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Richard Overy’s 1939: Countdown to War

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Richard Overy
1939: Countdown to War
New York: Viking, 2010

For all the rhetoric of honour, the reality of war in 1939 was not to save Poland from a cruel occupation but to save Britain and France from the dangers of a disintegrating world.

So ends 1939: Countdown to War, by historian, Richard Overy. The concluding sentence provides a revealing insight into Overy’s book. He has delivered a history that is far from a rehash of the established Allied historical narrative on the origins and outcomes of World War II. In the final chapter, Overy summarizes the fatal blow to this narrative. As Overy argues, most historians now agree that Adolf Hitler was not intent on territorial gains to “turn on the West” and to “dominate the world” (Overy 124): 

Few historians now accept that Hitler had any plan or blueprint for world conquest, in which Poland was a stepping stone to some distant German world empire. Indeed, recent research has suggested that there were almost no plans for what to do with a conquered Poland and that the vision of a new German empire in central and eastern Europe had to be improvised almost from scratch.

US popular opinion, goaded by neoconservative rhetoric and Allied court historians, still has it that Poland was a step toward a final goal of world domination. In reality, it was a stepping stone in a limited Eurasian policy:

Hitler wanted the war with Poland to flesh out the central European empire and open the way for the eventual confrontation with Stalin’s Soviet Union.

What Hitler sought was a German land empire extending through Eastern Europe and into the refuse of a defunct USSR. Nowhere in this vision was there space for “world domination,” apart from wartime rhetoric.

This limited Eastern European and Eurasian vision was transformed into a World War. How did this come about, especially in the harried, final days of August 1939, when emotions were exacerbated and diplomatic strains were at their peak? After Hitler had declared Protectorates in Bohemia and Moravia, Britain shifted from Chamberlain’s “appeasement” policy toward one of gradual confrontation. Pressure mounted on Chamberlain to confront Germany, which came to a head in March 1939.

British newspapers began to reflect a changing mood in British public opinion. Jews, working both in British media and through diplomatic leverage, funneled and fueled this pro-war sentiment. Winston Churchill, at the time only a member of Parliament, raised his voice even higher in favor of military confrontation. The perception that Hitler “had to be stopped” was pervasive and uncertainty proliferated in spite of the transparency of Hitler’s actual, underlying long-term foreign policy goals.

In the context to misinformation about Hitler’s real goals, official unwillingness to correct it, media flare-ups over German actions, signals from America, pressure from the British and world Jewish communities, and pro-war sentiment in Parliament, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain gave Poland an unsolicited war guarantee on 31 March, 1939. It held that if the “territorial integrity” and “independence” of Poland was threatened, Britain would come to the aid of Poland.

The guarantee, also given by France, was signed as a bilateral agreement, but in practical terms, it was a unilateral agreement, and it had not even been requested. Poland, sandwiched between the Soviet Union and the German Reich, was now given the power to determine whether a war would be started that might involve not only Germany and Poland, but also Britain, France, and the USSR. But most perilously, Poland now had the power to determine the future of Europe.

1939: Countdown to War takes us through the final week before the German occupation of Poland on 1 September and the Anglo-French declaration of war that followed two days after. Overy does a masterful job of describing the turmoil and agony on the part of Britain and its government, of wanting to avoid spawning a successor to the “Great War” and the inevitable misery that it would produce. It animated British political thinking and policy all through the final days of August 1939.

The historical context of the war guarantee to Poland is vital for grasping the broader claims of Overy, and for relating his views to revisionist claims.

The British war guarantee was given at a time when the British Empire was ill-prepared for a major conflict. The British government was painfully aware of its actual inability to save Poland. As German forces were fast-burrowing into Poland, Britain dropped millions of leaflets over Germany, imploring it to withdraw. Frenchmen, facing off against their German enemy, refused to “fire the first shot.” Until Hitler invaded France, the war earned the rightful nickname: The Twilight War.

In the final analysis, while Overy is right to claim that the war guarantee was a desperate attempt to maintain the rule of law in a crumbling, fragile world, Hitler had made his long-term foreign policy goals completely clear. These did not envision destabilizing the West, or the global positions of Britain, France, the United States, and the West in general. Hitler’s goals, relative to those of the Kaiser before him, were nonthreatening to the West and remarkably modest in scale and impact.

First, from Hitler’s writings in Mein Kampf, he had made it clear that he sought living space in a defunct USSR while solidifying an alliance with Britain and Italy. Second, several diplomatic overtures and discussions in the 1930s further reinforced the primacy of this basic vision. If any doubt had remained, Ribbentrop’s discussion with Churchill in 1937 should have dispelled them: Hitler had no quarrel with the British Empire or the West, and envisioned only a limited conflict with the USSR.

Hitler gave concrete expression to this basic vision by avoiding the retaking of lands lost by Germany in the West, prior to Britain’s declaration of war. Hitler did not try to retake Alsace-Lorraine, which had been given to France. Hitler also rejected any notion of regaining Eupen and Malmedy, which had been handed over to Belgium. And Hitler did not seek to regain Northern Schleswig from Denmark. Only after Britain and France declared war did Hitler retake any of these territories.

Overy’s claim that Britain and France acted from fear of permanent instability and a collapse of rule of law lacks credibility. Any politician that had a basic grasp of Hitler’s stated foreign policy goals would not have been surprised, for example, by his march into Prague. Every action that Hitler took in Europe from 1933 to 1939, including establishing Protectorates in non-German lands, was consistent with a long-term vision that threatened the USSR, but not Western and global stability.

Overy’s summary of and response to Patrick J. Buchanan’s arguments in Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War and spread out over several articles, books, and interviews is at best insufficient and at worst completely wanting. The manner in which he summarizes Buchanan’s argument is important. He starts with this:

The fight against Hitler can be seen to have been, as the American politician Patrick Buchanan recently described it, an ‘unnecessary war’. According to Buchanan, the war cost the British their empire and created the conditions of fifty years of Cold War and Communist domination of Eastern Europe.

Before detailing the particular angle of Buchanan’s argument that Overy addresses, namely the war guarantee given to Poland by the British government, it is first important to emphasize how hollow Overy’s summary of Buchanan’s views of the consequences of the war is. Buchanan, very early on in his book, openly laments that

All about us we can see clearly now that the West is passing away. In a single century, all the great houses of continental Europe fell. All the empires that ruled the world have vanished. Not one European nation, save Muslim Albania, has a birthrate that will enable it to survive through the century. As a share of world population, peoples of European ancestry have been shrinking for three generations. The character of every Western nation is being irremediably altered as each undergoes an unresisted invasion from the third World. We are slowly disappearing from the Earth.

Buchanan is not simply lamenting the decline of the British Empire or Europe’s place in world affairs, nor is he merely bemoaning the passing away of Western culture, tradition, social institutions, or even “the West” itself. Buchanan is talking about the decline and death of an entire race of people. World War II involved far more than simply the Stalinization of Eastern Europe, fifty years of Cold War, and postwar existential trauma. World War II may be the last gasp of the white race.

