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Sean McMeekin on “Stalin’s War” (WW2 Revisionism Goes Mainstream!)
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Bard College history professor Sean McMeekin discusses his new book Stalin’s War: A New History of World War II. McMeekin’s engrossing narrative presents an implicit and sometimes explicit argument that the war’s primary instigator and villain was Stalin, not Hitler. For while the Fuhrer may have been an aggressor, dictator, human rights abuser, and general villain, it was the Vozhd not the Fuhrer who desired, orchestrated, and won the war, commanded its biggest armies in the most theaters across most of the Eurasian landmass, and emerged with the lion’s share of the war booty. Stalin got and won his war, in McMeekin’s interpretation, thanks to Hitler’s swallowing the bait of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact—and thanks to the fecklessness of Churchill and especially Roosevelt, who grossly undermined their respective national interests by kowtowing to Stalin and showering him with the material support he used to win his war of conquest. Indeed, McMeekin’s material suggests that the Suvorov thesis, according to which Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa saved Europe from Soviet conquest, is largely correct. The Cold War, in this reading, was really just the long drawn-out ending of World War II, as the Soviet Union’s opponents recognized and fixed FDR-Churchill’s mistake. In this larger sense, World War 2 (Stalin’s war) did not end until the collapse of Communism in 1989.

So why do the standard histories offer such a Hitler-centric view of the war? Does Hitler-centrism stem from Eurocentrism, according to which the Western fringes of Eurasia are the main focus of attention? Did Communist propaganda play a role? Or did Hitler’s crimes against Jews alienate a powerful interest group that responded by selling us the notion of Hitler the iconic cartoon villain and central figure of the war? However the public myth of World War II was created, Sean McMeekin has effectively debunked it and pointed the way to a more comprehensive and accurate understanding.

(Republished from Truth Jihad by permission of author or representative)
• Category: History • Tags: Academia, Iosef Stalin, Nazi Germany, World War II 
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  1. Hans says:

    A very good discussion. Joachim Hoffman’s book, Stalin’s War of Extermination (1995), should also be read.

    Of course, the central issue of the jewish hand in Bolshevism/Communism and it’s control over the Western (((democracies))) remains under-discussed. A few quotes:

    “The Bolshevik leaders, most of whom are Jews, care little for Russia or any other country but are internationalists and are trying to start a worldwide revolution.” – David R. Francis, US ambassador to Russia, Jan 191

    “I might list a hundred other revolutionary leaders and every one of them would be a Jew. Wherever you read of an assassination or of the explosion of a bomb you will notice in the newspaper dispatches that the man was a Jew…every deed of that kind is done by Jews” – William Eleroy Curtis, The National Geographic, “The Revolution in Russia”, (p. 313) Vol. 18, No. 5, (May, 1907)

    Excerpts from 1919 White Paper, Russia No. 1: FOLLOWING is report by Netherlands Minister Ouendyk at Petrograd, 6th Sep, received here to-day, on the situation in Russia, in particular as affecting British subjects and interests under Minister’s protection:- I consider the immediate suppression of Bolshevism is the greatest issue now before the world…unless, as it is nipped in the bud immediately, it is bound to spread…as it is organized and worked by Jews whose one object is to destroy the existing order of things. – Sir M. Findlay to Mr. Balfour.- (Received Sep. 18.)

    We have seen how completely the Bolsheviks have reduced Russia to absolute starvation…this awful catastrophe has been brought about by a gang of professional revolutionaries, mostly Jews” – Winston Churchill (Western Gazette; Somerset, UK; 30 Sep. 1921, p.12 )

    “Anyone who doesn’t know that Bolshevism is Jewish, must be a man who is taken in by our deplorable press.” – historian Hilaire Belloc, G. K.’s Weekly, February 4, 1937

    “It is impossible to explain how a press usually so eager to exploit the little incidents of life has been able to remain silent about the horrors perpetrated in Russia…and that it should have so little to say concerning a world organization as vast as Russian Communism. This silence…is favored by various occult forces which for a long time have been working for the overthrow of the Christian Social Order” – Pope Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris, 1937

    “I don’t care if Americans think we’re running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them.” – Joel Stein, LA Times, 12/19/08

    • Thanks: Thomasina, Jim Christian
  2. ruralguy says:

    Ideally, a court of law, with its rigorous rules for evidence, would establish the cause of WW2. But, this never happened. We saw the complete breakdown of this objective process during the Nuremberg trials.

    Of the 485 tons of confiscated German documents sitting in our National Archives, not a single document describes a Holocaust plan, even though the Germans meticulously documented every detail of their military campaigns. The prosecution sought and obtained very relaxed rules of evidence and criminal procedures to win their convictions, because they couldn’t win the cases with proper legal procedures. The German prisoners suffered severe physical symptoms of torture, but many of them said the psychological torture was worse– mock executions and threats to deport their families to the Soviet Union, where they would have met certain death. A legal team that has a winning case doesn’t need to resort to loosening criminal procedures, eliminating rules of evidence, falsifying evidence, and threatening and torturing witnesses. It rightly impugns their case. The U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Harlan Stone, said of the Nuremberg Trials: “Chief Prosecutor Jackson is away conducting his high-grade lynching party in Nuremberg. I don’t mind what he does to the Nazis, but I hate to see the pretense that he is running a court and proceeding according to common law. This is a little too sanctimonious a fraud to meet my old-fashioned ideas.” The hypotheses that the Germans conducted a Holocaust was never proven with proper legal arguments.

    Why were the Allies unable to prove their arguments through proper procedures? Because their arguments were likely flawed. If their reasoning was flawed in the Nuremberg trials, their reasoning was likely flawed in their political views of events that led to WW2. Americans were deceived by patriotism into adopting a biased perspective, instead of a properly reasoned perspective.

    • Agree: HdC
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  3. R2b says:

    Eastern Judaism, with it’s accomplishes in the West, sold out Germany, for the sake of obtaining Palestine through getting USA into WW1.
    By Versailles they set the stage for WW2.
    There the Germans found out the plot.
    Since 1945, and especially 1948, the world has been plagued by this chain of events.
    Now ”Israel” is wrapping it up in technocracy.

  4. R2b says:

    All there is to say about this, can’t be done here.
    But very fascinating.
    The Barbarossa must be a big fiasco.
    Necessary, but still, a determined failure.
    Take note though, the Lend-Lease.
    Soviet practically waging war, at the behest of the USA.
    Patton hadn’t realized that.
    Other plans were in waiting.
    As we are waiting now, for what to happen.

  5. Hi,

    First of all, I love all the ”Stalins war” pieces here. Thank you all for presenting it and researching it way better then I did years back from this period of time in the war between ”Germany and Russia”. In my mind it was way more then that as you can read below.

    I have read a lot about WWII. Later it expanded all the way to Napoleon and then some. My absolute non scientific history conclusion (since not a certified historian) is that it is a religious war waged for centuries now between them. Not only with armies but also financial, civilisational and of course propaganda wars among things. By both! sides to be clear. New in this war seems to be massive biological warfare and all the results, effects and so on of that.

    For all the research I did on it I never found a really good source that summarises all the wars or many of them that have been waged between Europe and Russia since basically forever. The Saker has given some hints at it but never sources nor writes lenghty about it.

    I find this weird since so much is written and talked about, for example, Muslim Christian wars (all kinds of wars thus, not only military).

    If someone here has a book(s) (s)he can recommend on that theme, I be glad to read that and then read that(smile). This because I think that all /most wars between Russia and Europe have been about way more to it then that single war they were fighting at that moment has been told. For sure (in my mind) since Napoleon.

    Of course thoughts on the theme are also welcome!


  6. Gneisenau says:

    Thomas Dalton’s The Jewish Hand in the World Wars is worth reading in conjunction with McMeekin’s book.

    Roosevelt’s obsession with fascism, a european political movement posing little threat to the US, coupled with the fact that it was really focused only on Hitler and not Mussolini and Franco, makes sense when one understands the role of jewish money in his political campaigns and the influence of his jewish advisors like Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, Henry Morgenthau Jr., Sam Rosenman, and Ben Cohen.

    It is reasonable to infer that these jews around Roosevelt were egging him on to get a war going to overthrow Hitler, who, of all the fascist leaders, was the only one who was a threat to jews. There was american pressure exerted on France and Britain to threaten war should Hitler move into Poland. However, when Britain and France failed to win against Germany, Roosevelt began looking for ways to get the US involved, lying to the american public about his peaceful intentions while fabricating, (amplified by jewish media) a non-existent German threat to the US.

    It even appears from a reading of McMeekin’s book in conjunction with Dalton’s, that Roosevelt deliberately provoked the Japanese to attack the US as a backdoor way of justifying to a reluctant american public a war against Germany, Japan’s Axis partner.

    Once he got his war, it becomes clear from the fact that he resolved to subdue Germany first even though only Japan had attacked the US that it was primarily about removing the threat to jewry.

    • Replies: @phillip sawicki
    , @Hans
  7. McMeekin sounds very confused at the beginning and leads with some silly statements which show a basic misunderstanding. He almost seems to partially correct himself later but without really making things coherent. In the early start he almost sounds like he is recycling an old piece of Communist propaganda but with the intent of now giving it an anti-Soviet spin. It just comes out muddled.

    One of the basic facts about the early stages of WWII which one quickly learns is that Allied military strategy in the first year of the war was initially based upon a rehash of WWI. This led to huge snafus which then took the next 5 years to reverse. McMeekin does later on mention that the French did want a rerun of the losses of WWI, but he completely fails to connect this to how the original was devised. The French built a Maginot Line which was meant to be the ultimate preparation for WWI, it just proved to be lousy preparation for WWII. The French were prepared for a German offensive which the Maginot Line was meant to stop. The British regarded their blockade of WWI as a magic bullet which could win a victory over the long run.

    This was why there was no Allied offensive launched in support of Poland. McMeekin talks as if there is some strange mystery posed by the failure of the Allies to strike at Germany while Poland was being overrun. There is no mystery there. The Allies were expecting a long war just like WWI wherein they did not see any advantage in taking the initial offensive themselves. Instead the aim was to dig for a protracted defensive war in which containing German advances at minimal Allied cost while enforcing a tight blockade would be the magic elixir for victory. It could have been a great plan for 1914.

    Instead Hitler held back until his officers had prepared an offensive plan which was intended to achieve a major breakthrough. Then with the usage of tanks and jeeps the Germans were able to achieve an advance in 1940 which was impossible in 1914. Note that the German advance across France was even more sweeping than the later advance into the USSR in 1941, though no one has ever claimed that France had made a major build-up on the border. These sweeping advances were just a consequence of motorized warfare being used for the first time.

    Because the Allied strategy looks so stupid in retrospect in can be easy to mock it as if they had no strategy at all. But they did and McMeekin sounds really confused when remarking on this. A classic claim made by Communist parties around the world during the war was that the French and even the British had somehow deliberately thrown to Hitler because they were really on Hitler’s side against the USSR. That was a silly claim because it ignored the role of military error in shaping a war.

    But there was a point at the beginning when McMeekin almost sounded as if he meant to suggest that the British and French were really in cahoots with Stalin and this somehow accounted for the failure to aid the Poles during the Phony War. He doesn’t really say what he means but I was waiting to hear something like that. Instead he just makes it sound as if there is a great mystery over why the Allies conducted themselves during the Phony War the way they did. There is no mystery on this point. It was just a classic case of using an outdated military strategy from an earlier war in a new war where things had changed.

    If McMeekin had properly understood this then he could have better accounted for the other issues which come up later. The Allied strategy was badly stuck on rehashing WWI. Soviet strategy was not so badly hung-up on the past, but was still badly influenced by miscalculations. Up through the 19th century wars could switch very easily from offensive to defensive mode for one side or vice versa for the other side. The American Civil War went through a period at the beginning when there was a bit a see-sawing going with sometimes Confederate forces seeming to take the offensive before it settled into a clear steady Union advance.

    Soviet strategy under Tukhachevsky had been modeled with the idea that a chain of defensive battles could be fought at the start of a war but with this swiftly turning over to an offensive. This accounts for the confused state of Soviet forces in the summer of 1941. Soviet forces were not prepared to launch an advance of their own and many aspects of their preparations had a defensive form which would made no sense if something the Rezun-hoax were assumed true. On the other hand, Soviet forces were not properly dug in for what we can see retroactively a defensive would have required. Instead they were positioned with the idea that Hitler would strike first, there would be some hard battles fought which might take a few months, but they would be able to rapidly seize the offensive.

    What we know today about the early forms of motorized warfare worked was that whichever side struck first was bound to get a big dig into enemy territory if they had properly prepared. That happened in France in 1940 and the USSR in 1941 and it occurred independently of the state of military preparations of either France or the USSR. Given that the USSR clearly did not intend to make the first strike itself, they needed to plan for a war in which there would major territorial losses suffered in the early months. Instead they had forces close to the border which were easily overrun in the first weeks and months of the war.

    But as with the Allies in 1939-40, this is simply a matter of a military error. There is no conspiratorial significance to it. To give credit to McMeekin where it’s due, he rejects the Rezun-hoax and notes that Stalin was not actually prepared for something like Rezun claimed. But he fails to properly address the way that simply military miscalculations can account for bad decisions by both the Allies and the USSR. Instead he gives a very fudged description of something which is straight-forward.

    • Agree: Carlo, Tsigantes
    • Disagree: HdC
  8. McMeekin is a terrible speaker. Hs speech pattern is like a roller coaster: very fast, climbs and dips, stomach-churning forays into twists and turns. Very difficult to listen to.


    AGREE with #1 Hans +++ the role of zionism and zionists in ginning up and prolonging both wars is more significant than even the important mainstreaming of McMeekin’s revisionist history, that Stalin started the war. Jews around the world aided Stalin in their fanatical hate-campaign against Germany

    #2 Rural Guy (mostly agree: at Nuremberg the “objective process” did not “break down,” it was planned to function in a rigged fashion. Nuremberg played out exactly as planned.

    #3 R2b — Agree

    #4 R2b — once again zionists and Jews were significant in Lend Lease and in spying for Stalin: Harry Dexter White planted at Henry Morgenthau’s elbow at US Treasury is only one example.

    # Gneisenau, Agree, except IMO the greatest ‘threat’ to Jewry in Europe was a group of Jews in US and London.

    • Replies: @R2b
    , @ruralguy
  9. Al Ross says:

    Hitler “gassed 6 million Jews” and gets all the fame.

    Stalin had more ways with Christians than Gordon Ramsay has with eggs ( 60 million dead ) and this achievement is largely ignored.

