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Old 05-12-2019, 05:46 PM
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For what reasons did the Old South and Nazi Germany think they could win the war?


Both the Old South and Nazi Germany proved to be have overestimated their ability to win the war. What factors did they think would enable them to win? For what factual, philosophical or psychological reasons did they believe that?

If we draw a Venn Diagram of the factors they thought would give them victory, what kind of overlap or difference do we see between the Old South and Nazi Germany? If we look at the reasons why they believed that, how much overlap or difference?

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 05-12-2019 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:52 PM
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Delusions of intrinsic superiority? That probably wasn't the only reason, but I think it was a big part, for both of them.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:24 AM
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Delusions of intrinsic superiority? That probably wasn't the only reason, but I think it was a big part, for both of them.
It was certainly true for both of them. The Confederates told themselves that the United States' numerical superiority was meaningless because one southern soldier could whip five yankees.

The Confederates also deluded themselves over the power of cotton. Most of the world's cotton was grown in the southern states and they felt it was a vital commodity for Europe. So they thought all they had to do was threaten to stop the sale of cotton and the European powers would take up their cause and force the United States to negotiate.

A more realistic appraisal was the asymmetrical goals of the Confederacy and the United States, as others have noted. The United States had to conquer the Confederacy to win. The Confederacy didn't have to conquer the United States; they won by default if they weren't conquered.

With Germany, their plans for success were pretty much entirely based on a delusion of their superiority. Hitler and the Nazis simply assumed that every opponent they challenged would quickly become demoralized and would submit to Germany. They never really developed a strategy for what they would do if this didn't happen.
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:58 PM
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I think the situations are completely different. Germ,any needed to win, the US South only needed not to lose. That is, they had to last long enough for the North to get tired of fighting them. I'm not sure that was an unreasonable bet.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:09 PM
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I think the situations are completely different. Germ,any needed to win, the US South only needed not to lose. That is, they had to last long enough for the North to get tired of fighting them. I'm not sure that was an unreasonable bet.
If the South thought the way to victory was to not lose until the North got tired of fighting them, they should have waged a guerilla war. The Peninsular war which gave its name to guerilla was from 1807 to 1814, enough time for those Confederate generals to have had the opportunity to learn about it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peninsular_War

Did they think of themselves as fighting the same kind of war, strategically and PR-wise, as Washington?
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:13 PM
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Did the concept of asymmetrical warfare really even exist yet, though?
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:58 PM
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Germany had a significant advantage at the operational and tactical levels. There mission oriented doctrinal approach supplemented with effective implementation of modern weapons allowed them to produce quick strategic victories at the operational level. The defeated their early opponents more quickly than the balance of strength would have suggested. They then defeated France, the smaller countries of western Europe, and the British Expeditionary Force far despite being at a disadvantage in many strategic factors. Their offensive into Russia culminated a little short of Moscow. Seizing Moscow would have at least shifted the strategic balance of power. Russia's ability to resist when important supply and communications lines that ran through Moscow would have been reduced. Russia's only T-34 plant was still in the area during the Battle of Moscow.

Of course they did come up short of seizing Moscow. Then their ally started a war with the US which was protected from rapid ground conquest by oceans. At that point Germany's strategic weaknesses came to the fore. They couldn't reasonably expect to strategically cripple or knock any of their remaining opponents out of the war with a single ground campaign. At that point the brutal calculus of their strategic weaknesses took over. At the point where they were making decisions, though, they weren't wrong about their operational and tactical prowess. When they could land a decisive first blow they could win wars before their weaknesses mattered.

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If the South thought the way to victory was to not lose until the North got tired of fighting them, they should have waged a guerilla war.
They were constrained by protecting the plantation system and it's slaves. Choosing a guerrilla strategy would have allowed the north to dismantle the very thing that prompted secession in the first place. The didn't need to conquer the North to win. They couldn't allow the North to operate relatively freely throughout the South until an asymmetric plan sapped Northern will.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:02 PM
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If the South thought the way to victory was to not lose until the North got tired of fighting them, they should have waged a guerilla war. The Peninsular war which gave its name to guerilla was from 1807 to 1814, enough time for those Confederate generals to have had the opportunity to learn about it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peninsular_War

Did they think of themselves as fighting the same kind of war, strategically and PR-wise, as Washington?
A few problems with this. First, the ruling class had a lot of fixed assets. They could have gone into the swamps and forests but their plantations couldn't. The Yankees could burn their homes and free their slaves, which would be defeating the point.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:15 PM
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Germany had a significant advantage at the operational and tactical levels.
Since you must be quite familiar with this: Is it true that the Confederates has generally better generals?

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Of course they did come up short of seizing Moscow. Then their ally started a war with the US which was protected from rapid ground conquest by oceans. At that point Germany's strategic weaknesses came to the fore. They couldn't reasonably expect to strategically cripple or knock any of their remaining opponents out of the war with a single ground campaign. At that point the brutal calculus of their strategic weaknesses took over. At the point where they were making decisions, though, they weren't wrong about their operational and tactical prowess. When they could land a decisive first blow they could win wars before their weaknesses mattered.
Did the Nazis think they could be at peace with the UK or US? There was a lot of isolationism in the US at the time but did the Nazis expect they could do whatever they wanted in Europe and the US wouldn't do anything but supply and bankroll the allies?

How much of an analogy can we draw between Gettysburg and the battles of Moscow/Stalingrad/Kursk?


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They were constrained by protecting the plantation system and it's slaves. Choosing a guerrilla strategy would have allowed the north to dismantle the very thing that prompted secession in the first place. The didn't need to conquer the North to win. They couldn't allow the North to operate relatively freely throughout the South until an asymmetric plan sapped Northern will.
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A few problems with this. First, the ruling class had a lot of fixed assets. They could have gone into the swamps and forests but their plantations couldn't. The Yankees could burn their homes and free their slaves, which would be defeating the point.
So, they thought they could get the Union to let the South secede through conventional battles? That the North would be "isolationist", for lack of a better term, to the point of not wanting to fight a war to prevent the union being broken up by slavery?
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:08 AM
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Since you must be quite familiar with this: Is it true that the Confederates has generally better generals?
At the start of the war, yes. Fortunately for the Union, Lincoln learned to fire bad generals and promote good ones, something Davis never did.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:23 PM
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They were constrained by protecting the plantation system and it's slaves. Choosing a guerrilla strategy would have allowed the north to dismantle the very thing that prompted secession in the first place. The didn't need to conquer the North to win. They couldn't allow the North to operate relatively freely throughout the South until an asymmetric plan sapped Northern will.
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A few problems with this. First, the ruling class had a lot of fixed assets. They could have gone into the swamps and forests but their plantations couldn't. The Yankees could burn their homes and free their slaves, which would be defeating the point.
Right. What the Confederacy was created to protect required that there be a functioning state protecting it under law. If not fought conventionally they would have risked that by the time their independence was recognized, there would be nothing left of what they fought for.

