What exactly did WW2 in Europe Accomplish?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by carbonlifeform, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. carbonlifeform

    carbonlifeform New Member

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    I created this thread as an exercise in the futility of war, even when it's necessary. I also run the risk of offending a great many people which is NOT my intention at all. Please understand that this post in NO way is meant to diminish nor belittle the extraordinary sacrifices far too many people made.
    Which brings me to my point. All those people died or were wounded for pretty much nothing. When you stop and think about it, the only thing that got accomplished was, part of Europe was liberated from an evil SOB while the other half was taken over by an even more evil SOB. Millions of people got to trade Hitler for Stalin. Stalin killed way more people than Hitler could dream of, including millions of his own countrymen. The difference between the two, and why Hitler is demonized so much more is, with typical Teutonic thoroughness, Hitler had his atrocities documented, Stalin didn't.
    But try and tell the people from Poland and Austria and Czechoslovakia et al that the "good guys" won the war in Europe.
    When this thought first occurred to me several years ago, it saddened me deeply. To think that all that suffering, all that death seems to have been in vain.
    And so, we must always remember that, the enemy of our enemy, isn't necessarily our friend.
     
  2. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    This may sound crazy or even too difficult to achieve, but the Western Allies should have pushed the Soviets back to Russia in 1945. The Eastern Europeans were sacrificed to save the west. The Red Army gave everything it could to sack Berlin and were in a weakened state.
     
  3. carbonlifeform

    carbonlifeform New Member

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    That's exactly what Patton wanted to do and Churchill too for that matter. They both knew the communists were up to no good before it was even over.
     
  4. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "...the Red Army gave everything it could to sack Berlin and were in a weakened state..."

    AMSTEL, the facts really don't bear that out. Within a few short months the Soviets were able to shift masses of seasoned troops from Poland and East Prussia to the Far East and launch operation August Storm. The troops were moved by train at night, the tanks, big guns and heavy equipment came directly to the east from factories in the east - leaving all the original equipment in the west - in the west. August Storm was a massive operation that was executed superbly. Not the performance of a nation and economic/political system on the ropes - as you suggest.

    MM
     
  5. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    Its easy to say 60 years later they should have pushed on though the soviets, the world had been fighting for 6 years some in China longer still. It was over everyone was worn out Industry shot financially the cofers were empty for most nations, home was calling , A stop point had been reached and a victory achieved it was enough for everyone, except for a few and they had not be doing the fighting and dying rather telling others to do it for them.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Impossible if you wait until 1945.

    History of Soviet and Russian espionage in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    FDR allowed Soviet agents to infest the American government.

    Years of pro Soviet Union propaganda like this rediculous poster have the American public thinking that Stalin and the Soviet Union are ok. Now you want to attack them? The American public would not stand for it during 1945.
    This man is your friend: Russian (full page) - WWII Posters at New Hampshire State Library (NHSL)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    DaveBender - agreed! The American public would not have gone along for the ride in 1945. It took the Soviet explosion of an A bomb, the Berlin blockade and the political exposures at home (Rosenbergs, Hess, etc) to swing America into a cold war with Russia mindset.

    MM
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Not just that, but the I think the public of the majority of the allied nations would not have stood for a continued offensive. They were tired of war...
     
  9. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Agreed. The American public was tired of war by 1945. It is one of the reasons the bomb was dropped on Japan. Anything we had that would get the war over with faster, with fewer casualties, was going to be used. The last thing the US was going to do was start another war with a former ally just when the worst war in world history had just ended. Everybody wanted to go home and get on with their lives.

    What WW2 accomplished in Europe? Good question. Here's a few I could think of offhand.

    Put an end to the expansion of National Socialism (International Socialism took a good deal longer and finally died in the 90s with the collapse of Russia and China going Capitalist). Got rid of any of the kings and queens (as effective heads of state) that WW1 had missed. Initiated the real growth of the EEC (later the EU). Emasculated Europe as the cultural, economic, religious and social center of the world (WW1 helped a great deal in this one), initiated the end of the colonial system throughout the world, established the social democracy as the prevelant European political system with the Parlimentary system as being most common. Established the UN as a body to mediate disputes, solidified borders, Established the illegality of aggressive war, crimes against humanity, ect and established penalties for those acts, made the US the dominant economic, political and financial power for the next 60 years.

    Probably a ton more, but those come to mind in the immediate.
     
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I don't think this every really changed. Europe still is to an extent the leader in those areas (except for economic). Culturaly, religiously and socialy Europe is still up there.
     
