Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Lord Halifax becomes Prime Minister. England goes neutral (updated)

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by British-Empire, Feb 26, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    139
    Not April 1939, but April 1940.
    Chamberlain resigned and Churchill took over on the day Germany launched its attack on France and the Low Countries.
    While the Norway campaign did lead to the fall of Chamberlain, it didn't cause any section of the British political establishment to consider seeking peace with Germany.
    There was no 'peace party'
     
  2. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    953
    Redcoat, there may not have been a peace party, but there were many in the governing party that could be considered for such a role if one were to exist.
     
  3. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    346
    I've been following this thread to see what I could learn, but not posting until now because I'm not really familiar with the history of British pre-war politics.

    But it sounds as though Reality's time line is confused, and thus the reasoning about Lord Halifax is problematic. If Churchill took over in April, 1940, and I have no reason to doubt that date, then there was no reason for any British politicians to consider a peace initiative before Churchill became PM. Possible peace negotiations only really became something some found attractive after the Fall of France in June, 1940. And by then, it was too late because Churchill was already PM.

    Seems to me that peace with Germany in 1940 wasn't actually much of a possibility.
     
  4. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    953
    In fact DA, his timeline is out, Redcoats is correct.

    I think you should look too at what Leo Amery was doing with his conversatins with Italians before and during the invasion of France.

    The British ambasador with German military letation in Washington.

    The silly Swiss and Swedish communications.

    There was indeed before and during and after Frances fall in 1940 a fair few in govt circles that would have accepted a peace, not a surrender I may add, but a peace on terms was never discounted by lots of our powerful folk in 1940. And Churchill new it.
     
  5. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    346
    I know he is.

    Redcoat is also correct that there was no "peace party".

    The only period in which there was any possibility of serious consideration of a German "peace offer" was between June, 1940 and the end of September, 1940. During this period, Churchill was firmly in control as PM. Sure, there were those willing to entertain sub-rosa contacts with mid-level German political figures, see what kind of deal might be possible if any domestic political circumstances might favor a go at advocating a cease fire within the British government. But those circumstances never really developed.

    Correct me, if I'm wrong, but I believe Churchill, all, or nearly all, of his cabinet, the King, and the majority of the British public, during the latter half of 1940, were all against peace with Germany. That's a pretty tough combination to overcome.
     
  6. Heidi

    Heidi Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    24
    correct,churchill never wanted to have peace with germany,churchill was willing to fight and destroy hitler than give in to hitler.
    as soon as churchill became PM hitler knew there was gong to be no peace between england and german, hitler qouted this me self.
     
  7. Heidi

    Heidi Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    24
    correct,churchill never wanted to have peace with germany,churchill was willing to fight and destroy hitler than give in to hitler.
    as soon as churchill became PM hitler knew there was gong to be no peace between england and german, hitler qouted this me self.
     
  8. Reality

    Reality Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    oops, my bad. Sorry for making such a rudimentary/typographic mistake; as oboviously, I knew the month and date of Norwegian and Lower Country invasion off the top of my head, I must have slipped my mind to type the year wrong. April 1939 was barely after Munich :) Hitler hadn't even signed on the non-aggression pact with Stalin to carve up Poland yet. Obviously, I meant April 1940.
     
  9. Reality

    Reality Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    When Chamberlain lost public confidence in April, it was not a given that Churchill would become the PM. In fact, the King and Chamberlain preferred Halifax. Churchill had a bad chickenhawk ("Neocon" of his time) warmongering reputation from WWI days, both the failed Dardanielle Campaign and the failed Russian Intervention. In fact, the common saying at the end of WWI was that British Empire might survive another world war, but certainly not another Churchill administration . . . and that prediction proved very much correct in WWII. Some in the banking and munition industries however were interested in enlarging the war in 1940, so Churchill was encouraged to take the reign.
     
  10. Reality

    Reality Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    After the fall of France in June 1940, peace with Germany wasn't a realistic political option for British Empire. Britain would be highly vulnerable to an invasion facing a hostile continent, and the loss of prestige alone from negotiating from weakness would be highly problematic for the Empire. If the bominb of London hadn't taken place, there might have been a second chance of Sea Lion failed in October, but that's a much more slim chance.

    Before the fall of France and lower countries, however, peace had a real chance, especially since Norway demonstrated air power over surface fleets (so it was interepreted by contemporaries) and the French were not particularly eager to fight.
     
  11. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    139
    There was no Churchill administration in WW1, he was merely a cabinet member.
    Total utter rubbish.
     
  12. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    139
    The British and French didn't wish to consider peace in this period because they were still confident they would win.
     
  13. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    81
    Yes the sinking of the aircraft carrier Glorious by surface ships without air support proves that.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    Even they might have considered a "peace offer" if it were good enough. Like the Germans withdrawing from France, the Low Countries, and Norway. They might or might not have been willing to let them keep Poland or part of it at that time. Of course there is no way Hitler would have made such an offer ...
     
  15. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    9,683
    Likes Received:
    953
    No DA you are correct, the nearly all though was the problem.

    If Churchill had been usurped in June 1940 which was not beyond possibility then things may have turned out differently. The crucial point was to the end of Dunkirk and the sinking of major parts of French fleet by the British. While Dynamo was still going on and before the French sinkings Churchills power was anything but uncontestable.

    Come July, it was never going to happen.
     
  16. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    346
    But during that small window of time, who, realistically, had the power to force him to resign, and was so inclined? Certainly not Lord Halifax at that time?
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    And even then would any British politician consider peace with the low countries occupied? Maybe a cease fire but that only to recover/build strength.
     
  18. Reality

    Reality Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    The correct phrase is "Churchill Cabinet," but it's a matter of semantics

    Sure, please check the rules for the what-if forum. Anyway, as FDR once said, "nothing happens by accident in politics."
     
  19. Reality

    Reality Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    The mood changed quite dramaticly as Norway turned into a debacle. The French didn't want to fight much to begin with, or they would have done something in the Fall of 1939 when Poland was still in the fight. Norway "proved" (in the eyes of the contemporaries) that the moat of English Channel would potentially be vulnerable to flying machines.

    Chamberlain cabinet fell as a result of the Norway debacle. It would have been a huge surprise for anyone who had been anybody from the WWI experience to see the war-mongering Churchill back in the driver's seat.
     
  20. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    346
    Norway proved what??

    Norway had no air force, a navy composed of a handful of antique gunboats, and a token army. The only thing that Norway proved was that it was possible for even a bumbling, inept high command to invade a defenseless country.

    There was no similarity, militarily, between Norway and Britain in 1940, and both the Germans and the British knew that. The British had built their "Chain Home" radar system precisely because they knew it would make it possible to defend their islands from the Germans.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page