Discussion:
Anglo-French bombing of Baku
(too old to reply)
JoatSimeon
2003-12-12 09:55:30 UTC
Permalink
With typical brilliance, the French and British governments were planning on
attacking the Soviet oil installations at Baku in early 1940. Action had been
approved and the reconaissance was to begin in late March. As it was, there
were some distractions...

Howeve, Reynaud, the French premier, had proposed the Baku attack earlier and
Chamberlain had not -- then -- been willing to go along with it.

Suppose that he had, and that an Allied bombing raid against Baku had taken
place before the German offensive opened in the West. What would have
resulted?
Dave Knudson
2003-12-12 16:44:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by JoatSimeon
With typical brilliance, the French and British governments were planning on
attacking the Soviet oil installations at Baku in early 1940. Action had been
approved and the reconaissance was to begin in late March. As it was, there
were some distractions...
Howeve, Reynaud, the French premier, had proposed the Baku attack earlier and
Chamberlain had not -- then -- been willing to go along with it.
Suppose that he had, and that an Allied bombing raid against Baku had taken
place before the German offensive opened in the West. What would have
resulted?
Is this likely? I mean, supposing the bombers were based in French
Syria or British Kuwait, they'd have to violate someone's neutrality
to do so (Turkey, Iraq or Persia).
Additionally, while annoyed at the Soviets, I can't imagine Britain
and France deciding to take on a continental-sized Great Power in
addition to Germany. That would require Hitler-esque levels of
stupidity.

However, supposing they did in Feb-March 1940, and chose to overfly
Persia (as opposed to stronger Turkey), I guess what happens depends
on the scope and success of the attacks.

First of all, I imagine the Soviets base some fighters in that region.
I think those fighters hurt the raids pretty hard - there's no allied
fighter in the inventory in 1940 that could escort such raids.

Hitler, is of course delighted. German diplomatic overtures are made
to Turkey and Iraq, offering security guarantees against Allied
"Adventurism". Nazi diplomats sweeten the pot by adding various bits
of the French and British Empires in the middle east (Syria for
Turkey, Kuwait for Iraq). This probably has no effect - the Turks in
particular were against re-establishing the Ottoman Empire in any form
- until June 1940.

Stalin is infuriated. He'll feel even more isolated than before.
With the victories over Japan, and despite the Finnish setbacks, he
may well order an invasion of Persia to secure the oil down there, and
get to the British bases in Kuwait - although he'd have to at least
take Basra to do that.

If Persia is attacked, the British and French may well act to protect
at least the south of it, using troops from Syria, India, and Egypt.
This will denude the Eastern Med of Allied military, and may be just
too tempting for Mussolini.

All of this takes time, and by June 1940, it is obvious the war is
going to take a very different turn. With France falling, the British
are suddenly out in the cold. At this point, it gets very tricky.

More later - gotta run.

Dave Knudson
JoatSimeon
2003-12-12 22:37:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Knudson
Is this likely?
-- well, they actually agreed to do it and issued the necessary orders in early
1940.

So it's certainly within the realm of possibility.
Post by Dave Knudson
I mean, supposing the bombers were based in French
Syria or British Kuwait, they'd have to violate someone's neutrality to do so
(Turkey, Iraq or Persia)

-- Iraq was a British protectorate at the time and the RAF had airbases there.
Post by Dave Knudson
Stalin is infuriated.
-- well, yeah... 8-). He'd probably declare war, I should think.
phil hunt
2003-12-13 04:19:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by JoatSimeon
Post by Dave Knudson
Is this likely?
-- well, they actually agreed to do it and issued the necessary orders in early
1940.
So it's certainly within the realm of possibility.
Post by Dave Knudson
I mean, supposing the bombers were based in French
Syria or British Kuwait, they'd have to violate someone's neutrality to do so
(Turkey, Iraq or Persia)
-- Iraq was a British protectorate at the time and the RAF had airbases there.
Post by Dave Knudson
Stalin is infuriated.
-- well, yeah... 8-). He'd probably declare war, I should think.
Yep. Give him an excuse to get an Indian Ocean port.
--
"It's easier to find people online who openly support the KKK than
people who openly support the RIAA" -- comment on Wikipedia
(Email: <***@zen.co.ku>, but first subtract 275 and reverse
the last two letters).
Stuart Wilkes
2003-12-13 02:35:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Knudson
Post by JoatSimeon
With typical brilliance, the French and British governments were planning
on attacking the Soviet oil installations at Baku in early 1940. Action
had been approved and the reconaissance was to begin in late March. As it
was, there were some distractions...
Howeve, Reynaud, the French premier, had proposed the Baku attack earlier
and Chamberlain had not -- then -- been willing to go along with it.
Suppose that he had, and that an Allied bombing raid against Baku had taken
place before the German offensive opened in the West. What would have
resulted?
Is this likely?
I think so, in the July 1940 time frame. But OTL Adolf had other
plans.
Post by Dave Knudson
I mean, supposing the bombers were based in French
Syria or British Kuwait, they'd have to violate someone's neutrality
to do so (Turkey, Iraq or Persia).
Not at all. This was extensively discussed with the Turks, and they
were (slowly) building airfields in eastern Turkey to support
"Operation Pike". But the poor infrastructure of the area was causing
no end of headaches and delays.
Post by Dave Knudson
Additionally, while annoyed at the Soviets, I can't imagine Britain
and France deciding to take on a continental-sized Great Power in
addition to Germany.
You are referring to "...those who had not wished to die for Danzig
but who now wished to die for Helsinki. Those who insisted that one
could not fight 65 million Germans alone could now fight a
Russo-German combination of 245 million. Those who preached
immobility behind the Maginot Line now pleaded to have an army fight
near the North Pole."
Post by Dave Knudson
That would require Hitler-esque levels of stupidity.
And yes, I think your estimate of their intelligence is accurate.

<snip>

Stuart Wilkes
mike
2003-12-13 10:03:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Knudson
If Persia is attacked, the British and French may well act to protect
at least the south of it, using troops from Syria, India, and Egypt.
This will denude the Eastern Med of Allied military, and may be just
too tempting for Mussolini.
Withoutwar in France yet, and Hitler and Stalin now so seeming
tight together that a crowbar be needed to seperate them, why, there
is the possibilty that Nazi Germany gets kicked out of the Anti-Comintern
Pact, Bennie the Moose starts to drift away, possibly back into the the
more Allied Orbit that had been pre 1937. I'm sure Horthy and
Antonescu as well as Tojo rethink things, as well.

A slim chance of Allied diplomacy pulling this out of the hat.

WWII as we know it spins out at an odd tangent.

Just think- Plucky Finland get to be a full Allied Nation.

Cash and Carry, then LL to Italy.

A new Red Scare in the USA rather than 'We Luv Uncle Joe'.

All very odd.
Post by Dave Knudson
All of this takes time, and by June 1940, it is obvious the war is
going to take a very different turn. With France falling, the British
are suddenly out in the cold. At this point, it gets very tricky.
If Italy and South Central Europe are away from the Nazis sphere of
Influence, Hitler may not be able to zap France in '40 as he won't
be able to overcome the General Staffs worries about Flanks, and
depending on when Operation Pike gets rolling, might have effected
the timing for the attack on Norway, if Italy is sabre-rattling across BrennerPass

**
mike
**
Stuart Wilkes
2003-12-14 08:02:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by mike
Post by Dave Knudson
If Persia is attacked, the British and French may well act to protect
at least the south of it, using troops from Syria, India, and Egypt.
This will denude the Eastern Med of Allied military, and may be just
too tempting for Mussolini.
Withoutwar in France yet, and Hitler and Stalin now so seeming
tight together that a crowbar be needed to seperate them, why, there
is the possibilty that Nazi Germany gets kicked out of the Anti-Comintern
Pact, Bennie the Moose starts to drift away, possibly back into the the
more Allied Orbit that had been pre 1937. I'm sure Horthy and
Antonescu as well as Tojo rethink things, as well.
The Japanese already rethought things, on 23 August 1939.
Post by mike
A slim chance of Allied diplomacy pulling this out of the hat.
This has very little time to work itself out.

And even if it does, watch Bennie, Horthy, and Antonescu rethink yet
again, about the time Rommel approaches the Channel.

After all, they now share a continent with the all-crushing Wehrmacht
and Luftwaffe.
Post by mike
WWII as we know it spins out at an odd tangent.
Just think- Plucky Finland get to be a full Allied Nation.
They made peace on 12 March. The recce flight was 30 March.
Post by mike
Cash and Carry, then LL to Italy.
A new Red Scare in the USA rather than 'We Luv Uncle Joe'.
A Red Scare 'cause the Soviets are attacked?
Post by mike
All very odd.
Post by Dave Knudson
All of this takes time, and by June 1940, it is obvious the war is
going to take a very different turn. With France falling, the British
are suddenly out in the cold. At this point, it gets very tricky.
If Italy and South Central Europe are away from the Nazis sphere of
Influence, Hitler may not be able to zap France in '40 as he won't
be able to overcome the General Staffs worries about Flanks,
I would think that the risk to one of his oil suppliers would motivate
even greater efforts to take out France, before the python really
starts to squeeze.
Post by mike
and depending on when Operation Pike gets rolling,
The photo recon was done on 30 March. Now comes the analysis and
planning, both time-consuming.

Especially considering who is doing it.
Post by mike
might have effected the timing for the attack on Norway, if Italy is
sabre-rattling across BrennerPass
Doubtful.

If the Western Allies show real energy in their planning and
preparation, Operation Pike might get under way a bit before the
campaign against France.