And yes, there was (and is) a lot of cultural attitude that they were martially superior and more honor-bound than the Yankees. Martial spirit and "honor" ain't much against superior industrial output, though.

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Old 05-12-2019, 10:53 PM
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Right. What the Confederacy was created to protect required that there be a functioning state protecting it under law. If not fought conventionally they would have risked that by the time their independence was recognized, there would be nothing left of what they fought for.

And yes, there was (and is) a lot of cultural attitude that they were martially superior and more honor-bound than the Yankees. Martial spirit and "honor" ain't much against superior industrial output, though.
Didn't the Spartans have the same macho attitude of winning thru guts & balls rather than logistics & cleverness? It didn't seem to work out for them at Leuctra or overall.

The Japanese certainly seem to have put a lot of emphasis on martial spirit and honor in WWII. How about Jihadis, what do they think are the reasons they think they'll win, aside from divine will?
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:55 PM
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Right. What the Confederacy was created to protect required that there be a functioning state protecting it under law. If not fought conventionally they would have risked that by the time their independence was recognized, there would be nothing left of what they fought for.

And yes, there was (and is) a lot of cultural attitude that they were martially superior and more honor-bound than the Yankees. Martial spirit and "honor" ain't much against superior industrial output, though.
Which make me wonder how much they took industrial capability into account. The Civil War was the first really big war since the Napoleonic Wars (not counting Crimea which was localized.) The railroad hadn't even been invented then. Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, not the factories of Manchester after all.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:58 PM
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And yes, there was (and is) a lot of cultural attitude that they were martially superior and more honor-bound than the Yankees. Martial spirit and "honor" ain't much against superior industrial output, though.
And the "honor" of the South was shown to be a flimsy thing when the South lauded the cowardly attack by Preston Brooks on Senator Sumner

To review: Brooks was offended by Sumner's comments on slavery, but rather than challenging Sumner to a duel or spontaneously attacking out of immediate rage, Brooks waited until

a) Sumner was alone and unsuspecting, sitting behind a desk that was nailed to the floor (thus impeding escape or defense)

b) Brooks was armed with a cane

c) Brooks had two allies with him hold off anyone who might intervene.

Sumner was beaten so badly that he could not return to the Senate for several years. Brooks declined a challenge to a duel from a Northerner who would actually be armed.

Rather than disgusted by Brooks, the South universally praised him as a hero, gave him gifts and returned him to office by special election and Southern senators wore pieces of the cane Brooks used for the beating as jewelry.

Last edited by Andy L; 05-13-2019 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:15 AM
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The Peninsular war which gave its name to guerilla was from 1807 to 1814, enough time for those Confederate generals to have had the opportunity to learn about it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peninsular_War
That may have gotten the word into English, but the concept is a lot older. Viriato was already using it against the Romans.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:44 PM
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Both the Old South and Nazi Germany proved to be have overestimated their ability to win the war. What factors did they think would enable them to win? For what factual, philosophical or psychological reasons did they believe that?

If we draw a Venn Diagram of the factors they thought would give them victory, what kind of overlap or difference do we see between the Old South and Nazi Germany? If we look at the reasons why they believed that, how much overlap or difference?
War is waged in a world of imperfect knowledge. You may assume a potential adversary lacks will or motivation and be proven wrong. But you might also be right. The US lost the will to fight in Vietnam. What factors did the North Vietnamese have that led them to refuse to capitulate?
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:49 PM
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War is waged in a world of imperfect knowledge. You may assume a potential adversary lacks will or motivation and be proven wrong. But you might also be right. The US lost the will to fight in Vietnam. What factors did the North Vietnamese have that led them to refuse to capitulate?
I think it was because the North Vietnamese were fighting on their turf. And we didn't commit to the war, even from the beginning -- it wasn't a whole-country effort like WWII.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:05 PM
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War is waged in a world of imperfect knowledge. You may assume a potential adversary lacks will or motivation and be proven wrong. But you might also be right. The US lost the will to fight in Vietnam. What factors did the North Vietnamese have that led them to refuse to capitulate?
Same reasons The French and Americans insurgents refused to capitulate in the 1770s and 1780s. They, the North Vietnamese and many in the South Vietnamese population, were tired of foreign powers and/or inept kleptocrats oppressing them and saw the insurgency as a way to free themselves and improve their lives. Madame Nhu was as hated as Marie Antoinette for much the same reasons.

Does that mean that the Old South thought they would win because the North were softies who would run once you hit them a few times? At what point did they start to realize their mistake and what did they do about it?

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Old 05-13-2019, 01:45 AM
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I haven't really studied the Civil War so I can't speak to that ; but the reason German (and Japanese) leaders thought they'd get away with it is because they were fascists ; and fascists are implicitly, inherently incapable of correctly estimating the strength of their bugaboos.



It's true of every fascist group, but probably even more marked in those two cases because so much of their ideologies were racist/based on pop-genetics on top of being fascist. And that's absolutely dysfunctional and schyzo at its very core because on the one hand, you can't be a fascist (or really an extremist of any persuasion) without an enemy to rail against. In the case of the Reich, it was communists and Jews (mostly) which were, in their opinion, such a dire and existential threat to Germany that they had to be destroyed ASAP. Every extremist policy, every "national purge", every robbing of liberty, every new law, every oversight on violence by the Nazis was invented and presented as the only possible effective answer to the twin headed, all-powerful, all-controlling hydra of Judeo-bolshevism which the Nazis were the one and only rampart against.
That's column A.


