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Sept. 1, 2, 3 1939

Discussion in 'Alternate History' started by gurfinkle, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. gurfinkle

    gurfinkle Member

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    The last chapter of David Hoggan's 'The Forced War' (the pdf can be downloaded for 0$) is titled "British rejection of the Italian Conference Plan and the Outbreak of WW II"

    I'll give a quick rough synopsis ...

    Germany attacked Poland on Sept. 1, 1939.

    The issue of the British response was undecided on Sept. 1 because Britain considered French participation in a war against Germany as indispensable.

    However, the French ambassador told Italian Foreign Minister Ciano in Rome on Sept. 1 that France was prepared to join Italy in arranging a compromise settlement that would prevent WW II. British ambassador Henderson in Berlin told Halifax the same day that the Marienwerder proposals were a basis for negotiation.

    The British demanded an immediate Anglo-French ultimatum, but French foreign minister Bonnet delayed until the French Parliament was convened on Sept. 2. The French Cabinet met at 10:30 am Sept. 1 and Bonnet received a vote of support for his negotiation plans. Halifax called Bonnet at 5 p.m. and convinced him to issue a vaguely worded note that resembled an ultimatum but was without a time limit. Henderson called Ribbontrop to present the note at 9:00 pm.

    Hitler replied on Sept. 2 that he would agree to halt military operations if the British would attend a diplomatic conference. Ciano sent Germany a message that the French and Italians were proposing a conference. Ribbonthrop discussed the conference with Henderson who was noncommittal. Ciano informed Bonnet that the Italians had launched a mediation effort. However the issue of an ultimatum had to be decided. As Bonnet had written the note, he assured Ciano there was no ultimatum. Ciano received a wire at 4:00 that Germany favored the Italian plan for a conference. Bonnet telephoned Halifax who said that withdrawal of all German forces was a prerequisite for a conference, i.e Halifax had no intention of agreeing to mediation.

    Bonnet launched an effort to get Poland to agree to the conference plan. British ambassador Kennnard advised Poland's Beck to reject the plan.

    That's not the end of the story, but it is sufficient to indicate that neither Germany, Italy, or France wanted a wider war on Sept 2, 1939, and the sole force driving the world to WWII was Britain.

    The remaining sections in the chapter are titled:

    The Peace Conference Favored by Bonnet
    Halifax's Determination to Drive France Into War
    Ciano Deceived by Halifax
    The Mediation Effort Abandoned by Italy
    Bonnet Dismayed by Italy's Decision
    British Pressure on Daladier and Bonnet
    The Collapse of French Opposition to War
    The British and French Declaration of War Against Germany
     
  2. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    Please, nonsense and fake history abound.

    Both Britain and France didn't want war.
    Buth honorable people keep their word, pacta sunt servanda - agreements must be kept.

    In the case of Britain it was:

    in the event of any action which clearly threatened Polish independence, and which the Polish Government accordingly considered it vital to resist with their national forces, His Majesty's Government would feel themselves bound at once to lend the Polish Government all support in their power.

    in the case of France:

    in the event of Poland or France suffering from a failure to observe undertakings arrived at this day between them and Germany [The Locarno Treaties - guaranteeing European borders] ...
    undertake to lend each other immediate aid and assistance, if such a failure is accompanied by an unprovoked recourse to arms.

    For this reason, France ordered mass mobilization on the second day of the war, issued an ultimatum to Germany, and declared war on the third day.
     
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    David Hoggan...A lesser-known Naziphile, antisemite, Nazi apologist...Nothing like a biased source to prove a point.
     
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  4. gurfinkle

    gurfinkle Member

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    A.J.P. Taylor in 'Origins of WW II', a pdf version is available online, covers the same 3 days in a much less detailed fashion, which is congruent with Hoggan's coverage. Taylor begins:

    "At 4:45 a.m. on the following morning (Sept. 1) the German attack on Poland began. At 6 a.m. German aeroplanes bombed Warsaw.

    "Here was a clear casus foederis for both Great Britain and France. Their ally had been wantonly attacked; it only remained for them to declare war on the aggressor. Nothing of the sort happened. Both governments addressed a pained remonstrance to Hitler, warning him that they would have to go to war unless he desisted. Meanwhile they waited for something to turn up, and something did. ......"

    "
     
  5. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    It's true the British were quicker, and the encumbered by bureaucracy and politically fragmented French government slower but it didn't matter much.
    Additionally, the French commander-in-chief wanted to complete the mobilization first, but still supported the war unconditionally, as many other French politicians.

    It's true the Foreign Minister Bonnet was trying to end the war by peaceful means and appease some more, but he was alone. It should be remembered he was one of the worst foreign ministers France ever had.
    The Polish ambassador in Paris wrote this about him in 1938:
    Minister Bonnet is a weak man, who is unable to be firm on any matter and succumbs to a tendency of adapting himself to each of his consecutive interlocutors. Without questioning the sincerity of his statements concerning us, there is not the slightest doubt that, when confronted by the government, as well as the press and Parliament, he does not take the same attitude in matters of the alliance with us as he does in discussion with me.