Stuart Wilkes
Jussi Jalonen
2003-12-14 17:35:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stuart Wilkes
Post by mike
Just think- Plucky Finland get to be a full Allied Nation.
They made peace on 12 March. The recce flight was 30 March.
The treaty was signed in the Kremlin on March _13th_, at 1:00 AM, and
it came into effect at 11:00 AM. Due to the delays in communication,
the last shots were fired at 2:00 PM, and the war ended at 3:40 PM,
when the Finnish flag was lowered at the Viipuri castle.

And in any case, the status as a "full Allied nation" suggested by the
previous contributor would be extremely unlikely (even in the context
of this hopelessly implausible scenario). What would Finland have to
gain by declaring war on the Third Reich? Therefore, the most
realistic outcome would be a position merely as an "Allied
cobelligerent" (Hah! Had to say it!)
Post by Stuart Wilkes
Post by mike
A new Red Scare in the USA rather than 'We Luv Uncle Joe'.
A Red Scare 'cause the Soviets are attacked?
Indeed! Given the behaviour of the U.S. government during the winter
of 1939-1940 - such as Cordell Hull's refusal to allow the sale of
weapons to Finland until the last minute, president Roosevelt's veto
over the financial assistance which the Congress proposed for Finland,
and the general mindset of cabinet members such as Harold Ickes and
Henry Wallace - it's far more likely that the Baku-action would have
provoked the United States to _declare war_ on the Western Allies.

Thus, by the mid-1940, France and Britain face the massive menace
posed by the new Tripartite Pact of Steel: the
Berlin-Moscow-Washington Axis. In the United States, everyone who has
a French surname or speaks with a British accent is immediately
suspected of collaboration with the enemy. The Louisiana Bayou is
suddenly adorned with the wonderful sight of internment centres
constructed to house the local Cajun population, and the summer of
1940 sees a full-scale American invasion of Canada.

In the Far East, the Japanese government is quick to see the writing
on the wall, immediately joins the Pact as a minor partner, and seizes
the French and British colonial possessions in Asia with full American
consent and assistance. Sometime in 1941-1942, Australia and New
Zealand surrender to the formidable combination of Japanese-American
manpower and naval capacity.

The war ends in 1943/1944, when the home islands of Great Britain are
overrun by a German-Soviet-American invasion. The United Kingdom and
its capital are promptly divided into zones of occupation between the
United States, the Third Reich and the USSR. Americans get Northern
Ireland (which is handed over to the Republic later on, in a move
calculated to appease the Irish-American voters), Cornwall, Wales and
Wessex; Soviets get Scotland, Northumberland and parts of northern
Yorkshire; Germans get the rest of England.

The new governments which are gradually established on the British
isles reflect both the political systems of the occupying powers and
also the political traditions of each region. How's that?



Cheers,
Jalonen
Sydney Webb
2003-12-14 20:58:21 UTC
Permalink
Jussi Jalonen wrote:

<snip>
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Indeed! Given the behaviour of the U.S. government during the winter
of 1939-1940 - such as Cordell Hull's refusal to allow the sale of
weapons to Finland until the last minute, president Roosevelt's veto
over the financial assistance which the Congress proposed for Finland,
and the general mindset of cabinet members such as Harold Ickes and
Henry Wallace - it's far more likely that the Baku-action would have
provoked the United States to _declare war_ on the Western Allies.
<snip a successful invasion of the UK in 1943/44>

While United States foreign policy of the late '30s and early '40s can
be criticised it is ludicrous to imagine the USA fighting a war on the
same side as Nazi Germany. Americans simply aren't that evil.

HTH.

- Syd
--
"If thou do ill; the joy fades, not the pains:
If well; the pain doth fade, the joy remains."
- George Herbert, _The Church Porch_
Jussi Jalonen
2003-12-15 11:26:22 UTC
Permalink
While United States foreign policy of the late '30s and early '40s can be
criticised it is ludicrous to imagine the USA fighting a war on the same side
as Nazi Germany. Americans simply aren't that evil.
Now, Syd, you're just trying to press my buttons with a deliberate
implication that those who actually did fight on the same side with
the Third Reich in our timeline were somehow fundamentally evil
(unlike those who fought on the same side with the USSR, who were, of
course, all fundamentally good).

Needless to say, I'm not the slightest offended, but I should perhaps
still point out that if this continues, I'll have to tickle you again.



Cheers,
Jalonen
Sydney Webb
2003-12-15 14:05:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jussi Jalonen
While United States foreign policy of the late '30s and early '40s can be
criticised it is ludicrous to imagine the USA fighting a war on the same side
as Nazi Germany. Americans simply aren't that evil.
Now, Syd, you're just trying to press my buttons with a deliberate
implication that those who actually did fight on the same side with
the Third Reich in our timeline were somehow fundamentally evil
(unlike those who fought on the same side with the USSR, who were, of
course, all fundamentally good).
Needless to say, I'm not the slightest offended, but I should perhaps
still point out that if this continues, I'll have to tickle you again.
If you post ridiculous scenarios, Jussi, you must occasionally accept
ridicule.

OK, then, the Jalonen challenge. Plucky little Finland, the meat in the
sandwich of a Clash of the Titans (tm) between two totalitarian great
powers. Facing unpalatable choices she opts to embark upon the
Continuation War, with the aim of wresting pack those territories so
cruelly torn from her in the Winter War. By the end of November 1939
she has achieved her war aims and more. So much so that the USSR's
allies in the Commonwealth of nations are making demands that Finland
return to her pre-1940 borders. This is impossible, for a variety of
reasons but principally because in a time of war this is not the
occasion to withdraw from the present excellent defensive positions the
Finnish army occupies.

But need diplomacy be bankrupt? Finland does not need defensive
positions if she can negotiate a separate peace with the USSR. Is this
possible?

Firstly, would Stalin be willing for a settlement with Finland that sees
all Moscow's from the Winter War given up?

Secondly, how might the unpredictable Hitler react to his not-quite-ally
leaving the war against the Soviet Union? Does Otto Skorzeny get
air-dropped into Helsinki as the new regent to appoint a less Social
Democratic government to continue the Continuation War?

Is early December 1941 precisely the wrong time to Give Peace a Chance?

- Syd
--
"If thou do ill; the joy fades, not the pains:
If well; the pain doth fade, the joy remains."
- George Herbert, _The Church Porch_
Jussi Jalonen
2003-12-15 19:29:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sydney Webb
If you post ridiculous scenarios, Jussi, you must occasionally accept
ridicule.
Syd, you cute little Australian, you're missing the target. I'll
gladly throw and accept ridicule even without justification, as should
have been clear from my post, which was quite specifically intended as
such; a ridicule towards the _original_ scenario suggested at the
beginning of the thread.

However, if you choose to respond to my retaliatory ridicule (which
I've aimed at some other people) with yet _another_ salvo of the same
kind directed at me, you're, well, very much on the sidetrack, and it
also gives an impression which is not at all compatible with your
usual, razor-sharp wit.

(I also hate to explain myself, but what can you do?)

Anyhow. As noted, personally I found Stirling's proposal both
fantastically unrealistic and implausible, but apparently the idea of
the Baku-Action holds a certain sealionesque appeal to one person who
obviously finds deep satisfaction in arguing that the entire history
of the 20th century was essentially a grand string of sinister western
conspiracies against the just and honourable Soviet Union which never
asked for anything except to live in peace (and occasionally to
safeguard its security with some limited military actions against
small, neutral neighbouring states, but that's perfectly
understandable).

Therefore, the Allied plans to bomb Baku must have been drafted with a
serious intention to carry them out! and same goes for the Operation
Unthinkable! and the United States refused to give Marshall-aid to the
USSR! and the American aid to the Afghan "freedom fighters", which
resulted in the World Trade Center airstrikes, was the final proof of
a real historical continuity from Neville Chamberlain's disastrous and
backfiring anti-Soviet appeasement policy to the equally backfiring
American actions during the last stages of the Cold War! and Belarus
is a great country to live in!

Oops.

All right, then. I'll take the hint and return to more serious issues
- first, the one already mentioned in the new subject header.
Post by Sydney Webb
OK, then, the Jalonen challenge.
Why is this named after me? I don't particularly like alternate
history scenarios revolving around the Second World War, mostly
because they inevitably tend to bring out the brain eater in most
people (including me, I'm afraid).
Post by Sydney Webb
Plucky little Finland...
And don't call it that. Argh.
Post by Sydney Webb
Facing unpalatable choices she opts to embark upon the Continuation War, with
the aim of wresting pack those territories so cruelly torn from her in the
Winter War. By the end of November 1939 she has achieved her war aims and
more.
This should probably read "November 1941", but well, whatever.

(Also, I try to avoid emotionally-charged descriptions such as
"cruelly torn", but rhetorical style is a matter of taste, and
therefore shouldn't be disputed. So go ahead.)
Post by Sydney Webb
But need diplomacy be bankrupt? Finland does not need defensive positions
if she can negotiate a separate peace with the USSR. Is this possible?
Firstly, would Stalin be willing for a settlement with Finland that sees
all Moscow's from the Winter War given up?
There were some modest signals of this kind of a settlement even in
our timeline. As early as on August 4th 1941, Stalin sent a personal
letter to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, requesting for American mediation
in the Soviet-Finnish war, and offering to return the territories in
question to Finland in exchange for a separate peace (and
simultaneously making it clear that the offer was _not_ to be
interpreted as any kind of a sign of Soviet weakness). Two weeks
later, Sumner Welles presented the offer to Hjalmar Procopé, the
Finnish ambassadour in Washington D.C..

