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Thread: D-Day

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    Not sure why we would have suffered in such a fashion, we weren’t one of the original belligerents in either war and both Hitler and Japan pulled us into WWII.
    I'm fairly sure Andrew was not saying that we should have suffered the same devastation as Europe, he was commenting that our economic growth and world leadership after WWII was partly due to the fact that our economy was not in tatters. The soldiers came home, went to college on the GI Bill, and went on to lead the world in technology development. The United States had almost everything going for it after WWII, and we reaped the benefits of that good fortune.

    There was a lot of government money spent before and during WWII on research (RADAR, aircraft design, nuclear, etc.). It was for technology to be used in the war, but a lot of it helped after the war. And the organizations of engineers and scientists that were set up to do these things were able to redirect their research and development to peacetime activities. Those things were not there, and not possible, in early post war Europe.

    The US had a real head start after WWII and we took advantage of it to become the leader of the free world. We don't have that advantage any more.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lawrence View Post
    Your point about Wilson is very obscure. He was in bed with the Germans to the point of directing the State Department to allow them to pass messages through our embassy in Berlin. The Zimmerman telegram was sent by our own embassy to the German embassy in Washington, and then on to their embassy in Mexico. The British intercepted it, and had a long debate about whether the disclosure that they were spying on our communications was worth turning it over to us.
    Interesting, Nick. Itís hard to know the motivation there but we certainly know the result and that was joining the allies and Wilson helped to draft the treaty which would be used after the warís end. Had he been in bed, would we not just have remained neutral? Furthermore would he have helped draft such an over-bearing treaty for a war where there were such a broad range of motivations it was very tough to really pin-point a definitive culprit. Iím not disagreeing but more curious as to your thoughts.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    I'm fairly sure Andrew was not saying that we should have suffered the same devastation as Europe, he was commenting that our economic growth and world leadership after WWII was partly due to the fact that our economy was not in tatters. The soldiers came home, went to college on the GI Bill, and went on to lead the world in technology development. The United States had almost everything going for it after WWII, and we reaped the benefits of that good fortune.

    There was a lot of government money spent before and during WWII on research (RADAR, aircraft design, nuclear, etc.). It was for technology to be used in the war, but a lot of it helped after the war. And the organizations of engineers and scientists that were set up to do these things were able to redirect their research and development to peacetime activities. Those things were not there, and not possible, in early post war Europe.

    The US had a real head start after WWII and we took advantage of it to become the leader of the free world. We don't have that advantage any more.

    Mike
    Sure, I just don’t quite understand what conclusion to draw from these things beyond acknowledgement. We also helped Germany and Japan rebuild and both are powerhouses of economic capability today.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  4. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    ...
    But the conditions on the Eastern Front, especially in the winter, were horrible for both sides. I haven't studied the Soviet Union's side of the war that well, but I believe they were well led and committed. It was their country that was invaded and they understood what waited for them if they failed.
    ...
    Interesting book, and some insight to the (historical) Russian approach to war:
    Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace [​Lieven, Dominic]

    A tough read, but maybe interesting to some - and a tiny peek into the Russian psyche.
    One takeaway, is their need for time. It is a big country and the time and distances involved in marshalling an army are significant. So, they trade territory for such time. But they have a comparatively large population, so once an army is gathered, the individual soldier's life is considered rather cheap :: 1 German tank? Throw 200 infantry at it, one is bound to get through.

    Another was the Russian approach to service commitments. Though a different war than what has been discussed so far, in the Napoleonic times, when a 'serf' was summoned for military services, it was common for their local community to hold what was essentially a pre-departure funeral for the soldier to-be. It was generally thought that the community would never see them again.

  5. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    Interesting, Nick. Itís hard to know the motivation there but we certainly know the result and that was joining the allies and Wilson helped to draft the treaty which would be used after the warís end. Had he been in bed, would we not just have remained neutral? Furthermore would he have helped draft such an over-bearing treaty for a war where there were such a broad range of motivations it was very tough to really pin-point a definitive culprit. Iím not disagreeing but more curious as to your thoughts.
    I think the Zimmerman telegram is one of those turning points of history. Before that he was very much trying to keep the U.S. out of the war (he ran an for re-election on an anti-war platform in 1916). After the telegram was disclosed by the British, there was some effort to suggest it was a forgery, but Zimmerman confirmed it was authentic.

    At that point I think he just no longer controlled policy the way he did before. Congress, the cabinet, and the country were all moving strongly towards war, and regardless of his personal desires, he could not have maintained his prior policy.

    I am not sure what treaty you are thinking of. If you compare Versailles with the fourteen points for peace, they are very different documents. I am not sure how much credit (or blame) Wilson deserves for Versailles.

  6. #51
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    That’s a fair criticism of my viewpoint, I probably over-assign blame to Wilson because in my view he wanted the US to have a seat at the table so badly and after attaining that he produced the fourteen points which were very idealistic at best.
    They sounded nice but I think he was expecting too much of countries previously in a very bitter war with one another who were looking to assign blame. I don’t see how the fourteen points were going to make a convincing argument and they didn’t. He managed to get the League of Nations in, but the league was pretty much toothless and in doing so he conceded on the more important things that may have reduced the chance of a run up to another war, which was the intention he set out for at the start.

    Teddy Roosevelt’s criticism of the fourteen points is pretty accurate in my opinion. He described it as ‘high sounding and meaningless’.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  7. #52
    We are main defense of the free world . To be the leader of the free world we will have to re-assert that we will not keep paying all the bills.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    We are main defense of the free world . To be the leader of the free world we will have to re-assert that we will not keep paying all the bills.
    The one who pays the bills has the authority/gravitas to call the shots.

    To remain the leader of the free world we have to assert that we will never again crawl into bed with those opposed to a free world.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #54
    [QUOTE=Jim Koepke;3126697]The one who pays the bills has the authority/gravitas to call the shots

    Well, we are pretty popular in Ukraine !

  10. #55
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    Gentlemen, please don't take this thread into the political side of the topic.

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