But in column B you have all the Aryan bullshit and the inherent superiority of the German race and culture over everything else ; especially the deviant less-evolved parasites that were Jews and Slavs. They weren't even human ! Human-shaped rats, cockroaches, lice on the world ! So how could they have possibly resisted the strong pure might of a proud German soldier kicking the door in, newly purged of any of his past social-democrat flaws and infused with a glorification of strength and brutality ? Unmöglisch !



The implicit contradiction led them to the notion that there was a war that absolutely *needed* to be fought immediately else Germany would be destroyed ; by an enemy that was, somehow, both perpetually historically victorious but also implicitly and inherently weak, lame, inferior etc etc... And if you think that's weird and dumb, hi, these are the Nazis, perhaps you've never met ? .
Turns out doublethink is not conducive to clear thought.


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Did the Nazis think they could be at peace with the UK or US? There was a lot of isolationism in the US at the time but did the Nazis expect they could do whatever they wanted in Europe and the US wouldn't do anything but supply and bankroll the allies?
They didn't even think the US would do that to begin with.

Hitler was extremely surprised (and much angered) that the US didn't support him ; he'd got it in his silly head that the two countries were natural allies. And to be fair, eugenics and antisemitism were not exactly rare in the US back then. Naturally, when it turned out that Roosevelt wouldn't play ball, he turned around and accused him (and America) of having been Jewish/Freemason puppets all along. Because that's the only thing that could possibly explain such an illogical turn of events. Perfectly clear. Not a single doubt. The Nazi theory of history and the world was implicitly correct, therefore it's reality itself that must have been perverted and Wrong.



Similarly, he was adamantly convinced that the British, being a) democrats *ptooie* and b) not quite untermenschen necessarily would rapidly cave to his aggression, understand why he did what he needed to do, appease him and let him concentrate on destroying Stalin because after all, it was in their interest too, ja ? They, too, were threatened by the hydra of Judeo-bolshevism, that much was perfectly obvious ! And Hitler didn't even want to exterminate them ! So to keep fighting like they did was, in his own words, "contrary to all logic and necessity".
So yes. He really believed he could do whatever he wanted and the UK & US would let him, help him even. He really was that blinkered.
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:33 AM
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One of the things that really stuck with me from high school history is how Hitler set up his organization so that lots of people had overlapping roles and responsibilities and powers. He did this to ensure that they'd be too busy squabbling among themselves to reach for his throne. This may be an effective way of ensuring that your underlings are too ineffectual to challenge your authority... But... It's an effective way of ensuring that your underlings are ineffectual, and that therefore your entire organization is ineffectual. This led to some... issues. Like the fact that nobody was able to send in Panzer reinforcements on D-Day because Hitler was asleep.

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On D-Day, the Germans had some formidable Panzer divisions available to provide defense of the coast, despite the fact that the Luftwaffe was nonexistent and the Allies had complete air and naval superiority. They might not have pushed the obscene number of soldiers in the Allied fighting force back into the English Channel, but they could have at least stymied some of the effort until more reinforcements arrived.

There were a couple problems with that tank defense, though. Since a number of German commanders were off hanging out in and around France during D-Day, there was some chaos as to what exactly should be going on and who exactly was in charge. But more importantly, none of the more than 1,000 tanks could be put into battle without Hitler’s express order to do so. Unlike the Allies, where Eisenhower allowed his commanders to make calls in the field, Hitler was obsessed with controlling every aspect of his war machine – he just couldn’t be bothered with it before noon.
People have this image of the Nazis as terrifying tactial geniuses. In some cases, maybe. But overall? Hitler was an idiot, and his organization was incredibly awful at actually achieving its goals. And that's without getting into the whole "the enemy is weak because we're aryans" bullshit.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:50 AM
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Both the Old South and Nazi Germany proved to be have overestimated their ability to win the war. What factors did they think would enable them to win? For what factual, philosophical or psychological reasons did they believe that?

If we draw a Venn Diagram of the factors they thought would give them victory, what kind of overlap or difference do we see between the Old South and Nazi Germany? If we look at the reasons why they believed that, how much overlap or difference?
At the risk of pointing out the obvious, countries do not start wars just because they think they could win. The United States could conquer Canada in two weeks, but I do not expect an invasion because it is not in the interests of the United States to do that. However, were they to try, Canada would fight back, even though that would be a hopeless cause.

The South started the Civil War because its ruling class perceived the war to be in their interests. To continue being part of the USA would be equivalent to CERTAIN defeat; they believed, almost certainly correctly, that continued partnership in the Union would result in the end of slavery and the Southern economic and social order. A war offered the chance to avoid that, and anyone who says Southern defeat was inevitable is fooling themselves. It absolutely was not inevitable, and the matter was still up in the air in the first half of 1863. Remember, they were less than a century removed from the War of Independence, when a fledgling government defeated the greatest military power on earth.

The Nazis started World War II because they perceived it to be in their interest. Nazis believe that war is the permanent condition of all humanity, and in September 1939 it looked like the right time to start a war. For awhile they were right, too; bear in mind the overwhelming odds of 1944 were not what they looked like in 1939.

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How come Davis never learned to fire bad generals and promote good ones?
First of all, it's not easy to know who's a good general and who isn't until it's too late. Absolutely no one in 1861 would have thought Grant was a better general than McLellan. I'm not sure Grant's wife would have thought that. It took a lot of painful experience for that to be proven.

Secondly, generalships in the Civil War were often a matter of politics. The Union and Confederate armies were NOT like the United States armed services today. Today's US military is a wholly professional force that relies purely on meritocracy to assign duties. The armies of 1861 were highly political things, in keeping with the principles of Jacksonian democracy. Men often elected their own officers, and the command of regiments was just as often handed out by state governors as repayment for political owesies. Even general's stars were often political awards meant to curry favor in states were favor needed to be curried.

Third, the Confederacy just didn't have a lot of senior officers, which is what you'd expect when your entire army is built in a span of a year. In many cases bad generals had been fine colonels; Hood is a perfect example, as was Burnside. Again, whaddya gonna do? You don't know a guy is Peter Principled until he is.

Lastly, in fairness, Davis was an arrogant ass who never admitted he was wrong. No one liked him (except, in one of history's greatest ironies, his slaves, whom he treated with a degree of respect he rarely afforded white people. Yeah, it was weird.) He didn't take counsel easily, was not good at dealing with internal conflict, and far overestimated his own knowledge.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:34 PM
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A war offered the chance to avoid that, and anyone who says Southern defeat was inevitable is fooling themselves. It absolutely was not inevitable, and the matter was still up in the air in the first half of 1863. Remember, they were less than a century removed from the War of Independence, when a fledgling government defeated the greatest military power on earth.


