gave my points above...

Offline robcfg

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #14 on: 12:37, 29 August 11 »
Grim subject but nice discussion here, thanks for moving it to a new topic!


What I mean by good and bad is that people tend to believe that that Allies are good and the Nazis bad. I'm not going to tell you that the Nazis were nice guys at all, but the Allies weren't that good either. The US drop nuclear bombs, the Russian killed millions of Cossacks, and they had also PoW camps where lots of people died in extreme conditions.


On a war, both sides are equally evil and destructive, but the winner is automatically seen as "good", that's what the sentence "The winner writes history" refers to on my opinion.


A little more on the allied camps: http://www.cyberussr.com/hcunn/for/us-germany-pow.html

Offline AMSDOS

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #15 on: 13:26, 29 August 11 »
From our perspective it would seem Invading is a bad thing to do. Though would an European see the Invasion of Roman Empire 2000 years ago as a good thing or bad thing? Not that I'm sticking up for anyone - Romans were dominant in their ways, though shows like Time Team tend to suggest that other cultures welcomed the changes - hard to say since it all happened around 2000 years ago. Romans tend to eliminate people who sacrificed their own to their so called Gods! In some cases Romans were wiped out from some cultures who had the energy to harness and were prepared for Invasion. It would be somewhat intimidating if you knew some army was going to come and kill you and take your assets - even Germans had to put up with that. It was too bad that most of the German technology was destroyed in WWII cause they were somewhat advanced for that period.
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Offline MaV

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #16 on: 13:36, 29 August 11 »
Also, I'm sorry, but people always have a choice. And the choice fo the majority, for some reason, was to go along with a regime that slaughtered and plundered countrless millions of innocent people, sometimes actively, sometimes passively. A prime example of concerted reaction to the doings of the regime, for instance, was the public outrage against the program of euthanasia performed on "spezial" segments of the population. Noone got punished.

What would be interesting to know here, is the particular time these examples happened, as I suspect that from the beginning of the war on, these were less and less tolerated by the regime.


Quote
What's more you're quite wrong (sorry!) on the Nazi-ward apparatus; as a matter of fact, after a while authorities realised that most of the denunciations were based on personal motivation and started ignoring most of them. Not that there wasn't fear. Of course there was. But what I was saying was that those that chose to not act according to orders were not summarily shot as is widely assumed.

I don't deny the denunciations. In fact, I was thinking of adding it in a previous post, primarily as evidence that denunciations probably also spread mistrust among the people. Once they know that some are purposefully decrying others to serve their own ends, common people are more likely to behave such, so as not to rub up to others the wrong way.

"summarily shot" is a bit exaggerated. I don't think the Nazis needed to go that far at all. The question is debatable, my point of view is that you don't need to make a lot of example of dissenters to successfully "herd the cattle". Alright this is my cynical point of view of humanity ... you got me. ;)

Yeah, I realize I could be wrong with that.


Quote
As for the specific book: you haven't read it I take it? :)

No, I admit, I didn't. And cross-reading about them led to a completely wrong picture of their workings. I've got to be more careful in the future.


Quote
..., whereas the revisionist voices who try to apologise for the Nazis are just plain ridiculous, so it's not really an issue of the winners writing history.

There is no apology for what the Nazis have done. Revisionist views are particularly bad to a healthy discussion about these topics, as they poison the dialogue.


Quote
... but this doesn't change an iota in the story of how Germany begun the most brutal and efficient terror of all times. This is *their* moral burden.

No dispute here. We'll I'm speaking as an Austrian, but our population - even though the public consent is that we were the first victim - did their share to "help" the Nazi cause during WWII.


Quote
Or you mean to say that if Hitler had won the Nazis would be automagically the "good guys"? Come on... Here you have one people who terrorized half the world hell-bent on its enslavement; on the other hand, you have - let's say average nations, with good or bad people and sometimes with *very* bad people at their top (Stalin, Churchill) who did nothing but fight back and exact some measure of revenge. How can you put these two together?

You don't. This is not accounting. And the dead are not just numbers which you can compare.
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Offline PhilZeVibe

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #17 on: 14:04, 29 August 11 »
It was too bad that most of the German technology was destroyed in WWII cause they were somewhat advanced for that period.

I'm not sure what technologies you're referring to.

