Ph.D. Vladimir A. Litvinenko
Interview for the project
Fascism-XXI at your door
February 18, 2013.
Video part 1
Investigating this film we keep coming back to a rather interesting issue: signing of the “Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”.
Many researchers, or those who pretend they are, believe that the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact sparked off the World War II and resulted in one of the greatest tragedies of the human history.
On the one hand, any international treaties, indeed, may instigate or put off global events like a World War.
But let’s sort out if the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact really had played such a crucial role in sealing the fate of upcoming tragic events.
So, what happened on the 1st of September, 1939? According to all historical canons, documents and encyclopedias it was the day when the World War II broke out: Germany attacked Poland.
But the Germans themselves didn’t think they unleashed a World War. They initiated the Poland Campaign which resulted from the logic of the antecedent events. There were many of them, not only the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. There was also the division of Czechoslovakia, the Anschluss of Austria. Germany together with fascist Italy also participated in suppression of Spain. And the reaction of the world community to all these events was inert.
There is one more aspect worth emphasizing in this connection. How did the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact guarantee protection of Reich’s Western frontier? - Not at all. Reich’s Western frontier was guaranteed by entirely different document. We’ll revert to it later.
And now let’s return to the events that began after September 1939. Faithful to their allied duty the great powers England and France declared war on fascist Germany.
The next step was supposed to be combat operations on the Western Front. All Generals of the Third Reich in their memoirs agreed that if the Western allies had begun combat operations, the Poland Campaign would have failed.
However, nothing happened. How come deployed and mobilized allied troops did not attack a few divisions of Landsturm holding on so-called Siegfried Line – a narrow line of trenches reinforced with two rows of barbed wire?
At that time all Wehrmacht’s combat-ready troops stationed in Poland. There was no formidable artillery or tanks on the Siegfried Line. It would be a piece of cake to break through. However everything went quite peacefully. The Americans called it Phoney War1, the Germans – Sitzkrieg2. The war between England, France and Germany beginning on the 3rd of September, 1939 is remembered in history books as the Phoney War. But since May 10th the situation changed drastically. The German army passed to the offensive, and in 44 days everything was over.
It is impossible to explain the fact logically. The Germans prepared for a serious war, accumulated considerable resources. The allies also had considerable resources and a capability to resist. Certainly, the Germans strived to win. Nobody goes to war with no victory in mind. But how did it happen that everything ended in 44 days?
If we apply common sense, we must conclude that there were no competent officers in the English-French headquarters of all levels, including the General Staff. But we know this is not the case. Therefore common sense doesn’t work here. Then we have a right to assume the existence of a different logic where all these events looked natural, the logic of the Great Game.
What is the Great Game? Let me cite something.
In history, and not only, the Great Game acquired its own meaning. Many people mentioned the Great Game starting from Kipling, though the author of the term was a member of the British intelligence community Arthur Conolly who in 1830 published a book “Journey to the North of India through Russia, Persia and Afghanistan”.3
The reason for publication was his journey from England to India after his vacation. He thought that the Russian Empire came too close to the British possessions. And after that Arthur Conolly started an active struggle against Russian penetration in Central Asia, indicating that it would put the British supremacy in India under a complete dependence on Russian politics.
But also before him this notion implicitly was in use among the British Establishment for almost a hundred years. Now almost everyone talks about the Great Game, but often with little connection to the original meaning.
So, the original meaning is a struggle between England and Russia for dominance in Central Asia, Persia, India, Afghanistan, no matter if Russia claimed these lands or not. Even a shadow of a threat to British interests was taken very seriously.
Lord Curzon said about it: «Without India the British Empire could not exist». Even a shadow of a threat should be regarded extremely seriously and urgent measures should be taken on the matter 4. This is the context of the so-called Great Game.
It was dictated not only by imaginary, but also by real fears of the British Empire. In principle, any attempt of Russia to extend its influence, any success of our foreign policy at that time was interpreted by the British Establishment as a personal loss and an insult.
On the subject of Russian expansion in the Caucasus Edward Spencer, a traveler and a member of the British intelligence community, wrote: «We should regard the desire of Russia to subordinate the Caucasus as a crusade of force against right, that is entirely incompatible with the laws of civilized nations. The civilizing mission belongs to the British Empire – the legal leader of constitutional liberty in the whole world, a stronghold against despotism. »5
This reaction of the British Establishment was quite natural. At that time there was and still is a widespread saying: «The British interests are above the law and justice as they are the law and justice».
Much water has flowed under the bridge since then. The world has changed. But the Great Game players are still here. In spite of the fact that Russia is not the country it used to be and Britain «rules the waves» only in the song and the new players have appeared. It would seem everything has to sink into oblivion. But Kipling in his famous book «Kim» said: «When everyone is dead the Great Game is finished». And since we are still alive, the Great Game goes on.
The examination of historical events in the framework of the Great Game is of a considerable interest. Such culture existed in the West for a long time. Some believe it has started from the publication of the book «The Grand Chessboard» by Zbigniew Brzezinski. In spite of the fact that the term «Great Game» is never mentioned in the book, it is the main subject.
Let’s review the events of the year 1939 exactly from that angle because study of the historical events in the framework of the Great Game allows extrapolating this principle to the future and to the past.
And from this point of view many pieces of puzzle come together. So, what did the campaign in the West mean in the context of the Great Game? A military catastrophe or a cunning move that, in spite of Wehrmacht’s stunning success, didn’t leave any chance to the ultimate victory of fascist Germany?
Video part 2
So, in spite of the fact that since the beginning of the Great Game a considerable period of time has passed and a few epochs has changed, the world hasn’t changed a lot. The glory and might of British Empire has faded, indeed, but the dominance of the Anglo-Saxon world still exists.
According to a British historian Dominic Lieven6, the control was shifted on purpose. The United States became a successor of Great Britain and Great Britain deliberately transferred to the Americans the burden of empire.7
We’ll return to this thesis later. Meanwhile let’s keep in mind that a change of leader means a change of a course. However the course has not changed. Everything remains as before. The Great Game is in progress.
So, if we take a look at the events of 1939-1940s in the framework of the Great Game, what could we find out?
A lot. The statements of leaders, officials, not necessarily of top rank, throw light on many events.
On the eve of the well-known events an officer of the British General Staff William de Ropp8 had a meeting with Alfred Rosenberg where they discussed some interesting questions. Before going over the agenda, let me reiterate that the World War II began with the Poland Campaign. An apple of discord between Germany and Poland was Danzig9. Was Danzig worth it? The British Cabinet believed it was not.
At one of the Cabinet meetings on the 3rd of May, 1939 the Foreign Secretary Halifax expressed assurance that colonel Beck did not thirst for war. But if it arose because of Danzig, the blame would fall on Poland.10 A month before Nazi Germany attacked Poland on the 2nd of August, 1939 British ministers assembled at the regular session. Halifax very clearly said there that Britain was not going to start war over Poland and Danzig. The state of Danzig should not be seen as a casus belli.11
The statement of the British Prime Minister was also very interesting. On the subject of Gdansk he said that attention should rather be directed to political actions to allow respite, and not to military measures.12
This position was also supported by France, which by that time was following the British policy.
So, the great powers sent clear message to Hitler that they did not intend to fight. To what extent was Hitler himself bent on war? According to the documents - not very much. Until the last moment he tried to solve the issue by peaceful means. He even tried to persuade Parliament of Danzig not to force events and just be patient: after some time the issue with Poland was somehow resolved, in 2 or 3 years the mandate of the League of Nations' High Commissioner had expired, and Danzig, one way or another, was reincorporated into Germany. Nevertheless, the war broke out.
Did the Germans have good reasons to fear Poland? The question seems to be absurd. Where is Germany and where is Poland? We are used to consider the German Wehrmacht as one of the strongest and the greatest military machines ever created in history. It took enormous efforts for our country to crush this enemy. However, in 1939 it was not the Wehrmacht that is commonly presented now. And Poland was not so weak.
Germany had solid grounds for such claims to Poland. And here again we return to the subject of the borders. If the Western border of Germany was guaranteed by the Locarno Treaties13 of 1925, the Eastern border was not guaranteed at all.
