May 23, 2009

Questions

Conor Friedersdorf quotes John McPhee:
In the First World War, General Ulrich Wille led the Swiss to victory. Victory consisted of successfully avoiding the conflict. As someone put it, “We won by having no war.” In the Second World War, the victorious Swiss general was Henri Guisan, of the Canton de Vaud. There is a General Guisan Quai in Zurich, a Quai General Guisan in Geneva. In every part of Switzerland, there are streets and plazas and equestrian statues—there are busts on plinths overhung with banners and flags—doing honor to the general of an army that did not fight.

Is Switzerland the only country that puts up statues of leaders esteemed for staying out of wars?

I've never heard much about the leaders who kept Turkey out of WWII (until declaring war on Germany toward the end) -- a remarkably sensible decision in a bellicose era (consider highly civilized and non-martial Italy's pointless participation in both World Wars). Turkey was, like Germany, a loser from the Versailles Treaty, but, unlike Germany, it kept its head.

Belarus still hasn't fully recovered from Nazi and Soviet tank armies fighting back and forth across its land. If Turkey had come in on either side early on, it might have been similarly afflicted. But I've never heard who deserves credit for Turkey being both strong enough and sensible enough to avoid war. Occasionally, somebody (e.g., Paul Johnson in Modern Times) gives Franco some credit for Spain sitting out WWII, but I never hear about the Turks who decided to give war a pass.

Presumably, this is partly due to Turkey's continuing Ataturk cult of personality (who died in 1937), which serves to tie together perhaps the oldest (and thus most innately fractious) agricultural civilizations in the world.

So, what's the story behind this dog that didn't bark fact?

UPDATE: By the way, the Turks fought hard on the U.S. side in the Korean War. Turkish troops, for example, rescued a U.S. Army unit including a 19-year-old artillery officer named Jerry Pournelle.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

118 comments:

testing99 said...

Steve, your reading of Switzerland's, Italy's, Spain's, and Turkey's participation in wars is pretty thin.

Switzerland was not a strategic or tactical objective in WWI, and in WWII like Sweden and Spain and Ireland, was "neutral" in the sense of not actively having Axis Armies on it's soil, but otherwise objectively pro-Axis. Ireland had Nazi convoy spotters on it's soil unmolested to guide the Wolfpacks, Spain, Switzerland, and Sweden provided lots of war material and espionage to the Nazis.

As for Italy, it had territorial objectives against the Austrians who still held substantial amounts of territory Italy claimed (including parts of the Tyrol and Trieste); and in WWII there was no "neutral" sides. Poland, Hungary, Romania etc. had no choice but one side or the other, due to military technology (lacking nukes, small nations got hammered by the massive war machines of the Nazis/Soviets).

As for Turkey, it too was pro-Nazi, until it clearly saw (like Brazil) that the latter was a losing hand. Turkey had ambitions in the British and French Mandates, and a lot of Turkish-Nazi military ties, but did not want to commit until the end. Being very near Russia.

Anonymous said...

"in WWII there was no "neutral" sides. Poland, Hungary, Romania etc. had no choice but one side or the other, due to military technology"

I would say the choice was limited not by military technology but by geographic position. Poland was between Germany and Russia; Germany wanted to attack Russia; ergo Poland was going to be a battlefield one way or another. Hungary and Romania might have stayed neutral and provided Germany with raw materials, as Sweden did, but probably the Soviets would have invaded them anyway as they did Bulgaria.

Don't forget that "neutral" Spain sent a large number of troops to fight on the Eastern Front.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Is Switzerland the only country that puts up statues of leaders esteemed for staying out of wars?

It's amazing that the press gives more leeway to countries like Turkey and Sweden who stayed out of the war while castigating that other country, the Vatican, for staying out, even while the Vatican was surrounded on all sides by an Axis nation.

And I have to think that the statues to the Swiss general were well deserved. Switzerland may have stayed out of the fighting, but it did so through the construction of some very clever large-scale fortifications. Someone supervised their design and construction.

It's a shame Turkey didn't get into it, because I'd love to have Constantinople back in Christendom, though we certainly wouldn't have kept it.

And Spain? I love that they stayed out because it plays against the evil fascist narrative the left has constructed for the Franco regime.

Portug said...

When Salazar was (embarrassingly for the State television) recently chosen as the greatest Portuguese ever in the Portuguese version of the "Greatest Briton", the thrust of the argument presented by his defender was that he had kept Portugal both out of the Spanish Civil War next door and out of WW2.

It was quite an accomplishment, it should be said.

Jim O said...

If you read only one more history book before you cash them in, make it Paul Johnson's Modern Times.

Blode0322 said...

Italy's participation in the First World War was definitely pointless. It helped the Entente much more than it did Italy, at least until Caporetto. Substantial territorial claims in Austria? They certainly spent a substantial amount of time pining over them, that's irridentism for you, but they could never explain to a non-Italian (or a non-romantic, for that matter) why Italy would suffer without them.

Worse still, they had no plan to get them other than being brave and having some good mountain-climbers. (Another part of the plan involved Russia defeating Austria-Hungary - not so ridiculous if you consider the size of the Russian army or their considerable success in 1916 ... but it still meant was counting on the Czarists to be efficient.)

Italy mainly deserves credit in the war for evacuating the Serbs to Corfu and for bottling up the AH navy.

Anonymous said...

For many centuries Switzerland provided mercenaries for all sorts of European wars. It was the go-to place for hired soldiers if you wanted to start a fight with your neighbors. A long time ago the words "Swiss" and "mercenary" meant pretty much the same thing to a lot of people. The Pope's Swiss Guards are the only modern reminder of any of that.

Difficult environments were supposed to breed tough men, and the high Alps were difficult. The homes of other famous martial peoples - the Vikings, Mohammed's Arabs, the Mongols - were difficult as well.

Why did the stereotype of the Swiss being fierce professional soldiers eventually reverse itself so completely? I don't know. Maybe their neutrality was just a political accident. Maybe if there was a modern market for mercenaries, there would be a lot of Swiss guys in it. Or maybe something really did change in their national character.

gcochran said...

You know, the world is diminished by all the damn fools and liars like testing99. And that diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.

You hang out on the net long enough and you develop an impulse to go out and diminish them right back.

El Caudillo said...

It reminds me of the 1981 movie, War Games, where the moral of the story was that the only way to win a nuclear war, is not to fight one.

Now someone please tell this to the neoCONs!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I would agree that Franco was pro Axis, but to characterize Switzerland as such is ludicrous. They were scared to death of being invaded by the Germans and made elaborate plans to resist. You should read the book Target Switzerland.

"...of all the neutrals Switzerland has the greatest right to distinction... She has been a Democratic State, standing for freedom in self-defense among her mountains, and in thought, in spite of race, largely on our side." -Winston Churchill

Anonymous said...

Who were these mythical Soviets that according to Steve steamrolled Belarus ? Belorussians were Soviets, just as were Ukranians, Georgians, Armenians and so forth. Steve, I do get your point of trying to avoid wars but some of your examples stink.

Rrrrrroger said...

testing99 has provided a very odd comment. It certainly seems odd to read here a comment very politely saying that the author of the blog is unaware of the conventional wisdom, and assuming that as soon as Mr. Sailer is clued in as to the content of the conventional wisdom he'll fall in line.

Further, I'd love to see citations for all the factual claims that testing99 makes.

MPorcius said...

Doesn't the "neutrality" of liberal states like Sweden and Switzerland in WWII constitute short-sighted policy and/or a free rider problem? How long would Sweden and Switzerland maintain their liberal institutions in a Europe run by Hitler's Germany? And, if the Swedes and Swiss benefit from Hitler's defeat, aren't they free riding on the sacrifices made by the peoples of the Western Allies and the Eastern Bloc?

Anonymous said...

Never thought I'd see the day when testing smacks down Sailer-man. BTW Steve, your WWII "analysis" is dangerously close to orthodoxy--all kinds of people had it in for Germany regardless of its leadership.

Notaturk said...

Wikipedia article on Ismet Inonu, Ataturk's successor, is useful.

I think the key point is that Turkey wasn't revisionist: with no desire to expand, why roll the dice and join the Axis?