    • Replies: @Дима Трамп
  10. JackOH says:

    Thanks, Kevin and Sean. I only listened to a few minutes to get my feet wet, and I only know Sean’s book from reviews here and elsewhere.

    I’d have few qualms about viewing the 1914-1945 period in Europe as something like the Wars of Slavic Ascendancy. I wouldn’t want to push that characterization too hard, but, well, there it is. Nothing will excuse Germany’s (and Austria-Hungary’s) horrifically bad diplomacy, and especially Hitler’s misjudgments before entering Prague in 1939, which have had the effect of casting Slavic provocations and excesses down the memory hole.

    But, it’s fairly obvious (even to those who have doubts about the Suvorov hypothesis) that the Slavs wished to see German rulership and German influence diminished in Central Europe.

  11. @Gneisenau

    It was a difficult victory for Stalin’s USSR, which lost 27 million Russians and immense amounts of industry, agriculture, cities and towns, etc. Germany in comparison lost about 7 million. Hitler had made clear in Mein Kampf (1924) that Germany first wanted to expand to the East. And who was to the East. Poland and the USSR. Don’t think this guy from Bard gets it right.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  12. Hans says:

    Yes. Good points. Pretty sure that David Irving covers the repeated attempts by FDR to provoke a response from Germany, but Hitler refused to take the bait (Hitler’s War).

    There’s a very good collection of info on FDR’s provocations of the Japanese and his allowing the Pearl Harbor attack to happen –

    • Replies: @JMcG
  13. Hillbob says:

    Ever heard of a book called Mein Kampf?
    Ever heard of Field Marshall Paulus testimony at Nuremberg?

    • Replies: @Hans
    , @Дима Трамп
    , @gT
  14. R2b says:

    Yes, hard to follow as a speaker, Mcmeekin, in moments, though I’m reasonably aquiainted with the idiom.
    My thought was, he wanted to be rapid in this ass-burnin subject.
    But Kevin slowed it down, and posed the important questions.
    Russia after WW1 seems like a total set-up.
    The players had now all the cards.
    Only time, and a certain social friction, was their problem.
    SM is out now, confirming that it is such a grand chess-play.

  15. For some reason the publicity given to McMeekin’s book has resulted in the publicization of some facts which were known 21 years but which are now getting spread about in a somewhat distorted way. It was Patrick Osborn who authored the book Operation Pike which was published in 2000 by Greenwood Press. This book is a detailed study of Allied plans for an offensive against the USSR, especially in Baku but also with serious consideration given to Finland, as well explicating on how these plans acted as a trigger for the Katyn Forest Massacre. If someone is really interested in these issues then the smart thing to do is ignore McMeekin and go get the Osborn book.

    What is particularly ironic about this focus on McMeekin as a source of publicity for Operation Pike is that the matter has been raised as if it supports the Rezun-hoax, when it clearly does not and McMeekin does not try to claim the silly things asserted by Rezun. The Osborn book should be looked at alongside of Jonathan Walker, Operation Unthinkable, and David Carlton, Churchill and the Soviet Union. The Walker book is specifically focused on Churchill’s efforts in the spring of 1945 to prepare a war against the USSR that he hoped to launch in July. The Carlton book covers Churchill’s overall pattern of yin-yang relations with the USSR from the early days of the revolution through to his retirement. When taken together with the Osborn study this shows what an insane risk Stalin would be taking had he followed anything like the Rezun script.

    Even if Stalin had not been so maniacally insane as to attempt to conquer all of Europe the way that Rezun charges, just stealing Churchill’s thunder with a quick Soviet strike against and victory over Hitler would have immediately left Churchill looking for a new war to show off his bona fides. Stalin would have had to play this very carefully if he had anything like a preemptive strike on Germany. If Hitler had been somehow swiftly defeated by a Soviet strike then Jews in both London and Washington would have had no reason to want to encourage alliances with the USSR. Rather, the later Cold War showed how happy to shift towards portraying the Arabs as aligned with the USSR (Nasser) while presenting Israel as the great Western ally.

    Operation Pike is of interest in explaining why Stalin was so suspicious of Churchill’s warnings about Barbarossa. Stalin did not believe any British warnings because he knew that Churchill wanted to get him in the war. But Operation Pike definitely does not fit any scenario where Stalin invades and conquers Europe and is allowed to get away with it. Nor would Stalin have ever imagined that it did.

    Now that I’ve had the time to listen completely to the interview I’ve started to get a better idea of what exactly are the distinctive claims which McMeekin attempts to make. Despite sometimes fudging around McMeekin does not claim either that Stalin was about to invade Germany (never mind Europe as a whole) nor that Hitler was in any way motivated by the belief that Stalin posed a military threat. McMeekin’s special claim which really is his own particular assertion relates rather to war-production.

    Most of the economic historians of the Second World War (e.g. Richard Overy, Adam Tooze) have maintained that Soviet war-production into 1943 was adequate to the point of being able to meet the essential needs of the army. McMeekin here introduces what is a very new claim, asserting that the shortages in Soviet production during the key period June 1941 to February 1943 were so severe that Allied aid made all of the difference. I won’t pretend to judge the matter right now. But this is something where authors like Overy and Tooze are either going to have to fire back on all cylinders or else admit to an error. I’m skeptical of McMeekin’s assertions after having listened to his general pattern, but the debate will hopefully play itself out slowly. Things like this can easily be submerged in the back pages of journals for a decade or more so I won’t hold my breath waiting. But this is where McMeekin has actually made a distinctive special claim.

    • Replies: @Steve Naidamast
  16. Hans says:

    The Nuremberg Trials are so repugnant to Anglo-Saxon principles of justice that we must forever be ashamed.” – Rep. Lawrence H. Smith, Congressional Record, appendix, v.95, sec.14, 6/15/49

    “The investigators would put a black hood over the accused’s head, punch him in the face with brass knuckles, kick him and beat him with rubber hoses.” – Judge Edward van Roden: The Progressive, Feb. 1949, “American Atrocities in Germany”

    Texas Supreme Court Judge, Gordon Simpson, confirmed savage beatings, smashing of testicles, and months of solitary confinement occurred. Congressional Record, appendix. v. 95, sec. 12, 3/10/49

    On Feb. 29, 1944 the British Ministry of Information sent the following note to British clergy and the BBC:

    Experience has shown that the best distraction is atrocity propaganda directed against the enemy. Unfortunately the public is no longer so susceptible as in the days of “Corpse Factory,” the Mutilated Belgian Babies,” and the “Crucified Canadians.”
    Your cooperation is therefore earnestly sought to distract public attention from the doings of the Red Army by your wholehearted support of various charges against the Germans and Japanese which have been and will be put into circulation by the Ministry.
    Your expression of belief in such may convince others.
    I am, sir, Your obedient servant,
    (signed) H. Hewet, Assistant Secretary

    (Rozek, Edward, Allied Wartime Diplomacy: A Pattern in Poland, John Wiley & Sons, NY. pp. 209-210)

    • Agree: ruralguy, HdC
  17. JMcG says:

    The Origins of the Second World War by A.J.P. Taylor is also very good. It’s not on Kindle for some strange reason. It’s a very measured account of the lead up to the war.

  18. ruralguy says:

    Yes, it was likely planned, but to properly show this, requires a rigorous analyses and an unbiased rigorous review. Unfortunately, academic peer reviews in the liberal-arts fields like history no longer can do this. Standards are collapsing.

    A “close reading” of WW1 and WW2 shows both the Axis and Allies used flawed reasoning. Unfortunately, nothing was done by any government to replace government decisions with rigorous reasoning and reviews.

  19. @phillip sawicki

    Mein Kampf had many objectives, the primary one being to undo the injustice of Versailles. Expanding to the East has to be seen in light of “German lands”. The Austro-Hungarian Empire had lands in “the East”, that had large “German” populations, primarily in farming. Post WWI there was a wave of German (Mennonite) immigrants coming from “the East”, primarily what became Ukraine.
    The goal of expansion, i.e. return, was self sufficiency in food.
    Hitler ceded Upper Silesia, a major coal producing area, to Poland. The Munich Agreement legitimized Poland’s invasion of Czechoslovakia (Tesin) and Hungary’s invasion of Ruthenia (Ukraine and Czechoslovakia), both of which had ethnic majorities of Poles and Hungarians respectively.
    With the ethnic cleansing that had occurred in other parts of Poland, Germans were now in a minority, and those claims were abandoned, including Memel invaded by Lithuania, which was subsequently forced to capitulate to Poland. Danzig, a 98% German city under a League of Nations Mandate (not recognized by Poland) and West Prussia were the only sticking points, and even West Prussia, given the ethnic cleansing, was not a “must”, hence “the corridor”.
    The events of German “expansion” are far more nuanced than what is generally portrayed.

    • Agree: Hans
    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
    , @karel
  20. @Curmudgeon

    Hitler had always been inspired by the colonization of North America where European settlers gained living space across a whole continent. However one may wish to judge those off and on wars from 1492 to 1890, Hitler’s ambitions in eastern Europe went far beyond merely carving some select territories like the Sudetenland or Danzig which had a long history of German inhabitants living there. There was nothing subtle about the drive to the east for living space as Hitler envisioned it. The goal of German colonial policy was that upwards of 30 million Slavs would perish by starvation and this would start to clear the way for German settlers who could make uneducated laborers out of the remaining Slavs.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
    , @Wokechoke
  21. @Patrick McNally

    Apparently Sean McMeekin does not support the Suvorov thesis but appears to support it in his writings in this book. (see…

    Many historians now accept the Suvorov thesis, even if there are still quite a few naysayers. It is even being taught in universities such as New York’s prestigious St. Johns University.

    That being said, I have purchased McMeekins book, “Stalin’s War”, though I have yet to read it. However, I was encouraged to purchase his book because from reviews of it, it supported Mosier’s earlier work, “Death Ride”, which contends that the USSR could not have defeated The Third Reich without the generous assistance from the US in its Lend-Lease program.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  22. @Al Ross

    ^0 million people dead out of 160 million population? What have you been smoking?

  23. @Hillbob

    I don’t know what these people think – is it willful ignorance or something else?

    • Replies: @Hillbob
  24. @Steve Naidamast

    I would expect that a lot od neocons will welcome certain parts of the Rezun-hoax. The fact remains that if Stalin had done something as stupid as is claimed by Rezun then January 1, 1942, at the latest, the US and UK would have joined Japan in a war against the USSR and 1946 the USSR would have ceased to exist. It’s a silly thesis which projects Hitler’s arrogant recklessness onto Stalin.

    • LOL: Hans
  25. gT says:

    Interesting how so many take the word of one man, Suvorov, and believe it to be true. One swallow does not make a spring, one piece of evidence does not mean that something is definitely the case. If what Suvorov said is true, then there would be lots of corroborating evidence and lots of witnesses coming forth, but this is not the case, there is none, only Suvorov’s word.

    Stalin literally went into shock for a few weeks or months when the Germans attacked, he could not believe it. Surely if he had been preparing to attack Germany he would have been able to grasp the notion of Germany attacking Russia, but he blown out of the water. He went incommunicado for some time after the German attack. Surely if Russia soldiers had been preparing for attack, then it would have been a simple matter of then getting the prepared Russian soldiers to attack the attacking Germans. Who comes up with this crap that if an army is preparing for attack it is unprepared for defense. If an army is ready to attack then its ready to fight, but the Russian soldiers were totally and utterly unprepared for anything.

    And we all know who makes more profit on war than on peace time industrial and manufacturing (as another commentator on UNZ has mentioned), we all know who wants “catastrophic war to undermine Western civilization, and advance the Judeo-Masonic New World Order”. And we all know that the Red Army doesn’t give a f… what anyone in the West thinks, the Red Army is more concerned with battle on the battle field and not the battle in the minds of those whose entire societies and countries are collapsing into insignificance around them (the West).

  26. karel says:

    The joviality of McMeekin’s narrative is unbearable. Perhaps if he fucked around a little when he was young rather than reading the wrong kind of books, he would not need to catch up in his advanced age by trying to charm his listeners.

    As a true revisionist, may I remind McMeeking that he has missed that it was actually E. Beneš, the president of Czechoslovakia who, presumably with the help of Stalin, planned to invade Germany. In his diatribe Of 26th September 1938, Hitler accused Beneš of being ”determined to exterminate Deutschtum slowly but surely.” Later in his speech, Hitler made a curious statement ” After all, Herr Beneš may have seven million Czechs, but here there is a Volk of seventy-five million.” So there you have it, this implies that Czechs actually wanted to destroy Germany to eliminate this nasty Deutschtum, whatever Hitler thought it may mean. Thank god to France and UK who kindly helped Hitler to avoid this disaster.

    • Replies: @RobinG
  27. Carlo says:

    Exactly. The Soviet Army was completely unprepared for any kind of big war. The 1939 Winter War against Finland is the proof, as it had a lot of difficulties and suffered huge losses just to get a bit of territory around Leningrad, fighting against a country that had a tiny air force and no tanks. Imagine the result if the Soviet Army attacked Germany, which had thousands of tanks and aircraft.
    Also, in the late 1930’s Stalin started a great purge that killed thousands of officers, eliminating the most experienced and skilled ones. Many engineers working on important military projects were also arrested, which caused a delay in the development and introduction of more modern equipment. Who starts a purge in its military right before launching an invasion against an entire continent? Rezun’s thesis makes no sense at all.
    This in no way is not a defense of Stalin or the Bolsheviks, who were bloody and wanted to impose Communism over the entire world. Just a refutation of the thesis that Stalin was about to attack and invade Germany, and from there the entire European continent, in 1941.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
    , @Wokechoke
  28. Fox says:

    Suvorov’s thesis is by no means new, nor is it his own.
    I must also add something to your statement about “Stalin went literally in shock for weeks”.
    Perhaps if your big plan were thwarted at the threshold of implementing it you’d be quite shocked as well.
    I have also continuously asked myself why such people as Churchill, Truman and Eisenhower, to name a few prominent, leading wagers of relentless war, were preparing for and promoting an annihilation war with the SU after 1945. If the communist east was so harmless, well-intentioned and solely concerned about peace, internal development and the protection of its borders, why not live in harmony with such good neighbors after the realisation of the common goal of destroying the enemy they were joining hands in to eliminate?
    Whether Suvorov is right in everything he says is one question, another is what the purpose of nearly 5 million Red Army soldiers in a military build-up in attack formation at the western border of the SU might have been in summer of 1941.

    • Agree: Curmudgeon
  29. karel says:

    Where did you get this crappy map from? What does ”awarded” mean and who awarded what to whom? Strange that the word ”awarded” is missing in the case of Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia?