We can hardly expect Overy, an established, successful historian, to frame his observations using categories such as this. After all, even Michael Shermer verges on condescending when summarizing Buchanan’s views. In an essay titled “The New Revisionism,” Shermer manages to quote Buchanan, as above, without once addressing the fundamental fact that people of white European descent are dying out. Shermer and Overy invoke Buchanan without addressing his essential concern.

Having failed to appreciate Buchanan’s actual views of the consequences of World War II, Overy proceeds to his rebuttal of Buchanan’s arguments against the war. Buchanan, Overy observes, focuses his attention on the British war guarantee. Noting this, Overy proceeds to observe that, according to Buchanan, “The greatest mistake was the guarantee to Poland, which made a war inevitable.” Paraphrasing Buchanan, Overy remarks that it “unleashed the greatest war in all of history.”

Overy then goes on to attack what he has cast as Buchanan’s view:

This is a view that takes almost no account of the circumstances of the time. Britain and France did not opt for war in 1939 because they wanted to unleash Armageddon. Indeed, everything about British and French efforts first to appease, then to deter, Germany was intended to avoid instigating a second Great War in Europe. Deterrence in the end failed, but the obverse of every strategy to deter is the willingness to use force.

Overy has presented a false dichotomy. The obverse of a failed strategy of deterrence may indeed be the willingness to use force, but these two options are themselves one side of a larger dichotomy, the other side of which is the unwillingness to become involved in a situation in which neither deterrence nor force will ultimately work. And this is the argument that Buchanan makes, and which Overy fails to observe. The obverse of failure in deterrence and in war is to remain uninvolved.

And as Buchanan argues, from every vantage point, the “willingness to use force” ultimately failed, just as surely as deterrence failed. Poland’s sovereignty was not regained, as Poland wound up under Stalinist control and Soviet domination that lasted almost half a century. Further, as Buchanan has argued, Britain knew that it could not save Poland by force. Knowing this, it should not have given that war guarantee, and told Poland in March 1939 that it was not in a position to save it.

Buchanan never implies that Britain and France went to war to “unleash Armageddon.” Buchanan does not argue that Britain could have foreseen the collapse of Empire, and that on the basis of this, should have withheld the war guarantee. Buchanan agrees with Overy that “Britain and France did not choose war by giving a ‘war guarantee’.” But this is not the point. Buchanan’s argument is that, knowing war would be as futile as deterrence, Britain should have remained neutral.

Buchanan is actually advancing a very practical argument. In fact, it may be so practical that its simplicity is a cause of its obscurity: We should stay out of issues that are not our affairs. The British Empire might have wanted Germany to refrain from moving eastward at the expense of the USSR, but in the end, deterrence and war were not the only options available to Britain. A third option, remaining uninvolved, was also available to Britain, and Buchanan argues it should have chosen it.

However, deterrence, war, and neutrality were not the only options available to Britain in 1939. A fourth option, concealed beneath an historical animosity to fascism, was an Anglo-German alliance. This alliance was a foundational pillar of Hitler’s overriding world vision. Hitler was prepared to not only recognize the British Empire, but to use German resources to preserve it. Reinvigorated through German support, European world hegemony would have averted its decline, and endured.

Therefore, Britain’s choices in 1939 were not as bleak as Overy and most historians imply. The collapsing world that Overy asserts Britain was terrified of losing was, at root, the economic and material basis of Western hegemony. Hitler was prepared to recognize it, and through an alliance, actively uphold it. At the very least, Britain should have remained out of the German-Polish conflict. At most, an alliance with Germany, directed against the USSR, would have united Europe in a great endeavor.

Apart from his failure to convey Buchanan’s actual argument and concerns, Overy is also afflicted with a common malaise: He insists on clinging to the fibers of the fabric of the “Good War” myth. And he fails to understand that normative conclusions in an argument against a British war guarantee are more than lessons for leaders in the past. They are also lessons for us, today. People of European descent are dying out, and we need a novel view of the past to light a path to the future.

Because Overy does not mention or even acknowledge the fundamental crisis that confronts people of European descent, his historical analysis, while going further than others, remains limited, avoiding a paramount issue.

If we do not alter our perspectives on the past, we cannot reorient ourselves to the realities of the present. If we refuse to recognize that World War II was about larger issues than simply the fate of Western Empires, then we will simply reinforce existing moral narratives. People of European descent will continue their slow decline, and they will eventually disappear from the Earth. How we evaluate the past is reflected in how we judge present realities, and weigh our prospects for the future.

Visit the author’s website: http://ur-fascism.blogspot.com

 

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38 Comments

  1. Posted February 14, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t know that Juleigh Howard-Hobson’s Unity poem is online here. It’s obviously relevant to the subject:

    In Englischer Garten
    http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/08/in-englischer-garten-2/

    — Irmin

    • Posted April 28, 2015 at 3:34 am | Permalink

      Irmin,

      Thank you. I was not aware of this poem, so thank you for posting it.

      Organon

  2. Posted February 12, 2015 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    Richard Edmonds wrote:

    I am sorry that Irmin did not grasp the main point that I was trying to make: At the beginning of his premiership in May 1940, Churchill wickedly and deliberately deceived the British people, and indeed the whole world outside of the Axis powers.

    I may have been guilty of conflating you and Walter into a single person with the same set of concerns.

    But you are, I think, preaching to the choir and proving propositions that most people here, hopefully, take for granted. Yes, Churchill did provoke the Germans into a bombing campaign and deliberately sacrificed British lives to do it. Irving has been saying that for decades. I wouldn’t for a second dispute it. Churchill was also, on the whole, an unpleasant man. We can all agree on that too. But do those facts have any important political consequences today, and are the British demoralized because of them?

    John Charmley, if memory serves, came up with a rough rule-of-thumb for categorizing British politicians in the years leading up to war. If a politician was strong on preserving India within the Empire, he was also likely strong on opposing Hitler in Europe. If he was weak on keeping India, he was likely to favor some accommodation with Hitler. The implication is that, in the eyes of hawks like Churchill, war with Germany was a means of protecting the Empire. Today, of course, that strikes us as a quixotic mission on the most sympathetic interpretation, especially since destroying the Empire and bankrupting Britain would be important American war aims. Those British politicians who favored independence for India, along with a gradual dissolution of the Empire elsewhere, have been vindicated. India was destined to depart eventually, and there’s no doubt Hindus in India are better off now than they would have been if, by some miracle, Churchill had saved the Empire rather than thrown it away.

    Needless to say, it is deeply tragic that British soldiers, along with other brave soldiers from across the Commonwealth, died (at best) in defense of a doomed multiracial Empire. But it is also tragic, and much more noble, that Byzantine soldiers and volunteers from across Europe died defending Constantinople in 1453. We’re talking, in both cases, about events long ago.

    In our era we face a cultural mystery. In the United States anyone who advocates the deportation of Mexicans who have illegally crossed the southern border courts controversy. He might be called a “racist” — that is, someone suffering from a morally deforming mental illness. In Britain even a nominally Far Right party is hesitant, despite what can only be called overwhelming evidence, to say that Black and Muslim immigration has been a remarkably bad idea. Do these curious political facts, which surely suggest cultural death wishes, have anything to do with events in 1939? As far as I am concerned that should be the main interest in discussing the consequences of an old war seventy years ago, since I happen to be glad that the British lost their Empire and glad that India gained her independence.