Well, not your whole post, most of it was good, but I have a nit about that part.

That is because I do remember that that fledgling government was lucky to seek independence after powerful nations were involved on what some historians call a World War. France was seeking revenge for what had taken place on the Seven Years' War, and it did cost them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France...olutionary_War
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The Revolution was perceived as the incarnation of the Enlightenment Spirit against the "English tyranny." Benjamin Franklin traveled to France in December 1776 in order to rally the nation's support, and he was welcomed with great enthusiasm. At first, French support was covert: French agents sent the Patriots military aid (predominantly gunpowder) through a company called Rodrigue Hortalez et Compagnie, beginning in the spring of 1776. Estimates place the percentage of French supplied arms to the Americans in the Saratoga campaign at up to 90%.[3] By 1777, over five million livres of aid had been sent to the American rebels.
There is that, and related to the Civil War, the Confederacy never had those levels of support from other world powers. Far from it, France did not recognize the Confederacy and remained neutral; Britain officially did the same, but in practice, the Union was the one that got most of the trade then.

https://www.warhistoryonline.com/ins...the-union.html
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Great Britain remained neutral and was able to work out a deal for continuous trade with both sides. However, trade with the Confederacy fell by 90 percent after the beginning of the war. Only a little cotton was able to get to England, and a few munitions made it to Confederacy ports.
While not quite inevitable, defeat was coming when resources do not appear. And like southern historian Shelby Foote said on the classic PBS documentary The Civil War:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8Iw-j217yk
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"I think that the North fought that war with one hand behind its back. At the same time the war was going on, the Homestead act was being passed, all these marvelous inventions were going on.

In the spring of 64 the Harvard-Yale boat races were going on and not a man on either crew ever volunteered for the army or the Navy, they didn't need them.

I think if there had been more Southern successes, and a lot more, the North simply would have brought that other arm out from behind its back. I don't think the South ever had a chance to win that War. "

Last edited by GIGObuster; 05-13-2019 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:45 AM
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For a time the South was doing well. It would make sense for them to believe they would win. Why wouldn’t they? The North had to win a war of conquest and occupation. They did not expect such a thing as total war on the citizenry. It wasn’t the modus operandi of the US military quite yet. Today it would be foolish to underestimate the sheer depths of immorality the US military is capable of.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:48 AM
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I'm not a big fan of psychohistory but I think it's relevant here. I feel that Confederate government figures let their experience of the slavery system warp their thinking.

Southern plantation owners, who controlled the political system in the southern states, had grown up a system of masters and slaves. You were either in complete charge of everything or you were nothing. In an apt metaphor, it was a society of black and white absolutes.

So the Confederates often felt that they needed to assert control of events, even when doing so was not in their best overall interest. Davis ordered the shelling of Fort Sumter and the declaration of war against the United States even though it would have suited the Confederates better to have dragged out negotiations. The Confederate government declared an immediate embargo on cotton sales in order to force European to accept their demands rather than negotiate with the implied threat of an embargo in the background. Lee and other generals kept trying to lead invasions and fight battles even though this favored the United States with its numeric superiority; the Confederacy should have adopted a passive defensive strategy.

In all of these cases, you see Confederate leaders trying to deny the reality that they were in the weaker position. They were trying to show that they were in control of events and other people had to do what the Confederates were telling them to do.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:18 AM
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AIUI, while Nazi Germany didn't have to start a war at all, at a certain point, once the war got to certain junctures, it became less about what Germany wanted to do and what it had to do. They had to invade Russia, because otherwise eventually a much-stronger Russia would probably wage war on them down the road, and so it was now or never, even if it was in Germany's interest to focus on consolidating its existing hold in France and the other occupied territories. (Sure, there was Lebensraum and the other reasons for invading Russia, but they couldn't just let Stalin and Russia be.)

That and also, Germany's smashing success in the earlier phases of the war did indeed give the Nazis some logical confidence that they could win this war. Hitler's statement that "we just need to kick in the door and the (Russian) structure will come crashing down" was taking that confidence way too far, but Germany was indeed the most formidable military in Europe for some time being, with victory after victory to back up its psyche.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:04 PM
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Hitler's statement that "we just need to kick in the door and the (Russian) structure will come crashing down" was taking that confidence way too far, but Germany was indeed the most formidable military in Europe for some time being, with victory after victory to back up its psyche.
Oh no, that's just rhetorical bombast. The insane "taking confidence too far" is found in further things, like invading Russia and not bringing any winter gear whatsoever. Not because they forgot, or the factories had been damaged and couldn't produce enough, or because it cost too much and had to be taken out of the budget, or anything like that - things that you and me could understand (although we'd go from them to "then maybe don't start a war with Russia until you've fixed the thing ?")
But that's not stupid enough a reason.


The Germans deliberately didn't bring any winter gear because the Führer had promised the war would be over before Christmas - and fine, that's a bit daft to say (especially when you've been through WW1...) but just a harmless stump speech promise... except they were Nazis and had to turn it sinister. So the Führer's promise became a suicide pact. They didn't bring winter gear, because bringing winter gear would have demonstrated that they did not 100% believe what the Führer had said, thus that they allowed doubt to infiltrate the pure certainty of the Aryan thought process and lacked trust in their German comrade in arms, and bad things would happen to them. They didn't bring winter gear because they could point that out to the Führer and earn brownie points. They didn't bring winter gear because Hitler was legit convinced that as Aryans, his soldiers could thrive in sub-zero temperatures in nothing more than lederhosen. He fucking said that :
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Hitler was proud of his own hardiness in the cold, boasting on August 12, 1942, how "having to change into long trousers was always a misery to me. Even with a temperature of 10 below zero, I used to go about in lederhosen. The feeling of freedom they give you is wonderful. Abandoning my shorts was one of the biggest sacrifices I had to make… Anything up to five degrees below zero I don't even notice. Quite a number of young people of today already wear shorts all the year round; it is just a question of habit. In the future, I shall have an SS Highland Brigade in lederhosen."
So Hans, just shut up and march on, because the immensity that is Russia will be conquered before winter - and remember, they kicked off the invasion in June. Sure, 6 months is plenty enough time to conquer a continent, what ?

