Jump to content


Photo

Was WWII Worth It?


  • Please log in to reply
300 replies to this topic

#41 RETAC21

RETAC21

    A la lealtad y al valor

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13,549 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Madrid, Spain
  • Interests:Military history in general

Posted 13 May 2005 - 0227 AM

If Hitler and the Nazis had just been satisfied with exterminating the Jews where they could and not gotten embroiled in a world war, the Holocaust would have been no more than a footnote in history.

View Post


From the jewish perspective a Europe without World War would have been better actually. The Nazi plan was to expel the Jews from their territories rather than outright extermination until the war intervened. Still, better oppressed by the communists than killed by the Nazis, so it was worth it.
  • 0

#42 swerve

swerve

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,779 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Reading, Berkshire
  • Interests:Too many to list all, but include military, economic &technological history. And cycling.

Posted 13 May 2005 - 0307 AM

Was there much partisan activity in eastern Europe after WWII aimed at the Soviets?

View Post


Last holdouts in the Baltic states lasted until the mid-1950s. Quite a bit in western Ukraine. None in Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, because they didn't occupy them. Installed friendly governments & left. However, there were anti-Tito partisans in parts of Yugoslavia for a while. Czechoslovakia wasn't initially either occupied or Communist: it became Communist a few years after the war, via a semi-democratic, semi-coup takeover by the local party - much like Hitlers takeover in Germany. Guard your democracy carefully! No partisans there. Don't know about Poland & Hungary, but I've never heard of any.

In briefAFAIK anti-Soviet partisan activity occurred in territories which were annexed to the USSR between 1939 & 1945.
  • 0

#43 swerve

swerve

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,779 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Reading, Berkshire
  • Interests:Too many to list all, but include military, economic &technological history. And cycling.

Posted 13 May 2005 - 0311 AM

Actually, I believe Putin meant to include either Norway or Austria amongst those 11 'liberated' countries. As Finland was never 'occupied' and political system did not change at all as a result of war, there cannot have been any 'liberation'.


The 11th country is Albania.

Poor Albanians, always forgotten about.
  • 0

#44 Martin M

Martin M

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,065 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 May 2005 - 0637 AM

On a sidenote :

Quote :
"In 1938, Churchill wanted Britain to fight for Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain refused. In 1939, Churchill wanted Britain to fight for Poland. Chamberlain agreed. At the end of the war Churchill wanted and got, Czechoslovakia and Poland were in Stalin's empire. "


Why does Chamberlain always get the stick for this ? (The 1938 sellout ).
All he was was Foreign Minister (I hope) . He was not acting on his own. He must have had orders / directives on what course was to be followed.

Wasn´t he just doing his job ?

Edited by Martin M, 13 May 2005 - 0637 AM.

  • 0

#45 Panzermann

Panzermann

    REFORGER '79

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,362 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Teutonistan

Posted 13 May 2005 - 0712 AM

Of course, many of those who survived to be opressed by Communism would have been dead under Nazism...

View Post

Others were just as dead under stalinismn that would have been fine under nazi rule. Just an exchange I think.
  • 0

#46 Matt Urbanski

Matt Urbanski

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,487 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 May 2005 - 0741 AM

- With the benefit of hindsight that living in 2005 provides, I'm pleased with containment as a policy that had its moral and practical drawbacks but did avoid a cataclysmic war. I guess that most Poles in 2005 would agree with me. "Better Dead than Red" may be a noble individual choice but for a society to wish for collective annihilation does not seem like a particularly astute or even moral choice.

View Post


Look, what I basically have a problem (realistically speking) with are three things:

1. The insistence that there was nothing the US and the West could have done about Eastern Europe - when the reality of it is that things could certainly have been done (not talking about 1945 here) but a choice was made not to antagonize or pressure Stalin in the name of faster vitory over Germany. It's not the the allies couldn't do anything, they just didn't care, and were happy to let Polish troops keep dying over a bunch of lies.

2. The claims that, even as they sold us out, at least they were doing so to a lesser evil - when there was no evidence (at the time, especially with the discovery of things like the Katyn graves, which everyone knew the score on) that Stalin was in fact any better than Hitler. Again - everyone was tired, and simply didn't give a shit.

