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Winston Churchill British Prime Minister.

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by Jim, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    History would prove that Churchill was meant to be a wartime Prime Minister, not a peacetime one. After Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich, the world thought it was safe from another global war. Within a few months, antiaircraft guns would be placed around London, and her young men would once again be sent to die in France. The British people faced the war with a twinge of resentment over another war, but determined to see it through. Within a year Churchill would be Prime Minister and Great Britain would stand-alone against Nazi Germany.
    On September 1, 1939, Germany attacked Poland. Britain and France knew that this could not be allowed to stand, and declared war on September 2, 1939. Hitler had begun the Second World War, but all the world's leaders shared the blame through their inaction.
    In 1937, Stalin's attention turned to the Red Army. Within a few months, most of the Officers from major on up were executed or sent to Siberia. Stalin had cut off the head of his own dragon just as he needed it most. Some 20,000 officers were killed, and fear gripped the survivors. A third of the Red Army command was dead by the own country's hand. The consequence was that no officer moved was made without explicit instructions. Stalin even moved to remove rank and insignia. Every unit had a political officer who would monitor the soldiers for loyalty to Stalin. This would have consequences for the Red Army in Finland and later when the German Wehrmacht moved against the Red Army in June 1941. Paralysed by fear and conflicting political directives, they would simply sit and wait for direction. Stalin ordered no defensive fortifications to be built, since wars would only be fought on an enemy's territory. Despite the Red Army's failure in Finland, he believed in the invincibility of his leadership. In reality he left the Soviet Union open to a major assault that would claim 20 million lives, in addition to those who died by his orders. Years of blood and death awaited his people.

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    In 1940 no one knew that. Roosevelt and his Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall recognized war was inevitable or at least likely. Marshall drew up the plans to create a professional army out of a civilian population that was not militarily minded. The Draft Act of 1940 and the transition from civilian to military economy would be the single greatest factor in defeating the Germans. The Russians would suffer more casualties, the British would fight longer, but the Americans would build enough equipment to field 2000 divisions. The 12 million American men under arms in 1945 would not have been ready or fighting overseas if not for Marshall's massive organizational planning in 1939 and 1940. The creation of a draft army that would not accept defeat is one of the overlooked miracles of the war. But if Roosevelt could not convince the American people of the need to fight in Europe, Marshall's soldiers would have fought in the Pacific. The attack on Pearl Harbor united the country in a way that no one, especially the Japanese, had foreseen. Adolf Hitler's quixotic declaration of war on the United States on December 11, 1941, allowed Roosevelt to focus the American public on the need to defeat Nazi Germany. Without much way to strike back against the U-boats wreaking havoc on the East Coast, and a strategic need to divert the balance of American Forces to the Pacific, Roosevelt could not focus on Europe immediately. But soon he and Marshall would announce their Germany first strategy that would define the European War.
     

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