What makes a justified/morally correct war? Now discussing the 2003 US invasion of Iraq

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by saturn5, Feb 12, 2010.

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  1. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the first offensive on the Western Front between the French and the Germans actually a FRENCH assault on GERMANY that was quickly repulsed and with very key French losses?

    I seem to recall that while the Germans were still moving through Belgium that France launched an attack along the heavily fortified French/German border that was a devistating failure, and thus in the opening salvos of 1914 lost many of thier best trained soldiers... quite possibly THE best trained soldiers they had. Which probably contributed to thier overcompensating retreat (which was almost too fast for the BEF to catch up with them).

    Meanwhile the Germans and the British were able to hold onto thier best soldiers for quite some time longer. In fact at the beginning of the war the British had to make do with a lack of Machine guns in thier battalions: but to the perceptions of the Germans it didn't matter becuase the BEF's rifle marksmanship was so accurate the Germans actually thought the British WERE using Machine Guns on them that they didn't have.
  2. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    I quite despise these Wikipedia timelines. The 'secret treaty' was not legal as it wasn't ratified by the Sultan, and was not acted upon anyway. The British nonetheless 'requisitioned' two Turkish battleships under construction in Britain which had cost the Turks £6 million, and then 'offered' to pay the Turks £1000 at specific times to stay neutral as a form of repayment. Then the Indians amassed a force in the Persian Gulf with a backup clause allowing them to invade Basra the moment Turkey declared war... having been poked and prodded and generally disrespected.

    Turkey entering the war expanded the scope of the war, dragging it out and precipitating the Russian Revolution by strangling the Russian economy. It wasn't complicated; irritating the Turks - the navy which was particularly pro-British - was the stupidest thing the British ever did in all of World War One. No Turkish entry; no Russian Revolution; no Communism. No Turkish entry; no carving up of the Middle East and none of the issues we have today.
  3. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

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    Turkey entering the war expanded the scope of the war, dragging it out and precipitating the Russian Revolution by strangling the Russian economy. It wasn't complicated; irritating the Turks - the navy which was particularly pro-British - was the stupidest thing the British ever did in all of World War One. No Turkish entry; no Russian Revolution; no Communism. No Turkish entry; no carving up of the Middle East and none of the issues we have today.

    I'm not sure this is all entirely accurate. Not that these things did not happen and that the British could have done without the Turkish disrespect, but that these events are all so causal in nature.

    Whether or not there was a secret treaty with Germany and whether it was ratified I don't think is terribly important. Neither was the British disrepsect to the Turks: after all they could equally have been said to disrepsect America by inspecting and stopping American ships (although this was compared to SINKING them, which is what the Germans were doing in an effort to bring the trade war to a more even keel).

    The real motivating factor for the Ottomans was most likely thier disputes with Russia rather than British disrespect -- although that didn't help. Both Russia and the Ottomans had keen interest in the loss of power of the other. This was probably the deciding factor for the Turks.

    Additionally I highly doubt the Turkish having an effect on Russian trade was what was destroying Russia. If that were the case the Russians would have been more competitive in 1914 at the war's outbreak. But they were unable to keep even the Franco-German stalemate going. The Germans advanced into Russia near the beginning and Russia never really had the oppertunity to have a competitive factor to allow the trade situation to be that decisive. Had the trade in the south been so key, after all, why was the main war priority for the Russians the developments on the Eatern Front rather than the southern areas around the Caucasus?

    One of the primary causes for WWI and how it played out was the overestimation of Russian capacity in Europe. The Germans were terrified of the possibility of a two-front war for years and years only to discover that they were able to fight it quite handily: and frankly if anyone could really be said to be militarily WINNING during those years of attrition, it was probably Germany.

    Reading this post was a little bit like looking through that book "How the Irish created Civilization". Yes, certain things about this are significant. But I think they're being blown somewhat out of proportion here.
  4. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    Russia, I seem to recall, was doing quite well, nonetheless, against Austria-Hungary, and the Battle of the Marne had just been lost by Germany (per the Wiki, here). And no surprises to Turkey, which had fought (and lost) innumerable battles against Russia, though most of those wars were caused by Russian aggression (if not all?).

    EDIT: Wrong button, but I'll add.

    The entire Eastern Question was about avoiding our current situation. It has happened; as a direct consequence of foregoing maintaining the status quo and dismembering the Ottoman Empire.