But wouldn't they have needed winter gear anyway, for the subsequent occupation and systematic murder of Russians ? Shut up. Don't doubt the Führer. He's a genius, our generals are the envy of untermenschen everywhere and you'll get us both shot you keep running your mouth like that.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:14 PM
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Southern plantation owners, who controlled the political system in the southern states, had grown up a system of masters and slaves. You were either in complete charge of everything or you were nothing. In an apt metaphor, it was a society of black and white absolutes.

So the Confederates often felt that they needed to assert control of events, even when doing so was not in their best overall interest. Davis ordered the shelling of Fort Sumter and the declaration of war against the United States even though it would have suited the Confederates better to have dragged out negotiations. The Confederate government declared an immediate embargo on cotton sales in order to force European to accept their demands rather than negotiate with the implied threat of an embargo in the background. Lee and other generals kept trying to lead invasions and fight battles even though this favored the United States with its numeric superiority; the Confederacy should have adopted a passive defensive strategy.

In all of these cases, you see Confederate leaders trying to deny the reality that they were in the weaker position. They were trying to show that they were in control of events and other people had to do what the Confederates were telling them to do.
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The Germans deliberately didn't bring any winter gear because the Führer had promised the war would be over before Christmas - and fine, that's a bit daft to say (especially when you've been through WW1...) but just a harmless stump speech promise... except they were Nazis and had to turn it sinister. So the Führer's promise became a suicide pact. They didn't bring winter gear, because bringing winter gear would have demonstrated that they did not 100% believe what the Führer had said, thus that they allowed doubt to infiltrate the pure certainty of the Aryan thought process and lacked trust in their German comrade in arms, and bad things would happen to them. They didn't bring winter gear because they could point that out to the Führer and earn brownie points. They didn't bring winter gear because Hitler was legit convinced that as Aryans, his soldiers could thrive in sub-zero temperatures in nothing more than lederhosen. He fucking said that :
Both seemed to have issues with admitting doubt, even only to oneself.

There seems to be some common ground between Bertrand Russel's quote " The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.", the Dunning-Kruger effect and honor culture.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:36 AM
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Both were prepared and ready to fight a different war than the ones they ended up fighting.

Before the Civil War people believed in the big battle theory. At Waterloo Napoleon lost one battle and that caused France to lose the war. The planners of the day thought the Civil War was going to be like that. One huge battle and whoever wins that battle wins the war.

In a case like that, the Union's vast manpower and industrial advantages don't matter. The south had the most professional soldiers and their people were mostly rural farmers who knew how to use guns. No one was prepared for the kind of carnage both sides were willing to put up with. The Mexican war had cost the defeated side 15,000 soldiers killed and they had surrendered.

The Union suffered horrible defeats early in the war but never relented and the south was forced to fight a war of attrition which they could not hope to win.

Likewise the Nazis thought that they were going to be fighting a war like they did against France. France had one of the best militaries in the world and some of the best weapons. However it did not matter because tactically the Germans were so superior. They were able to use combined arms and the element of surprise to defeat a large force with low casualties. Once the french army was defeated the government capitulated quickly.

Against the USSR they were planning to do the same thing. They would attack with a surprise combined assault, capture or destroy the Soviet army and then the government would capitulate quickly. It worked very well at first and they captured or destroyed a larger amount of troops then they thought the russians had. However after handing the USSR some of the largest defeats in the history of warfare, the USSR kept fighting.

Once the initial attack was blunted they ended up fighting a war of attrition versus a foe that had a huge manpower advantage and once the US got into the war an ally with a huge industrial advantage. This type of war they had no chance of winning.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:08 PM
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In a case like that, the Union's vast manpower and industrial advantages don't matter. The south had the most professional soldiers and their people were mostly rural farmers who knew how to use guns.
This is a common statement but is generally not true. For one, most people in the North were farmers, too; it was much more urbanized than the South but was still mostly an agrarian economy. This is still the 19th century. For another, gun use wasn't as commonplace as the movies would have you believe. Gun ownership was fairly common, but not universal, and people weren't shooting them a lot; that was an expensive hobby. Most people had pretty limited experience with firearms and of course using them in war is a rather different beast.

Guns became much more common and popular AFTER the war than they had been before, in part because they were becoming cheaper and easier to use.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:31 AM
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Both were prepared and ready to fight a different war than the ones they ended up fighting.

Before the Civil War people believed in the big battle theory. At Waterloo Napoleon lost one battle and that caused France to lose the war. The planners of the day thought the Civil War was going to be like that. One huge battle and whoever wins that battle wins the war.

In a case like that, the Union's vast manpower and industrial advantages don't matter. The south had the most professional soldiers and their people were mostly rural farmers who knew how to use guns. No one was prepared for the kind of carnage both sides were willing to put up with. The Mexican war had cost the defeated side 15,000 soldiers killed and they had surrendered.

The Union suffered horrible defeats early in the war but never relented and the south was forced to fight a war of attrition which they could not hope to win.

Likewise the Nazis thought that they were going to be fighting a war like they did against France. France had one of the best militaries in the world and some of the best weapons. However it did not matter because tactically the Germans were so superior. They were able to use combined arms and the element of surprise to defeat a large force with low casualties. Once the french army was defeated the government capitulated quickly.

Against the USSR they were planning to do the same thing. They would attack with a surprise combined assault, capture or destroy the Soviet army and then the government would capitulate quickly. It worked very well at first and they captured or destroyed a larger amount of troops then they thought the russians had. However after handing the USSR some of the largest defeats in the history of warfare, the USSR kept fighting.

Once the initial attack was blunted they ended up fighting a war of attrition versus a foe that had a huge manpower advantage and once the US got into the war an ally with a huge industrial advantage. This type of war they had no chance of winning.
This is the correct answer. Basically the Germans didn't set out in 1939 saying "Yep, we're going to take on the Poles, the Russians, the French, the British, AND the Americans, because X, Y and Z."