The question remained open and very controversial, because, in addition to Gdansk, there was a question of Upper Silesia. According to the Versailles Treaty14 the question of Upper Silesia had to be settled by plebiscite. To ensure the plebiscite, the French command demanded withdrawal of the Reichswehr from the territory. The Germans fulfilled the requirement.
However, the Poles using the weakness of Germany simply occupied the territory de facto, without any plebiscite. Thus, the territory remained in dispute. While Germany was the Weimar Republic, it tolerated the situation, but once it became the Third Reich the tolerance was gone. That’s why the demands of Hitler to Poland were quite legitimate: the plebiscite was never conducted.
The memoirs of Field-Marshal Manstein are interesting in this respect. They contain such a meaningful remark: «we had always had ... a nightmare that disturbed us all the more whenever we thought of the aspirations for German territory still harboured with such ill-concealed longing by wide circles of the Polish people»15 and another one: «Neither did it seem beyond the bounds of possibility that Poland might herself take the initiative one day and set out to solve the frontier question by force. We had gained some experience in this respect since 1918»16 This experience was related to Upper Silesia. Of course, nobody is going to justify the aggression, and it is quite clear Hitler would not stop at what had been accomplished, he would go on anyway.
In the context of that time Hitler did not go beyond the boundaries of international law too much. It was very common to solve territorial disputes by force. Everybody who had a chance was eager to take advantage of such practice. For example, Poland did not hesitate to bite off a piece of Czechoslovakia.
Video part 3
Winston Churchill wrote on this occasion: «...Poland which with hyena appetite had only six months before joined in the pillage and destruction of the Czechoslovak State».17 With hyena appetite, indeed. Now it was Poland’s turn to be torn apart.
Could the Poland Campaign be averted? Again, when you examine the documents and leave emotions aside, it is obvious that Poland craved for war no less than Germany, as it was absolutely confident of its success.
The industrial mobilization began long before Fall Weiss18 was developed and approved. Four drafts were called up. The army was increased to one million people and was continuing to grow, and the entire military industry was put on a war footing. The German intelligence service in Poland felt like at home. All that worried the Third Reich leaders. The position of the Nazi party by that time was not absolute. And military failure, even temporary, could endanger the entire Nazi project.
So what did the allies do? Right before the war, when the decision was almost made, England signed a military treaty with Poland and gave unambiguous guarantees that Poland would not be left to the mercy of fate. Within the next 5 days German military machine had been immediately stopped which was not so easy. It is almost impossible to stop quickly the military machine that was brought into action. However, it was done. It suggests that Hitler was not acting from heedlessness but evaluated the situation realistically. He had no intentions to get involved in the world war; he needed only the Poland Campaign.
On August 27, 193919, an Ambassador of Great Britain to Germany, Nevile Henderson handed over to Hitler a Communication from His Majesty which expressly read that in case Germany invaded Poland, a war yet unseen in history would break out, though if Germany agreed to enter into direct discussions with Poland, England shall settle any differences.
Believe it or not, a day later20, in response to the aforementioned Reply of His Majesty's Government to the German Chancellor's Communication Hitler wrote: Germany is “prepared to accept the English proposal and to enter into direct discussions”. The only pre-requisite was a Polish negotiator with decision making authority to arrive in the Reich.
But the next step of Poland was a total mobilization. Excuse me, but according to all norms of international law that was a casus belli, a reason to declare war, and Germany did it.
Ok, the war with Poland began. The allies, faithful to their allied duty, declared war on Germany on the third day. And nothing else happened.
The troops didn’t move with the exception of a few incidents of British aviation raids, when they damaged one German cruiser and lost 7 aircrafts. And also a meaningless movement of French troops 18 km towards Saarbrücken. Nothing else.
French troops wedged 8 to 18 km in German territory, the Germans retreated to the Siegfried line without a single shot. The French stopped on the order of their command and returned in October, again on the order of their command.
We don’t take into account the sluggish exchange of blows at sea: two submarines made trouble in the Atlantic, sank the battleship «Royal Oak» in Scapa Flow, sank several transports. And also so-called «raids of truth» organized by the British air force - the British warplanes didn’t drop bombs on the German cities, but propaganda leaflets persuading Germany to stop the war.
Nothing more happened. I mean absolutely nothing. And the Reich’s Western border guarded only by Landsturm was practically open. The question is what prevented the allies to put an end to Hitler’s ambitions?
76 fully equipped Anglo-French divisions could do it easily. However, nothing was done. We must ask, why?
Perhaps, Britain and France had some problems that didn't allow them to start full scale military actions? Let’s refer to the documents.
Video part 4
It was easy to convince Hitler in peacefulness of Britain. The statements of the British Ambassador in Berlin Henderson to Hitler about Czechoslovakia are still fresh in the memory. Quotation: «the Czechs are a pig-headed race and Beneš not the least pig-headed among them»21 Henderson added that UK was not going to risk any mariner or pilot for the sake of Czechoslovakia.
In respect of Poland the statements were somewhat different, because unlike Czechoslovakia Poland had to be inspired, not humiliated.
But the meaning of the statements was quite obvious. According to a senior officer of the British air force baron William de Ropp, Poland was more useful to England as a martyr than as a going state.22
On the 16th of August, 1939, on the eve of war, baron William de Ropp had a conversation with the head of the foreign policy service of the National socialist party of Germany Alfred Rosenberg.
De Ropp conveyed to Rosenberg that in the event of war he would be assigned a post of policy adviser to the Minister of aviation on the issues of Germany, i.e. the information service officer, whose responsibilities included analysis of the political situation in Germany and information about its intentions. In the current situation in the case of a military conflict between Germany and Poland, England and France would join automatically. But they still should strive to preclude this conflict from turning into a mutual destruction.
De Ropp spelled out the British stand in the event of a German attack on Poland. Rosenberg was told the British would fight a defensive ‘war’, that is to say, would take no action in defense of Poland or in retaliation for Germany’s attack on that country. In particular there would be no aerial bombardment of German territory and the Germans agreed to reciprocate, a decision which held throughout the ‘phony war’ period. This ‘deal’ struck between de Ropp and Rosenberg would leave open the possibility of quickly ending the war because, de Ropp said, ‘neither the British Empire nor Germany would wish to risk their future for the sake of a state which had ceased to exist’.23
Of course, baron William de Ropp was not a figure whose statements we could take into consideration and make far-reaching conclusions. He wasn’t a very high-ranking official; however, everything happened as he said. Consequently we can conclude that Mr. baron expressed not his own opinion.
With all tolerance of the British society, the laws of that time were rather tough. Joking apart, but one could be hanged, especially for high treason. So, baron William de Ropp expressed the opinion of certain circles of the British Empire, very influential circles, closely associated with the elite.
We don't know what the status of baron de Ropp was, but Alfred Rosenberg was one of the key figures in the Third Reich. Judging by the subsequent events we have a right to assume that Alfred Rosenberg did not converse with a private person, but with a representative of the British government. Since everything happened exactly as it was stipulated.
This is the first oddity that literally bursts upon the eye. On the one hand a military treaty was signed, Poland was literally encouraged to war, and at the most critical moment it was left face to face with a well-organized enemy.
Could Poland fight this war with more glory, relying only on its own forces? Certainly it could. The Polish army was powerful. But the whole point is that they expected the attack of allies on the western German border. With the Ruhr region being open to attack the whole industry would be at risk, in such a situation. When Germany would be preoccupied on the other front, the Polish planned to launch a counterattack.
And when they realized that there wouldn’t be any attack in the rear of Germany, it was too late to pursue the German tanks advancing to Warsaw.
In this context let’s take another look at the memoirs of Field-Marshal Manstein. In his book «Lost Victories» he expressed surprise that Hitler rushed to act. Hitler demanded to take Warsaw no later than on the 30th of September.
Erich Manstein says: «While it is not abnormal, I suppose, for politicians to expect the generals to win a victory, it was undoubtedly a new departure for them to go as far as fixing the actual date. »24 How could a hopeful divisional commander know about the recent conversation between baron William de Ropp and Alfred Rosenberg? The deal was made to end this war quickly.