    Turkey certainly had issues with Russia, but Britain taking Egypt, stealing two battleships and prepping an invasion of Basra certainly doesn't help. I seem to recall that something like 80% of Russian trade went through the Dardenelles - sealed by the Turks; collapsing economy + Lenin = Revolution. There is a causal chain, no?
  5. Danaan Jedi Master

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    I can't speak to the Russian trade routes of the time, but I can add this. While the British certainly did their bit to push the Turks into the Central power camp, the Germans where very actively engaged in pullig the Turks into it, and by virtue of realpolitik - Germany and Turkey had the common enemy on Russia, a historical adversary of the Turks - they had an easy time finding common grounds. Indeed, the young turks were very active in tieing Germany to Turkey. Thus, Germany trained the Turkish army, conspired with the Turks to bring the Afghans into the war against Britain, and at one time, when the British were chasing two German destroyers, they went and found refuge in Istanbul. The Turks said that they had "bought" them and gave the crew fezes to wear. So there were clearly more forces at work to bring the Ottomans into the war on the Central power side than just British aggression...
  6. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

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    Russia, I seem to recall, was doing quite well, nonetheless, against Austria-Hungary, and the Battle of the Marne had just been lost by Germany (per the Wiki, here). And no surprises to Turkey, which had fought (and lost) innumerable battles against Russia, though most of those wars were caused by Russian aggression (if not all?).

    Yes, but they also lost Tannenberg in the earliest days of the war. And when the Russians did score their best successes against the Germans in the start of the Brusilov offensive, it was by then already mid-1916.

    I really don't think it was the trade discrepancy that did Russia in. Russia was by then falling far, far behind the European powers. In fact this was the period it was probably FURTHEST behind, since in Napoleon's time the discrepancy was unlikely so large, and under the Soviets Russia would bring itself to at least something approaching parity again -- though this still took some time.
  7. saturn5 Jedi Master

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    100% right about Gallipoli. I always believed the German's pretty much forced the Turks into the war although they weren't keen on their historic enemies, the Russians and Austrians.

    Absolutely I was concentrating on the Western Front but I always believed that the Germans/Austrians resoundingly stuffed the Russians, their advances being slowed by heaps of Russian dead? One thing I would say about the Eastern front is that when you look at the terms of the Treaty of Brest Litovsk you needn't feel sorry for the Germans over their unfair reparations any more
  8. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

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    their advances being slowed by heaps of Russian dead

    There is a little-known brutal joke concerning the "Dead Russian Defense". Where the enemy cannot advance any further upon your land by virtue of the fact that there are too many dead Russians in the way.
  9. saturn5 Jedi Master

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    Ok, going to move on to WW2.

    Pretty much an open and shut case to me. Germany invades her neighbours just as she did 20 years earlier for pretty much the same reasons but this time with Russia's help. Once more Britain intervenes to prevent the new German coast being visible from Dover. Japan attacks the UK and US in the Far East because she wishes to advance her empire at the cost of their's. Mussolini's Italy comes along for the ride when it looks like Britain is beaten.

    Moral? Hmmmm. Poland in 1939 is a dictatorship with some nasty anti-semitic tendencies. Britain and US make allies of Stalin and invade neutral Iceland as a strategic base, planning to do the same to Southern Ireland if necessary. Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour was in response to economic sanctions imposed by the US in order to prevent colonial expansion by the Japanese, despite (as Japanese historians are always keen to point out) the European powers/US having their own empires which is somewhat hypocritical. Interestingly in both conflicts America shoots first. A US navy patrol boat fires on a Jap sub off Hawaii on the morning before Pearl Harbour whilst the USS Kearny attacks a German U-boat whilst on 'neutrality patrol' in the Atlantic 2 months before Pearl Harbour (neutrality that favoured only the UK). Both the Kearny and another US Navy ship, the Rueben James are torpedoed in October 1941 killing over 100 crewmen, the first US casualties of the war.
    The war leaves Western Europe liberated but Eastern Europe under a dictatorship just as vile as Nazism for 40 years. It also bring communists to power in China and North Korea.

    So justified? Absolutely. Moral? For the most part yes
  10. Danaan Jedi Master

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    Oh, it's absolutely true that the Germans stopped the Russians dead, and then pushed them back out. But they did so on what was then German soil. So the allies did step on Germans lands, which is what I wanted to point out - it's not as clear cut a case where you can simply call the Germans the only aggressors of that war. There was plenty of aggression to go around on all sides.

