16 July 1945 – The Day the A-Bomb Stopped the War in Europe

After being repeatedly told that the Left is neither Imperialists nor Nationalists, it is always interesting to read the details of “the Great Patriotic War that saved the Motherland”.

From Chapter 49 of Antony Beevor’s book, ‘The Second World War’:

“It must be very pleasant for you,” Harriman said, making conversation [at the Potsdam Conference] “to be in Berlin after all your country has suffered.” 

The Soviet leader eyed him.  “Tsar Aleksandr went all the way to Paris”, he replied.

This was not entirely a joke.

A meeting of the Politburo in 1944 had decided to order the Stavka to plan for the invasion of France and Italy, as General Shtemenko later told Beria’s son. The Red Army offensive was to be combined with a seizure of power by the local Communist Parties. 

In addition, Shtemenko explained, a landing in Norway was provided for, as well as the seizure of the straits with Denmark.  A substantial budget was allocated for the realisation of these plans.  It was expected that the Americans would abandon a Europe fallen into chaos, while Britain and France would be paralysed by their colonial problems.  The Soviet Union possessed 400 experienced divisions, ready to bound forward like tigers.  It was calculated that the whole operation would take no more than a month.

All these plans were aborted when Stalin learned, from Beria [via his spies within the Manhattan Project], that the Americans had the atom bomb and were putting it into mass production. Stalin apparently told Beria that, “If Roosevelt had still been alive, we would have succeeded”.

This passage says much about the Left, nuclear deterrence, and adds countless saved lives to the argument that constantly surrounds the nuclear program. Tangentially, it’s none too complimentary of Roosevelt…but that’s for another post.

55 thoughts on “16 July 1945 – The Day the A-Bomb Stopped the War in Europe”

  1. it’s none too complimentary of Roosevelt

    I think Roosevelt did pretty well, since he dragged the Democrats and the isolationist American population kicking and screaming into helping Britain survive. That included quite a bit of ratcheting up in both the Atlantic and Pacific zones with trade actions and preparations. The fleet in Pearl Harbor was even there as a deterrent, as it’d been based in the Caribbean in 1940. Unfortunately the Japanese militarists were nutty and couldn’t be dissuaded nor deterred. Sometimes that happens.

    Unfortunately too the issue is not that a leader is weak but whether the opponent thinks he’s weak. So we saw that with Obama and Biden and lots of red lines, but Trump managed to project strength plus enough craziness for guys like Putin and Khamenei to be cautious. Which given Putin’s recent Peter the Great comments and his apparent ill health must’ve been terribly frustrating for him for four long years.

    Then of course there’s Australia. Somehow I doubt we’re regarded as the Switzerland of the Pacific.


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  2. Churchill had the measure of Stalin.

    FDR was a willingly gullible fool on the matter. He was also the prime mover of “The New deal”, the repercussions of which are still quite visible today


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  3. Bruce,
    I agree with your premise.
    If Franklin D had left off after activating the US, the world would likely be a better place.
    He actively undermined the Alliance with the UK, in front of Stalin, went behind Churchill’s back and generally thought he was charismatic enough to hypnotise Stalin.

    He seems to have hypnotised himself, and Stalin played him like a fiddle. At the end, Roosevelt would have crawled up his own arse to establish his beloved United Nations. Ironically, in doing so, he traded in nearly everything it should have stood for.

    Churchill was looked on as an Imperialist warmonger, but history shows that he picked Stalin’s long term intent, like a dirty nose.

    What the West allowed happen to the populace of Eastern Europe was a disgrace, and highlights how readily we will trade in our ‘highfalutin’ principles. The Covid response demonstrates that not much haste changed in 70 years.


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  4. Bottom line: communists (like the Australian Greens) are fanatics whose minds can’t be changed by argument or logic.

    The only successful way of dealing with communists is the use of force or the threat of it.

    As he admitted, communist fanatic Joseph Stalin would have invaded Europe had Roosevelt (an appeaser of communists) not died, replaced by Truman who used the atomic bomb to end the war in the Pacific and, as it turned out, the war in Europe.

    Thank God for Harry Truman, a soldier and a Democrat whose party of cheats and radicals is now plotting a Marxist takeover of the USA.


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  5. It was expected that the Americans would abandon a Europe fallen into chaos, while Britain and France would be paralysed by their colonial problems.