Because V2s, for example, are indeed the technological basis of today's ballistic missiles and spacecrafts. And the atomic bomb itself was built with help of german scientists!
Many brillant german engineers and researchers fled away from Germany before the war. Many others were recruited by the US after the war.
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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #18 on: 14:19, 29 August 11 »
sometimes with *very* bad people at their top (Stalin, Churchill) who did nothing but fight back and exact some measure of revenge.

Churchill looks quite ok in my book.

I know that most french people are resentful of him because of what he did in the battle of Mers El-K├ębir, against the french fleet.
But to be perfectly honest, if I was in his position at that time, I would have done the exact same. :O

I mean, the british fleet didn't make a sneaky attack. They asked the french fleet to join the british fleet, or to surrender.
It was a spectacularly bad decision of the french commandement to refuse the british offer, because the french navy wasn't especially friendly with the nazis to begin with.

Sorry my french fellows...
« Last Edit: 14:22, 29 August 11 by phi2x »
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #19 on: 15:51, 29 August 11 »
@CP/M: you're raising an interesting and important issue by referring to the Romans (or the Greeks, or...), though not necessarily relevant. The problem is, the Romans etc lived in a world with different moral frameworks. Is it really ok to judge a foreign civilization by today's standards? I don't really think so... as if we could judge a pre-Neardenthal guy for clubbing the hottie from  the next cave :D

However, Germany existed in the modern world whose values actually were partly shaped by German philosophers. So there's no excuse for that.

@Mav: actually I find revisionism quite refreshing in that it forces you to recheck your facts and to a reality check; I was first confronted with revisionism when I was studying in the UK. A friend of mine, an American Jewish girl of Dutch descent got into some discussions with a few revisionists and, knowing I had a thing for the subject, turned to me for help. Having to counter their arguments made me revisit lots of details and facts, debate them and re-learn them -and also, it was a nice challenge trying to tip-toe round their logical acrobatics. But of course this kind of revisionism is dangerous when it gets a foothold...

@Phil2x: Churchill prevented Red Cross ships from reaching Athens during the '41-'42 winter (the most severe one in memory, during which some 200.000 Greeks died of hunger) to force Greeks to take to the mountains. He organised the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague because he was too 'lenient' and thus the populace was not forced into guerrilla war. He bombed Athens, killing several thousands of civilians in order to enforce the UK-backed government in 1944. And lots of other niceties. He was not 'ok', he was as tough as the rest of the dictators, he just happened to be on the good side and did not have a totally free reign.

The sinking of the French fleet, btw, is justified IMO.

Btw, an interesting trivia: in late 1944 Churchill visited Athens to arrange what became the Greek civil war that ripped apart Greek society (you understand my feelings...). He stayed at the hotel Grand Bretagne (ironically!). For a long time the communist guerrillas were depositing a huge amount of explosives under the hotel, but these explosives were discovered at the last minute... hence Churchil and the hotel survived.

Offline AMSDOS

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #20 on: 12:24, 30 August 11 »
I'm not sure what technologies you're referring to.

Because V2s, for example, are indeed the technological basis of today's ballistic missiles and spacecrafts. And the atomic bomb itself was built with help of german scientists!
Many brillant german engineers and researchers fled away from Germany before the war. Many others were recruited by the US after the war.

Well I only know some second-hand knowledge from those who talk about the German's WWII being somewhat advanced in Artillery, Weaponary and say the Brit's (along with Aussies and eventually Americans) beating the Germans by the numbers. Of course the Brit's and one of the ladies who came from Australia who recently passed away (which were high on the Germans Assignation list) would strategically attack the Germans (Nazi's) where it would hurt and things like the Dambusters. Though the Germans had also built Computers (specifically during WWII), which were quite complicated for their day and more powerful than a handful of electronic computers like the Harvard Mark I. Of course they were also destroyed during that war though! 
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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #21 on: 12:55, 30 August 11 »
@CP/M: you're raising an interesting and important issue by referring to the Romans (or the Greeks, or...), though not necessarily relevant. The problem is, the Romans etc lived in a world with different moral frameworks. Is it really ok to judge a foreign civilization by today's standards? I don't really think so... as if we could judge a pre-Neardenthal guy for clubbing the hottie from  the next cave :D

The main problem is it happened 2000 years ago and archaeology can only suggest what kind of world it was then, even if it was documented on, it would have to be written on Stone, I'm not sure how well Paper holds up when it's 2000 years old. So when it comes to understand what happened from that era, I'm guessing that it has to be interpreted which could have some problems.
 
