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Sat Jul 28, 2018, 07:03 PM

Victor D. Hanson: Why Germany Engaged in an Unwinnable WWII

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Reply Victor D. Hanson: Why Germany Engaged in an Unwinnable WWII (Original post)
Quixote1818 Jul 2018 OP
erronis Jul 2018 #1
JHB Jul 2018 #2
PoliticAverse Jul 2018 #3
Fortinbras Armstrong Jul 2018 #4
localroger Jul 2018 #6
Bernardo de La Paz Jul 2018 #5

Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 07:57 PM

1. Good presentation if a bit disjointed.

I don't know about how the winners/losers measure success/failure.

He points out civilian deaths caused by military actions and links these to the perpetrators. Dresden, Hiroshima, Japanese assaults on Chinese and other nations, 8-10M killed by the German nazis.

Interesting point that the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombing may have prevented a far higher civilian death toll than might have occurred when the heavy bombers (B-17/24/etc.) were send from the European operation to Japan laden with napalm.

The USSR suffered terribly through the German invasion but they retaliated in kind (and are still doing so.)

The western alliance tried to put a pax in place which has held for 60-80 years but can be subterfuged by elements of the USSR (NRA/Trump/oligarchs.)

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 09:40 PM

2. The clip didn't have the question session. My first question...

"Considering your highlighting here of the axis powers' misconceptions, wishful thinking, and general failure to truly evaluate the overall situation... please apply that highlighting to your columns in 2002 and 2003 about Iraq, and explain why anyone should pay attention to you about current events."

VDH is ok as a military historian, but, based of his columns in the Nations Review (which sponsored the event where he spoke in the OP clip) he's worthless at current events. Maybe if he didn't spend 50 to 80% of the columns pouring contempt on liberals and Democrats with a ladle the size of a Payloader bucket that might be different, but that's his practice and that's what NR subscribers pay for.

It was true in 2002, it was true in 2003, it was true in all the years between then and now, where he still finds it more important to berate Trump critics than Trump himself.

In less polite words, his legit status as a military historian provides cover for his having a platform to be a ranting crank.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 10:05 PM

3. Because the prople running things thought they could win? n/t

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2018, 06:40 AM

4. I was taught that Hitler declared war on the US

Because he believed that the treaty of alliance he had with Japan obliged him to do so. He was not pleased that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor without telling him they were going to do so -- apparently, it had not occurred to the Japanese to give Hitler a heads-up.

Isoroku Yamamoto, the commander of the Japanese Combined Fleet, had spent years in the US, knew the country well and spoke English fluently (he had a masters in economics from Harvard). He said, before Pearl Harbor, "In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success." And Midway, which was the turning point of the war in the Pacific, was fought almost exactly six months after Pearl Harbor.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 29, 2018, 08:48 AM

6. Yes, this presentation is full of BS

The war was far from unwinnable when Hitler started it. Had the Japanese not done Pearl Harbor both the Nazis and the Japanese would have been able to expand and consolidate their holdings before engaging the US. Hitler's plan was to roll over Russia and secure its resources, which he failed to do because he delayed Operation Barbarossa so he could invade Yugoslavia in a fit of pique, and the Russian winter got him. Had he not made that blunder and the US stayed out of the war for a few more years we might well be making The Man in the High Castle as a documentary.

Also, the atomic bomb didn't save any goddamn lives. We had cracked the Japanese codes and knew they were ready to negotiate surrender; the Potsdam Declaration was delayed until after the Trinity test, and when that worked it was deliberately crafted to be unacceptable so that the war would go on and the bomb could be used. It was essentially a giant science fair experiment and field demonstration to impress the Russians.

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Response to Quixote1818 (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2018, 07:10 AM

5. A very good book on this topic is "The March of Folly" by Barbara Tuchman


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_March_of_Folly

The book is about "one of the most compelling paradoxes of history: the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests."[1] It details four major instances of government folly in human history: the Trojans' decision to move the Greek horse into their city, the failure of the Renaissance popes to address the factors that would lead to the Protestant Reformation in the early sixteenth century, England's policies relating to American colonies under King George III, and the United States' mishandling of the conflict in Vietnam.[2][3] More than half of the book deals with US intervention in the Vietnam War, while the other three case studies are shorter.[3]


Tuchman applies the concept of folly to 'historical mistakes' with certain features in common: the policy taken was contrary to self-interest; it was not that of an individual (attributable to the individual's character), but that of a group; it was not the only policy available; and it was pursued despite forebodings that it was mistaken.

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