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Revisionists get it wrong
ifihadahif Posted: Fri May 13 10:36:35 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  May 13, 2005
Victor Davis Hanson
Remembering World War II
Revisionists get it wrong.



As the world commemorated the 60th anniversary of the end of the European Theater of World War II, revisionism was the norm. In the last few years, new books and articles have argued for a complete rethinking of the war. The only consistent theme in this various second-guessing was a diminution of the American contribution and suspicion of our very motives.

Indeed, most recent op-eds commemorating V-E day either blamed the United States for Hamburg or for the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, or for our supposed failure to credit the Russians for their sacrifices.

It is true that the Russians paid a horrendous price. Perhaps two out of every three soldiers of the Wehrmacht fell on the Eastern Front. We in the West must always remember that such a tragic sacrifice allowed Hitler to be defeated with far less American British, Canadian, and Australian dead.

That being said, the Anglo-Americans waged a global war well beyond the capability of the Soviet Union. They invaded North Africa, took Sicily, and landed in Italy, in addition to fighting a massive land war in central Europe. We had fewer casualties than did the Russians because we fought more wisely, were better equipped, and were not surprised to the same degree by a treacherous former ally that we had supplied.

The Soviets invaded the defeated Japanese only in the last days of the war; the Anglo-Americans alone took on two fronts simultaneously. Submarine warfare, attacking the Japanese and German surface fleets, conducting strategic bombing over Berlin and Tokyo, and sending tons of supplies to Allied forces — all this was beyond the capability of the Red Army. More important, Stalin had been an ally of Hitler until the Nazi invasion of 1941, and had unleashed the Red Army to destroy the freedom of Finland and to carve up Poland.

Do we ever read these days that when the Luftwaffe bombed Britain, Russia was sending the Nazis fuel and iron ore? When Germany invaded Russia, however, Britain sent food and supplies.

Yes, World War II started to free Eastern Europe from fascist totalitarianism, and ended up ensuring that it would be enslaved by Soviet totalitarianism. But Roosevelt and Churchill were faced with an inescapable reality in 1945 that to keep the Russians out of Eastern Europe they would have had to restart the war against their former ally that possessed it — a conflict that might well have gone nuclear in two or three years. The latter had been in great part armed and supplied for four years by their own taxpaying democratic citizenries. The Red Army was near home in Eastern Europe; the American 3rd Army was 5,000 miles from the United States.

Of course, we bombed German civilian centers. But in a total war when 10,000 a day were being gassed in the death camps, and Nazi armies in the Balkans, Russia, and Western Europe were routinely murdering thousands a week and engaged in breakneck efforts to create ballistic missiles, sophisticated jets, and worse weapons, there were very few options in stopping such a monstrous regime. This was an age, remember, before computer guidance, GPS targeting systems, and laser-guided bombs.

When the lumbering and often unescorted bombers started out against Europe and Japan, the Axis infrastructure of death — rails, highways, communications, warehouses, and decentralized production — was intact. When the bombers finished their horrific work, the economies of both Axis powers were near ruin. Armies that were systematically murdering millions of innocents in forgotten places like Yugoslavia, Poland, the Philippines, Korea, and China were running out of fuel, ammunition, and food.

Revisionism holds a strange attraction for the winners of World War II. American textbooks discuss World War II as if a Patton, Le May, or Nimitz did not exist, as if the war was essentially the Japanese internment and Hiroshima. That blinkered and politically correct focus explains why so many Americans under 30 are simply ignorant about the nature and course of World War II itself. Similarly, the British have monthly debates on the immorality of their bombing Hamburg and Dresden.

In dire contrast, even the post-Soviet Russian government will not speak of the Stalin-Hitler non-aggression pact, the absorption of the Baltic states, the murder of millions of German citizens in April through June 1945 in Eastern Europe, and the mass execution of Polish officers. If we were to listen to the Chinese, World War II was about the gallant work of Mao’s partisans, who in fact used the war to gain power, and then went on to kill 50 million of their own citizens — about the same number lost in all of World War II. Japan likewise has never come to terms with the millions of Asian civilians its armies butchered or its systematic brutality waged against American POWs.

The truth is that the supposedly biased West discusses the contribution of others far more than our former enemies — or Russian and Chinese allies — credit the British or Americans.

The German novelist Gunter Grass — who served in the Wehrmacht — recently lectured in the New York Times about postwar “power blocs,” in terms that suggested the Soviets and the Americans had been morally equivalent. German problems of reunification, he tells us, were mostly due to a capitalist West, not a Communist East that caused them.

Grass advances the odd idea that Germany was not liberated from American hegemony (“unconditional subservience”) until Mr. Schroeder’s recent anti-Bush campaign distanced the Germans from the United States. To read this ahistorical sophistry of Grass is to forget recent European and Russian complicity in arming Saddam, their forging of sweetheart oil deals with the Baathist dictatorship, and the disturbing German anti-Semitic rhetoric that followed Schroeder’s antics. Unmentioned are the billions of American dollars and years of vigilance that kept the Red Army out of Western Germany, or the paradox that the United States is ready to leave Germany on a moment’s notice — which might explain the efforts of the Schroeder government to keep our troops there.

There is a pattern here. Western elites — the beneficiaries of 60 years of peace and prosperity achieved by the sacrifices to defeat fascism and Communism — are unhappy in their late middle age, and show little gratitude for, or any idea about, what gave them such latitude. If they cannot find perfection in history, they see no good at all. So leisured American academics tell us that Iwo Jima was unnecessary, if not a racist campaign, that Hiroshima had little military value but instead was a strategic ploy to impress Stalin, and that the GI was racist, undisciplined, and reliant only on money and material largess.

There are two disturbing things about the current revisionism that transcend the human need to question orthodoxy. The first is the sheer hypocrisy of it all. Whatever mistakes and lapses committed by the Allies, they pale in comparison to the savagery of the Axis or the Communists. Post-facto critics never tell us what they would have done instead — lay off the German cities and send more ground troops into a pristine Third Reich; don’t bomb, but invade, an untouched Japan in 1946; keep out of WWII entirely; or in its aftermath invade the Soviet Union?

Lost also is any sense of small gratitude. A West German intellectual like Grass does not inform us that he was always free to migrate to East Germany to live in socialist splendor rather than remain unhappy in capitalist “subservience” in an American-protected West Germany — or that some readers of the New York Times who opposed Hitler might not enjoy lectures about their moral failings from someone who once fought for him. Such revisionists never ask whether they could have written so freely in the Third Reich, Tojo’s Japan, Mussolini’s Italy, Soviet Russia, Communist Eastern Europe — or today in such egalitarian utopias as China, Cuba, or Venezuela.