It is quite possible that the date was strictly fixed. After all, England could not pretend forever that nothing was happening.
By the way, in his conversation with ambassador Henderson Hitler said that he clearly understood Britain’s position and would not be offended if a sham war was conducted. Therefore, some top-level agreements did exist.
However, no written agreements, no mutual binding acts. How is it possible? If we carefully look into the history of diplomacy, we can find some examples. I mean so-called gentleman's agreement. In this connection I would like to mention one short document.
First of all, on the 18th of June, 1935 Great Britain and Germany signed a naval agreement. According to the agreement the total tonnage of the Kriegsmarine was to be 35% of the total tonnage of the Royal Navy on a permanent basis. Germany acquired the right to possess a submarine tonnage equal to the total submarine tonnage possessed by the Members of the British Commonwealth of Nations. However, Germany undertook not to exceed the tonnage of submarine fleet over 45% of the British one.
Everything seemed to be under control. Not a huge percentage, except the fact that the British Navy was roughly 1000 warships only in the Atlantic. It turned out to be a great number.
Apparently, the beginning of serious strategic relations between Nazi Germany and the British Empire can be dated 1937, specifically with the talks of Lord Halifax, the Lord President of Council of the United Kingdom and Adolf Hitler.25
The agenda of talks was to find better understanding between Great Britain and Germany in a personal dialogue with Führer. It would have the greatest importance not only for both parties, but for the entire European civilization.
According to Halifax, before his departure from England he had a conversation with the British Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, and they were in full agreement with this agenda. During the conversation Hitler made a very interesting statement. In my opinion it had a conceptual meaning.
“There were two possibilities in the shaping of relations between the peoples: The interplay of free forces, which was often synonymous with great and grave encroachments upon the life of the peoples and which could bring in its train a serious convulsion which would shake the civilization we had built up with so much trouble.
The second possibility lay in setting up in the place of the play of free forces the rule of a "higher reason"; in this case, however, one must clearly realize that this higher reason must lead to approximately similar results to those which had followed from the working of free forces. He (the Chancellor) had often asked himself during recent years whether humanity today was intelligent enough to replace the play of free forces by the method of higher reason.
In the year 1919 a great chance to apply this new method had been missed. At that time a solution of unreasonableness had been preferred: as a consequence Germany had been forced back on the path of the free play of forces, because this was the only possible way to make sure of the simplest rights of mankind. It would be decisive for the future whether the one method were chosen, or the other.
When considering the sacrifices which would certainly be demanded here and there by the method of reason one should realize what sacrifices would have to be made, were one to return to the old method of the free play of forces. One would then realize that the former alternative cost less. ”26
Lord Halifax agreed with Fuhrer that purely formal relations impeded mutual understanding and were of little value. And that far-reaching harmonization could be achieved only when all parties share the same core values and agree on principal matters.
Lord Halifax, from his part, was also convinced that something long lasting could only be created on a solid foundation, even if the reality was unpleasant to any party. He stressed that Great Britain respected Germany as great sovereign nation and the negotiations should be conducted only from that position. British people were realists. And perhaps more than others were convinced that the mistakes of the Versailles diktat had to be corrected.
Most likely, in this case we deal with so-called gentlemen's agreement. This is an informal oral agreement between parties, and, seemingly, does not entail any mutual obligations. But, according to the standards of diplomatic practice, the gentlemen's agreements are fulfilled as impeccably as written treaties.
Video part 5
What was going on in the British Establishment appears just as curious. Let me refer to some sources once again.
In October 1938, the Spectator, a conservative British weekly journal stated on its front page: “The Peace of Munich, and the consequent disintegration of Czechoslovakia, have created an entirely new situation in Central Europe”.27 The journal argued that the peace in Europe could be brought about in a different way. “Whether a definite association with Russia can or should be maintained is matter for serious consideration, in which great issues cannot be subordinated to personal prejudice.”28 The journal advised English diplomacy from encouraging Germany and stated that for the past three months Russia alone of the Great Powers concerned had been able to assume an attitude of impeccable propriety before the world. The article concluded that it was folly to destroy whatever chance remained of some co-operation with the USSR in future. John Keynes, a distinguished economist, was highly critical of Chamberlain’s anti-Soviet agenda.
Keynes’ work was published in various bulletins of London business circles. It was supplied with an editorial commentary taking into account the economic and military power of the Soviet Union. Editors held it that Russia could be of invaluable assistance to England. And it went on in the same spirit.
The Right-wing conservatives literally bury their Prime Minister.
I’ve asked several people who study England professionally, whether it was possible for conservatives with their high standards of corporate ethics to swoop down on their Prime Minister in such a manner. They replied: “Usually, no. We’ve never heard of something like that”.
It means there must have been executive orders. Moves have been made. The war was ready to rage. It takes new figures to make the next move and the former Prime Minister was unfit for the role. It would take a completely different set of mind. And it did not take long until such a man emerged.
What I have in mind is Winston Churchill’s statements. Unlike other conservatives, he was not a Member of Parliament and had a right to criticize the government, any way he wanted.
On December 11, 1938 at a meeting of the League of Nations Union at Chingford Winston Churchill said: «We do not know which direction he [Hitler] will take. Since the meeting at Munich and the destruction of Czechoslovakia, he has had so many choices open to him that the trouble has been which he shall take whether it shall be Memel or Danzig, or whether he shall stir up the Polish Ukrainians against Poland or the Transylvania population against Rumania.»29
He further noted: «We must gather all the forces of resistance towards dictators and unite likeminded nations and establish an august international tribunal upholding and obeying the rule of law. »30
In his article «Maniacal Dreams of Berlin», he noted that «the entire apparatus of confidence and good will which was being sedulously constructed in Great Britain has been shattered into fragments» by Chamberlain and his group. «At the same time, heavy movement of munitions and troops to the east was evident».31
He argues further: «instead of being terrified by the fate of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Rumania, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria <…> -Yugoslavia - have been roused to a lively sense of self-preservation. Behind them, both Turkey and Russia stretch forth friendly hands».32
A reminder of such friendly hand, particularly with reference to Russia, rendered German protectorate and patronage like almost a salvation.
What kind of international tribunal Winston Churchill is talking about? He almost openly admitted: “Britain plans to build a new world order with rules of only its own design. Yet, it takes obliteration of the old world to create a new one.” After all it would not be Churchill to obliterate the old world. It was Germany’s exclusive right.
In the World War I, Germans fell for a clever British trick and, having no choice, fired first. Strange as it is, the Germans did not learn a lesson from history.
In essence, Great Britain set a course to a new world order. The Third Reich was pursuing exactly the same goal. I wonder if Germans ever realized that their role was to pull the chestnuts out of the fire for the British. I don’t believe they did. They might still be in the dark, but it is their problem.
Thus, the war has broken out. There is nothing worth attention, except one thing, I suppose. I mean the war between the Soviet Union and Finland. However, we will address it a little later.
Our dear Western partners have recently got a taste to what-if games. «What if something was done other way around ... », «What if the Soviet Union had signed a treaty with England and France, then the World War II would have been prevented», what if this, what if that …
Why don’t we employ their method and just make it a little more scientific? Avoid speculations and analyze known historical facts. After all, we can always look at the crossroads, when the process might have gone one way or another.
Let’s consider a short period of time where several alternatives existed, and give it a try in analyzing one of them.
What if the talks between the Soviet Union, England and France did come to fruition and the treaty was signed in 1939 to establish collective security and military cooperation.
Can we fairly assume that? Yes, we can. Then what? Everything is agreed upon and signed including the number of divisions provided, terms of troops’ advancement and the extent of their deployment.
Keep in mind, England and France did not forget their aspiration to solve own problems at the
Besides, after the Munich agreement, Moscow had no delusions about intentions of our allies.
Even the value of agreements signed in the past was very questionable for Russians.
Video part 6
But, let's suppose, everything was agreed upon and signed including the number of divisions provided, terms of troops’ advancement and the extent of their deployment and etc.