Britain did its traditional thing of trying to piece together as big an alliance as possible. Churchill wooed the Turks. But, what was to be gained for Turks at that time?

Turkey joined NATO later on because Stalin started making some explicit demands for parts of Turkish territory in the Caucasus.

Of course, staying neutral in WW2 didn't always turn out well. The Norwegians, Belgians, Dutch, Danes found that out. Spain, Switz and Sweden were the lucky neutrals.

John Seiler said...

It's testing99 who is wrong. As to Ireland, my late father, who was stationed as a U.S. Army captain in Belfast prior to D-Day, said G.I.'s commonly went down to the Republic of Ireland to get drunk. The Irish were supposed to hold them till the end of the war, but always just drove them back up to Northern Ireland. However much the Irish may have hated the Brits, they loved the Yanks.

Spain actively rescued Jews in Eastern Europe by claiming them as the descendants of Sephardic exiles from 1492, which some were but many were not, enfuriating Hitler.

Switzerland was not "objectively pro-Axis," but had to deal with living squeezed between the two major European Axis powers.

Providing war materiel to both sides was a way to keep them out of your back yard. And everybody engaged in espionage. How do you think Uncle Joe got the A-bomb from under the nose of his good buddy FDR?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I'm going to say this...testing99 is right.

It's a pretty flip few paragraphs you've written Steve. You can't even begin to compare what happened to Germany and Turkey post WWI.

John Seiler said...

Wikipedia writes: "However, despite her previous World War I alliance with Germany, Turkey had interests with the Western powers and met with the War time leaders Roosevelt and Churchill. The latter advocated for Turkey's entrance into the War early on, but Roosevelt only wanted neutrality; the Turkish government agreed."

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-party_period_of_the_Republic_of_Turkey#1938-1950:_.C4.B0n.C3.B6n.C3.BC_.28National_Chief.29

It wouldn't surprise me if the U.S. didn't just bribe the Turks to remain neutral. In WWII, the Yankee dollar went far because it was on the gold standard and was by far the strongest currency in the world. Unlike today.

Also, if the Turks had joined the Allies early on, they would have had to defend their longtime enemies, the Greeks, when the Krauts attacked Greece. That, in turn, would have brought Soviet forces coming through Turkey to fight the Krauts.

If the Turks had joined the Axis, they would have helped the Krauts carve up Greece. But then they'd have had to deal with Greek partisans tying down their troops while the Soviets attacked Turkey from the East and the Brits attacked from the South.

Finally, in WWI, the Krauts showed them how to fight trench warfare, as at Gallipoli. And Turks always have been great soldiers -- still are. But in WWII, they might have figured they didn't know how to fight tank wars any better than the Italians did, and didn't have the tanks to do it anyway, nor much of an air force.

As John Ellis's "Brute Force" showed, with great statistical detail, WWII was, even more than WWI, industrial, metal-on-metal, logistics-based combat. Maybe the Turks weren't brilliant, just not stupid.

Notaturk said...

Are old agrarian civilizations innately fractious? China is old, agrarian, but usually united. New Guinea has ancient agriculture but zillions of languages and warring tribes.

Kevin said...

Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway were just as neutral, but got rolled by Germany anyway. I guess you can add Poland and Czechoslovakia as well. The Swiss and the Turks would have had their day if they got in the way of the Wehrmacht.

Anonymous said...

Franco=genius

Anonymous said...

One thing About Switzerland. Its birthrate was lower during the war years. Proabbly due to fear the war might spread to them. Churchill tried continually to get Turkey to declare war on the Axis. The Turkish leader had great antipathy towards Russia. In 1943 he told Churchill "all the defeated countries will become bolshevik and slav if Russia wins the war."

Black Sea said...

T99,

Steve used the phrase "staying out of wars," which you have warped, if I may say so, into being "neutral," so neutral as to favor neither one side nor the other, and to offer no form of assistance to one side or the other. Obviously, a nation can provide material or logistical support to one side in a conflict, either from a genuine sympathy with their cause, or due to economic pressure and/or fear of invasion, without being "at war."

Many Swiss would maintain that although their government did assist the Nazis in, for example, allowing German rail traffic to pass through Switzerland, this was a matter of practical necessity rather than active sympathy for the Nazi cause. We're not going to settle that debate here, but I think that most people can see that, even if the Swiss felt some kinship with the Germans, they, in an objective sense, stayed out of the war by avoiding active military involvement in it.

The most comon explanation I've run across in Turkey for staying out of WWII was an awareness that Turkey was simply too poor and military depleted at that point ot participate. It turned out to be a wise decision on their part, and when the outcome was clear, they declared their support for the Allies, largely to gain a seat in the UN, or so I have read. It is true that Turkey had strong military and economic connections with Germany, dating back to the early 20th century. It is also true that Turkey "stayed out" of WW II.

Notaturk said...

Off topic a bit, but: 1. Ataturk had blue eyes, a rarity in a Mediterranean country. 2. Turks have a superstition that blue eyed people have the power of the evil eye. 3. Evil eye amulets are everywhere in Turkey. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_eye_in_Turkish_Culture ) Sum of 1+2+3 = sense that Ataturk had supernatural powers? Just a hypothesis.

tommy said...

Testing99 is correct. Turkey's lack of involvement centered less around the efforts of skilled diplomats than geography and national interest.

coldequation said...

Spain's Franco also deserves credit for staying out of the war, even though Hitler and Mussolini had both helped him during the Spanish Civil War. It would have been a disaster for Spain if Franco had joined on the Axis side, because there was no way the Axis could have fed Spain - even if they had had enough food, there wasn't enough of a rail network to get it there, and the Allied naval forces would have prevented supply by sea. If the commies had won the civil war, Hitler would have invaded Spain, which would have also been a humanitarian disaster (although it would have spread Germany's forces even thinner and possibly caused the war to end faster).

Of course, Franco gets no such credit from respectable modern sources. Every (rare) reference to him that I come across puts him in the same category as Hitler.

Portugal's dictator, Salazar, did the same thing. Around July of 1940, when the Germans were at their peak, he correctly predicted that Germany would be crushed, and he had no desire to go down with them. I wonder what would have happened if Mussolini had been that smart. There would have been a S. European fascist/nationalist/monarchist bloc (because it would have meant no German invasion of Greece or Yugoslavia), slightly weakening the postwar liberal consensus.

Grumpy Old Man said...

Portugal was neutral in WWII, but wisely leased the Azores to the Allies rather than have them seized. Oliveira Salazar was one of the great men of our era, not famous only because the country he led so well was small.

Simon said...

Ireland endeavoured to be 'pro' both sides in WW2 - given their location they couldn't be overtly pro-Germany.

Anonymous said...

"Ireland had Nazi convoy spotters on it's soil unmolested to guide the Wolfpacks"

Can you provide a reference to a book or article arguing that Ireland was 'objectively pro-Axis', including in relation to the above? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

testing99,

Would you be for a mini-statue of Dick Cheney on the White House lawn? Maybe a little bald-headed-bespectalced yard gnome eating a piece of imaginary yellow-cake uranium while standing on a mini-copy of the United States Constitution as his hobbit's toes are slowly torturing a garden slug between them to death?


Sailer's point was that Switzerland recognized great leaders who kept their country OUT of uneccessary wars (cough-noise: Iraq) instead of lionizing gung-ho types all too thrilled to get us into wars for manufactured reasons so they can whoop up on overmatched opponents while making some campain donors very rich and providing political cover for plenty of shenanigans back home. Your history lesson of the neutral nations in WW2, impressive as it is, really is off point. Just as Switzerland was not "a strategic or tactical objective in WW1 and WW2", we were not a tactical objective of Saddam Hussein and there never was any yellow cake uranium being enriched for imaginary weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Thats the point.

Edward said...

Yes, the question actually is not why Turkey didn't join the Axis because the Serves Treaty broke up the Turkish Empire, but why did Turkey enter the war right at the end when they did not have to?


Pre-WWI the Turkish Empire did not consist of a separate unified people, like in Germany. There was no nationalism. That came afterwards in Asia-Minor in response to defeat. Compared to Nazi Germany Turkish nationalism was a benign nationalism because it did not involve fighting wars against neighbours.