The way I'm imagining the Roman Invasion is pretty much in same manner Australia was set upon. Indigenous Australians were invaded personally from European counterparts and in many instances there were mass killings. Of course some people argue if Indigenous Australians were really Indigenous cause there's some suggestions that there was a different culture of people around the time the people we know as Indigenous Australians today (some people still call them Aborigines which they don't care for apparently). The idea of Colonising Australia was originally to house Convicts from mother country cause their Gaols were filling up, though since vast amounts of land existed - Colonising and pushing the Indigenous Australians out of the way was mother countries way of growing outwards - in the same manner the Romans would have pushed their forces outwards to colonise 2000 years ago. People who accepted their their ways I think were accepted, otherwise were executed.

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However, Germany existed in the modern world whose values actually were partly shaped by German philosophers. So there's no excuse for that.

I think the Nazi's in their mind simply wanted the get rid of the Jewish people and pretty much executed a large number of them through Death Camps, why Japan were on Germany's side I don't know, why Japan attacked Pearl Harbour is even a bigger mystery cause America wasn't even involved in the war up til that point and their plans on attacking Australia were somewhat pointless since our main cities are in the Sth, though some primitive Japanese subs were sunk in Sydney Harbour!
 
I see your point in regard to what some of these countries are doing these days which is all about Money, Power & Resources. Given there are those who oppose it which has lead to these conflicts pure and simple.  :)
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Offline redbox

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #22 on: 13:09, 30 August 11 »
A very interesting thread here, was good to see lots of different views.


I agree that the 'enforced' flavour or European togetherness we have today isn't great, but maybe it's one of the ways of stopping Europe descend into war again. 


One thing about the Brits in WW2, don't forget they were the ones who stood up and said "we're not going to stand for this".  And then eventually everyone else piled in  :)


And one thing (I almost don't want to say) is that no matter from what source or point of view I've read, the French were largely cowards.  I really mean no insult to the French today, but it does appear this is true of the time.

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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #23 on: 13:53, 30 August 11 »
The main problem is it happened 2000 years ago and archaeology can only suggest what kind of world it was then, even if it was documented on, it would have to be written on Stone, I'm not sure how well Paper holds up when it's 2000 years old. So when it comes to understand what happened from that era, I'm guessing that it has to be interpreted which could have some problems.
We have a lot of materials, most of them were copied by monks during the middle ages, some of it just as exercise, others because it was not seen as disagreeing with Christian beliefs, and other works still very unsurpassed in their brilliance that these were copied nevertheless.
There's also a lot of inscriptions on stone, and don't forget that modern archaeology has improved a lot. We can basically scan old Roman dump piles for information about eating habits and such.

Historians know very well how they lived, it's another thing to convey the information to the public.

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The way I'm imagining the Roman Invasion is pretty much in same manner Australia was set upon. Indigenous Australians were invaded personally from European counterparts and in many instances there were mass killings.
Yes and no. Historians estimate that about a million humans were killed during Cesar's conquest in what is now France. Sounds not that big a number in relation to what happened in recent times, but populations in Ancient times were much smaller.
The Romans themselves could not have done that alone, instead they incited the rivalries between celtic tribes, waited for them to weaken each other and then seized the opportunity and conquered both with less military force. Still, the celts were hardly unarmed, and could have done serious damage to the Roman troops, but Roman strategy and tactics made the difference.
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Re: A discussion on WWII Germany
« Reply #24 on: 14:09, 30 August 11 »
And one thing (I almost don't want to say) is that no matter from what source or point of view I've read, the French were largely cowards.  I really mean no insult to the French today, but it does appear this is true of the time.

"In shock" is probably more true. The blood toll on all sides after the First World War was enormous. The French simply did not want anything like that to happen again.
And don't forget that the German Blitzkrieg took France by surprise. France felt safe because of the Maginot line - a complex system of bunkers along the eastern borders. The German troops avoided them and a couple of days later stood before Paris. Any further actions would only have postponed the inevitable and then aroused the ire of well-equipped German troops.
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