Second, revisionism requires knowledge of orthodoxy. One cannot dismiss Iwo Jima as an unnecessary sideshow or allege that Dresden was simple blood rage until one understands the tactical and strategic dilemmas of the age — the hope that wounded and lost B-29s might be saved by emergency fields on Iwo, or that the Russians wanted immediate help from the Allied air command to take the pressure off the eastern front in February 1945.

But again, most Americans never learned the standard narrative of War II — only what was wrong about it. Whereas it is salutary that an American 17-year-old knows something of the Japanese relocation ordered by liberals such as Earl Warren and FDR, or of the creation and the dropping of the atomic bomb by successive Democratic administrations, they might wish to examine what went on in Nanking, Baatan, Wake Island, Guadalcanal, Manila, or Manchuria — atrocities that their sensitive teachers are probably clueless about as well.

After all, this was a week in which thousands of the once-enslaved Dutch in Maastricht were protesting the visit of a president of the nation that once liberated their fathers, while thousands of neo-Nazis were back in the streets of Berlin. A Swedish EU official recently blamed the Second World War on "nationalistic pride and greed, and…international rivalry for wealth and power" — the new mantra that Hitler was merely confused or perhaps had some “issues” with his neighbors. Perhaps her own opportunistic nation that once profited (“greed”?) from the Third Reich itself was not somehow complicit in fueling the Holocaust.

How odd that Swedes and Spaniards who were either neutrals or pro-Nazi during World War II now so often lecture the United States not just about present morality but about the World War II past as well.

If there were any justice in the world, we would have the ability to transport our most severe critics across time and space to plop them down on Omaha Beach or put them in an overloaded B-29 taking off from Tinian, with the crew on amphetamines to keep awake for their 15-hour mission over Tokyo.

But alas, we cannot. Instead, the beneficiaries of those who sacrificed now ankle-bite their dead betters. Even more strangely, they have somehow convinced us that in their politically-correct hindsight, they could have done much better in World War II.

Yet from every indication of their own behavior over the last 30 years, we suspect that the generation who came of age in the 1960s would have not just have done far worse but failed entirely.

— Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His website is victorhanson.com.



 
Mesh Posted: Fri May 13 11:01:08 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  My attention span is way too short today to read this. I trailed off halfway through reading the back of the Trix box this morning.

So

"For much of Eastern and Central Europe, victory brought the iron rule of another empire. V-E day marked the end of fascism, but it did not end the oppression. The agreement in Yalta followed in the unjust tradition of Munich and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Once again, when powerful governments negotiated, the freedom of small nations was somehow expendable. … The captivity of millions in Central and Eastern Europe will be remembered as one of the greatest wrongs in history."

Pres. George W. Bush


Done and done.


 
Posted: Fri May 13 11:52:58 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Not that I'm trying to sound overly harsh, as I can understand the underlying point of the article, but there are some pretty severe flaws, or at least inconsistencies and things left unsaid. Of the article, then...

1. One forgets that the United States entered the war several years late, and only when under direct threat (If I recall correctly, a passenger ship was attacked by a German U-Boat some year after the war had already been waged in Europe). This is perhaps why there is a claim that the U.S. has motives other than the greater good; the author seems to think that the "real" war started the day the Americans became involved.

2.
>To read this ahistorical sophistry of Grass is to forget recent European and Russian complicity in arming Saddam, their forging of sweetheart oil deals with the Baathist dictatorship

One forgets that the gulf war and the so called "war on terror" in Iraq were fought with both sides using American weapons, primarily supplied to the Baathist party dealing with implications of the Iraq/Iran War.

3.
>the new mantra that Hitler was merely confused or perhaps had some "issues" with his neighbors.
I don't think that anybody is taking a claim like this seriously; it seems, rather, to be more of a republican talking point to provoke anger at the liberals.
Still, it is also not the case that Hitler was inherently evil; it does not do to simply say that he was necessarily insane and had no motives other than harming others.
The motives for WW2 (and to a lesser extent, WW1) can be more or less intuitively discovered by examining the popular idealogy of the times that brought about German narcissism, not that narcissism is always a bad thing.

From Hegel's Philosophy of History to Marx's German Ideology to Feuerbach's Philosophy of the Future to Nietzsche's Zarathustra to Hitler's Mein Kampf.

I'm not defending it. I'm just saying that, if one looks hard enough, they will see how Hitler came to be, and how Germany came to accept him. It is not simply the case that Hitler had some "issues" with his neighbors.


 
FN Posted: Fri May 13 13:06:53 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Without wanting to minimize the sacrifice america brought to defeat the third reich, there are a few things that one might perhaps take into account.

America entered the war when it became clear that Hitler would have more than a good chance of taking over Europe if they didn't step in. If he did, he'd be a force to reckon with.

Forgive me for not believing in the altruistic nature of the American government like you seem to do, hif, but America knew that if it didn't try and deal with Hitler when he was still contained in Europe they'd have an even bigger deal on their hands.

Americans fought more wisely? Are you saying that the Soviets didn't have brilliant generals? I don't know how well-informed you are hif, but I am. I wonder do you know, without looking it up, who general Zhukov is?

More rutheless perhaps yes, but less intelligent? I doubt it.

Take Berlin for example. American forces could have invaded Berlin before the Russians did. Yet they didn't because they knew the casualties would be extreme, so they left it to the Russians. Look it up if you don't believe me.

On top of that, a lot of other cities were left to the Russians while Americans could have easily liberated them. Not planning on listing them, but if you're really interested, again, look it up. The result was mass plundering and rape by Soviet soldiers who hated the Germans with a passion. A lot of misery could have been prevented by not letting the Soviets have their way with the local population.

Hif said:
>Of course, we bombed German civilian centers. But in a total war when 10,000 a day were being gassed in the death camps, and Nazi armies in the Balkans, Russia, and Western Europe were routinely murdering thousands a week and engaged in breakneck efforts to create ballistic missiles, sophisticated jets, and worse weapons, there were very few options in stopping such a monstrous regime. This was an age, remember, before computer guidance, GPS targeting systems, and laser-guided bombs.

I can't believe such a load of crap. How, in any way, does this justify bombing civil centres?

And by the way, now there are targeting and guidance systems, and correct me if I'm wrong but America was still dropping clusterbombs in the vicinity of civillians.

You can take out infrastructure without bombing city centers.

And Europe arming Saddam? What about America arming both Saddam and Iran letting them wipe eachother out? Or what about Afghanistan?

And no, Hiroshima did not have any strategic value. The war was already over, and everybody knew it. And if not the first, certainly the second bomb on Nagasaki was completely uncalled for. Complete overkill and with nothing to gain but the misery of millions of people.

And if you don't agree with the Swedish official, what wouldf you blame it on, hif.