The proposal was eventually turned down by the Finnish government. The
reasons for this refusal were obvious; the offer was too vague,
neither Britain nor the United States (which had not entered the war
yet at the time) were ready to give any guarantees on the Finnish
security, and it was also quite well understood what kind of a
reaction the separate peace would have provoked from Germany.
Eventually, Stalin denied that he had ever made any offer at all,
mostly because Washington had decided to publicize the news of the
initiative which he had made to Finland. The unexpected publicization
had presumably been a minor humiliation to the Soviet dictator, who,
in the dire straits of the autumn of 1941, had specifically tried to
avoid the impression that he was grasping on straws.

It's not clear whether Stalin was willing to conclude an actual,
_lasting_ separate peace with Finland at the time, or whether his
intention was simply to create a complication within the enemy camp.
However, the latter seems more likely. It must have been clear to him
that any potential Soviet-Finnish peace, if succesful, would have
instantly triggered a German action against Finland, and consequently
created a situation where the Red Army would have still had to
continue its military activity on the Finnish front. However, this
would have presumably still been well worth the distraction imposed
upon the Third Reich.
Post by Sydney Webb
Secondly, how might the unpredictable Hitler react to his not-quite-ally
leaving the war against the Soviet Union?
Oh, very badly, I suspect, as I already hinted above. Instead of
describing Finland as a "nation of heroes" and constantly fawning upon
Mannerheim, Hitler is likely to join Himmler in the conclusion that
the accursed "Lausestaat" in the far north should be taught a lesson.

This is by no means an "unpredictable" reaction from him, mind you.
Hitler was almost depressingly _predictable_ man in many issues.
Post by Sydney Webb
Does Otto Skorzeny get air-dropped into Helsinki as the new regent to appoint
a less Social Democratic government to continue the Continuation War?
Most likely, the so-called "Operation Birke" - originally a plan to
place Finland under instant German occupation in the case of an
attempted separate peace with the USSR, drafted in 1944 in our
timeline, and later on transformed to a retreat plan for the German
forces in Finland - would indeed materialize three years earlier.

Skorzeny's presence isn't probably required; instead, the task is
likely to go to Dietl, who already has the troops in the country.
Regime change, occupation, liberation, another occupation, a lifetime
under Soviet rule, and so on.

However, since the Finnish political and military leadership - in
spite of their occasional brain-eaten moments - usually managed to
make reasonably accurate judgements of these matters, it's obviously
very unlikely that they'd defy the inevitable and conclude a separate
peace in 1941. They'd realize the risks well enough.
Post by Sydney Webb
Is early December 1941 precisely the wrong time to Give Peace a Chance?
Issuing a verdict of "wrong" is inevitably a value judgement.
Personally, I'm of the opinion that there's no such thing as a wrong
time for peace, but other people may not necessarily share my naïve
idealism.

However, I'm also fairly certain that the consequences of such a peace
could be described with various other extremely emotionally-loaded
adjectives; such as, say, "bad", "disastrous", "horrible", and so on.

ObWI: Germans carry out the "Operation Birke" as a pre-emptive move on
the spring of '44, at the time when Finland is still at war against
the USSR, but also visibly negotiating of a separate peace? Can the
Finnish Army be deployed to fend off the German surprise attack
quickly enough? Will the Soviets still launch their summer offensive
on the Karelian Isthmus, this time with the intention to provide
"assistance" for the Finns in the "liberation" of the country? Or will
Stalin be satisfied with the ongoing German-Finnish war, leave the
former cobelligerents to fight against each others alone, and instead
direct all his forces to the drive on Warsaw and the Race to Berlin?





Cheers,
Jalonen
Stuart Wilkes
2003-12-15 23:29:11 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Therefore, the Allied plans to bomb Baku must have been drafted with a
serious intention to carry them out!
Now Jussi, just because planning and preparation continued past the
point that you said it stopped is no reason to get cranki.
Post by Jussi Jalonen
and same goes for the Operation Unthinkable!
Jussi dear, I have always made it clear that the Chiefs of Staff
evaluation of "Unthinkable" was highly unfavorable, and that it never
went further.

However, in contrast to "Unthinkable", "Pike" resulted in things like
airfield construction in eastern Turkey, briefings to foreign Field
Marshals, and the assignment of bomber aircraft. These were real
expenditures of real resources. It is clear that "Pike" did much more
than gather dust in some obscure staff officer's safe.

But perhaps you could clear something up for me. A while back you
cited Norman Davies' "God's Playground" for an account of the German
counterattack against 2nd Tank Army outside Warsaw as evidence that
the "deliberate halt" notion. Have you any idea why he goes back to
the "deliberate halt" notion for his 1998 book "Europe: A History"?

Stuart Wilkes
Stuart Wilkes
2003-12-15 23:30:43 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Therefore, the Allied plans to bomb Baku must have been drafted with a
serious intention to carry them out!
Now Jussi, just because planning and preparation continued past the
point that you said it stopped is no reason to get cranki.
Post by Jussi Jalonen
and same goes for the Operation Unthinkable!
Jussi dear, I have always made it clear that the Chiefs of Staff
evaluation of "Unthinkable" was highly unfavorable, and that it never
went further.

However, in contrast to "Unthinkable", "Pike" resulted in things like
airfield construction in eastern Turkey, briefings to foreign Field
Marshals, and the assignment of bomber aircraft. These were real
expenditures of real resources. It is clear that "Pike" did much more
than gather dust in some obscure staff officer's safe.

But perhaps you could clear something up for me. A while back you
cited Norman Davies' "God's Playground" for an account of the German
counterattack against 2nd Tank Army outside Warsaw as evidence that
the "deliberate halt" notion does not constitute any "standard Western
account". Have you any idea why he goes back to the "deliberate halt"
notion for his 1998 book "Europe: A History"?

Stuart Wilkes
Stuart Wilkes
2003-12-17 14:46:31 UTC
Permalink
***@my-deja.com (Stuart Wilkes) wrote in message news:<***@posting.google.com>...

<snip>
Post by Stuart Wilkes
But perhaps you could clear something up for me. A while back you
cited Norman Davies' "God's Playground" for an account of the German
counterattack against 2nd Tank Army outside Warsaw as evidence that
the "deliberate halt" notion does not constitute any "standard Western
account". Have you any idea why he goes back to the "deliberate halt"
notion for his 1998 book "Europe: A History"?
It really is confusing, Jussi. As you cited, Davies goes from:

"Yet other factors must also be borne in mind. Rokossowski's failure
to advance
against Warsaw can be explained by the fierce counter-attack of two
Panzer divisions launched on 2 August, and by the Soviet military
priorities dictated by their invasion of the Balkans in the middle of
the month." in "God's Playground"

to:

"Assailed from all quarters, the German garrison had begun to
withdraw. But then the Soviets suddenly halted on the very edge of
the city. Foul treachery was afoot." Norman Davies "Europe - A
History" Harper Perrenial Edition, 1998, pg 1041.

There is not a word in this account about any German action causing
this halt on the outskirts of Warsaw. Instead, it is left entirely to
"Foul treachery" to explain the Soviet halt. Subsequently, there is
not a word about the extensive fighting between the Soviets and the
two Panzercorps the Germans kept east and northeast of Warsaw in
August and September 1944. Instead, Davies tells us that the Soviet
Army was a passive observer of the fighting in Warsaw.

Unfortunately, "Europe - A History" does not cite any sources in this
section, so we are left to wonder if a breakthrough in historical
research caused Davies to change his understanding of this situation,
or if those 4-5 Panzer Divisions were merely swallowed by Davies'
personal memory hole.

Stuart Wilkes
Janne Glad
2003-12-16 12:52:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Post by Sydney Webb
Plucky little Finland...
And don't call it that. Argh.
Be careful what you wish for, he might settle on "superb,
nay, sublime Finland" instead:-)
Post by Jussi Jalonen
However, I'm also fairly certain that the consequences of such a peace
could be described with various other extremely emotionally-loaded
adjectives; such as, say, "bad", "disastrous", "horrible", and so on.
Bad, diastrous and horrible *for Finland*, but there would
obviously have been some sort of net gain for the guys in
white hats - and I don´t think the rest of the world would
have sadly missed anything if the OTL post-war Finland had
never existed...
Post by Jussi Jalonen
ObWI: Germans carry out the "Operation Birke" as a pre-emptive move on
the spring of '44, at the time when Finland is still at war against
the USSR, but also visibly negotiating of a separate peace?
They were certainly concerned enough to cut shipments of
military and other supplies for a period.
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Can the Finnish Army be deployed to fend off the German surprise attack
quickly enough?
The Finns did draw up some contingency plans for defense of
Helsinki against such an attack, but they relied very much
on the use of the "Home Army" troops and recruits in basic
training...
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Will the Soviets still launch their summer offensive on the Karelian
Isthmus, this time with the intention to provide "assistance" for the
Finns in the "liberation" of the country?
IMHO the Soviet time-table was rather set in stone, they
probably couldn´t have launched an offensive at any similar
sclae until in late May (unless they gave it absolute priority,
which doesn´t strike me as likely). OTOH if they thought the
chances of instant success were sufficiently large in the new
situation, they could no doubt have improvised a bit.
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Or will Stalin be satisfied with the ongoing German-Finnish war, leave
the former cobelligerents to fight against each others alone, and instead
direct all his forces to the drive on Warsaw and the Race to Berlin?
He certainly won´t be worried about the risk of a German attack
on his northeastern flank any more than he was in the OTL, but
I really cannot see him leaving that "old Russian town", Vyborg,
unliberated by the Soviet army.

Or stopping there of his own volition.


