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  #1  
Old 08-18-18, 11:25 PM
arizonawildcat arizonawildcat is offline
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? for WWII history buffs

Just finished watching "Darkest Hour" on HBO, and I realize what I'm asking occurred months after what was covered in that movie, but what country bombed the other's capital first, the Germans bombing London, or the British bombing Berlin? I've heard someone say the latter happened first and that caused Hitler to launch the Battle of Britain, but I don't know if he was BSing me.
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  #2  
Old 08-19-18, 06:03 AM
eastisbest eastisbest is offline
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This should be interesting. I seem to recall being told that the bombing of London was an accident or miscommunication.


This wiki


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strate...g_World_War_II
Quote:
The Royal Air Force began bombing Germany in March 1940.[17] In September 1940, the Luftwaffe began targeting British cities in 'The Blitz'.[18] A
Later it says
Quote:
On the night of 7/8 June 1940 a single French Navy Farman F.223 aircraft bombed Berlin, the first Allied attack on the capital.[110] Despite the British attacks on German cities, the Luftwaffe did not begin to attack military and economic targets in the UK until six weeks after the campaign in France was concluded.
It seems to reflect that as far as air bombing, Britain was the aggressor and the first to escalate on their front. Germany clearly first on the Polish front.


Still reading: confirms what I had been told. Hitler forbade and punished any "terror" raids but
Quote:
By the last week of August, over half the missions were flown under the cover of dark. On 24 August, fate took a turn, and several off-course German bombers accidentally bombed central areas of London.[127][128][129] The next day, the RAF bombed Berlin for the first time,

so, Germany first.
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  #3  
Old 08-19-18, 09:50 AM
ohiopup ohiopup is offline
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/events/...n_bombs_berlin

On 25 August 1940, the RAF launched its first raid on Berlin in retaliation for the German bombing of London the previous day.

The additional raids on London became known as The Blitz.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blitz

FYI: Princess Elizabeth (Later Queen); during WWII was a mechanic and driver usually ambulance or staff.

:>---

“In the simple moral maxim the Marine Corps teaches do the right thing,
for the right reason no exception exists that says;
damn the consequences.”
― Josh Rushing, Mission Al-Jazeera

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  #4  
Old 08-19-18, 07:36 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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The tit for tat over who bombed whose capital first just distracts from the more interesting situation of how Hitler felt about the British Empire. The reality is that the question of whether capitals were going to get bombed became a moot point when the Nazi's blitzed Warsaw.

If you read some of the Hitler biographies and an interesting book that chronicles Hitler's dinnertime conversations you realize that he admired the British Empire and didn't seem to want to actually destroy it. He thought an accommodation could be made whereby he would rule Europe from the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains and the British could keep their overseas Empire as long as they returned Germany's pre-WW1 colony's.

In all the movies to glorify Churchill and paint some in the British Government as appeasers for wanting to take Hitler up on his offer there is evidence that Hitler would seriously have followed through with letting the British keep their empire.

As an aside, if Hitler truly wanted to beat the British he would have delayed his Russia invasion by one year and refocused his military against taking control of the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East. There is NO DOUBT that had Hitler redirected half the forces he used in invading Russia on June 22 to driving the British out of the Mediterranean & Middle East he would have occupied those regions in a couple of months.

At that point Hitler would have controlled the Suez, all the oil in Iraq & Iran, likely would have gained Turkey as an ally. With Turkey as an ally, when Hitler did invade the Soviet Union in 1942 he could also have attacked the Russians through the Caucuses mountains as well as all along their European border. At this point Churchill would have been removed from office and the British would have sued for peace.