    On its face you would think that losing a multiracial Empire would make it easier for the British to oppose Jamaicans and Pakistanis invading their country. After all, without the Empire Jamaicans clearly belong in Jamaica and Pakistanis clearly belong in Pakistan. Yet the opposite is the case.

    Walter picked exactly the right term. Across the West we have all been profoundly demoralized. But there must be some mechanism, and some agent or agents, through which the demoralization occurred. It cannot be guilt over Allied war crimes, which hardly anyone outside the Far Right knows about, and it cannot be a mystical intuition, swirling about in the atmosphere but rarely finding expression in print, that Churchill betrayed his own people.

    That’s a significant problem with Pat Buchanan’s otherwise admirable book. You can’t simply state that X followed Y and then imply that X was therefore caused by Y. It’s true that the most visible signs of our civilization’s decline occurred after 1939, but so did Seattle’s defeat in the Superbowl.

    The truth — so obvious that I feel foolish stating it — is that the empowering of “racism” as the pathologizing name for beliefs and behavior that were once considered healthy and normal is the principal bad legacy of the war. Along with that bad legacy came the empowering of Jews, enabled by the low levels of anti-Semitism that flowed from NS Germany’s defeat, in their role as the primary (though not sole) promoters of “racism,” which they, freed from fears of retaliation, have used as a weapon directed against their host populations.

    If behavior that was once considered normal is redefined as wrong at best and evil at worst, and you then turn your gaze back on your national history, your history will suddenly become an almost continuous series of crimes. That’s why it would be factually wrong but perfectly sensible to conclude that Hitler was likely a British prime minister, since through the lens of anti-racism British history and mythical nazi history are morally almost identical.

    But until prominent writers can openly state what ought to be manifestly clear, the tragedy of 1939 cannot be adequately addressed.

    ****

    “In all the immense literature about the 1939-1945 war, one may observe a legend in process of being shaped. Gradually, authentic memories of the war — of its boredom, its futility, the sense it gave of being part of a process of decomposition — fade in favor of the legendary version, embodied in Churchill’s rhetoric and all the other narratives by field marshals, air marshals and admirals, creating the same impression of a titanic and forever memorable struggle in defense of civilization. In fact, of course, the war’s ostensible aims — the defense of a defunct Empire, a spent Revolution, and bogus Freedoms — were meaningless in the context of the times. They will probably rate in the end no more than a footnote on the last page of the last chapter of the story of our civilization.”

    Malcolm Muggeridge, Esquire, February 1968.

    — Irmin

    • Richard Edmonds
      Posted February 12, 2015 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Irmin writes:

      “Walter picked exactly the right term. Across the West we have all been profoundly demoralized. But there must be some mechanism, and some agent or agents, through which the demoralization occurred. It cannot be guilt over Allied war crimes, which hardly anyone outside the Far Right knows about, and it cannot be a mystical intuition, swirling about in the atmosphere but rarely finding expression in print, that Churchill betrayed his own people”

      The mechanism , the agent or agents through which demoralisation takes places is precisely what I and others here have attempted for years to identify and counteract. Let me elaborate a little. In Britain (I am British) the majority esteem Churchill highly as the man who won the war and saved us; the vast majority (but not every one) believe in the “Holocaust”. In Germany ( a country I know somewhat) most Germans are ashamed of Adolf Hitler, and all Germans (with few exceptions) believe in the “Holocaust”. The same is true of France.

      IMO the acceptance by the vast majority of living Europeans, British included, that Churchill’s war was the Good and necessary War, is the cause and the root, the mechanism of the Whites’ demoralisation. IMO this morbid, perverse mass-demoralisation can only be made good by an act of almost super-human defiance against prevailing orthodoxy. What is needed are modern versions of Joan of Arque: heroes and heroines to stand up and say the “Emperor is naked”: the “Holocaust” is a lie, and Churchill was a criminal madmen to launch that war.

      When the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel can get up and say on International Holocaust Day, as she did on the 27th. January this year, that “The German people can NEVER be forgiven for the crime of the Holocaust”, then it needs the German lawyer Horst Mahler, currently into his fifth year of a twelve year prison sentence, it needs the German woman lawyer, Sylvia Stolz, who was sentenced to three and half years in jail for defending her client, Ernst Zuendel, who got a five-tear prison sentence, it needs Professor Robert Faurisson in France: Only by these acts of self-sacrifice can the enemies’ propaganda lies be destroyed. There is no other way to expose the wickedness of the current ruling System. Believe me, when Merkel made her statement last month, that was truly a dagger straight into the hearts of seventy million Germans.

      “The Truth will set you free”. St. John chapter 8, verse 32.

    • Walter
      Posted February 12, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      I did apparently give the impression that I thought there was a widespread feeling of wrong doing in the West. That was not what I wanted to say, as such a phenomenon does obviously not exist. Most people know very little about the insane campaign of bombing, ethnic cleansing, atrocity propaganda, lies and treason, and if they hear of any such thing, they’ll shrug it off as an insignificant thought flea.
      I think, however that the loosening of moral restrictions, the open and willing partaking in wanton murder, the hailing of the most insane and bloodthirsty war aims and especially the willingness to believe the worst of the worst of one’s fellow human beings led to a loss of self-respect as human beings, a loss of being perhaps worthy in the view of providence, or god- whatever you may call the higher consciousness of the world as expressed in humanity, and this loss of self respect I see manifested in the our cultural decay and defencelessness against any new assault of cultural undermining from various sides.
      I look at it as aftereffect of a psychological trauma.
      With the Czechs and Poles there is a more direct line to their feeling because they see the evidence of their deeds avery day, but Russians do not seem to have any such trauma as I see in the West.
      Why could that be? I believe that they were in essence not leading a pointless war in their consciousness, while the war aims of the West cannot be really formulated. What did Churchill really want or Roosevelt, France (not even to be as easily represented by one person).
      The West was practically wasting its future in a pointless apocalypse, while the sU was not, as it could appeal to elementary forces: Soil and Blood.
      The same is true for Germany, but the latter lost.
      It is, therefore, possible that Germany, despite its current depraved leadership will emerge in the future in a healthy state of soul.

  3. Richard Edmonds
    Posted February 10, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Irmin writes:

    “as a simple matter of fact it is wrong to claim that the British suffered some deep, demoralizing trauma from the wartime bombing of German cities. They didn’t then and they don’t now. Richard and Walter may wish that they did, and it may offend their sense of justice and the fitness of things that they don’t today mourn the crimes of their grandfathers during World War II, but the bombing seventy years ago is hardly a matter of deep moral reflection within the British psyche today.”

    I will make two points here:
    I am sorry that Irmin did not grasp the main point that I was trying to make: At the beginning of his premiership in May 1940,Churchill wickedly and deliberately deceived the British people, and indeed the whole world outside of the Axis powers. And he did so by successfully employing a variation of the psychological war-fare propaganda (also known as the Allies’ propaganda lies) that had proven so useful in the First World War in demoralising and blackening the honour of Britain’s German opponents, and ( a very important AND) in soliciting sympathy and practical help from the USA. All those familiar with the British atrocity propaganda of the First War, will know of the story of the German troops cutting off the hands of Belgian children. The allegations were all lies, and the British government suffered a great loss of credibility when the truth finally came out.

