Friday 11 September 2020

Something I posted on Facebook four years ago

I always wondered if the Cold War was necessary. The arms race was not. And I now tend to think, with hindsight, that UK and France should not have gone to war with Germany in 1939. That's in the past. But now is there any point in the UK being in NATO?


  1. Interesting.

    Was the Cold War necessary?

    Yes. It was the final phase of the Great War that started in August 1914 to resolve control of Central and Eastern Europe by either Russia or Germany.
    Although like a stone thrown into a pond, the effects of that cataclysm are rippling through the world even today e.g. Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, the Levant and the Middle East.

    Should UK and France have gone to war in 1939?

    The UK should not have gone to war in either 1914 or 1939.
    The results of WWI were calamitous for the country in both human and economic measures.
    WWII compounded the losses suffered in WWI.
    Military action in alliance with France has never served the UK well – Crimean War, both World Wars and more recently, Libya.

    Is UK membership of NATO any longer necessary?

    I think not.
    The Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union.
    The danger to Europe (the US and the rest of the western world) now comes from China and from internal adversaries intent on overthrowing long-held social, cultural, economic and political values.

    1. The danger to Europe (the US and the rest of the western world) now comes from China and from internal adversaries intent on overthrowing long-held social, cultural, economic and political values.

      The danger to Europe today is a different kind of danger. There is no military threat whatsoever. The danger is cultural, and it's a much greater danger than Britain faced in 1914 or 1939 or in the Cold War. It's a danger that threatens to destroy Europe completely.

      And the source of that danger is the United States. The United States has been infecting the world with its cultural and ideological poison for decades. Europe's only hope of survival is to quarantine itself from U.S. influence.

      Russia and China are potential allies, not enemies. The U.S. is the enemy. Americans are often very nice people but the United States as a political entity is a menace, and American culture is poisonous and deadly.

    2. David, we agree except I am not sure the Cold War was inevitable after Stalin died. Communist Russia was not seeking to expand into Western Europe and Khrushchev offered the West a united Democratic demilitarised Germany in 1955.

    3. Paul,
      Who in western Europe of the generations that experienced the world wars would have accepted the reunification of Germany in 1955? Or even later:

      "Two months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Margaret Thatcher told President Gorbachev that neither Britain nor Western Europe wanted the reunification of Germany and made clear that she wanted the Soviet leader to do what he could to stop it.",to%20do%20what%20he%20could%20to%20stop%20it

      In addition, you miss my original point. Both world wars and the Cold War were fought for control of Central and Eastern Europe of which Germany forms only a part. And in 1955, most of central and eastern Europe was under Russian control.

    4. Doom,
      Your proposed alliance with China reminds me of the fable the Horse, Hunter and Stag:

      I agree that the UK and the West in general, should seek better cooperation and partnerships with Russia.

    5. I suggest looking up the Mitrokhin files and the wonderful "The Sword and the Shield" as well as its sequel, "The World was Going Our Way". Both were written by a well respected Englishman who had access to the Mitrokhin files. The Soviet Union had very expansive aspirations, it appears, both in the West and the Third World.

  2. 'UK and France should not have gone to war with Germany in 1939'

    ...but in March 1936.

    1. I certainly agree that they should have marched into the Rhineland then. Bavaria should have been separated from Germany in 1919. In fact Germany should have been returned to its loose pre 1866 confederation. Unification was a disaster for Germany and Italy and would be for Europe were it to happen (it won't).

    2. Toma,
      The UK was ill-prepared for a European war in 1936.
      In addition, such a policy would have been extremely unpopular:

      "the British people - were desperate to avoid the slaughter of another world war. Britain was overstretched policing its empire and could not afford major rearmament. Its main ally, France, was seriously weakened and, unlike in the First World War, Commonwealth support was not a certainty. Many Britons also sympathised with Germany, which they felt had been treated unfairly following its defeat in 1918."

    3. 'The UK was ill-prepared'

      Germany was unprepared. In March 1936 Hitler was bluffing.

      'Firmness at the time of the reoccupation of the Rhineland  would probably have yielded even better results than firmness at the time of Munich.'

      George F. Kennan

    4. I agree with David. Firmness by France, Czechoslovakia's ally, might have worked in 1938. England could not have done anything, since France did not want to.

    5. England and France going to war for Eastern Europe made sense when they were allied with Czarist Russia, not when Bolshevik Russia was a hostile neutral or allied to Germany.

    6. 'going to war for Eastern Europe'?

      They had to draw a line somewhere.

      Treaty between Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain and Italy

      Also known as the Locarno Pact, the treaty guaranteed Germany’s western frontier, which the bordering states of France, Germany, and Belgium pledged to treat as inviolable. As signatories of the agreement, Britain and Italy committed themselves to help to repel any armed aggression across the frontier. 

      In 1936, Adolf Hitler denounced the Locarno Pact and sent German troops back into the Rhineland. 

    7. @David

      Hitler was bluffing.
      Germany was not prepared for war in March 1936.

      I have thus set the following tasks:

       1.    The German armed forces must be operational within four years.

       2.    The German economy must be fit for war within four years.

       Adolf Hitler

       August 1936, Secret Memorandum

    8. Hitler was only interested in ruling Central and Eastern Europe but was sure that France would not let him do so and for this reason would probably (no-one can know since he did not) have attacked France at some point, had France not gone to war with Germany first. He certainly was happy as he said for England to rule the world so long as Germany ruled Europe.

    9. The unpardonable mistake was not making Bavaria an independent country in 1919. I still hope it becomes a free country, but that's another story.

    10. Toma,
      It is immaterial that Hitler may have been bluffing in 1936.
      There was no popular support or political will in UK to take action against Germany.
      In fact there was sympathy towards Germany - see again my referenced quote above.
      But in any case, what action could UK have taken either to deter the occupation or to force Germany to evacuate the Rhineland?

  3. Peter Hitchens - Why does NATO still Exist? What does it stand for, exactly?

    1. Thank you, David. Interesting. I largely agree with Peter Hitchens, though he has a more fsvourable view of Vladimir Putin than I do.
      Have you noticed that most of the very few journalists who talk sense are getting pretty old now?

    2. "most of the very few journalists who talk sense are getting pretty old now?"

      Who apart from Hitchens did you have in mind Paul?