Eastern Europe would no doubt fall under Soviet influence with all consequences. Poland would and did deem such treaty as a personal offence. Just have a look at the headlines in Polish newspapers of that time, how the Polish responded to the mere fact of England, France and the USSR holding talks. Poland took it as a personal offence and a betrayal of their national interests.
Furthermore, it would not solve Soviet Union’s problems in the Far East, where a local conflict could develop into a full scale war. Japan discussed closely the possibility of the Khalkhyn Gol conflict turning into a full scale war.
As a result, the situation would have ended up being more severe than it had been in reality. Nobody knows how Poland would react. The country could easily team up with Germany under a sentiment of betrayal by its allies. With consequences beyond prediction, a stronger Soviet Union could frighten Germany to the extent that Germany would team up with England and France which would make the situation even more combustible.
If an armed conflict with such background had erupted in Europe, the war would have been for real; no slack would have been cut. Yet, neither French nor British wanted it. They sought a war in the East.
Therefore, the treaty between England, France and the Soviet Union had no chance to be signed. And even had the treaty been signed, it would have made no difference. The war would have broken out anyway, since the real background of the war had nothing to do with the treaties.
Thus, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact delayed the full scale global conflict rather than unleashed it.
Although this matter is somewhat controversial, and many arguments can be submitted here. Yet, let us get back to the strange campaign in the West.
The very term «The Phoney War» is a popular name for military actions waged by England and France against Germany from September 03, 1939 to May 10, 1940 at the beginning of the World War II.
After the beginning of the German-Polish war in 1939, on September 3rd, England and France, being in alliance with Poland declared war on Germany. The French-German border had 40 fully equipped French divisions up against 17 German reduced divisions.
The entire bulk of English and French troops included 78 divisions, up to 17,5 thousand artillery and mortar pieces, about 2 thousand tanks, 3 thousand aircrafts, it was up against 33 German infantry divisions and about 800 German aircrafts.
Everything indicated the overwhelming supremacy of the allies.
Their naval supremacy was overwhelming as well. Nevertheless, no actions worth mentioning took place in the European theatre of war. According to any military encyclopedia Americans called it «the phoney war», while Germans named it «Sitzkrieg».
To say that nothing was going on would be unfair. As I’ve said before, on the 4th of September 29 British bombers flew to Kiel region where several German ships were anchored, which resulted in a light cruiser Emden being damaged and incapable to take part in military actions for several days; the English lost 7 aircrafts.
On the 9th of September, 10 French divisions launched an offensive on Saarbrücken region, forcing the enemy to retreat and take primary positions on the Siegfried line. 8 to 18 kilometers deep into German territory the French forces stopped on the order of their command. In October, 1939 never engaging with the German forces, they returned to their original positions. Besides, the British air forces conducted regular «raids of truth», as Secretary of State for Air, Kingsley Wood called it. The operation came down to millions of leaflets rather than bombs being dropped on German cities.
When British MPs called for more assertive measures, a Labourite, Hugh Dalton in particular, called for incendiary bombing of Schwarzwald (Black Forest) so that Germans could smell war on their territory.33
Note that a real war was not an option. The goal was just to make the Germans feel their woods burning. All that would definitely make a difference for the Polish, who were stranded and overwhelmed.
Secretary of State for Air responded that burning Schwarzwald down was a violation of the Hague Convention. Well, he was right.
When another MP seconded the call, Leo Amery insisted on swift actions, before autumn rains soaked the forest. Kingsley Wood’s reply was exactly: «Oh you can not do that, that’s private property. You’ll be asking me to bomb the Ruhr next»34
Obviously, no comments are needed. Just remember a conversation between Alfred Ernst Rosenberg and Baron William de Ropp.
Germany too did not stay idle. Germans launched several submarine raids and sank several transports, Royal Oak battleship - the largest warship of its time. It took record-breaking 11 seconds for the ship to sink.
Nice shot. The Brits had their arrogant noses filliped. Nevertheless, they did not care to retaliate.
We may note another occasion typical of the Phoney war, but not directly related to the war.
It is a memo sent by General Maurice Gustave Gamelin, the Commander-in-chief of joint French and British armed forces to Paul Reynaud, the Prime Minister of France.35
Dated March 22, 1940.
This official memorandum outlined plans to mount an attack on oil-producing Caucasus regions. This action would aim to strip Russia off the raw materials vital for the country’s economy and thereby to stagger the power of the Soviet state.
This action was expected to impact Germany as well, by shutting down fuel supplies from Russia. The memo states further that cutting Germany from Russian oil is secondary since Russian supply of Germany is miserly compared with the real needs of the country and the primary objective is «a blow on Soviet power». It is a great plan, isn’t it?
Just the existence of such document indicates that it was not a hypothetical proposal, but rather an elaborated plan of military actions. You never report anything hypothetical to Prime Ministers.
Politically, the plan was impeccable, while militarily it was not bad either. I presume reasons for the plan were quite significant.
The first reason is literarily on the surface: the Soviet-Finnish War. The plan was never implemented because the war had ended. Well, they got a tad behind. The war was raging, let me remind you, from November 30, 1939 till March 12, 1940, the plan was designed for that occasion.
The war ended in favor of the USSR. They did not make on time with the plan. However, the preparations never stopped.
On February 2nd, 1940, Soviet military attaché in Berlin, Purkaev, a corps commander and subsequently a prominent Soviet military official and an Army General received a Turkish military attaché, a major with the General Staff, Kami Akman. Their conversation shows that military preparation of England and France against the USSR was not at all a figment of imagination.
General Weygand’s maneuvers were brought up. Major Akman’s reply was: «The information that Weygand has set off to Caucuses is not true. He left Ankara for Syria, where, according to newspapers, an army is being mustered to advance to the North Caucuses».36
Besides, the fact that English and French troops – some half a million soldiers – were concentrated in Syria and Egypt, at the Southern borders of Russia and not in the North, proves that the fate of Finland was not the main concern of Britain and France.
In the face of conflict raging between Finland and the Soviet Union they tried to solve their own problems. It is, however, absolutely understandable. It would be unfair to blame them. Everyone deals with their issues, as they deem fit, even more so, the League of Nations did call for a joint support for the poor Finland.
To be frank, we should point out that the Northern sector was mapped out as well. England and France pursued their own goals. Nobody was thinking of Finland. France sought to push the war off their borders. England aimed at cutting Germany off its vital strategic resources, specifically, iron ore, supplied by Norway and Sweden.
Video part 7
Thus, Poland is defeated, the war has been declared but no military actions take place. England and France muster half a million force in Syria and Egypt, aiming at the Northern Caucasus. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union puts an end to the Winter War and everything seems to be normal. However, a new war erupts on May 10, 1940. German Wehrmacht assumed active military actions on the Western front.
However, the oddities did not stop. The 5th Western front developments department with the Red Army reported on May 20, 1940, inter alia: «the headcount of French troops in Syria has been increased up to two hundred thousand (200000), tanks, light artillery units, horses and vehicles are still arriving. According to intelligence data from trustworthy sources in Paris, a group of allies’ experts have conducted reconnaissance for allied air raids on Baku, Grozny, Batumi. Besides, the French government is thought to be taking necessary measures to launch an offensive on Soviet Transcaucasia».37
This is the first oddity to catch your eye. Using the Winter War to pursue their own goals, including against the Soviet Union is understandable, yet from May 10 to May 20, 1940 the French command had a bigger war to wage besides messing with Russia. And so did Britain. It does not take a military genius or profound expertise to see that things were getting serious on the Western front.
In the meantime, the situation unfolds as during military drills. Various sources reflect these developments in a precise yet scarce and dull manner. In no time German troops went from 33 reduced Landsturm infantry divisions to 136, including 10 tank and 7 motorized divisions. It was more than two and a half thousand tanks (2500), more than 7000 artillery and mortar pieces, more than 3800 aircrafts. We should note the group was increased in number under direct engagement with the enemy.