    And the western Europeans spent the next 40 years resenting the Americans for saving them.


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  6. What the West allowed happen to the populace of Eastern Europe was a disgrace

    Exactly, given that stalin was jointly responsible for the war starting in the first place.

    Patton was correct. The allies should have kicked the stinking commies out of eastern Europe, preferably beyond Moscow – or threatening them with nukes unless they withdrew to the pre-1939 borders at the very minimum.


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  7. P.S. I do not consider the commies to have been part of the allies and they should have been left entirely on their own to deal with the nazis, as punishment for their disgusting expedience in signing the nazi-soviet pact.

    Allied aid to the soviet union during WW2 was effectively a war crime.


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  8. Nicely frames the mindset that persists to this day. Russia’s persistent notion that it is entitled to imperial reach seems fundamental to Putin’s approach to borders.


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  9. P.S. I do not consider the commies to have been part of the allies and they should have been left entirely on their own to deal with the nazis, as punishment for their disgusting expedience in signing the nazi-soviet pact.

    It’s far worse than that.
    The Soviets were directly responsible for why the German military build up was more less unassailable by the time Hitler came to power.

    Read this:

    The Faustian Bargain by Ian Johnson

    The Soviets undoubtedly took the brunt of the Second World War, but they sowed the wind, reaped the whirlwind, and then played the victim.


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  10. I first learned of FDR at school. He was presented as the genius who had defeated the Great Depression.

    Another piece of propaganda which so easily passes as fact because so few people seem to know that it might have been otherwise.


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  11. What the West allowed happen to the populace of Eastern Europe was a disgrace, and highlights how readily we will trade in our ‘highfalutin’ principles.

    Not much that can be done about such things when they have “400 experienced divisions, ready to bound forward like tigers”, except work to undermine the ideology. It did eventually succeed. Unfortunately though that very same ideology has likewise been extremely effective in undermining us.

    As an example of such things the Chinese Hitleresque persecution of Uyghurs, Christians and Falun Gong continues today, and there’s very little that can be done about it. The Left has enabled it by pushing globalism, thereby transferring much of industrial production to China. A little bit of disentanglement started to happen under Trump, but Biden has now reversed that. Same in Europe with Russia, which they’re now finding at their cost.

    And again: the ME, with the exception of Israel, is still the same pesthole as it has been for 1400 years because of pervasive repellent ideology. And nothing anyone has tried has made the slightest difference.

    All you can do with repellent ideologies is wall them off and deprogram and rescue the people one by one. Which is what Christians have been trying to do (eg. MERF). Sadly the Left keeps on pulling down any walls that people try to put up.


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  12. Patton was correct. The allies should have kicked the stinking commies out of eastern Europe, preferably beyond Moscow – or threatening them with nukes unless they withdrew to the pre-1939 borders at the very minimum.

    Stalin/Russia invaded Poland with Hitler/Germany.

    Never forget.


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  13. Allied aid to the soviet union during WW2 was effectively a war crime.

    No. At least not till very late in the piece. They had to defeat the Nazis, and it’s understandable that when Operation Barbarossa was looking like being successful they wanted to prop up the USSR to keep that bloodbath going.
    And even when the tide turned, Stalin (who was no fool ) threatened to make peace with Hitler (thus liberating Germany to fight entirely in the west) unless he continued to get aid. In hindsight, given Stalin’s expansionary aims, that was probably pure bluff, but there was no way of being certain at the time.
    Eventually it got to the point where it was clear that the Nazis were doomed, and clear thinkers like Churchill, Montgomery and Patton realised that it was time to switch the strategic priority to thwarting the communists. Unfortunately, as has been well articulated above, Roosevelt lost the plot and became a “useful idiot”.


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  14. Mater – the excellent series “Babylon Berlin” touches on the clandestine military cooperation between the Reichswehr and the Soviets as part of its plot.

    And how exactly did lenin manage to get into Russia in 1917? Oh that’s right, courtesy of the bloody germans.


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  15. Not much that can be done about such things when they have “400 experienced divisions, ready to bound forward like tigers”, except work to undermine the ideology.

    I don’t know, Bruce.
    At that time the West had nukes, and Stalin didn’t.
    If he was willing to put the brakes on his expansionist plans, based on this fact, I dare say he could have been convinced to put them in reverse.