    The cynical variation on the allegation of “Hun ” brutality, that Churchill employed in the Second War, was to induce the Germans to bomb London and other major British cities, and then to cry:”Foul !” The means that Churchill employed to induce the Germans to attack British cities, was for him to initiate the launching of long-range bombing attacks on German cities situated far behind the front lines. Prior to him becoming Britain’s Prime Minister, both the British and the Germans had deliberately refrained from inflicting the horror of air-attacks on each other’s civilians. Churchill did away with all of that; Churchill never informed the British that they were being bombed because…he wanted them bombed, in order to generate the necessary war-fever both amongst the British themselves, and also of course amongst the very important American public watching all this “Hunish” bombing of British cities.

    To this day, the British have not found inside themselves the resolve to throw into Churchill’s face: “You wanted and you arranged for our families, our mothers and fathers and the little children to be bombed, blasted and burnt to death in their own homes, in order that you could have your unnecessary war.” That is what I mean when I speak of the long-term demoralisation of the British.

    On second point: I do not talk of the “crimes of the grandfather generation”. (Incidentally, my parents’ generation : I was born in the middle of that war). Those air-crews were very young men; average age was 22.; at that age, all they knew, was what they were told. As brave young men, flying their air-craft into very dangerous skies, their only concern was to fulfil the mission and to return to base in one piece. Those aircrew were some of Britain’s finest: patriotic, intelligent, educated and self-sacrificing. The British lost fifty thousand air-crew bombing European cities. The Americans lost eighty thousand air-crew bombing European cities. Those young men were a great loss. You can also put their deaths down to Churchill.

    • Walter
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      As a consolation for the life these young men didn’t have because of Churchill’s splendid decision, they have now a memorial in London, erected by the blossoming Churchill faction two years ago.
      As was the case for the 1. War, the decision about war and peace in 1939 was made in London. In both cases, Churchill was involved, either as First Sealord or leader of the war faction.
      The very fact of the weekly re-telling of the victory of 1945 in the British press or the characterization of Germans as “Nazis” (i.e., the caricatures extant) in a publication from 2010, recommended by of the Czech School Ministry in Prague, or as Richard Edmonds pointed out the screaming of the Antifa in Dresden for Bomber Harris to do it again, or the fact that the Poles speak of the parts of their territory they took from Germany with the 15 million ethnic cleansing as the German Parts ,these kind of examples make me think that there is an undertoe of doubt about this victory in 1945 and the very basis of the war. This unease wrecks Europe’s and America’s life by producing all sorts of abnormal psychological phenomena which I don’t want to repeat again.

  4. fnn
    Posted February 9, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Herbert Hoover’s last book,Freedom Betrayed,just published a few years ago:

    http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2012/05/poland-as-pawn-hoover-identifies.html

    Hoover would document his conversations with the various people he met with. An example is provided of Hoover’s meeting with Kennedy on May 15, 1945. Kennedy indicated he had over 900 dispatches which he could not print without consent of the U.S. Government. He hoped one day to receive such permission as it was Kennedy’s intention to write a book that would:

    …put an entirely different color on the process of how America got into the war and would prove the betrayal of the American people by Franklin D, Roosevelt.

    …Roosevelt and Bullitt were the major factors in the British making their guarantees to Poland and becoming involved in the war. Kennedy said that Bullitt, under instructions from Roosevelt, was constantly urging the Poles not to make terms with the Germans and that he Kennedy, under instructions from Roosevelt, was constantly urging the British to make guarantees to the Poles.

    He said that after Chamberlain had given these guarantees, Chamberlain told him (Kennedy) that he hoped the Americans and the Jews would now be satisfied but that he (Chamberlain) felt that he had signed the doom of civilization.

    Kennedy said that if it had not been for Roosevelt the British would not have made this most gigantic blunder in history.

    Kennedy told me that he thought Roosevelt was in communication with Churchill, who was the leader of the opposition to Chamberlain, before Chamberlain was thrown out of office….

    • Posted February 10, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Thank you for that, fnn.

    • Irmin
      Posted February 11, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      He said that after Chamberlain had given these guarantees, Chamberlain told him (Kennedy) that he hoped the Americans and the Jews would now be satisfied but that he (Chamberlain) felt that he had signed the doom of civilization.

      That’s a remarkable quote, and I also thank fnn for sharing it.

      — Irmin

  5. Posted February 7, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Because Overy does not mention or even acknowledge the fundamental crisis that confronts people of European descent, his historical analysis, while going further than others, remains limited, avoiding a paramount issue.

    Excellent review.

    I haven’t read Overy’s book and probably won’t, but I’ll offer a small defense on this final point. It’s a subject I brood about often.

    The ultimate results of the war decades later could not have been readily apparent. Churchill believed that there would be a British Empire at the end of the war and comically continued to defend the idea of Empire well after the material basis of the Empire had been largely disassembled. He also believed that Britain should remain a White nation and argued as much in the 1950s. I dislike Churchill, as we all do, but it’s only fair to say that he would be shocked at multiracialist Britain and would refuse the posthumous congratulations he is sometimes given for having brought it about.

    It would have seemed wildly improbable in 1939 to conclude that _victory_ in the coming war would eventually cause, say, America’s southern border to dissolve or Britain’s cities to be flooded with Muslims. No one can be blamed for having failed to foresee those bizarre consequences in 1939, and even today it is difficult to demonstrate convincingly that they were indeed real consequences of the Allied victory and the Axis defeat.

    I have no doubt that the principal disastrous consequences of the war were (i) the discrediting of racial and ethnic nationalisms among the contending Western nations; (ii) the rise within the West of an alien Jewish power antagonistic to people of European descent; and (iii) the invention and dissemination of the Jewish Holocaust as the foremost instrument of anti-racialist propaganda. But we cannot blame Chamberlain and Churchill for having failed to see those consequences in 1939, nor can we blame Overy for failing to acknowledge them today. It is easy to state those propositions in this forum, but much more difficult to prove that they’re true. The German defeat in 1945 and the Third World invasions of Western nations that we all suffer from today will appear to most observers as discrete and unrelated issues, not as cause and distant effects, flowing circuitously down to the present from the decisions British and French leaders made back in 1939.

    We could imagine a far-sighted British leader in 1939 worrying that losing the coming war might depress birthrates or weaken Britain’s borders, but it would have been thoroughly counterintuitive to fear that winning the war would bring about the same results. Overy can perhaps be forgiven for not seeing the ultimate consequences of Britain’s declaration of war, since they were so bizarre.

    Ernst Nolte credits Hitler with having foreseen the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States that would follow as a result of the war. That’s something that a wise observer could have predicted. No wise observer, in my opinion, could have predicted, from the vantage point of 1939, the world we inhabit today, with Western leaders and the Western intellectual class almost daily dreaming up inventive new schemes to wreck their own nations and destroy their own people.

