US and Britain supported armies established by Hitler?

I happened to be reading an article on Noam Chomsky in the March 31 issue of The New Yorker, and in it, the author–Larissa MacFarquhar–describes an in-class discussion Chomsky has with a student regarding the weakness (which Chomsky calls “support”) of the western Allies vis-a-vis Hitler. MacFarquhar quotes Chomsky as saying, “By Stalingrad in 1942, the Russians had turned back the German offensive, and it was pretty clear that Germany wasn’t going to win the war. Well, we’ve learned from the Russian archives that Britain and the U.S. then began supporting armies established by Hitler to hold back the Russian advance…”
What, specifically, would Chomsky be referring to here–support for the Finns, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary?? I have read that Stalin told his army to stop at the Vistula so the nazis coould then annihilate the Polish Underground, which received no Allied help at that time. But as for Allied support for pro-Hitler armies–what do the newly opened Russian archives tell us?

Actually, there was some British aid to the Warsaw Uprising. RAF crews from Foggia in Italy flew multiple missions to drop supplies while Stalin refused to cross the river and intervene. There were also similar Free Polish flights conducted with British approval.

As for Chomsky’s claim, it also struck me as bizarre when I read the article and I’ve no idea what he might be referring to.

The only thing he could be talking about is Finland, but we didn’t support them, in fact Britain declared war on Finland. Kind of shitty thing to do to a country that was defending itself against Josef Stalin, but we certainly didn’t support them.

While Britain did declare war on Finland, they never really prosecuted it. I believe one bombing mission was flown, but most of the pilots dropped their bombs in the harbor then flew home.

I tend to think it’s more of Chomsky’s bullshit, Cleops. It is true that the Americans and British dealt with some fairly shady characters in Vichy France, especially, Adm. Darland, but Eisenhower, in his book “Crusade for Europe,” and Winston Churchill, in his 6-volume memoir of the war, give some pretty good reasons why dealing with Darland was a vital military expedient, namely it helped the Allies gain a strong foothold in Northern Africa in late 1942, and Darland gave convincing assurances that the French fleet at Toulon would not pass under Nazi control.

I think both countries dealt pretty leniently with Finland, but, IMO, that country joined the Axis only to gain revenge for the Soviet Union’s unjust war against it. I’ve never heard or read that the Finns committed any of the atrocities that characterized the rest of the Axis. I, for one, can understand why a thirst for revenge would lead the Finnish government into such a mistake.
Chomsky’s regard for historical accuracy is demonstrated by the statement: “By Stalingrad in 1942, the Russians had turned back the German offensive.” Stalingrad marked a major turning point in the war as the Russians decisively halted the German drive on the Caucasian oilfields, but I would contend that the German offensive was not definitely repelled until the summer of 1943 when the USSR whipped the Germans in the battle of Kursk.

“Well, we’ve learned from the Russian archives that Britain and the U.S. then began supporting armies established by Hitler…”

I would question whether the Russian archives – whichever archives they may be – would necessary be the best source for US and British activities during the war.

After all, the right Russian archives may have evidence of the nuclear first strike that Reagan was planning in the early 1980s.

Well, it’s good to know that I was not the only one to be flummoxed by the Chompster’s statement. He does tend to come out with statements that appear to be only to provoke, or to catch one off guard.
Thanks for info, bonzer, on RAF aid to Underground.
Fortunately, the p.r. problems associated with the “Darlan deal” were solved by his Christmas eve assassination; but didn’t he have the French fleet scuttled in Toulon Harbor, Peyote Coyote? And I would agree, too, that 1942 was a little early to say that the Red Army had definitively cut off Barbarossa’s beard.
Thanks, Ravenman, for the link.

I don’t know that he gave the definite order, cleops, but I do know that Churchill, Eisenhower, et. al. were hoping he would give the order that would bring the fleet over the Allied side. (He may have given the order, but had it defied by the fleet’s commander, who was a crusty, stubborn old bastard, I understand). The fleet was scuttled, regardless; apparently just in time, as the Nazies were coming to take it over.

In his book “Crusade in Europe,” Eisehower quotes Churchill as saying something like: “As much as I hate that bastard Darland, I believe him when he says he won’t let the Toulon fleet fall into Nazi hands.”

I just thought of an example when the US and Great Britain did deal with Fascists: Italy in 1943. Both governments entered into secret negotiations with Italian Fascists to persuade them to switch support from the Nazis to the Allies and to lend a hand in liberating Italy. According to Eisenhower, people in America and the UK criticized the deal-making when it became public on the grounds that the Allies were dealing with some of Mussolini’s former henchman. Myself, I find this to be justifiable on the grounds of hitting the enemy from an unexpected angle and trying to end the war sooner.

It was a sad thing, but the USA and the UK had to deal with some unsavory governments during the Big One, not least the USSR.

Chomsky may be guilty of overstatement on this one, though i would agree theat the US and Britian dealt with quite a few fascists and former fascists after the end of the war in their eagerness to halt Soviet expansion, perhaps this is what he exagerated.

Chomsky is pretty good about respoding to direct questions, he may be a bit busy at the moment, but I’m pretty sure you can still contact him through

Although the Germans didnt surrender at Stalingrad til Feb 1943, things were looking pretty desperate for the 6th Army from the end of 1942 - the Russians having encircled them in November. As the German advance wasnt making much progress anywhere else on the Eastern Front and with the Allied success in North Africa, I would say late 1942 could be seen as the turning point.

As for the rest of what Chomsky says, I cant see why the allies would expend so much effort and lives, trying to transport thousands of tons of arms and supplies via the North Cape convoys, only to support the Germans against the Russians. Don’t make sense.

actually, I meant