After Pearl Harbor with Britain out of the War and the invasion of the Soviet Union still a few months away Hitler could have refrained from declaring war on the US (the Battle of the Atlantic would be over so no reason to go to war with the US) and we would have concentrated on Japan. Alt history is great isn't it!
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  #5  
Old 08-19-18, 11:00 PM
Crusaders Crusaders is offline
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I guess we're fortunate Hitler was a moron when it came to military strategy
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  #6  
Old 08-20-18, 01:59 AM
Michael Bluth Michael Bluth is offline
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My alt history is that Hitler could have been born a female and none of this would have happened
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  #7  
Old 08-20-18, 08:01 AM
OhioBobcatFan06 OhioBobcatFan06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
If you read some of the Hitler biographies and an interesting book that chronicles Hitler's dinnertime conversations you realize that he admired the British Empire and didn't seem to want to actually destroy it. He thought an accommodation could be made whereby he would rule Europe from the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains and the British could keep their overseas Empire as long as they returned Germany's pre-WW1 colony's.
Interesting, I'd never heard that. How did America or other former British colonies fit into that picture?
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  #8  
Old 08-20-18, 08:54 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioBobcatFan06 View Post
Interesting, I'd never heard that. How did America or other former British colonies fit into that picture?
From what I've read I doubt Hitler's goal was ever to rule the entire world. He seemed intent on creating a continental sized empire that could match the USA in size, resources & population. What his intentions were towards the USA had he achieved these objectives remains murky to say the least. I suspect that a form of cold war between the British Empire, Australia, Canada and the USA on one side and Nazi Germany on the other would have evolved after Hitler had defeated the Soviet Union. Japan of course would have been destroyed by the US.

In his dinner time conversations Hitler appeared to have a love/hate view of the USA. On the one hand he thought we were a mongrel nation with our population corrupted by all the non-Aryan folks living here. He also thought the Jews ran everything in the US behind the scenes.

On the other hand Hitler admired the American populations ingenuity and mechanical aptitude. He believed that our wide open spaces and love for the automobile enabled us to have a populace with an optimistic, expansionist mind set that could handle tools and fix anything. He wanted the German people to have some of these same characteristics.
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  #9  
Old 08-20-18, 09:01 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusaders View Post
I guess we're fortunate Hitler was a moron when it came to military strategy
After so brilliantly handling the strategic situation through the defeat of France Hitler committed one blunder after another:

* He should have first focused on taking over the Mediterranean & Middle East before expanding the war into Russia.

* He should not have invaded the Soviet Union in late June of 1941. He should have waited until May of 1942. The difference between an early May invasion versus a late June invasion are huge given the climate of Russia.

* He should not have underestimated the Russians. He should have prepared for at least a 1 year war which means to have been prepared to fight in the winter.

* He should never have declared war on the USA after Pearl Harbor. The Japanese were NOT helping Hitler in Russia so he was under NO obligation to declare war in their support. Had Hitler got up and said Germany had no quarrel with the US we would have been politically forced to focus on Japan depriving both Britain & Russia of military aide as we set about destroying Japan.
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  #10  
Old 08-20-18, 09:05 AM
El Indio El Indio is offline
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New Orleans has a great WW II museum. It's awesome.
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  #11  
Old 08-20-18, 10:26 AM
EastYoungstown EastYoungstown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusaders View Post
I guess we're fortunate Hitler was a moron when it came to military strategy
All he had to do was learn from Napolean's one big mistake and not invade Russia.

He does that and everyone there is talking German right now.

Something about not learning history and being doomed to repeat it.
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  #12  
Old 08-20-18, 11:10 AM
Purplemojo Purplemojo is offline
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Yes, Hitler admired the British as fellow Teutonics as the Brits had much Nordic and German (Angles and Saxon) blood. He also admired their cool Northern European character as opposed to the French and German's hotheaded allies in the Mediterranean. He would have spared Britain, however, would the Crown Colonies all go along? I am not sure that British outposts in Northern Africa and in the Far East would go along with it so an American invasion in North Africa may have still happened. DeGaulle would have certainly left England for the US and would have petitioned for support of France, an ally of the US.

The British subjects who did come under German occupation were not treated in a manner the British would tolerate. One does not know what terms the Germans would require in a peace treaty but acceptance of those terms would not have been universally supported in Britain.

Could the Americans have taken on German/Italian Afrika Korp with only the help of some French and British colonial troops who refused to surrender? Who knows?
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  #13  
Old 08-20-18, 01:21 PM
ohiopup ohiopup is offline
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The Blitz...

No TV back then just Newspapers, Radio, and News Reels(at the local Cinama)



Edward R. Murrow... from London

Later to be the anchor for CBS news thru to 50's and 60's.

- - -

News Reel...



:>---

EGA
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  #14  
Old 08-20-18, 04:46 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purplemojo View Post
Yes, Hitler admired the British as fellow Teutonics as the Brits had much Nordic and German (Angles and Saxon) blood. He also admired their cool Northern European character as opposed to the French and German's hotheaded allies in the Mediterranean. He would have spared Britain, however, would the Crown Colonies all go along? I am not sure that British outposts in Northern Africa and in the Far East would go along with it so an American invasion in North Africa may have still happened. DeGaulle would have certainly left England for the US and would have petitioned for support of France, an ally of the US.