    ***

    On-topic comic relief:

    http://whiterabbitradio.net/johnny-racist

    — Irmin

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted February 7, 2015 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Regarding the predictability of the war’s outcome, I recall a cartoon from a German magazine during the Third Reich in which two toffee-nosed British aristos are sitting in their club.

      One says: “So after we deliver Europe to Stalin and destroy our empire, then what?”

      The other replies: “Then we win!”

      Perhaps one of my readers can track this down and send me a scan.

      • Richard Edmonds
        Posted February 8, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Regarding the predictability of the war’s outcome:

        Ralph Franklin Keeling in his book, “Gruesome Harvest”, quotes the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, as stating in July 1939, that :

        “If war should come, whichever side may claim ultimate victory, nothing is more certain than that victor and vanquished alike would gain a gruesome harvest of human misery and suffering.”

        Given that just a very short time later this British politician would initiate the war, the only question is: What drove him, when the dreadful outcome was so clear to him ?

        Perhaps the answer is given in the entry in the diary of the US Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, where he records that Joe Kennedy (father of JFK), former US ambassador to the United Kingdom informed him that the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had told him (Joe Kennedy) that , “America and the world Jews had forced England into he war.”

    • Walter
      Posted February 8, 2015 at 1:24 am | Permalink

      Not in details, such as the the debasement of “Western leaders and the Western intellectual class almost daily dreaming up inventive new schemes to wreck their own nations and destroy their own people” the outcome of the war could have been predicted, but the kindling of the war for totally unjust causes and to resort to the most debased ways of conducting it had to have consequences. It lies in human nature to think about the consequences of one’s actions. So Churchill could have thought about the long-term demoralizing effect of deliberate terror bombardment, the largest instance of ethnic cleansing in world history, the willful destruction of cultural heritage, butchery of civilians in the hundreds of thousands in a single instance; equally insane was the campaign in the US by Kaufman (and others) who had the applause of Roosevelt and all the leading newspapers (I am talking about the Kaufman plan of mass sterilization of German men to extinguish the German race). All of this came in the cloth of the humble moralist, adding another layer of human revulsion to the whole business of this war. Hypocrisy is a serious faling of human nature. Churchill’s life was made simple, in his own words, by his only goal, the destruction of Hitler. So the war was led to simplify Churchill’s life.
      Churchill was in my view a man who was turned on by mayhem, chaos, bloodshed and destruction. Only through Hitler’s declaration of Paris and London as open cities were they spared the fate of Dresden and all other German cities. Churchill would have gladly sent his bombers to wipe out Rome and Paris as well. Here is a citation of Churchill from his plentiful treasure: “My god, this is living history. I would not be out of this glorious, delicious war for anything the world could give”. (Referring to the 1. War in whose genesis he had his busy hands in, too).
      It was totally irresponsible to press for war on England’s part, and to press for its extension was practically solely Churchill’s deed. I don’t know what he expected as a long-term outcome, but intelligent men predicted the loss of the empire (so Fritz Hesse in September 1939 in London when the offer of Germany to halt further operations was refused), and to let loose chaos has also predictable consequences. I am not saying anything about Germany or the SU at this point because the key to a peacable end of the war lay in 1939 -1941 in London.

      The cartoon in a German magazine Greg Johnson refers to pretty much sums up the flippant attitude prevailing in London then.

      • Irmin
        Posted February 8, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Walter wrote:

        … the kindling of the war for totally unjust causes and to resort to the most debased ways of conducting it had to have consequences.

        I don’t accept your apparent premise that the British and Americans fought a monumentally dirty war and the Germans and their allies fought a saintly war. Both sides committed numerous war crimes against their co-racialists. It was a terrible war. No German familiar with his history will accept the idea of saintly American bombers or saintly Soviet liberators; no Pole familiar with his history will accept the idea of saintly German invaders. We can quibble about which side committed the most atrocities, but we would be debating only differences of degree, not of kind, and we would be uselessly engaging in a fratricidal war of words in the present over a real fratricide long ago.

        It was possible to see in 1939 that a horrible tragedy was about to occur. Unity Mitford saw it. But not even Unity at her most prophetic could have foretold the scale of the civilizational disaster that the coming war would, over many decades, ultimately cause. She tried to kill herself from grief over an unnecessary fratricide she saw coming far too soon after an earlier fratricide, but the unnecessary fratricide seven decades ago is today among the least of our problems. The mythology that now surrounds and restructures the fratricide is a different matter.

        Churchill could have thought about the long-term demoralizing effect of deliberate terror bombardment, the largest instance of ethnic cleansing in world history ….

        There has been no “long-term demoralizing effect of deliberate terror bombardment.” Most people are unaware that it occurred. Even fewer are aware of history’s largest ethnic cleansing. Churchill would have been right not to trouble himself over any such long-term effects, since they never came about. I wish more of our people did know about Allied crimes, but most don’t, and thus they can hardly be demoralized by them.

        We have, however, been horribly demoralized by the massive flow of anti-racialist propaganda that mythologizing treatments of the European Civil War have inflicted on us.

        — Irmin

        • Walter
          Posted February 8, 2015 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

          I wrote about the kindling of the war for totally unjust causes. These were in nuce the maintenance of the British policy of disorder on the Continent to secure the further predominance of British power in Europe. The Poles were abused for that purpose. They were made to believe that they could maintain their dominion over the German lands which were given to them in 1919, and even realize their dreams of a Polish dominion from Sea to Sea (The Baltic to the Black Sea). Germany did not even expect areas such as the Pomerellen or Upper Silesia back, only the Korridor region and Danzig was in question. I remind you also of the talk about self-determination of all nations in Wilson’s 14 Points, which, however, excluded Germans. Democracy, self-determination and freedom were for all, except the Germans, the largest nation in Europe. That makes for bad blood, and was the very reason for unrest before 1939, leading eventually to the outbreak of war. There is nothing one can germany fault for, because it relly is not France’s or America’s or England’s business how the Germans want to live as one Nation united. That’s how Germans felt, but not the English or French, and strangely enough, the Americans.
          I did not say that Germany was free of any violations of recognized war practices, but Germany was not the country working towards a war. Surrounded by predatory, hostile entities, such as England, Poland, Czecho-Slovakia, France, beyond the Sea the US, it had no choice but to ready itself for a possible conflict.
          Germany wanted to undo injustices , the Versailles victors to maintain them. That is the reason for National Socialist success.

          America inserted itself willingly in the war, it had nothing to do with anything Germany did to it.

          As to long-term consequences of deliberate mass killings of civilians in air raids designed for that purpose: True, since that is left out of the good-war narrative, most people don’t even know about it; the same is true about the annexation of one third of Germany and its total ethnic cleansing. That doesn’t mean, however, that there is not a subconscious awareness of a fundamental failure of the project Progress, Western Civilization or Modernity as the basis upon which the masses in the western Allied countries were mobilized. I think that it is at work and makes modern man give into the self-destructive behaviors which are inserted into society by the very forces which ultimately were winning the last war. Why do you think there is so little opposition to the horrid and revolting Israeli behaviour? Why is there a self-dissolution of society by an insane interpretation of “freedom”, extending to murder of the unborn in the womb, re-designation of notions such as gender, the hysterical manipulation of language to make it conform to the ideology of liberalism, the self-debasing acceptance of Holocaust Temples as a religion no underworldling could have designed more cleverly?
          The force of life has been depleted in the western-dominated nations by the grave injustice wrought on another nation and the means used to achieve that goal. Perhaps it is similar to the life of someone who has lost his honor and feels not right in the world anymore.
          Anyway, the decline of the West and the means applied to maintain its dominance are chained together in my opinion. There must be a reason for the fact that 100 years ago the “West” was at the summit of achievement and hope for a prosperous future, and now it is gasping in a deadly sickness.