So the Serves Treaty was very effective at neutralising Turkish regional power and influence because it did not split up a Turkish people, which came after, so the Turkish people did not have to go to war. Whereas the Versailles Treaty has the opposite effect.

Post-Versailles Treaty, a nationalistic German people who had already gone to war in 1914 like other peoples in Europe were split up. There were Germans left in Poland, France, Prussia, Czechoslovakia. So in response to their defeat you got a malign nationalism, that sought to bring together the German people, and this involved invading neighbours and fighting wars.

james said...

There's a book called TURKISH FOREIGN POLICY DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR: AN "ACTIVE" NEUTRALITY, by Selim Deringil, published by Cambridge University Press in 2004, and listed on Amazon. This book might be helpful.

Gc said...

Sweden was not "objectively pro-nazi". Hitler wanted their steel and there was nothing they could do about it but sell and save their asses.

dearieme said...

testing 99: you've not explained why Turkey refrained from joining Germany and the USSR while they were still allies - it witnessed two years of remorseless German success and still had the sense to stay its hand.

Anonymous said...

I just have to say that I fully agree with Mr. Cochran's comments on t99/EvilNeocon/whatever else he calls himself.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
Can you specify the scenario under which Germany could have "kept it's head?"

Anonymous said...

Evil eyes aside, here is how it largely went down.

As was already mentioned, after the defeat in World War 1 and the war of liberation which left Turkey in shambles, Turkey did not have the economic or military power to participate in another war.

Turkish diplomats were eerily prescient of a potential World War 2 before most considered the possibility. In 1931 Ataturk himself told general Douglas MacArthur, later of Pacific war fame, that for Germany the score was far from being settled, and that war would break out in Europe again very soon.

Knowing that Turkey occupied a very strategic position (bridging the mostly pro-fascist Balkans countries and British middle eastern territories), Turkish diplomats knew that they had to pursue a strategy of "active neutrality" (ie actively holding all sides at arm's length instead of just passing on the war).

In 1939, Ismet Inonu signed an alliance with France and Britain which promised arms shipments to Turkey and mutual assistance in case of a German attack.

Getting knocked out cold by the Germans in no time, however, the French were in no position to force Turkey to fulfill her obligations.

Due to the Italian entry into the war and the emerging north Africa theater as well as the Battle for Britain, Britain herself was unable to supply Turkey with arms, giving her an excuse to stay out of the war.

This also placated Germany, which demanded that Turkey stay neutral.

In 1941, the German armies had advanced to within 60 kilometers of the Turkish border. Hitler personally sent a letter to Ismet Inonu, negotiating a 10-year treaty dictating that both sides respect each other's territorial integrity and refrain from hostile moves.

The treaty was signed on June 18, 1941.
Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the USSR, was launched on June 22, 1941.

I think we all know about the fate of Germany in Russia. After that, the Soviet Union emerged as a powerful threat, but abstained from attacking Turkey because the renewal of the Soviet-Turkish friendship pact was due late 1945, in which Stalin would make unreasonable demands (territorial concessions and joint control of the Bosphorus) which would drive Turkey into the arms of the west.

Turkey declared war on Germany on February 23, 1945 due to a deadline set to the end of February 1945 by which future participants in the UN would have to have declared war on Germany to be allowed to join.

TH said...

Sweden provided lots of war material and espionage to the Nazis.

The Swedes also sold war material to the Allies, and having deciphered the German Geheimfernschreiber code, provided the Allies with intelligence on the Nazis. Moreover, Sweden received lots of refugees, particularly Jews, from Nazi-controlled areas.

All in all, Sweden's policies during the WW2 were a wise and successful balancing act, and the silly moralizing should stop.

anony-mouse said...

1/ Do the Swiss have statues of Generals who kept them out of the Napoleonic Wars and most of the other European fun of the last few centuries? (And I do think their best General in this was General Montaignes, just like Russia's best Generals have been Janvier and Fevrier)

2/ Interesting how the low intelligence Latin Americans managed to stay out of so much of the problems originating with the high intelligence Europeans. How dumb of them.

3/ Wonder how long the Swiss attitudes will remain with the demographic changes they are undergoing.

none of the above said...

I suspect the answer to Steve's question comes down to "national character" or community standards or something. This must ultimately be behind Switzerland's continuing armed neutrality, because they have a democratic government--if the people mainly saw greatness in terms of war and conquest, then they'd presumably be looking for leaders who'd manage some of that.

This disease has infected the US so thoroughly, we'll never be free of it. Even liberals now want to talk in glowing terms about the wonderful sacrifice of our troops in pointless wars, our duty as the world's remaining superpower ("take up the white man's burden...."), and to speak, in many contexts, as though war were the highest calling a person could follow. And this is all poisonous nonsense.

We need a military (a much smaller one than we have) to protect ourselves and our stuff from being messed with, and to head off future wars by making it obviously suicidal to provoke us. That's important. But the contribution of a soldier who has served bravely in Iraq or Afghanistan is, honestly, far less than the contribution of a teacher who's managed to turn out some literate students, or a doctor working in an emergency room, or any number of other people. The nation (and probably the world, though I'll admit I don't know enough about Iraq to be sure) is far, far better off having most of its best people going into medicine and engineering and teaching and nursing and plumbing and HVAC and related stuff, rather than into the Army. The sacrifice of the soldier may be far greater--far too many have died or come back maimed. But that sacrifice mostly doesn't amount to much, because the nation will continue on in about the same state, whatever happens in Iraq.

Steve Sailer said...

"Can you specify the scenario under which Germany could have "kept it's head?""

Uh, not trying to conquer the world, which tends to get the world pissed at you.

tvoh said...

I read a biography of Henri Guisan. Switzerland's neutrality was defense in depth. One on one Germany would have conquered, but would not have been able to continue a war elsewhere.

The general order that Guisan ordered is instructive as to Dieutschland's reluctance. ''Everywhere, where the order is to hold, it is the duty of conscience of each fighter, even if he depends on himself alone, to fight at his assigned position. The riflemen, if overtaken or surrounded, fight in their position until no more ammunition exists. Then cold steel is next. ... The machine gunners, the cannoneers of heavy weapons, the artillerymen, if in the bunker or on the field, do not abandon or destroy their weapons, or allow the enemy to seize them. Then the crews fight further like riflemen. As long as a man has another cartridge or hand weapons to use, he does not yield. ..." The order also commanded the men to consider a government broadcast of surrender as enemy propaganda. Would the nation stand to the end? Apparently, the Germans thought so.

Erik Wallin said...

Steve,

Tell me it's not true that you censored the most benign of comments stating that post-Versailles Turkey and post-Versailles Germany were hardly comparable. I truly don't hope it's reached that point here.

"Sweden was not "objectively pro-nazi"."

The Church of Sweden. The Officer Corps. Certain banks. An enormous number of the common people. Vast swathes of the cultural and scientific communities. There were plenty of people or sub-groups in Sweden who, in some way, supported "The New Germany". Blanket statements like "Sweden was" or "Sweden was not" make no sense. Some Swedes were pro-Nazi, others were pro-Bolshevik. In 70 years some guy can be writing about "The United States" and its warmongering, implying that the actions undertaken in the name of the state are unanimously approved of by the inhabitants. This is never the way.

Anonymous said...

"1/ Do the Swiss have statues of Generals who kept them out of the Napoleonic Wars...?"

No, 'cause they didn't. Conquered and turned into a satellite state.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland_in_the_Napoleonic_era

intellectual pariah

Anonymous said...

"Uh, not trying to conquer the world, which tends to get the world pissed at you."

Ridiculous. Ridiculous. Ridiculous. The moral and intellectual lacunae of Anglo-conservatives regarding Germany is well past the point of being shocking. If Lenin were alive, it wouldn't be just the liberals he'd be calling "useful idiots".

It would take you no more than a few days to go to the big fancy library in downtown L.A. and read Charles Beard or Frederic Sanborn or a dozen other American historians now relegated to either memory hole or "evil" status, and hear their views on simplistic, propagandistic and stale memes like "Germany tried to conquer the world". The fact that you apply objectivity to the most trivial of matters and not to the greatest conflict the West has ever undergone is odd.