    I'd like to problematize this view as well. 1st: I see the instigation of the WWII as somewhat different than WWI in the sense that in the latter case, it is much more difficult to pin the guilt on Germany.

    Also, when war breaks out in September 1939, the biggest army in the world is that of France, not Germany - indeed, the Wehrmacht was not fully mobilized at that time because Hitler frankly didn't expect the allies to have the backbone to help Poland (and he was partially right, there was not full commitment to leave the Maginot ligne behind at that time). When looking at the Order of Battle of that date, the combined Franco-British forces clearly outnumber the Germans, so there was no reason for Britain to go to war against Germany to avoid the possibility of seeing Germany from Dover - nobody could have anticipated the blitzkrieg to allow the Germans to roundly defeat the sizeable French army in only 6 weeks. Finally, the reason Britain and France went to war was much the same as in 1914 - treaty obligations.

    So while the Nazis had to be defeated, it is not entirely sure that the motivations for the allies going to war in September 1939 clearly shows them to hold the morally higher grounds, as shocking as that might sound...
  11. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

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    On paper, France should've easily been able to fight off the German invasion. The French also had a fairly good Navy at the time. So yeah, Britain had no reason to believe it was under any threat of invasion as of 1939. The Home Guard wasn't formed until after Norway and France had fallen. Still, the ten divisions and 500 aircraft of the BEF were a pretty big commitment.
  12. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

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    Expanding on what I said earlier, I would argue that upholding treaty obligations is a perfectly valid reason to declare war on another country, probably a bit more altruistic than simple self defense.

    That doesn't mean the Germans had the right to invade them. Keep in mind that Hitler's plan was to depopulate Eastern Europe of Slavic peoples, and resettle it with Germanic peoples. I would characterize that as immoral and unjustified.

    Japan's aggression in China was unjustified, and the United States was right to oppose it. Japan's overseas empire entailed brutal cultural and economic oppression. They managed to be even less popular than the European colonizers. By contrast, the United States controlled the Philippines in 1941, but was a self-governing Commonwealth, much like Puerto Rico. The Philippine Independence Act of 1934 began a 10 year process towards complete independence, which the Japanese interrupted. So, it is completely inaccurate to equate Japanese foreign aggression and exploitation to the American Pacific possessions. Guamians and Filipinos greatly disliked the Japanese occupation and welcomed the US forces as liberators.

    The fact is, the Axis countries attacked sovereign, recognized states with the clear intention of subjugating them. There was no provocation or justification for this.
  13. saturn5 Jedi Master

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  14. Danaan Jedi Master

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    Actually, the French army was almost state of the art at the time, at least in terms of equipment, certainly when it came to tanks. The Char b1s had too thick armor for the German tanks (most of them light) to penetrate. The s-35 and Renault tanks outmatched their German counterparts in terms of both armour and armament - bigger guns, thicker hides. The one area where the French were relatively weak in terms of equipment was the airforce. That is to say, their Dewos and lend-lease Hawk 75s would have outgunned anything the Italians could have thrown at them, AFAIK, and those crates were not all that much weaker than the 109-Es, so they were certainly on par with international standards of the time, though maybe not the cutting edge. For instance, the Dewo had a 20mm autocannon, which the early incarnations of the Spitfire did not have. Also, their rollrates outmatched anything either the Germans or Brits had developed, which is not inconsequential in an air duel (playing some computer games can be very educational:D).

    But as you say, their strategy suffered greatly, and the fact that they had not adopted mechanized warfare tactics became their undoing. Also, AFAIK, even though French pilots put up a good fight, they might not have been as well trained as the Germans (who got valuable experience in Spain and against the hopelessly outdated Polish airforce). I know for certain that they simply couldn't withstand the German Luftwaffe. And since the blitzkrieg depended on dive-bomber and tactical airsupport, it didn't matter that the French tanks were superior to the Germans - they still had nothing to protect them from those bombs from the Stukas.

