Author Topic: The Kaiser and Britain  (Read 23661 times)

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Offline Adagietto

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2008, 03:43:43 AM »
Churchill may have been a wily politician, but it is another thing again to accuse him of conspring to cause the death of British and American people for political purposes. It as likely that he 'staged' the sinking of Lusitania as that Prince Philip arranged the assassination of Diana. Before throwing around accusations of that kind, one should on reflect on whether one really believes that such people have the moral standards of a mafia chief or fascist dictator!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 04:26:32 AM by Svetabel »

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2008, 08:05:11 AM »
I am not "throwing around" accusations.  Only posting what I have read and I am sorry not to have sourced it.

But in the account that I read/heard, Churchill was accused of withdrawing the ships that would have protected the Lusitania.  Not so much as planning to have the ship be sunk, but making it more likely.

Also, and again I should source, the route that the Lusitania took was through waters known to be patrolled by the German u boats.  She should have taken another route or been better protected.

And remember, too, that no one ever expected that the ship would sink so fast.  As I recall, it went down very fast therefore not giving the passengers enough time to get to the life boats and abandon ship.  That is why it was accused of carrying ammunition which the passengers DID NOT know about.  The ship simply blew up with a force that no one expected.

Offline Vecchiolarry

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2008, 09:23:43 AM »
Hi,

The Kaiser was very lucky that Queen Wilhelmina and the Dutch government 'took him in'......
I've always wondered if they told him - "Just shut up and don't cause any problems or we'll ship you off to Indonesia".......

As for The Czar and his family, they could have been evacuated to Malta.  After all, that's where The Dowager Empress and other Romanovs went first in 1919.
And, no one had any problems with shipping the Habsburgs off to Madeira - out of the way.....

Larry

Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2008, 10:29:30 AM »
Churchill may have been a wily politician, but it is another thing again to accuse him of conspring to cause the death of British and American people for political purposes. It as likely that he 'staged' the sinking of Lusitania as that Prince Philip arranged the assassination of Diana. Before throwing around accusations of that kind, one should on reflect on whether one really believes that such people have the moral standards of a mafia chief or fascist dictator! There is a good discussion of the wilder theories about the Lusitania incident here:
http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=49

Causing the death of innocent people for political or in time of war happens all the time. Adagietto, I do love your high opinion of the human condition, but money and power tarnish that shiny image on a regular basis all through history. It has been highly discussed by historians and politicians that the Lusitania was a set up; and we may never know the real truth. But, clearly the likelihood that it was a set up is a very real possibiltily; and I happen to believe it. Not at all different than the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and the clear evidence that Roosevelt had ample warning/knowledge but failed to act in a timely and effective manner to deal with the looming attack...in order to have a strong premise for war.

I'm sorry, and hopefully not too jaded, but the moral standards of most people at the very top (business, politicos, mafia chief, fascist dictators and presidents and prime ministers, sports heros, etc etc ) frequently gets watered down to a common denomintator...win at any cost.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2008, 10:34:33 AM by HerrKaiser »
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Offline Ilias_of_John

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2008, 01:50:06 AM »
Adagietto,
 I am afraid I have to remind you of the FORCED repatriation of some fifty thousand Russian White officers to the USSR after WW2.
They all went to their deaths because Stalin saw them as a threat, and demanded the Allies return them, by force if necessary.
I am led to believe that Churchill knew precisely what would have happened to them, as he knew what the Russians had done to the entire Polish Officer corps.
From memory, the only General officer to attempt to stop the repatriations was Patton, Montgomery,Eisenhower, Bradley and all others just let it happen.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betrayal_of_the_Cossacks
A pity really, wouldnt you agree?
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Offline Ilias_of_John

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2008, 02:54:31 AM »
In terms of Churchill being the master political manipulator,
I will also draw your attention to the changing of allegiances with the Yugoslav communists,as opposed to the Royalist Chetniks and Serbs, the backing of the Greek Communists, as opposed to the Royalist Goverment forces and then changing back to the Royalists in 1945.
Mind you, I am an Australian who remembers the Gallipoli debacle that he orchestrated, and my parents were born in Greece, and my father and father in law both remeber the civil war that ensued.Greek against Greek,British paratroopers fighting in the streets of Athens etc etc etc.
So you could say that I am slightly biased.
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Offline Adagietto