Anonymous said...

No-one's quoted the old joke about the sharpshooting ability of Switzerland 500,000-man Second War War-era army.

"What would you do if a million German troops came marching over the Juras?"

"Each of us would shoot twice."

i.p.

Reactionary said...

Uh, not trying to conquer the world, which tends to get the world pissed at you.Precisely. IOW, if you're a country the size of Montana, don't set out to conquer France, Poland, Slavic Europe and Russia.

But of course, Hitler had to do that because he was a megalomaniac, and if he hadn't been a megalomaniac, there is no way an Austrian enlisted man would ever be Chancellor of Germany.

Steve - I've often wondered if Hitler's unhealthy vegetarianism (real heavy on the pastries) caused a vitamin B deficiency that contributed to his mania.

Anonymous said...

T99- That "imaginary" yellow cake uranium that you suggest be included in a Cheney statue was sold to Canada by the Iraqis last year. 500 tons of "imaginary" uranium, to be more exact.

albertosaurus said...

Strange coincidence!

This Memorial day morning I check only two web sites and I find myself engaged in two blog controversies around Swiss issues.

This one is a bit heated but generally civil. The other one centered on the tenors who sing in Rossini's William Tell is full of vicious personal attacks and insults. There must be some lesson here.

I'm reminded of all the lefties who quite recently called George Bush a Hitler. Had Bush actually been a Hitler of course he would have invaded our largely helpless neighbors Canada and Mexico. So should we erect statues to Bush for his statesmanlike reluctance to increase America's holdings?

This whole notion of honoring leaders for not fighting is slippery. Should we have erected monuments to Wilson only to tear them down later when the doughboys went "over there". Indeed should Hiler have gotten statues for his pact with the Soviets?

Gc said...

Erik Wallin:
""Gc: "Sweden was not "objectively pro-nazi".""

"The Church of Sweden. The Officer Corps. Certain banks. An enormous number of the common people. Vast swathes of the cultural and scientific communities. There were plenty of people or sub-groups in Sweden who, in some way, supported "The New Germany". Blanket statements like "Sweden was" or "Sweden was not" make no sense."

Yes they do. The only thing that really matters was the politics of the goverment of Sweden.

Anonymous said...

Ireland was objectively pro-British. The Irish government did not stop its citizens from volunteering to serve in the British armed forces, and 40,000 Irishmen did so during World War II.

Also, from the wiki article on Irish neutrality:

Viscount Cranborne, the British Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, wrote a letter to the British War Cabinet regarding Irish-British collaboration during 1939-1945:


1. They agreed to our use of Lough Foyle for naval and air purposes. The ownership of the Lough is disputed, but the Southern Irish authorities are tacitly not pressing their claim in present conditions and are also ignoring any flying by our aircraft over the Donegal shore of the Lough, which is necessary in certain wind conditions to enable flying boats to take off the Lough.
2. They have agreed to use by our aircraft based on Lough Erne of a corridor over Southern Irish territory and territorial waters for the purpose of flying out to the Atlantic.
3. They have arranged for the immediate transmission to the United Kingdom Representative’s Office in Dublin of reports of submarine activity received from their coast watching service.
4. They arranged for the broadening of reports by their Air observation Corps of aircraft sighted over or approaching Southern Irish territory. (This does not include our aircraft using the corridor referred to in (b) above.)
5. They arranged for the extinction of trade and business lighting in coastal towns where such lighting was alleged to afford a useful landmark for German aircraft.
6. They have continued to supply us with meteorological reports.
7. They have agreed to the use by our ships and aircraft of two wireless direction-finding stations at Malin Head.
8. They have supplied particulars of German crashed aircraft and personnel crashed or washed ashore or arrested on land.
9. They arranged for staff talks on the question of co-operation against a possible German invasion of Southern Ireland, and close contact has since been maintained between the respective military authorities.
10. They continue to intern all German fighting personnel reaching Southern Ireland. On the other hand, though after protracted negotiations, Allied service personnel are now allowed to depart freely and full assistance is given in recovering damaged aircraft.
11. Recently, in connection with the establishment of prisoner of war camps in Northern Ireland, they have agreed to return or at least intern any German prisoners who may escape from Northern Ireland across the border to Southern Ireland.
12. They have throughout offered no objection to the departure from Southern Ireland of persons wishing to serve in the United Kingdom Forces nor to the journey on leave of such persons to and from Southern Ireland (in plain clothes).
13. They have continued to exchange information with our security authorities regarding all aliens (including Germans) in Southern Ireland.
14. They have (within the last few days) agreed to our establishing a Radar station in Southern Ireland for use against the latest form of submarine activity.

Anonymous said...

"Doesn't the "neutrality" of liberal states like Sweden and Switzerland in WWII constitute short-sighted policy and/or a free rider problem? How long would Sweden and Switzerland maintain their liberal institutions in a Europe run by Hitler's Germany?"

It's really only a free rider problem if you think Switzerland or Sweden could have "tipped the balance" between German victory or German defeat. As it was, if Switzerland or Sweden had declared war, they would have been quickly defeated and occupied without making much meaningful contribution to the defeat of Germany, so remaining neutral was a wise choice for them.

Mr. Anon said...

"Black Sea said...

We're not going to settle that debate here, but I think that most people can see that, even if the Swiss felt some kinship with the Germans, they, in an objective sense, stayed out of the war by avoiding active military involvement in it."

The Swiss feel no kinship with the Germans. Even the german-speaking Swiss don't like the Germans. They view the Austrians as stupid, and Germans as arrogant and crazy.

On the topic of Franco - it seems to me that he wasn't really a facist. Just an old-fashioned blood-and-soil reactionary. Undoubtedly, the country turned out better for him having won the civil war than had the Soviet-backed "Republicans" won it (the use of that word to describe them - Republicans - is a crock).

Ed Campion said...

MPorcius said...
"... a free rider problem? How long would Sweden and Switzerland maintain their liberal institutions in a Europe run by Hitler's Germany? "


Not their problem was it? They were shrewd enough to know that others couldn't stand for that either and thus avoided the butcher's bill. A good Mid-East policy for the USA ... if only. (sighs)

clem said...

I've often wondered if Hitler's unhealthy vegetarianism (real heavy on the pastries) caused a vitamin B deficiency that contributed to his mania.

While you're at it, you might also wonder whether Dave Scott's veganism contributed to his winning the iron-man triathlon. Six times in eight years. Can't get much more vitamin-deficient than a vegan diet, right?

Vegetarian & Vegan Sports Personalities and Athletes.

For real contributions to Hitler's mania, consider this:

"Adolf Hitler had a mystical awakening at Pasewalk Hospital in 1918, following the defeat of Germany; it led to his decision to enter politics."--Len Oakes, Prophetic Charisma.

"Hitler by now was possessed by delusions of grandeur.... Convinced that he was Germany's political messiah, his supporters unashamedly referred to Hitler as a prophet.... After reading Mein Kampf, Joseph Goebbels, later the Party's propaganda chief, wrote 'Who is this man? half plebian, half God! Truly Christ, or only St. John?' For the growing number of 'disciples' gathering around Hitler at this time--referred to as the 'charismatic community'--Hitler was more than just a politician offering political and economic solutions, he was a messianic leader embodying the salvation of Germany."--D. Welch, Hitler: Profile of a DictatorThat's a whole lotta religious mania that had nothing to do with pastries.

(If you want to question the nutritional status of Germans during the rise of Hitler, you should start with the fact that they were so poor that they were using fire ashes for "pepper.")

tommy said...

I'm no expert, and maybe there is something I'm missing, but everything I've read on Turkish actions during World War II suggests the Turks were on the defensive from the start. Turkey never appears to have seriously entertained ambitions of joining the Axis to acquire territory in southeastern Europe or the Middle East. That is probably because in the event of an Axis loss, Turkey would have had to contend with the Red Army to the north as well as the British and, to a lesser extent, the French in the Middle East. Turkey had guessed wrong in WWI with disastrous results. Once bitten, twice shy.

tommy said...