And what the hell do you expect with the protest thing? That Europeans can't "not agree" with America because America helped against the nazis? I think you should come back with your 2 feet on the ground instead of thinking "you" are the saint of the world. It's stuff like this which causes animosity towards America.

The war left Europe destroyed almost completely, perhaps some of it would have been prevented if America hadn't waited to see what would happen if they let Hitler get his groove on for a while. I'm not throwing shit around here, but this merely to make my point that yeah the help was needed and appreciated, and it still is today, but cut the holier than thou crap by acting like America joined the war out of pure selfless questing for the good of the world the very second world peace was in danger.


And last but not least: America helped Europe, which was and is appreciated, but you didn't enslave it, get over it.


 
FN Posted: Fri May 13 13:08:37 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Christophe said:
>Russians

Soviets. Force of habit.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri May 13 13:48:04 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  You missed the whole point of the article, it was not about why we were in the war and how we fought the war, but how history is being revised to appease the political correctness mongers.



 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri May 13 13:50:03 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  The strategic value for Hiroshima and Nagasaki was plain and simple.
Yes the war was almost over but Japan was still fighting to the last man.
We had a choice, Huge numbers of American dead, or huge numbers of Japanese dead, which would you have chosen if you had been in charge ?


 
FN Posted: Fri May 13 13:56:43 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>You missed the whole point of the article

I don't think I did.

And are you saying that only a nuclear bomb was able to end the war? I doubt that Japan would have kept on going on it's own against the whole world basicly for much longer.


 
Nikki Posted: Fri May 13 14:07:07 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  penis fight, huh? LOL


 
FN Posted: Fri May 13 14:35:13 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Nikki said:
>penis fight, huh? LOL

Oh come on Nikki, you know better than anybody that hif doesn't have a penis.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri May 13 14:47:37 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Christophe said:
>ifihadahif said:
>>You missed the whole point of the article
>
>I don't think I did.
>
>And are you saying that only a nuclear bomb was able to end the war? I doubt that Japan would have kept on going on it's own against the whole world basicly for much longer.
>
Then you have no knowledge about how the Japanese fought.
They could have extended the war for a year or even two.
The nuclear bomb was the best choice for saving American lives.


 
Zacq Posted: Fri May 13 14:49:03 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>We had a choice, Huge numbers of American dead, or huge numbers of Japanese dead, which would you have chosen if you had been in charge ?

I would have chosen soldiers over civilians.


 
Zacq Posted: Fri May 13 14:53:08 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>Then you have no knowledge about how the Japanese fought.
>They could have extended the war for a year or even two.

Unless you take into account the whole 'Japan was trying to mediate a truce with the U.S. on the condition they kept their emperor which we said no to but let them do later anyway' thing.


 
addi Posted: Fri May 13 15:22:31 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Haven't even read the article yet...too brain dead at the moment
regarding the last few posts though I have an opinion.

Japan was not a "typical" enemy. Their culture of war was entirely different than the American and European way of thinking. Honor and saving face were extremely important to each Japanese soldier. This is why they willingly became kamakazi(sp) pilots, knowing that they would use their airplanes as bombs and give their life for the country. Because it never happened that the allied forces invaded Japan one can only speculate as to what may have happened, but it's no stretch, based on what had already happened on fighting in the pacific islands that the Japanese may have fought till the bitter end on their own homeland, despite knowing it was a lost cause. Also factor in the damage to the country would have been much more widespread because the allies would have firebombed and carpetbombed the country, as we had already done to parts of Europe. Bombing was random then compared to our smart bomb technology now. They were indiscriminate about whether they fell on soldiers or woman and children. The loss of civilian lives and internal damage would have been great taking that option as well.
I'm not Truman. I can't tell you what i would have done in his shoes, based on the information given to him at the time. What i can say with some degree of certainty though is that it's not a black and white choice he had. A great many lives were going to be lost no matter what he did. Japan was not going to surrender at that time. It was his opinion the lesser of two evils to give the go ahead to use the atom bomb.
I think the merits of this historical decision will be debated for a long long time.


 
Zacq Posted: Fri May 13 16:06:54 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>Bombing was random then compared to our smart bomb technology now. They were indiscriminate about whether they fell on soldiers or woman and children. The loss of civilian lives and internal damage would have been great taking that option as well.

Yeah. Our bombs never kill civilians now. Especially not cluster bombs.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri May 13 16:14:44 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Zacq said:
>addi said:
>>Bombing was random then compared to our smart bomb technology now. They were indiscriminate about whether they fell on soldiers or woman and children. The loss of civilian lives and internal damage would have been great taking that option as well.
>
>Yeah. Our bombs never kill civilians now. Especially not cluster bombs.
>
Do you even what cluster bombs are used for ?


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri May 13 16:25:35 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Zacq said:
>addi said:
>>Bombing was random then compared to our smart bomb technology now. They were indiscriminate about whether they fell on soldiers or woman and children. The loss of civilian lives and internal damage would have been great taking that option as well.
>
>Yeah. Our bombs never kill civilians now. Especially not cluster bombs.
>
Yes, I'm sure you could run a perfect war with no civilian casualties.
It's been done so many times before.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri May 13 16:26:44 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Zacq said:
>ifihadahif said:
>>Then you have no knowledge about how the Japanese fought.
>>They could have extended the war for a year or even two.
>
>Unless you take into account the whole 'Japan was trying to mediate a truce with the U.S. on the condition they kept their emperor which we said no to but let them do later anyway' thing.
>
I believe the term used by Truman was "unconditional surrender".


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri May 13 16:27:57 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  addi said:
>Haven't even read the article yet...too brain dead at the moment
>regarding the last few posts though I have an opinion.
>
>Japan was not a "typical" enemy. Their culture of war was entirely different than the American and European way of thinking. Honor and saving face were extremely important to each Japanese soldier. This is why they willingly became kamakazi(sp) pilots, knowing that they would use their airplanes as bombs and give their life for the country. Because it never happened that the allied forces invaded Japan one can only speculate as to what may have happened, but it's no stretch, based on what had already happened on fighting in the pacific islands that the Japanese may have fought till the bitter end on their own homeland, despite knowing it was a lost cause. Also factor in the damage to the country would have been much more widespread because the allies would have firebombed and carpetbombed the country, as we had already done to parts of Europe. Bombing was random then compared to our smart bomb technology now. They were indiscriminate about whether they fell on soldiers or woman and children. The loss of civilian lives and internal damage would have been great taking that option as well.
>I'm not Truman. I can't tell you what i would have done in his shoes, based on the information given to him at the time. What i can say with some degree of certainty though is that it's not a black and white choice he had. A great many lives were going to be lost no matter what he did. Japan was not going to surrender at that time. It was his opinion the lesser of two evils to give the go ahead to use the atom bomb.
>I think the merits of this historical decision will be debated for a long long time.
>
Well said my slightly left-of-center friend.