While the enemy, i.e. England and France keep massing their troops in Syria. Although, with 147 divisions, including 23 tank, mechanized and motorized divisions with the total number of 3100 tanks, more than 14500 artillery and mortar pieces, about 3800 aircrafts they had nothing serious to worry about.
Brief summary of the events suggests that no one was really concerned. On May 14, the Dutch army surrendered. On May 20, German battle tank forces approached the English Channel. On May 28, the Belgian army surrendered. On June 4th the remaining English, French and Belgian forces, surrounded near Dunkirk, and were evacuated to the British Isles, with all heavy weaponry left on the shore. Operation Case Yellow38 was over.
On June 5th, meaning that since May 20th German forces had been watching the evacuation and minded their own business, and after redeployment German forces embark on the Operation Case Red39: 124 infantry, 10 tank, 6 motorized divisions against 71 weakened French and two English divisions.
On June 10, the French Government fled Paris. On June 14, Paris surrendered without a fight. On June 17, new head of the French government, Marshal Pétain, called for the German command to cease fire. On June 22, 1940, the Second Armistice at Compiègne was signed. The same forest, the same rail carriage of Marshal Foch.40 No comment, so to speak.
However, I have a few remarks. Thus, the first one goes as follows: the official statistics indicate that during the campaign the French army lost 84 thousand in casualties, more than a million and a half in POWs, while the Germans lost 27 thousand in casualties, more than 111 thousand in wounded and more than 18 thousand missing in action, possibly defected.
No matter how humane the war conventions are, in certain combat situations prisoners cannot be taken. Such is the nature of combat.
The nature of combat makes it highly unlikely. Those soldiers, who are unlucky to engage with the enemy during the initial stage of a battle, that is fire contact, or the intermediate stage of a battle, that is the attack and direct contact, are fated to be killed. If wounded, they have tiny chance to survive until help comes.
Only those may become prisoners, who engage with the enemy in the later stage of a fight, when the primary combat mission is accomplished and the tactical defence area is taken.
This area is 12 kilometers for any army in the world. In case of a strategic mission, the distance goes up to 50 kilometers, which doubles casualties on both sides. As a rule the ratio of losses of defenders to attackers is 1:3, but it is on average.
The battlefield had about three million people fighting on both sides. Theoretically, casualties on both sides must have been at least ten times higher and according to the law of large numbers the real losses should not vary much from the expected statistic.
Considering the actual casualties, we can conclude that no serious and decisive military actions took place. The English and French command simply handed Europe over to Hitler.
Out of the big headcount of troops only tiny fraction of unlucky soldiers died. Those few poor Englishmen and Frenchmen who truly tried to make a difference. This conclusion appears self-explanatory, it is absolutely clear to anyone, who has ever had anything to do with military service.
The second remark concerns surprisingly lenient terms of the peace treaty, dictated by Germany to the defeated foe. No full disarmament, no navy surrender was required, retaining attributes of statehood such as government, police and local governance, etc., freedom of action in colonies. All that contradicts the image of the Third Reich.
Walter Warlimont wrote in his book41 that Fuhrer was willing to disarm France as much as possible, yet stood against any terms, especially military fleet surrender, that seemed unachievable at the moment. He wished to get all what was possible without humiliating the country. What a touching care about the defeated enemy.
These days, the occupation of France tends to conjure up an image of heroic hardship: Charles de Gaulle, «Free France», the French Resistance, and the list goes on. Documents tell a different story though.
Recently, Paris hosted an exhibition titled «Occupied Paris» by a French photographer Andre Zucca.42 The exhibition featured over 250 photos taken between 1941 and 1944. The photos display Parisians rejoicing in life’s pleasures on the banks of Seine, in cafes, or city parks, on the sunlit Champs Elysees; Parisian coquettes flaunting their new hats, lovers hugging, children roll skating, people riding bicycles, feeding an elephant in the city zoo, elegant Nazi officers strolling with citizens. Only two pictures feature Jews wearing mandatory yellow Star of David badge, although not harassed openly. All these photos paint quite an idyllic picture. The city appears to live a peaceful and not at all miserable life, and even red flags with black swastikas do not mar its even tenor. The exhibition caused a tremendous controversy. So striking was the contrast between the myth and the reality.
The Paris city hall banned the exhibition in the capital. Municipal senate member and the head of the Department of Culture, Christophe Gerard told the press that the exhibition was unbearable.
In yet another worth mentioning letter, Churchill reports to Roosevelt on British air raids on Renault factories. The Prime Minister said the raids aimed besides destroying military production facilities working for Germany, to remind the French they were at war.
However, some incidents happened at the final days of the war. On June 10, 1944, four days after the Allies landed in Normandy, a unit of SS Das Reich division recently transferred from the Eastern front wiped out an entire French village, Oradour-sur-Glane with all its residents.43
Children were sent to concentration camps, while the entire adult population – up to 600 people - were herded into a barn and burned. Then, the whole village was set on fire. Historians still debate, why it was done. Why commit such an act of meaningless cruelty, completely out of line with the entire period of Western occupation?
In Belorussia, every fourth village was burned down with every last resident and no historian expressed any concern, as if it was absolutely natural. However, this is not about numbers. Massacre of civilians is in any case a heinous atrocity.
The point is that practically in every occupied European country the Nazis preserved the existing ethno-national police forces, in many of them – national armies, parliaments and democratic systems, nothing was tampered with.
In Norway, the overwhelming majority of police officers voluntarily joined the leader of local collaborationist movement, Vidkun Quisling, while the Minister of Police, Jonas Lie, was at the same time the head of German SS in Norway. In Denmark, Social Democrats remained in power up till 1944. Sovereignty of the nation was practically unaffected, in addition to national military forces, parliament and democratic election system the country preserved its local law enforcement.
Video part 8
Certainly, annihilation of civilians, especially in such a barbaric way, is an atrocity, but that was an exception. The general trend remained unchanged, and that was true for the most countries of the Old World.
Virtually in all occupied European countries the Nazis kept the existing national police. That’s how it was in Norway where the vast majority of policemen chose to follow Vidkun Quisling, the leader of the local collaborationists, while Minister of Police Jonas Lie was also a commander of German SS forces in Norway.
In Denmark, up till 1944 the power literally remained with the social democratic government. The country’s sovereignty was left almost intact. In addition to the national army, parliament and democratic elections, the local police bodies were left in force as well. The national police was led by the Interior Minister Knud Kristensen succeeded by Jørgen Jørgensen.
It is as late as September 1944 that Germans dismissed the Danish police because, and here I quote: «its personnel failed to actively suppress anti-German strikes».
In place of police, an auxiliary police force was recruited from local Nazis and Eastern Front veterans. Even in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia - the former Czechoslovakia, the existing police forces remained in place, which means they kept their weapons, positions and offices.
It is fair to say, however, that one of the Czech police leaders, Minister of the Interior General Alois Eliáš associated with the resistance movement was arrested by Gestapo and executed. The others were quite happy with the situation.
It should be noted that the Western liberal democracy, being quite a tolerant system, managed to get along with the Nazi regime surprisingly well, so the resistance movement did not really bother the occupants.
For example, in 1944 the head of the Planning Department of the Reich Ministry of Armaments reported: «Despite the fact that there are 30 million Germans and 7 million foreign workers in the military industry, the current production have not encountered any serious problems caused by sabotage or passive resistance». Any active resistance was completely out of question.
When at the Nuremberg Trial the Third Reich Minister of Armaments Duke Albert Speer was asked whether his Ministry was badly disturbed by saboteurs, in other words the resistance participants, he readily answered: «They didn’t bother us much».
Western researchers who study the World War II and the participation of the Allies in it never realized that comfortable peace after the phoney war was the greatest possible humiliation of the Western Europe. Do they realize it today? I doubt it.
However, it is their problem. We are interested in quite a different matter: what was the reason of such a shattering defeat - 44 days to take over the entire Europe? Germans themselves did not expect such a success and were not planning for it.
That is why many researchers call the Western Campaign «blitzkrieg without blitzkrieg». For the issue we are discussing, this question appears quite interesting.