    The West capitulated from a position of strength.

    Bottomline: Britain went to war to free Poland from oppression. What did they end up with?


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  16. Roger says:
    June 24, 2022 at 9:25 am

    And the western Europeans spent the next 40 years resenting the Americans for saving them.

    By “western Europeans” I suppose you mainly mean the French. You are right, there is some resentment there, and it had its origins many years ago.

    The French (Gauls & Franks) are the descendants of Reuben, the first-born son of Jacob (Israel). Jacob’s favourite son however was Joseph, Reuben and his other brothers resented Joseph because of his special treatment from his father, and also because Joseph as a younger man would have been a pain.

    In the distribution of the blessings from Jacob, Joseph got a double portion as two of his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, received the major blessings. Manasseh was to become a major powerful nation and Ephraim was to have a company (commonwealth) of nations.

    You probably know all this from your Sunday School lessons but it’s interesting to see how these relationships play out in current political affairs on the international scale. The two tribes of Joseph (Manasseh – the USA and Ephraim – British Commonwealth) will always go to Reuben’s (France) aid as Reuben had no part in Joseph being sold off into slavery in Egypt. Even so, Reuben still harbours resentment about being the elder brother who didn’t inherit the farm.

    What is also interesting is that the Jewish Sages say that only the Tribes of Joseph can defeat Edom. I’m not sure why only those two tribes can defeat Edom (nowadays, primarily Germany / Austria / north-eastern Europe), it has some bearing on the fact that the two tribes of Joseph were born in Egypt whereas the other tribes were born in Israel.

    So the Anglosphere will always go to France’s aid, and France will harbour resentment that they needed that aid. Eldest brother resentment is a common theme is Abraham’s descendants, i.e., Ishmael vs. Isaac, between Isaac’s sons Jacob and Esau (father of the Edomites), between Jacob’s sons Reuben and Joseph, and even between Joseph’s sons Manasseh and Ephraim.


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  17. At that time the West had nukes, and Stalin didn’t.

    Mater – Russia is currently demonstrating the limitations of nukes. They are great defensive deterrents both tactically and strategically. They aren’t good offensive weapons, at least not if you want to take possession afterwards. And even if you use them offensively the blowback in both radioactive and political fallout is pretty extreme, such that the victory as such would be worse than pyrrhic.

    So saying to Stalin “resign and institute democratic elections or we’ll nuke Moscow” is not going to do anything except bring you down to Stalin’s level in the eyes of the public. Truman was already seen as a monster by quite a lot of people as a result of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And Stalin would just ignore the demand anyway and quietly move to a dacha hidden in the woods somewhere far from any conceivable blast zone. He’d already killed more of his own people than a thermonuke would, so why would he give up power to stop more of them dying? And if one was dropped and he still didn’t cave in what are you going to do then, nuke ten cities? He’s still not going to step down, and you’re now a bigger monster than he is.

    Indeed if you did try a bit of nuclear brinkmanship you’d probably bring a Fulda Gap assault as Stalin would take the risk, since the risk of not acting would now be similar to that of going all in. May as well go for all the marbles.


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  18. And the western Europeans spent the next 40 years resenting the Americans for saving them.

    I don’t know who the quote is from, but “Charles De Gaulle was living proof that favors done are seldom forgiven.”


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  19. And even when the tide turned, Stalin (who was no fool ) threatened to make peace with Hitler

    Bloody ‘ELL! .. I’ve read, literally, 100s of books on WW2 and never, ever heard this one .. direction pointer, pleeze!
    I can’t for the life of me believe that given Hitler’s attitude to eastern Europeans, especially Russia, that he would have even contemplated a negotiated peace after he launched “Barbarossa” .. the whole point was not only the conquest but subjugation and/or extermination of anything/person beyond Germany’s eastern border ..
    I’m not even sure if even he could have survived such an about face .. !


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  20. The Left has enabled it by pushing globalism, thereby transferring much of industrial production to China. A little bit of disentanglement started to happen under Trump, but Biden has now reversed that. Same in Europe with Russia, which they’re now finding at their cost.