 
Zacq Posted: Fri May 13 16:51:11 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>Yes, I'm sure you could run a perfect war with no civilian casualties.
>It's been done so many times before.

Thank you for making it clear that I said I would run a perfect war and not simply pointing out that saying 'we didn't have smart bombs like we do now' and things like that wouldn't go over well with decimated Iraqi families.


 
Zacq Posted: Fri May 13 16:56:07 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>I believe the term used by Truman was "unconditional surrender".

Sorry, it's just that any indication that Japan was trying to make a deal with the U.S. would have maybe delayed me from causing some of the most horrific experiences any human as ever had to deal with for so many thousands of people.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri May 13 17:37:57 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Zacq said:
>ifihadahif said:
>>I believe the term used by Truman was "unconditional surrender".
>
>Sorry, it's just that any indication that Japan was trying to make a deal with the U.S. would have maybe delayed me from causing some of the most horrific experiences any human as ever had to deal with for so many thousands of people.
>
And every day while that was happening, American boys were dying by the hundreds.
Speaking of that, why in the hell would you choose to save Japanese civilians over american soldiers at the end of WW2 ?
And based on the way we got into he war, what in the hell would have made you think their negotiations were in good faith anyway ?
Where was Japan's ambassador to the US, when the attack on Pearl Harbor was happening ?


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri May 13 17:42:11 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Zacq said:
>ifihadahif said:
>>Yes, I'm sure you could run a perfect war with no civilian casualties.
>>It's been done so many times before.
>
>Thank you for making it clear that I said I would run a perfect war and not simply pointing out that saying 'we didn't have smart bombs like we do now' and things like that wouldn't go over well with decimated Iraqi families.
>
That's why we call it "war".
Civilian casualties happen, as does friendly fire casualties.
It is unavoidable and if you make a decision to go to war, you take that into account. It is not an easy decision to make and not one to be taken lightly. One thing for sure about those decimated Iraqi families you are pining over, there were a helluva lot less killed by coalition forces since the war started than by Saddam in the same amount of time.


 
Zacq Posted: Fri May 13 18:08:46 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>Speaking of that, why in the hell would you choose to save Japanese civilians over american soldiers at the end of WW2

I do not value the life of an American over the life of someone from any other country. Anyone that does.. really sucks. So, I would rather, if death is inevitable, professional soldiers die in battle than civilians dying with their skin burned off trapped in a wasteland.


 
Zacq Posted: Fri May 13 18:11:36 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  My fingers will double check with my brain about this, but I think my point is that people shouldn't say 'we killed civilians then, but that was before smart bombs' as if our new technology has ended the death of innocent people. It may be less now, assuming we would have attempted the same wars now with our old technology, but at any given time loss of innocent life absolutely must be looked at as a horrible thing that should be strived to be avoided. Or something more coherent.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Fri May 13 18:49:02 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Zacq said:
>ifihadahif said:
>>Speaking of that, why in the hell would you choose to save Japanese civilians over american soldiers at the end of WW2
>
>I do not value the life of an American over the life of someone from any other country. Anyone that does.. really sucks. So, I would rather, if death is inevitable, professional soldiers die in battle than civilians dying with their skin burned off trapped in a wasteland.
>
What professional soldiers ?
They were boys drafted out of high school, most of them anyway.
If you are at war with a country, and you must decide between the deaths of that coutry you are at war with, or the deaths of your own, and you would choose to let your enemy live ?
Remember you must make a choice here, you can't let everyone live.
Oh, and by the way, death is death, it doesn't matter how it comes.
Having your skin burned off in a wasteland is no worse than getting a mortar shell in your gut, or being disemboweled with a bayonet.


 
Zacq Posted: Fri May 13 20:24:11 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  I guess that's why I'll never lead a country. I can not make myself think of a construction worker or a hairdresser or a teacher from another country as my enemy. My only enemies are the governments who use us to fight with each other. Yes, I would rather have a soldier, young or old, who knows that he might die for a cause and is willing to do it, have to die than an average citizen of a foreign country who is just trying to live their life and, if feels hate for our country, only does so because of propaganda from its government.


 
Zacq Posted: Fri May 13 20:28:58 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>Oh, and by the way, death is death, it doesn't matter how it comes.
>Having your skin burned off in a wasteland is no worse than getting a mortar shell in your gut, or being disemboweled with a bayonet.

Can you really not see the difference between men going to war to fight for a cause and at least doing so with the knowledge that they're fighting for their country, and thousands upon thousands living normal lives suddenly being tortured in a complete hell with nothing to do but watch scarred bodies move around, screaming for their family and friends?

There may not be that much glory in war, but it's a hell of a lot different than nuclear wasteland.

Holy shit hif.


 
Posted: Fri May 13 21:46:01 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  I feel so ignored :(


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sat May 14 00:14:17 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Zacq said:
>ifihadahif said:
>>Oh, and by the way, death is death, it doesn't matter how it comes.
>>Having your skin burned off in a wasteland is no worse than getting a mortar shell in your gut, or being disemboweled with a bayonet.
>
>Can you really not see the difference between men going to war to fight for a cause and at least doing so with the knowledge that they're fighting for their country, and thousands upon thousands living normal lives suddenly being tortured in a complete hell with nothing to do but watch scarred bodies move around, screaming for their family and friends?
>
>There may not be that much glory in war, but it's a hell of a lot different than nuclear wasteland.
>
>Holy shit hif.
>
Have you ever seen a ship ripped apart by a torpedo ? Or hit by a Kamikaze ?
Do you really think as the ship is burning and sinking, that the sailors on board, as they watch their shipmates burning alive jump into shark infested waters, that they at least have it better than the victims of an atom bomb ?
And exactly how the life of a Japanese civilian, who pledges to die for his emperor if necessary, worth more than that of an 18yr old American that was drafted into service ?


 
Silentmind Posted: Sat May 14 03:17:38 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
 
>
>That being said, the Anglo-Americans waged a global war well beyond the capability of the Soviet Union. They invaded North Africa, took Sicily, and landed in Italy, in addition to fighting a massive land war in central Europe. We had fewer casualties than did the Russians because we fought more wisely, were better equipped, and were not surprised to the same degree by a treacherous former ally that we had supplied.


That is a load of bs. Look at the numbers and where the worst fighting was. Read a bloody fucking history book, not an op-ed peice. The Americans had far fewer troops, of equal caliber to the Russians. The whole armnament thing is a load of bs. Fought more wisely. GAH!

