Why did England and France declare war on Germany?

Discussion in 'Education' started by elvis, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. elvis
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    elvis BANNED Supporting Member

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    I know, they made a war guarantee to Poland, but why? Picture this.....

    the US makes a war guarantee to Nicaragua should it be attacked by El Salvador. El Salvador attacks Nicaragua, the US declares war on El Salvador, and in return, El Salvador bombards New York City (London) for days and days in a row. That doesn't seem worth it to me. Why was it worth it for England?
     
  2. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    You make a treaty, you stick to it. Besides, they knew what Hitler was up to - lebensraum - a Greater Europe under German control.
     
  3. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Hitler broke many treaties and basically fought two wars prior to Poland. While Austria was not a shooting war, it was a war none the less. The Nazis managed with key assassinations and pressure politically to absorb Austria and then after forcing Britain and France to Cave on Czecheslovakia the two Nations stood by while the Nazis over ran that Country too.

    Hitler broke the terms of the treaty that ended WW1, he rearmed and reequiped his Army, created an Air Force ( with the Soviets aid, they trained his pilots) He increased the military way past the terms of the treaty as well. Then to start the ball rolling he invade Alsac Lorriane and the French retreated, so no shooting there.

    Unknown to the French, Hitler ordered his Military to retreat back to Germany if the French put up any resistance, he was not ready for a shooting war.

    Poland was the final Straw. And then France and Britain fucked that up with the fake war from September 39 until April 40. Hitler had stripped the Western Armies to invade Poland. He had no real Divisions on the western front at all. They were reserves and cadre of Divisions. All his armor and most of his Air Force was also on the Poland Campaign. His Navy was a joke compared to the British. And I believe he only had 39 Submarines in 1939. And most of those were old models.
     
  4. elvis
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    elvis BANNED Supporting Member

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    His navy was a joke because he didn't want a war with Britain. What German agreed to the Versailles Treaty? That was the worst treaty ever written, and was responsible for WW2, in my opinion. I believe it was the Rheinland- Falz the Germans were supposed to stay out of and the French did not send divisions into. Alsace-Lorraine was taken back by France in 1918 (after Germany took it from France in 1871).
    Why did the Allies give Danzig to Poland? didn't that give the Germans a reason to want to attack?
     
  5. Epsilon Delta
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    Epsilon Delta Jedi Master

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    Well, first he took Austria. Then he took Czechoslovakia. Then he took Poland.

    I guess the British and the French started to think "Hmmm... well, he's getting awful close to running out of places to take".
     
  6. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    Britain didn't want war in 1938. It wasn't ready for war. If you have a mooch through Churchill's "The Wilderness Years" you will notice that, while Churchill had been warning for years about Hitler and the gathering pace of German rearmament, successive British Prime Ministers (Baldwin and Chamberlain) did all they could to ignore German rearmament and hope it went away. Finally, when it was too big to ignore, they tried to cover it up. When it was too big to be covered, they tried to appease it - anything in fact but take it on militarily.

    Hitler for his part wanted an alliance with Britain. He believed that the British and German nations were kindred spirits and that Britain could be relied upon to stand by and let Germany do as it pleased, or even to be the Third Reich's military ally. There were many Nazi sympathizers in Britain at that time, some of whom had huge influence politically - such as Unity and Diana Mitford, Oswald Mosley and Lord Rothermere (proprietor of the Daily Mail).

    Danzig was given to Poland to provide the Polish state with access to the sea. That said, it was almost completely a German city, and remained an independent 'country within a country', supposedly under the auspices of the League of Nations (ROFL). The Polish Corridor also separated Germany from Prussia (very pro German). Most of Poland's imports and exports were seaborne and Poland had applied pressure for sea access - without it, Poland would have been trade-reliant on Germany. It was first suggested in Woodrow Wilson's 14 points. Bizarrely, the 14 points was a speech addressed to a purely American audience as a bit of PR, and ended up becoming allied policy at the end of WWI. In answer to your question, I have no idea why the allies accepted it. But then again, the idea of America dabbling in areas of foreign policy it does not understand is nothing new (although perhaps it was new 90 years ago).

    Britain should have stood up to Hitler when Czechoslovakia was invaded, but Chamberlain returned from Munich with a handful of worthless guarantees which served only to allow Hitler to consolidate and negotiate a non aggression pact with Russia. It might be fair to say, however, that if Britain had gone to war in 1938 it would have been beaten in double quick time, if judged on the 'success' of the British Expeditionary Force a year later.

    Even then, if Hitler had launched Operation Sealion after Dunkirk, there are few in Britain who believe the result would have been anything but the over-running and defeat of Britain within a matter of months (the intention is believed to have been to cut off and besiege London), leaving Hitler free to concentrate fully on Barbarossa. Had this happened, Germany would have had pretty much complete control of Western Europe 18 months before the US entered the war, in which case I doubt the US would have entered the war in Europe at all, as there would have been little or no Europe left to fight for.
     
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  7. RetiredGySgt
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    Sea Lion was a farce. Germany could not mount it or pull it off while Britain had a fleet or air Force. The troops would have been ferried to England aboard RIVER Barges. Towed by something. Slow, ponderous and easily sunk. Assuming they managed to reach England they did not have the means to supply the Invasion force either. Again the British would have simply cut the sea link and the German forces would have withered on the vine.

    The Germans did not have an effective air presence that could engage naval forces and drive them out of the channel. They could not protect the invasion force from air attack either.

    As for the US, You are aware we NEVER ratified the Peace Terms from WW1? Technically we remained at war with Germany until the end of WW2. Wilson did not agree with the treaty as it was written and warned that it would just cause problems in the future.
     
  8. tigerbob
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    Comments added in red.
     
  9. del
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    i never understood why the luftwaffe didn't go after the radar installations in SW england. they gave the brits a huge advantage.
     
  10. tigerbob
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    So legend has it, a German bomber, somewhat lost on a cloudy night, dropped it's stack of bombs on London by mistake. This gave Churchill the chance he was looking for - to bomb Berlin in retaliation. This calculated risk paid off. Hitler, not known for his calm demeanor, reacted by promising the German people that he would obliterate London. Thereafter, much of German bombing targeted London, which meant the RAF had time to repair cratered airfields and damaged radar installations. Effectively, Churchill traded the lives of Londoners for maintaining air supremacy. Interestingly, this policy is also what led to my mother getting her ears pierced, but that's another story.

    Londoners had mixed feelings about this. There is evidence that some resented being used as bait. On the othr hand, there is a story about Churchill visiting the east end of London and being distraught at the destruction he saw, but had his resolve redoubled when a chirpy cockney voice shouted out "Don't worry Winston - we can take it!"

    Then of course there is the other story about why the RAF always knew where German raids were headed. Any British pilot shot down was supposed to tell interrogators that the RAF force fed it's pilots carrots, since they aided night vision.
     

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