Let us imagine what would have happened had the French and the British armies as well as the armies of the Netherlands, Belgium and other countries fought as expected during a war fearlessly protecting every inch of their Motherland every building. What would have been left of the old Europe, its culture, its industry? That’s right, nothing! Who needs such a war? Hitler needed Europe safe and sound. Otherwise he would have never arranged an integral industrial organism to work for the Nazi Germany throughout the war. It would have been quite problematic. The war itself would have had no sense in that case.
What is the point of the war then?
In the West everything happened in a quiet and calm manner. We fought for every building and every inch of our land, for the Western Europe it was different.
Authoritarian regime is good for managing production activities, especially in time of emergency. In Western democracy it was impossible to implement a centralized industrial system aimed against the Soviet Union because of all those trade unions, parliaments etc.
After all, the principles of democracy cannot be compromised. But occupation is a different thing. Everything is legitimate, everything is fine.
So, the war in the West appears to be nothing else but a tool to establish a giant financial and industrial corporation with new agenda. Naturally, Germany held a control stake in that corporation for a while.
It should be noted that, when the period of Germany’s presidency in pan-European financial and industrial corporation ended, that is in 1944 when the Allies brought their troops to Normandy, the assets were transferred to a new «board of directors», perfectly safe and sound, without major incidents.
There was no heavy fighting. One can just look through the chronicles of taking Paris, when the Allies’ forces entered Paris. In history books as well as in schools and Western studies they tell us that the Allies had intense battles. But if you look at the chronicles you will see unbroken windows. It means that heavy weaponry was not used at all, but only small shoot-outs happened where Germans had failed to withdraw something important. And it was very typical.
Some damage was inflicted in the trouble zones where the persistent German forces had to be dealt with somehow, in such areas the local population was extremely hostile to the Allies, French officers and de Gaulle himself acknowledged it in the memoirs. Rather unusual attitude toward the liberators. It could be another probable evidence that their life under the German rule was not too bad.
For comparison, I would like to mention a paragraph from a battle report by the command staff of the 53rd Army of the Steppe Front of September 25, 1943, 8AM: «the enemy retreats to the south-west, their rearguard resists our troops. In the course of the retreat the enemy burns villages and crops in the fields, takes away cattle and people»44. As we can see, it has nothing in common with how the retreat of the German troops was going on in the West.
On the other hand, a phoney military campaign is the best way to optimize the army, increase headcount to the required number, train soldiers and give officers some combat experience, let the command staffs of all levels get some experience in planning, coordination and offensive operations, etc. That is, to do everything that would be extremely problematic and expensive in peacetime.
Also, the Western countries could transfer to the winner all their assets on legitimate pretext; after all they did lose the war. All these assets perfectly functioned throughout the war. Statistics do not lie: in the French dockyards German ships and submarines were repaired faster and better than in German ones.
There was only one factor unexpected by the Third Reich leaders that it would take within one month overall. They had planned to have a more or less serious war against a worthy opponent but got such a runaway success instead.
Besides equipment and armament along with a numerous and well-trained army, a war requires strategic reserves, food in the first place. It is what Germany was lacking. And it is the resource that Europe was short of.
Of course, they could simply have seized what they needed in Europe, but that would have been a one-time act. And after that - farewell to any co-operation and get a full-scale resistance instead. Who needed that?
Meanwhile, the Wehrmacht headcount reached 7 million.
Well, 7 million 234 thousand, to be more exact. The food shortage was critical.
Hitler expected to have at least a two-year respite after the Western Campaign, but the reality pushed him to fight on. The only place to replenish food supplies was Ukraine. So, a military campaign against the Soviet Union became inevitable.
Here, again we face the question whether Hitler was a political player or just a pawn on a chess board? The player always has at least two options to choose from. If there is no alternative then he is a pawn moving where he is told to. But if Hitler was a pawn, then who was the player? The answer is somewhat evident.
Video part 9
Of course, food shortage was not the only reason for attacking the Soviet Union, although definitely quite an important one, while the lack of other options was the best guarantee that everything would work out properly. From a game perspective it was quite an interesting combination - a strategic sacrifice made by the West for the sake of future victory allowed Germany to transform from a pawn into a player for a while.
However, the window of opportunity, even with considerable resources, was extremely narrow. The position of the Soviet Union was not anyhow better.
Even with a huge potential we were lacking time. Rearmament of the Red Army had not been completed. We acquired new territories and had to incorporate them into the military structure.
The balance of political and military powers in Europe had changed. New mobilization plans had to be designed. After the end of the Western Campaign the Soviet leadership clearly realized that they did not have enough time.
Therefore both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union had to harness the acquired resources in the course of military action, thus suffering innumerable losses.
This combination was supposed to result in permanent extermination of one player, ideally it should have been Nazi Germany, and a catastrophic enervating of the other one — the Soviet Union.
This position was best worded by Harry Truman, back then a Democratic senator, who said, in particular: «If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don't want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances».45
Then he added rather odd remark: «Neither of them thinks anything of their pledged word»46. Apparently, he would welcome any outcome of a long and bloody war.
With the beginning of the warfare in the Eastern Front England and the USA spoke in support of the Soviet Union. The well-known speech of Winston Churchill broadcast on BBC on June 22, 1941 at 11PM speaks for itself.
The statement of support of the Soviet Union by the USA was made by the acting Secretary of State Welles who confirmed: «Hitler's armies are today the chief dangers of the Americas»47.
President Roosevelt, in his turn, stated at a press conference on June 24th: «We are going to give all the aid we possibly can to Russia»48. The next day it was published in all central newspapers of the Soviet Union.
From that moment on America became deeply involved in the European affairs.
The center of power had gradually shifted from London to the other side of the ocean. As I’ve mentioned, many British researchers believe that it was deliberately done by Britain — the reason for that is a different story.
It was not easy to overcome the isolationist policy. Some circles in America attempted to do so but failed. On April 15, 1939 President Roosevelt called Hitler and Mussolini on the phone and urged them to promise not to attack in the next 10 years any of the thirty one (31) states listed in his appeal.
Roosevelt planned to start political talks that were supposed to establish the necessary guarantees of peace. President claimed his commitment to mediate a conference of powers interested in peaceful co-operation.49
The initiative was immediately supported by the Soviet Union and a little later by Britain and France, but failed that time. Hitler made an extraordinary political maneuver — he conducted a kind of a survey through his Foreign Affairs agency asking the European countries whether they were afraid of German attack and whether they considered Germany to be a threat to them. Naturally, the answer was unambiguous — nobody thought, at least not in an outspoken manner, that Germany was a threat to them.
After that the diplomatic defeat was completed by Hitler’s public promise not to attack the USA. The American diplomacy went squash.
However, the very fact of the failure of peace mediation served as a good reason to start dismantling the policy of Isolationism. Roosevelt called Congress to revise the Neutrality Acts.50
Not so long before the aforementioned events in his annual message Roosevelt said: «our neutrality laws may operate unevenly and unfairly — may actually give aid to an aggressor and deny it to the victim».51
Although the necessary revisions to the laws were made, it took more than a mere fiasco of the American diplomacy. Pearl Harbor had to become the trigger, but that is another story.
In the aforementioned initiative by the American President, two interesting aspects should be distinguished. First, it is the list of states. On the one hand everything appears to be fine because the Soviet Union was included on the list. Everything seems to be quite clear — America as a genuinely democratic country is trying to protect the security, prosperity and safety of all countries regardless of their political orientation and ideological basis.
Interestingly, at the moment when the appeal was written we had neither a border with Germany nor any serious disputes or reasons for a conflict. Meanwhile, the states that were asked to support the US initiative would actually become the future theater of war.
After the World War I the European debt to America was over 10 billion dollars — a huge amount of money for those times. The Americans clearly understood that a new war could bring much greater profits so badly needed for the American economy to overcome the Great Depression. However, they needed to join the process in a timely manner, which could only become possible with isolationism dismissed.
Video part 10
Another issue that should be discussed in the context of the peace initiatives of the USA – the attitude toward this initiative, the real attitude, of the immediate prospective partners, Great Britain in particular.