I've often wondered if Hitler's unhealthy vegetarianism (real heavy on the pastries) caused a vitamin B deficiency that contributed to his mania.I don't know about his megalomania in general, but it has been reported that his erratic behavior and poor judgment during the later part of the war may have been the result of amphetamine psychosis. Reputedly, one of Hitler's doctors gave the Fuhrer regular "vitamin shots" which contained more than just the essential nutrients.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for my Dick Cheney Statue jesting. I did not know this:

Iraqi uranium transferred to Canada
Jul 7, 2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) — At Iraq's request, the US military recently transferred hundreds of metric tons of yellowcake uranium from Iraq to Canada in a secret, weeks-long operation, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday.

The 550 metric tons of uranium, which was sold to a Canadian company, was moved by truck convoy to Baghdad's "Green Zone," then flown by military aircraft to a third country where it was put on a ship for Canada, said Bryan Whitman, the spokesman.

"The operation was completed over the weekend, on Saturday," Whitman said.

The yellow cake was discovered by US troops after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq at the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Facility south of Baghdad, and was placed under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Yellowcake is a form of processed uranium ore that can be used to make fuel for nuclear reactors, or if further enriched as fuel for nuclear weapons.

Whitman said the Iraqi government asked the United States for help in selling and transferring the uranium to another country.

Cameco, a Canadian company, agreed to buy the yellowcake for a reported sum in the tens of millions of dollars.

The cost to the United States of transferring the uranium came to about 70 million dollars, Whitman said. He said the Iraqi government has agreed in principle to repay part of the transfer costs.

The US State and Energy Departments also played roles in the operation, Whitman said. But the Defense Department took the lead in carrying out the transfer, he said.

It took 110 shipping containers to carry the drums loaded with yellowcake, he said.

They were transferred by convoy from Tuwaitha to a secure facility within the Green Zone, the international zone, Whitman said.

Then they were flown by C-17 military transport planes to an undisclosed third country. Whitman said it took 37 planeloads to complete that portion of the transfer.

"At this intermediate location the cargo was loaded onto a US-flagged cargo ship, a military sealift container ship, the USS Gopher State," he said.

Whitman said the arrangements for the sale began several months ago, but the transfer itself took "weeks not months."

With the transfer, no yellowcake was known to be left in Iraq, Whitman said.

News of the operation broke over the weekend when Cameco acknowledged the arrival of the uranium shipment at Montreal.

Lyle Khran, a Cameco spokesman, said the company had responded to a bid request made last year by the US government.

"We are satisfied at having been able to remove uranium from one of the most unstable regions of the world, and to have transfered it to a stable region to produce our own electric power," he said on Sunday.

He said the yellowcake would be used at the Blind River and Port Hope nuclear power plants north of Toronto.

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved




If there were 550 metric tons of uranium in Iraq, and now the US has moved it to Canada, it makes Cheney look................right. Why hasn't this been in the media more? Its the first I've heard of it? Anybody know?

Lucius Vorenus said...

propmtly = promptly

Anonymous said...

If there were 550 metric tons of uranium in Iraq, and now the US has moved it to Canada, it makes Cheney look................right. No, it doesn't. Unless the United States is supposed to invade any country, however many thousands of miles away it is, that has or is working toward a nuclear capability.

David Davenport said...

It's a shame Turkey didn't get into it, because I'd love to have Constantinople back in Christendom, though we certainly wouldn't have kept it.A shame the 1915 Gallipoli campaign failed.

Anonymous said...

"Ireland was objectively pro-British."

Lines like this, akin to the ones here about an entity called "Sweden", impart a false sense of reality. There's no Irishman called "Ireland" - there are many types of Irishmen on a piece of land called Ireland.

I remember reading a memoir, the title which escapes me, of a Jewish family from France living in the south of Ireland at the time of the War. They were aghast at the pro-German sympathies of the local populace. So some were clearly in favor of Germany, others were not. Is it shocking that some could have been anti-British and thus, by proxy, sympathetic to those battling them? England has a long history, as the leftists will tell you, of enslavement of other races. The Irish, along with millions upon millions, had been under the boot. My grandfather said they weren't exactly rah-rahing for England (or America) when Tom Williams was hung in Belfast in 42.

The actions of a government, or of some of the people, do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of all of the people. It's not hard to grasp.

It's weird. Many of you supposed supporters of "human biodiversity" at this site drop all talk of resource competition and affordable family formation and such things when it comes to any mention of WWII, instantly reverting to a "good versus evil" narrative. On the good side are the British, discounting the evil British Mosleyites; the Americans, discounting the evil America Firsters, and so on. On the evil side are the Germans, maybe the Italians, but never millions of Rumanians, Hungarians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Ukrainians, Finns, Estonians, etc...who willingly fought with the Germans against what they considered the twin enemies of Bolshevism and Capitalism. And among those national groups who considered themselves allies of Germany, there were others of their ethnic kin who did not consider themselves supporters of Hitler, but of Stalin, as well as others fighting just to survive, etc...How long can the binary compartmentalization last? Were the Zionists who supported the Germans in the beginning good or evil? Was Vlasov's army good or evil? Was the Bolshevist government good or evil? Who were good, the Spanish anarchists, communists, the falangists, or the dozens of other splinter groups? Which French government was evil, the one in exile or Vichy? Either of them? Did they, between them, represent what is collectively known as "the French"?

It's easy, this dualism. One can understand teaching a child about conflict in this way. But adults?

God, put me back in Rome when men discussed conflict like men.

SFG said...

Yes, Adolf Hitler was a wackjob. I've always thought a more rational German leader could have taken the Sudetenland and the Polish Corridor and united Germany with Austria and gotten away with it. But conquering the world does tend to end badly.

airtommy said...

Snopes debunking of the yellowcake storyHow stupid do you have to be to think that:

1. Cheney has ironclad proof of Saddam's WMD
2. That proof is reported publicly
3. Cheney does not use that proof to defend himself against the Iraq war backlash

Saddam had a nuclear energy program in the 1970s. Then, after Israel bombed him in 1981, he made it a top priority to get a nuclear bomb. He worked hard at it throughout the 1980s. That nuclear program was completely dismantled during and after the 1991 Gulf War.

dc watcher said...

Hitler didn't eat meat because of digestion problems, not because of ethical reasons or sensitivities. Not eating meat does not automatically make you healthy. Some people really need the protein, while others seem to thrive. In any case, health depends on many other factors in the diet and other areas. Hitler was a sugar-holic and we know sugar depletes B vitamins, vital for the mind and neurological functioning.
IMHO, Hitler was born with problems. His expression in his baby picture is chilling. His childhood and adolescent behavior signify someone disconnected and dysfunctional.

dearieme said...

The USA was neutral until Japan attacked her and Germany declared war on her. Just like Turkey, really.

rob said...

If there were 550 metric tons of uranium in Iraq, and now the US has moved it to Canada, it makes...Cheney look right.Miles, yellowcake is not a nuclear bomb. Yellowcake's more like a big pile of dirt. Saying Iraq had big piles of dirt won'be make Cheney look good.

dc watcher said...

"Interesting how the low intelligence Latin Americans managed to stay out of so much of the problems originating with the high intelligence Europeans. How dumb of them."

This commenter sounds like the strawman builder from an earlier thread.
The Europeans with American aid rebuilt their continent in 10 years. The same Marshall plan applied to Latin America, not to mention even worse case 3rd world scenarios, has not had anywhere near the same success after 60 years.
The Latin Americans have not been seriously involved in a world war because they had no stakes in it and the arms mongers left them alone, concentrating on the big payola. Instead they've had countless bloody coups and drug wars that have killed as many (especially in Columbia) relatively speaking, as WWII.
In any case, brains does not seem to eliminate war; they just increase the stakes and the mode of execution.

Anonymous said...

europeans other than austrians and italians and americans always underestimate the importance of the role of italy in WWI (i can concede that italy in WWII was certainly not central).

italy held its own against austria in the southern front of the war; austria tried repeatedly to crash italian resistance (they called it punishment expedition 'cause italians were supposedly their allies before the war) but never could (although they come pretty close in obtaining that result in 1917).

by 1918 the italian army broke austrian lines (with the battle of Vittorio Veneto) despite the increased number of troops on the austrian side (troops that were coming back from the russian front that was pacified by 1917) and conceded a truce that became the peace when they were about 60km from Austria's capital.

