To provoke your thoughts ...
[...] I had always thought the moment we might have stopped Hitler was when he reoccupied the Rhineland on March 7, 1936. But Buchanan records that nobody was interested in such action at the time. Nobody? Yes.
That includes Churchill, who said fatuously on March 13: "Instead of retaliating by armed force, as would have been done in a previous generation, France has taken the proper and prescribed course of appealing to the League of Nations."
He then even more wetly urged "Herr Hitler" to do the decent thing and withdraw.
Buchanan doesn't think that Britain and France could have saved Czechoslovakia in 1938, and I suspect he is right.
But this is a minor issue beside his surgical examination of Britain's guarantee to help Poland in March 1939. Hitler saw our "stand" as an empty bluff, and called it.
The Poles were crushed and murdered, and their country erased from the map. Hitler's eventual defeat left Poland under the Soviet heel for two generations.
We then embarked on a war which cost us our Empire, many of our best export markets, what was left of our naval supremacy, and most of our national wealth - gleefully stripped from us by Roosevelt in return for Lend-Lease supplies.
As a direct result we sought membership of a Common Market that has since bled away our national independence.
Would we not have been wiser to behave as the USA did, staying out of it and waiting for Hitler and Stalin to rip out each other's bowels?
Was Hitler really set on a war with Britain or on smashing the British Empire?
The country most interested in dismantling our Empire was the USA. Hitler never built a surface navy truly capable of challenging ours and, luckily for us, he left it too late to build enough submarines to starve us out.
He was very narrowly defeated in the Battle of Britain, but how would we have fared if, a year later, he had used the forces he flung at Russia to attack us instead?
But he didn't. His "plan" to invade Britain, the famous Operation Sealion, was only a sketchy afterthought, quickly abandoned.
Can it be true that he wasn't very interested in fighting or invading us? His aides were always baffled by his admiration for the British Empire, about which he would drone for hours.
Of course he was an evil dictator. But so was Joseph Stalin, who would later become our honoured ally, supplied with British weapons, fawned on by our Press and politicians, including Churchill himself.
By Christmas 1940, Stalin had in fact murdered many more people than Hitler and had invaded nearly as many countries.
We almost declared war on him in 1940 and he ordered British communists to subvert our war effort against the Nazis during the Battle of Britain.
And, in alliance with Hitler, he was supplying the Luftwaffe with much of the fuel and resources it needed to bomb London.
Not so simple, is it? Survey the 20th Century and you see Britain repeatedly fighting Germany, at colossal expense.
No one can doubt the valour and sacrifice involved.
But at the end of it all, Germany dominates Europe behind the smokescreen of the EU; our Empire and our rule of the seas have gone, we struggle with all the problems of a great civilisation in decline, and our special friend, the USA, has smilingly supplanted us for ever. But we won the war. Read more
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Sunday, 20 April 2008
To provoke your thoughts ...