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  30. @gT

    McMeekin’s book uses archival sources to cast doubt on the exaggerated story that “Stalin went into shock for weeks or months.” Yes, he probably was somewhat shocked and dismayed that Hitler had pre-empted him and utterly destroyed his gigantic army as it sat there in attack formation at the border. But he didn’t exactly check himself into the depression ward at the local psychiatric hospital.

  31. Ron Unz says:

    For those interested in further discussion of this topic, we published a lengthy review of the McMeekin book by Laurent Guyénot a couple of months ago, that prompted a massive outpouring of comments, totaling over 270,000 words:

    My own contribution was about 5,000 words of comments, and I’m too busy to repeat them here, but I found McMeekin’s book absolutely excellent, and although for obvious reasons, he had to tread very carefully, he fully demonstrated the basic reality of the Suvorov Hypothesis more than three decades. after first publication. Here’s my own discussion of the material from a few years ago:

  32. Bullshit. Western billionaires hired Hitler to go after Stalin.

  33. RobinG says:

    Whew, good thing you clarified that this is sarcasm!

  34. JMcG says:

    I was very skeptical of Suvorov until he listed the number of airborne divisions that the Soviets had stood up. Airborne divisions have no place at all in an army structured for defense. The Soviets proved the point by converting them to Guards divisions after the German invasion.

  35. @Patrick McNally

    Exactly where is this plan to starve 30 million Slavs? Were the Ukrainians so thick they welcomed Germans as their liberators but didn’t understand they were on the hit list? Were the Slavs in Upper Silesia endangered when Hitler ceded it to Poland? Were the Slavs who were likely in the majority in West Prussia in danger when Hitler offered a plebiscite and transportation corridors to settle the territorial dispute and guarantee Poland’s borders for 25 years? The non-aggression pact with Poland worked well, until Pilsudski’s successor re-started the ethic cleansing of Germans and dismissed the advice to make peace with Germany. Mobilizing your army is not an indication you are interested in peace.
    Hitler made it abundantly clear several times publicly, after taking office, that ending the wars and weapons manufacturing would drain resources from rebuilding the country. Germany had already disarmed in accordance to its obligations under Versailles others had not even attempted to meet their obligations. The skulduggery during the recess of the Disarmament Conference in 1933 effectively killed the MacDonald Plan that had been unanimously adopted four months previously.
    When it comes to disagreements ending in conflict, both parties are at fault.

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  36. karel says:

    Based means nothing in particular. Who compiled it?

  37. Sparkon says:

    Exactly. The Soviet Army was completely unprepared for any kind of big war….Rezun’s thesis makes no sense at all.

    I agree completely. The Red Army had neither the equipment, training, organization, state of readiness nor leadership to conduct large scale offensive operations by mid-1941, most certainly not against the German Wehrmacht, which at that stage of the war maintained and enjoyed a high level of tactical superiority over all foes, making it the finest military force of the day, but unfortunately for Germany, not the strongest military force of the day.

    The Red Army formations massed along the western frontier, and photographed by 100s of Luftwaffe reconnaissance flights in the months before Barbarossa, were comprised almost entirely of nearly obsolete equipment like the T-26 light tank, which was by far the most numerous tank in the Red Army at the time, even as newer and much more powerful medium and heavy tanks were already rolling off the Soviet production lines in quantity.

    From engagements against the Japanese and the Finns, Stavka and some Red Army generals knew the T-26 was vulnerable to even relatively light weapons. It is doubtful those Red Army generals could have had much enthusiasm for launching an attack against Germany with the T-26 as the Red Army’s main battle tank.

    In any event, I doubt Stalin would have attacked Germany simply because that action would have branded the USSR as the aggressor, which would have had a number of negative outcomes for both Stalin and the USSR with respect to Lend Lease, Russian patriotism, and world opinion.

    The idea that Stalin went into shock for weeks is difficult to believe considering that the Soviet leader had been receiving numerous warnings about the impending German attack from all sides, both from foreign diplomats, and from his own PVO and VVS air force generals who recognized the numerous German reconnaissance flights over Soviet territory as sure signs of an impending attack.

    But Stalin waved it all off and didn’t want to hear about it, the Georgian Bolshevik apparently pursuing a strict policy of non-provocation, if not willful ignorance. It makes sense only if you recognize that Stalin and Roosevelt were reading from the same playbook, with both leaders turning a deaf ear to all the many warnings of an imminent attack. Stalin and Roosevelt employed the same cunning strategy of luring or provoking the chosen adversary to strike the first blow, making them the aggressor, and us the victims.

    Just as Stalin set out some tempting but largely obsolete bait for the Wehrmacht in his western frontier region, so too Roosevelt would set out some tempting but nearly obsolete battleship bait for the Imperial Japanese Navy at Pearl Harbor.

    There are so many benefits when the enemy attacks and you can play the victim, using the blood of fallen countrymen to rally patriotism, while demonizing the attacker with the most outrageous propaganda.

    And so it went.

    • Replies: @Carlo
    , @JMcG
    , @Ron Unz
  38. Wokechoke says:
    @Patrick McNally

    Otoh, Communists like Kaganovich and Trotsky wanted to flatten places like Germany, exterminate the middle classes there build their own Empire centered in (((Moscow))) running Europe under (((commissars)))

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  39. Carlo says:

    Totally agree. The VVS (Soviet Air Force) was also by far the biggest in numbers, but mostly comprised by obsolete 1930’s fighters as the I-16, and even biplanes like the I-153. The most modern fighters, like MiG-3, Yak-1 and LaGG-3, were available in low numbers and were also inferior to German fighters like the Bf-109E and F, or the FW-190.
    If I remember correctly Stalin did have a period of depression, but not at the start of the war, but some weeks or a few months later when he saw that he could not stop the Germans easily, and there was a serious possibility that even Moscow would fall. If if he bait the Germans to attack he did not expect they would advance so fast and so deep into Soviet territory, capturing big cities like Minsk and Kiev in a matter of weeks.

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
    , @Wokechoke
  40. Wokechoke says:

    The main trouble with the Soviet gear once fighting began was the shit ergonomics and that they lacked two way radios. While they had a better tank design than the Germans by the metrics of speed armour and gun size the Germans had weaker tanks with well spaced upholstered interiors with individual escape hatches and two way radios and internal intercoms. I’m not sure that lack of a good radio and intercom which tipped the balance until well into 1942 was a sign that the Soviets didn’t intend to ambush the Germans. The Russians were using 30,000 tanks in summer 1941. Germany had ~3,000 machines. The newer Soviet T34 were a month away from deployment and the Russians had 300 KV1 with better guns and armour than the Germans in the field at the start. Soviet tanks with vastly superior guns, armour and speed to the PzKw 3,4! It’s pretty clear the Soviets didn’t think about communication gear. That’s why they got crushed.

    The Soviets were going to attack. Sure of it. They had badly designed signals gear and little of it.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  41. Wokechoke says:

    AirPower in the east wasn’t as important in the fall of France. Real problem was the lack of communication gear for the Russians to coordinate their numerical superiority. They just didn’t see it as important if they were going to drive 50,000 tanks at Berlin.

  42. Wokechoke says:

    The Soviets ended up crushing Finland. They annexed the Baltic’s and Eastern Poland effortlessly and stole Bessarabia off Romania. They squished Japan in Kalkin Gol. What are you talking about?

    • Replies: @Carlo
    , @Patrick McNally
  43. JMcG says:

    The Soviets had occupied eastern Poland two weeks after Germany invaded from the west. They then went on to invade Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. And Rumania. And Bessarabia. They didn’t seem too worried about western opinion, now did they?

  44. Ron Unz says:

    The Red Army formations massed along the western frontier, and photographed by 100s of Luftwaffe reconnaissance flights in the months before Barbarossa, were comprised almost entirely of nearly obsolete equipment

    I think you’re just repeating worn-out pro-Soviet propaganda. It’s absolutely true that large numbers of the Soviet tanks were “obsolescent” by later standards. But as Suvorov points out, that was equally true of most of the German tanks on the other side, while the Soviets also deployed substantial numbers of tanks that were far superior to any of the German ones. So at the very least, the average quality of the tanks in the two opposing armies was entirely comparable, while the Soviet tanks outnumbered the German ones many times over.

    Any objective observer looking at the two opposing forces arrayed on the border, including tanks, aircraft, artillery, and numbers, would have regarded the Soviet forces as far, far superior in offensive capability, and deploying into exactly that sort of strategic formation. If the Germans hadn’t been very lucky in attacking at just the right moment, they probably would have been crushed when the Soviets ultimately attacked.

    You really should read the actual Suvorov book if you haven’t already done so.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  45. @Curmudgeon

    It was in the “Economic Policy Guidelines for Economic Organization East, Agriculture Group” of May 23, 1941, that the policy was spelled out of using hunger to reduce the population in the conquered regions of Russia back to a pre-WWI level with a consequent drop of about 30 million. Herbert Backe was the specific architect of the plan, though everything formulated here was done in line with the racial theories of the NSDAP. Of course this mainly relates to the regions of the USSR. With regards to Poland Hitler had already given the order of October 2, 1940:

    “It must absolutely be taken into account that there must be no ‘Polish masters,’ where such masters do exist, they should, as harsh as it may sound, be killed… hence all representatives of the Polish intelligentsia are to be killed…”

    But of course what started the original crisis in 1939 was Hitler’s seizure of Czechoslovakia in violation of the Munich Agreement. This is what Hitler-apologists always paper over. The Polish government had been quite sympathetic to Hitler up until March 15, 1939, when he moved across Czechoslovakia. At that point the Poles and Hungarians took their own slabs of territory off of Czechoslovakia as well, but from there on there could never be any agreement over Danzig and the Polish government immediately began tightening up around Danzig.

    If Hitler had left the remains of Czechoslovakia alone then Chamberlain would have gladly supported his claims to a Danzig Corridor and the Poles would have relented after some squirming. But Hitler showed on March 15 that he only had used the Munich Agreement cynically to be able to occupy and Czechoslovakia after his defenses had been taken down. The Poles were entirely justified in refusing to trust him with a similar deal over Danzig.

    It’s true enough that in the Polish Ukraine (which was annexed by the USSR in September 1939 as part of the Hitler-Stalin Pact) there were Ukrainian nationalist groups who joined forces with Hitler. But the majority of east Ukrainians (east Ukraine is the region that was part of the USSR before September 1939) fought with either the Soviet army or with insurgent forces. A misrepresentation spread by West Ukrainian propaganda over the last few decades has been that Hitler was welcomed in the pre-1939 Soviet Ukraine. I think that he could have been welcomed if he had had a very different attitude towards Slavs, but it didn’t work out that way.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
    , @Fox
    , @Fox
  46. @Wokechoke

    Nonsense. Trotsky can be criticized for having had an overly eulogistic view of the German working class, but he never contemplated any notion that an empire from Moscow should rule over them. Trotsky’s grand hope was that the revolution in Russia would trigger off the German proletarian revolution which would then quickly surpass Russia. It was expected that the really developed proletarian classes of Germany would be able to do what backward Russia could only stumble around attempting.

    That raises some bizarre speculations. In the interviews which Molotov gave towards the end of his life he charges that Trotsky had begun suggesting that the Bolsheviks may as well give up power in Russia because they had failed to trigger the true proletarian revolutions in the advanced industrial world. I wouldn’t trust much in any specific assertions made by Molotov decades after the fact, but it’s an intriguing question of what exactly did Trotsky really argue for. Maybe further releases from the archives will shed some light on this (though right now Putin seems to have tightened things up once more).

  47. @Wokechoke

    “30,000 tanks”

    More nonsense. The USSR had totally nationwide 23,106 tanks on June 1, 1941. Out of these 12,782 were on the Western Defense Districts, with 2,242 of these being listed as in need of repairs. So 10,540 operating tanks in the west and combat-ready. A significant force, yes. But well short of 30,000. That hoax number of 30,000 seems to come out of some of the ramblings which Hitler did with Mannerheim well after it had become obvious that the USSR was not going to fall so easily. In that meeting with Mannerheim Hitler went so far as to claim that the Germans had already destroyed 34,000 Soviet tanks, which is a pure fabrication done just to put a better gloss of the failings of Barbarossa.

  48. Carlo says:

    The Soviets lost more than 100,000 soldiers just to push the Finnish border further from Leningrad. The Polish army could not withstand a two-front war against both Germany and the USSR, and had already suffered heavy losses against the first when the second attacked. And the Baltic countries are tiny, with negligible armies.
    Khalkin Gol was a different story, this short and limited war happened before Stalin began with the purges, so the Soviet army was in better shape. Also, the USSR here was acting defensively, as the Japanese were the ones who attacked Mongolia through their puppet country in Manchuria.

    • Replies: @Begemot
    , @Patrick McNally
  49. @Wokechoke

    Even McMeekin is honest enough to note that the Soviets signed their peace with Finland in a hurry because the Allies were preparing to aid Finland as well as to strike in Baku. Hitler’s move against France put an end to all of that. But if he had sat more patiently then the Allies almost certainly would have gotten embroiled in conflicts with the Soviets in these regions of Finland. As McMeekin also notes (although the original research was done by Patrick Osborn) these concerns about the Allies attempting Operation Pike were a trigger for Katyn. The Allies had hoped that Polish POWs would be able to strike out from behind the Soviet lines as the attack on Baku proceeded and so Beria decided to quickly wipe out any Poles who showed an inkling to do such.

  50. @Patrick McNally

    After the shooting starts, all of the previous stuff goes out the door. If a Slav or Greek is shooting at you, all Slavs or Greeks will be the enemy. It isn’t unique to Germany in 1941.
    Poland had laid claim to Tesin, and had invaded before Germany entered the Sudetenland. Hungary invaded Ruthenia in 1938. Stalin was working with Benes (who, as was uncovered, funding Churchill) to create ethnic tension in Czechoslovakia. All of that occurred before Hitler entered Czechoslovakia which led to the Munich Agreement. Other German (and Italian) involvement over disputes were at the request of the parties, not actions unilaterally taken by Germany, and had nothing to do with the Munich Agreement. It should be noted that during WWI, the British Foreign Office was already examining what to do with Bohemia and other areas that made up what became Czechoslovakia.
    You don’t seem to understand that Danzig, under a League of Nations mandate, which Poland did not recognize, had voted to re-unify with Germany, but was invaded by Poland. There was no issue of “trust” about Danzig, Poland claimed it as Poland, even though it was 97% German. It was Rydz-Śmigły ignoring Pilsudski’s advice that led to the problem, which included ramped up ethnic cleansing started when he took office.
    Here are pre-War contemporary opinions of people who actually observed:

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  51. Begemot says:

    Tukhashevsky was purged in 1937, thus beginning the purge of the military. Kahlkin Gol was fought during the summer of 1939. Thus Khalkin Gol occurred after the military purge.

