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What If Britain and France Did Not Declare War on Germany After the Polish Invasion?

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by superjames1992, May 19, 2010.

  1. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member Patron  

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    I was not proposing a preemptive war, but rather the same as with Poland. The understanding that if Germany crossed the Czech border Britain and France would declare war as they did in the fall of 1939. Britain was certainly weaker in '38 but hardly powerless, and Germany was also far weaker in 1938, further the combination of British, French, Czech and possibly Polish forces would be more than equal to Germany. Supossedly German generals were prepared to overthrow Hitler if war was to break out over the Sudetenland.

    There is, I believe, a vast gulf between making it clear that you will honor a peacefull nations border and actively aiding a tyrant to dismember said country. The Czech's had no say in Munich and had to accept what the British and French gave them. Peace at any price is not peace, simply servitude. While it should be the policy of every honorable nation to prevent war, it should never bind you to inaction when the cause is just.

    I do not dispute that the west lacked the will to act in their own best interest, but that is precisely what they did. It was understood in 1919 when Poland and Czechoslovakia were formed that someday they and the British and French might have to act collectively to hold a resurgent Germany in check. As we know from our sad history Britain and France allowed the Czech's and Pole's to be picked off one by one before they were willing to fight.

    Britain's policy to prevent war failed epicly. It insured a even more devastating war that caused the pointless deaths of millions of innocent civilians. The devastation of Europe from the Atlantic to the gates of Moscow, and the death of both the British and French empires.
     
  2. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    I think you'll find that while negotiations had taken place between England and the Soviets about establishing a pact against future German Nazi aggression, at the time, the British were very cool to the idea, that it was the Soviets that the were most interested part, and once they understood the coolness of the British political establishment to Soviet requests (mostly, the ability to pass through Poland to engage German troops in an eventual conflict), the Soviets sought to secure their interests through other means (Ribbentrop-Molotov). Basically the British political elite were very wary of Communism, and felt the Anglo-French alliance was enough. The British weren't really interested, and definitely felt it wasn't worth the risk.
     
  3. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    Very interesting questions. It is important to remember, that it was not solely Chamberlain appeasing the Germans: There was a very strong sentiment in the 30's, that yes, the Treaty of Versaille had been very unfair, and that the cost of war (WWI) was far too high. The immense waste of human life during WW1 meant that appeasement was, at the time, the only politically possible path. In 4 years, Great Britain alone had lost 2,367,000 killed or wounded. Some villages had lost every young man. These memories were still very strong only twenty years later. Nazi Germany had to prove that it really was insatiable, Hitler had to prove to the world, that he really did want to rule Europe Entire, and the leaders of the democratic world had an obligation to those millions of young dead, to try to avoid another war.

    Yes, Britain & France could easily have crushed Germany by retaking Rhineland, and there are indications at least some German generals were ready to overthrow Hitler, should the Allies respond thusly to an Invasion of Czech territory. It was probably the most opportune moment; but that is the benefit of hindsight: it is very easy to see when / what something needed doing. At the time, it wasn't immediately obvious that Hitler could not be appeased.

    Britain historically gets involved in continental wars, because it fears a single dominant European power. Such a power would have rendered England to a second rate state.
     
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  4. lordofmacedon

    lordofmacedon Member

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    Hitler probably would have conquered britain and france but would not have fought on multiple fronts and would have had the japense attack from the east and the italians from the germans from the west. but the americans however might not interfere since japenese resources are pushed toward russia and would not risk weakening thier attacks in russia to attack america. but once the axis powers take russia, they will attack france and Britain. Hitler wanted to eradicate jews and other "misfits" from the world and would no doubt be drawn to Britain.
     
  5. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Extremely well put, the British were always interested in a "balance of power" on the continent and had (as you say) lost many a percentage of their younger generation in WW1. That last did make the "lowering of military" ability and aggressive posturing a political "third rail" in the UK between wars. The west really had no idea just how much of a lying snake Hitler would turn out to be, too many believed him for too long, much to their later dismay. Again, well put.
     