          • Richard Edmonds
            Posted February 9, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            The Decline of the West: one of the effects of Churchill’s wars was to make the survivors suspicious of, indeed cynical of all calls for patriotism and group solidarity. Lenin at the time of the First World War knew how to exploit the moral confusion of a people who had suffered the loss of millions of Dead in a pointless war. Patrick Buchanan laments in the preface to his book, “Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War” : “What has happened to us ? Western man seems to be loosing the will to live…the mortal wounds which we inflicted on ourselves… Who plunged us into these hideous and suicidal world wars that advanced the death of our civilisation ? Who are the statesmen responsible for the death of the West ?”

            Actions have consequences. Today moral confusion reigns supreme. Any attempt to defend the collective interests of the White race is condemned as Racism leading to another “Holocaust”. The Left, the liberals, Academia, literally every institution cry out: We fought a war, the Good War, against Racism. As Walter says: Let chaos loose upon the world, and we must live with the consequences.

        • Richard Edmonds
          Posted February 9, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          Irmin writes: “There has been no long-term demoralizing effect of deliberate terror bombardment. Most people are unaware that it occurred. “ I very much beg to differ. I can give at least two long-term demoralizing effects of the deliberate terror-bombing of civilians.

          Firstly the the effects on the Germans: The Allies, USA and the British, dropped a total of more than a million tons of high explosives and incendiary bombs on Germany; equivalent to the destructive power of three hundred atomic bombs, according to a calculation made by British government scientists in the 1950s.

          This Allied bombing campaign has, for good or ill, not been forgotten in Germany. For example: the anniversary of the destruction of Dresden in February 1945 is always marked by German patriots with a parade through the city in remembrance of the tens of thousands of civilian victims of that dreadful 48 hour long bombardment launched by the combined British and US air forces in the closing weeks of the Second World War. Each year the authorities permit left-wing groups to publicly oppose the remembrance parade. The left-wingers hold up huge banners depicting US and British Second World War bombers attacking German cities. The slogans that the left-wingers are permitted to use include: “All good things come from Heaven” – and depict a US B 17 Flying Fortress dropping clusters of bombs. The left-wingers call upon the former British Air Force commander Sir Arthur Harris: “Bomber Harris – Do it again”. For added dramatic effect, the slogans are always in English: Bomber Harris – Do it again.

          A nation has to be very demoralised to permit such vicious types to proclaim with impunity such depraved statements.

          As has been said elsewhere in these commentaries, the Allies completely lost their moral compass in that war, and it has not yet been recovered. As for the deliberate terror bombing of civilians, the British are so demoralised as a people, that although the facts are in the public domain, there has been no healthy reaction.

          What the vast majority of the British do not know is that the decision to initiate the deliberate bombing of civilians located in cities hundreds of miles behind the front lines: that decision was made not by the Germans but by their own British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Churchill’s decision to initiate the terror bombing of civilians is described in the official history of the British Royal Air Force, as a “splendid decision”. What motivated Churchill to initiate terror-bombing when he became Britain’s Prime minister in May 1940 ? Churchill had a problem: he was determined to wage against Germany but he had no allies. The United States was strictly neutral (President Roosevelt was busy in his re-election campaign, assuring American mothers that their sons would not be sent to fight in foreign wars (i.e. to prop up the British Empire), the Soviet Union of Josef Stalin was an ally of Germany, as were Italy and Japan; and meantime in May 1940, France was collapsing, and Norway, Holland , Belgium and Denmark were being over-run by German troops. And there was a strong Peace-party at the very top of the British Establishment that wanted to parley with Adolf Hitler. Under these circumstances how did Churchill get his war ? Easy: he initiated the bombing of German cities; after a time the Germans, as was their right by international law, retaliated. But all that the British people knew at the time was that the Germans were bombing their cities; no-one informed them that the German attacks were in legitimate retaliation for what Churchill had deliberately started. So the clamour went up in Britain for retaliation, as the people trustingly supposed; and Churchill got his war.

          The British have to mourn the deaths of some fifty thousand civilians. The official British records were made public decades ago, and Churchill’s “splendid decision “ in theory is know to all, but such is the demoralisation of the British as people that nobody has accused Churchill of the calculated, cold-blooded murder of those British civilians, just so that he might obtain his “unnecessary war”. A people have to be very demoralised to dumbly accept such depraved “leadership”. Churchill was recently acclaimed by popular consent the “greatest Englishman who ever lived.”

          • Irmin
            Posted February 9, 2015 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

            Richard Edmonds wrote:

            I can give at least two long-term demoralizing effects of the deliberate terror-bombing of civilians…

            I used to be a Wikipedia source for some of this material, until a vigilant Jewish editor detected the problem and put an end to it. So in case I’m misunderstood, I’m aware of the facts that Richard and Walter are presenting, and I encourage them to disseminate their data far and wide. And if anyone here is unfamiliar with Allied war crimes, some of the posts on this page will provide a useful source of information. Thomas Goodrich’s _Hellstorm_ is an excellent compendium for anyone who wants to learn more.

            But I’ll stress again that you can’t feel guilty or demoralized about crimes you know little or nothing about. Germans can get angry about the bombing, and for what little it’s worth I urge them to do so and to discredit the pernicious myth of their special war guilt and to undermine, above all, the perpetual de-nazification campaign still crushing them today. The British, on the other hand, cannot possibly feel guilty or demoralized by an ancient bombing campaign, because most of them are at best only vaguely aware that the event in question ever took place.

            There was a big war, and the British and Americans dropped bombs on the cities of their German enemy. That always happens in modern wars. Only people who read websites like this will know any more about the subject, and most know much less.

            I don’t want to argue too strongly about this, since I agree for the most part with what Richard and Walter are saying and I share many of their feelings about Allied war crimes; but as a simple matter of fact it is wrong to claim that the British suffered some deep, demoralizing trauma from the wartime bombing of German cities. They didn’t then and they don’t now. Richard and Walter may wish that they did, and it may offend their sense of justice and the fitness of things that they don’t today mourn the crimes of their grandfathers during World War II, but the bombing seventy years ago is hardly a matter of deep moral reflection within the British psyche today. Nor should it be, in my opinion. The nations of the West have enough racial guilt foisted on them without looking about for other reasons for feeling guilty or demoralized.

            According to a survey conducted about a decade ago, a surprising number of young Britons believed then, and no doubt still believe now, that Adolf Hitler was a British prime minister. That’s actually a much more telling fact than any (largely non-existent) demoralization over terror bombing and any (entirely non-existent) guilt about ethnic cleansing. It’s almost a literal confirmation of Nolte’s dictum that, under the Jewish Holocaust and the anti-racialist propaganda of the last forty or fifty years, “homo hitlerensis ultimately appears as merely a special case of homo occidentalis.”