    An interesting note there is also that the Germans had originally planned to simply redo the Schlieffen plan, just extending the sickle movement into Holland. But just before the offensive was to start, a plane with all the German plans was shot down over Holland, the plans falling into allied hands. The German HQ therefore drew up a quick replacement plan, inverting the sickle strike by going through the Ardennes, where France had deployed it's weakest troops, confident in the belief that no mechanized forces could navigate the forests. So the German success was the result of superior German organizational skills on the tactical level, the blitzkrieg strategy, and the lucky circumstance that the allies a) did communicate as efficiently as they should have between the French and the British and b) deployed their weakest troops exactly where the Germans would strike, resulting in a route and the subsequent encirclement of the entire allied forces.

    But I guess everybody already knew this [face_laugh]

    I'm just keenly interested in WWII history...;)
  15. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

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    One issue I've had problems with is in regards to how Germany came to declare war on the US.

    Because of the tri-axis treaty, Japan and Germany were allies; but Germany was not obligated to declare war on the US after Pearl Harbor. The reason for this was that Japan committed the first overt act of aggression against the US, whereas the treaty specified that it had to be Japan who was attacked by America. Given as they were the ones who began hostilities, why the hell did Germany so stupidly declare war on another enemy while they were still fighting the Soviet Union and Britain at the same time? That was the dumbest tactical move made by anyone in a century.
  16. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

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    So justified? Absolutely. Moral? For the most part yes

    It can often be difficult discussing WWII with many people becuase the matter of the war's morality becomes obfuscated with the well-known and horrendous undertakings of the Nazi party.

    It would do well to remember that what went on with Germany during the war was not conceretely known by many at the time on the allied side. It could certainly be extrapolated by what had happened in the 30s what the Germans were likely to do, but it wasn't really until the Neuremburg Trials that it became quite clear to the average citizen anywhere precisely WHAT the Germans had been doing without taking a healthy mouthful of domestic propoganda. And of course in the Russian case at least it can be argued that the Soviets were doing similar things anyway, merely relying a lot more on bullets, and less concerned on an official level what your racial background was (not that you couldn't find yourself in a gluag simply becuase you were a Jew or Gypsy, just that this didn't happen to be official Soviet policy).

    I actually think to a particular degree treaty obligations played a more significant role in WWII because there was more of a genuine... I don't want to say concern, but general interest in what was going on. It was not that the treaties were or were not honored -- certainly the French reniged on Czech support in the 30s -- but that I think they were treated differently. Before they had been used as tools more to intimidate a common foe. The French would use the treaty with the Russians in the interest of someday, theoretically, ATTACKING Germany to regain last land and prestige. And Germany naturally had similar designs.

    By now the thinking had changed. The treaties were between different nations and now, to take again the French case, they were designed at self-preservation. After WWI nobody wanted another war. Even Hitler, in his own reckless way, didn't want one (and certainly the urban Germans, many of whom lived in Berlin and had not voted for the Nazis in the first place, didn't want one). Now the treaties were used as ways of hemming in Germany. I suppose it could be argued that they worked after a fashion: had Germany retained its original size and strength it would have been more difficult to make the international case that they were expansionist. But then again many people across the world agreed the Germans were due much of the land they were taking back since a lot of it had been part of the original 1914 Germany.

    An important thing also to note is that immediately after WWII it was supposed that the Nazis had from the beginning designed on it. I think it has been proven starting with AJP Taylor by now that this was not the case. Hitler desired no war for which he did not think Germany was ready. However unlike the allies he did include war in his overall future aims, and used the threat of war as a tool to bluff and get what he wanted -- much as I would argue North Korea does in more limited use in modern day.

    It would be incorrect to view Hitler as from the beginning having eyes on world conquest and the world having a natural revulsion to him. It would be more correct to say that Hitler cared for nothing but for the betterment of what he considered Germany and had few moral misgivings on however he could get it. This was not so dissimilar with Stalin. It was by then I suppose rather different from the French who were probably the first to count themselves internationally as Hitler's foes -- but they were largely opposed to Hitler because he was an unapologetic German. The British, for a long time, were very ambivalent. The Americans remained ambivalent well into the war. The primary difference between Hitler and these latter government of the west is that Hiler was unapologetically ambitious and they were politely satisfied: not that fascism raised any particular alarms. Once it was all said and done, there was quite a large number of people not wanting to go back and look at the record of what they'd said concerning Hitler and Germany
  17. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

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    Given as they were the ones who began hostilities, why the hell did Germany so stupidly declare war on another enemy while they were still fighting the Soviet Union and Britain at the same time? That was the dumbest tactical move made by anyone in a century.