The fact that italian diplomacy and politicians weren't able to transform this victory into more substantial territorial concessions or a better standing in european politics (this feeling of underachievement contributed to the raise of the fascist movement) should not suggest that Italy did not play a key role in WWI.

aso

Anonymous said...

----But the contribution of a soldier who has served bravely in Iraq or Afghanistan is, honestly, far less than the contribution of a teacher who's managed to turn out some literate students, or a doctor working in an emergency room, or any number of other people. The nation (and probably the world, though I'll admit I don't know enough about Iraq to be sure) is far, far better off having most of its best people going into medicine and engineering and teaching and nursing and plumbing and HVAC and related stuff, rather than into the Army. The sacrifice of the soldier may be far greater--far too many have died or come back maimed. But that sacrifice mostly doesn't amount to much, because the nation will continue on in about the same state, whatever happens in Iraq.-----

Sad and in the end true. We've lost some of our best people, better men than I'll ever be there, and for what?

gcochran said...

There had been 500 tons of uranium oxide (yellowcake) in Iraq before the war: it was under UN seal and that seal was apparently never broken. By itself, that does not mean much: separating and concentrating the U-235 (about one part in 130) is much more difficult than obtaining the natural uranium.

Cheney suggested that the Iraqis were trying to obtain uranium oxide from Niger: this was not true, and made no sense anyhow, because Iraq already _had_ plenty of uranium. What they didn't have was a working separation method.

Cheney, and the Bush Administration, were wrong in everything they said about Iraq.
You'd almost think that they didn't care much about being truthful.

Anonymous said...

"If there were 550 metric tons of uranium in Iraq, and now the US has moved it to Canada, it makes Cheney look................right. Why hasn't this been in the media more? Its the first I've heard of it? Anybody know?"

It hasn't been heard in the media because if it was, liberals/Democrats/leftists/media would have nothing to be mislead over.

Fred said...

"As for Turkey, it too was pro-Nazi, until it clearly saw (like Brazil) that the latter was a losing hand."You're confusing Brazil with Argentina. Brazil sided with the allies from the beginning (despite having a substantial ethnic German minority). Argentina sided with the Axis until it was clear Germany was loosing.

Anonymous said...

Further, I'd love to see citations for all the factual claims that testing99 makes.


I hope you are not holding your breath waiting, as t99's source is his own fevered imagination. As several people have already demonstrated, all of his "facts" are fiction. It's a mystery to me that Steve lets this quack post here.

But I suppose we should be greateful he did not work womens wicked nature into his comments in this thread. Yet.

Anonymous said...

If there were 550 metric tons of uranium in Iraq, and now the US has moved it to Canada, it makes Cheney look................right. Why hasn't this been in the media more?


I think your first sentence answers your question. What interest do the Democrats/MSM have in Cheney looking right?

Pseudothyrum said...

"Belarus still hasn't fully recovered from Nazi and Soviet tank armies fighting back and forth across its land."

The major destruction wrought by WWII certainly played a major part in the general 'backwardness' still exhibited by Belarus...however, it seems that many decades of repressive Communism/Sovietism has held Belarus back more than anything else.

Also, Belarus remains a rather agrarian-focused society compared to the Western European nations...it does this consciously, as apparently the people and leadership of Belarus would rather remain a mostly agricultural society rather than a hyperindustrialized one.

And actually, many nations in Eastern European didn't lose all that much infrastructure during WWII compared to Western Europe because, again, they were mostly rural nations with few major cities (many small/medium-sized villages though) and thus didn't have a whole lot of advanced urban infrastructure to lose in the first place...it's hard to become too damaged in a war if most of your country consists of open farm fields, orchards, ranches, and/or forests.

Reactionary said...

clem -

Hate to break this to you brother, but triathlons are training to be slow and weak. And carbohydrate consumption means ow muscle density and nice, tubby fat deposits to fuel your all-day grazing, like a panda bear.

In short, I ain't impressed, and I don't care if he can swim the whole effing Atlantic. In a first-responder situation or a plain old fight, he'd be useless.

Anonymous said...

Steve: "Uh, not trying to conquer the world, which tends to get the world pissed at you."

National Socialist Germany had no ambitions whatsoever to "conquer the world" - that is a huge misunderstanding about them. They did, however, want to control most of Eastern Europe and enlarge German territory so that Germans could have more living space, farmland, and resources (they particularly wanted to colonize the Ukraine with Germans). National Socialist Germany wanted to control Europe from the Rhine River/Alsace Lorraine to the Ural Mountains...they had no ambitions to control France, Norway, Denmark, Benelux, or any of the other countries they conquered during 1939-41 in the long term and they planned to cut them loose again once the war was over.

Anonymous said...

Re:the ridiculous statement that "Nazis wanted to take over the world"

The following link is to a decent map of what Europe probably would have looked like if National Socialist Germany would have won WWII - http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2007/10/17/186-europe-if-the-nazis-had-won/

My only gripe with that map is that it doesn't stretch to the east far enough...Germany definitely had ambitions to seize control of Eastern Europe as far east as the Ural Mountains, and even though this fact is well known the map doesn't seem to take this in to account or provide much detail about that plan.

Anonymous said...

The IRA may have actively tried to help the Germans in WW2 but its a huge stretch to say the Irish people generally or state actually aided Germany.

The number of active members of the IRA has been pretty small, tiny really since...well always really. Certainly since the end of the civil war. Hence their reliance on terrorist tactics.

When the Germans bombed targets in Northern Ireland I know that fire services from the Republic were sent to help in the north.

Anonymous said...

I see Greg Cochran has taken a shot at T99.

That has to be a kind of compliment, you can judge a man by the quality of his enemies!

beowulf said...

The Swiss militia system could put the entire adult male population in uniform within hours of any invasion. Easier to just go around than deal with those methodical bastards.

Total Resistance (Der totale Widerstand: Eine Kleinkriegsanleitung für Jedermann) is an official Swiss manual for resistance to enemy occupation of Switzerland (presumably in a Soviet general occupation of all central Europe) that was issued in 1957-1958.

It was written by Hans von Dach of the Swiss military and is a crash course in irregular resistance by ordinary civilians, rather than a plan for resistance by defeated soldiers operating as guerrillas within their homeland. It notably presumes a form of irregular resistance involving nothing beyond rifles, hand grenades, and mines that very much resembles the Iraqi insurgency 50 years after the book was written.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Resistance

headache said...

"Belarus still hasn't fully recovered from Nazi and Soviet tank armies fighting back and forth across its land."


Germany must be the example that disproves this theory. The country was mostly flattened in WWII and was essentially rebuilt about 10 years later. Some scars remain but mostly you have to read plaques to figure out there was a war at all.

kraut said...

Steve,
I put in 3 comments which were less critical of Germany. All censored. Ain't that a little rich? Is iSteve turning into "freerepublic"?

silver said...

Black sea,

Compared to Nazi Germany Turkish nationalism was a benign nationalism because it did not involve fighting wars against neighbours.Because Greeks and Armenians are not "neighbors." I see.