And the invasion of N. Africa by the americans (Torch) occured after the brist had pushed the germans and italians back towards tripoli. And the invasion of Italy was a sideshow largely brought about by churchill to delay operation overlord until they brits and americans were totally ready for a second front. Again, read a HISOTRY book, not an op-ed peice. The reason why the opinion is changing is not due to revitionist history, its due to the fact that western thought has been influenced by the cold war. Documents were not available when a majority of the literature was written. Also, it would not be a "patriotic" thing to write about during the cold war. Now that the wall has fallen the soviet contribution has been found to be greater than it was thought to be. Thats why its changing, not because of revisionist history.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sat May 14 08:18:59 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>
>>
>>That being said, the Anglo-Americans waged a global war well beyond the capability of the Soviet Union. They invaded North Africa, took Sicily, and landed in Italy, in addition to fighting a massive land war in central Europe. We had fewer casualties than did the Russians because we fought more wisely, were better equipped, and were not surprised to the same degree by a treacherous former ally that we had supplied.
>
>
>That is a load of bs. Look at the numbers and where the worst fighting was. Read a bloody fucking history book, not an op-ed peice. The Americans had far fewer troops, of equal caliber to the Russians. The whole armnament thing is a load of bs. Fought more wisely. GAH!
>
>And the invasion of N. Africa by the americans (Torch) occured after the brist had pushed the germans and italians back towards tripoli. And the invasion of Italy was a sideshow largely brought about by churchill to delay operation overlord until they brits and americans were totally ready for a second front. Again, read a HISOTRY book, not an op-ed peice. The reason why the opinion is changing is not due to revitionist history, its due to the fact that western thought has been influenced by the cold war. Documents were not available when a majority of the literature was written. Also, it would not be a "patriotic" thing to write about during the cold war. Now that the wall has fallen the soviet contribution has been found to be greater than it was thought to be. Thats why its changing, not because of revisionist history.
>
Sorry dude, I mean revisionist dude, which revisionist history book do you want us to read ?
Do you really doubt that we were better equipped ?
You say to look at the numbers?
Maybe the numbers would have been different had there been a better military there.
Did you not even read the paragraph directly before the one you pasted ?
Here I'll do it for you:
>It is true that the Russians paid a horrendous price. Perhaps two out of every three soldiers of the Wehrmacht fell on the Eastern Front. We in the West must always remember that such a tragic sacrifice allowed Hitler to be defeated with far less American British, Canadian, and Australian dead.
>
No one ever doubted the sacrifice or contributions of Russia to the defeat of Hitler, so you really don't have an argument there.


 
Silentmind Posted: Sat May 14 15:29:22 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  What this guy is saying is that people are trying to revise history to make the Americans look bad, and the Russians good. You have to understand that as most of the conventional thought was thought up of during the cold war where there was extreme partisan thought. Today, with the information that is currently available we are looking back at history. I read people like Keegan and Beevor, highly respected historians. Non-revisionists.

This author is a little off base when he states " in addition to fighting a massive land war in central Europe" It was TINY compared to the eastern front. The battles in central europe generally involved fewer than a million men combined. The eastern front, battles included millions of men on each side. Hitler wanted peace with the west, in a vain hope to attack the east. He had his best units on the eastern front. The Americans, aside from the ardennes and D-day, had a cake-walk through central Europe.


 
Silentmind Posted: Sat May 14 15:51:30 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  "Accuracy and revision are central to historical review. Historians who uncover new facts are sometimes unfairly accused of revisionism when the new facts upset long-held beliefs, but revision based on fresh evidence is not revisionism."

There is a lot of new evidence coming out pf russia, as the wall has fallen. This new info is showing how much larger the russian contribution was, as compared to the other powers.


 
Silentmind Posted: Sat May 14 15:58:00 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  And one other point. Its a long help western belief that the Americans and the Brits were the saviours of the war. And this long held belief came out as a result of the cold war.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sat May 14 16:49:19 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>What this guy is saying is that people are trying to revise history to make the Americans look bad, and the Russians good. You have to understand that as most of the conventional thought was thought up of during the cold war where there was extreme partisan thought. Today, with the information that is currently available we are looking back at history. I read people like Keegan and Beevor, highly respected historians. Non-revisionists.
>
Um, maybe you should check out the credentials of Mr. Hanson.
You oversimplify the whole revisionist thing. What has occurred since the fall of the Soviets doesn't add that much to what we know about WW2, after all, we were there. We know how many died, what battles were fought, who won those battles, etc.
Facts are facts, and the cold war cannot and did not change those facts.
Do Keegan and Beevor ever print this:

Do we ever read these days that when the Luftwaffe bombed Britain, Russia was sending the Nazis fuel and iron ore? When Germany invaded Russia, however, Britain sent food and supplies.

I doubt you ever read that little factoid before.

>This author is a little off base when he states " in addition to fighting a massive land war in central Europe" It was TINY compared to the eastern front. The battles in central europe generally involved fewer than a million men combined. The eastern front, battles included millions of men on each side. Hitler wanted peace with the west, in a vain hope to attack the east. He had his best units on the eastern front. The Americans, aside from the ardennes and D-day, had a cake-walk through central Europe.
>
You seem to think that Rommel never existed. You forget that at the beginning of the war, the Germans were far better equipped than we were. Our tanks might as well have been made of plywood compared to their panzers.
The Eastern front was bigger only in terms of sheer numbers. The red army was barely more than a bunch of ragtag militia. Russia couldn't support them, many of them were starving and some of them didn't even have weapons.
And let's not forget that at the same time we were fighting the Germans, we were waging war in the Pacific.
As for said cake walk, you would do well to talk to someone who was actually there instead of reading about it.
You really should, and soon, because there aren't many of them left.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sat May 14 16:51:21 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>And one other point. Its a long help western belief that the Americans and the Brits were the saviours of the war. And this long held belief came out as a result of the cold war.
>
Ok, enlighten me as to how the war would have gone had we not entered when we did ?
The Americans and the Brits ended up being the most formidable militaries on the planet did they not ?


 
Silentmind Posted: Sun May 15 00:55:30 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  No, they had far smaller armies. The war would have been prolonged, yes, had the americans not entered. The brits were in it from day one. But they were in a limited role. They faced generally only one main threat at a time. But, at the time of the American entry into the war, and the actual American entry into the European continent, the Russians had the Germans on the defensive. They were already pushing them back. So, it would have only taken a few more months at the most. The americans and brits faced on average, weaker troops, in fewer numbers, than compared to the eastern front.

The Americans contribution came in its production capabilities, not in terms of better, but in terms of more. They did much for the war as a hostile neutral. But again, the would have gone longer, but the Russians had it in the bag long before the Americans entered the European continent.


 
Silentmind Posted: Sun May 15 00:57:37 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  The American supremecy in military affairs came well after the end of WW2.


 
Silentmind Posted: Sun May 15 01:11:25 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
 
>>
>Um, maybe you should check out the credentials of Mr. Hanson.
>You oversimplify the whole revisionist thing. What has occurred since the fall of the Soviets doesn't add that much to what we know about WW2, after all, we were there. We know how many died, what battles were fought, who won those battles, etc.