  6. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    A good post,but,I have some objections
    1) your point on appeasement is very good,but,initially,appeasement had nothing to do with Germany-Hitler :appeasement started immediately after Versailles and had as aim to prevent another war in Europe,because,WWI having as origine a local conflict (Austria-Serbia),resulted in a Pyrrhus victory for Brittain:Brittain could not afford another victory,thus any local conflict in Europe had to be prevented .
    In the war between Poland and the SU,Brittain choose side of the SU,to prevent an expanding of this war .
    In the Spanish civil war,Brittain 's policy was to finish (as fast as possible) this war between Spaniards,because ,there was a danger of war between Italy and France .As Franco was the strongest,the logical policy was to support Franco .
    1938 :a conflict between Germany and Czechoslowakia :eek:ne of both had to yield (otherwise there would be a war ,and it was very likely that Brittain would be involved ).Who should yield ? of course the weaker one (Hitler would never yield),the result was :Munich
    1939 :another conflict,between Poland and Germany :Britain did not care about Danzig,but,as,this time Poland would not yield,the only possibility to prevent a war (in which Brittain should be involved),was to prevent Germany to attack Poland(by the guarantee),but,as Hitler was not impressed by,what he thought was only bluff,..
    on the following,I disagree:"Hitler had to prove the world that he wanted to rule all of Europe":
    1)the world did not care about Hitler:Europe,Britain and its dominions,and the USA are not the world .
    2) Was Hitler willing to rule Europe entire ? What he wanted,was irrelevant,what he could do,was what was important ,and the situation of the German economy and Armed Forces was that,that he had no chance to rule Europe .
     
  7. Crazybastid83

    Crazybastid83 Member

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    Just my opinion, but the British never should have declared War against Germany, especially w/o declaring war on the Soviets. Britain was in no shape to take on the Germans. Unfortunately Churchill was egged on by FDR, who wrote to show support for Churchill. I feel that FDR was communist leaning. He dishonored the Office of the Presidency by seeking more than 2 terms as POTUS. This was sacrilige. FDR had the lend lease act passed, but violated our nuetrality by escorting merchant ships to England, the US Navy battled the Germans before the war. FDR referred to Stalin as "Uncle Joe" and allowed him to take Eastern Europe.

    In the end, we should have re armed the Germans after Hitler was gone and attacked Russia.
     
  8. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Had both Britain and France turned their shoulders on a treaty which they had signed reassuring Poland of help in case of attack; they would have kissed their credibility on the international arena goodbye...

    GB and France did not declare war on Soviet Russia because it was Germany NOT Russia which had once again started a world war and after numerous treaty violations, both GB and France had enough.
    Had Russia invaded Poland before Germany, im pretty sure that GB and France would have declared war on their former ally as well.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    They had a treaty obligation to do so vs Germany they had no such obligation to do so vs the Soviets.
    History rather suggest otherwise.
    Perhaps in some alternate reality? It is worth noteing in this regard that Britain declared war on Germany months before Churchill became PM. I'd very much like to see any evidence you have that FDR was egging him on prior to him becomeing PM or for that matter afterwards.
    Possibly he did depending on exactly what you mean by the above. But then your posts to date aren't ones that inspire me to put much weight in your opinions especially in the abscence of any support.
    No an No. It was against tradition on the other hand there were some extenuating circumstances.
    One could argue that the LL act was in itself a violation of neutrality. From what I recall the US didn't excort merchants to England prior to the declaration of war either. They did escort them in the Western Atlantic. But I also don't find any real fault with the above of course that's just my opinion.
    He may have refered to him as such but that doesn't necessarily mean things were all that cordial between them. He also hardly "allowed" the Soviets to take Eastern Europe. Afterall they had an army there and we didn't furthermore they were fighting the Germans. If you mean after the war, well FDR was dead by that point wasn't he?
    I don't think the people of any of the western allies would have supported this and the human costs would have been horendous and while I think the odds are that the West would have won if it actually came down to it it would have been by no means certain. So it rather comes down to the equivalant of saying that we should have sent a man to the moon in 1869.
     
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  10. Diana Köhler

    Diana Köhler Dishonorably Discharged

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    the real objetives of Hitler were eliminate the UdSSR as military power, eliminate the communism, lebesraum, in Mein Kampf Hitler said: war against the Soviets is a crusade of Europe against Asia: The conquered territory would become lebesraum that would cover the needs of land and raw materials for the German people for centuries. And remember after the invasion of poland Hitler ask for peace with France and UK, and Poland could have existing like and independent state, and Germany would had just the lands that once were Prussian, then after the battle of France Hitler ask for peace once again. The allies were not the real enemies, the real enemies of Nazi Germany, were the commies. But If Germany had never attacked soviet union in 1941, in 1945 the Soviets had attack the Nazi Germany, In Zhukov Memories said that.
     