Janne Glad
Sydney Webb
2003-12-21 12:59:18 UTC
Permalink
Jussi Jalonen wrote:

<snip>
Post by Jussi Jalonen
(I also hate to explain myself, but what can you do?)
Tell me about it. In an imperfect communication medium like Usenet,
sometimes we have to explain what we mean for what we mean to be
understood.

<snip explanation>
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Post by Sydney Webb
OK, then, the Jalonen challenge.
Why is this named after me? I don't particularly like alternate
history scenarios revolving around the Second World War, mostly
because they inevitably tend to bring out the brain eater in most
people (including me, I'm afraid).
So noted. While I also post about the 20th c. I'm more comfortable in
the 16th or 5th centuries for what may be similar reasons. I'll just
make one more post[1] because something Jussi says down thread intrigues
me. But this post is not directed necessarily at Jussi, I'm keen to
hear from Janne or whomever else is following this thread.

<snip>
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Post by Sydney Webb
Facing unpalatable choices she opts to embark upon the Continuation War, with
the aim of wresting pack those territories so cruelly torn from her in the
Winter War. By the end of November 1939 she has achieved her war aims and
more.
This should probably read "November 1941", but well, whatever.
Jussi is once again correct.

<snip rhetoric and inept US diplomacy>
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Post by Sydney Webb
Secondly, how might the unpredictable Hitler react to his not-quite-ally
leaving the war against the Soviet Union?
Oh, very badly, I suspect, as I already hinted above. Instead of
describing Finland as a "nation of heroes" and constantly fawning upon
Mannerheim, Hitler is likely to join Himmler in the conclusion that
the accursed "Lausestaat" in the far north should be taught a lesson.
This is by no means an "unpredictable" reaction from him, mind you.
Hitler was almost depressingly _predictable_ man in many issues.
Post by Sydney Webb
Does Otto Skorzeny get air-dropped into Helsinki as the new regent to appoint
a less Social Democratic government to continue the Continuation War?
Most likely, the so-called "Operation Birke" - originally a plan to
place Finland under instant German occupation in the case of an
attempted separate peace with the USSR, drafted in 1944 in our
timeline, and later on transformed to a retreat plan for the German
forces in Finland - would indeed materialize three years earlier.
Skorzeny's presence isn't probably required; instead, the task is
likely to go to Dietl, who already has the troops in the country.
Regime change, occupation, liberation, another occupation, a lifetime
under Soviet rule, and so on.
But is Dietl up to the task? My understanding his that he began the
Continuation War with only 4 divisions, one - the SS Nord - being the
worst motorised division in the German armed forces. In the subsequent
6 months Dietl was reinforced with two more divisions, one - the 163rd
Infantry - being allowed transit by Sweden, arguably the most evil
Scandinavian country of WWII. As I understand it, there was never more
than one German division operating in southern Finland during 1941.[2]

So, provided there is a ceasefire so Finnish units are not longer
engaged with the Red Army, how does Dietl capture Helsinki?

Of course, it doesn't matter if Dietl *can't* capture Helsinki. As long
as the Ryti/Tanner gang believe the Germans can conquer them - much as
Curtin/Forde feared a Japanese invasion - then they will act on their
apprehensions.
Post by Jussi Jalonen
However, since the Finnish political and military leadership - in
spite of their occasional brain-eaten moments - usually managed to
make reasonably accurate judgements of these matters, it's obviously
very unlikely that they'd defy the inevitable and conclude a separate
peace in 1941. They'd realize the risks well enough.
Jussi seems to be arguing that given the particular hand they'd been
dealt in June 1941, Finland's military/political leadership played their
cards as best they could. And given the territory Finland emerged with
in 1944, what was on offer in 1941 is not significantly better.

But the German forces in Finland in 1941 are pitiful and ill-deployed.
Can the Germans shift additional forces in to tilt the balance of power
against the Finns?
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Post by Sydney Webb
Is early December 1941 precisely the wrong time to Give Peace a Chance?
Issuing a verdict of "wrong" is inevitably a value judgement.
Personally, I'm of the opinion that there's no such thing as a wrong
time for peace, but other people may not necessarily share my naïve
idealism.
However, I'm also fairly certain that the consequences of such a peace
could be described with various other extremely emotionally-loaded
adjectives; such as, say, "bad", "disastrous", "horrible", and so on.
ObWI: Germans carry out the "Operation Birke" as a pre-emptive move on
the spring of '44, at the time when Finland is still at war against
the USSR, but also visibly negotiating of a separate peace? Can the
Finnish Army be deployed to fend off the German surprise attack
quickly enough? Will the Soviets still launch their summer offensive
on the Karelian Isthmus, this time with the intention to provide
"assistance" for the Finns in the "liberation" of the country? Or will
Stalin be satisfied with the ongoing German-Finnish war, leave the
former cobelligerents to fight against each others alone, and instead
direct all his forces to the drive on Warsaw and the Race to Berlin?
The absence of the cease-fire is Finland's Achilles heel. Finland can
fight (a sub-set of) the Red Army to a standstill. Finland can drive
German forces inside her borders out. But fighting both will stretch
her too much. An Operation Birke will force Finland to pick the winner
of WWII quickly and with, perhaps, sub optimal terms. But if the
Soviets will accept the ceasefire terms of 1944, OTL, I can still see
the Finns driving the Germans out.

I am reminded of the assistance the Red Army gave Yugoslav partisans
late in WWII, before withdrawing from their country. Are the Finns
likely to be offered such generous support in the ATL? Are they likely
to accept?

* * * *
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Post by Sydney Webb
Post by Sydney Webb
Plucky little Finland...
And don't call it that. Argh.
Be careful what you wish for, he might settle on "superb,
nay, sublime Finland" instead:-)
The temptation is, almost, overwhelming.
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Post by Sydney Webb
However, I'm also fairly certain that the consequences of such a peace
could be described with various other extremely emotionally-loaded
adjectives; such as, say, "bad", "disastrous", "horrible", and so on.
Bad, diastrous and horrible *for Finland*, but there would
obviously have been some sort of net gain for the guys in
white hats - and I don´t think the rest of the world would
have sadly missed anything if the OTL post-war Finland had
never existed...
It's a good point. Normally we applaud nations when they act in their
own, enlightened self-interest. But Finland had shackled herself to
Operation Barbarossa, the Axis/USSR war where more than 20 million
Soviet citizens, half of them civilians, were killed. Now the Finns
killed almost no civilians and those soldiers they killed died largely
through the ordinary usages of war. So while it is unfair to lump
Finland in with the Nazi bad-hats - much as it is unfair to execrate
those members of Al-Queda cells who have never been suicide bombers -
this unfair criticism nevertheless sometimes happens.[3] And Janne has
touched upon a provocative WI - WI Finland had not joined the Great
Patriotic War? Would as many non-Finns have died?

Of course, speculating on such a WI is barren if we conclude that a
non-brain eaten Finnish leadership will embark on a Continuation War no
matter what, given the events up to and including the conclusion of the
Winter War.

[1] Akin to eating one more potato chip, I fear.

[2] My source for much of this is, embarrassingly, a wargame - GDW's
_Fire in the East_ (1984). So I'm open to correction with better
information.

[3] Oddly enough, not all supporters of 20th century mega-killers suffer
from such guilt-by-association. People seem to forgive Harold "All the
way with LBJ" Holt and forget about Ronald Reagan's support for Pol Pot.
ObWI: WI Vaino Tanner is taken by the Indonesian robo-shark while
bathing and it is Harold Holt who is imprisoned after his war crimes
trial? Are there enough space weasels in orbit to make this happen?

- Syd
--
"If thou do ill; the joy fades, not the pains:
If well; the pain doth fade, the joy remains."
- George Herbert, _The Church Porch_
Jussi Jalonen
2004-01-01 14:47:08 UTC
Permalink
But is Dietl up to the task? My understanding his that he began the
Continuation War with only 4 divisions, one - the SS Nord - being the
worst motorised division in the German armed forces.
True enough. As mentioned before, the 6th SS-Gebirgsdivision was one
of the worst formations in the German armed forces, although the lack
of motorization was the least of their problems. Even with
state-of-the-art combat vehicles, they'd have still been worthless.
In the subsequent 6 months Dietl was reinforced with two more divisions, one -
the 163rd Infantry - being allowed transit by Sweden, arguably the most evil
Scandinavian country of WWII.
Purely out of curiosity, what line of argument makes Sweden "the most
evil Scandinavian country of the Second World War" - assuming that one
has to revert to the use of the ahistorical adjective "evil", that is?
A mere granting of free transit to one division of the Wehrmacht? In
this case, I think that I could make a reasonably convincing
counterargument that the willing and enthusiastic collaboration
provided to the Third Reich by a certain segment of the population in
Sweden's western neighbour could easily make this another Scandinavian
country far more "evil" than Sweden, never mind the presumably
mitigating circumstances under the occupation and its atmosphere of
coercion.
As I understand it, there was never more than one German division operating
in southern Finland during 1941.
Correct. The one division which operated in the south was precisely
the above-mentioned 163rd Division of the Wehrmacht, which was, as I
recall it, kept mostly as a reserve formation for the Army of Karelia
(i.e. the Finnish force assembled for the offensive on the norther
side of the lake Laatokka/Ladoga).
So, provided there is a ceasefire so Finnish units are not longer engaged
with the Red Army, how does Dietl capture Helsinki?
Syd, look at the map, and draw your conclusions.