    I don’t think it’s correct to put China and Russia in the same basket. Not after 1991.
    One could argue that if not for the NATO’s encroachment towards Russian border (going against what they promised in the 90s) and the constant meddling in politics in countries around it, including staging a coup against the democratically elected president of Ukraine, the current conflict wouldn’t be happening and Europe would continue to get Russian gas without any interruptions (apart from part of it being stolen by Ukraine on the way).
    Now the US is building another biolab in Kazakhstan. And EU is giving away money to NGOs operating there “to promote democracy”, which usually means gay rights and the rest of what the word means now in the twisted minds of Western elites.


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  21. Britain went to war to free Poland from oppression. What did they end up with?

    Technically Britain and France as formal allies of Poland gave Germany an ultimatum that if Germany didn’t exit Poland they’d declare war. That was an attempted deterrent. As I said: sometimes deterrents don’t work. Seeing that Chamberlain had done the whole peace in our time thing for Czechoslovakia, then did nothing much when Hitler took the whole lot, it would be reasonable to think he was weak and bluffing.

    Of course then Stalin invaded Poland as well, so Chamberlain in the end defaulted on the alliance. Admittedly no one would expect UK to suicidally declare war on Germany and the Soviet Union simultaneously. But it’d be interesting to surmise whether Germany would invade Poland if Chamberlain and Roosevelt had been sufficiently Trumpian or Reaganistic.

    Britain also supported Greece against Italy despite both being fascist countries. The US supported Iraq against Iran despite both countries being nutcases. Sometimes your national interest favours supporting one side of a war if as a result it prevents the other side from becoming a direct threat to your interests. That’s simple geopolitics. Unfortunately, after a few decades hiatus, geopolitics are back in fashion again.


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  22. Shatterz – Shirer* mentions secret discussions between the nazis and the soviets (through an intermediary) in 1943 regarding a peace deal, the germans wanted the new border to include all the territory they still held at that point, the russians wanted the pre Barbarossa soviet eastern borders, needless to say at that point the talks subsequently concluded.

    *Rise and fall of the Third Reich, which I first read when I was thirteen.


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  23. Technically Britain and France as formal allies of Poland gave Germany an ultimatum that if Germany didn’t exit.

    The use of the word ‘technically’ here is mealy-mouthed and weasely at best. There is no technicality. Just as in WW1 in the case of Belgium, an ultimatum was given, the ultimatum was not met and war was declared.


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  24. Shatterz – Shirer* mentions secret discussions between the nazis and the soviets

    Skimmed my copy of Shirer but couldn’t find any reference(s) to a “peace” deal so Googled and got answers from NO to VERY UNLIKELY and no credible source material ……
    https://www.quora.com/The-Soviet-Union-set-an-armistice-proposal-to-Hitler-in-1943-to-arrange-a-separate-peace-which-included-restoration-of-Russo-German-borders-of-1914-What-if-Hitler-had-accepted-this-deal


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  25. Zipstersays:
    June 24, 2022 at 9:03 am
    The chinese have let it known that they can knock out US icbm’s

    Two points:

    .1 The boast might not be the same as reality.

    .2 Back to “Launch on Warning”? And what can they do about the SLBMs?


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  26. Matersays:
    June 24, 2022 at 10:41 am
    Not much that can be done about such things when they have “400 experienced divisions, ready to bound forward like tigers”, except work to undermine the ideology.

    I don’t know, Bruce.
    At that time the West had nukes, and Stalin didn’t.

    Not until July 1945, and very few for a long time after then.


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  27. Patton had no doubts about pushing on in 45 and drew up a plan which estimated it would take six weeks to take Moscow even without a bomb.
    Understandably there was no appetite for it, though communist infiltration of the State department made sure it never received serious consideration. Patton’s death in a mysterious road accident was very convenient. You wonder if Eisenhower had inklings of what was lurking beneath the waters of the postwar manoeuvrings but perhaps Nazi criminality and malevolence made Uncle Joe seem benign.


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  28. The use of the word ‘technically’ here is mealy-mouthed and weasely at best.

    Patrick – my wording may be iffy. In response to Mater’s comment that “Britain went to war to free Poland from oppression” I meant “In respect to the technical aspects”. So I was disagreeing with him on technical details while agreeing with the general vibe, that Britain was trying to keep Poland free. Sadly it only half worked – finally Germany was beaten, but by that stage they couldn’t do anything about the Soviet Union except on the edges, like the Berlin airlift, and general deterrence of further inroads, with the newly developed nukes as Mater pointed out.