            The people who believed that Hitler was a British prime minister knew nothing substantial about Hitler and certainly nothing whatever about the bombing of Dresden, let alone the more esoteric Allied crimes. They did know, however, that their history is filled with “racism” and wickedness, and that Hitler, as they keep hearing over and over in the background soundtrack of their lives, was a notoriously wicked Caucasian notable for his especially virulent racial hatreds. So, on the principal that two plus two likely equals four, they guessed sensibly that he must once have been running the UK, way back in the dark era before reality shows and diversity training and angry Muslims prowling the streets.

            That’s why I say that mythologizing treatments of the war and the Third Reich are more important than the facts themselves. It is in the modern mythology of White racial guilt that you’ll find the major source of our civilization’s demoralization.

            — Irmin

          • Walter
            Posted February 9, 2015 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

            I interpret the willing acceptance of self-debasement by Westernized Man as the long-term effect of moral failure of the war years. To have followed willingly someone like Churchill in his need to “simplify his life” (his words) by killing Hitler and laying waste to the world in this life-simplifying quest, anyone, whether following Churchill in good faith (as the war leader in charge of safety and defence of his people) or knowing enough to foresee the consequences of such fanaticism, will feel, once the guns fall quiet, that something terribly wrong has happened, sapping his life energy and falling into a depressed state.
            Life will go on, but under different auspices, and resistance to assaults on it will be weakened. I enumerated what I consider examples of instances of such assaults in my earlier post above. It acts like poison, quietly, steadily, stealthily and fatally. The Germans have been made totally insane by a hundred years of shrieking at them with terrible accusations, humiliating them and taking the fruit of their labor as ransom. Look at German politics, and you may foresee that the irrational support of Israel, the yes-man attitude towards Israel, Britain, Czechia, the Jews, the Gypsies, the Poles, the homosexuals, the Antifa, the European Union, the US, the UN, any perversion, and the institutionalized enmity of anything German, be that the German language, German customs, the memory of the dead or the lands and provinces taken from it, the ritualized self-denunciation of its own ancestors, the importation of Gypsies and “refugees” by the millions, the financing of the occupational troops on German soil by Germany, the taking on of immense liabilities through Euro stabilization, that all this will not only bankrupt Germany, but pull down the EU, Germany’s neighbors, perhaps the whole Western system, once the buttresses fail. The refugee policy alone makes me think that there will be yet another European coalition to smash Germany, because the millions of import refugees will eventually wash across the border into Poland, Czechia, Denmark, Britain and so on, and Germany will be held responsible for pursuing these suicidal politics. And it came from being made crazy by the one-hundred year war of annihilation against Germany.
            The steep decline of the West must have an explanation and I am absolutely certain that this explanation lies in the moral failure of the two wars and their aftermaths.

          • Walter
            Posted February 9, 2015 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

            Churchill really does deserve special attention. His quotes deserve to be collected and studied, and his amazing twists and turns of opinion also deserve to be noted: He is against the Bolsheviks, then for them, then against them, he admires Adolf Hitler then wants him dead, just to note a short time later that he has slaughtered “the wrong pig”- what a statesman-like way of expressing himself about world politics and the fate of Europe. He orders the bombardment of Dresden then denies his order.
            I think it was Goebbels who called him the Undertaker of Europe. That was a prescient characterization.
            It is also noteworthy that the SU as the Eastern victor had also excesses of violence on its tally (not, however, deliberate terror bombing, as far as I know), yet the Russians seem a healthy people, so what plunged the West into the pit and what kept the Russians out?

    • Richard McCulloch
      Posted February 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      John Toland, in his Hitler biography, several times quotes Hitler as saying that if Germany lost the war “the Jews will destroy us.” The question is who he meant by “us.” Did he mean just the NSDAP or the German state, or more broadly the German people, or even more broadly the European peoples as a whole. If something like the last then he was prescient indeed, far beyond any of his Gentile contemporaries, for that is exactly what they are doing. The interview of Barbara Lerner Spectre for an Israeli TV audience essentially admits as much. But then Hitler was Jew-wise to a degree far beyond his British and American counterparts, so for him it was a logical assumption to make.

  6. Walter
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    This is a very interesting article. It is always interesting how establishment historians are managing to leave out essential material in their writings, and this Overy seems to be no exception.
    I have recently read the book from Fritz Hesse “Das Vorspiel zum Kriege”. Hesse was a diplomat in London and speaks from his own experience and dealings with key people in British politics at the time of the outbreak of the war. After the war with Poland began on September one, 1939, Mussolini made an effort to etablish a ceasefire, and yet another offer to Britain was made to bring about the resolution of the problems between Poland and Germany. Germany offered to halt any further advance if Britain had accepted the role as intermediary between Germany and Poland.The only condition was that Danzig was to join Germany and that an exterritorial connection between Germany in the west and East Prussia was guaranteed. Britain refused this, as well as Mussolini’s offer.
    I believe Hesse’s account. I also believe that Britain was not adverse to a war. The problems between Germany and Poland were real, not created by either Hitler or Germany in general and were exacerbated through the increasingly anti-German measures of Poland, especially after the unconditional guarantee by Britain. Although one has to be almost a sleuth to find out about the several hundred border incidences coming from Poland, they cannot be dismissed. These were willful provocations which also led to loss of German life.
    Whatever merit the discussions of Hitler’s intent was in the east may have, without the war with Poland, the latter would have existed as a buffer state between Germany and the SU and an attack by Germany on the SU would not be possible on a realistic basis.
    Therefore, the war with Poland established the common border with SU which had not existed before. I am therefore led to conclude that the thinking prevailing in London must have taken a future war between the SU and Germany into account.
    One reason why the general public likes the story of the good war is in my opinion a psychological trap: The sacrifices made for victory were so great and the debasement of human morality so severe that, in order to retain a measure of self-respect, one has to glorify the horrors brought upon the future of the world, and in particular on one’s own culture and race. “It has to have been wothwhile to make these concessions to everything one thought essential for one’s own life as a human.”
    Every day brings another atrocity to mind, committed in the service of this most terrible peace that followed. Last week was the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, by far the greatest disaster at sea, next week will be the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden, and this summer will be the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bombs.
    These triumphs of violence we pay for with the daily horror of our own extinction, and the strange spectacle of popular, always state-sponsored historians reading the tragic narrative of this really unnecessary war as an epic of our time is impossible to bear. How could possibly a World War emerge from a tiny strip of land that had been handed over to a hostile foreign nation without thinking of future consequences? And why was it steadfastly refused to make amends by those who could have made them? There must have been long-term policy plans to provide an answer.
    I can only hope that Providence has still a plan for us as us.

    • Posted February 7, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Walter.

      I felt a review of Overy in order because 1) it departs from mainstream history enough to warrant some attention and more importantly, 2) it explicitly mentions Buchanan’s argument’s in Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, which is the closest that a recent historian has come, to my knowledge, of acknowledging a revisionist argument and managing to take it seriously enough to provide a counter-argument to it. Shermer does so, but in a condescending context of categorically denouncing Buchanan, Irving, Weber, and other revisionists.