For all practical purposes, the German and Austrian forces in northern
Finland would already be holding half of the country under occupation
and guarding the land routes to the Swedish border and the sea route
from Petsamo to the west. What's more, there are first-class German
military formations based in the capital of Estonia, less than fourty
kilometres from Helsinki, and the units in question can be easily
redeployed for an assault against southern Finland by sea and by air.
In the meantime, Leningrad is still under siege, Moscow seems to be
about to fall, and Stalin sure as hell will not be able to provide any
substantial assistance for his newly-acquired cobelligerent in the
northwest even if he wanted to (and I seriously doubt his
willingness).

Simultaneously, the Finnish army would still be deployed far in the
East Karelian woodlands and the Karelian Isthmus at the moment of any
potential cease-fire, and transporting the men back from the front to
defend the capital and the coastline would take precious time,
guaranteeing the Germans a fair window of opportunity to exercise
infinite justice on their traitorous former comrades-in-arms (and if
we assume that the transportation of the troops away from the front
would have started already before the actual announcement of the
armistice, it means that the Germans would have inevitably noticed it
and most likely responded by a pre-emptive military action in order to
safeguard their position in Finland).

So, this potential Finnish-German war of '41 would start in a
situation where some 50% of the Finnish national territory would
already be under the control of German forces, where both the
Wehrmacht and the Luftwaffe would be within a striking distance of the
Finnish capital, where there's no possibility of assistance from the
Soviet Union, the Western Allies or Sweden, where Finland is
completely isolated from all sides, and where virtually all of the
Finnish army would still, in spite of the cease-fire with the Soviets,
be deployed in the worst possible direction imaginable.

Even Yugoslavia and Greece had better odds of survival against the
historical German invasions.

And if we are generous and assume that the Third Reich wouldn't be
able to move against Finland until after the hard winter of '41-'42 -
which is certainly a possibility -, the outcome would still most
likely be a German occupation of a substantial Finnish territory in
south, west, southeast and north. Granted, the central parts of the
country could very well still remain in the hands of the Finnish
military units - which, of course, would mean years'-long
guerrilla-style campaigns stretching back and forth all over the
country, thoroughly destroying the infrastructure and inflicting
massive casualties and suffering on the civilians.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out how this process would end in
'44-'45.
Jussi seems to be arguing that given the particular hand they'd been dealt in
June 1941, Finland's military/political leadership played their cards as best
they could.
If you don't mind, I'd like to clarify my position.

There has always existed a certain historiographical indoctrination
(for want of a better word) in Finland in the past - in the sense that
various scholars, politicians and other people who have commented on
historical events have felt a need to convince both themselves and
others that all the decisions which were made during the war were
_correct_, and what's more, that these decisions were also always
_motivated by the right reasons_. I can remember this already from my
high school days, when we were shown an educational video where Max
Jakobson solemnly declared that "all the decisions which the
government and the military made during these years were right". Of
course, this interpretation is by no means unique to Finland alone -
the same belief in the fundamental correctness of wartime policy
obviously exists quite strongly in the United States and Britain (as
witnessed by the comments of several British and American posters on
this forum, I might add), it existed in the late Soviet Union, and it
exists in the present-day Russia. The examples are too numerous to
count. The decision to use atomic weapons against Japan _had to be_
right; the British action at Mers-el-Kebir _had to be_ correct; the
destruction of Dresden _had to be_ necessary; the Molotov-Ribbentrop
pact _had to be_ a sound diplomatic move; the Finnish wartime
diplomacy _had to be_ always right; et cetera. For some strange
reason, no one wants to hear that the decisions made by the government
which their country had over sixty years ago might have been
_incorrect_.

(A natural corollary to this belief in the ultimate righteousness of
one's own side is obviously the chastizing of the various political
decisions made by those countries which, for one reason or another,
happened to end up on the other side in the conflict in question. They
_had to be_ wrong, and not just partly, but in _everything_.)

While these kinds of viewpoints may be defensible to some extent,
especially in the case of those countries which, thanks to their
"right" decisions, emerged from the war more or less unscathed, it
nonetheless ignores the fact that the wartime political and military
leadership did not, at the time, possess any particular foresight of
the future events. In the case of Finland, the ruling class very often
found itself working under stress with only limited choices. In a
situation where the one and the only option which was left to be
picked also turned out to be, if not beneficial, at least marginally
tolerable, the potential positive outcome can hardly have been due to
any kind of a political genius. Moreover, the same leadership also
occasionally considered alternatives which, with hindsight, could be
described as ludicrous and silly, but which were, for one reason or
another, abandoned. And sometimes, this same leadership most
definitely pursued a route which was manifestly dangerous at the time,
and the manner with which they behaved would no doubt be considered
irresponsible today... yet somehow, all of the potential negative
repercussions did not take place as a result of this behaviour.

Therefore, while some of the "right" decisions can be attributed to
the common sense and the existence of a detailed thought-out policy,
it's also very clear that there were some entirely irrational factors
at work at the time.

This isn't to say that turning down the vague peace offer which Stalin
made in the autumn of '41 was incorrect. On the contrary, if I had to
make some kind of a value judgement, I'd tend to think that it
actually was the proper thing to do, given the normal, established
practices of diplomatic interaction; both the badly-handled mediation
and Stalin's eventual denial that he had made any offer in the first
place would seem to reaffirm that in the circumstances of the autumn
of '41, such peace negotiations would have been doomed from the start.

However, this doesn't mean that I believe that this particular
decision was some kind of an integral part in the continuation of a
"fundamentally correct" wartime policy, let alone that I believe that
such a policy can really be said to have existed. Do I make myself
clear?

(I should perhaps also note that the "official" viewpoints have not
remained unchallenged in Finland, quite the opposite. The wartime
policy began to be questioned immediately after the war was over - a
natural development, given that the war had ultimately sealed the
territorial loss and thus ended in a defeat. And, of course, the
questioning of the various "official truths" has also, at times, gone
to somewhat extreme lengths. For example, while I can certainly accept
Heikki Ylikangas' argument that the message dispatched by Göring was
one factor contributing to the decision to conclude a peace in March
'40, I most definitely cannot accept his argument that it was the
_only definite_ factor, let alone his reasoning that for all practical
purposes, the Finnish government made the decision to side with the
Third Reich as early as in March '40. Moreover, I think that part of
his reasoning is ridiculous - for example, the suggestion that the
appointment of Rolf Witting as the foreign minister in March 27th '40
was a signal of a new, already well-established German-oriented
diplomacy simply because Witting's first language was German is, in my
personal opinion, hopelessly ludicrous.)
But the German forces in Finland in 1941 are pitiful and ill-deployed. Can
the Germans shift additional forces in to tilt the balance of power against
the Finns?
Yes.
I am reminded of the assistance the Red Army gave Yugoslav partisans late
in WWII, before withdrawing from their country. Are the Finns likely to be
offered such generous support in the ATL? Are they likely to accept?
Open for questions. Personally, I'm reminded of the shape which
Yugoslavia was in immediately after the Second World War.
It's a good point. Normally we applaud nations when they act in their own,
enlightened self-interest. But Finland had shackled herself to Operation
Barbarossa, the Axis/USSR war where more than 20 million Soviet citizens,
half of them civilians, were killed.
"Shackled" is hardly the most appropriate term. If this had been the
case, there'd have been no Declaration of Neutrality on June 22nd '41,
let alone the separate peace in 1944, of course.
Now the Finns killed almost no civilians and those soldiers they killed died
largely through the ordinary usages of war.
Assuming that one doesn't count some six to seven thousand people who
died of malnutrition and diseases in the ill-organized
concentration/internment camps in the occupied East Karelia during
1941-1942, that is.
So while it is unfair to lump Finland in with the Nazi bad-hats - much as it
is unfair to execrate those members of Al-Queda cells who have never been
suicide bombers - this unfair criticism nevertheless sometimes happens.[3]
I should perhaps note that in my opinion, those members of the
Al-Qaeda network who have _not_ engaged in suicide bombing operations
could, in fact, be held morally _more_ condemnable than those who
actually have followed their high ideals to the very end. Twisted
logic? You may blame it on my cultural background. In Finnish eyes,
Eugen Schauman - the assassin of governor-general Bobrikov - was
elevated to a higher moral level mostly because he had committed a
suicide immediately after the assassination, and thus willingly paid
for his crime by taking his own life. Likewise, an active Al-Qaeda
follower who advances the goals of the sinister organization by an
active act of suicide terrorism by trading his/her life for that of
another human being could inevitably be considered morally superior to
a passive Al-Qaeda follower who also, in a different way, advances the
goals of the sinister organization but is not willing to exercise the
final justice on himself/herself in return.

Of course, one should keep in mind that this kind of moral elevation
can apply only to that very special kind of suicide terrorists who
always maintain the perfect moral balance by exchanging only one human
life for their own, concentrating specifically on single, solitary
human targets and refraining from acts of mass murder. For example,
assuming that those terrorists who carried out the airstrikes on
September 11th 2001 would have evacuated the crews and the passengers
of the airplanes beforehand, and then directed their hi-jacked jets
against singular targets - like, say, against certain American or
European politicians and intellectuals known for their violent
hostility towards Islam, one plane for each target - their acts of
suicide terrorism might have been, if not morally acceptable, at least
excusable; each of the terrorists would have killed only one person,
and then immediately paid for the deed by a voluntary act of
self-inflicted final justice afterwards. This could also apply to a
situation where, say, a young Palestinian activist would choose to
assassinate the Israeli Prime Minister and immediately committ suicide
afterwards (and preferably leave a written appeal for peace on his/her
body in the process, which is exactly what Schauman did).

