Did Hitler deliberately spare the British from annihilation at Dunkirk?

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Balsamo
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Re: Did Hitler deliberately spare the British from annihilation at Dunkirk?

Postby Balsamo » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:46 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:
Ian Hazard wrote:I am not Charles Traynor.


I don't think you are, but you sure sound a lot like him.

And BTW, your "Hasbara" smear was {!#%@} idiotic. I challenge you to find just one post made by a regular member here that is supportive of Netenyahu.


Trump would be...but he is not member here yet.
Maybe one could create a twitter app for this subforum that could help him to join.
But then, Ian seems to like Trump...

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Re: Did Hitler deliberately spare the British from annihilation at Dunkirk?

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:55 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:
Ian Hazard wrote:I am not Charles Traynor.


I don't think you are, but you sure sound a lot like him.

And BTW, your "Hasbara" smear was {!#%@} idiotic. I challenge you to find just one post made by a regular member here that is supportive of Netenyahu.


Trump would be...but he is not member here yet.
Maybe one could create a twitter app for this subforum that could help him to join.
But then, Ian seems to like Trump...


"Like" is not a strong enough word for what Ian feels towards Trump. It is a true man crush.

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Re: Did Hitler deliberately spare the British from annihilation at Dunkirk?

Postby Upton_O_Goode » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:06 pm

Aaron Richards wrote:From what I understand, the tank advance had overextended itself and Hitler's generals did not want them to be without support from the rest of the advancing Wehrmacht. Therefore, Hitler ordered them to halt and wait for reinforcements, while relying on Hermann Göring, head of the Luftwaffe, to destroy the Allied forces on the beaches of Dunkirk. However, the Luftwaffe coud not accomplish this, and therefore the British could evacuate without mass casualties.

Any help would be appreciated.



I second the request for help. I too am not sure what I think about this. I know Hitler's major ambition was to destroy the USSR, and he needed to get the Western front settled. I think he assumed Britain would have to sue for peace once France was defeated. He waited a whole year, while Britain continued to fight. This looks like a serious underestimate of British resolve AND British resources. Britain was by no means in desperate straits after the fall of France. It still had a navy superior to Germany's and all the resources of the Empire to call on: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India... He waited a whole year, then pushed his luck on one roll of the dice, which led him to disaster. His fate was really sealed when the Wehrmacht failed to take either Moscow or Leningrad. By the end of 1941, he had no chance to win, because it had turned into a war of attrition. The Germans got millions of Soviet soldiers as prisoners, but Stalin still had enough soldiers to cover the front. Then, of course, America came into the war, and his problems suddenly got worse.

In fact, he was extraordinarily lucky (i.e., the French were extraordinarily stupid) in his invasion of France. The French were told several times that German armor was moving along very well-known roads. They refused to believe it until it was too late. They had the resolve and the force needed to stop Hitler even then. They could have routed him, but they waited too long to start.
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James Lackington, Memoirs of the First Forty-five Years of the Life of James Lackington, the Present Bookseller

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Re: Did Hitler deliberately spare the British from annihilation at Dunkirk?

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:29 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Aaron Richards wrote:From what I understand, the tank advance had overextended itself and Hitler's generals did not want them to be without support from the rest of the advancing Wehrmacht. Therefore, Hitler ordered them to halt and wait for reinforcements, while relying on Hermann Göring, head of the Luftwaffe, to destroy the Allied forces on the beaches of Dunkirk. However, the Luftwaffe coud not accomplish this, and therefore the British could evacuate without mass casualties.

Any help would be appreciated.



I second the request for help. I too am not sure what I think about this. I know Hitler's major ambition was to destroy the USSR, and he needed to get the Western front settled. I think he assumed Britain would have to sue for peace once France was defeated. He waited a whole year, while Britain continued to fight. This looks like a serious underestimate of British resolve AND British resources. Britain was by no means in desperate straits after the fall of France. It still had a navy superior to Germany's and all the resources of the Empire to call on: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India... He waited a whole year, then pushed his luck on one roll of the dice, which led him to disaster. His fate was really sealed when the Wehrmacht failed to take either Moscow or Leningrad. By the end of 1941, he had no chance to win, because it had turned into a war of attrition. The Germans got millions of Soviet soldiers as prisoners, but Stalin still had enough soldiers to cover the front. Then, of course, America came into the war, and his problems suddenly got worse.