  52. Sparkon says:
    @Ron Unz

    the Soviets also deployed substantial numbers of tanks that were far superior to any of the German ones.

    Not really. Out of its total of about 23,000 tanks by June 1941, the Red Army had taken delivery of only about 1,500 T-34s and 500 KVs. Although it was the world’s largest tank force, the remainder of the Soviet tank park in mid-1941 was comprised of light tanks that were largely obsolete, including about 8,500 T-26s, the bulk of which were destroyed in 1941.

    For all of its many virtues, the original Soviet T-34 was plagued by its own set of design flaws and shortcomings that limited its effectiveness primarily due to poor situational awareness of the overworked tank commander struggling with limited outward vision in the cramped two-man turret of the new medium tank.

    The single hatch was retained for ease of production, but it was heavy and easily jammed, trapping everybody inside. In fact, it was hated by the crews (who suffered due to the poor comfort and poor ergonomics) … The turret lacked sufficient protection for the commander, with no special-purpose hatch or traversable periscope.

    The single heavy, forward opening hatch had a single vision slit. Moreover, the commander was also responsible for aiming and firing the gun, due to the four men crew. This was not corrected until the introduction of the three-man turret with the T-34/85…

    You can’t shoot at your enemy if you don’t know where he is, nor can you attack with an army that’s not ready. Obviously, the Wehrmacht was ready to attack by June 22, 1941, while the Red Army was not, or at least, did not. I prefer to stick with what is known as historical fact and generally dismiss the kind of fanciful and impracticable speculation written by Mr. Rezun. And I’m not alone.

    Among the noted critics of Suvorov’s work are the Israeli historian Gabriel Gorodetsky; the American military historian David Glantz; and the Russian military historians Makhmut Gareev, Lev Bezymensky, and Dmitri Volkogonov and Alexei Isayev. Many other western scholars, such as Teddy J. Uldricks, Derek Watson, Hugh Ragsdale, Roger Reese, Stephen Blank, and Robin Edmonds, and Ingmar Oldberg agree that the Suvorov’s major weakness is “that the author does not reveal his sources” and rely [sic] on circumstantial evidence. The historian Cynthia A. Roberts is even more categorical and claims that Suvorov’s writings have “virtually no evidentiary base”

    Many Red Army divisions received basic paratrooper training throughout the course of WWII and were designated as airborne divisions and/or corps, but almost all of those units were eventually re-designated as Guards infantry divisions. All battle-ready military formations must be prepared and capable of conducting both offensive and defensive operations at a moment’s notice as the situation dictates, even paratroopers, despite what Rezun claims.

    In the event, it was the Germans who attacked, not the Soviets, and all the “what if?” scenarios remain entirely in the realm of conjecture, while the German plan of attack was initially drawn up in the summer of 1940, and German reconnaissance flights over Soviet territory began shortly thereafter. Hitler signed the attack plan in December 1940.

    Everybody but Stalin seemed to know that the Germans were preparing to attack the Soviet Union, while Stalin pretended to not notice. Nevertheless, for reasons that remains obscure, in April 1941, the Soviets invited a high-level delegation of German industrialists to tour Soviet aviation factories near Moscow and in the Urals. The Germans were rather astonished to learn that a single Soviet aircraft engine plant near Moscow was six times larger than the six largest comparable German factories combined!

    Was Stalin trying to warn off Hitler by displaying some of the USSR’s industrial muscle?

    Whatever the case, when the German industrialists got back home and reported what they’d seen, Göring flew into a rage saying they’d been duped by Soviet propaganda, while Hitler said it just proved that Germany needed to attack immediately before the Soviets got any stronger.

    Stalin was no more surprised by the German attack on June 22, 1941 than Roosevelt was by the Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  53. Fox says:
    @Patrick McNally

    I am not familiar with the existence of an order by Hitler regarding Poland, issued on Oct. 2, 1940.

    Details of where to find it, please.

    Likewise, where would I find the Economic Policy Guidelines from Herbert Backe of May 23, 1941 (in German and as an authentic original)?

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  54. Fox says:
    @Patrick McNally

    You appear to not be familiar how the crisis in rump Czecho-Slovakia developed, nor of the events and results of it. Since you are otherwise aiming to impress by detail-orientatedness to an extreme, I find this quite strange.
    The Polish government was turning away from a desire to come to an agreement with Germany already by the end of 1938, hence, to smuggle in March 15 of 1939, the day of the establishment of the Protectorate, is like putting the cart before the horse.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  55. Ron Unz says:

    The fact that you’re citing David Glantz via Wikipedia leads me to suspect that you haven’t actually bothered reading either his book, nor any of the other actual works mentioned, given that almost none of them are in English. I certainly doubt you’ve read Suvorov’s own book, and perhaps not even my article. Here’s what I said:

    Controversial theories, even if backed by seemingly strong evidence, can hardly be properly evaluated until they have been weighed against the counter-arguments of their strongest critics, and this should certainly be the case with the Suvorov Hypothesis. But although the last three decades have seen the development of a large secondary literature, much of it sharply critical, nearly all this international debate has taken place in Russian, German, or Hebrew, languages that I do not read.

    There are some exceptions. Several years ago, I came across a website debate on the topic, and one strong critic claimed that Suvorov’s theories had been totally debunked by American military historian David M. Glantz in Stumbling Colossus, published in 1998. But when I ordered and read the book I was sorely disappointed. Although purporting to refute Suvorov, the author seemed to ignore almost all of his central arguments, and merely provided a rather dull and pedantic recapitulation of the standard narrative I had previously seen hundreds of times, laced with a few rhetorical excesses denouncing the unique vileness of the Nazi regime. Most ironically, Glantz emphasizes that although Suvorov’s analysis of the titanic Russo-German military struggle had gained great attention and considerable support among both Russian and German scholars, it had been generally ignored in the Anglo-American world, and he almost seems to imply that it could probably be disregarded for that reason. Perhaps this attitude reflected the cultural arrogance of many American intellectual elites during Russia’s disastrous Yeltsin Era of the late 1990s.

    Not really. Out of its total of about 23,000 tanks by June 1941, the Red Army had taken delivery of only about 1,500 T-34s and 500 KVs.

    Statements like this are why it’s impossible to take you or many other critics of Suvorov seriously. You are absolutely correct that the Soviets “only” had about 2,000 T-34s and KVs, which were far, far superior to any of the German tanks at the time. But the total number of German tanks in the attack was only something like 3,500. And the remaining 20,000+ Soviet tanks were pretty comparable to the German ones. So by any objective military standard, the Soviet armored force was many, many times more powerful than the German one.

    Until you’ve actually bothered reading the books and articles in question (instead of citing Wikipedia and such), I just don’t see any point in debating the issue.

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  56. ‘…the notion of Hitler the iconic cartoon villain and central figure of the war?

    While Hitler as villain would be an oversimplification, and it can be demonstrated that Russia was becoming increasingly aggressive and intransigent in the run-up to Barbarossa, that doesn’t mean going to the other extreme is justified.

    Hitler was the central figure of the war. It was he who violated his own agreement to annex Bohemia and Moravia, who invaded Poland, who invaded Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Holland, Belgium, France, Yugoslavia, Greece, and finally the Soviet Union. One could argue some of these attacks were justified; it would be absurd to claim they didn’t happen.

    Conceivably, there would have been a World War Two without Hitler; but absent him, it almost certainly wouldn’t have taken the course it did.

    • Replies: @Fox
  57. @Ron Unz

    ‘…You are absolutely correct that the Soviets “only” had about 2,000 T-34s and KVs, which were far, far superior to any of the German tanks at the time. But the total number of German tanks in the attack was only something like 3,500. And the remaining 20,000+ Soviet tanks were pretty comparable to the German ones…’

    Practically speaking, no, they weren’t comparable. While a T-26, for example, might be superficially comparable to a Pz-38 or Pz III, the differences become more apparent upon inspection.

    The T-26, like as not, won’t even start. If it will start, it’ll probably break down within a hundred miles. If it does break down, there’ll be no equipment to repair it. If it gets into action, it may well go into combat literally without ammunition. There are no tank radios. The crews are probably untrained. Etc. See Glantz’s Stumbling Colossus. Stalin’s command economy had assembled a vast park of equipment and innumerable millions of frightened recruits. It had not built a functioning army.

    ‘…by any objective military standard, the Soviet armored force was many, many times more powerful than the German one…’

    No…by the only military standard that matters — what happens in combat — the German armored force was many, many times more powerful than the Russian one. It doesn’t matter how many tons of steel and gun barrels the Russians had heaped up. That’s not the only — or even the most important — factor in determining who wins a battle. Witness what happened.

  58. @ruralguy

    ‘Ideally, a court of law, with its rigorous rules for evidence, would establish the cause of WW2. ‘

    This makes the breathtaking assumption that there was a single cause. Maybe there were multiple causes, and their interaction determined the particular shape and course the war took. For example, absent Hitler and Nazism, Germany might well have undertaken to unilaterally revise Versailles. Whether events would have unfolded precisely as they did is another matter.

    Hitler attacks Poland in 1939. Fine. But absent Hitler, wouldn’t Germany in any case eventually have tried to recover the Corridor and the areas of heavy German population in Poland? Maybe not in 1939, and maybe not via a military campaign aimed at completely destroying the Polish state, but perhaps in some way, at some point?

    So for Germany’s invasion of Poland, do we blame Hitler, Germany, the Treaty of Versailles, Polish chauvinism and intransigence, Britain, France, and Russia, or all of them? Aren’t they all causes?

    History could always take a different course than the one it did. But it’s always going to take a course. Shit is going to happen.

  59. Fox says:
    @Colin Wright

    Note that the remaining Czeck became the Protectorate; it was not annexed. This was with the assent of the Czech government. That the Czechs were not happy about this outcome goes without saying, but it was the result of the falling apart of Czecho-Slovakia due to the Slovak secession, and the desire of the Hungarian, Ruthenia and Polish remaining internal dissent of this country, created without assent of its constituent peoples and for the intent of maintaining a permanent menace in the midst of the German lands by the idiot crowd at Versailles. The Czechs were abandoned by England and France and saw as the only possibility for a future an accommodation with their neighbor, with whom they had lived in close connection 980 out of for one thousand years.
    It is embarrassing to read the rehash of war propaganda stemming from the First and the Second World War. It is not even tried to keep facts straight. The Czechs were not ‘annexed’, rather
    were left alone to pursue their own national and ethnic course, they were however, not in the anti-German league anymore and had neither a military to speak of nor a foreign ministry. (Isn’t that how the US is administering its protectorates?). As a result of this status, the Czech area was practically untouched by the war and survived the inferno untouched, only to top it off by ethnically cleansing and annexing the German areas it had been handed to by the people in the Allied countries who were incapable of thinking. The Munich Agreement is, by the way, still valid and constitutes the only truly beneficial international agreement that was ever signed by the “Democracies”.

    You also laugh off the serious and threatening behavior of the SU prior to the Russian-German war. In your view it is a laughing matter that the SU attacked Finland, occupied Eastern Poland, the Baltic countries, the Bukovina and Bessarbia, sponsored the anti-German coup in Yugoslavia, made arrangements with England, put its sights on the Dardanelles and Bulgaria, and started concentrating troupes along the line of demarcation between the German and Soviet influence already in summer of 1940 up to nearly five million in June of 1941.

    • Agree: JMcG
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  60. @Curmudgeon

    The Munich Agreement was a perfectly justifiable thing in itself, but it was not what Hitler wanted just as Hitler did not want Danzig. Hitler’s aims since the early 1920s were the conquest of living space from the Slavic territories in eastern Europe, Russia especially but also surrounding regions. When demanding in 1938 that Czechoslovakia be turned over to German control in totality Hitler was seeking to gain the acceptance by Britain and France of his eventual entitlement to all of eastern Europe. He specifically demanded that all of Czechoslovakia be turned over to Germany because he wanted it made clear that Germany’s claims went well beyond German-inhabited regions such as the Sudetenland 0r Danzig.

    While Chamberlain had acquiesced to the occupation of Austria earlier that year (since Austria really was a totally Germanic land) he put his foot down hard at Munich and made it clear that Britain would only accept German claims on the Sudetenland with its recognized Germanic background. Hitler was furious over this because he saw that Chamberlain was trying to bind him with commitments that would rule out the eventual pursuit of living space in the east which he had pronounced as the main aim in Mein Kampf. But opinion surveys by the Gestapo showed that Germans were not ready to accept a war under conditions where Hitler rejected Chamberlain’s offer of the Sudetenland. So Hitler grudgingly agreed to it and bided his time.

    Of course Benes was looking around for allies such as Churchill or Stalin or whoever else. For anyone who was awake it was obvious that Hitler was not planning to settle for the Sudetenland which he given by Munich. But none of Benes’s seeking for allies played any role in what followed. When Hitler saw the opportunity he decided to move across the remains of Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939. None of this was motivated by a desire to Germanic populations into the Reich. It was simply an assertion of Germany’s dominance over eastern Europe in preparation for the drive for living space.

    And that was what the context for the later confrontation over Danzig. Hitler’s own conference of May 23 stated clearly that Danzig was not the issue:

    “It is not Danzig that is at stake. For us it is a matter of expanding our living space in the East and making food supplies secure ..”

    While no one in Poland would have known the details of what Hitler was saying in secret conference, the occupation of Czechoslovakia had already made the issue clear. If Poland had relented over Danzig in March 1939 then likely by September Hitler would have come streaming across the rest of the country without even needing a pact with Stalin. That was exactly how Hitler had done it with Czechoslovakia between September 29, 1938, and March 15, 1939. By that point it was effectively irrelevant that, sure, the League of Nations should have given Danzig to Germany in the early 1920s. The issue had been carried well beyond this when Germany occupied Czechoslovakia.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
    , @Curmudgeon
    , @Fox
  61. @Fox

    For the Backe stuff one look in Volume 36 of the IMT series Trial of the Major War Criminals with Document 126-EC which starts at p. 135. The records of Hitler’s conferences are in the Max Domarus series where Volume 3 covers 1939-40. The dates are given at the top of each page throughout the whole volume so one can look for any particular date that way.