Actually, we don't know the specifics, nor did we know actual numbers. Those were concealed on a great number of battles. Sure, we were there on the western front, or the pacific, but we weren't there on the eastern front. And after the wall went up, the documents that detailed specifics were concealed.

>Facts are facts, and the cold war cannot and did not change those facts.
>Do Keegan and Beevor ever print this:
>
>Do we ever read these days that when the Luftwaffe bombed Britain, Russia was sending the Nazis fuel and iron ore? When Germany invaded Russia, however, Britain sent food and supplies.

Yep, and in both cases, it was the basis of a military alliance. At the time, germany/russia were in an alliance. So, the russians help an ally. At the time of the german attack on russia, the brits and the russians became allies, so britain sent supplies. The reason the brits became allies with the russians was because they would not have survived without them. they were idealogically different, hell the brits were closer to the germans in terms of economics. Had the brits been able to survive on their own, they would not have entered into such an agreement.

>
>I doubt you ever read that little factoid before.

I have, and I have explained how the rational behind it militarily, and politically sound.

>
>>This author is a little off base when he states " in addition to fighting a massive land war in central Europe" It was TINY compared to the eastern front. The battles in central europe generally involved fewer than a million men combined. The eastern front, battles included millions of men on each side. Hitler wanted peace with the west, in a vain hope to attack the east. He had his best units on the eastern front. The Americans, aside from the ardennes and D-day, had a cake-walk through central Europe.
>>
>You seem to think that Rommel never existed. You forget that at the beginning of the war, the Germans were far better equipped than we were. Our tanks might as well have been made of plywood compared to their panzers.
>The Eastern front was bigger only in terms of sheer numbers. The red army was barely more than a bunch of ragtag militia. Russia couldn't support them, many of them were starving and some of them didn't even have weapons.

That was at the start, by the end of the war, they were well equiped and well trained. The reason for the lack of good troops at the beginning, is due to the fact that they were engaged in a land battle on a massive scale. They didn't have time to equip or prepare. The americans did. Naval affairs are much less costly, and bought the americans time, in absolute saftey in america, to raise a land army. One that left the war with far fewer experience that the russians.


>And let's not forget that at the same time we were fighting the Germans, we were waging war in the Pacific.

Again, naval battles were primarily fought there, and those are money drains, not drains in the other respects. And the island fighting generally included possibly 40000 troops generally. Tiny compared to Europe.

>As for said cake walk, you would do well to talk to someone who was actually there instead of reading about it.
>You really should, and soon, because there aren't many of them left.

My grandfather is a veteran on WW2. I have talked to him. I do not dispute that the experience of a front-line soldier is a cake walk. As a matter of fact, it is similar for all, whether german, brit, canadian, or russian. My point is that looking at the big picture, Russia had the larger contribution, an army equal to, or in some respects greater than her other allied countries. One cannot mix the individual soldier and the large picture, as they present two very different pictures.


 
Silentmind Posted: Sun May 15 01:13:18 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Pardon the horrible grammar, and sentence structure, but I have got 4 hours of sleep in the past 48, so you get the general idea of it.


 
Silentmind Posted: Sun May 15 01:20:04 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  >the Anglo-Americans alone took on two fronts simultaneously.

I reread this part and I mean, wow. It was a russian/brit/american alliance. The americans joined last. And the brits fought mostly in europe. One front. The americans, mostly in the pacific. One front. So sure, one plus one equals two. But divided by two armies=one.


 
FN Posted: Sun May 15 07:57:28 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>>Russia couldn't support them, many of them were starving and some of them didn't even have weapons.
>
>That was at the start, by the end of the war, they were well equiped and well trained.

It is indeed a common misconception that Soviet soldiers weren't equiped.

This is due to the fact that at the start there were indeed some serious shortages, and there have been battles where there would be 1 gun and 2 bullet clips for every 2 soldiers for example, where the second guy would take the gun of the first when that one got shot.

However, the longer the war went on the better the Soviets were equiped, once for example the production of the PPSh 41 (the submachine gun with pistol ammo and interchangable with 7.63 Mauser ammo, making for a very versatile and reliable weapon) kicked into gear.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sun May 15 08:24:42 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>>the Anglo-Americans alone took on two fronts simultaneously.
>
>I reread this part and I mean, wow. It was a russian/brit/american alliance. The americans joined last. And the brits fought mostly in europe. One front. The americans, mostly in the pacific. One front. So sure, one plus one equals two. But divided by two armies=one.
>
You take that statement completely out of context.
His point was that America alone, had the military capability to fight a war on two fronts. That is a true statement.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sun May 15 10:48:05 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>The American supremecy in military affairs came well after the end of WW2.
>
Really ?
Enlighten me if you would.


 
Silentmind Posted: Sun May 15 11:54:12 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>Silentmind said:
>>The American supremecy in military affairs came well after the end of WW2.
>>
>Really ?
>Enlighten me if you would.


At the end of WW2, the Russians had the largest land army, and the army with the most experience in land warfare. They were well equiped. Their tankists were the best in the world, with the best tank in the world. Their soliders were the best in urban warfare. They knew how to fight in any type of season. Winter came, they fought better. Due to their geographical position, they had access to Europe, Africa, and Asia by land, or by a short hop across a tiny body of water. Once the cold war came into existance, it remained on relativly level terms for most of the "war." One side enjoyed an advantage in one area, the other in another area. It wasn't until the 80's that the Americans gained near total advantage. Call it 35-40 years after the end of WW2.


 
Silentmind Posted: Sun May 15 11:57:49 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
 
>>
>You take that statement completely out of context.
>His point was that America alone, had the military capability to fight a war on two fronts. That is a true statement.


So did the Soviets, had they been forced to. But in essence, the Eastern front amounted to two fronts at least, possibly three, in terms of length, number of men, terrain, ect. The author takes no account into the size of the front. That is the important part.


 
Silentmind Posted: Sun May 15 12:10:17 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Christophe said:
>Silentmind said:
>>>Russia couldn't support them, many of them were starving and some of them didn't even have weapons.
>>
>>That was at the start, by the end of the war, they were well equiped and well trained.
>
>It is indeed a common misconception that Soviet soldiers weren't equiped.
>
>This is due to the fact that at the start there were indeed some serious shortages, and there have been battles where there would be 1 gun and 2 bullet clips for every 2 soldiers for example, where the second guy would take the gun of the first when that one got shot.
>
>However, the longer the war went on the better the Soviets were equiped, once for example the production of the PPSh 41 (the submachine gun with pistol ammo and interchangable with 7.63 Mauser ammo, making for a very versatile and reliable weapon) kicked into gear.



