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What do you consider "the beginning of the war?"

Discussion in 'Prelude to War & Poland 1939' started by DAngelo.Barksdale, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I personally believe that while it could be seen as a "border dispute" in Poland, the reaction and promises of the other industrialized European nations (Britain and France) changed that aggression from local to global.

    This is NOT true in the Far East, first since there was no protection by other nations or promises to do so when Japan attacked a non-unified country (China). China hadn't yet resolved its own civil war, had no true central government, and had no guarantee from any another nation or set of nations to protect its borders. Poland did.

    This clearly shifts the "beginning" of WW2 to the European theater, not the Asian, the mid-east, the Horn of Africa, nor the Iberian Peninsula. It had become a "global war" in the Polish offensive, well before the Low Countries, the Danes, the Norwegians, or the French were invaded.

    Just my opinion of course, but the Sino-Japanese conflicts might well have petered out to nothing before 1941 if Germany hadn't gotten started in 1939 and signed pacts with the Japanese and Italians forming the "Axis" powers.
     
  2. Domen121

    Domen121 Member

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    Yet on 3 September 1939 countries from all continents except of Antarctica declared war on Germany.

    So it became a "World" war yet on 3 September 1939 - definitely the US had nothing to do with it.
     
  3. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Don't you consider both North and South America to be part of the continents description? Canada declared war on Sept. 10th, a week after Sept. 3rd. Most of the Asian continent under the influence of the USSR was in league with the Germans through the "anti-aggression pact" of Stalin, and neither China nor the Mid-east declared war on the 3rd of September. I wonder if that limits this to a few less than "all" does it not? There may have been colonial governments which did so, on every continent, and if that is your argument you miss by a bit of time, they didn't all declare war on that date.

    There were "colonial representational nations" from a number of continents, but as they were not completely autonomous nations I wonder at the value of that statement. The UK's Dominions didn't declare war until after the British themselves, just to (I'm sure) demonstrate their autonomous position in the system.

    Canada, South Africa, Australian and New Zealand all followed the lead of Great Britain, but they didn't all declare war on the same day. Even Great Britain didn't officially declare war until the 9th. Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa declared war on Germany on the 9th, and a day later Canada declared war on Germany. Certainly NOT the third of September, nor covering ALL continents on that date.
     
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  4. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    There is a good case for that, but then you could also say that it began when Kaizer Willhelm decided to build the High Seas Fleet. At that point war between the British and Germany became inevitable. It spelled the end of the "splendid isolation" of Great Britain which played a big part in preventing continent-wide wars in Europe.
     
  5. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    An interesting point here is......Your national war memorial...In Uk's case the cenotaph, US ww2 museum or some such...Russia, China, all of us..Must have some main
    recognised point of memorial...Whats the date on yours...Then we start to get a nations thinking point on ww2.
     
  6. efestos

    efestos Member

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    The re-militarization of the Rhineland in February 1936? A major violation of the treaty of Versailles . Churchill specifically mentions this as the moment when Stanley Baldwin could have been easily prevented war.
    Guderain said that the generals wouldn´t support the humilliation of a withdrawal...

    The spanish civil war could have been considered as the start of the cold war. The comunist started to spread its influence out of the USSR (Paracuelllos was the precedent of Katyn)... While TEXACO supplied Franco oil on credit and the Royal Navy didn´t intercepted the German and italian supplies to Franco.
     
  7. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Oh, the bad Texaco, for not selling oil to the enemies of capitalism:D
    Oh, the bad RN for not intercepting the German and Italian supplies to Franco.Was there any reason for intercepting these supplies ?
    And, about the Rhineland, what Churchill said was of course nonsens:the only who could have done something against the remilitarisation of the Rhineland,were the French(they also were the first concerned), but, for a lot of reasons (political and military), they chose to do nothing .
     
  8. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    I think you'll find the RN did their bit of seafaring during the Spanish civil war. Any look at a yearbook written in say 38 would detail the activity's of all navies in that area including many attacked. Politcians may do one thing, the forces have to react to that thing. The RN was and is no different. A quick glance through my own 1938 Written volumes tells me the RN were quite active in Spanish civil war. However I dont see any American naval presence.
     
  9. VolksGrenadier44

    VolksGrenadier44 Member

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    In my opinion the war began at Czechslovakia. When Hitler decided to diosobey the Treaty of Versailles is (Obviously) when it started. Although the Western Allied powers only held a confrence to decide, many Allied countries were slowly beginning for war. Once Poland was invaded the world knew a large war was to come. So I belive Czeckslovakia was the point where the war started.
     