    • Replies: @Fox
  62. @Fox

    There had been German-Polish tensions going off and on since the early 1920s, but it was the occupation of Czechoslovakia which made it impossible for Chamberlain to try to persuade the Poles. Although there certainly were tensions over Danzig before March 15, but there is also much evidence of pro-German sympathies within the Polish government before that time. One figure who expressed a lot of wariness over getting drawn into conflict with Germany was Jerzy Potocki, who acted as ambassador to the US from 1936 to 1940. Potocki expressed a great deal of wariness over Jewish influence in the Roosevelt administration and a search for war.

    Now if Hitler had abstained from occupying Czechoslovakia and just expressed his contentment with the Germanic Sudetenland, then Neville Chamberlain would gladly have helped at urging the Poles to work something out over Danzig. If Roosevelt had tried to interfere with this then people like Potocki would have warned that Poland was at risk of falling into a war for someone else’s agenda. There probably would have been some more back and forth but things could very likely have ended with another Munich made over Danzig in place of Sudetenland.

    Once Czechoslovakia had been occupied and partitioned out there was no going back on this. The Poles were certainly not innocent parties in all of this since they gladly took their own slice of Czechoslovakia (as did Hungary). But there could be no repeat of Munich after March 15.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  63. @Fox

    I have to disagree. You manage to convey an image of the Czechs willingly acceding to annexation by Germany, but then note…

    ‘…the Czech area was practically untouched by the war and survived the inferno untouched, only to top it off by ethnically cleansing and annexing the German areas it had been handed to…’

    Indeed. They fell on the ethnic Germans and practically tore them limb from limb. Whatever the rights and wrongs of that, it hardly suggests they were understanding when it came to having been stripped of their independence.

    ‘…You also laugh off the serious and threatening behavior of the SU prior to the Russian-German war. In your view it is a laughing matter that the SU attacked Finland, occupied Eastern Poland, the Baltic countries, the Bukovina and Bessarbia, sponsored the anti-German coup in Yugoslavia…’

    I didn’t say anything that remotely resembles this.

    In my view, you’re committing a very common error. History always has to be a morality play.

    You reject the conventional version: Hitler bad, Allies good. Fine. However, it does not follow that therefore, it must be Hitler good, Allies bad. Maybe neither one was particularly in the right; it’s even possible history isn’t a morality play at all. It’s simply what happened, with various players actuated by various complexes of motives resulting in chains of events that weren’t necessarily what anyone had in mind.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
    , @Fox
  64. @Patrick McNally

    ‘…Now if Hitler had abstained from occupying Czechoslovakia and just expressed his contentment with the Germanic Sudetenland, then Neville Chamberlain would gladly have helped at urging the Poles to work something out over Danzig…’

    I’m skeptical. As a result of the their victory in the Russo-Polish War, the Poles had an inflated idea of their military prowess. They were also grossly chauvinistic and made absolutely no effort to reconcile any of their minorities — including the German minority — to inclusion within the Polish state. In fact, although German propaganda exaggerated the extent of the oppression, they pretty much made life impossible for the Germans within the lands assigned to Poland by Versailles.

    I can’t see Poland being accommodating. This isn’t to say that they should have been, or that therefore Germany was right to attack. However, it is to reject your hypothesis that absent the seizure of Bohemia and Moravia, a peaceful resolution would have been reached.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  65. @Patrick McNally

    ‘…Hitler was furious over this because he saw that Chamberlain was trying to bind him with commitments that would rule out the eventual pursuit of living space in the east which he had pronounced as the main aim in Mein Kampf. But opinion surveys by the Gestapo showed that Germans were not ready to accept a war under conditions where Hitler rejected Chamberlain’s offer of the Sudetenland. So Hitler grudgingly agreed to it and bided his time…’

    This is interesting — particularly the opinion surveys and their relationship to Hitler’s response. Do you have a source for further reading?

    Hitler — his motives, his goals, and his mental processes — is a fascinating but obscure subject. That everyone is determined to either vilify him or deify him doesn’t help. About all that’s clear is that he definitely marched to his own drummer. He neither thought nor reasoned as other people did. At some point, he’d evolved his own outlook on reality. Kubizek’s The Young Hitler I Knew contains some excellent examples.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  66. @Carlo

    While there are undoubtedly are many exaggerations of Soviet military capacity pushed by Rezun, it also is worthwhile to honestly consider the unfolding scenario while making allowances for the Soviet military performing in an optimal way. The first consequence of Stalin playing out the Rezun-script would be a Japanese declaration of war on the USSR. The Axis alliance required that such an attack on one of its members be responded to by all. More than that, anyone who looks at the early formation of the Axis knows that Japan was originally more interested in a drive against the USSR than in Pearl Harbor. Hitler had already identified Russia as his target of expansion of living space and had no desire to share any part of it. Instead Hitler tried to encourage Japan into confrontations with the UK and US under the assumption that this could act as a distraction from his own bid for expansion.

    But if Stalin had simply struck west before Barbarossa was launched then Japan would quite certainly have immediately mobilized to strike at the USSR. This would mean no Pearl Harbor. But now someone is likely to mention the US sanctions on Japan. It’s not even clear that Roosevelt would have been able to maintain those sanctions in these circumstances. People like McMeekin gladly quote Truman’s comment about how the US should support whichever side seems to be losing. Well in the summer of 1941 that appeared to be the UK and USSR. However if Stalin had done as Rezun claims then the situation would have looked very different. In such a case one could expect a vast rise in isolationist sentiment which would have made it difficult for Roosevelt to sell the public on sanctions against Japan.

    At this point one has to decide how much of Rezun’s script one wants to buy. Some people allow for the possibility of Stalin striking in July 1941 but maintain that the Red Army would have gotten bogged down without advancing too far. If this scenario is made then one can very well imagine Churchill greeting Stalin as an ally against Hitler. Roosevelt would have a hard time persuading the US public that they should want to join the war on either side. But at least in this case the war might have developed as a Churchill-Stalin alliance. But Rezun goes much further in his claims and actually tries to argue that Stalin was on the verge of Sovietizing the whole continent of Europe with his forces occupying perhaps every region from Norway to Portugal to Italy. That crazy scenario has quite different implications.

    The record shows that Churchill began advocating a war against the USSR among his own officers as early as the beginning of 1945. Churchill went on urging Truman through 1948 that he should use the atomic bomb on the USSR now before a Soviet bomb was developed. Of course McMeekin himself mentions Operation Pike which was a plan for an attack on the USSR by the Allies that was made in 1940. But in the post-WWII era Churchill played all of this on the down low. That was because the appearance of such a great victory in WWII imposed constraints on Churchill. If he had arbitrarily started advocating in public for renewed war it would have ruined his reputation unless he first had a solid block of important people won over to his view.

    This would not apply if we assume the Rezun-script in force. Under these circumstances Churchill’s entire reputation would come to hinge on positioning himself as the man who had rallied the West to fight Joseph Stalin. There should be no question that from the moment this happened Churchill would promptly have begun exploring the possibility of alliance with Japan. There’s barely an outside chance that the tensions between Britain and Japan which existed in early 1941 might have prevented any formal alliance for appearing between Churchill and Tojo. But a de facto alliance would certainly have taken shape very quickly.

    That brings one to the question of what would FDR have done. Many people of the Right frequently exaggerate the levels of Soviet influence on Roosevelt. A better study of this was done by Frank Costigliola in Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances. Roosevelt was clearly ready to achieve what he hoped a stabilization of power blocs by recognizing a Soviet domain of influence in eastern Europe. But nothing about Roosevelt’s performance suggests that he would ever have acquiesced to what Rezun asserts. Quite the opposite.

    In his declaration of war on the US Hitler made the charge that Roosevelt was looking to a war to reinforce his authority in the domestic US economy. There’s a good bit of truth to that. Robert Taft and other such conservatives had placed limits on how far the New Deal could go. In 1937 the recession started coming back again and Roosevelt’s own conservative critics who had tried keep the New Deal from working labeled this as a “Roosevelt recession” even though it could be better blamed on Taft. Roosevelt was certainly looking for a way out of this, and a war was an obvious solution.

    Now it happens that Roosevelt calculated that Hitler offered him his best option of finding such a war. But if Stalin had done as Rezun claims then this would obviously not be possible. Roosevelt would have to find a better war somewhere. The public certainly wouldn’t have much interest in a war against Japan under these circumstances. Instead we know that Churchill would have been campaigning up and down the whole region of Western civilization for a drive against Stalin. It is also safe to assume that Churchill would have been given a very friendly by people like Harry Truman, Charles Lindbergh, Herbert Hoover and quite a few others.

    In these circumstances it’s easy to forecast how things would have gone. After patiently allowing Churchill to prep the public opinion Roosevelt would have played out almost exactly the same act which he did after Pearl Harbor. He would present himself as shocked at the action of an aggressor, he would rehash how he had always sought to keep the US out of war, and then he would have asked Congress for a declaration of war on Stalin. With Stalin presumably having occupied all of Europe the development of the atomic bomb would have quickly become significant as part of the war effort. The war might even have gone on into early 1946. But once the a-bomb had been developed this would decided everything else.

    People who ignore this as the obvious outcome while citing Rezun have simply not bothered to think things through to the end. Stalin, however, was exactly the type of person who would have thought this through far in advance. Stalin was also very much aware of the efforts to build an a-bomb from the early stages. This much alone allows us to reject the Rezun-script as pure fantasy. Even if Stalin had attempted his own preemptive strike against Hitler as Zhukov urged him to do on May 15, 1941, he still would have sought rather to meet Churchill halfway in Europe and accomplish something like what eventually did occur at a cheaper cost. But even in these circumstances Churchill would have been much more forward about demanding that Stalin get out of Poland, as he wanted to do in 1945 when he proposed Operation Unthinkable to his staff.

  67. @Colin Wright

    While there isn’t much point in trying to argue that such a solution would have been reached for sure, it does seem clear that Chamberlain’s attitude would have been very different in such changed circumstances. It was British support for Poland which dictated that any conflict between Germany and Poland would have bigger consequences. That choice of the British to support Poland was most certainly triggered by the occupation of Czechoslovakia. Also, if a Polish-German war really had occurred under circumstances where Hitler had simply accepted the Sudetenland and gone no further there then public opinion in the US would have taken a different turn.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  68. @Patrick McNally

    I never said the Munich Agreement wasn’t justifiable, and I conceded that the goal was self sufficiency in food. The point of my links was to demonstrate that contemporaries were already blowing holes in the “Mein Kampf” is the blueprint narrative, because the actions were different than the “blueprint”. By the way, the US had several plans to invade Canada, during the 1920s and 1930s. It’s what the military does. Whether they are ever carried out is an entirely different matter. The Soviet/Polish partition of Belarus was okay. The Lithuanian invasion of Memel, under League of Nations mandate was okay. Poland forcing Lithuania to capitulate was okay. Poland’s invasion of Czechoslovakia was okay. Hungary’s invasion of Ruthenia was OK. Hitler seeking to stop the ethnic cleansing in the Sudetenland and East Prussia was not okay. The “poor innocent” Poland and Czechoslovakia narrative is wearing thin. Had they not been mistreating ethnic Germans the entire matter would have had less urgency.
    The point of the Treaty of Versailles was to crush German industry, which was kicking the crap out of the UK and France in foreign markets, with better products at lower prices. Edward VII wrote to Foreign Minister Gray in 1914 to “find an excuse for war”. for that reason. The NS programme was a direct threat to Britain and France, neither of which had met their disarmament obligations under Versailles. It didn’t matter what Hitler did, there was going to be a resumption of war, which was declared by “Judea” six weeks after Hitler was appointed Chancellor in charge of a minority government.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  69. @Colin Wright

    Having gone back to the citations of such and such I would say that a primary source here would probably be the 17 volumes (and apparently Volume 2 specifically) of Meldungen aus dem Reich, 1938-1945: Die geheimen Lageberichte des Sicherheitsdienstes der SS, put together by Heinz Boberach. I myself was drawing from the 2nd hand citation of Boberach which Richard Evans gives in The Third Reich in Power:

    Even the SS Security Service admitted that there was a ‘war psychosis’ among the population that had lasted until the Munich Agreement had been signed. ‘With reference to the superiority of the opponent, a defeatism emerged, that escalated into the strongest criticism of the “adventurous policy of the Reich”.’
    — P. 674.

    Evans then references the Boberach volume at the end of the paragraph.

    Of course even public events showed the problem as Domarus describes:

    The match down Wilhelmstrasse was to offer proof of the enthusiasm for war among the German population… At 4:00 p.m., only a very small crowd gathered in front of the Chancellery… They stood in silence… Even Berndt, the deputy of the Reich Press Chief, had to concede: “The people in the street raise their arms in greeting, but they are silent and grave. What is going through their minds?”
    Max Domarus, Hitler: Speeches and Proclamations, Volume 2, p. 1201.

    Domarus then gives a citation to Alfred Ingemar Berndt, Der Marsch in Grossdeutsche Reich, Meilensteine des Dritten Reich.

    • Thanks: Colin Wright
  70. Hillbob says:

    Thanks…I made many of those points last year or earlier on this forum , though not as eloquent as you did here.
    I dunno how people are so so stupid . Regurgitating the same baseless nonsense. I am tired of it.
    No one can take away the glory and sacrifice of the Red Army in WW2. I guess no reason or rationale or actual proceedings bf and during the war can can change some demented minds enamoured with the Nazis and their fucked up beloved Fuhrer

    • Replies: @JMcG
  71. @Patrick McNally

    ‘…That choice of the British to support Poland was most certainly triggered by the occupation of Czechoslovakia. Also, if a Polish-German war really had occurred under circumstances where Hitler had simply accepted the Sudetenland and gone no further there then public opinion in the US would have taken a different turn.’

    One wonders. While absent Prague, one can certainly see Britain and France not pledging to go to war in the event Hitler invades Poland, it’s questionable if they would have then stood by as Hitler and Stalin attacked. Wouldn’t they have declared war in any case?

    Hitler makes his demands — Poland is intransigent regardless — Hitler invades — Britain and France demand he withdraw or at least stop his advance — he doesn’t — Britain and France declare war.

    I’ll grant this sequence of events can’t be guaranteed, but it’s what seems most plausible to me. Two points stand out. First, Poland is Poland — they’re not going to yield. Second, Hitler is actually attacking someone — with guns ‘n planes ‘n tanks. He hadn’t done that to date. I can’t see Britain and France being able to look on passively once that happens.