  11. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #11 parsifal, Jul 22, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
    WWII also saw the emergence of nationalist movements all across Asia. Even though the Japanese were defeated, their lip service to the idea of "Asia for the Asians" , and the mere fact that an asian nation had been able stand up and roar gave many people in Asia the will the opprtunity and the means to fight for their independance. There have been many unfortunate episodes arising from this....like Vietnam, but the benefits of national liberation, and the breakdown of colonialism far outweigh the problems

    Like it or not, I also believe there was a positive outcome arising from the Holocaust. It led to a great deal of sympathy for the Jews, and was a direct factor in the establishment of the state of Israel. Despite the huge problems this has caused, it has been a good thing for the Jews at least. And the Holocaust stands as a mute testament that reminds many of us that it must never happen again

    Finally there is the issue of the UN. WWII was the birthplace of this flawed organization, but I happen to believe that we are still better off with it than without it. From the concept of the UN we have made our first attempts at international justice, arms control, freedom from poverty, terrorism, oppression. Despite its obvious and repeated failures, I would prefer it to be there than not there. I wouold have liked it to be more effective than it is, but perhaps after the enext war, we might get the wil and the knowledge to make a world government a reality that works

    And for my own country, the postwar oppression has led to a postwar immigration boom and industrial revolution that has left us the 12 ranked nation in the world....we have grown from a small English colony of about 5 million, to a truly multi-cultural and I believe a tolerant society of nearly 30 million. So for Austrlia (and countries like it, the war has fundamentally changed our country, and the way we think and live
     
  12. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Important, but not the center is was 100 years ago. A lot of parts of the world looked to Europe as the model of culture back in the early 1900s. That changed with the 2 world wars. The WW1 got them questioning the viability of Europe as the moral center. WW2 got a lot of countries going their own way.

    In a sense, Europe never really got over the World Wars. They're still a huge hangover from it. Ideas that surfaced and were the bedrock of movements are illegal. The question of their viability doesn't come up, it is simply illegal. Focusing specifically on Nazism. The illegality of the ideaology gives it a credibility it doesn't deserve.

    Doubtless, after WW2, making Facism illegal was a needed call. World probably would've demanded it. But Europe is always going to be in the shadow of WW2 as long as the idea has to be illegal. Not sure how that is going to go on. Doubtless there are a lot of very, very strong feelings about it.

    In a way, I think Europe is ahead of the rest of the world in some ways. One of them is the realization that regional wars are no longer the solution. The EU is a definite outgrowth of that idea. I'm of the opinion that Asia has not yet gotten to that stage. Flash points like China/Tiawan, the Spratleys and India/China are problematic.
     
  13. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Momentum for the idea of the State of Israel. The Cold War - which stayed cold despite the massive deployment on both sides. MAD - the idea of detente based on mutual assured destruction. Hegemony for the US aircraft (commercial) industry.

    MM
     
  14. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    #14 Soundbreaker Welch?, Jul 22, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
    Da Nazi's were beat enough so the Commies could come in.

    Japan was beat enough so China was free and the Commies could come in.

    Oh well, at least some of the aggressive nations were defeated.
     
  15. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    It accomplished the enslavement of Eastern Europe by Joseph Stalin.
     
  16. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    I know that the world was tired and I have stated so in other threads about this same subject. It is a common knowledge and I didn't feel the need to state the obvious. But I have to kindly disagree about the strength of the Red Army in 1945. It was in a weakened state as well and the industrial might and air superiority as well as our harnessing of the "bomb" really made it the best time to free Europe from this murderous, and backwards form of goverment. The Eastern Europeans went from the frying pan right into the fire. WWII weakened the western civilization, and was necessary but not completed.
     
  17. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    The question was what WW2 achieved in Europe. One could better say what it achieved in the world.
    I would say this:
    1. make an end to colonial powers
    2. The emerge of 2 "new" superpowers (USA and USSR)
    3. Jews got their state of their own
    4. United western Europe better than ever before
     
  18. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    For the UK the ending of the war meant

    End of superpower status
    End of Empire
    Economic meltdown

    Many see the Britain of 1945 as when we were the victors and the moral winner...

    But the truth was we were on the verge of total collapse. Only Uncle Sam bailing us out saved us...
     
  19. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I think there was a massive amount of venting over how some countries were affected by WW1.

    I also think it helped kick off the UN which might not be perfect, but IMHO is something good.
     
  20. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    5. A quantum leap in aeronautical technology, fully transferrable from military aviation to civil aviation.

    At the beginning of the war, we were using aircraft that employed fabric, shared jigging with biplane predecessors in some instances, utilised crude, wooden 2-bladed props, flew generally at 20,000ft and with modest effective combat range. 350mph was fast. Coming in to land, it took us a while to get used to the fact that we'd tucked our undercarriage away just after we'd taken off...

    By war's end, the propeller was largely consigned to history, with it went the light machine gun. Aircraft could fly generally at 40,000ft across vast tracts of land or ocean, carrying more and/or hitting harder. The jet engine in its infancy was vastly superior to the piston engine at its zenith, the faster a prop went, the more inefficient it became, the faster a jet went, the more efficient it became. Airframe technology mirrored the leap, becoming gigantic by comparison to their forbears. Designers saw the civil potential and over the next two to three decades the world would become progressively smaller.
     
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