  11. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Patron  

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    I think you are missing a few important details. While it is true that one of Hitler's goals was, at least publicly, was to obtain lebensraum to the east by defeating communism, you must also take into account that in order to accomplish this goal, he aimed to eliminate Jews, gypsies, and other undesirables and untermenschen. That policy, clearly espoused and stated in Mein Kampf led to the deaths of over 12 million people who he felt were "in the way". I don't care what your political philosophy is, that is simply not the response of civilized, modern people.
     
  12. Diana Köhler

    Diana Köhler Dishonorably Discharged

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    what???, i think, that civilized people know how to read before to comment, in which context i said: im pronazi, or profascist??, oh i get im a nazi just because i dont mention the holocaust to the murderdom of millions of people? ?ftw<---, i said it in my presentation:" i dont like to talk or debate about this topic"......
     
  13. Diana Köhler

    Diana Köhler Dishonorably Discharged

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    But in order to achieve this i forgot to mention France: Hitler states, Germany must first defeat its old enemy France, to avenge the German defeat of World War I and to secure the western border, not just secure, recover Alsace and Lorraine. Hitler bitterly recalls the end of the First World War, saying the German Army was denied its chance for victory on the battlefield by political treachery at home. In the second volume of Mein Kampf he attaches most of the blame to Jewish conspirators in a highly menacing and ever more threatening tone..
     
  14. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Hi Diana,

    don´t want to offend you, but that is a bit to easy! Hitler asked for peace with the western allies but not for the reason that he liked them much. He liked them more than Russia and in the case of the UK he had respect for their successes as a nation. But the only reason why he dreamed of an peace with them, was that he was afraid to have an two-front war from which he knew that it was never to win. That was a reason why he tried to prevent that the USA declared war to th Reich. And if you read "Mein Kampf" between the lines, than you will know that the winning of "Lebensraum" will cost millions of lives of innocent people. That is not "only" to conquer Russia, that was planned mass murder.
     
  15. Diana Köhler

    Diana Köhler Dishonorably Discharged

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    ok i get it, but my point was, that in every war always will be murders, like id said, in Zhukov memories he warned that the Red Army had to attacked Nazi Germany, i mean the commies were planning expand to communism to Europe( thats involve mass murders too, remember Katýn) or like the Bombimg of Dresden of Hiroshima & nagazaki( were the allies trying to win, they involved murder thousend of lifes) english is not my muthertounge, so sorry if i dont explain myself :/
     
  16. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Diana, if AH had awaited the Russian assault, than he could have been sure that the Western allies had helped him to beat Russia. Not for the reason that the loved him so much, more to prevent that the communism gets more and more countries into his fingers. And for the mass murders, you´re right, that is an fact of every war from the first war on earth to the last.
     
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  17. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    You hava read to much Mein Kampf :also in MK,Hitler attacked Wilhelminian Germany,because it had antagonized Britain wit its Weltpolitik,and he stated that an alliance with Britain had to be the goal of the German foreign policy,while he knew that an attack on France would mean war with Britain .
    Conclusion :MK was full of contradictions and a lot of slavering,and should never be used to explain Hitler's foreign policy .
     
  18. Diana Köhler

    Diana Köhler Dishonorably Discharged

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    yes of course Mein Kampf had many contradictions, bbut Hitlers point was that he wanted to preserve the "Aryan Race" and Hitler always thought that the Northern countrys of Europa were even more pure than the German Folk, like in the invasion of Denmark, Hitler foreign policy in Denmark was like he thought, id think just died like 2 or 3 soldiers during the Denmark campaign, and after the fall of France Hitler sue for peace with UK, because he thought that the war against UK was pointless, and go war against UK was like destroy his aryan race. I think thats tthe reason why he suspended indefinitely Seelöwe, and turn his objetives to the East... well i think that xD
     
  19. Overkilll

    Overkilll Member

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    ??

    Britain's performance in the first years of WW2 was quite unsatisfactory, to say the least. Only in the second half of the war that the country became really armed to the teeth. They weren't fully prepared in the first years of the war. Though one can say that the Germans weren't fully prepared as well.
     
  20. Overkilll

    Overkilll Member

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    One correction:

    He did prevent the US from declaring war on the Reich, as the US never did.:D
     

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