    Possibly we get arm-waving and economic sanctions — but those had been tried against Italy over Abyssinia and had been discredited. I think Britain and France dither but declare war.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  72. JMcG says:

    It’s not being enamored of Hitler and the Nazis to point out that the “glorious” Red Army was allied with Hitler and the Nazis from August, 1939 until June, 1941. That the “glorious” Red Army participated in a campaign of invasion and occupation in Eastern Europe during that period.
    Or that the Soviets had killed millions by 1938, while Hitler’s count was still in the hundreds or thousands.
    The Soviet Bolsheviks were a far, far worse threat to European civilization than the Nazis for the entire period of their existence. To assert that, it is not necessary to be any kind of fan of Hitler or the Nazis. I find Franco to have been admirable in a way that I certainly do not find Hitler or the ridiculous Mussolini to have been. As for Stalin, he is only kept from being the worst maniac in history by the lickspittles with whom he surrounded himself.

  73. @Curmudgeon

    Hitler taking the Sudetenland definitely was treated as OK by Chamberlain, as that was the whole point of the Munich Agreement which Chamberlain praised as offering “peace in our time.” Hitler occupying much of the rest of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 was not OK, as this showed that Hitler’s ambitions reached beyond the formally stated goal of incorporating lands with German populace into the Third Reich. That in turn cast a very justifiable suspicion on the idea that Hitler’s interest in Danzig was motivated by concern over the Germanic population there, which the documents later uncovered clearly confirm it was not.

    The Versailles Treaty itself is also much overexaggerated. The peace terms which Germany imposed at Brest-Litovsk in March 1918 or for that matter in 1871 were more demanding. The worst thing about Versailles is that it was totally indecisive step. The French had demanded a harsh peace on their German neighbor. The British had many doubts about this which later elaborated on John Maynard Keynes in The Economic Consequences of the Peace. Wilson had preached the idea of a benign settlement to the war, but he suffered a stroke when it mattered.

    So the French were able to impose their own terms against the wishes of anyone in London or New York, but there was no real bite behind it. The US instead began lending money to Germany to pay the reparations to the Allies, who then used that money to pay some of the war loans which they had begun taking from J.P. Morgan early in the war, with payments then being channeled back to Germany as further loans. It was a ridiculous circular system which fell apart once the Wall Street crash of 1929 began to loom. But it was not a coherent plan to run Germany into the ground and the German economy began to recover immediately in 1932 when Chancellor Heinrich Bruning persuaded the Allies to drop the demand for reparations.

    As for what Edward VII did or did not write in 1914, that is really beside the point since it was the Kaiser’s decision to back Austria’s war on Serbia as a humiliation of Russia which triggered things. It is funny though to note while Hitler’s statements make clear that Danzig make clear that his motive for the invasion of Poland had nothing to do with a concern over Danzig, this fact is simply brushed aside when looking at the motives for the invasion of Poland. However any indication that a British figure may have even thought that a war could be advantageous is treated as if it were in fact a hidden cause of the war in 1914 when it was totally irrelevant to starting off Austria’s attack on Serbia on July 28, 1914.

  74. @Colin Wright

    The “What if?” always becomes a bit complicated but a few things may be noted. Would there have been any Hitler-Stalin Pact without the British declaration of support for Poland? There’s no reason to believe that. Quite the contrary. Hitler only made himself chew down a deal with Dear Old Uncle Joe because he realized that there was the threat of a 2-front war if Britain and France declared war over Poland and no Berlin-Moscow treaty was in force. If the Poles had really been stupid enough to pick a war over Danzig in the face of Allied recommendations that something similar to Munich Agreement should be reached, then it seems quite plausible that there would have been a Hitler-Stalin breaking out in 1939-40. Why would Hitler want to sign anything with Stalin if he had no fears of a swift Allied declaration of war?

    Again, one has to come back to the fact that the failure of Chamberlain to try urging Poland to reconcile over Danzig was explicitly the byproduct of the occupation of Czechoslovakia. With no such occupation on March 15 one can at least be confident that Chamberlain would have spent the summer urging the Poles to compromise. This would actually have been much less drastic than what Chamberlain demanded of Benes over the Sudetenland.

    The comparison to Italy and its adventures only holds when we accept the occupation of Czechoslovakia as given. Mussolini really did launch some blatant colonial wars in Africa and the Balkans. But the formal stance maintained in Third Reich propaganda for most of the 1930s was that, despite all of those comments in Mein Kampf about Germany needing to expand its living space, the actual aims of Germany were really just about bringing German-inhabited regions back into the Reich. That was why no one with real influence advocated a war of Austria, and why peace was accepted over Czechoslovakia as long as Hitler only took the Sudetenland.

  75. @Colin Wright

    Any look at the Czechoslovak crisis of March 1939 has to be ready take into account Hitler’s role in deliberately inciting such. As always in such cases there is more than just foreign intervention. There were signs of domestic turmoil. But the main contours of the situation were shaped by Hitler himself.

    On March 13 Hitler urged Tiso to declare independence for Slovakia. But Hitler also tossed in that if Tiso did not do such then Hitler would let Hungary and Poland take over. While Hitler was meeting with Tiso, Ribbentrop came in to announce that Hungarian troops were marching towards the Slovakian border. Tiso resisted these early attempt to pressure him and went back to the Slovak Diet to propose a declaration on independence. Some deputies expressed doubt that it would be a good idea to do this and they would only make themselves vulnerable to Hungarian ambitions. But the leader of the German minority in Slovakia, Franz Karmasin, declared that any delay in Slovak independence would mean partition between Germany and Hungary. The Slovak Diet therefore relented and declared independence. The next day Tiso made his request to Hitler that Germany should declare itself the protector of a new state. While this was going on Hitler had Hacha, the President of Czechoslovakia, come to Berlin where Hitler began demanding that Hacha sign the documents handing Czechoslovakia over to Germany.

    While it’s true enough that there were domestic forces within the Czechoslovak state which tended towards the eventual separation of Czechia and Slovakia, this was far from being just a natural separation. If Hitler had merely been interested in bringing German populations into the Reich then there was no reason for him to advance a confrontation in Czechoslovakia over this. A gradual separation between Czechia and Slovakia could have easily been allowed to develop organically while Germany looked on as a partner to both. But that was not Hitler’s aim. The one valid point which is occasionally made over this is that the Hungarian and Polish governments also hold some share of the blame. None of them were really interested in the best interests of either Czechs or Slovaks.

    • Thanks: Colin Wright
  76. Schuetze says:

    I am currently reading “Stalin’s War”. What I find most appalling is how McMeekin blithely accepts the entire “Holocaust” narrative in all its most ridiculous and impossible proclamations. The entire book reeks of rank cuckery to jewish power. If McMeekin is willing to ignore physical reality out of fear of JP in respect to Jewish fantasy about claims of 6 million gassed jews and 5 million more dead Gypsies and homosexuals, then one must also question his ignorance of Judaic power across in the entire book. Never does McMeekin mention the Stern gang, Uprisings against Judeo-Communists after the Baltic liberations in 1941, Balfour or occupied Palestine and instead he devotes paragraphs and footnotes several times to how the T34 is based on the “Christie Suspension”.

  77. Fox says:
    @Patrick McNally

    Good grief! “Living space”! Another raft of details escaping you is that when Hitler wrote his book, he was in prison, powerless, had no idea that he would be Chancellor one day and reacted in his writing to the immediate assaults against his country: The Poles had just pulled off their theft of German provinces in the East, France just occupied the Ruhr, the Bolshevik revolts within Germany had only recently been put down and, as he was already at that time convinced that a German alliance with Britain was necessary to bring peace and stability to Europe, he would have pointed Germany’s interests towards the East in order to disperse any English worries about rivalries which were the reason for Britain’s assent to wage war against Germany in 1914.
    When the war came a different longterm outlook came into being. The Slavs are and were considered to be racial kin, a member of the group of Aryan peoples. In the case of the Poles, with their mad ambitions and willing to strike deals with whoever would help them in their drive towards an Empire stretching from Sea to Sea, and the Russians with their long-standing enmity towards Germany, they were to be mistrusted, as can be seen with Hitler’s long opposition to give full support to General Vlassov and his Army of Liberation, his plan to liberate Russia from the Bolshevik rule and establish a new Russia allied with Germany.
    I also want to bring to your attention the plan of conquest of Living Space that is perfectly well accepted by your party, namely the conquest and depopulation of all of Eastern Germany by the Poles, (to a smaller degree in addition by the Russians and Lithuanians), the conquest and elimination of the native population in the Sudeten Land, and to a smaller degree in Yugoslavia were in the main the “Danube Swabians” were eliminated mainly by the Serbs. In addition, it is also not to be forgotten that a little country at the Eastern shore of the Mediterranian will soon have completed the task of eliminating the native peoples there. All of this has been discussed, declared a policy goal, and implemented by people who have the constant need to prove that they were the good guys.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  78. Fox says:
    @Colin Wright

    Yes, the Czechs were savagely attacking Germans in Germany (because the Sudetenland was historically and since 1938 also by international recognition a German province) and in the Protectorate as soon as the Russians came and Benes returned.
    Such savagery and stone age behavior will never be forgiven and will poison the Czech national soul for many centuries, should it even endure that long.
    I interpret the current downfall, the national suicides that sweep the West with all of its high-sounding principles, the virtue-vying ‘constitutions’ and self-adulation, as the bad conscience that has gnawed away confidence in the future, self-confidence, belief in one’s worthiness and righteousness in the individuals in these countries ever since the Allied countries allowed themselves be drawn into the cauldron of appalling hatred against the land and the peoples of Germany. All the savagery, the murder of millions, the appalling witch show of the “Nuremberg Trials” with prosecutor, judge and executioner in one person, the chaos Europe has been plunged in, the lies and misrepresentations, the thefts and cold-blooded public humiliations Germans and their land have been subjected to: In the Crowd, as Le Bon would understand it, this self-doubt is a force that churns the will to live oneself and through one’s children, saps it of its strength and is perceived as an epochal failure, and it is the Crowd.

  79. Fox says:
    @Patrick McNally

    I meant a source that is probably not manipulated. Since the IMT had no problems with accepting doctored, faked and unauthenticated writings as proof in its quest for nazi villainy , why would they not make up or doctor something like the Backe reference you cite? The same is true for the Hitler order of Oct. 2, 1940 you also mentioned. I couldn’t find it in a list of such orders.
    The Hossbach protocol, the speeches Hitler gave on May 23, 1939, August 22, 1939, November 23, 1939 were all introduced into the IMT proceedings as evidence, yet are all unauthenticated, have an unclear history, and show signs of redacting by.
    In other words: Is there a place where I could find the Backe memorandum of May 23, 1941, that has not passed through the IMT sieve and IMT editorial offices? Is there an original one could, at least in theory, examine for authenticity?

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  80. @Fox

    Hitler and Himmler never viewed the Slavs as racial kin of the Aryan. That is a brazen lie. The Slavs were viewed with contempt as a subhuman people whose land was to be colonized by the Aryan master race (Herrenvolk). The talk of living space was not merely confined to Mein Kampf and anyone who bothers to read through documents will know that. Hitler did not merely oppose “full support” to Vlasov and others like him. He pretty well disdained the idea of seeking any major allies from among the Slavs until it was apparent that Soviet forces were on an irreversible advance into central Europe. Instead the plans were to allow mass-starvation of Slavs so that the resources of the region would be turned to the Aryan.

    As for the later vengeance enacted by the victors in 1945, that was tragic but would never have occurred at all if Hitler had not launched the war to begin with. All that Hitler needed to do was allow the Czechoslovakian region to simmer quietly without pressuring the Slovaks to secede or else be overrun. Then when he made his appeal about Danzig he would unquestionably have received the support of Neville Chamberlain, just as Chamberlain supported his claim on the Sudetenland. There’s a small chance that the Poles might have been stupid enough to fight a short war over Danzig, although there’s better than even odds that Chamberlain would have pressed them into accepting a Danzig Corridor just as he pressed Benes into accepting the Munich Agreement.

    Even if a short war had broken out between Germany and Poland over Danzig, Britain and France would have remained neutral as long as it was clear that Hitler was respecting the Munich Agreement over Czechoslovakia and Poland had simply refused to reach a similar agreement over Danzig. Of course, in such a case, with Hitler winning the war over Poland, he still would not have been able to enact his plans for killing off the Polish intelligentsia and reducing the Polish population to uneducated beasts of burden. Instead, once it became apparent that Poland was losing then Britain and France would have sought to negotiate a peace which would have left an independent though humbled Poland. But more likely is that Chamberlain would have persuaded the Poles to concede over Danzig by the end of summer 1939.

    With this resolved it would have been easy, had Hitler so desired, to simply maintain a Cold War stance towards the USSR which would have gone on into the 1950s. Poland would have positioned itself as the neutral state sitting at the balance of power while Hitler could have offered alliances to any other countries in eastern (or western) Europe. Such a Cold War would probably have ended in the 1950s with the coming of Nikita Khrushchev to power. But that was never Hitler’s goal. The conquest of Slavic regions in eastern Europe for Aryan living space was the agenda.

    • Replies: @JackOH
    , @Fox
  81. @Fox

    The only issue anyone has ever been to seriously raise about the Hossbach memo is that the Allies overstated the implications of this as a plan to launch a war. Every one of the major details of the basic report is confirmed by the people who were there. Hitler held a meeting where he talked in general terms about the likelihood of a war with Britain in just a few years. A number of his officers were strongly opposed to the idea, and these officers were exactly the ones who Hitler removed from office over the next year in a set of scandals involving charges of infidelity and homosexuality.

    The prosecution at Nuremberg maintained that the Hossbach memo showed that Hitler was already planning in 1937 to start a future world war. It’s generally today accepted that he had no set plans on such but was prepared to run future risks of a major war and wanted to clear away any officers who expressed qualms over such risks. But there has never been any serious dispute by anyone that a meeting did take place in which Hitler ran the idea of a plausible war with Britain by his officers.

    • Replies: @Fox
  82. @Fox

    For better or worse, the US and the West in general experienced an economic boom lasting for a quarter-century after WWII. During this time there was great buoyant optimism. Some will say that the US was punished over Vietnam by the stagflation on the 1970s. As an atheist I don’t believe anything like that. But that at least is more consistent than saying that US decline today is somehow due to misbehavior in WWII.

  83. @Fox

    ‘Yes, the Czechs were savagely attacking Germans in Germany (because the Sudetenland was historically and since 1938 also by international recognition a German province) …’

    First off, notice that your statement here is essentially nonsensical. Would you argue that the General Dyer massacred the Indians at Amritsar out of rage that India was inhabited by Indians? Of course the Sudetenland was historically populated by German-speakers. That’s not why the Czechs started attacking Germans.

    Second, realize that, ultimately, your statement, and your post in general, is nonsensical because you would seek to replace the admittedly flawed, anti-German fantasy with an even more grossly flawed pro-German fantasy. If you insist that two and two make five, and I insist that no, they make one, I have not improved matters.