      Overy, on the other hand, deserves at least some credit for treating Buchanan’s argument on its own terms.

      You make some interesting observations about the psychology behind embracing the “Good War” narrative. That narrative has so thoroughly woven itself into the fabric of our lives that tearing its threads out often proves impossible, for some.

  7. Peltast
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    “The fight against Hitler can be seen to have been, as the American politician Patrick Buchanan recently described it, an ‘unnecessary war’. According to Buchanan, the war cost the British their empire and created the conditions of fifty years of Cold War and Communist domination of Eastern Europe.”

    This was the goal of WWII, destroy Nationalism and save Communism.

  8. james
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Although not explicitly directed to the jews who infected FDR’s administration, the description of the players as Jews is not left unsaid.

    Operation Snow: How a Soviet Mole in FDR’s White House Triggered Pearl Harbor

    http://www.amazon.com/Operation-Snow-Soviet-Triggered-Harbor/dp/1596983221
    Also on Audible.

  9. Posted February 6, 2015 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Hitler did make a peace offer to Britain and France after Poland surrendered but they didn’t take it up. I might also add that the invasion of Poland was by 2 countries – the Soviet Union also invaded on September 17 1939. I haven’t read the books by Overy or Buchanan but last year took a stab at 1939 The War That Had Many Fathers by Gerd Schultze-Rhonhof. This author claims that the British government told the USSR if they invaded Poland it meant war but Stalin called their bluff and won. He also states that they then asked the Soviet leader to change sides join them and go to war against Germany. This around 2 months after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact – http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=7456

    • Posted February 6, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I’ve also been reading Leonard Mosley’s ‘On Borrowed Time’. It harbors all of the standard biases, but makes some remarkable concessions. At one point he argues that Chamberlain would not have made Hitler’s Eastern European and Eurasian foreign policies the basis of conflict between Britain and France, were it not for the pressures emanating from below and from abroad.

  10. Posted February 5, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Buchanan discussing the sources he relied on for his own book:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMThOsJtewk

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jP4EK9mMuE

    In the second video, you can see John Toland’s book, right next to Buchanan’s (apparently, teenage years) copy of Mein Kampf.

    Some obvious secondary, more mainstream books there, such as Richard J. Evans and his The Coming of the Third Reich, Third Reich in Power, and Third Reich at War.

  11. DH
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    but to save Britain and France from the dangers of a disintegrating world.
    If that was the plan it failed miserably. And in the long term it also sunk the USA. These three countries deserve to pay for having murderer their brother.

  12. Peter
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I read Patrick J. Buchanan’s “Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War” and I enjoyed it very much. It made sense and it actually discussed the lands stolen from Germany after WW I and Germany’s desire to take them back, something that I had never seen discussed before. A I recall from my history classes in high school and from most books written about WW II by Americans or Englishmen, the historic German lands stolen from Germany were either not discussed, or if they were discussed, Germany was deemed no rights to have those lands back. Try viewing some of the articles from the 1930’s discussing Germany’s desire to free the German lands and its people from foreign occupation. I was on Time magazine’s website reviewing an article from the 1930’s on Germany’s desire to have Memel back. They mocked and minimized German claims to the German city. What the hell did Americans know about anything when it came to German history and lands? By this time the Jews had driven a hatred of Germany into Americans heads.

    But I wanted to say, although Buchanan’s book is a great book, David Irving was saying these things in the 1980’s and perhaps earlier already. Irving was the historian that revealed that the allied claim that Germany wanted to “take over the world” was not only stupid, impossible with the military Germany had, that Germany never made any claims on the western lands stolen from Germany (I think Germany had a right to those lands back also), that Germany wanted peace and actually desired an alliance with Great Britain and he also reveals the lying and deceitfulness of the Americans and British, from the phony map that British intelligence fed to the Americans (supposedly obtained in Berlin or somewhere) of Germany’s plans to take over South America and turning it into “five vassal states” to FDR’s report on this map in his Navy Day speech in late 1941. Whether FDR was a liar and willing dupe with this map, or just plain stupid I do not know. But as David Irving points out, in late 1941 nearly the whole German army was fighting for it’s life in the east against the Soviet Union and now “on top of all this he’s going to take over South America and march up the coast to Washington, D.C.” he says to laughs from the audience. In addition, at that time Germany’s navy consisted of approximately 7 U-Boats and handful of destroyers and other ships.

    FDR’s speech, first 2 minutes thirteen seconds

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVyZXWZ_T2k

    What a disgusting liar.

    The other thing that needs to be said is Patrick Buchanan does not cite David Irving in his book anywhere. David Irving is a very understanding man and Buchanan doesn’t mention his name because the Jews hate David Irving for what he has revealed to the world, but I believe Buchanan owes it to Irving to give him credit for what he revealed and where Buchanan got some of his information. I believe one man dispelled these myths about Hitler and Germany, while most of the other historians behaved like cowards and liars.

    The other thing Irving discusses in great detail in his speech on Churchill, and I believe in his Churchill biography is the Jews funding of Churchill which is Churchill became their man and made war on Germany on their behalf. The evidence for this is crystal clear. One of the Jews that paid Churchill actually wrote a book about the “Focus Group”, the people that put Churchill in power. Patrick Buchanan makes no mention of this in his book and of course we know why. The Jews would go ballistic. But without this crucial information, people are left without the most important piece of the puzzle as to who pushed the world into WW II.

    Does Overy mention the Jews role in starting the war? I suspect not.

    • Posted February 5, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      “But I wanted to say, although Buchanan’s book is a great book, David Irving was saying these things in the 1980’s and perhaps earlier already. Irving was the historian that revealed that the allied claim that Germany wanted to “take over the world” was not only stupid, impossible with the military Germany had…”

      In fact, John Toland (who I mention above, alongside Irving) was intimating these things in his biography, ‘Adolf Hitler’, before Irving.

      Toland shows that Hitler viewed the US-German war as a “tragedy,” and discusses how the war was opposed by large swaths of US citizens. He also succeeds in demonstrating the absurdity of claims of “world conquest” (though one has to occasion the thought if we would be better off if Hitler indeed had strived for that).

      Buchanan’s positive statements about Adolf Hitler in the late 1970s, which has earned him permanent ire (I’m referring to his “man of great courage” comment) were explicitly based on John Toland’s book. While Buchanan doesn’t lean on Irving, he does deserve credit for moving these views further into the mainstream.

      Buchanan also omits some very important historical events, however, including the 1937 meeting of Ribbentrop and Churchill. That, in particular, could have bolstered his argument.

      No, not surprisingly, Overy doesn’t mention Jewish agency in producing World War II, but his book does demonstrate how academic history has absorbed at least some claims that were once confined to revisionist history. I’m hoping that these boundaries will be forced open even further, and historians will be increasingly compelled to further concessions.

      • Peter
        Posted February 6, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        I was not aware of Buchanan’s comment on Hitler. Years ago that would have made me feel uncomfortable. Not any more and of course he is absolutely correct. I knew Toland wrote an objective book about Hitler.

  13. Rick
    Posted February 5, 2015 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    An excellent article. What other books would the author recommend re WWII.

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