The British subjects who did come under German occupation were not treated in a manner the British would tolerate. One does not know what terms the Germans would require in a peace treaty but acceptance of those terms would not have been universally supported in Britain.

Could the Americans have taken on German/Italian Afrika Korp with only the help of some French and British colonial troops who refused to surrender? Who knows?
Interesting question PM. It probably would have depended on the terms but a big factor would have been where would Australia, New Zealand & Canada have turned if Britain had "surrendered" and they wanted to keep up the fight? Would India have seen violent rebellion? The US wasn't in the war yet so I guess it depends on whether some Brits would have renounced ANY deal with the Nazis and fled to Canada or Australia to provide British leadership.

Again much hinges on whether Hitler invades the Soviet Union before he either beats Britain or forces its surrender and whether the Nazi's declare war on the USA after Pearl Harbor.

I still believe that Germany focusing on the Mediterranean and the Middle East after the fall of France would have won them the war in Europe by the summer of 1941. I think it would have knocked Britain out of the war before the USA came in (no need for submarines attacking American shipping in the Atlantic) and it would likely have brought both Spain & Turkey into the war on the side of the Axis.

Germany's Italian allies would also be an interesting consideration in any Mediterranean campaign. Left to their own devices they were a huge liability to the Germans. However Rommel and his senior leaders were often quoted as saying that when under German command and with German equipment the Italians were actually solid soldiers.
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  #15  
Old 08-20-18, 04:50 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohiopup View Post
The Blitz...

No TV back then just Newspapers, Radio, and News Reels(at the local Cinama)



Edward R. Murrow... from London

Later to be the anchor for CBS news thru to 50's and 60's.

- - -

News Reel...



:>---

EGA

Great stuff Ohiopup! Murrow sure can paint a picture with just his words.
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  #16  
Old 08-20-18, 05:53 PM
EagleGuy EagleGuy is offline
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I didn't know until fairly recently of the numerous attempts on Hitler's life, including from within the military ranks (at least one).
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  #17  
Old 08-20-18, 06:05 PM
arizonawildcat arizonawildcat is offline
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About my orignal question about who started the urban bombing, the person who provoked the question held the belief that the Luftwaffe was bombing the crap out of the RAF bases andd destroying the planes faster than they could be replaced. He said that the British high command then decided to bomb the German cities in the hopes that Hitler would order the Luftwaffe to stop bombing the RAF bases and and retaliate by bombing London and other large British cities. Which was what the Luftwaffe did, giving the RAF time to recoup their losses. This guy is kind of a conspiratory buff and I could not believe the British high command would OK such a strategy.

Last edited by arizonawildcat; 08-20-18 at 08:14 PM.
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  #18  
Old 08-20-18, 07:41 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizonawildcat View Post
About my orignal question about who started the urban bombing, the person who prevoked the question held the belied that the Luftwaffe was bombing the crap out of the RAF bases nad destroying the planes faster than they could be replaced. He said that the British high command then decided to bomb the German cities in the hopes that Hitler would order the Luftwaffe to stop bombing the RAF bases and and retaliate by bombing London and other large British cities. Which was what the Luftwaffe did, giving the RAF time to recoup their losses. This guy is kind of a conspiratory buff and I could not believe the British high command would OK such a strategy.
I'm not sure about that arizonawildcat. My understanding was that the Germans were taking significant losses themselves in attacking RAF bases. While in hindsight we know the Germans were close to knocking the RAF out of the war it's pretty clear that the Nazi's did not realize how close to winning the air war they were so they switched to terror bombing in the hopes of driving Britain out of the war that way.

Also by the time the Germans started bombing civilians they had given up on the idea of invading Britain. For an invasion the Nazis would have needed absolute air superiority and that could only be gained by targeting the RAF. But when they abandoned the invasion it opened up alternative tactics which included terror bombing civilians. This was less costly to the Germans in pilots & planes and Hitler thought he could knock the Brits out of the war this way. Remember by the fall of 1940 the Germans were already moving their air force to the east in preparation for the invasion of the Soviet Union the next year.
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Old 08-20-18, 07:56 PM
eastisbest eastisbest is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotr10 View Post
Nazi's did not realize how close to winning the air war they were so they switched to terror bombing in the hopes of driving Britain out of the war that way.
.

