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Just a small reminder…

By Mike Cunningham On September 2nd, 2014

……..of the days when His Majesty’s Government and Parliament, with calm and, in the end, honesty, set its collective face against Appeasement, and set forth to defeat the German Nazi war machine with a Declaration of War.

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A declaration of War, without the knowledge of how great an evil lay behind, and all around, the enemy it now would be fighting to defeat!

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11 Responses to “Just a small reminder…”

  1. Timely reminder, Mike (although Troll may be on to you about posting such violent images)

    Britain of course did not “set forth to defeat the German Nazi war machine” when it declared war. Poland was mercilessly attacked and destroyed, and Britain and – more damningly – France with its huge army did nothing to help its ally.

    Around these parts, Chamberlain is regularly condemned for the appeasement policy. But either Britain was prepared to go to war against Germany at the end of that decade or it wasn’t. We know that, after declaring war, Britain waited for the best part of two years and took no offensive operations against Germany on land or in the air, and then when its army was finally attacked it turned and fled. Chamberlain had no illusions about the state of the British armed forced, and accordingly had no option in 1938 but to delay conflict with Germany – apart from making a meaningless declaration of war followed by years of inactivity.
    Instead, he realised that war was coming and started preparing by bolstering the only defence Britain had – air and sea power. The Hurricane and Spitfire that later saved Britain were commissioned by Chamberlain for that purpose, even though Churchill now gets the credit.

  2. Noel, I think you have minimized the British efforts at that period. They sent hundreds of thousands of men to France and other troops to Norway. The collapse of France after a few weeks was unanticipated. They also fought on the sea. A lack of success doesn’t mean they did nothing.

  3. // A lack of success doesn’t mean they did nothing.//

    They took no action against a very poorly defended Germany at a time when Hitler’s armies were fighting on another front and when Poland expected, and relied on, the allies attacking Germany from the west once Poland was invaded.

    But I wasn’t critising Britain for not taking more action (France, which had one of the largest and most modern armies in the world, is much more guilty of that). As I said, the western armies weren’t even able to withstand the land attack when it came, much less attack Germany in 1938, and therefore the lazy criticism of Chamberlain’s appeasement that we often hear today is unjustified.

    Entering a war is always a very complex and risky business.

  4. Mike Cunningham –

    DV’s away and I’be just done a 12 hour day nowhere near a PC. Can we have a timely news roundup on days like these?

  5. We know that, after declaring war, Britain waited for the best part of two years and took no offensive operations against Germany on land or in the air, and then when its army was finally attacked it turned and fled.

    Eh?

    Britain declared war on Germany on 3rd September 1939 and immediately sent the British Expeditionary Force, consisting of ten divisions, the France.

    The RAF began ops against the Luwaffe in October and the Royal Navy fought the Kriegsmarine from Scapa Flow to the River Plate before the year was out.

  6. The criticism of Chamberlain is somewhat unfair, more blame rests on the shoulders of Stanley Baldwin who didn’t build up Britain’s armed forces early enough. The Labour Party at the time were even worse than Baldwin and advocated unilateral disarmament.

  7. // immediately sent the British Expeditionary Force, consisting of ten divisions, the France//

    Exactly, and my point was that it stayed right there until it was driven out.

  8. Exactly, and my point was that it stayed right there until it was driven out.

    Seems like a good decision then. The Germans had more than double that number of divisions facing them. An idiot would have ordered an advance away from France and the Channel.

  9. the war we are in now will be worse by the end, and many of you cheer for the wrong people.

    There is nothing wrong with criticizing your own, but to many here are seditious.

  10. Exactly, and my point was that it stayed right there until it was driven out.

    We should be sending those tanks into Rotherham sometime soon then 😉

  11. We declared war on Germany for the invasion of Poland, but failed to do the same with the other invader, the Soviet Union. Something to this day, that still puzzles me.

    We also forget that just 21 years earlier, we fought a war which left no family, village, town or city untouched by tragedy. People, just like today over Iraq War 2.0 and Afghanistan, are reluctant to get involved in Syria and Ukraine.