The reason for the lag, was the fact that the Soviets had to move their entire industrial output to eastern Russia. That is a huge feat in and of its self. Once all the factories had been transplanted and set up, the industrial output of the Soviets got to the point where they could equip their army. It is to be noted, also, that the Soviets produced some of the best weaponry in WW2. T-34 comes to mind. Better in nearly every respect to the Sherman/Medium Tank M4. Better profile, better sloping, easier to produce, produced in greater numbers, faster {55 km/h as opposed to 47 km/h}, longer range {186km as opposed to 161}, and in most variants, better weaponry.


 
addi Posted: Sun May 15 14:16:10 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  a little perspective on revising text books...

I'll state the obvious and say that it's imperative to revise text books in all subject matters. If it wasn't done students would still be learning from books written in the early 19th century, just with new fancy book covers and better pictures. The amount of new information learned in the last century is staggering. Things we've discovered in science not only teach us new facts about the physical world around us, but give us insight into social and cultural details of past civilizations.

One thing to keep in mind about historical revision is that it's not done in a vacuum...cultural context always has some effect on what is omitted and included. As an example, when i was in school U.S. history was completely dominated by white male figures. It can be argued that American history was predominately made up of white males, but my books tended to overlook the important contributions of women and of blacks and other non-white male figures. So I'd learn about Betsy Ross, and George Washington Carver, and Booker T. Washington...almost as if there were only 4 or 5 minority individuals that had any significant impact on our history. They would also never include anything that could be percieved as negative about these past figures. Columbus was great, Custer was a hero, Lincoln was sitting next to God in heaven, and Jefferson never fucked one of his slave girls.
So as times change and a few decades go by and historians look back at what is being taught to students they can see that it's missing some valuable "facts" about other people that made significant contributions to history, and that some of the great figures of our past also had a few skeletons in their closet...and changes were made; for the better in my opinion.

Sometimes the pendulum can swing too far the other way to compensate for the current cultural outlook on topics like history. Then you can end up with, for example, kids that know a lot about Sojourner Truth, and be clueless about Andrew Jackson's domestic policies during his term as president, and how it affected our westward expansion. This isn't good either.

One thing that would help somewhat is to have intelligent people on our school boards across the country looking at the quality of the text books they are going to purchase, and scrutinizing their content very carefully. There can be some big differences between textbook publishers on the accuracy and quality of the content in their books. Trust me, if a large state rejects a publishers book on grounds that it is lacking in several areas that company will sit up and pay attention ($ lost).

Finally, we need to remember that we all are where we are at this point in time. In a sense we know only what we know right now. Fifty years from now someome will look back at what we took as the truth on some subject in a text book and have a good laugh at us for believing something so ignorant.
: )

*and now back to those Damn Russians and WWII


 
FN Posted: Sun May 15 14:56:38 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  On a side note: Silentmind, I bought a DVD box called "Nazi's: a warning from history" yesterday. It basicly has 300+ minutes of a BBC documentary series on 3 dvd's starting from the rise of Hitler to his downfall, and it's very thorough and comprehensive up to where I've seen it at the moment (about 2 hours into it), like why he picked on the jews and why people accepted it, etcetera. I'm guessing the rest of it will be sustaining the same superb quality of the part I've seen untill now.

Perhaps you should try and find a copy of it yourself, I'm betting my left nut that you'll like it.


 
Silentmind Posted: Sun May 15 15:50:13 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
 
>Perhaps you should try and find a copy of it yourself, I'm betting my left nut that you'll like it.


I shall try and find it. And you can keep your left nut.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sun May 15 16:49:02 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>
>>>
>>You take that statement completely out of context.
>>His point was that America alone, had the military capability to fight a war on two fronts. That is a true statement.
>
>
>So did the Soviets, had they been forced to. But in essence, the Eastern front amounted to two fronts at least, possibly three, in terms of length, number of men, terrain, ect. The author takes no account into the size of the front. That is the important part.
>
It was still only one front and one army. They had no air force to speak of, nor a very good navy. They didn't have to worry about the logistics of supply lines that encircled the entire planet.
It's one thing to build an army, quite another to sustain it and the Russians did not have the capability to do what we did on two fronts.
They were barely able to feed their army as it was. Do you really believe they could have established supply lines across the Atlantic and the Pacific ?
No one is trying to diminish their contribution to the effort, but they certainly would not have defeated the Germans had we not entered the war.
We would not have prevailed the way we did without their help either.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sun May 15 16:51:42 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>The reason for the lag, was the fact that the Soviets had to move their entire industrial output to eastern Russia. That is a huge feat in and of its self. Once all the factories had been transplanted and set up, the industrial output of the Soviets got to the point where they could equip their army. It is to be noted, also, that the Soviets produced some of the best weaponry in WW2. T-34 comes to mind. Better in nearly every respect to the Sherman/Medium Tank M4. Better profile, better sloping, easier to produce, produced in greater numbers, faster {55 km/h as opposed to 47 km/h}, longer range {186km as opposed to 161}, and in most variants, better weaponry.
>
Why would they have to move their factories ? Didn't they have trains and trucks ?
We certainly didn't have to move any factories, and we had to move our stuff a helluva lot farther than they did.


 
FN Posted: Sun May 15 20:06:38 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Where would you have expected the Soviets to ship their navy off, hif?

Why the factories were moved is pretty obvious if you ask me, and it will be obvious to you too if you take a look at a world map.

The difference with America, as Silentmind has pointed out already, is that America wasn't under any immediate threat and basicly had all the time in the world to build tanks/other materials and supplies and then get them onto trains or whatever, to ship them off later, more or less straight to the front once they were dropped onto the European shores.

Shipping goes much faster than land-based transport, and since the Soviets didn't have that option due to obvious reasons, and added to that the fact that for example railway routes were under constant bombardment and they needed everything at the front as fast as possible, the best and most feasible option was to move the factories.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Sun May 15 21:28:51 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Christophe said:
>Where would you have expected the Soviets to ship their navy off, hif?
>
>Why the factories were moved is pretty obvious if you ask me, and it will be obvious to you too if you take a look at a world map.
>
>The difference with America, as Silentmind has pointed out already, is that America wasn't under any immediate threat and basicly had all the time in the world to build tanks/other materials and supplies and then get them onto trains or whatever, to ship them off later, more or less straight to the front once they were dropped onto the European shores.
>
Yeah, that Atlantic crossing was a piece of cake wasn't it ?
>
>Shipping goes much faster than land-based transport, and since the Soviets didn't have that option due to obvious reasons, and added to that the fact that for example railway routes were under constant bombardment and they needed everything at the front as fast as possible, the best and most feasible option was to move the factories.
>
Seems to me that the factories would be much more vulnerable to bombing the closer they are to the front, certainly as vulnerable as a railway.
And Shipping was not necessarily faster than rail. Most transport ships in the 40's couldn't do much better than 25 Knots if they had a full load.