It was very much more a "We'll whip Poland in a month", and then once the British and French were in the war, the thinking was "We'll whip France quickly as well, and move on to Britain". And then a year later, "So far, our ground forces haven't failed to defeat our opponents in record time, so we'll whip the Soviets by Xmas"

Then starting around December 1941, things got ugly for them- the Russians were NOT beaten by Xmas, and for some bizarre reason, pre-emptively declared war on the US after Pearl Harbor. At this point, they'd achieved domination of continental Europe, but still had the Free French and British warring against them, and managed to invade a huge and populous nation (Soviet Union), and antagonize the world's pre-eminent industrial power (the US), who happened to be unusually close as nations go, with the British. They had the tiger by the tail at that point- there wasn't any sueing for peace; the Soviets were going to grind them down, regardless of what the US/British did.

In the case of the Confederates, I think it was even more shambolic in terms of planning/strategy. Once the states had seceded and the Federal government had declared the secessions invalid, and that they were in a state of rebellion, war was pretty much the only choice. But it's not like they got together in Richmond and said "IF we secede, how are we going to prosecute the inevitable war?" I think it was more of a thing that moved faster than anyone was really prepared for, considering the speed/state of communications in those days. I mean, Lincoln was elected in November 1860, and by the end of February, the Confederacy was born. The war started in April, and by the end of July, the first battle had been fought.

Combine that with military thinking that was very outdated- most senior officers still clung to the idea that the war was effectively going to be fought Napoleonic-style, and that big decisive battles were what was going to force the issue, not the long, grinding war of attrition that actually happened. We see this in the South especially- between their general unpreparedness to fight a modern war, and the sort of thinking that led to Pickett's Charge.

My personal belief is that even had Lee won at Gettysburg, that would have only delayed things, but that's not how they were thinking at the time- the thought that the Union could replace the soldiers and formations lost and keep on fighting and win through sheer mass was a concept that was really being developed at the time. Prior to that, armies were organizations that were formed up, and used fairly quickly, because they tend to disintegrate when in the field- disease, accidents, etc... all take their toll. So as a result, wars tended to be fought with what they had, and not in the context of ongoing production, recruiting, etc...

But in the Civil War, that changed. The US put a huge army in the field AND supported it for years far from home through the use of railways. That's fundamentally different than what had been done until that time.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:31 PM
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I don't think every German higher-up was incapable of doubt, I think many had their reservations in private - but the system ensured that those who did voice doubt, any doubt, for any reason were quickly removed and replaced by yes-men and fanatics. Furthermore, the Nazi regime was super corrupt and running a lot on nepotism, so that there was a constant incentive for one-upmanship and taking things to further and further extremes in order to be granted more than the next guy - more promotions, more attention from the brass, more resources to do what you really wanted to do, or just being left alone to do your job without constant hassle (or bothersome micro-managing by the Führer who was convinced he knew everything better than everybody). And being (ostensibly) extra super certain of things was one way to rise up.

So people did that, and denounced anyone who wasn't extra super certain to try and bring them down. And it extended all the way down to everyday, random people who'd rat out any perceived deviance of their neighbours and acquaintances before they would be denounced themselves. As a quote in a recent nazi-shooting videogame I'm playing goes (by somebody living in Nazi-occupied Poland), "Everyone is a Nazi now, or pretending to be a Nazi and I can't tell the difference any more".
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:27 AM
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I don't think every German higher-up was incapable of doubt, I think many had their reservations in private - but the system ensured that those who did voice doubt, any doubt, for any reason were quickly removed and replaced by yes-men and fanatics. Furthermore, the Nazi regime was super corrupt and running a lot on nepotism, so that there was a constant incentive for one-upmanship and taking things to further and further extremes in order to be granted more than the next guy - more promotions, more attention from the brass, more resources to do what you really wanted to do, or just being left alone to do your job without constant hassle (or bothersome micro-managing by the Führer who was convinced he knew everything better than everybody). And being (ostensibly) extra super certain of things was one way to rise up.

So people did that, and denounced anyone who wasn't extra super certain to try and bring them down. And it extended all the way down to everyday, random people who'd rat out any perceived deviance of their neighbours and acquaintances before they would be denounced themselves. As a quote in a recent nazi-shooting videogame I'm playing goes (by somebody living in Nazi-occupied Poland), "Everyone is a Nazi now, or pretending to be a Nazi and I can't tell the difference any more".
Also many higher ups like Rommel wanted to sign a seperate peace agreement with the western allies and concentrate on Russia. They had sent a deal that if they would remove Hitler they would agree to many concessions such as pulling out of occupied nations. The allies wouldnt agree though so the planned coup failed.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:35 AM
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My understanding of contemporary Civil War accounts is that Southern men were under the misimpression that they were especially tough fighters, that the North couldn't raise the resources that they did, that they wouldn't bring them South, and that other cotton-dependent countries would be on their knees begging to ally with the South. Basically what you'd expect from a bunch of hillbillies with delusions of grandeur.

My understanding of Nazi Germany is that if they had delayed invading the USSR, then they could have conquered Europe and "won the war" that way. They could have consolidated, regrouped, developed atom bombs, and possibly defeated the USSR as well. The Nazis had a very viable war machine, just bad leaders and rotten moral goals that kneecapped the military effort.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:54 AM
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Their offensive into Russia culminated a little short of Moscow. Seizing Moscow would have at least shifted the strategic balance of power. Russia's ability to resist when important supply and communications lines that ran through Moscow would have been reduced. Russia's only T-34 plant was still in the area during the Battle of Moscow.
Do you think they would have been more likely than not to knock out the USSR if they'd started the operation some months earlier? Or in early spring of 1942? They went for Leningrad, Moscow and Stalingrad. I remember John Boyd talking about how strategic breakthroughs are best done in 1 thrust instead of pincer/tentacle movements. Which major strategic objective do you think they should have focused on at first, Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad or something else?



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It's true of every fascist group, but probably even more marked in those two cases because so much of their ideologies were racist/based on pop-genetics on top of being fascist. And that's absolutely dysfunctional and schyzo at its very core because on the one hand, you can't be a fascist (or really an extremist of any persuasion) without an enemy to rail against. In the case of the Reich, it was communists and Jews (mostly) which were, in their opinion, such a dire and existential threat to Germany that they had to be destroyed ASAP. Every extremist policy, every "national purge", every robbing of liberty, every new law, every oversight on violence by the Nazis was invented and presented as the only possible effective answer to the twin headed, all-powerful, all-controlling hydra of Judeo-bolshevism which the Nazis were the one and only rampart against.
Since France has had its Trump/Brexit for a generation, who are those enemies to FN types?