But I digress. Besides, this logic which places direct action above
higher moral level vis-à-vis indirect action or passiveness would also
seem to suggest that extraditing innocent people to countries which
are likely to exterminate these people is actually more morally
condemnable than the eventual act of extermination in itself. While
this philosophy would no doubt delight certain venerable institutions
such as Süddeutsche Zeitung, it's also likely to annoy some Finns and
Canadians, which is something that I most definitely wish not to do.

In addition, some people might also think that I'm sick. So perhaps I
should stop right here.
And Janne has touched upon a provocative WI - WI Finland had not joined the
Great Patriotic War? Would as many non-Finns have died?
The Soviet and German soldiers who died in combat on the Finnish front
would have still had more than ample opportunities to get killed in
the general carnage of the eastern front. The same goes for those
Soviet PoWs who were handed over to the Germans by the Finnish
military authorities.

Some of the unfortunate civilians who perished in the concentration
camps of Eastern Karelia could have still ended up dead as a result of
other wartime events, but many of them could very well have survived.

Most of the Soviet civilians who died in the siege of Leningrad would
have probably still suffered their historic fate after the German
advance had cut the railways south and southeast of the city. A
neutral Finland could have hardly done anything to alleviate their
plight.

The various "undesirables" might have still ended up deported by VALPO
to the Gestapo and the SD. Who says that a neutral country would not
have extradited refugees to a totalitarian dictatorship?

Ingrians, Karelians and other ethnically-related people who
volunteered to fight for the Finnish armed forces during the war and
ended up dead (either killed in action, or executed for treason by
Soviet authorities after the war) might have still volunteered to
fight in the German armed forces and suffered the same fate.

Hard to say. Perhaps a tentative "yes", especially on the second
count, but otherwise I remain a cynic.
[3] Oddly enough, not all supporters of 20th century mega-killers suffer
from such guilt-by-association. People seem to forgive Harold "All the
way with LBJ" Holt and forget about Ronald Reagan's support for Pol Pot.
I don't.




Cheers,
Jalonen
Sydney Webb
2004-01-05 03:53:43 UTC
Permalink
<snip the agreed worthlessness of the 6th SS-Gebirgsdivision>
Post by Jussi Jalonen
In the subsequent 6 months Dietl was reinforced with two more divisions, one -
the 163rd Infantry - being allowed transit by Sweden, arguably the most evil
Scandinavian country of WWII.
Purely out of curiosity, what line of argument makes Sweden "the most
evil Scandinavian country of the Second World War" - assuming that one
has to revert to the use of the ahistorical adjective "evil", that is?
Obviously, it's not an argument I'd make myself. Firstly, as I think
Jussi is agreeing, we would be making a value judgment with such a
statement. Secondly, comparisons are odious - whether we compare
individuals or nations we are comparing entities that exhibit more
varying characteristics than even apples and oranges. Thirdly, we
don't want to let the Danes off the hook that easily.

However ISTR such arguments have been made on s.h.w-i before, often in
the course of a Swedo-Norwegian flame war. The _Swdish guilt_ (sic)
thread may be one example. For the opposing 'evil Danes' viewpoint, see
_Denmark Fights in WWII_.

ObWI: An evil empire, mercilessly and brutally dominating the rest of
the world this past decade and more, finally getting her comeuppance.
WI
Australia had won the toss on Friday at the SCG? Or would that just
mean one more test before the fallacy of the enduring empire manifests
itself?

ObCricket: Ooh, ah, Tendulkar! And how 'bout the very, very special VVS
Laxman, as well?

- Syd
--
"Some have tried to argue that Victoria was not the son of the
Duke of Kent, but this is usually based on complete ridiculousness"
- jlk7e
mike
2003-12-15 02:57:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jussi Jalonen
And in any case, the status as a "full Allied nation" suggested by the
previous contributor would be extremely unlikely (even in the context
of this hopelessly implausible scenario).
Oh yes. This happens, this TL looks like one of those weird ones
that pop up at times with the Hearts of Iron PC game.
Post by Jussi Jalonen
What would Finland have to gain by declaring war on the Third Reich?
Um, being on the side of the 'good guys'? Plenty of Lend Lease,
Marshall Plan, etc etc id good karma isnt enough
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Therefore, the most realistic outcome would be a position
merely as an "Allied cobelligerent" (Hah! Had to say it!)
Heh.

Really though, Finland did pick up some good press tweaking
the Bears tail in the US and Canada.
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Post by Stuart Wilkes
A Red Scare 'cause the Soviets are attacked?
Hmm. Nazis bad.
Thats a given. Now with the Soviets fighting the same folks
that the Nazis are, what camp does that place them in?

Who did FDR detest?- Hitler and those with him.

Hoover: got serious on eyeing Nazi Agents once war started in '39

ATL:Anyone with a Red Past gets a closer look in 1940, given
that Uncle Joe(probably,anyway) declared War against the UK&France
for burning Baku. No instant Vetting for Fuchs, etc. and Alger Hiss
gets fingered a lot sooner.
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Indeed! Given the behaviour of the U.S. government during the winter
of 1939-1940 - such as Cordell Hull's refusal to allow the sale of
weapons to Finland until the last minute, president Roosevelt's veto
over the financial assistance which the Congress proposed for Finland,
and the general mindset of cabinet members such as Harold Ickes and
Henry Wallace - it's far more likely that the Baku-action would have
provoked the United States to _declare war_ on the Western Allies.
We all know how Henry Wallace had admired the USSR, but FDR
was running the show, and having to choose between Stalin
and Churchill, honestly, who do you think he would pick?

As far as arms sales, compare Finland, and the hoops
Chennault went thru to get the AVG going, and he had a good
chunk of the China Lobby behind him[1]. Selling arms did get in the
way of being a Neutral, and the Isolationists were still able to
block much.

Say even minor bombing on the 15th and a Sov. DoW the following day
would cause Bennie to cancel his meeting with the Mustache on the
18th at the Brenner Pass.
With the Moose sitting on the Fence, I don't see the Nazi
High Command (OKW) going for the Norway invasion without
Italy onside.

[1]100 or so Curtiss P-40B that the UK could do without, vs 44
Brewster Buffalos the USN could do without, via the 'rejected'
clause in the neutrality act
**
mike
**
Stuart Wilkes
2003-12-15 14:34:05 UTC
Permalink
***@aktivist.fi (Jussi Jalonen) wrote in message news:<***@posting.google.com>...

<snip>
Post by Jussi Jalonen
How's that?
Very creative and entertaining, Jussi.

Stuart Wilkes
phil hunt
2003-12-15 04:24:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stuart Wilkes
And even if it does, watch Bennie, Horthy, and Antonescu rethink yet
again, about the time Rommel approaches the Channel.
ITYM "...Guderian approaches the Channel", unless the PoD causes
significant changes to the French campaign.
Post by Stuart Wilkes
After all, they now share a continent with the all-crushing Wehrmacht
and Luftwaffe.
Indeed.
--
"It's easier to find people online who openly support the KKK than
people who openly support the RIAA" -- comment on Wikipedia
(Email: <***@zen.co.ku>, but first subtract 275 and reverse
the last two letters).
Stuart Wilkes
2003-12-15 14:29:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by phil hunt
Post by Stuart Wilkes
And even if it does, watch Bennie, Horthy, and Antonescu rethink yet
again, about the time Rommel approaches the Channel.
ITYM "...Guderian approaches the Channel", unless the PoD causes
significant changes to the French campaign.
Yup. Good catch. Rommel's 7th Panzer was operating around Arras and
Lille while 1st, 2nd, and 10th Panzer went for the Channel.
Post by phil hunt
Post by Stuart Wilkes
After all, they now share a continent with the all-crushing Wehrmacht
and Luftwaffe.
Indeed.
The fall of France was a <real> attention-getter.

Stuart Wilkes
Janne Glad
2003-12-16 12:10:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stuart Wilkes
Post by mike
Just think- Plucky Finland get to be a full Allied Nation.
They made peace on 12 March. The recce flight was 30 March.
The peace agreement was signed in the early hours, Moscow
time, of the 13th, but pre-dated to the 12th - much like
"the clock is stopped at five to twelve" these days whenever
negotiations get stuck but no-one wants to walk out without
an agreement:-)

If there really weren´t any recce flights before "the peace
broke out", the Soviet AA-artillery in Baku had been firing
at ghost planes - not at all impossible, since the Soviet
military attache in London had told Stalin that such an aerial
attack was imminent.


While the original idea was French and the French were much
more keen and serious on it, it probably wasn´t just a case
of the British going through the motions to keep their ally
happy: *a year later* Churchill wanted to stage a squadron
of bombers in Turkey for the express purpose of being able
to threaten the Baku oilfields and thus to persuade Stalin
not to support the German war effort.


Janne Glad
Kurotora dalla valle di Yagumo
2003-12-13 14:01:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave Knudson
Post by JoatSimeon
With typical brilliance, the French and British governments were planning on
attacking the Soviet oil installations at Baku in early 1940. Action had been
approved and the reconaissance was to begin in late March. As it was, there
were some distractions...
Howeve, Reynaud, the French premier, had proposed the Baku attack earlier and
Chamberlain had not -- then -- been willing to go along with it.
Suppose that he had, and that an Allied bombing raid against Baku had taken
place before the German offensive opened in the West. What would have
resulted?
Is this likely? I mean, supposing the bombers were based in French
Syria or British Kuwait, they'd have to violate someone's neutrality
to do so (Turkey, Iraq or Persia).
Additionally, while annoyed at the Soviets, I can't imagine Britain
and France deciding to take on a continental-sized Great Power in
addition to Germany. That would require Hitler-esque levels of
stupidity.
Dave Knudson
Hi

You don't consider that at that time CCCP and Reich were tied by the
Molotov-Ribbentropp treaty, and it looked like if they were concertating
their expansion policy, like in the case of Poland and Baltic states.