That attitude was revealed by the high-ranking British politicians Sir Horace Wilson, Sir Joseph Ball and Mr. Hudson at their meeting with the Reich commissioner for the German Four-Year Plan Helmuth Wohlthat.52
For reference, Horace Wilson was Chief Industrial Adviser to the British Government53, Joseph Ball – an influential figure of the Conservative Party54, R. S. Hudson represented Department of British Overseas Trade. So, they were not private individuals and not small fry at all.
Helmuth Wohlthat was a commissioner for the German Four-Year Plan, Goering’s man, not an underling either.
Wohlthat's own memorandum on these conversations was given to Goering in Berlin a few days later. He listed a variety of items that he had been led in London to believe would constitute a willing agenda of British negotiations: a joint Anglo-German declaration of non-aggression … clearly implying here the withdrawal of British interest in the question of Danzig.55 Very eloquent, isn't it?
In other words, accept our conditions and do whatever you want with Poland — this is exactly what Germans did, probably, they agreed. Besides, all the above-mentioned arrangements were suggested in a context implying that military force must not be used to resolve political arguments, which was outlined in paragraphs 1 and 2 suggested by Sir Horace.56
During conversations Mr. Hudson mentioned that he would prefer discussing all that in a calm and quiet atmosphere rather than at a peace conference. Apparently, he meant the conference proposed by the USA in April 1939, there was nothing else on the table at that time.
This evidence clearly supports the idea that nobody was really going to discuss anything and that the real outcome of the American initiative had nothing to do with calling a conference — everything was clear with it.
Most likely, it was an occasion to implement a more serious and long-term plan. Apparently, breaking through the isolationist barrier could not be the self-sufficient goal either. In case of a peaceful scenario this breakthrough would have had no sense, and even could have entailed bad losses. Only a war, a big war could give sufficient profit to adequately support the US economy and help it out of the Great Depression.
The author of «The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two» Terkel quotes an opinion of one of his compatriot. He says: «While the rest of the world came out bruised and scarred and nearly destroyed, we came out with the most unbelievable machinery, tools, manpower, money. The war was fun for America... I'm not talking about the poor souls who lost sons and daughters. But for the rest of us, the war was a hell of a good time. »57 Who could ever say «a hell of a good time» about a war?
Video part 11
However, the oddities kept happening in the Western Theatre of War up to its end. Here is just one example. Commander of the 2nd battalion of the 49th SS panzergrenadier regiment «de Ruyter» from the SS «Nederland» Division Sturmbannführer Peterson remembered how their unit was trying to break through to the West, into the American zone in order to escape being captured by Russians. «On May 3, 1945 near Parchim the regiment was ordered to make a defense line and stop the advance of Russians until all German units cross the demarcation line. Soon a column of 12 Russian tanks appeared and got entrapped in a valley near a mill in front of a damaged bridge under the point-blank fire of two assault guns.
At the same time from the direction of Parchim, two armored vehicles with white stars on their sides appeared as they were sent forward from a firing position of field guns for reconnaissance. Soldiers in the trenches whispered: “Amis are here! They will help us to fight Russians!”
The two armored vehicles stopped, the hatches opened, and two US Army officers from the 7th Tank Division jumped down on the road. They pointed their binoculars toward the battle nearby.
It lasted a matter of seconds, though it seemed like an eternity to us. Then both Americans put their binoculars down and raised their hands in soldier’s salute — it was addressed to us, and many of us returned the salute.
Both olive-green vehicles with large white stars on their sides roared with their engines and turned around heading for Parchim. The division intelligence officer could report now how far the Russians were from the demarcation line.»58 Hopes of the Germans and their perception of reality are particularly revealing here.
They had no doubt that Americans would help them in their fight against Russians, which means they counted for one member of the Anti-Hitler Coalition to help them against another. The perception of reality from American side is quite indicative as well, they felt absolutely assured that Germans would not turn any single gun against them, although it would have been quite natural.
But let us get back to the negotiations between Helmuth Wohlthat and the members of the British elite in 1939.
There was another very interesting moment, although maybe not directly connected with the problem under study, but still very interesting: a remark of Sir Horace who said that the negotiations should not be disclosed to those who basically oppose an agreement, he suggested to inform France and Italy later if necessary.
Speaking about the Allies or the strategic partnerships as we would put it today where the major partners regard the minor ones as annoying encumbrance. Hitler made England free from this burden when he occupied France. Anglo-Americans returned the favor by drawing Italy out of the game later.
In this regard, a question arises: how sincere were the statements made by the leaders of England and the USA after Germany attacked the Soviet Union, knowing the efforts the same leaders had put into making Nazi Germany a reality?
The answer is surprisingly simple: they were absolutely sincere. First, nobody was going to support Hitler’s claims to world dominance, his mission was much smaller, and he perfectly succeeded with it and then had to leave the political arena.
Specifically, his mission was to transform Europe into a huge industrial and financial corporation running like clockwork and to make the Soviet Union as weak as possible in the course of the conflict.
Hitler was allowed to play for a while, but in no event he could have had any chance to win — in this sense, Nazi Germany was a disposable tool.
Destiny of the Soviet Union was also determined: after an exhausting Pyrrhic victory with the economy ruined the USSR would have to ask for the Allies’ help and obviously accept any conditions. Without that help it would be simply impossible to rebuild economy devastated by the war.
Rothschild said in his day: «Let me issue and control a Nation's money and I care not who makes its laws».59 The business and political Establishment of England and the USA had no doubt that one way or another they would take control over our finance, and the rest would be a piece of cake.
Besides that, they could let Hitler become a real player, or almost a real one, only on one condition: by setting him loose and leaving him alone to face the reality — however, the reality failed to meet Hitler's expectations and appeared to be quite the opposite, as England and the USA joined the Soviet Union, and you can play if you want but there are no other options and no way back.
On June 21st, taking a walk along a crocket lawn in Chequers Court, Winston Churchill confided to his Personal Secretary Colville, that Hitler wrongfully hoped to enlist right-wing sympathies in England and the USA to help him fight against the USSR. But he was wrong, as Britain would go all out to help Russia.60
Also, a quick defeat of the Soviet Union, had it happened, would have meant the absolute failure of the plans for a new game framework because the major players would have to get their own hands dirty, that was completely against the game plan.
In that case, first of all, the new game framework could have been completely destroyed, and also, the final victory was not guaranteed at all — so the whole venture would have become at risk.
Thus, the Allies sincerely mourned our losses and celebrated out victories. The help provided by the Anti-Hitler Coalition allies, both financial and material, even if it did not make decisive difference, was still important to us, and we remember and appreciate it. However, we need to mention, that Russia have not yet paid off its Lend-Lease debt which it will keep paying till 2030.
There was only one thing miscalculated by our allies and partners that we would be able to restore our economy with no external help. Thanks to those efforts, the world is still regulated by «the interplay of free forces» but not a «higher reason»61. Even today the world keeps developing this way, at least in those parts that really strive for development.
However, all events in the world after the disintegration of the Soviet Union demonstrate that there are other trends as well, which appear painfully similar to what Adolf Hitler offered to the world — the rule of a «higher reason».
This is a quote from an official document «Germany: Peace for Europe 1944-1945»
Video part 12
«Germany wages this war for the sake of establishing a European Confederation as an associative and socialist community of the European nations. This plan completely rejects any claims for German dominance beyond the natural ethnic area of the German population. The establishment of the united states of Europe based on the equality of all the nations involved with submitting all the national viewpoints to this great common goal»62. We only need to add that this document was issued by the top SS command and was personally signed by Himmler. Is it any different from today’s European Union? Absolutely not. Does it differ in any way from the Socialist International63 political platform? Not much also.
Of course, it was said about the nations of the Nordic race leaving the subhumans out. On the territory of the Soviet Union an «SS kingdom» was to be established — please refer to the Generalplan Ost64, its existence was disputed for a long time, although now it has been published in full.
Vladimir Borisovich Pavlenko, Ph.D. in Political Science, referring to the works of Estulin65, draws an interesting parallel with the Marburg Plan designed in the USA back in the early 20th century: the plan anticipated transformation of capitalism into socialism through monopoly, to become the basis for the synarchist movement66 that unites socialists and bankers. Does it ring the bell?