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Old 05-14-2019, 08:56 AM
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Since France has had its Trump/Brexit for a generation, who are those enemies to FN types?

Algerians (and Jews too, albeit to a lesser extent I think ? LePen father was callously dismissive of the Holocaust and never shied from antisemitic jokes, but he didn't really go further than that AFAIR. LePen daughter has tried to steer away from that and the honest to god skinheads her father employed as security personnel). The FN was founded as a revanchist move over the Algerian war, and LePen father himself was a veteran of that war. Its modern incarnation has moved on to "Muslims in general" in the post 9/11 and Syrian refugees zeitgeist.


Blacks are also a bugaboo, naturally, but less so I think. There is/was something more virulent, more malicious, more visceral about French anti-Arab racism than its anti-Black racism in my experience (although that isn't at all to say that Blacks have it easy around here...). I would have intuitively said it was because of the Algerian war, which was so horrible and cruel and plainly wrong that it is simply not talked about anymore ; but then again when I think about it some more VietNam/Indochina was pretty bloody as well and there isn't much anti-Vietnamese racism. So I 'unno.


But TL;DR, the modern FN goes hogwild on the Great Replacement. Think of every horrible shit racist Americans have said about Mexicans/Latinos ; and assume the FN is more or less a copy/paste (with the exact same contradictions as well - like the omnipresent doublethink that them brownies are lazy and shiftless to a man but also they take all the jobs and work longer hours for less pay)
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:41 PM
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Also many higher ups like Rommel wanted to sign a seperate peace agreement with the western allies and concentrate on Russia. They had sent a deal that if they would remove Hitler they would agree to many concessions such as pulling out of occupied nations. The allies wouldnt agree though so the planned coup failed.
When did this happen?
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:06 PM
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When did this happen?
Rudolph Hess, Hitler's Deputy Fuhrer, flew to Scotland in May 1941 to try to negotiate a peace with Britain. That was a month BEFORE the Nazi's broke their treaty and invaded the USSR.
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:21 PM
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Rudolph Hess, Hitler's Deputy Fuhrer, flew to Scotland in May 1941 to try to negotiate a peace with Britain. That was a month BEFORE the Nazi's broke their treaty and invaded the USSR.
I'm not aware that Hess was the representative of any larger group of Germans. He claimed he was acting on Hitler's behalf, not as part of a coup aimed at overthrowing Hitler. The likeliest reality is that Hess was representing nobody other than himself.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:09 AM
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When did this happen?
I dont have an exact cite but as I understand it, sometime in 43 or 44 some German resistance groups (which included high members of the German military like Rommel) had sent out some messages to the western allies looking for support if they replaced Hitler.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:07 AM
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I dont have an exact cite but as I understand it, sometime in 43 or 44 some German resistance groups (which included high members of the German military like Rommel) had sent out some messages to the western allies looking for support if they replaced Hitler.

Yeah, the Valkyrie guys had the same idea (and might even be the people you're talking about). The thing is, they weren't good guys even though they planned on offing Hitler. They were still Nazis, who still wanted lebensraum and to kill lots and lots of Slavs. The peace terms they were seeking with the Allies were along the lines of a white peace allowing them to keep much if not all of the land they'd seized, oh and betraying Stalin of course, all in exchange for... something ? I'm sure ? I mean it's not like they were doing much damage to Britain at this point. Even the submarine warfare was quickly going pear-shaped thanks to advances in huff duff and sonar.
So, yeah, even if they had succeeded in killing Hitler Churchill ; De Gaulle & al. would probably have told them to go fuck themselves with a rusty saw.
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:40 PM
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Also many higher ups like Rommel wanted to sign a seperate peace agreement with the western allies and concentrate on Russia. They had sent a deal that if they would remove Hitler they would agree to many concessions such as pulling out of occupied nations. The allies wouldnt agree though so the planned coup failed.
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I dont have an exact cite but as I understand it, sometime in 43 or 44 some German resistance groups (which included high members of the German military like Rommel) had sent out some messages to the western allies looking for support if they replaced Hitler.
I'm seeing a significant amount of distance between these two posts.

First off, Rommel was probably never part of any conspiracy. The evidence is that he may have been aware that some conspiracies existed. But he never joined any of them.

Second, there's a big difference between an anti-Hitler group sending a message asking for some support (which they did) and offering terms for a post-Hitler peace treaty (which they did not). The anti-Hitler groups were not in contact with the allied governments. They were talking to Allied military intelligence (the equivalent of some CIA agents). These allied agents did send some assistance ("You want to kill Hitler? Cool, here's some explosives.") but they were not in a position to make any political agreements.

Third, most of the anti-Hitler conspiracy members were not motivated by a belated awareness that Hitler was evil and the war was wrong. They were worried that Hitler was going to lose the war and everything Germany had gained. They wanted to stop the war so they could keep everything they currently had before the allies took it all away from them.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:21 PM
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How close to a total war was the Civil War? Large scale, sustained conscription was rather new, taking the example from the wars that followed the French revolution. Instead of geographic depth, it gave the North a "demographic depth" to keep going after losses because the North could recruit equip and train soldiers father than the South could take them out.


Since it came down to grinding down the opponent, what shortages most hampered the Old South or the Nazis?
For the South, it ended up being 'total war', as Sherman and Sheridan took actions in 1864 to wear down the logistics and transportation systems of the South. By the end of the conflict the South was pretty much devastated (one can argue it never did recover fully). The North, on the other hand, except for a few minor invasions that didn't last long, was nearly untouched, it's industries and trade booming, and while several hundred thousand soldiers died, nearly 800,000 immigrants poured into the North during the 1861-1865 time period (source was one of Bruce Catton's books). LIke another poster mentioned, the North never came close to fighting a 'total war'; the South was finally forced to just to have a bare chance of survival.

For the South shortages of an industrial base for the first true industrial war and a lack of logistics (railroads as mentioned above); for Germany, oil was the most critical element they lacked (horses were used by the Wehrmacht throughout the war to move supplies).