    I think it tends to be true that by the 30s the further up the German power ladder you went, the less of a meritocracy it became. Or rather, it ceased to really be one once you crossed into the civilian leadership.

    I suppose this might be said for many states, but by this time for the Germans it was particularly true. After the fall of France Hitler quickly lost semblance with proper reality. He'd always been very apt to believe his own hype and once this was done began buying into it to unreasonable degrees, thinking Germany could do anything.

    I do admit though that it does seem puzzling why the Germans would have any particular affinity to the Japanese, though. There was little German-Japanese cooperation, and little was needed. To hazard a guess I would think it came about because Hitler probably felt that although the Unites States was neutral, it harbored by this time far more pro-British and pro-French sentiment than pro-German. And he would have been essentially correct in that assessment.

    Additionally the Japanese had by this time become a traditional Russian foe, so it might have made sense in that respect. Not to mention it's possible -- I stress, possible -- he'd taken considerable exception to how moderately Jews and others were treated in the United States.

    Hitler's feelings on the United States to me has always been rather unclear. Most of what he says tends to be a lot of his usual gusto: I'm guessing maybe he was guilty into what was quickly by then becoming the European-centrist trap and not thinking much at all about the United States and what went on over there.
  18. Danaan Jedi Master

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    I take a slightly different perspective than Gonk on this, and argue that it was at least partially ideologically motivated by Hitler: he loathed Capitalism (because it would ostensibl be inherently degenerate to the spirit of humanity) and particularly he loathed the American Capitalism, which he saw as a safe haven for Sionism to control world economy. Moreover, he also thought that the Americans, by being degenerate Capitalists under the heels of Sionism, couldn't fight and would be an easy walk-over. Besides, the Americans had until that point given Britain a whole lot of support - lend/leased destroyers, even escorting British convoys to the extent that German u-boats were hampered in their efforts to attack vital shipping to the UK. From the German point of view, the US was pretty squarely in the UK camp in all but name. I believe Doenitz was itching to be able to shoot torpedoes against those US escort destroyers.

    Ironically, the Germans were right in one sense - the Americans had no idea about how to wage a war. After the German DoW, German subs could sink tons of American shipping along the Eastern seaboard because Americans didn't have any light discipline at all - the American cargo ships were sitting ducks at night, their silhouttes clearly visible against the night time skyline of the well-lit ports. German sub captains would say that it was the happy times all over again. Even on the battlefield, American ineptitude became apparent, as in the case of the Casserine Pass and amphibious landings in Italy. American troops were poorly trained, poorly equiped, and led by generals who simply had no experience of leading troops in battle, facing veteran Germans with state-of-the-art equipment led by some of the most brilliant military leaders of their era.

    Of course, declaring war on the US was a fatal mistake, because no other nation involved had the industrial capacity of the US, and Hitler really underestimated this. And it could probably be argued that he was becoming more and more megalomanical at the time, so maybe that's not very surprising.

    But his confidence might also be understandable. Think like this: It's December 1941. Your armies have smashed the strongest army in the West, the French, in six weeks. It has knocked the British out of Europe, and quickly subjugated Poland and Yugoslavia and gained the rest of Eastern Europe as allies. In a matter of a couple of months, it's utterly devastated the Red Army and your outposts can litteraly see the spires of Moscow though their binoculars: victory seems that close. And now Japan has struck what looks like a major blow against the American navy, the US which doesn't even have much of an army to field (it was really just a few understrength divisions of reservists at the time, minute in comparison to what Germany was facing in Russia). DoWing might just give your subs the chance they need to close that life line of supply shipping that's keeping the British in the fight. From this perspective, without the benefit of hindsight, it might not seem so unrealistic anymore...
  19. saturn5 Jedi Master

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  20. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    It's interesting to me that given Hitler's war economy he never acknowledged the role the Soviet Union's industrial output played in preventing victory on the eastern front. Americans don't like to do it either for an entirely different set of ideological reasons, but no one should have understood the military industrial complex possible under an autocracy better than Hitler, given the connection between Germany's industrial output, mechanized warfare and Blitzkrieg.