 
Silentmind Posted: Sun May 15 23:39:29 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>Christophe said:
>>Where would you have expected the Soviets to ship their navy off, hif?
>>
>>Why the factories were moved is pretty obvious if you ask me, and it will be obvious to you too if you take a look at a world map.
>>
>>The difference with America, as Silentmind has pointed out already, is that America wasn't under any immediate threat and basicly had all the time in the world to build tanks/other materials and supplies and then get them onto trains or whatever, to ship them off later, more or less straight to the front once they were dropped onto the European shores.
>>


>>
>>Shipping goes much faster than land-based transport, and since the Soviets didn't have that option due to obvious reasons, and added to that the fact that for example railway routes were under constant bombardment and they needed everything at the front as fast as possible, the best and most feasible option was to move the factories.
>>
>Seems to me that the factories would be much more vulnerable to bombing the closer they are to the front, certainly as vulnerable as a railway.
>And Shipping was not necessarily faster than rail. Most transport ships in the 40's couldn't do much better than 25 Knots if they had a full load.


Uh, hif, they move the factories east. Most of their factories were in the western edges of their territory. They had to move all of them. Or they wouldn't have had any. They had to move their /entire/ industrial capacity, by rail, eastwards, out of harms way.


 
FN Posted: Mon May 16 05:58:17 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  ifihadahif said:
>Yeah, that Atlantic crossing was a piece of cake wasn't it ?

In comparison to shipping something from only a hanfdull of harbors across iceberg-infested waters, yeah, it was.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Mon May 16 10:38:46 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>ifihadahif said:
>>Christophe said:
>>>Where would you have expected the Soviets to ship their navy off, hif?
>>>
>>>Why the factories were moved is pretty obvious if you ask me, and it will be obvious to you too if you take a look at a world map.
>>>
>>>The difference with America, as Silentmind has pointed out already, is that America wasn't under any immediate threat and basicly had all the time in the world to build tanks/other materials and supplies and then get them onto trains or whatever, to ship them off later, more or less straight to the front once they were dropped onto the European shores.
>>>
>
>
>>>
>>>Shipping goes much faster than land-based transport, and since the Soviets didn't have that option due to obvious reasons, and added to that the fact that for example railway routes were under constant bombardment and they needed everything at the front as fast as possible, the best and most feasible option was to move the factories.
>>>
>>Seems to me that the factories would be much more vulnerable to bombing the closer they are to the front, certainly as vulnerable as a railway.
>>And Shipping was not necessarily faster than rail. Most transport ships in the 40's couldn't do much better than 25 Knots if they had a full load.
>
>
>Uh, hif, they move the factories east. Most of their factories were in the western edges of their territory. They had to move all of them. Or they wouldn't have had any. They had to move their /entire/ industrial capacity, by rail, eastwards, out of harms way.
>
OK, I'll give you that one, I misread an earlier post apparently, however it does question your post about the railways being continuously bombed.
But the argument at hand was that the Russians simply were not capable of fighting the war that the allies fought.
Their military was not up to the task.
No one is trying to diminish their contribution but they had their limitations at the time.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Mon May 16 10:40:55 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Christophe said:
>ifihadahif said:
>>Yeah, that Atlantic crossing was a piece of cake wasn't it ?
>
>In comparison to shipping something from only a hanfdull of harbors across iceberg-infested waters, yeah, it was.
>
No, it wasn't.
You ask any captain at the time whether he would rather dodge icebergs or German U-boats, he'll take the icebergs every time.
Do you have any idea of the tonnage that went to the bottom of the Atlantic due to the U-Boats ?


 
FN Posted: Mon May 16 11:07:57 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  And where would you have had them drop everything off?

Most of the time the harbors that could have been used aren't even accesible.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Mon May 16 11:49:06 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Christophe said:
>And where would you have had them drop everything off?
>
>Most of the time the harbors that could have been used aren't even accesible.
>
You make my point for me.


 
Silentmind Posted: Mon May 16 19:31:23 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
 
>OK, I'll give you that one, I misread an earlier post apparently, however it does question your post about the railways being continuously bombed.
>But the argument at hand was that the Russians simply were not capable of fighting the war that the allies fought.
>Their military was not up to the task.

Do you think that the Americans could have fought on the Eastern front? There was no way they could have. They had too few men, too few tanks, and too few artillery peices. Your (or the authors) whole point that the Americans fought a two front war and the Russians only one, is misleading. The number of fronts is true. But the pacific war was more a monetary drain, as most naval battles are, and the western front was a comparitively easy, as compared to the eastern front. The americans would have been /crushed/ had they had to fight in a front as strong as the eastern one. Again, as I said before, the eastern front was equivilant to at least two, possibly the three other fronts of the war.


 
ifihadahif Posted: Mon May 16 20:02:28 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Silentmind said:
>
>>OK, I'll give you that one, I misread an earlier post apparently, however it does question your post about the railways being continuously bombed.
>>But the argument at hand was that the Russians simply were not capable of fighting the war that the allies fought.
>>Their military was not up to the task.
>
>Do you think that the Americans could have fought on the Eastern front? There was no way they could have. They had too few men, too few tanks, and too few artillery peices. Your (or the authors) whole point that the Americans fought a two front war and the Russians only one, is misleading. The number of fronts is true. But the pacific war was more a monetary drain, as most naval battles are, and the western front was a comparitively easy, as compared to the eastern front. The americans would have been /crushed/ had they had to fight in a front as strong as the eastern one. Again, as I said before, the eastern front was equivilant to at least two, possibly the three other fronts of the war.
>
No, my and the authors' point was that we fought a war the Russians were not capable of. They couldn't have managed the war in the pacific because the lacked the naval prowess we enjoyed.
And if you think the fighting was not savage in the Pacific, then talk to any marine that landed on any of the islands there.
And yes it would not have taken us that long to get up to speed on the eastern front due to our industrial capability.
We could build tanks and artillery as fast as needed and men are not hard to come by with the draft. And we had air support that the Russians lacked.
Your telling me that if we only had one front to deal with, that all of our power in the pacific combined with our European theater, we would not have prevailed against the Germans as the Russians did ? HA !
Two aircraft carriers alone could have wiped out a considerable portion of the enemy. What kind of damage do you think a couple of hundred B52's would have done ?


 
Silentmind Posted: Mon May 16 20:15:22 2005 Post | Quote in Reply  
 
>And if you think the fighting was not savage in the Pacific, then talk to any marine that landed on any of the islands there.

I never once claimed it wasn't savage, I said it was more of a monetary drain than a manpower drain. Once again, you confuse the struggles of the individual soldier with that of the large picture.


 



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