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Thread: "The Phony War"

  1. #1
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    "The Phony War"

    When I read the naive views of the left here and elsewhere regarding terrorism and Iraq I am reminded of the lull preceding WWII. Here is some history of that time. They say that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Evidently the left has learned nothing. But then they never do. But I'll be damned if I am going to ignore it.
    ===================================

    “The Phony War” October 1939 - April 1940

    After the initial terror of the Polish campaign, everyone expected heavy combat, like the summer of 1914. The British Expeditionary Force landed in France, British children were sent to Canada or the countryside; At various times, neutral Belgium and Holland braced for invasion.

    The heavy combat in France did not immediately materialize. Instead, the warring nations settled into a lull in fighting. The British press dubbed it the “sitzkrieg” — the expected terror of Total War had not yet emerged. Overlooked was the hot war in the Atlantic. British merchantmen were fighting for their lives to keep Britain supplied with resources.

    What was happening was futile attempts by both sides to negotiate an end to the war that would not embarrass either side. Germany reached out to the Allies through Holland. Since the British held that Germany should recall her forces from Poland, there was not much leeway for either side to get out with a favorable position to both sides.

    Underscoring the U-boat menace was the swift and silent entry into Scapa Flow of U-47, commanded by Günther Prien on October 14, 1939. Prien slipped past sunken ships and chains that were used as antisubmarine nets, and sank the HMS Royal Oak with heavy loss of life. Hitler personally decorated Prien.

    The only other notable confrontation took place in December 1939 off the coast of Uruguay. The German Pocket Battleship Admiral Graf Spee, a heavy cruiser armed with 15" guns, was chased into Montevideo by three British cruisers. Much to Hitler’s dismay, the captain landed his crew, scuttled the ship, and killed himself. The Allies, desperate for victories, made a bigger deal of the Battle of the River Plate than its actual military significance. It did end a surface threat to the merchant lifeline to the United States and the Dominions. The U-boats were taking a fearful toll that was not generally reported.

    In the meantime, many opportunities were lost. The French did not fortify their border with Belgium, although a French officer had proved it was vulnerable during war games in 1938. The troops in the Maginot Line did not move — they did not conduct maneuvers at all, precluding the possibility that they might be needed somewhere else, like to invade Germany. The French Army had gone to ground, a bad mentality to have in fluid, mobile warfare.

    The Phony War did lull many French and British citizens into a false sense of complacency, thinking the Germans would not prove to have the mettle to invade the vaunted Maginot Line.

    Also, the weather in the Winter of 1939 precluded blitzkrieg. In April 1940, the Allies and Germany came to blows over Norway. On May 10, 1940, the “Phony War” came to a swift and terrible end with the invasion of France and the low countries. The Germans went around the Maginot Line, counting on its garrison to remain in place. The Phony War was over; Total War had arrived.

    http://www.worldwar2database.com/html/phonywar.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Missouri Mule
    When I read the naive views of the left here and elsewhere regarding terrorism and Iraq I am reminded of the lull preceding WWII. Here is some history of that time. They say that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Evidently the left has learned nothing. But then they never do. But I'll be damned if I am going to ignore it.
    ===================================
    The phoney way (1939-40) was the prelude to the real thing (WW II). Are you suggesting that we are in an analogous position right now, and the Iraq affair is the precursor to something much worse.............but what ?

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    The initial phase of the phony war was the invasion of Poland followed by Germany holding off for a period time.


    What is the similarity to todays situation?

    I think we all know it, a country was recently invaded, threats of attacks have been made towards other countries.
    Admittedly, the concept of the Straussian text is one susceptible to intellectual mischief in the form of wild claims about the esoteric meaning of texts, not to mention rather off-putting for anyone who doesn’t like know-it-all elites.
    Orthodox Judaism, not to mention other religions: there is a small number of men who know the detailed truth; the masses are told what they need to know and no more

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    Is Mr Mule suggesting that US is about to launch a series of attacks in an attempt for world domination?
    Knowledge is power. Hide it well.

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    That what it looks like to me. Iraq was just a prelude a Phony War if you will.

    He also tells us to rise up against it or face a repeat of Nazi Germany.
    Admittedly, the concept of the Straussian text is one susceptible to intellectual mischief in the form of wild claims about the esoteric meaning of texts, not to mention rather off-putting for anyone who doesn’t like know-it-all elites.
    Orthodox Judaism, not to mention other religions: there is a small number of men who know the detailed truth; the masses are told what they need to know and no more

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    I'm sure that while apparently sitting idle, there was plenty of reconnoitering being done by the Germans, to ascertain both French mobility as well as Belgian troop availability and positioning.