    …but don’t realize it. If you insist on replacing one flawed paradigm with another flawed paradigm, I can’t stop you. If you must, decide that far from being the arch-villains of all time, the Germans were a uniquely virtuous and morally impeccable people. Go for it.

    • Agree: JackOH
    • Replies: @Fox
  84. JackOH says:
    @Patrick McNally

    Patrick, I think you’ve done a bang-up job of showing how a more able German leadership could have effectively rectified the worst (i. e., anti-German) elements of the Versailles Treaty without risking a catastrophic loss of confidence in German trustworthiness by France and England.

    Plus, I think the brief sketch you offered of a robust Germany of the 1950s, undamaged by the war that never happened, ought to have satisfied most of the “nationalist-conservative” types of Germans that Germany had more or less successfully moved on from the 1914-1918 debacle.

    It’s a fine job. sir. Thanks.

    • Replies: @Fox
  85. soll says:

    Good piece by Soviet scholar Professor Mark Edele on McMeekin’s falsifications and misrepresentations of Stalin quotes, presented hoaxes and distortions of sources. McMeekin has a habit of this, as shown even with his previous book on the Russian Revolution.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  86. @soll

    An interesting review by Edele. I naturally wasn’t aware that McMeekin had been relying on the account given by Gustav Hilger rather than simply the released official document that was published in 1998. There’s nothing wrong in seeking out sources such as Hilger and comparing them with the officially released transcripts, but McMeekin has made a game of presenting himself as someone who is working off of newly released documents.

    My thoughts on Hilger’s testimony, as related by Topitsch in Stalin’s War, is that the acknowledgement by Hilger that he had received a version of Stalin’s speech of May 5 changes the implications of such. Since the document was officially released in 1998 there has been a periodic attempt by Rezunists to imply that this speech of May 5 reveals Stalin’s true plans. There are problems with that argument from the get-go. But a major problem is that it wasn’t an altogether ‘secret speech’ and Stalin did allow some select leaks to get out about it so that someone like Hilger heard about it.

    It’s been a long-running diplomatic practice that during periods of international tension leaders will send messages to each other by quietly giving a speech or interview somewhere with the intent that the news of what they say will fall into the hands of an intended audience. Such statements have to be looked at very carefully as they are generally not the same thing as a document which was truly kept secret but which is later released long after an event. One has to read such statements with an eye for what was it intended to convey after it had been passed along to its eventual intended audience.

    In the case of Stalin’s statement of May 5 there shouldn’t be any doubt that Stalin intended to convey to Hitler the message that the USSR was strong and ready to fight if need be. This isn’t surprising since Hitler gave the order to prepare Barbarossa on July 31, 1940, more than 9 months before the May 5, 1941, speech of Stalin. I noticed that during the interview McMeekin misrepresented things with the claim that Hitler didn’t really decide on Barbarossa until December. Although the final confirmatory order was given in December, Hitler’s original order to prepare Barbarossa was only qualified by the possibility that if the aerial Battle of Britain had been won then Operation Sea Lion would have gone ahead and this might have affected the plans for Barbarossa. But once it was clear that Germany had lost the Battle of Britain then all of Hitler’s officers knew that Barbarossa would be the next step.

    So, of course, with Hitler building up an invasion force for Barbarossa it was no shock that Stalin would find it necessary to deliver a speech where he talks about how well-prepared the USSR is for war and then leak it out to Hilger. But this doesn’t really tell us much about any hidden plan which Stalin did or did not have. In some ways the arguments about this Stalin speech are similar to the debates around Hitler’s speech of January 30, 1939.

    That speech by Hitler is often cited by intentionalist exterminationist historians as proof that Hitler was planning the extermination of Jews all along. In the speech Hitler promises that if there is another war then it will see the destruction of European Jewry. But functionalist exterminationist historians have always maintained that Hitler really had not made any decision at the time to exterminate Jews but all of this developed later after the war had been going on for a couple years. In contrast, revisionist authors have maintained that not only had Hitler not made any decision to exterminate Jews at the time of the January 30, 1939, speech but that even during the war the principal aim remained one expelling Jews from Europe in a sometimes violent way but without any major attempt to operate gas chambers or such.

    A reading of Hitler’s text of January 30, 1939, strongly supports the view that he meant this to be taken as a serious threat by many organized Jewish groups around the world, but doesn’t allow us to deduce whether he meant to use gas chambers at the time, or didn’t mean it at the time but decided to use them later, or just never used gas chambers but simply wanted to forcibly Jews from Europe. The text is compatible with all of these interpretations. Likewise, there is nothing about Stalin’s speech of May 5, 1941, which lets us conclude that Stalin planned to begin a war with his own offensive. The text is perfectly compatible with the idea that Stalin intended to sit back and watch to see what Hitler did first, while sending Hitler a warning that he was ready to fight.

  87. Fox says:
    @Colin Wright

    I am sorry that you think that with some grossly partisan sophistry you can disperse the reality as it was created by an assembly of essentially senile men at Versailles with the intent to remake Central Europe in the image of their eternal advantage.
    It was an idiocy of world historic extent to proclaim “national Self-Determination” as a principle to guarantee some sort of client-state status dependence to the countries triumphing in the war of 1914-1918 by making idiotic promises of national grandeur and splendor to chauvinists in Central and Eastern Europe. Signally, this “Self-Determination” was not considered when it concerned Germany and the German peoples to be distributed as war booty or simply integrated in the respective countries. I remind you of the simple act of France of annexing the German provinces of Elsass-Lothringen -which, despite the war propaganda were never “French provinces”, they were German provinces occupied by France in an opportune moment in 200 years earlier. Likewise the South of Tyrol, Eupen-Malmedy, North Schleswig. Austria and Germany were forbidden, despite the will of the people in the German Austria to become a part of the German state founded in 1871 as a partial solution of German unity. The Czechs were allowed to annex the German provinces of German Sudetenland, the Poles were free to annex West Prussia, Pomerania, Upper Silesia, to name the larger provinces, there was the construction of the ridiculous Free City of Danzig”, in practice under Polish rule.
    You know all of this, and I am just recapitulating it to remind you that you can’t pull the wool of other people’s eyes with some silly pseudo-priestly sermon.
    So why were the Czechs attacking Germans? The German in Czecho-Slovakia could hardly be called a minority with nearly four million of them versus about seven million Czechs. Why did the Slovaks secede as soon as it was possible (and that both in 1939 and 1993)?
    You are just simply blind to the horrible situation that was created to dismember Germany in the interest of unrealistic long-term aspirations of France and England. The principle of it was to not take note of the fact that Germany was the largest country in Europe and that the Germans constituted the most populous nation in Europe.
    Not being capable of dealing with reality is a sign of mental decay.
    The Entente could not deal with reality before 1914 and whet their knives to carve up Germany and Austria.
    After the war, they thought that they could cement their triumph forever. When Hitler finally was seriously undoing the most outrageous wrongs ordained in the “Peace Treaties”, they could not deal with the downfall of their scheme and finally resorted again to war, just to lose everything in the end.
    I have a feeling that your idea of bringing the turmoil caused by the “Peace Treaties” of 1919 to an end was to simply do nothing and let the outrages go on.

  88. Fox says:

    Hitler was quite right in saying that 14 years of Weimar Republic resulted in no concession by the beneficiaries of the Versailles “Peace Treaty” or rectification of any injustice, even a small one. So, any talk about a capable leadership that would have achieved anything finds its nemesis in the reality as it really existed.
    Stresemann, shortly before his untimely death, said that very same thing.
    Actions have consequences and the consequence of the “Peace Treaty of Versailles” is the demise of the world of people whose actual, ethnic, cultural or spiritual home is Europe.
    If you feel that you have to defend the men who hatched out the “Treaty of Versailles”, I can’t hinder you in doing so, but I will never accept it or its consequences, and should the European Man have yet another chance at life, this diabolically insane document will be torn to pieces and repudiated for all to see and to hear.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
    , @JackOH
  89. Fox says:
    @Patrick McNally

    The meeting came about on the initiative of von Brauchitsch and Hitler spoke about the consequences that might arise from a hypothetical war between Italy and England. Possibly events developing and possible reactions to them were taken in consideration.
    The Hossbach Protocol was presented at the IMT at Nuremberg in type-written form and Hossbach said that he had no idea how his hand-written text could have ended up type-written.
    That a “document” of that sort should be allowed as a legally relevant, is ridiculous. Would you like your mortal enemy to produce a type-written document from his files to prove that it’s all your fault?
    You can’t defend the indefensible.
    Your Post-War Order is based on brazen distortion and will find its ignominious end. Untruth and dishonor eat like corrosive acid in the minds and souls who glimpse them. Your interest in this part of the past is making this point, you need to make sense out of the non-sense, hence you are basically arguing with emotion and moods, the irrational motivations which dove people like Roosevelt, Churchill, Benes, Attlee, etc., not with the obvious facts, such as using fake “documents” in the court at Nuremberg.
    You have to ask yourself whether the war which, in Churchill’s words, could have most easily been avoided, was worthwhile to wage to maintain a manifest disorder willfully created in an atmosphere of hatred and vindictiveness after the end of the war 1914-18.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  90. @Fox

    It was a conflict between Raeder and Bloomberg which provided the basis for calling the meeting. Hossbach took notes and made up the minutes of the meeting 5 days later. Graf Kirchbach made the typescript copy based on the hand-written version of Hossbach, and his brother-in-law Viktor von Martin gave the document to the Allies. Robert Murphy, a political advisor for Eisenhower, had copies sent to the Foreign Office in London by May 11, 1945, and to the State Department in Washington on May 25. These were identical copies and carried Kirchbach’s signature. The document used at Nuremberg was a photostat of the State Department copy. These circumstances mean that any thesis that the document is a forgery must claim that such a forgery was being cranked out by May 11 even though the prosecution team did not arrive in Europe until late May.

    But getting too bogged down in debates about the authenticity of the final version of a document which was discovered so early before any major forgery efforts are likely to have started can miss the point. Everyone who was involved agreed on the basic outline after the fact. It was agreed that Hitler talked about the prospect of a major war. The biggest criticism made of the published version of the document was that it played down the objections made by Blomberg, Fritsch and Neurath. However inserting these objections from people whom Hitler subsequently dismissed reinforces the case that the meeting was an important step on the road to war. Hitler’s aim at this meeting was to sound who raised objections about the possibility of a big war coming up and then dismiss precisely those people.

    That way in which select individuals with objections at the meeting were subsequently removed from their position is much more relevant to understanding the importance of this meeting than the exact accuracy of the copy made up by Kirchbach as a rendering of Hossbach’s original lost memo. It would be akin to if George Bush held a White House meeting on January 31, 2001, where he proposed “Hey, I think we might have a war in the Mideast!” Then anyone who expressed qualms about this is suddenly abruptly fired. If something like that were to ever turn up it would be major documentary revelation, although I don’t think even Bush II ever went that far out on a limb.

  91. @Fox

    “Hitler was quite right in saying that 14 years … resulted in no concession”

    Hitler was lying through his teeth with such a claim. It was Heinrich Bruning who successfully won the Allies over to the idea that reparations were serving no purpose. At the Lausanne Conference it was granted by the Allies that Germany would not go on with reparations payments. This agreement was reached on July 9, 1932, and German finance began recovering almost immediately. The German economy was well on the way to recovery by the time Papen conned Hindenburg into giving Hitler the Chancellorship.

    Probably the worst consequence of Papen’s manipulating Hindenburg into granting Hitler the Chancellorship when he did was that the successes won by Bruning were falsely portrayed after the fact as Hitler’s victories. It was Bruning who diplomatically persuaded the Allies that the reparations game was pointless and thereby triggered the economic revival of Germany. But economic recovery always occurs at the financial level before it turns into employment gains for the majority. The signs were clear that Bruning, Schleicher and Schacht had started to get Germany out of the Depression before January 30, 1933, but Hitler coming to power meant that he was able to build a personality-cult where everything was credited to himself.

  92. Prudence says:

    Why must people talk so fast? I’ll tell you. There are two reasons. 1) It causes them to feel high. high too is the level of self rising from slopping around at waist level to well up into the neck. You can hear the punctuating sniff when a speedy-speaker is aware of how fascinating his staccato stunt is for listeners but also that he’s tiring and his neck is draining into his dad-bod. The sniff brings self up around his ears.

    The other reason is because they are high on speed. That too means a fair bit of audible inhaling but this is to push a few straggling crystals farther up the snout and is repeated until they traverse the entire nasal turbine (inferior) and drop off into the pharynx to commence a slide past the epiglottis, lose a bit of itself to the mouth where the micro-transgressions serves to reassure that is is one drugs and not finished getting high. The homeopathic dose the clears the pylorus and free-falls down the food tube to the stomach where it slides down coats the acid-eaten ethnic bread lump and begins its negotiation witch acids and membranes for entry into the great swim of things.

    Host/producer, thjis was just awful. I’ve grown to hate this guy so much that reading his books is ruled out. Not a huge problem. I already despise the idea of Stalin more than I despise the idea of Hitler so it’s hardly required reading.

    Would you think about forbidding this kind of performance? I don’t suggest requiring authors to pledge sobriety. Something like cutting to easy-listening music when this kind of atrocity gets going would be good enough.

  93. @Fox

    “Why did the Slovaks secede”

    The record showed that Slovaks were doubtful about seceding and then having large German population in their country. Obviously this wasn’t a problem in the 1990s because Germans had all been expelled. But what the record of events from March 1939 showed was that Hitler repeatedly threatened the Slovak representatives with the prospect of either accepting German protection or else being divided up between Hungary and Poland. The Slovak leadership did not like any of these options but gave in.

    Hitler could just as easily have called for an international guarantee to be given to Slovakia by Germany, Hungary and Poland that there would be no encroachment on Slovak territory and had he done so he would have won huge brownie points in British public opinion. But he was instead over the fact that Chamberlain had denied his original ambition to simply occupy the whole of Czechoslovakia in 1938. So he simultaneously pressed the Slovak representatives to accept the status of a German protectorate while he called in the Czechoslovakian President Hacha and used what was going on with Slovakia to pressure Hacha into submitting to Germany. No one who watched these events at the time mistook it as all just a spontaneous invitation by Czechs and Slovaks for Hitler to occupy their countries.

    Sure you can say that there were indeed underlying tensions within the Czechoslovak state which under different conditions could have come to a more natural resolution. That’s similar to the way that Poland has never attempted to demand that eastern Galicia be given back to it even though everyone knows that it was Stalin who made this part of Ukraine. Some territorial adjustments made under arbitrary circumstances may still be retroactively viewed as the better resolution. But that doesn’t mean that having leaders force territorial splits through armed foreign intervention is the real way to go.