In fact, he was extraordinarily lucky (i.e., the French were extraordinarily stupid) in his invasion of France. The French were told several times that German armor was moving along very well-known roads. They refused to believe it until it was too late. They had the resolve and the force needed to stop Hitler even then. They could have routed him, but they waited too long to start.



This thread Aaron opened peaked my interest so I'm going to look at some sources over the weekend and see what they say.

The other things you brought up could use threads of their own. I agree that the French (and British) ignored valuable intelligence that could have stopped the Germans in their tracks. The French and British possessed very good tanks but their tank doctrine lagged behind the Germans. The reality is (in spite of denier BS) the French and British really didn't want to fight and were hoping for enough time to strangle the Germans with a blockade while waiting on American equipment. The French believed this would be by 1942. Unfortunately for them Hitler decided that he didn't want to make war on the West's timetable.

You are right that Hitler believed the British would surrender once they figured out they couldn't win. Unfortunately, Churchill, in spite of all of his flaws, refused to give in. Hitler played into this by attacking the British into the teeth of their strength, the Battle of Britain, instead of hammering the British where they were vulnerable, the Middle East.

Hitler made a colossal error in attacking the USSR while the British hung in and compounded that error by declaring war on the US.

I will look at more things on Dunkirk and add more later.

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Re: Did Hitler deliberately spare the British from annihilation at Dunkirk?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:50 pm

I refuse to look back at Weinberg on this. :)
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Did Hitler deliberately spare the British from annihilation at Dunkirk?

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:56 pm

LOL

Oops, sorry, ((((LOL))))

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Re: Did Hitler deliberately spare the British from annihilation at Dunkirk?

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:14 pm

{!#%@} I looked . . . (((I))) mean, (((I))) looked . . .

Weinberg says that
- Hitler and Rundstedt assumed that the Luftwaffe would be able to complete the rout of the Brits
- weather impeded the work of Göring's boys
- the Royal Air Force was able to throw itself into the air battle
- the German air force made the erroneous assessment that it was succeeding (based on Tagebuch of Gen Walden)
- "A renewed push north by the Germans ordered on May 16 meant a second reversal in direction for the German armor and could not be immediately implemented. Hitler was confident that few of the British would escape . . . but his confidence was misplaced"
- in fact, "the later suggestion that [Hitler] hoped that the British might be encouraged to make peace by being allowed to get away is a fabrication" (no explanation for this - it fits with Weinberg's overall view of Hitler's approach to the British)
- in fighting over the beaches, the Werhmacht suffered heavy losses
- meanwhile the Germans went after Paris

(pp 130-131)

This is basically what Aaron posted in the OP.

Weinberg's view on Britain is that Hitler wanted a victory like that he won over France ("the death blow" which would come through the eventual air war) so that he could put in place some sort of armistice or truce that would free Germany for his main ambition: conquest in the East. In Weinberg's view IIRC Hitler expected war with Britain and France before turning to the east ("a necessary prerequisite") and was not willing to make concessions; the feeling Hitler had that he'd been cheated of war in the Munich crisis provides the context for a lot of what Weinberg says. Weinberg has Hitler attacking Poland to make his attack on the West easier, attacking the West to prepare for conquest in the east, and expecting an easy time of it in the east with Poland conquered and Britain and France having been brought to their knees.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: Did Hitler deliberately spare the British from annihilation at Dunkirk?

Postby Balsamo » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:16 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Aaron Richards wrote:From what I understand, the tank advance had overextended itself and Hitler's generals did not want them to be without support from the rest of the advancing Wehrmacht. Therefore, Hitler ordered them to halt and wait for reinforcements, while relying on Hermann Göring, head of the Luftwaffe, to destroy the Allied forces on the beaches of Dunkirk. However, the Luftwaffe coud not accomplish this, and therefore the British could evacuate without mass casualties.

Any help would be appreciated.