    He may have underestimated the industrial capacity of the U.S. as well, but Hitler certainly dismissed out of hand accurate intelligence reports on the Soviet war machine, how many tanks, planes, guns, etc. they were producing as desperate disinformation, unable to accept that the inferior Soviet people under Stalin were capable of revving up a war economy to rival his.
  21. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Another point about Germany's lack of foresight-the Soviets moved their major industrial bases beyond the Ural Mountains, and therefore beyond the range of any German aircraft; Soviet industry was able to produce war material with practically the same level of non-interference as the United States was, and to a far higher level of production-the USSR boaster 475 combat divisions by war's end; the United States, only a hundred.

    I'd think it's safe to say that the US Army, while outclassed in terms of tank firepower by the Germans, distinctly outclassed the Germans in almost every other area that mattered. The US Army that went to North Africa was definitely not the same army that went to Normandy, and the US forces that went ashore on D-Day had massive advantages against their German counterpart, largely due to German High Command ineptitude.

  22. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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    I'm only now wondering... what makes a justified/morally correct war?

    What is justified/morally correct?

    I am grateful to the Americans, the Canadians and the British, because without them I'd have lived under occupation. Eternally grateful. But is my gratitude worth their lives? Is it worth the lives of my fellow countrymen that died?

    Is it worth the lives of the people in Hiroshima?

    Is it worth the loss of the Dutch identity, or any other European identity?

    We'll never know how it would all have played out, if the Allies hadn't landed in Normandy. Or if Hitler hadn't decided to attack Russia. Or if Hitler hadn't taken power. Way too many elements to make a probable scenario. So in the end... you can't say if a war is justified, or morally correct.
  23. Danaan Jedi Master

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    Not entirely sure that I'd agree. Yes, the US Army had learned alot during the year after Casserine Pass, but I'd say that the German army of D-Day 1944 still was better at squad- and company level communication and tactics, had better equipment and generally speaking better high command. Examples include camouflage uniforms, the Panzer Faust and Panzerschreck (much better infantry based anti-tank weapons than the Allies had) and assault rifles - the first weapons of its kind introduce during the battle of the Bulge.

    Their primary impediments were Hitler himself, who increasingly took power away from his generals on the ground, seriously limiting the local strategic German flexibility, their lack of air power, and the fact that about 80 % of the Wehrmacht were stuch in the East, forcing the German to deploy second rate units against the allies. The massive advantages the Allies had (don't forget the British and the Canadians) on D-Day were primarily a crushing air superiority and pretty much unlimited supply. The yanks could really pour it on, while the German industry was having trouble producing the oil and equipment needed to operate the war machine.

    And still, with all these factors taken into account, it took the allies more than a month to get out of Hedgerow Hell and break out of the beachhead proper. Compare that to the amount of ground covered by the Russians in the East during the same time period. And the Red Army was only partially mechanized, many units walked all the way from Stalingrad to Romania in little more than a year. That's a pretty long walk when someone is shooting at you...

    Edit:
    Well, that's the tough question. But the equally tough answer is: what was the alternative. Either continued genocide at the hands of the Germans, or totalitarian dictatorship (including democide) at the hands of Stalin (for why should he have stopped in Germany?). So either the Allies landed in Normandy at the cost of British, American, Canadian and French lives, or the Allies didn't, the continued cost of Jewish lifes, or the lives of "enemies of the state", as they were labelled in the USSR and continued oppression. Somewhere, someone has to draw the line and be prepared to back the ideals of Human Rights and democracy with military force, which always implies risk to the people in uniform, otherwise the words are meaningless.

    Edit 2: That said, the Allies did a whole lot of things that are very difficult to defend on the basis of a morally justifiable - Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo - that war saw atrocities committed by all sides to a lesser or greater extent...
  24. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    I'd disagree on the squad level, personally. Yeah, the Germans had a fantastic machine gun in the MG-42, but the rest of the squad was bolt-action rifles and MP-40s. I'd wager that an equivalent US infantry squad with BARs, M1 Garands, Thompsons, and M1 carbines had quite a serious firepower advantage over their German equivalent, especially if the squad MG-42 was out of the fight. And the StG-44 was never standard issue-like the other German 'wonder weapons' of the time it never saw enough production to equip the entire Wehrmacht.

    As for comparing the Eastern Front to breaking out of the Hedgerow Hell-well, the tactical situations are different. The Western Europe German forces had not seen a serious ground-combat threat since the fall of Paris; they were presumably reasonably well-rested, with their equipment in decent states of maintenance; the German forces on the Eastern front had spent the last three years fighting and losing against the Russians and had suffered massive losses since Stalingrad.

  25. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

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    No less.
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