Bye

k.
Stuart Wilkes
2003-12-12 16:49:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by JoatSimeon
With typical brilliance, the French and British governments were planning on
attacking the Soviet oil installations at Baku in early 1940. Action had been
approved and the reconaissance was to begin in late March. As it was, there
were some distractions...
Howeve, Reynaud, the French premier, had proposed the Baku attack earlier and
Chamberlain had not -- then -- been willing to go along with it.
Actually, planning got started under Daladier, who was so severely
criticized for his failure to attack the Soviets in early 1940 that he
resigned as Premier.
Post by JoatSimeon
Suppose that he had, and that an Allied bombing raid against Baku had taken
place before the German offensive opened in the West. What would have
resulted?
In the grand scheme of things, not much, Your Touchiness. A small
Anglo-Franco-Soviet air war over the Caucasus. "Chips" Channon will
write exultantly in his diaries about "We are switching a war we
cannot win for a war we cannot lose", but the bombing force is too
weak to be decisive, and it runs into the PVO. Baku alone had a full
ADA Regiment assigned to it in the spring of 1940, which even Moscow
did not rate. However, as 10 May 1940 dawns, there's this 100-mile
column of German troops and armor, winding its way through the
Ardennes...

Once Chamberlain, then France, fall, Churchill tries to patch things
up with Uncle Joe, since he's already got quite enough of a war on his
hands. Stalin's considerable suspicion of Brits will be reinforced,
but the war will wind down when the British take their aircraft to
North Africa to fight Graziani.

Stuart Wilkes
Athos
2003-12-12 18:27:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by JoatSimeon
With typical brilliance, the French and British governments were planning on
attacking the Soviet oil installations at Baku in early 1940. Action had been
approved and the reconaissance was to begin in late March. As it was, there
were some distractions...
Howeve, Reynaud, the French premier, had proposed the Baku attack earlier and
Chamberlain had not -- then -- been willing to go along with it.
Suppose that he had, and that an Allied bombing raid against Baku had taken
place before the German offensive opened in the West. What would have
resulted?
I used to think that such an act would lead to a very unpleasant war
with the USSR allied with Germany. If all went as in OTL, France
would be crushed and Britain would be left to face Germany, and the
USSR. The Soviets could add some aircraft to the BoB and subs to the
Battle of the Atlantic.

I don't know if it would have been enough to tip the balance. The
Soviets had a huge air force and the worlds largest sub force but the
quality of both was highly questionable.

Assuming that Britain doesn't fall the US eventually comes into the
war and in 1945-46 there is a nuclear inferno and a radioactive Europe
is eventually "liberated". Very ugly war.

That's what I used to think. I have recently become convinced that
Stalin really, really, wanted the Western powers to tear themselves
apart and would do almost anything to keep from being dragged into a
war with the major powers.

I think it's possible that he would turn the other cheek. I think
Stalin may say, "OK we've been bombed, we'll raise the price of the
oil we're selling to the Germans to make up the loss of property.
We'll increase the air defences around the oil fields and get some
propaganda value out of the attack."

I really think that Stalin didn't want to get into the war. I think
he wanted to pick up the peices after the major conflict had left the
other power exhausted and their societies ripe for revolution. So
such an attack amy make no difference.
Jussi Jalonen
2003-12-13 07:40:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by JoatSimeon
Suppose that he had, and that an Allied bombing raid against Baku had taken
place before the German offensive opened in the West. What would have
resulted?
Well, for one, you just made a new friend in Stuart Wilkes.
Considering that you share the same interests, perhaps you should
remove him from your killfile.

(Contingency plans shouldn't always be taken realistically, by the
way.)



Cheers,
Jalonen
HAESSIG Frédéric Pierre Tamatoa
2003-12-13 08:02:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jussi Jalonen
(Contingency plans shouldn't always be taken realistically, by the
way.)
What? You mean Andorra plans to invade Russia are not real????
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Cheers,
Jalonen
Andrew Gray
2003-12-13 12:44:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by HAESSIG Frédéric Pierre Tamatoa
Post by Jussi Jalonen
(Contingency plans shouldn't always be taken realistically, by the
way.)
What? You mean Andorra plans to invade Russia are not real????
Well, I dunno, "persuade France, Germany and Poland to join up along the
way to Moscow" was a pretty sensible approach...

ObWI: Andorra does something.
--
-Andrew Gray
***@bigfoot.com
Tony Bailey
2003-12-13 19:20:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Gray
ObWI: Andorra does something.
Perhaps they might start out with San Marino and work their way up, you know
establish some sort of pecking order and fibish with a biggish spot like
Lichtenstein and than work out which of the really big countries to strike
next - perhaps Luxembourg?
--
Tony Bailey
Mercury Travel Books
Stuart Wilkes
2003-12-14 09:11:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Post by JoatSimeon
Suppose that he had, and that an Allied bombing raid against Baku had taken
place before the German offensive opened in the West. What would have
resulted?
Well, for one, you just made a new friend in Stuart Wilkes.
I don't think so Jussi. He seems to want to make more of it than it
will really support.
Post by Jussi Jalonen
Considering that you share the same interests,
;)
Post by Jussi Jalonen
perhaps you should remove him from your killfile.
He'd certainly improve his sketchy knowlege of WWII that way.

Stuart Wilkes
Mike Ralls
2003-12-14 03:50:43 UTC
Permalink
Quick and dirty TL:

1940:
March The Baku oil fields are burned. Stalin declares war on the
Western Powers.

April: Famous meeting between Hitler and Stalin on the Polish border.
The picture of them toasting each other and looking into each other's
eyes will be featured prominently in history books and and documentaries.

May - July: The Fall of France goes mostly like OTL . . . only no
Italy. Il Duce thinks H&S are a little too close and doesn't want to
get involved in this one just yet. When France completely falls apart,
he was thinking about invading at the last minute to pick up some
goodies, but he hesitated too long.

July - November: Battle of Britain. Stalin is shocked at how quickly
the west fell. He doesn't trust Hitler and was hoping he'd fight a WWI
war of attrition. He sends token fighter forces to France, but not
enough to really make a difference. He's moving his available forces to
a different area. In the US, Lend-Lease and other helpful measures are
enacted faster and deeper than OTL. Nazi & Soviet haters combine on not
wanting Britain to fall. FDR wins re-election. Brits a lot less
willing to send stuff out of the Islands, so later on no Greece
adventure like in OTL.

December: The Soviets invade northern Iran. Joe was looking for
someway to get something out of this and the Iran seemed like the best
place. The invasion goes really well for the first month, occupying the
entire northern half of Iran before logistical difficulties cause the
advance to peter out. Britain ships some forces to help out.

January-March: More due to logistics than anything else, the soviets
slowly occupy almost all of Iran and now are on the border of the
British Indian Empire. India is more mobilized than OTL to fight them
off, and again, mainly due to logistics the Brits hold the line and the
Soviets don't get too far into British India or British occupied Iraq.

April-June: Stalin doesn't want to commit too many forces to
Iran/Iraq/Pakistan and the war their becomes one of attrition over huge
distances with few men. Lots of romantic war movies come out of this
theater.

June - December : Hitler invades. Stalin even less prepared than OTL.
Panics. Pulls out as many troops as available from Iran, but takes
time. Germans do better than OTL. Very weird situation as all three
Big powers are at war against the other two. Feelers are sent out by
the Brits to the Sovs, the Sovs to the Brits, and Hitler to the Brits.
Only Brit-Sov feelers make some impact. Italy starts wondering if he
should joing Hitler now that he's attacking commies. No US lend-lease
to USSR.

December - July: Japan attacks US/UK. Oil embargo same as OTL causes J
HQ to make really bad desisison, and Hitler declares war on US too.
First six months of Pacific same as OTL. US not at war with USSR begins
acting as peace negotiator between two.

July: UK-Soviet Peace treaty. Return to pre-war status. Sovs withdraw
from Iran.

Flash forward:

Over time things improve between the sovs and the allies, and the
Soviets even get US lend lease in 1944. D-day is more bloody than OTL,
but without the Italian front a larger number of landing crafts and men
get commited and more Germans are captured. However, their are more
alive Germans to fight so the march to Berlin is harder one than OTL.

In early August of 1945 Berlin falls to the US/UK troops in a battle
very unlike OTL's Battle of Berlin. The US and UK aren't as wasteful
with men and just suround and seige the place until it's not even rubble
but more like sand.

The Iron Curtain is going to be further west than in OTL, and given a
neutral Italy (no the only possible way, but the way that this TL ended
up) it's going to be shaped very differently in East. Also, the sovs
won't have time to transfer forces east before the A-bomb, so we get a
united Korea.

The cost of this is about an extra 400,000 UK/US cassualties, an extra
million dead Jews, an extra million dead Germans, an extra two or three
million dead Soviets. Japanese and Chinese casualties and damage are
about OTL.

There are not many hopes for peace with the Soviets, so no Yalta's or
what not. When the Sovs install their puppet govs, no one is really
supprissed or feels betrayed. Cold War starts out colder and more
intense than OTL.
--
Mike Ralls
My webpage: http://www.geocities.com/misterralls
My real e-mail: mikerralls [at] netscape.net
"The standard isn't perfection. The standard is the alternative."
phil hunt
2003-12-14 05:29:49 UTC
Permalink
[1941] June - December : Hitler invades [USSR].
I really don't see this as likely. In OTL Hitler invaded the USSR
out of frustration that he wasn't getting anywhere inducing Britian
to surrender. In this TL, Britian will be closer to packing it in.
They have a major Soviet invasion on their hands, and it's
threatening India. So it'll look like Britain is closer to defeat.