    You'd think that since they didn't attack for the entire winter of 1939-40, they might have thought twice about going into Russia during the winter of 41-42. (But then again Hitler thought that the Russian campaign would be all but over by then....yet another reason Hitler caused Nazi Germany to lose the war)

    In any case, I also would be interested to hear what MM's take on the current situation is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lord tammerlain
    What is the similarity to todays situation?
    From what i understand from Mules post he feels a war is about the start between the Islamists and the US army which means that Osama successfully coaxed the US into sparking a worldwide Islamic rebellion and that Bushs foreign policy has been a total failure.

    In other words MM has created a big whopping contradiction for himself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Desaix
    In other words MM has created a big whopping contradiction for himself.
    Doesn't he normally do that?
    Some people love their country because of what it is, because of the principles it is built on, because of its prosperity and freedom. Then others love their country because it is their country, and will destroy all that is actually good about it to silence those who disagree. Which do you think you are? - Symbiote

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    I have a feeling this thread went the exact opposite of how MM envisioned it. Maybe he should have read his article a little closer. He has a problem with that.
    If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. —Samuel Adams

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duo_Maxwell
    Doesn't he normally do that?
    Sure he does but this particular thread is incredible even by MM's standards.He even started a the 'War on Terror is going well' thread last week.

    Anyway its going to be interesting to see his reply. If he bothers to reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Ryan
    The phoney way (1939-40) was the prelude to the real thing (WW II). Are you suggesting that we are in an analogous position right now, and the Iraq affair is the precursor to something much worse.............but what ?
    I have no crystal ball on my desk but any number of intelligence experts have flatly stated it is not a question of "if" but a question of "when" the terrorists will succeed in getting a nuclear weapon and using it. You tell me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie
    Is Mr Mule suggesting that US is about to launch a series of attacks in an attempt for world domination?
    Absolutely, and I am suggesting we first attack Sweden. That's my plan.

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    Hehe... No doubt to steal our women.
    Knowledge is power. Hide it well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuato
    I'm sure that while apparently sitting idle, there was plenty of reconnoitering being done by the Germans, to ascertain both French mobility as well as Belgian troop availability and positioning.

    You'd think that since they didn't attack for the entire winter of 1939-40, they might have thought twice about going into Russia during the winter of 41-42. (But then again Hitler thought that the Russian campaign would be all but over by then....yet another reason Hitler caused Nazi Germany to lose the war)

    In any case, I also would be interested to hear what MM's take on the current situation is.
    My take on the situation is essentially this. Bin Laden expected that we would do one of two things. 1) We would do as we did before and fire a few missiles. 2) We would have a massive retaliation that would set off a worldwide conflict between Islam and the West. Either way he viewed it as a no-lose situation.

    What he didn't plan was that Bush would be unlike the previous 25 years of American presidents who left the battlefield with their legs between their legs. Bush could have retaliated with overwhelming force, even up to and including nuclear weapons. Many, many people wanted that to happen; the "turning the entire Middle East into a radioactive parking lot" scenario. Instead Bush and his advisors put their heads together and came up with a comprehensive plan that is now unfolding. He said it would take decades to accomplish. He said it would be an asymetrical war. We would be fighting on several fronts. We would be "draining the swamps"; we would pit terrorist against terrorist and we would cut off their funding. We've done all of these things and are doing them as I type this.

    I'm a great believer in the old adage that the proof is in the pudding. I was thinking earlier this afternoon about with all of the technology that we have; our satellites, our listening devicies, our intelligence services and other intelligence services that no one seems to know where bin Laden is. And the only logical thing I can come up with is that he is so far hidden in the caves and crevices of Pakistan that we can't see or hear him. Now that's fine if one wants to live the life of a hermit, but I can't see that this is what bin Laden had in mind on 9/11.

    Advantage Bush.
    Last edited by Missouri Mule; 05-12-2005 at 10:21 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuato
    I'm sure that while apparently sitting idle, there was plenty of reconnoitering being done by the Germans, to ascertain both French mobility as well as Belgian troop availability and positioning.
    They were also reviewing what went wrong. The Poles but up a helluva lot more fight than the Nazis counted on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Missouri Mule
    Advantage Bush.
    Spot on. The analysis in your original post accurately describes the mushy response of our looney left, too.

    And I agree that it's nice to have adults in charge of the White House for a change.

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