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2008, 04:12:52 AM »
I nver denied that Churchill was a political manipulator; the fact is that any war leader would have had to get his hands dirty fighting a conflict like WW2, especially when someone like Stalin was one of his main allies. The Cossack episode leaves a highly unpleasant taste; I know a good deal about that because a member of my family got caught up in it. Your account of Churchill's attitude to Greek affairs is misleading, he did not change his allegiance from one side to another, but he was obliged to take account of realities on the ground. By 1944 the Communists had formed a state within a state in the mountainous areas of C. and N. Greece, but although Churchill had little confidence in the Greek King, he was consistently determined to prevent Greece from falling into the hands of the Communists, and gained an agreement from Stalin in 1944 that Greece should fall into the British sphere of influence rather than the Russian. And Stalin did in fact refrain from meddling there as he might  have done. The civil war in Greece was just that, a civil war between communists and anti-communists, it was not provoked by the British; the British naturally favoured the anti-communists, and in Athens (though only there) British forces become directly involved in fighting against ELAS; personally I cannot think it undesirable that Churchill should have devoted so much effort to preventing Greece from falling under Communist control. In Jugoslavia it was Tito rather than the royalists who increasingly provided the most effective resistance; Churchill attempted to prevent Jugoslavia falling wholly into the Communist camp by proposing that should be a region of shared Russian/ allied influence, but this came to nothing as everyone knows.

The whole Gallipoli episode has become so shrouded in myth that I simply cannot be bothered to discuss it here. One has to make some effort the initial nature of Churchill's proposals, and how the plans subsequently evolved in the face of varying influences and inputs (since Churchill did not of couyrse have complete control over the process). Simply to demmonize Churchill and the miltary leaders does not aid the process of understanding.


Offline Ilias_of_John

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2008, 05:44:55 AM »
All battles are covered in myths  I'm afraid!!
Anyway, in war all leaders take account of realities on the ground, you're right!  It's just that Churchill was so good at cutting people and sides loose, whenever it suited him.  The fact that Stalin never directly meddled in Greece was because he had been bought off by Churchill and co with carte blanche control of Eastern Europe, which got us all into the mess of the cold war!
As for Gallipoli, Kitchener sent an incompetent (Hamilton) to command, with no plan, no set force, and no bloody idea. Turkey was neutral, although in the German sphere,  was invaded,  forced to defend herself,  firmly pushing her closer to the Germans,  creating another sphere of operations, all for what?
To give the Tsar the city of Constantinople and access to the Mediteranean.

If Churchill had actually thought things through, the entire debacle would not have happened, which ponders the question would the Ottoman Empire have survived a tad longer?
A tit bit of history now.
The Greeks offered a Greek Army to the Allies  for the Dardanelles campaign, they wanted to March on Constantinople from Thrace(overland).
The Allies, presumably with the fulll knoweledge of Winston, rejected the offer, knowing that the Greeks wanted Constantinople for themselves. Hence, the city was not captured and the campaign was a farce.
I'm sorry about your relative and the Cossack thing, if you want tell us about it!
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Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2008, 09:44:10 AM »
Thanks for the commentaries that I think they lead nicely back to the point about the disingenuousness of Churchill's offer of asylum to William if it were to be classified as purely friendly and humanitarian.

Politics in peace time is filled with lies, misrepresentations, character assassination of opponents etc. In war, multiply that times 100 or more. And then give the "winners" (if there really are any) carte blanche to dictate historical record, and you end up with situations that provide researchers and academia decades/centuries of facts to unwind.

Ilias is right that the policies of Churchill left a long term mess that fertilized the evolution of the middle east and eastern European crises of today.

As much as I feel remorse and anger over what he pushed for and authorized in terms of the genocide in Germany during the terror bombing and ethnic cleansing that took place from early 1945 onward, it is interesting to see how those horrible policies and actions (which today would be protested heavily and the perpetrators tried as war criminals) along with similar ones in Japan led to two nations (Germany and Japan) that are and have been arguably the most exemplory democracies, human rights advocates, and non aggressive nations for the past 63 years.
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Offline Adagietto

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2008, 01:03:38 PM »
It is true that Turkish neutrality might perhaps have been secured if the allies had played their hand more cleverly, but that opportunity had been lost long before the Gallipoli campaign; Russia had declared war on Turkey at the beginning of November 1914, and France and Britain had folllowed suit soon afterwards. Churchill (and Rossevelt) did not give Eastern Europe away to Stalin, he took what he could get; Churchill (not always with the best of support from Roosevelt) did his best to play a very weak hand, but such assurances as could be obtained about self-determination etc. in the 'liberated' countries were entirely worthless in the face of Stalin's will to engineer the installation of communist governments. To blame Churchill for the origin of the iron curtain and cold war is simply perverse. The mass bombing of civilian targets was a practice that was accepted and followed by all sides during the Second World War. As for this nonsense about the winners dictating the historical record, that rather overlooks the fact historians from the defeated nations are capable of thinking and writing for themselves (and in the case of West Germany and Italy, in an atmosphere of freedom for decades too); also, the widest spectrum of opinions has been represented among the historians of the victor nations, ranging from the extreme left to apologists for fascism.

Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2008, 02:02:18 PM »
It is true that Turkish neutrality might perhaps have been secured if the allies had played their hand more cleverly, but that opportunity had been lost long before the Gallipoli campaign; Russia had declared war on Turkey at the beginning of November 1914, and France and Britain had folllowed suit soon afterwards. Churchill (and Rossevelt) did not give Eastern Europe away to Stalin, he took what he could get; Churchill (not always with the best of support from Roosevelt) did his best to play a very weak hand, but such assurances as could be obtained about self-determination etc. in the 'liberated' countries were entirely worthless in the face of Stalin's will to engineer the installation of communist governments. To blame Churchill for the origin of the iron curtain and cold war is simply perverse. The mass bombing of civilian targets was a practice that was accepted and followed by all sides during the Second World War. As for this nonsense about the winners dictating the historical record, that rather overlooks the fact historians from the defeated nations are capable of thinking and writing for themselves (and in the case of West Germany and Italy, in an atmosphere of freedom for decades too); also, the widest spectrum of opinions has been represented among the historians of the victor nations, ranging from the extreme left to apologists for fascism.

To deny Churchill has culpability for the post WWII eastern european disaster is perverse, imo. It was Churhill himself who endeared the phrase 'iron curtain' and made no bones about the fact that the agreements at Yalta in which he acquiesced to Stalin led to the half century debacle. It was an easy, clean means to an end to hostilities and avoided the inevitable difficulties for having been in bed with the devil. Admittedly, it is hard to deterine which devil to side with at times, but all western nations paid a price for the faux peace for 50 years. The effects that linger even after the 1990 communist overthroughs will persist for years more.

As for claiming there is no victor bias in the histories that are featured in academia and most political forums, huh? This is simply absent of reality. It takes centuries in some cases to adequately review, adjust, and effectively infuse more balanced and accurate documentations following heavly conflicts and even minor political or social issues.
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Offline Ilias_of_John

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2008, 06:54:14 AM »
Any one know anything about Prescott Bush and the Nazi economy?
I just read an article which I have posted below, which makes some interesting observations. and it ties in with the converastions we are having about leaders and manipulators.
Please read but dont yell at me if you disagree, I am just the messenger and I hate getting shot.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar
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Offline HerrKaiser

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2008, 12:44:57 PM »
don't worry, no one is shooting anyone other than via electronic claws that periodically appear through your monitor! :)

Interesting article. Tons of American business people were involved in the German economy during the 20s and 30s and even into the war. President Kennedy's father, Joe, was one for sure. The linkages between business and polictics hasa always made for strange bed fellows, but if the Anti Defamation League is comfortable with the manner in which P Bush conducted his business, then I am as well. The Simon Wiesenthal Center and anti Defamation League do not let suspected wrong-doers off the hook. Remember how Arnold Scwarzennegger was labeled a "nazi" by his opponents due to the fact his father was a party member? The Wiesenthal group came to his defense.
HerrKaiser

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2008, 06:45:10 PM »
The article is from 2004. Given the poisonous state of politics and President Bush's extreme unpopularity, if there was anything substantial to this story I'm sure it would've been gone over with a fine-tooth comb. As was noted, the Anti-Defamation League (who is not one to let people off the hook lightly) don't see anything here to get worked up over.

I'd really like to keep this on-topic (the Kaiser and Britain) though--US politics can always whip up pages of responses.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2008, 06:51:47 PM by grandduchessella »
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Alixz

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Re: The Kaiser and Britain
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2008, 10:15:54 PM »
I have always said the "history is written by the victors".  I know that is not a popular opinion with some on this forum, but I do agree that it sometimes takes years to clear away the fog and get to the real story.

However, if Oscar Wilde can make the claim and I can use it in my signature, then I guess I am not the first or only one to think that way.

It is too bad that Kaiser Wilhelm II was handicapped at birth and then raised in a society that valued, above all, physical prowess and strength of body.  Being the first grandchild of Queen Victoria, England should have been a "second home" to him, but the Junkers and the Bismarks played upon his inferiority complex and turned him away from the three people who could have made history so much different.

Those three being Queen Victoria, and Wilhelm's parents Vicky and Fritz.

I know that we have said that Churchill's offer of asylum to the Kaiser during WWII was weak at best.  Why would he even believe that Wilhelm would need asylum?  Since Wilhelm's son was a member of Nazi party and Wilhelm himself kept pretty much out of politics after his abdication, it feels as if he would be a minor player in the struggles of Germany in 1939.

I remember, too, that is was Nevil Chamberlain who came away from a meeting with Hitler having given away so much on the assumption that Hitler would then stop his invasions.

Chamberlain left a big mess for Churchill to clean up.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2008, 10:19:11 PM by Alixz »