3. People telling me to be happy I grew up in a run-down communist-ruled country (that still hasn't come close to recovering from it) rather than a giant Nazi labor camp. It's like a bystander telling someone they should be glad they were raped but not killed - in real life, you'd expect to get a mouthful of knuckles for that sort of nonsense.

I've got no right to expect the West to care, but I do have the right to say "bullshit" when people claim they really did care, but couldn't do anything.
  • 0

#47 Sardaukar

Sardaukar

    Cynical Finnish Elk Eating Ilk

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 9,612 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Finland/now Israel
  • Interests:military, martial arts, wargames, literature

Posted 13 May 2005 - 0759 AM

Finland would be particularly problematic and paradoxical. Of course the Russians claim to have "liberated" it....many Finns fought willingly with great vigor along side, or with, the Germans to achive liberation from Soviet invasion and oppression, among them, Larry Alan Thorne (Lauri Alan Torni), the "soldier under three flags" (and a legend in U.S. Special Forces and the Vietnam community in general).  It is likely that his exploits against the Russians in WWII account for his "unaccountable" disappearance from a MACV-SOG mission that ended in a helicopter crash (his person, or body, was never recovered).  He can hardly have been considered a Nazi, as much as a Finnish patriot.

View Post


Lauri Törni aka Larry Thorne has been found and is buried in Arlington. See:

http://www2.helsingi...?id=20030617IE9

Cheers,

M.S.
  • 0

#48 Doug Kibbey

Doug Kibbey

    Self Absorbed Nostalgia Monger

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11,496 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 May 2005 - 0905 AM

Lauri Törni aka Larry Thorne has been found and is buried in Arlington. See:

http://www2.helsingi...?id=20030617IE9

Cheers,

M.S.

View Post


Excellent...he certainly deserves to be there. This man's life exceeds anything Hollywood could conceive of, and they'd screw it up anyway trying to deal with the issues of his early affiliations in pursuit of liberation. Thanks for the update!
  • 0

#49 Kenneth P. Katz

Kenneth P. Katz

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11,684 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Longmeadow, MA, United States of America
  • Interests:Miltary history and technology, flying, wargaming

Posted 13 May 2005 - 0947 AM

You grew up in a run-down Communist-ruled country. If World War III had been fought, it is very possible that you never would have been born. Far from me to make choices and value judgments for others, but you should have a realistic view of the consequences of alternative decisions.

The Poles got about the same treatment by the West as the Armenians of Turkey, the Jews of Europe, the people of Darfur, the Tutsis of Rwanda, the Kurds of Iraq in the 1980s, etc. Very sad. "couldn't do anything" is not how I would phrase it. Unwilling to do anything based on a reasonable forecast of the costs (political, economic) is more accurate.

3. People telling me to be happy I grew up in a run-down communist-ruled country (that still hasn't come close to recovering from it) rather than a giant Nazi labor camp. It's like a bystander telling someone they should be glad they were raped but not killed - in real life, you'd expect to get a mouthful of knuckles for that sort of nonsense.

I've got no right to expect the West to care, but I do have the right to say "bullshit" when people claim they really did care, but couldn't do anything.

View Post


  • 0

#50 Matt Urbanski

Matt Urbanski

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,487 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 May 2005 - 1050 AM

You grew up in a run-down Communist-ruled country. If World War III had been fought, it is very possible that you never would have been born. Far from me to make choices and value judgments for others, but you should have a realistic view of the consequences of alternative decisions.

The Poles got about the same treatment by the West as the Armenians of Turkey, the Jews of Europe, the people of Darfur, the Tutsis of Rwanda, the Kurds of Iraq in the 1980s, etc. Very sad. "couldn't do anything" is not how I would phrase it. Unwilling to do anything based on a reasonable forecast of the costs (political, economic) is more accurate.

View Post


If WWII hadn't happened, none of us would be here today, because if those 50+ million of people survived, the world would be a different place. Does that mean it's wrong to wish WWII hadn't happened? Whether we would be alive today or not is pretty irrelevant when considering if WWIII would have been a good thing.

As for the rest of it, I must have missed Armenian, Tutsi or Kurdish troops fighting alongside the Allies in WWII. It's an interesting blind spot, given how quick people on this board are when picking up on veterans not getting what they were owed.