  10. efestos

    efestos Member

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    If the RN had intercepted the supplies to Franco my family would probably have been killed, or imprissioned and have lost their few assets, so it's obvious that I have not expressed very well.
    France, GB, Germany and Italy signed a non-itervention agreement ... seemed to affect only a part.

    Remilitarization of Rhinland: France was in a time of political weakness, felt that to stop the remilitarization of the Rhineland had to order general mobilization. GB did not support its application for assistance. And the weak French government did not dare to invade Germany, just before it began its rearmament. A missed opportunity. I doubt if Hitler managed well short-term political decisions or was a compulsive gambler. By the time Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia Germany had rearmed, GB only had a handful of Hurricans, no Spitfire. It was too late.
     
  11. VonKoenigsberg

    VonKoenigsberg Member

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    The day Hitler was given power. That's when war in Europe became inevitable!
    One can also make a case that war became a possibility when the League of Nations did nothing to stop the Italians from invading Ethiopia (or was it Somalia?), and using poison gas as a legitimate weapon again. A few very greedy dictators might've seen this as an indication that anyone can basically get 'away with murder'!
     
  12. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Not so fast, there were more than European nations involved, and also including attacks against Australia & North America (Canada), by raiders & U-boats
     
  13. Victor Gomez

    Victor Gomez Ace

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    In this discussion many valid points have been raised----in a couple of postings there has been made mention of "The League of Nations" failures, and the fact that "Appeasement" was used in mistaken sacrifice to the aggressors and war became more inevitable each time. I am one who believes in placing more emphasis on solving more world wide problems with use of the United Nations, however we are not at the perfect mix yet of how much authority can be placed into this organization to accomplish things all countries need. There have been a number of successes however that we can credit this organization with. It has many limitations no doubt but perhaps its lack of organization and authority for prevention of WWII (In the League of Nations form) can be pointed out as a pivotal cause enabling the eventual resorting to war for the solutions...... so that we understand some things we can improve upon to make it more useful in the future. Some of those things were improved but perhaps more could be done if enough interest could be stirred in those directions. This international failure to address the aggressors with any kind of effective authority certainly proved to be an open door for the inevitable conflict that was suffered by all in WWII. Let us be aware also that capitalism which I view as an important economic "tool" of countries is currently experiencing its globally near total freedoms as there is no International existent governing standard to regulate it. So we are currently witnessing its unfettered expansions world wide in its own chosen goals(some free and some authoritarian) and aspirations, and we can wonder if this presents benefit or danger or some kind of mix in between. That may be subject for some other thread I suppose. I only want us to consider the WWII and this subject of the "League" or "UN".
     
  14. Dave Homewood

    Dave Homewood recruit

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    This is so not correct - where did you get this information from?

    New Zealand declared war on Germany simultaneously with Britain. The date was the 3rd of September 1939. Britain made its formal declaration at 11.15am BST, on Sunday 3rd of September 1939; and New Zealand declared war at the precise same time on the evening (NZ Time). The two declarations were being announced officially at the precise same time.

    Also on the 3rd of September 1939 war was declared by Australia and India, and the deadline set by France's ultimatum to Germany ran out at 3.00pm BST, after which they were also at war with Germany. Newfoundland declared war on Germany on the 4th of September. South Africa declared war on the 5th of September against Germany. Canada declared war on the 10th of September 1939.

    By my reckoning the Second World War became a global conflict on the 3rd of September 1939, when British, European, Asian, and Australasian countries all declared war as Allies against Germany, and the follow up by African and North American Allies a few days later only reinforced that. Anything before then was a localised war, not World War.

    Though war in the Pacific was a real possibility from September 1939 onwards the war in the Pacific began in mid 1940 when the German Navy began to make successful attacks against Allied naval and merchant shipping in the Pacific and the Tasman Sea and other areas. The Japanese entry into the war 18 months or so later was an escalation of the Pacific war on a big scale, but was not the beginning.
     
  15. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Welcome to the board Dave H., I think we are arguing at cross purposes here however. I was making the point that "official declarations' are different from vocal declarations.