I second the request for help. I too am not sure what I think about this. I know Hitler's major ambition was to destroy the USSR, and he needed to get the Western front settled. I think he assumed Britain would have to sue for peace once France was defeated. He waited a whole year, while Britain continued to fight. This looks like a serious underestimate of British resolve AND British resources. Britain was by no means in desperate straits after the fall of France. It still had a navy superior to Germany's and all the resources of the Empire to call on: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India... He waited a whole year, then pushed his luck on one roll of the dice, which led him to disaster. His fate was really sealed when the Wehrmacht failed to take either Moscow or Leningrad. By the end of 1941, he had no chance to win, because it had turned into a war of attrition. The Germans got millions of Soviet soldiers as prisoners, but Stalin still had enough soldiers to cover the front. Then, of course, America came into the war, and his problems suddenly got worse.

In fact, he was extraordinarily lucky (i.e., the French were extraordinarily stupid) in his invasion of France. The French were told several times that German armor was moving along very well-known roads. They refused to believe it until it was too late. They had the resolve and the force needed to stop Hitler even then. They could have routed him, but they waited too long to start.


Ach Dunkirk...

I have always consider it as the most perfect example of those "second world war myths", which actually lasted very long - some still believe it today - because from the start it contained elements that basically pleased everyone.
- The "Wehrmacht" fans, because it gave some chivalry aspect to the German Army. Hitler wanted peace with the Brits and kind of spared them.

- The British still love their "miracle" which illustrate the bravery of the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. Which allowed to turn a disaster into a at least relative success if not victory, but that a Folklore brought up to the status of the first "Victory" over the Nazis.
You can basically sum up the national memory over this defeat by " The French blamed the Belgians and their kings, the British blamed the Belgians AND the French for the disaster, but they alone managed to save the day".

- Some French never contested it as it somehow reduce the "miracle" promoted by the Brits. In the sense "We got crushed, but the Germans let you win". The level of hate among the French military and leaders, as well as the French population, reached in 1940 has been often down played, in addition, the Vichy Regime had interest in downplaying the few successes of the French Army during those days in order to consolidate the "need" of the "national revolution". While on the other side of the track, de Gaulle could only supported the British representation of that Battle, without too much emphasize though, as it was still seen as a "British desertion" in the mainland. Then of course, after the war, France preferred to focus on the Resistance.

- And of course, the German generals who published their memoirs after the war, only too happy to designated this first "stolen victory" to paraphrase Manstein. Guderian loved to say he "could have", while on the field, he could not.

All of course also supported the collateral myth of the "invincible PANZER Armies" which explains the defeat - who cares if those scary panzers were mostly cardboard boxes on wheels?

Well it could take pages and pages to explain every aspect.
But then when a "popular memory" fits all the parties, well no one touches it, or at least very few. But this myth is very special precisely because it suits everyone.

Now, everyone really interested in the military history of the "campagne de France" - not many actually - knows that this campaign, despite an apparent facility, was a bloody one. The Allies - and that includes Britain - missed completely what was going on; Hitler threw the dice for the second times and won again without the means to fully exploit his victory.
The Dunkirk pocket was like 400.000 thousands Allied troops strong, and a defensive perimeter defended by 5 or 6 fully equipped French division - the forgotten heroes actually - which scarified themselves in order for Operation Dynamo to be a success.
As i said, this brief campaign was bloody: The Werhmacht suffered around 170.000 casualties ( (dead or wounded), half of its invincible Panzers, 20% of its plains... in no more than 40 days: proportionally more than what it will suffer on the eastern front. Short but deadly and costly.

There was just no way that Guderian's Pz I and II could have smashed the city of Dunkirk defenses in time without infantry support.
In addition, not only were the German generals worries legitimate, but so were Hitler's. Especially since, and that is true, he had no real interest in the West, better to end a lucky and quick, but as i said, a costly victory on the highest note that take the risk of winning the campaign on a defeat.

Did he really believed that the Luftwaffe could handle the thing? I am not sure as it was as exhausted as the rest of his army...should recheck my notes if i find them...It is been a long time i haven't been in the topic.

Hitler was probably aware of the impression of indulgence toward Britain his decision - imposed to himself - gave to the world.
Actually, the campaign of France was much more a political victory than a military one, but i do think he had more political aims than military ones in the west. The main goal had been achieved: France was neutralized, the military materials captured compensated for the losses, he was left with no opposition left on the continent...


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