Anony-mouse,

2/ Interesting how the low intelligence Latin Americans managed to stay out of so much of the problems originating with the high intelligence Europeans. How dumb of them.The ruling elite was composed of a European racial substratum.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
'Non-martial and civilized Italy' (Actually I have problems with both of those two attributions),DID have strong motives for enereing both World Wars.
In the case of the first World War, Italy had an interest in defeating Austria (which had occupied th e best part of Italy for hundreds of years), in order to neutralize a long-standing rival and enemy , and additionally to stake out land claims to Austrian held territory, both in Austria proper and in Slovenia/Croatia.
Also, Britain and France secretly promised Italy a large chunk of Turkish Asia Minor to colonize if victory ensued - that Britain and France reneged on this promise after much Italian suffering remains a sore point.
Steve, you forget that Italy WAS an aspiring military/colonial power at that time (having occupied Libya and Tunisia, but being defeated in Ethiopia, it set its sights on colonizing Albania and Greece even before Mussolini), Germany founded at the same time was more succesful at the 'army game' and so Prussian aggression is better remembered.
Mussolini, who took power after the carnage and loss of WW1, was undoubtedly an aggressive man of the Napoleon/Bismarck mould who took as his model nothing less than the recreation of the roman Empir - based on Italian dominance of the Mediterranean littoral (or Mare Nostrum 'our sea', as he called it).Mussolini was, of course, the model for Adolf Hitler.
Initially, Mussolini was sceptical of Hitler and in the fraught world of 1930s Europe, he inclined towards Hitler after Mussolini's Ethiopian conquest and subsequent British/French sanctions.Mussolini was never an anti-Semite.
British intrigues -and the quest to maintain British hegemony over the Mediterranean, coupled with the fact that Britain looked defeated in 1940, lead Mussolini to seize what he saw as an opportunity and make a grab for power against British forces in North Africa.
But, his entry into the war back-fired bigtime.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of orthodoxy, Steve, what is your view of WWII? Understood you do not want any associations with White supremacists here but you seem to be a little intimidated by the topic. Of course, I am, and hope to remain, anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Switz, Sweden, Portugal, and Spain were simply lucky - they were out of the line of fire.

Norway, Den, and Holland were neutral in WW I and would remained so, if Germany and UK had not made them battlefields.

Poland, the Balts, Hungary and Romania had to choose between Stalin and Hitler, Geography made neutrality a choice that didn't exist. Greece was attacked by Italy.

The only countries who could have stayed out -but didn't - were Italy, the Yugoslavs and the Bulgarians.

Big Bill said...

By T99's logic a nation or country (Ireland, in his example) is guilty of "participating" in a war because a handful of its co-nationals or citizens spots convoys on the open seas and uses the telephone network to notify others, AND because the nation/country does not "molest" those that do so.

I must admit I sympathize. In my national homeland, America, we tolerate "unmolested" many nations/religions/ethnic groups that similarly "participate" in "wars".

They do not spot convoys, but they do gather money for their foreign races/tribes/nations and propagandize on American shores.

So how should we T99 "molest" these foreign nations on American shores to stop their "war participation" right now?

How about this: if they write essays or gather funds in a manner that would be deemed war participation in a belligerent country (as Irish ship spotting would have been considered if conducted in America or Germany) then we expel them back to their national homeland at the very least?

And if we deem their entire nation to be at fault (as T99 faults "Ireland" for not "molesting" a few Irish convoy spotters) then expel their entire nation.

I have to admit, I do like men like T99 who are not afraid to forthrightly address uncomfortable issues.

ironrailsironweights said...

The Swiss had plans for retreating to a high-Alpine redoubt in the event of a German invasion.

Peter

Black Sea said...

Silver,

Nice retort. Unfortunately, I never posted the words you attributed to me.

Paranoid Bitchy Incessant Whiner said...

Lucius Vorenus: propmtly = promptly

kraut: I put in 3 comments which were less critical of Germany. All censored. Ain't that a little rich? Is iSteve turning into "freerepublic"?

Unless it's the LIFO stack acting up again, I had a spelling correction accepted, but the post with the original spelling mistake was censored.

Ironically enough, my most recent Free Republic account just got banned the other day.

I think I'm pretty much done with Free Republic - for just raw news headlines, Lucianne seems to post much better stories [certainly on average - there is an awful lot of meaningless noise and gibberish at Free Republic these days].

iSteve can be fun on the days when the comments get approved with some frequency, and the LIFO stack doesn't act up too badly, and the censorship is low, but on bad days, it can be pretty darned frustrating.

Steve Sailer said...

"Speaking of orthodoxy, Steve, what is your view of WWII?"

My view:

German guest at Fawlty Towers: "Would you please stop talking about the War?"

Basil Fawlty: "Me?? You started it!"

German guest: "We did not start it!"

Basil Fawlty: "Yes you did, you invaded Poland!"

Anonymous said...

"Yes you did, you invaded Poland!"


Of course, so did the Soviet Union. Oddly enough, Btitain and France did not declare war in the Soviet Union for doing so. It's almost as if invading Poland was a pretext rather than a principled justification for war.

Carbon said...

RE: Spanish Neutrality

For the life of me, I can't believe nobody has mentioned Abwher(german intelligence) chief Admiral Canaris. He was actively working against Germany and for the allies from 1939. What I've read is that he did all he could to keep Spain from joining the Axis- hence was responsible for Spain's high demands for joining the Axis war effort.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to thank one commenter for the Snopes Yellowcake uranium link, and for Rob's explanation of it (I did a little digging on the matter). Im not the newsjunkie I used to be. I find Fox to be bombastic, tabloidish, and grating (despite that really cute anchor they have with that adorable layer of baby fat under her chin and those wide-spaced eyes), and although CNN is better than it used to be, one is still deluged with things like "an examination of what it means to be black in America", and global warming hot air endlessly, depsite Lou Dobs and the wonderfully curmudgeonly Jack Cafferty aside (boy I get a kick out of that guy).
Ive become a lazy news follower, basically turning to my favorite blogs for analysis without much more than glancing at the stories, hence why I missed the yellowcake story.
If Hussein had really wanted to make nuke bombs, he surely would have been working with the "dirt" he had to get the Uranium out of it, rather to import more of the same yellowcake from Niger. I mean there is no expiration date on yellowcake right? The U235 would have still been in his stash or that Canadian company wouldn't have been interested in buying it. This explains much.

Parting shot: Anybody else notice how much Dick Cheney's and Bill Kristol's voices both have that creaky-frog-in-the-throat double-plus-UN-quality about them? They are *so* unpleasant to listen to.

Eman said...

Anonymous: "Mussolini was never an anti-Semite."

Very true...in fact, Jews were disproportionately prominent in the early fascist movement in Italy according to many scholars and writers on the subject.

Anonymous said...

"The USA was neutral until Japan attacked her and Germany declared war on her."

US behavior towards Germany and Japan was completely inconsistent with any meaningful definition of "neutrality". Providing military and financial aid to countries Germany and Japan were at war with (Britain, the USSR, and China) was un-neutral to say the least.

"National Socialist Germany wanted to control Europe from the Rhine River/Alsace Lorraine to the Ural Mountains."

That was as unacceptable to Britain, France and the USSR as if Germany wanted to "conquer the world" - and it should have been.

Moreover Germany wanted to crush the French and eliminate her as a military power, so the Germans had ambitions beyond the Rhine in the west, too.

"they had no ambitions to control France, Norway, Denmark, Benelux, or any of the other countries they conquered during 1939-41 in the long term and they planned to cut them loose again once the war was over."

No they didn't. The political independence of these countries would have been hopelessly compromised.

"The only countries who could have stayed out -but didn't - were Italy, the Yugoslavs and the Bulgarians."

The Yugos were attacked by Germany.

The Finns could have stayed neutral in 1941, and should have.

"Of course, so did the Soviet Union. Oddly enough, Btitain and France did not declare war in the Soviet Union for doing so. It's almost as if invading Poland was a pretext rather than a principled justification for war."

Neither principle nor practicality required Britain and France to declare war on the USSR. The contention that they should have is simply asinine.

Anonymous said...

Spain joining the Axis seems to me to be one of the great might-have-beens.

Presumably the major prize would have been Gibraltar for Spain. And thats what so interesting. Spanish and German/Italian interests would be precisely aligned, a win/win situation.

Removing British control from Gib would have gone a long way towards giving Axis control of the Med and therefore North Africa.

Imagine no North African theatre, the Germans might have taken the Suez canal and reached the oil fields. Pretty much all the axis forces that fought in North Africa and the Med would have then been available for the Eastern front.

The Mediterranean theatre was a constant drain on Italy and particularly German air transport needed to supply the Axis in Africa. 3% of all Ju-52s built were lost in the battle of Crete alone, thats a battle that might not have happened.

Anonymous said...

Cheney suggested that the Iraqis were trying to obtain uranium oxide from Niger: this was not true, and made no sense anyhow, because Iraq already _had_ plenty of uranium.


Cheney did not "suggest" that. Joe Wilson did. Please try to get the basic facts correct.

TGGP said...