You're saying that the Nazi at the time of the Blitz were close to winning the air war? The Blitz would have been the first German effort on UK soil even approaching a "terror bombing,"


I didn't realize that. I would have presumed it another Churchil invention to try and rally allies. And it begs the question, why didn't the Nazi know they were close to winning? Or was that still not Hitler's goal?
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Old 08-20-18, 08:17 PM
arizonawildcat arizonawildcat is offline
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I have also read that part of the Luftwaffe's failure to bomb the British into submission was their failure to develop a heavy bomber like the British Lancaster or the B-17.
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  #21  
Old 08-21-18, 08:57 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastisbest View Post
You're saying that the Nazi at the time of the Blitz were close to winning the air war? The Blitz would have been the first German effort on UK soil even approaching a "terror bombing,"


I didn't realize that. I would have presumed it another Churchil invention to try and rally allies. And it begs the question, why didn't the Nazi know they were close to winning? Or was that still not Hitler's goal?
To be clear Eastisbest, the Germans were close to wiping out the RAF which would have effectively won the air war. Not only were the British low on fighters but more importantly they were low on experienced pilots. But at the same time the Germans were taking very heavy losses and they had already turned their eyes towards the Soviet Union so the last thing they needed was to deplete their air force.

Churchill was right in saying "never have so many owed so much to so few" in describing the heroic & critical role RAF pilots performed in the Battle of Britain. As to why the Germans didn't know they were close to winning the air war probably came down to the fact that the German air force was run by a decadent, drug addled play boy and the Nazi's didn't have a good intelligence gathering system.

One interesting story that illustrates the short comings of German Intelligence Services and of Air Marshal Hermann Goering was that after declaring war on the USA Goering asked his folks to estimate what peak American aircraft production would look like. When he saw the huge number he declared there was no way the US could produce fighters & bombers at that level and that Hitler would never believe it so Goering cut the estimate by 90%! It turns out the original unacceptable estimate was way to low and only half of what we eventually produced!

The key to this discussion is exactly when did the Germans give up on the idea of invading Britain? Some believe Hitler never wanted to invade the British Isles. Others thought he was open to it during the summer of 1940 provided he could gain air supremacy. To me the switch from targeting the RAF to targeting cities likely corresponds to when Hitler decided the invasion was off and he would beat Britain using terror bombing while he focused on defeating the Soviet Union which was his biggest Geo-strategic war goal.

As an aside I refer to any bombing of civilian centers (the Blitz) as "terror bombing". As it's goal is not military but strategic. In 1940 war "experts" were convinced you could use your air force to bomb a population into submission. The results from WW2 tended to prove that thinking wrong with the British, Germans & Japanese all continuing the fight in spite of massive terror bombing of their cities. At least until the atomic bomb came along.
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  #22  
Old 08-21-18, 09:00 AM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizonawildcat View Post
I have also read that part of the Luftwaffe's failure to bomb the British into submission was their failure to develop a heavy bomber like the British Lancaster or the B-17.
Great point. I once read a quip in a book along the lines that the Germans built way to many heavy tanks which moved to slowly and guzzled gas and way to few heavy bombers!
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  #23  
Old 08-21-18, 09:20 AM
USA70PP USA70PP is offline
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lotr10,
Part of the German intelligence "failure" was that many, if not all, of their agents had been "turned" by British intelligence. Operation "20/20" or something like that.
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Old 08-21-18, 12:23 PM
Michael Bluth Michael Bluth is offline
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Have any of you history buffs ever listened to Dan Carlin's podcast "Hardcore History"?

He is really good on WWI and WWII (as well as many other subjects), highly recommend for fellow history nerds
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  #25  
Old 08-21-18, 05:23 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Originally Posted by USA70PP View Post
lotr10,
Part of the German intelligence "failure" was that many, if not all, of their agents had been "turned" by British intelligence. Operation "20/20" or something like that.
British Intelligence was a lot better then Germany's and probably the best in the war.
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Old 08-21-18, 05:23 PM
lotr10 lotr10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Bluth View Post
Have any of you history buffs ever listened to Dan Carlin's podcast "Hardcore History"?

He is really good on WWI and WWII (as well as many other subjects), highly recommend for fellow history nerds
I'll check it out sounds interesting.
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