Or am I being naive again by claiming that, by most standards of decency, you owe people something if you let them fight and die for your cause?
  • 0

#51 LeoTanker

LeoTanker

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,363 posts

Posted 13 May 2005 - 1114 AM

Sure, the communist era/occupation of eastern Europe was a tragedy for freedom, what would the option have been?: Extermanation under the Nazis. Even though the Soviet occupation was tough, I doubt more Poles etc were killed during 50 years of communist rule than during one year of Nazi occupation. Stalin was a monster but luckely he died in 1953 (and Beria was shot soon afterwards) and the worst purges died with him... But don´t get me wrong, offcourse it would have been best if the western allies could have convinced Stalin not to occupy eastern Europe.

BTW None of the Eastern/Central european countries, except from Czechoslovakia, had democratic governments before WWII.
  • 0

#52 Brian Kennedy

Brian Kennedy

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 5,278 posts

Posted 13 May 2005 - 1220 PM

Matt, we'd love to hear your ideas on what the Allies should (and realistically could have done....


If WWII hadn't happened, none of us would be here today, because if those 50+ million of people survived, the world would be a different place. Does that mean it's wrong to wish WWII hadn't happened? Whether we would be alive today or not is pretty irrelevant when considering if WWIII would have been a good thing.

As for the rest of it, I must have missed Armenian, Tutsi or Kurdish troops fighting alongside the Allies in WWII. It's an interesting blind spot, given how quick people on this board are when picking up on veterans not getting what they were owed.

Or am I being naive again by claiming that, by most standards of decency, you owe people something if you let them fight and die for your cause?

View Post


  • 0

#53 Brasidas

Brasidas

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12,569 posts
  • Interests:Slinging Terrorist Ilk real far

Posted 13 May 2005 - 1249 PM

<snip>

Or am I being naive again by claiming that, by most standards of decency, you owe people something if you let them fight and die for your cause?

View Post


That's a pretty big chip you have on your shoulder.

I am curious, why you don't spend more of your time and energy blaming Chamberlain and the leadership of Poland in the early 30s for not preparing themselves to protect Poland.

Anytime you place the guarantee of your independence into the hands of others, you allow their political concerns to dominate yours. Poland got screwed when she should not have. However continuing to have hard feelings about it and holding a grudge about it today due to what the political leadership 50 years ago did, is about as useful as black people in the US today, attempting to gain reparations for what happened to their predecessors five or more generations ago.
  • 0

#54 Ken Estes

Ken Estes

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,734 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle
  • Interests:USMC Tanker, Historian

Posted 13 May 2005 - 1401 PM

Or am I being naive again by claiming that, by most standards of decency, you owe people something if you let them fight and die for your cause?

View Post

Well, whose cause do you mean by your cause? It seems to me that many countries had the opportunity to take on the Axis, in turn, and the early ones fell victim, exc for UK and USSR, and the latecomers survived, rallied and defeated the threat. Is there something else you wanted besides defeating the Axis? It reminds me of a Brit officer at one of the Normandy beaches, advancing inland, they stopped to brew tea and sample the raspberry patch....comes the local farmer, to remark, "in 4 years the Germans took not a single raspberry...."
  • 0

#55 Matt Urbanski

Matt Urbanski

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,487 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 May 2005 - 1417 PM

That's a pretty big chip you have on your shoulder.

I am curious, why you don't spend more of your time and energy blaming Chamberlain and the leadership of Poland in the early 30s for not preparing themselves to protect Poland.

Anytime you place the guarantee of your independence into the hands of others, you allow their political concerns to dominate yours. Poland got screwed when she should not have. However continuing to have hard feelings about it and holding a grudge about it today due to what the political leadership 50 years ago did, is about as useful as black people in the US today, attempting to gain reparations for what happened to their predecessors five or more generations ago.

View Post


And you, like most people here, are still concentrating on defending a loathsome bit of politcs and trying to come up with excuses for it.

I never seriously contended that a)The US owed Poland its freedom, or b)That it was likely such freedom could be won. (And for that matter, have talked about the "Western Allies" throughout, rather than the US specifically, so if you see it as a "Blame America" thread that's your problem... I don't recall saying I hold anyone responsible for it today, or asking for reparations, either. Never mind that it's an absurd analogy, since Russian troops were stationed in Poland during most of my life - not several generations ago - as a result of this historical chain of events.)