    I don’t disagree with Sept. 3rd being recognized as the start date. I am only pointing out that the "official declarations" of war took place at different times than the speech by PM Chamberlain in Parliament when he said:

    The Prime Minister
    : When I spoke last night to the House I could not but be aware that in some parts of the House there were doubts and some bewilderment as to whether there had been any weakening, hesitation or vacillation on the part of His Majesty's Government. In the circumstances, I make no reproach, for if I had been in the same position as hon. members not sitting on this Bench and not in possession of all the information which we have, I should very likely have felt the same. The statement which I have to make this morning will show that there were no grounds for doubt. We were in consultation all day yesterday with the French Government and we felt that the intensified action which the Germans were taking against Poland allowed no delay in making our own position clear. Accordingly, we decided to send to our Ambassador in Berlin instructions which he was to hand at 9 o'clock this morning to the German Foreign Secretary and which reads as follows:

    "Sir,
    "In the communication which I had the honour to make to you on the 1st September, I informed you, on the instructions of His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, that unless the German Government were prepared to give His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom satisfactory assurances that the German Government had suspended all aggressive action against Poland and were prepared promptly to withdraw their forces from Polish territory, His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom would, without hesitation, fulfil their obligations to Poland.

    "Although this communication was made more than twenty-four hours ago, no reply has been received but German attacks upon Poland have been continued and intensified. I have accordingly the honour to inform you that, unless not later than 11 a. m., British Summer Time, to-day 3rd September, satisfactory assurances to the above effect have been given by the German Government and have reached His Majesty's Government in London, a state of war will exist between the two countries as from that hour."


    That was the final Note. No such undertaking was received by the time stipulated, and, consequently, this country is at war with Germany. I am in a position to inform the House that, according to arrangements made between the British and French Governments, the French Ambassador in Berlin is at this moment making a similar d’marche, accompanied also by a definite time limit. The House has already been made aware of our plans. As I said the other day, we are ready….
    (bold mine)

    Goto:

    The Avalon Project : The British Bluebook

    However saying in public that a State of War exists is a de facto not a de jure declaration. That didn’t happen until the 9th of the month in the case of the British with the rest of the Commonwealth, and Canada followed on the 10th. It turned out upon examination that while the rest of the Commonwealth declared with the British, Australia had declared war "illegally" as its own constitution was written (or something). In response to this discovery Australia passed a new law in 1942 which made the declaration legal retroactively to 1939.

    I am not disputing that the date of the third of September is a reasonable "starting point", only that it isn’t purely "cut and dried" in the official international sense. The start and end of hostilities are often obscured by legalities, the war in the Pacific ended with the signing of the surrender documents onboard the USS Missouri, but the official end of hostilities wasn’t declared until December 31st, 1945. Truman did it this way so that he could have a six month period before the troops who had been put in service "for the duration plus six months". Now he and the military had until June to begin the mustering out process.
     
  16. Dave Homewood

    Dave Homewood recruit

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    In New Zealand's case, as I understand it, the war was officially declared on September 3rd, 1939 at the precise time. It was done by the deputy PM Peter Fraser who spoke in Parliament that night and the paperwork went through then. At 2am on the 4th of September the mobilisation of the Territorial Forces began. The declaration that the public heard next morning on the radio was done verbally by the PM Michael Savage, broadcast from his sickbed (he had cancer and could not be in parliament the night before). I have read up on the declaration (NZ's first ever by the way) and I have also listened to a very detailed Radio NZ documentary on the topic, and there was no question in my mind it was done officially on the 3rd, and the PM later announced it the next morning for the public to wake up to.

    If you can produce proof of an alternate history I'd be interested to see it. Cheers.
     
  17. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    I do hope this is a joke, the US was not ready at all to step in and do anything. Not only were we not ready politically, logistically we were not ready for a war. A very large percentacge of US citizens were still idle hoping the Europeans would iron things out themselves. We were still stuggling to ascend from the depression, the government programs set up by FDR did nothing to lift the economy, and if it was not for the fact we didn't have bombers over our cities we could not have mobilized the war industry like we did.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of the USA, and believe it is the greatest nation on earth. (I hope others feel the same about their countries as well.) Yes, we mobilized and produced the arms that one the war. Yes, we sent boat and airplane loads of people over to fight and supply the war. But, we were not ready to move quickly when the war started.
    Now if the above quote was sarcasm, kindly disreguard my post!:D
     
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  18. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I am going to offend a few people with this but it did not become a true World War until the Japanese attacks of Dec.7th-8th. With the engagement of the last two great powers (Japan-USA) it moved from a series of interrelated regional wars to a true global war. Still as a traditionalist I generally accept Sept.1st, 1939.
     
  19. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    I'm going out on a limb to state that the kernel of WW2 stemmed from the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after Waterloo.

    Every European problem of an ethnic nature has it's root cause in this new drawing of the map.
     
  20. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Clearly it was was started when Varius lost those 3 legions in the Teotorbourg forrest. Those darn Germans have been 'uppity' ever since :)
     

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