    And as the rumors had it he was regularly beaten up by his built like a tank wife.

    That Bonnet launched an effort to get Poland to agree to the conference plan. British ambassador Kennard advised Poland's Beck to reject the plan is false, Polish diplomatic documents don't mention that, and the detailed history of the conflict written by Józef Beck himself doesn't either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  6. gurfinkle

    gurfinkle Member

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    In order to conclude that the statements are false you must examine the evidence, and that would include Hoggan's references for them. Unfortunately, the online copy of Hoggan's book doesn't include the references, so, I consider it an open question. He went on to say ...

    "Kennard advised Beck to reject the French proposal. Kennard admitted to Halifax that Beck refused to define his attitude toward the conferene plan, but the British Ambassador believed the Polish reply to France would probably be negative"

    It appears that Hoggan is using Kennard as a source. And, given Hoggan's credentials, it is unlikely that he 'made it up'.
     
  7. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    You mean his credentials like the ones mentioned in the Wiki entry linked above?
    Specifically:
    From that I'd guess you are wrong.
     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I'm sensing a trend in your thoughts. Be careful of what you imply.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What you think he might say something like this:
     
  11. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    Of course, references are very important, especially that sometimes they led to strange sources, for example, an article in the New York Times when in fact at the beginning of the twentieth century and in the thirties the Gray Lady didn't have any "boots on the ground" in Europe, especially in Eastern Europe.

    Generally, in the case of Polish-German conflict, you can safely throw in the trash any book written by an author who doesn't at least read Polish. There are a few kilograms of diplomatic documents to read, and that just the beginning.

    Similarly, in the case of the Sudeten crisis French, Czech and to a lesser degree, Russian are required.

    The narration "Kennard advised Beck to reject the French proposal" is wrong for because the Poles, for various reasons, were hell-bent on resisting and didn't need such advice and Kennard most likely was aware of the fact such talk was extremely offensive to them.
     
  12. EKB

    EKB Member

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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  13. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    Are the top German generals a good source?

    Since his unsatisfactory meeting with Brauchitsch in mid-January, Blaskowitz had continued to accumulate material on events in Poland.
    When Brauchitsch visited the headquarters of the eastern command on February 20, Blaskowitz had his ammunition ready - 26 pages of notes including a report from General Alexander Ulex, commander of the southern border region, and a list of 35 specifically dated incidents of flagrant atrocity.

    The Ulex report noted that the violent actions of the police displayed an "incomprehensible lack of human and ethical sensitivity, so that one could almost speak of animalization", and his headquarters knew of only a "tiny fraction" of the violence taking place.
    "The only way out of this disgraceful situation that stained the honor of the entire German people" was the total removal of all police units with their officers, Ulex concluded.

    The Blaskowitz notes were worded more circumspectly to appeal to some remnant of utilitarian rationality, but given the context, the condemnatory thrust was quite clear. "It is a mistake to slaughter some 10,000 Jews and Poles, as is now happening, for in view of the size of the population neither the idea of the Polish state will be eliminated nor the Jews removed in that way.
    ...
    But worst of all was the "moral depravity that will spread like a plague in the shortest time" among good Germans.
    At the moment "the attitude of the troops to the ss and police wavers between loathing and hate," but "when the highest officials of the SS and police demand violence and brutality and praise it publicly, then in the shortest time only the brutes rule.
    Surprisingly quickly the like-minded and the deviant personalities come together, as is the case in Poland, in order to give full vent to their animalistic and pathological instincts."
    The Origins of the Final Solution
    by Christopher R. Browning.
     
  14. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Pay careful attention to Lou. He has access to the trigger and support of the owner.
     
  15. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Thanks for the support, Jeff. Feels good to have the hammer again.
     
  16. gurfinkle

    gurfinkle Member

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    LOL. Too late. I've already given up. I did benefit from the discussions on this thread and my thread. I was a little surprised and disappointed, but not too much, at the tenor (the drift of something spoken or written) of the 'discussion'.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  17. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Let's see what Mr. Wiki has to say...
    Hmmm....Mr. Hoggan has already made things up for his books...So, yeah, Mr. Hoggan is again making things up.
     
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  18. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I don't know why you think it's too late. Otto owns this site as well as WW2Talk. He has also preserved several sites that were in danger of going dark.
     
  19. Otto

    Otto Gearing up. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I've highlighted two lines from you opening post that I think are a good summation of the logic driving this. These are your words, not mine.
    &
    Quite hard to hold both statements as true simultaneously, no?
     
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  20. Otto

    Otto Gearing up. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Thread moved to Alternate History sub-forum.
     

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