So Hitler continues his submarine blockade of Britain, plus the
bombing campaign, in the hope of weakening his foe.

I suspect in this TL, Turkey might be considering joining the
Nazi/Soviet pact. If it does, there'll be a Turkish/German invasion
of Iraq and Syria.

Will Italy join the war? If they left it too late to grab anything
from France, and Egypt looks undefended, Mussolini is bound to
consider it.
--
"It's easier to find people online who openly support the KKK than
people who openly support the RIAA" -- comment on Wikipedia
(Email: <***@zen.co.ku>, but first subtract 275 and reverse
the last two letters).
Mike Ralls
2003-12-14 06:38:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by phil hunt
I really don't see this as likely. In OTL Hitler invaded the USSR
out of frustration that he wasn't getting anywhere inducing Britian
to surrender.
Completely totally and utterly disagree. Hitler invaded the USSR
because it was his GRAND BIG DREAM. Right up their with making Germany
Jeudenfree. He wanted to attack the USSR at the first point he could,
and that's exactly what he did.

He constantly talked about it, he railed against how B&F declaring war
on him stopped him from going after the Soviets after he took Poland.
--
Mike Ralls
My webpage: http://www.geocities.com/misterralls
My real e-mail: mikerralls [at] netscape.net
"The standard isn't perfection. The standard is the alternative."
JoatSimeon
2003-12-14 09:21:10 UTC
Permalink
He constantly talked about it, he railed against how B&F declaring war on him
stopped him from going after the Soviets after he took Poland.

-- true, but he _was_ willing to be tactically flexible about it, to a certain
extent.

Hmmm. Would this affect Japanese-British relations? Possibly an anti-Soviet
rapprochement?

The Japanese got badly burned in their clashes with the Soviets in 38-39, but
with Germany actually fighting on the same side as the Russians and Britain at
war with the USSR, there might be possibilities.
Mike Ralls
2003-12-14 10:09:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by JoatSimeon
-- true, but he _was_ willing to be tactically flexible about it, to a certain
extent.
I think that extent was pretty limited. He decided in 1940, during the
B of Britain that he was going to attack the Soviets one year later.
That seems quite extreme to me. Russia could wait. It wasn't going
anywhere. He didn't need to leave an enemy at his back to attack
someone who was giving him everything he had asked for. But he did.

I could even see Britain being at war with Russia as spurring him on to
attack the Soviets. He constantly pined how he didn't want to fight the
British and he might go, "Ah, once I attack the Soviets who the British
are at war with, they will throw out that fat pig Churchill and then we
will sign and peace and fight the Soviets together!"
--
Mike Ralls
My webpage: http://www.geocities.com/misterralls
My real e-mail: mikerralls [at] netscape.net
"The standard isn't perfection. The standard is the alternative."
k***@cix.compulink.co.uk
2003-12-15 14:19:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Ralls
Russia could wait. It wasn't going
anywhere.
It was going to get a lot stronger though. By the end of 1941 the
UUSR army reorganisation would have been complete, not to mention new
tank production.

Ken Young
***@cix.co.uk

Those who cover themselves with martial glory
frequently go in need of any other garment. (Bramah)
phil hunt
2003-12-15 04:22:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Ralls
He constantly talked about it, he railed against how B&F declaring war on him
stopped him from going after the Soviets after he took Poland.
-- true, but he _was_ willing to be tactically flexible about it, to a certain
extent.
Hmmm. Would this affect Japanese-British relations? Possibly an anti-Soviet
rapprochement?
The Japanese got badly burned in their clashes with the Soviets in 38-39, but
with Germany actually fighting on the same side as the Russians and Britain at
war with the USSR, there might be possibilities.
I doubt that Japan would fight Russia unless it was promised
significant help from Britain.
--
"It's easier to find people online who openly support the KKK than
people who openly support the RIAA" -- comment on Wikipedia
(Email: <***@zen.co.ku>, but first subtract 275 and reverse
the last two letters).
JoatSimeon
2003-12-15 05:21:24 UTC
Permalink
I doubt that Japan would fight Russia unless it was promised significant help
from Britain.

-- hmm. Would actual war with the USSR make the Brits willing to PO the US by
renewing the Anglo-Japanese alliance?

The internal situation in India would also be interesting.
Stuart Wilkes
2003-12-14 09:01:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Ralls
March The Baku oil fields are burned.
No. The planning assumptions were pretty poor. The Anglo-French
planners assumed 50 220-lb bombs would destroy a refinery. As for the
percent of bombs hitting the target, the French were relatively
conservative. They figured that from an altitude of 5000m and at 250
kph, 15% of the bombs would hit. The RAF laughed at their timidity.
They thought it would be 35%. Under the French assumption, one Bomber
Group (11 AC) would require 3 sorties by the Group to destroy a
refinery. Thus,

"The destruction of 120 refineries would call for 360 Group sorties.
Assuming that 12 Groups are available, each group would have to carry
out 30 sorties. If each group carries out 3 sorties a week, the total
time required would be 10 weeks." Patrick Osborne "Operation Pike"
Greenwood Press, 2000, pg 152, citing "Note by the French
Representatives to the Allied Military Committee, - Study of a
Possible Air Attack on the Caucasus Oil Industry" of 26 March 1940.

Notice that unescorted medium bombers, flying at 16,400 ft are assumed
to take no losses over a 10-week campaign.

Then notice the somewhat optimistic assumption about the hit rate.

I'll assume the Anglo-French are willing to replace their losses to
sustain the campaign. They quickly go to night bombing to preserve
their force, in which case I'll cite a Phil Edwards post from a while
back:

"Bomber Command, 1941: at least 70%, and sometimes 93%, of bombers
either failed to complete a 400-mile mission or went off course by
five miles or more."

This will go for many, many months before any decisive amount of
damage is done.
Post by Mike Ralls
Stalin declares war on the Western Powers.
Yeah.

<snip pretty good effort>
Post by Mike Ralls
December: The Soviets invade northern Iran. Joe was looking for
someway to get something out of this and the Iran seemed like the best
place. The invasion goes really well for the first month, occupying the
entire northern half of Iran before logistical difficulties cause the
advance to peter out. Britain ships some forces to help out.
Actually, he might already be at war with Turkey over this. The Turks
were to be in on it, in terms of providing overflight rights and
bases. If so, he might be amenable to the idea of picking up more of
Armenia. Going after northern Iran seems a streach, with one war
already on his hands.

<snip>

Stuart Wilkes
Mike Ralls
2003-12-14 09:14:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stuart Wilkes
Post by Mike Ralls
March The Baku oil fields are burned.
No. The planning assumptions were pretty poor.
Agreed. That was just a bad sentence on my part. Should have been
"bombed." Shrug. Quick and dirty.
Post by Stuart Wilkes
Actually, he might already be at war with Turkey over this.
It's a possibility. And man would that make a different WWII.
Post by Stuart Wilkes
Going after northern Iran seems a streach, with one war
already on his hands.
I was assuming he would see Iraq and Iran as British puppets. Iran was
chosen because the Soviets did invade it in WWII and occupied the
northern half. Also, warm water port.
--
Mike Ralls
My webpage: http://www.geocities.com/misterralls
My real e-mail: mikerralls [at] netscape.net
"The standard isn't perfection. The standard is the alternative."
Stuart Wilkes
2003-12-14 18:36:51 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Mike Ralls
Post by Stuart Wilkes
Actually, he might already be at war with Turkey over this.
It's a possibility. And man would that make a different WWII.
Yeah, but the fall of France quickly puts an end to the nonsense.

Things get patched up before they get too out of hand. Iosif knows
that he's Adolpf's ultimate target, so the pressure to wrap things up
quickly with a compromise peace will be pretty strong.
Post by Mike Ralls
Post by Stuart Wilkes
Going after northern Iran seems a streach, with one war
already on his hands.
I was assuming he would see Iraq and Iran as British puppets. Iran was
chosen because the Soviets did invade it in WWII and occupied the
northern half. Also, warm water port.
OTOH, the Straits...

I think Stalin sticks with the war he's got, rather than going looking
for a new one.

Stuart Wilkes
mike
2003-12-14 23:08:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stuart Wilkes
Post by Mike Ralls
March The Baku oil fields are burned.
<snip>
Post by Stuart Wilkes
"Bomber Command, 1941: at least 70%, and sometimes 93%, of bombers
either failed to complete a 400-mile mission or went off course by
five miles or more."
This will go for many, many months before any decisive amount of
damage is done.
The differnce between Baku and Ploesti is that the Romanians
didn't let thier light crude leak so much as to saturate the
ground down to the water table. Vast pools of crude all along
thier pipelines and refineries.

Would be like Kuwait 1991

For finding Baku, the pipelines from the Batumi/Tbilisi/Baku
line are near impossible to miss, as are the gas flares from the
natural gas burning off: N.G. was a waste product back then.
Only place like it off the Caspian.

**
mike
**
Steven Rogers
2003-12-14 17:46:47 UTC
Permalink
Nice TL, but Benny the Moose joins the Allies once it is clear the D-Day
lodgement will not be crushed.




Steve

My desire to be well informed stands at odds with my desire to remain sane.
Mike Ralls
2003-12-14 23:03:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven Rogers
Nice TL, but Benny the Moose joins the Allies once it is clear the D-Day
lodgement will not be crushed.
Maybe in '45.
--
Mike Ralls
My webpage: http://www.geocities.com/misterralls
My real e-mail: mikerralls [at] netscape.net
"The standard isn't perfection. The standard is the alternative."
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