    (It’s interesting that the Anglo-Polish Alliance apparently had a cop out clause if anyone other than Germany invaded Poland.)


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  29. Jorge says:
    June 24, 2022 at 5:10 pm
    Patton had no doubts about pushing on in 45 and drew up a plan which estimated it would take six weeks to take Moscow even without a bomb.

    Yeah. The Germans probably had similar thoughts is June 1941.


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  30. All these plans were aborted when Stalin learned, from Beria [via his spies within the Manhattan Project], that the Americans had the atom bomb and were putting it into mass production.

    Who believes this?
    America had only produced 3 A-Bombs by August 6, Germany surrendered May 30.
    The reality is a dirty deal was done to allow the Soviet time to get to Berlin.

    Stalin apparently told Beria that, “If Roosevelt had still been alive, we would have succeeded”.

    Who believes that?
    Truman was as rotten as Bubba & Obama put together, he did what he was told.


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  31. Ed – As you well know the Soviets had penetrated the Manhattan Project, and knew exactly what was coming. Therefore starting a conflict with the American and British armies in Europe may not have risked immediate nuking of Moscow but it would inevitably happen. The Americans had a production line going, so that by sometime in September a half dozen or more Soviet cities would have large radioactive holes in them.

    Conversely Stalin had the prospect of picking up bits from Japan to play for. Much less risky.


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  32. Bruce:
    The Red Army was on it’s last legs by the time they got to Berlin, they weren’t going to Paris.
    As a matter of fact, Patton thought his Army coulda gone to Moscow.
    He was probably right, but that wasn’t part of the plan.
    Beevor is a writer of Pro Soviet propaganda, 77 years later there’s still money in writing lies about the history of World War 2.


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  33. The reality is a dirty deal was done to allow the Soviet time to get to Berlin.

    Well actually a dirty deal was done to allow the Sovs to take control of Poland. Ironically, the Nazi invasion of Poland was the theoretical spark that lit WW2. That’s jaw droppping when you think about it.


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  34. The Red Army was on it’s last legs by the time they got to Berlin, they weren’t going to Paris.

    Reeeeeeaaally, Grigory?

    Got something to back that?


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  35. Wrongly posted on the open Fred.

    JC says:
    June 24, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    Mater, I dunno the exact timing (exactly when), but my understanding is that Patton essentially saved Italy from Soviet invasion through Yugoslavia. Patton apparently aimed his tanks at the Sovs on the Yugo/ Italian border and told them to make his day.


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  36. Shatterzzz:

    And even when the tide turned, Stalin (who was no fool ) threatened to make peace with Hitler

    I’ve forgotten the detail of this but Stalin was considering – as Case Blue – the German assault into southern Russia/Ukraine started, the ?Hungarian Ambassador spoke to him about a peace treaty with Germany – “Even if you have to retreat to the Urals, don’t give up, you will still win.”
    Aficionados will have a better memory of the occasion.


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  37. Aficionados will have a better memory of the occasion.

    I don’t have a reference, but it’s my understanding that the conversation took place in October 1941, and the speaker as the Bulgarian Ambassador.


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  38. As I said, Beevor is a Soviet propagandist.
    The State Department was a nest of Soviet Traitors at the time, yet this goose reckons the only thing that stopped the Red Army going to London was the threat of Atomic Bombs that weren’t even built yet?

    Pull the other one, it plays Jingle Bells.
    Franger!
    your a Blow In
    fuck off


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  39. Boambee John:

    .2 Back to “Launch on Warning”? And what can they do about the SLBMs?

    Interesting scenario in a novel I read a few years ago –
    Russia/China Coalition launches first strike against the US.
    Ten warheads are en route to major US cities and defence installations.
    The O’Biden/Harris Administration has made a deal with them that the retaliation strike for the US will hit targets of no consequence.
    The President asks which cities will be hit.
    The Chief of Staff bloke replies with a list of the 11 targets.
    “No – there should only be 10 targets.” says the President.
    “No Mr President, the 11th is Washington.”


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  40. I don’t have a reference, but it’s my understanding that the conversation took place in October 1941, and the speaker as the Bulgarian Ambassador.
    Oh yeah?
    Did Harriman tell you that while he was getting a shoe shine?