When I asked "well, why not start WWIII over it" , it wasn't because I thought it was a realistic idea, but because I don't believe that a war to save the French from the Germans and the Germans from themselves was worth it either - it certainly wasn't worth the lives Poland put into it. (the Holocaust being a separate issue that unfortunately had nothing to do with why any of the allies persecuted the war)

At the risk of repeating myself, the main issue is that the Allies had knows for years what the Russian intentions were towards Poland, that they themselves planned to do less about it than the UN does about genocide, and that they lied about it. People who fought alongside the other Allied troops in good faith went home to be harrassed, imprisoned and executed. Was WWII really "worth it" for them?

There's a world of difference between demanding that another country spend hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives to save you from an occupier (although it'd have been nice if someone even cared enough to send Stalin a strongly worded letter...) and objecting to being betrayed.
  • 0

#56 Matt Urbanski

Matt Urbanski

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,487 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 May 2005 - 1421 PM

Is there something else you wanted besides defeating the Axis?

View Post


Is this a bad joke, or are you really this dense?
  • 0

#57 Brasidas

Brasidas

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12,569 posts
  • Interests:Slinging Terrorist Ilk real far

Posted 13 May 2005 - 1458 PM

And you, like most people here, are still concentrating on defending a loathsome bit of politcs and trying to come up with excuses for it.


No, I just refuse to take responsibility for the source of your anger. Maybe you should learn to deal with that?

I never seriously contended that a)The US owed Poland its freedom, or b)That it was likely such freedom could be won.  (And for that matter, have talked about the "Western Allies" throughout, rather than the US specifically, so if you see it as a "Blame America" thread that's your problem... I don't recall saying I hold anyone responsible for it today, or asking for reparations, either. Never mind that it's an absurd analogy, since Russian troops were stationed in Poland during most of my life - not several generations ago - as a result of this historical chain of events.)


I don't recall you taking the US to task specifically, and I don't recall me trying to give the US an exception in failing to protect Poland's interests regarding the topic, so you may as well stop using that particular strawman now.

The use of the anaology was to illustrate the fact that the events that were set into motion happened in the time of our great grandfathers and grandfathers reaching their adolesence. If you want to blame anything, blame Realpolitik.

When I asked "well, why not start WWIII over it" , it wasn't because I thought it was a realistic idea, but because I don't believe that a war to save the French from the Germans and the Germans from themselves was worth it either - it certainly wasn't worth the lives Poland put into it. (the Holocaust being a separate issue that unfortunately had nothing to do with why any of the allies persecuted the war)


Maybe the US fought in Europe because Germany declared war on us?

At the risk of repeating myself, the main issue is that the Allies had knows for years what the Russian intentions were towards Poland, that they themselves planned to do less about it than the UN does about genocide, and that they lied about it. People who fought alongside the other Allied troops in good faith went home to be harrassed, imprisoned and executed. Was WWII really "worth it" for them?

There's a world of difference between demanding that another country spend hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives to save you from an occupier (although it'd have been nice if someone even cared enough to send Stalin a strongly worded letter...) and objecting to being betrayed.

View Post


As I said before, Poland got screwed. You can't change the past. Adults realize this, children throw tantrums.
  • 0

#58 Doug Kibbey

Doug Kibbey

    Self Absorbed Nostalgia Monger

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11,496 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 May 2005 - 1459 PM

Someone remind me, please (and anyone else who might have missed it) exactly what was the specific action that triggered the British and the French to declare war on Germany.....
  • 0

#59 Matt Urbanski

Matt Urbanski

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,487 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 May 2005 - 1505 PM

As I said before, Poland got screwed. You can't change the past. Adults realize this, children throw tantrums.

View Post


Yeah, ok. You're not making excuses, or avoiding the point. It was actually a natural disaster. :rolleyes:
  • 0

#60 Jeff

Jeff

    Godfather of Tanknet Birthday Greetings

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 29,031 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 May 2005 - 1609 PM

I don't see what the Allies could have realistically done to push the USSR back in 1945. I don't however expect the folks who ended up on the wrong side of the line to enjoy the sh!t sandwich they were served at the end of the war. I think it's a case of no alternative but a lousy deal to be given.
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users