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The South couldn't have won the war. They could have made the North lose, but that's not the same thing. If the North had lost, then within a generation, North America would have had no polity larger than a city, between Canada and Mexico.
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Could you flesh this out some for those of us who are a little denser than others?
I'll defer to Chronos giving his POV, but he may mean that there was a considerable Anti-War/Anti-Eastern Establishment in the Mid-West (Indiana/Ohio/Illinois) that wanted the war ended and talked about breaking away and making their own peace with the South (see Copperheads). And of course in the South, with secession an established fact, those wanting to go it alone (hello, Texas) could break away.

I do think he overstates it, though, and I also would like to hear his views


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What’s the closest the Confederates got to taking DC?
Probably three times; (1) Very early in the war, before Northern troops got into DC (the rail lines were cut by Pro-Confederates in Baltimore and troops had to march to the city--but that wasn't likely since Virginia had just succeeded and no Confederate troops were at hand. (2) After the First Battle of Bull Run, which ended in a rout of the Union forces, some Confederate officers (Stonewall Jackson, for one), wanted to march on Washington; the officers in command decided not too (their forces were nearly as scrambled in victory as the North's were in defeat) and besides, Jackson at that time was a not-well-renowed Brigadier who had been a military teacher not long before. (3) In July 1864 Jubal Early brought a Confederate force to the outskirts of Washington D.C., but the defenses had been strengthened considerably and two veteran divisions arrived to fend him off.

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  #43  
Old 05-15-2019, 02:00 PM
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The rail lines in Baltimore weren't cut. They just didn't connect. The B&O took you south and west, the Pennsylvania took you north. Everyone had to get off the train in Baltimore and walk or take a carriage took the next station. I don't think the line was continuous until the 1930s.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:16 PM
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For the South, it ended up being 'total war', as Sherman and Sheridan took actions in 1864 to wear down the logistics and transportation systems of the South. By the end of the conflict the South was pretty much devastated (one can argue it never did recover fully). The North, on the other hand, except for a few minor invasions that didn't last long, was nearly untouched, it's industries and trade booming, and while several hundred thousand soldiers died, nearly 800,000 immigrants poured into the North during the 1861-1865 time period (source was one of Bruce Catton's books). LIke another poster mentioned, the North never came close to fighting a 'total war'; the South was finally forced to just to have a bare chance of survival.

For the South shortages of an industrial base for the first true industrial war and a lack of logistics (railroads as mentioned above); for Germany, oil was the most critical element they lacked (horses were used by the Wehrmacht throughout the war to move supplies)

Everyone sees that now, and it's been discussed ad nauseum by generations of historians.

But at the start of the civil war did anyone say that? Was anyone in the South (or elsewhere) like "hold everyone we'll never win this thing, the North has too much industrial capacity!"
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:13 PM
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For the South, it ended up being 'total war', as Sherman and Sheridan took actions in 1864 to wear down the logistics and transportation systems of the South. By the end of the conflict the South was pretty much devastated (one can argue it never did recover fully). The North, on the other hand, except for a few minor invasions that didn't last long, was nearly untouched, it's industries and trade booming, and while several hundred thousand soldiers died, nearly 800,000 immigrants poured into the North during the 1861-1865 time period (source was one of Bruce Catton's books). LIke another poster mentioned, the North never came close to fighting a 'total war'; the South was finally forced to just to have a bare chance of survival.

For the South shortages of an industrial base for the first true industrial war and a lack of logistics (railroads as mentioned above); for Germany, oil was the most critical element they lacked (horses were used by the Wehrmacht throughout the war to move supplies)

Everyone sees that now, and it's been discussed ad nauseum by generations of historians.

But at the start of the civil war did anyone say that? Was anyone in the South (or elsewhere) like "hold everyone we'll never win this thing, the North has too much industrial capacity!"
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by The Stainless Steel Rat View Post
for Germany, oil was the most critical element they lacked (horses were used by the Wehrmacht throughout the war to move supplies).
The funny thing (at least we can laugh about it now) is that Germany had all the oil it needed; it just didn't know it.

Libya had been taken over by Germany's ally Italy in 1911. And there were vast oil reserves in Libya. But they weren't discovered until the fifties. If that oil had been discovered twenty years earlier, Germany and Italy would have had all the oil they needed.

On a separate note, the allies were aware of the German army's dependence on horses. At one point late in the war, they wrote up a plan to begin bombing horse breeding farms in Prussia and Poland as part of the campaign to cripple German transportation. Eisenhower supposedly vetoed the plan because he didn't like the idea of deliberately targeting horses.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:56 AM
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How close to a total war was the Civil War? Large scale, sustained conscription was rather new, taking the example from the wars that followed the French revolution. Instead of geographic depth, it gave the North a "demographic depth" to keep going after losses because the North could recruit equip and train soldiers father than the South could take them out.


Since it came down to grinding down the opponent, what shortages most hampered the Old South or the Nazis?
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:44 AM
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Both the Old South and Nazi Germany proved to be have overestimated their ability to win the war. What factors did they think would enable them to win? For what factual, philosophical or psychological reasons did they believe that?

If we draw a Venn Diagram of the factors they thought would give them victory, what kind of overlap or difference do we see between the Old South and Nazi Germany? If we look at the reasons why they believed that, how much overlap or difference?
I am of the opinion that Nazi Germany would have won the war if Rundstedt pushed at Dunkirk. Without those troops I believe the Battle of Britain would be lost, Spain would join the Axis and invade Gibraltar, the Allied positions in the Mediterranean would wither and die, then Britain negotiates peace and Russia suddenly finds herself surrounded by enemies.

The Nazis mentality was that Britain and the US were natural allies and would team up against the Bolshevik menace.

The Confederacy never had a chance, not with the Union blockade. Davis's only hope at actual independence was through foreign support, and the whole slavery thing already put the Confederacy at ideological odds with Britain and France. The blockade killed any hope of an economic alliance. Meanwhile Mexico was too busy defaulting on loans from its own civil war to offer any assistance.

~Max
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:54 AM
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On the civil War, yeah usually wars back then were over in maybe a year or so or less with just a few major battles. The later Franco-Prussian war in 1874 for example, only lasted about 9 months.

So the south thought that a few early quick victories (which they had at Bull Run) and the union would give up.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:42 PM
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On the civil War, yeah usually wars back then were over in maybe a year or so or less with just a few major battles. The later Franco-Prussian war in 1874 for example, only lasted about 9 months.

So the south thought that a few early quick victories (which they had at Bull Run) and the union would give up.
You're kidding us, right?

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