The uranium in Iraq supposedly dated back to 1982 or so, and the weapons inspectors were well aware of it. Philip Giraldi and another CIA officer in Italy have stated that they think the documents alleging Saddam was attempting to purchase the uranium were purposefully obvious forgeries designed to embarass those pushing for war.

Anonymous said...

"National Socialist Germany wanted to control Europe from the Rhine River/Alsace Lorraine to the Ural Mountains."


That was as unacceptable to Britain, France and the USSR


I fail to see how it was any business of Britain and France. Perhaps you can explain why you think otherwise, once you clamber down from your high horse.

Anonymous said...

"The only countries who could have stayed out -but didn't - were Italy, the Yugoslavs and the Bulgarians."

The Yugos were attacked by Germany.
Sure. I think the implication was that the coup by Peter II and the officers that supported him was something of a civic/national consensus, and that had the Yugoslavs stayed the course they could have avoided being part of the fighting.

If the implication was that the Yugoslavs could have avoided having German solders crossing their territory, well that is wrong, but for small countries that might be preferable to being destroyed.

Anonymous said...

---The Finns could have stayed neutral in 1941, and should have.--


Yeah, but can you really blame them?

Anonymous said...

On the topic of Franco - it seems to me that he wasn't really a facist. Just an old-fashioned blood-and-soil reactionary. True, as far as it goes. But most old-fashioned blood-and-soil reactionaries were not also cold-blooded, calculating opportunists.

Thrice Banned said...

Oh well, ban the comments that put forth a different view, write the fluff about golf or the NBA, morally condemn, and live in the aftermath of this war like we all do, pecking on keyboards, spending fiat dollars, watching our children's future waft away in the wind.

Most people here - or at least the majority of those whose comments are allowed to be posted - are incapable of imagining what it is to hold real power on this earth.

Now go grumble about some possible Supreme Court judge, and how the appointment is REALLY going to make it all go downhill.

neil craig said...

Prince Albert insisted on toning down a British diplomatic note to the US objecting to them searching British ships. That may have kept Britain out of the Civil War - publication of such a telegram from Germany started the Franco-Prussian war.

I could also make a case for Kruschev for backing down over the Cuba blockade though he had ratcheted it up by sending missiles in the first place.

By definition wars that don't happen get very little publicity so nobody gets credit for stopping the American invasion of China in the late 1940s or the Russian one in the 1970s.

Anonymous said...

"I fail to see how it was any business of Britain and France. Perhaps you can explain why you think otherwise, once you clamber down from your high horse."

Well gee, it is obviously the business of Britain and France that Germany should not regain Alsace-Lorraine. Even from your lowly position you should be able to see that. It is also very obviously not in the interest of Britain and France that Nazi Germany should conquer the USSR and become a continental superstate right on their doorstep.

With regards to Germany's intentions towards France, this quote from Mark Mazower's "Hitler's Empire" (p. 108) indicates what Hitler told Goebbels about the future of France in July 1940: "In future France would have only a small role as an Atlantic state... Apart from Italy's territorial demands on France, our demands too will be very large... everything that serves to encourage a political and economic revival of France will be destroyed... The peace treaty will eliminate France not only as a great power but as a state with any political influence in Europe."

In short, the Germans didn't exactly have "no ambitions to control France" and didn't exactly "plan to cut them loose again once the war was over."

"If the implication was that the Yugoslavs could have avoided having German solders crossing their territory, well that is wrong, but for small countries that might be preferable to being destroyed."

Who fared better - Yugoslavia or Sweden? The latter allowed German troops to cross its territory. The former became a slaughterhouse.

Anonymous said...

"Steve, your reading of Switzerland's, Italy's, Spain's, and Turkey's participation in wars is pretty thin."

Nah nah nah....

Testy, must you be so snarky everytime you proffer a differing opinion!

Show some respect man, especially as tolerant that 'the Steve' is of you already.

Anonymous said...

The Finns could have stayed neutral in 1941, and should have


Considering that they were already at war, after being invaded by Russia in 1939, staying neutral would have been an extraordinary feat. You might as well say that Poland should have stayed neutral.

Anonymous said...

Well gee, it is obviously the business of Britain and France that Germany should not regain Alsace-Lorraine.Ah, the old "it's so obvious that I don't need to answer your question and explain my position" trick.

But humor me anyway and tell me how it is Britains business if Germany had (re)claimed possession of Alsace-Lorraine.

A great deal of the constant warfare in Europe in the past four hundred years comes down to Britains determination that no continental power should become more powerful than Britain thought proper.

This can be justifed, in a rather cynical realpolitik fashion. But then so can the actions of every other country.

Anonymous said...

The Snopes article above is garbage.
1- They claim that both sides in the Joe Wilson affair say the other is lying. However, Wilson was found to have lied by a Senatorial committee.
2- They mention only the Italian intelligence which is believed to be dubious. They ignore the British intellegence which the British still stand by.
3- Snopes says that the CIA sent Wilson to Niger when the Senate found that Plame(his wife) sent him and discovered a memo of hers which proved it.
4-Snopes implies that Bush claimed that Saddam had recently acquired yellow cake uranium from Niger when he stated that the intelligence showed that the Iraqis attempted to buy it. Not that he already posessed it.
As to the fact that the yellow cake was under UN care? How did that turn out with the santions on Saddams oil?

Anonymous said...

According to the Snopes article, Wilson "reported to the CIA that he found the claims Iraq had attempted to purchase yellowcake from Niger to be 'bogus and unrealistic'."

This is false.

Wilson never submitted any written report to the CIA. In contravention of existing policy, he was orally debriefed.

The CIA written report which was based on Wilsons oral testimony claimed that an Iraqi delegation had travelled to Niger, and that the Nigeriam Prime Minister understood the purpose of their visit to be the purchase of yellowcake.

Snopes is completely misrepresenting what Joe Wlson found in Niger.

Anonymous said...

"Considering that they were already at war, after being invaded by Russia in 1939, staying neutral would have been an extraordinary feat. You might as well say that Poland should have stayed neutral."

WRONG. Finland signed a peace treaty with the Soviets in March 1940, and were at peace with the USSR until the Germans attacked in June 1941 and the Finns decided to join in. Bad move on their part, they should have stayed neutral.

"tell me how it is Britains business if Germany had (re)claimed possession of Alsace-Lorraine"

Germany could not reclaim A-L without defeating France. It was clearly Britain's business to ensure that France was not defeated, because this defeat would obviously compromise British security.

"A great deal of the constant warfare in Europe in the past four hundred years comes down to Britains determination that no continental power should become more powerful than Britain thought proper."

Indeed, but so what? The British rightly thought it would compromise their security if any continental power achieved hegemony on the continent, and it was absolutely their business to make sure this didn't happen.

Would-be hegemons like Napoleon, the Kaiser, and Hitler would have loved the British to sit back and say "oh well, it's none of our business who those guys conquer". Too bad for them the British weren't that stupid.

Anonymous said...

A bit of trivia at this point:

"Presumably the major prize would have been Gibraltar for Spain. And thats what so interesting. Spanish and German/Italian interests would be precisely aligned, a win/win situation."

The British were thinking of that possibility, and a commander of the royal navy formulated a defense plan for Gibraltar.

The name of the man? Ian Fleming.
The name of the plan? Goldeneye.

It probably had to do with womanizing the shit out of Spanish soldiers' wives.

neil craig said...

It's only a win win situation if you win which is never a fforegone conclusion. This is what Franco understood & Mussolini didn't & why Franco died in bed & Mussolini on a meat hook.

Anonymous said...

"WRONG. Finland signed a peace treaty with the Soviets in March 1940, and were at peace with the USSR until the Germans attacked in June 1941 and the Finns decided to join in. Bad move on their part, they should have stayed neutral."

The Russians fucked with them so many times, I can't blame them. I would have joined the Krauts too, if only for payback.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Your History Channel view that "Germany tried to conquer the world" is beneath your usual standards. A more accurate/sophisticated understanding doesn't excuses Hitler, but it is useful in understanding universal truths of war, nationalism and history.

Pick up a copy of Patrick Buchanan's latest book, Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War". He does a an OK job of summarizing Charles Beard, Frederic Sanborn, and other historians on debunking this popular misconception of Hilter's ends.