  94. @Fox

    Another lie should be pointed out here:

    “nearly four million of them”

    The Germanic population of Czechoslovakia prior to Munich was about 3 million. Most of these lived in the Sudetenland which was ceded to Germany on September 29, 1938. There was still a bit of a German minority remaining in the post-Munich regions of Czechia and Slovakia, but it was far less than that. Hitler still used this small German minority to agitate for the establishment of a German protectorate over the remains of Czechoslovakia, which showed that his real aims had always been of a different character than merely unifying Germanic populations.

  95. JackOH says:

    Fox, buddy, I’ve sometimes thought a modern German of a “nationalist-conservative” stripe would do us all a good turn by writing a speculative essay on how a more able German leadership of the 1930s might have sidestepped war, effectively and peaceful rectified the worst elements of the Versailles treaty, and, somehow lurched its way by the mid-1940s into a peacefully obtained and generous-minded Pax Germanica undergirded by nuclear weapons developed in the laboratories of Berlin and Rome rather than the New Mexico desert.

    Yes, you’d need a German able to stipulate the legitimacy of French and British interests in the late 1930s, and tackle the idea that those discriminatory Nuremberg laws actually undermined Germany’s military capability by barring talented scientists from participating in military research.

    That German essayist would need very strong literary and historical chops, but I think it would spark good debate worldwide.

  96. Fox says:
    @Patrick McNally

    It bears repeating that Hitler did not “break the Munich agreement”.It was certainly a psychological mistake to turn the Czech rump state into a protectorate, or from the German point of view the Protectorate, but it was done with the assent of the Czech government due to the events immediately preceding it.
    Not one shot rang out when the Wehrmacht moved into the Czech state. This outcome was certainly not gladly accepted by the Czechs, but they did and they lived quite well in the Protectorate until Churchill sent his killers to assassinate Heydrich with the intent to sow discord.
    Perhaps you know what Chamberlain or his advisers had in mind of how to be of any real help to the Czechs in the middle of Central Europe, deprived of its trading partners, all on their own? In this situation it was trade with Germany that secured prosperity and normalcy.

    The state of Czecho-Slovakia had fallen to pieces on its own accord due to the divisions within that were present from its very inception. Czecho-Slovakia was an artificial thing by forcing into one state unwilling participants-if you don’t understand that, think of a state Polo-Hungaria or Franco-Germania, or, Hispano-Rocco, perhaps Turko-Bulgaria, these are, respectively two disparate components that could have been composed in the same manner as the Czechs and the Slovaks were forced into one country, by the gaggle of long-term strategic “planners” who thought that they could reap at Versailles what they had sown before the war of 1914. In this Czecho-Slovakia were also present: Germans, Hungarians, Ruthenians and Poles. Incidentally, there were about twice as many Germans in Czecho-Slovakia than Slovakians. The Slovaks seceded from this state, followed immediately by the Hungarians and the Ruthenians. Before that, the Sudeten crisis came about because of Czech misrule and intransigence.
    In London in particular, but also in Washington and in Paris it was intended to have another war against Germany for their own short-sighted motives. Hence, they were on the lookout for an occasion to kindle war without self-identifying as the warmongers.

    Your other solution with”simply maintaining a cold war stance well into the 1950s” is just missing the mark. The Red Army was not amassing at the German-Soviet line of demarcation for no reason. An army of several million and in June of 1941 at least twice as strong as the German and its allied forces cannot be maintained in condition of readiness for years. The Red Army build-up was becoming rapid in 1941 and would indicate that a danger was developing rapidly. Such an opinion is of course a cake walk for an American, perhaps residing in Nebraska, protected by two thousand miles of land and three thousand miles of ocean to the East from any danger.
    It has taken a long time till the actual situation leading to “Barbarossa” could be brought up for discussion in the established circles, and this is now gradually occurring and we can expect that the whole official, Allied narrative of WWII will be more and more questioned and brought into alignment with facts. People like to “believe”, but that’s not a substitute for reality. All of the WWII narrative is based on demonisation of National Socialism, Hitler and Germany and this childish construct will of course fail because the more the West will weaken, it will be deprived of the power to coerce others to repeat its self-adulating myths of justification. This will have dramatic effects.

  97. @Fox

    “due to the events”

    As I said, these were events were by and large artificially engineered by Hitler with the implicit cooperation of Hungary and Poland. The choice of Slovakia to declare “independence” and invite German occupation was not some spontaneous event. It was the outcome of Hitler repeatedly threatening that if they didn’t do such then they were going to be partitioned away by Hungary and Poland so their only option was to invite a German occupation. Then when the Slovaks caved on this Hitler demanded that Hacha, Czechoslovakian President, likewise cave and invite a German occupation of the whole country. Hacha then caved because he so no other option. The Warsaw Pact’s occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 was much more compatible with long-standing international arrangements than Hitler’s overrunning of Czechoslovakia in 1939. To go off on arguing that Hitler did not really break the Munich Agreement just underscores how unserious Hitler was about such a treaty.

    Again, it bears repeating, the stuff about how many Germans there were in Czechoslovakia is based upon the pre-Munich data when the Sudetenland was a part of Czechoslovakia. There were still some Germans in the post-Munich regions of Czechia and Slovakia but nothing on a scale which justifies your claims about the allegedly exorbitant German population exceeding the Slovak population. You’re simply lying about what the post-Munich state of things was in order to justify Hitler making a further grab.

    Sure, there was some trade with Germany after Hitler had imposed his protectorate. There was also a fair amount of trade between the USSR and eastern states such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland during all of the decades of the Cold War. Of course for most of the Cold War it was by and large true that eastern Europe was largely protected from the more fierce fighting which tended to occur in Asia and other such places. That still didn’t stop eastern Europe from declaring independence of the USSR in 1989-91 when the chance appeared. Making it sound as if Hitler was just benignly following a course to protect the Czechs and Slovaks with some trade is simply apologia for Hitler’s own forward aggression.

    Repeating the lie that Stalin was threatening to invade Europe back in 1939 when Hitler started his own bid to conquer eastern Europe won’t make it true. It was on July 31, 1940, that Hitler ordered his officers to prepare Barbarossa. By the time 1941 began Soviet intelligence was showing a growing build-up of German forces on the border and any leadership in Moscow would have been obligated to respond. Nevertheless, the evidence shows clearly that Stalin was very wary of doing anything to make a first move and was simply preparing for the possibility of a German invasion which Hitler had already decided upon on July 31, 1940.

    A big part of what allows the Rezun-hoax to be treated with credibility is that liars repeatedly cite “evidence” as if it means the opposite of what it clearly shows. Up above I pointed out how the much vaunted speech which Stalin gave on May 5 was not a “secret speech” at all but was deliberately leaked out to Gustav Hilger to send a message that the USSR was aware of Hitler’s build-up towards Barbarossa. But what is amazing is the way that the same hoaxers will claim that the May 5 speech was supposedly evidence of Stalin ordering an invasion of Europe will turn around and cite Zhukov’s recommendation of May 15 as if it also somehow supports such a claim, when in normal historical studies something like Zhukov’s memo would be seen as a debunking of Rezun.

    In that notice of May 15 Zhukov actually recommended to Stalin that the USSR should strike first because Hitler was very obviously preparing an invasion of the Soviet Union. The record shows that Stalin turned this idea down because he still was not persuaded that Hitler’s build-up of forces on the border might not be preparation for a move against Britain (which was the explanation which Hitler had given Stalin). However, if Stalin had on May 5 ordered that the USSR was going to invade Germany then there would have been no need for Zhukov to recommend a strike against Germany on May 15.

    No one has ever found and evidence of Guderian, Jodl or Paulus recommending to Hitler on May 15 that Germany should invade the USSR, and they would have sounded retarded if they had done so. Everyone in the German armed forces knew that Hitler had ordered preparations for Barbarossa as far back as July 31, with the final confirmation made in December. By May 15 it would have been silly to suggest a German invasion of the USSR when this had been in preparation for more than 9 months.

    Now if anything like the Rezun-scenario were true then realistically Stalin must have given an order to prepare an invasion of Germany by mid-January at the latest. In such a scenario the alleged significance of the May 5 speech would immediately fade. But even if we allow for the bizarre scenario that Stalin had ordered his officers to prepare an invasion of Germany without revealing his intent until May 5, then still by May 15 there would be no reason for Zhukov to recommend a preemptive strike. Zhukov would simply have been working feverishly to implement an already given order. He would not have needed to suggest to Stalin that the USSR should strike at Hitler now before Hitler gets in the first blow.

    Now if Hitler had not seized Czechoslovakia and invaded Poland, then the entire scenario would have been totally different and there would not have been any Soviet military build-up comparable to the preemptive efforts to meet the coming German invasion which were underway in 1941. If Hitler had simply left the Czechs and Slovaks alone while pressing Chamberlain for his support in reaching an agreement with Poland over the Danzig Corridor than by 1941 all of these issues would have been peacefully resolved and any attempt by Stalin to build up military forces with the delusionary notion of conquering Europe would simply have resulted in a broad European alliance against the USSR in which Hitler would have been the leading figure.

    Every single piece of historical data available shows that Stalin himself would never have allowed things to come to this point and would instead have stuck to the profession of peaceful Soviet aims. It was only because Hitler broke apart the stability in Europe that Stalin was then in a position of having to prepare for a possible German invasion with Hitler’s forces building up on his border. But in the alternate scenario where Hitler maintains the peace the very most that might have occurred would have been something akin to the later Cold War in which Soviet and Axis forces might have faced each other for a couple decades without Stalin being the one to make any stupid moves.

  98. @Fox

    Getting back to the issue of demographics after some puttering around searching, there were 128,347 Germans within Slovakia according to the census on December 31, 1938. At the time of the Munich Agreement there were 2,822,899 Germans within the Sudetenland which was given to Germany. Bohemia and Moravia also had about 225,000 Germans. So don’t keep repeating data from the pre-Munich statistics as if it were what determined Hitler’s encroachments on Czechoslovakia after 1938.

  99. Ron Unz says:

    Although I haven’t read through all of it, I see this WWII thread is still going strong.

    Several years ago I bought a copy of Hitler’s Table Talk, and starting reading through it the last couple of days. From what I’ve heard, it’s generally regarded as pretty reliable source material, perhaps second only to fully-authenticated official documents and private diaries.

    With regard to Hitler’s plans for the conquered Eastern terroritories, he certainly intended to subjugate the Slavs much like Britain had subjugated the Indians. But all this talk of exterminating them or at least starving to death 30 million seems pretty implausible.

    For example, he emphasizes that use of superior German agricultural methods and technologies would certainly cause huge increases in the food production of the region, probably far greater than 50%, and given the disastrous state of Soviet agriculture, I think he was probably correct. Also, the locals would also greatly benefit from other German industrial products and consumer goods. So in his Nov. 12, 1941 Tabletalk, he says “Thus the native population of the East will be better fed than it has ever been hitherto—and it will also receive the household utensils it needs.” That hardly sounds like an extermination plan to me.

    Regarding his Barbarossa attack, the Tabletalk of Jan 5, 1942 seems important. “What confirmed me in my decision to attack without delay was the information brought by a German mission lately returned from Russia that a single Russian factory was producing by itself more tanks than all our factories together…Even so, if someone had told me that the Russians had ten thousand tanks, I’d have answered: ‘You’re completely mad!’”

    In reality, the Russians had more than 20,000 tanks.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  100. @Ron Unz

    Regarding the matter of how many tanks the USSR had, this is spelled out in an old review of Rezun which appeared on the Russian Battlefield site:

    Nationwide the USSR had 23,106 tanks. Of these 12,782 were in the Western Defense Districts. Some people make the error of think that the agreement with Japan allowed the USSR to concentrate all of its forces in the west. It did not. Out of those in Western Defense Districts 2,242 were listed as “in need of repairs.” Hence there were 10,540 operable tanks in the WED. Now that it very close to the figure of 10,000 which you mention.

    But it’s misleading to rely on statements in Hitler’s Table Talk for a determination of Hitler’s motives after the fact. Hitler was very much prone to buttering things over when speaking retroactively.

    Example 1: In 1939 he publicized a false claim asserting that the Poles had massacred 58,000 Germans. Historians agree that a massacre of Germans did occur after Hitler had launched the invasion of Poland, but the highest outer estimates are of the order of 5,800 or some say fewer. Still an ugly event, but far short of 58,000.

    Example 2: When conversing with Mannerheim in 1942 Hitler claimed that the Germans had destroyed 34,000 Soviet tanks, a ridiculous number. This very likely is also a case of the 10-fold rule in action. Given the actual number of fighting Soviet tanks on the front in 1941, and the fact that the Germans never actually destroyed the entirety of the Soviet tank force, the most likely inference is that the Germans had destroyed about 3,400 of the 10,540 Soviet tanks, i.e. roughly one-third of the Soviet force. Hitler was probably just attaching an extra zero to the number the same way he had done with the Bromberg massacre.

    The upshot is that when reading through The Table Talk and finding statements by Hitler along the lines of “we will feed them better” or “I was worried that Stalin had built up his forces” this should only be taken as evidence of what Hitler finds it most useful to say at that moment. Since Hitler gave the order for invading the USSR on July 31, 1940, then it is the statements made at this time and right before Barbarossa began which are pertinent for examining Hitler’s motives. The fact that Hitler retroactively after the fall of 1941 (when it was obvious that Barbarossa was not going to be a short quick operation as expected) now began talking differently is irrelevant. Nothing expressed by Hitler from July 31, 1940, to June 21, 1941, gives a hint that he was motivated by fears of Soviet military force. He expected an easy victory and thought that this would topple Churchill.

    Likewise with regards to the plans made up by Hermann Backe and approved from above for reducing the population of Russia back to 1914 levels through starvation. Those plans became irrelevant as soon it became obvious that Barbarossa was not going to succeed within the time-frame of 6 weeks to 3 months which had been anticipated. Once it became obvious that the actual prosecution of the war was going to consume huge amounts of German labor for a long time to come then suddenly the Poles and Russians started to gain some partial importance as a source of labor which had to be used rationally. Under such conditions many eastern Slavs obviously were starving, but not always so much in a way which would have fit Backe’s plan. Backe’s plan depended upon German labor being freed up for agriculture after a swift victory.

    So Hitler’s comments in 1942 tell us nothing about the plans made in 1940-1. That runs across the board whether we mean the decision to invade the USSR or the issue of what to do with the native Slavic populace. Everything was effectively reframed once the Soviet army showed that there would be no swift collapse.

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