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  41. As I said, Beevor is a Soviet propagandist.

    This from someone who had never heard of Anthony Beevor, what, two weeks ago? How many of his books did you read before coming to that conclusion, Grogs?


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  42. The State Department was a nest of Soviet Traitors at the time, yet this goose reckons the only thing that stopped the Red Army going to London was the threat of Atomic Bombs that weren’t even built yet?

    Yes.

    Ever heard of counter-intelligence? The use of carefully timed and added mis- and dis-information to cloud a targeted organisation’s understanding of what is going on?

    Besides, the State Department wasn’t and isn’t in charge of the development and employment of atomic weapons. So snooping by the alleged masses of Soviet moles in the US State Department would have been rather obvious.

    So yes, I’ll keep lopping the legs off whatever bullshit ambits your retarded and ahistorical contrarianism leads you to spout, and smile while I do so. 🙂


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  43. Bruce O’Nuke:

    The Red Army was on it’s last legs by the time they got to Berlin, they weren’t going to Paris.

    I’ll have to give that point to Mr Ed.
    The Red Army had suffered huge manpower losses since 22nd June 1941 and the slogan that “Mother Russia has many sons” was starting to fade.
    The forced impression of young men from the conquered lands to the West was able to fill the ranks for some time, but the well was running damn near dry as the Soviets entered Berlin.
    Had Germany taken the “How do you eat an elephant – take many small bites.” attitude to defeating the Allies, instead of large offensives like the Ardennes and ‘Citadelle’ they may have done a lot better than they did.


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  44. ZK2A:

    I don’t have a reference, but it’s my understanding that the conversation took place in October 1941, and the speaker as the Bulgarian Ambassador.

    You are most likely correct, ZK2A.
    I genuflect and pass wind in your general direction.
    🙂


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  45. “Mother Russia has many sons”

    It’s a proverb from the First World War – “It is a wide road that leads to war, a narrow path leads home, but old Mother Russia has plenty of sons.”


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  46. ZK2A:
    It’s a proverb from the First World War – “It is a wide road that leads to war, a narrow path leads home, but old Mother Russia has plenty of sons.”
    Thanks for the reference – I knew I’d heard it before.
    Sometimes I think that Mother Russia is getting a bit jack of losing sons and grandkids, sort of like happened in Rural Australia post WW1 & WW2.
    Think of what Australia would be today if those young men hadn’t gone to war and then not come home.


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  47. Dickless

    Your full knowledge of military history could be written on the front of a postage stamp without obscuring the picture. Are you a Spook, a Flamer, or both?


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  48. Think of what Australia would be today if those young men hadn’t gone to war and then not come home.

    I can mount an argument that rural Australia never recovered from both wars, particularly World War 1.


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  49. Beevor’s passage struck me when I read it first a couple of years ago. Stalin’s assessment that:

    It was expected that the Americans would abandon a Europe fallen into chaos, while Britain and France would be paralysed by their colonial problems

    Was bang on. Eisenhower was in no doubt that his job was to get the war in Europe finished so they could concentrate on Japan, which was a different ocean away but closer to home.

    Churchill, by the way, had made his own plans for recontesting Eastern Europe as soon as Germany was done. Patton may or may not have been able to get to Moscow, but his problem would have been – much like Napoleon 130 years before – then what?


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  50. I might have been wrong about there not being a Russia-Nazi “peace’ offer .. came across this reference on another site .. tho no source quoted …
    the Soviet Union sent Germany a peace offer in 1943.
    They used Madame Kollontai, a Soviet ambassador in Sweden. This happened shortly before the Battle of Kursk, as Stalin was concerned about the Red Army’s experience and their logistical support.
    But Hitler delayed the meeting. He did not want to show the Soviets the Wehrmacht situation from early October in 1942, until the end of the war. The German Army was lacking experienced soldiers due to the fact the Red Army resisted better and better and actually started pushing the German Army groups back in places.
    Unfortunately for the Reich, the Battle of Kursk resulted in a great German loss, Hitler losing his single advantage, that of having the upper hand. As I said, he did not want to show his army’s bad situation. But by that, he hoped that after the following Battle of Kursk, he would win and have even a bigger influence in the peace treaty.



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