This is exactly what is being done, quietly and purposefully. Therefore, the Great Game keeps going on — according to Kipling, it will only finish when everyone is dead, but we are still alive.
As a matter of fact, here we can stop our analysis of the Phoney war in the West in the framework of the Great Game, just remember the Great Game still keeps going on.
But if the Great Game is still in progress, the big war is not so far away either. Meanwhile, technology has evolved considerably, so the Western society should realize that there is not much difference between Tripoli and Paris — bombs explode the same way in any city.
Sooner or later it may backfire badly. Is the experience of two World Wars not sufficient to learn a lesson from own history?
Indeed, all the information I referred to is available in public sources. Just read it.
Instead, the “respected” Western historians, or those who claim to be historians, produce films like «The Soviet Story» without a single word of truth, where any alleged document can be easily disproved due to its complete absurdity.
After all, there is common sense: there are plenty of really qualified and educated people in the West who can tell right from wrong and realize that it is much better to ensure the peace rather than listen to politicians trying to reanimate, under the guise of freedom and democracy, something very similar to the Third Reich.
1 The term "Phoney War" was possibly coined by US Senator William Borah who stated, in September 1939: "There is something phoney about this war." "Defiant Peace Bid Hurled By Hitler". The Pittsburgh Press. September 19, 1939.
2 German: Sitting war.
3 Conolly A. Journey to the North of India through Russia, Persia and Afghanistan. London: Richard Bentley, 1834.
5 Paraphrase from Spenser Ed. Travels in the western Caucasus. Vol. 1. L., 1838
7 From TV interview to Russian Channel 1. London, November 2004. - Imperial history by Dominic Lieven / June 20, 2003: Americans are stuck with the burden of empire without having chosen it.
9 Gdansk (German: Danzig) is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship.
10 Public Record Office. CAB 23/99, 1939. P. 124
11 Public Record Office. CAB 23/100, 1939, 2.VIII. P. 271
12 Public Record Office. CAB 23/99, 1939. 24.V. P. 290
13 The Locarno Treaties were seven agreements negotiated at Locarno, Switzerland, on 5–16 October 1925 and formally signed in London on 1 December, in which the First World War Western European Allied powers and the new states of Central and Eastern Europe sought to secure the post-war territorial settlement, and return normalizing relations with defeated Germany (which was, by this time, the Weimar Republic). Locarno divided borders in Europe into two categories: western, which were guaranteed by Locarno treaties, and eastern borders of Germany with Poland, which were open for revision, thus leading to German renewed claims to the Free City of Danzig and Polish territories approved by the League of Nations including the Polish Corridor, and Upper Silesia.
17 Winston S. Churchill. The Gathering Storm: The Second World War, Volume 1, chapter 19.
18 German: Fall Weiss (Case White) - German strategic plan of military campaign against Poland developed in April-June 1939.
21 British Foreign Policy 1919-1939 by Paul W. Doerr. Channon Diaries, 28 September 1938, P 171.
24 Lost Victories by Field-Marshal Eric von Manstein. Edited and translated by Anthony G. Powell. Part I, Chapter 3. ISBN-10: 0891411305, ISBN-13: 978-0891411307.
25 Free paraphrase of DGFP, Series D, Volume I, Document No. 31, Memorandum, «Conversation between Lord Halifax and Herr Hitler», 19 November 1937
29 Fears for future "Unpromising days" London, Monday. The Argus, Tuesday, 13 December, 1938
30 "We Deplore Lack Of Leadership But Must Do Our Best:" Churchill. Armament not enough. National defence is hampered. Goulburn Evening Penny Post, Monday, 12 December, 1938
31 Resistance to Hitler. ''Maniacal Dreams" of Berlin. Situation tense and grievous. By the Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill, M.P. The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday, 3 April 1939
33 “The smoke and smell of German forests would teach the Germans, who were very sentimental about their own trees, that war was not always pleasant and profitable, and could not be fought entirely in other people’s countries.”
34 Edward Spears, Assignment to Catastrophe, Volume I: Prelude to Dunkirk July 1939-May 1940 (London, Melbourne and Toronto: William Heinemann, 1954), 29.
35 The original text of this memo is not available. However, multiple sources confirm aggressive plans of Britain and France against the USSR:
36 Rus: Военная разведка информирует. Январь 1939 – июнь 1941. Документы. М., 2008. - Documents of Russian military intelligence. January 1939 – June 1941. ISBN 978-5-89511-014-0 p. 263–264.
37 Ibid. p. 313-314
38 Case Yellow (German: Fall Gelb). Codename for the German invasion of France.
39 Case Red (German: Fall Rot). The second phase of Battle of France.
41 Walter Warlimont “Inside Hitler's headquarters, 1939-1945”. Walter Warlimont (3 October 1894 – 9 October 1976) was a German officer and war criminal known for his role as a deputy chief in the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW), Germany's Supreme Armed Forces Command during World War II. In October 1948, Warlimont was tried as a war criminal before a United States military tribunal in the High Command Trial. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. However, in 1951 his sentence was reduced to 18 years. In 1957 he was amnestied from Landsberg Prison. In 1962, Warlimont wrote Inside Hitler's Headquarters 1939–1945.
44 Central Archives of the Russian Defense Ministry. F. 240, Op. 2779, 44, l. 318.
47 Franklin Roosevelt Administration: Secretary of State Welles Statement on Germany's Attack on the Soviet Union (June 23, 1941) New York Times, June 24, 1941.
48 The Foreign Policy of Franklin D. Roosevelt To The Entry Into World War II by Henry J. Brajkovic IV. The final plunge into the war.
49 At his Press Conference on April 15, 1939 President Roosevelt read a message he had sent the previous day to Adolph Hitler.
52 In our time: Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion by Clement Leibovitz. ISBN-10: 0853459991, ISBN-13: 978-0853459996.
53 Sir Horace John Wilson, GCB, GCMG, CBE (1882 – 1972) was a British top government official who had a key role in the appeasement-oriented ministry of Neville Chamberlain just prior to World War II.
54 In March 1927 George Joseph Ball was appointed as Deputy of Publicity at the Conservative Central Office. In 1930 he was promoted to the post of Director of the Conservative Research Department. In 1937 he became political adviser to Neville Chamberlain. Ball controlled an anti-Jewish journal called The Truth. Ball was also close to Archibald Ramsay. In the House of Commons Ramsay was the main critic of having Jews in the government.
55 The Soviets, the Munich Crisis, and the Coming of World War II by Hugh Ragsdale. ISBN-10: 0521830303, ISBN-13: 978-0521830300. Wohlthat memorandum, 24 July 1939; DGFP, Series D, Volume 6, page 977-983, Document No. 716. 452/223410-21
56 Tragedy and Hope. A History of the World in Our Time by Carroll Quigley Chapter 46: The Year of Dupes, 1939.
57 Paul Edwards, in Studs Terkel, "The Good War": An Oral History of World War Two (New York, 1984), 573.
58 Das Ende zwischen Weichsel und Elbe 1944/45. (German) by Hans Schäufler, Wilhelm Tieke
59 Mayer Amschel Rothschild (23 February 1744 – 19 September 1812) was a German banker and the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty. "Let me issue and control a Nation's money and I care not who makes its laws".
61 «Interplay of free forces», «Higher reason». Phrases of Hitler from German Memorandum of Hitler and Halifax, Discussion, 19 November 1937.
62 Paraphrase from the book by Hans Werner Neulen. Europa und das 3. Reich: Einigungs bestrebungen im deutschen Machtbereich, 1939-45. German. ISBN-10: 3800411415, ISBN-13: 978-3800411412.
63 The Socialist International (SI) is a worldwide association of political parties which seek to establish democratic socialism. It consists of democratic socialist, social democratic and labour political parties and other organizations.
65 Daniel Estulin (born in Vilnius, Lithuania, August 29, 1966) is an author and public speaker whose main interest is the Bilderberg Group, an annual invitation-only conference of the elites in the fields of business, finance, media, military and politics.