1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Will Hitler be seen in a more positive way in the far future?

Discussion in 'World History' started by christos200, Jul 26, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Messages:
    15,651
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perfidious Albion
    I don't think that being bombed was at all ineffective on British morale; 'blitz spirit' is, I suspect, a product of propaganda and people being ashamed to look unpatriotic or cowardly after the fact.
     
  2. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    26,698
    "Keep calm and carry on", they said.

    And from what people who experienced it have told me, I think they did. I know an old lady who was bombed out three times in London. And another old chap who was strafed when he came out of his school. Although he survived intact, one or two of his classmates were killed.

    Still, I don't know. Maybe people went mad, and screaming, about the place. I wasn't there to witness it.
     
  3. Tarquelne

    Tarquelne Follower of Tytalus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2001
    Messages:
    3,715
    It made people seriously unhappy and miserable - if not grieving, in fact, but I'm not sure it did anything to weaken the resolve of the nation as a whole. I'm sure there's quite a bit to what FP said, but the campaigns were so spotty - outside London, and maybe even within it - people could rather easily think "It won't happen to me." Or the worst had already happened.

    The Germans didn't have good follow through, which is what you need for a terror campaign to have any credibility.

    If the Blitz had gone on quite a bit longer maybe some sort of pressure would have built up. Though I think the British felt they had legitimate reasons for the war, as odd as it might sound today. ("Poland? So what?") The Germans didn't need to just make the British people resentful enough to express already existing discontent, they needed to make them so unhappy that they'd go after their own government rather than hate the Germans. It's a hard sell ... especially if you're loosing.

    I'd be curious to know which had a larger effect on "morale", however we want to define it: Rationing, the bombing, or the threat of invasion.

    The first is low level, but effected everybody, all the time.
    The second hurt fewer people directly, but it hurt them a great deal. And always threatened to hurt more. Time wise ... intermittent.
    The third never actually much of a threat. But people didn't necessarily know that, and if it had happened it would have been a terrible calamity.


    The Allied bombing campaign on Germany was a different animal, though. The Nazis knew the Blitz was just a terror campaign. The Allied bombing campaign, OTOH, was touted - by some significant people - as the way to win the war. Even the "dehousing" effort wasn't supposed to merely make the German people even more miserable than the British, it was supposed to drain the German factories of labor.

    Quite a bit of the tension in the high-levels was the fight between the bomber-as-war-winner faction and those who thought you couldn't simply bomb a nation's industry to rubble. I suppose my earlier post should have said that post-war analysis proved the latter faction correct.

    To toss in yet-another IIRC, I think "Bomber" Harris, big cheese of the bomber-centric faction, may not have had access to intel demonstrating how much more effective bombers were when they were assigned the sorts of tasks he denigrated.

    Sub hunting. That was another one, in addition to interdiction and targeting bottlenecks. A few bombers could make a big difference in the "Battle of the Atlantic", but Harris wanted them all for another round of factory bombings.


    The weirdly ironic thing is that German production kept rising through much of the bombing ... but mainly because the Germans never really switched to an "all in" wartime economy, but instead slowly ramped up as that "horde of angry Russians" thing started to really sink in.

    EDIT: Come to think of it, there were Germans and Allies on both sides of the strategic bombing debate. In England the "Bombers can win" faction more or less won, and that's where more people pinned their hopes. In Germany the "It'll merely hurt" faction won, so it was more often considered a terror weapon. (They also couldn't toss nearly the resources at it the Allies could.) For both sides the main factor in actually doing it was likely simply that they could. Both sides, in their own way, were desperate to hurt the enemy.

    EDIT #2: "12 O'clock High: Bombing the Reich" is the computer game you want for this. Could be considered more of a simulator, really. You choose targets, allocate forces, and pretty much run the entire Allied bombing effort.

    Not only should you pack a lunch before starting a game, bring a cot.
     
  4. dutchfire

    dutchfire Deity Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    14,106
    Location:
    -
    Quite a bit of the military production had also been shifted away from the cities to concentration camps. Bombing the cities didn't stop that production.
     
  5. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Messages:
    16,817
    Location:
    Somerset
    They didn't, though; those posters were never issued and only rediscovered fairly recently, although you wouldn't know it from the ubiquitous parodies.

    Still, the notion that everyone pulled together during the Blitz is a myth. In fact crime and looting flourished, as was surely inevitable when (a) there was bombing and chaos everywhere (b) the police was depleted because everyone had gone to war and (c) at the beginning of the war many criminals were released early from prison to enable them to go and fight.
     
  6. Tarquelne

    Tarquelne Follower of Tytalus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2001
    Messages:
    3,715
    The seed of truth in the phrase is that many people - those lacking the spirit of adventure to commit crime, or the where-withal to stand up and not be counted - didn't have much choice but to "carry on." As for calm ... you can only maintain any sort of energetic reaction for so long. "Calm" might not be what you're left with. But, say, bitter resignation or despair, are easily mistaken for calm.
     
  7. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    26,698
    People I've spoken to, over the years, have all said they enjoyed themselves immensely during the war. The sense of living for the moment was very great, I think.

    And, yes, it's undoubtedly true that people took advantage of bombing damage to do some unofficial pilfering.
     
  8. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The long wait

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20,030
    It's a queer and cruel joke that this seems true from many accounts. A Fighter Pilot's Story echoed this same sentiment, without the enjoying himself immensely part. If I recall correctly, that show is hard to find(I haven't tried ordering it from the site, I merely regret not recording it when it was on PBS), he said something to the effect that life felt "washed out and in grey scale" after he returned home. As if nothing he was ever going to do again was as vital or important as what he'd already done. Perhaps that sense of focus on the moment, driven by constant fear of death and injury, is what makes motorcycle riding and the like retain their appeal even when they're such an overall bad idea as a way to go about a mundane task?
     
  9. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Messages:
    15,651
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perfidious Albion
    That happens in warfare as well, but it varies from person to person and moment to moment - the thrill of facing fearful odds is balanced by the acknowledgement that the odds are fearful. In many ways it's just the other side of the same coin, and it can be equally destructive.

    That is also true. We tend to selectively remember either the good parts or the awful parts depending on what we think our overall experience was like.
     
  10. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    32,751
    Location:
    Scotland
    Well, people have told you that they remembered enjoying themselves immensely, but memories are far more plastic things than we realise. Whether they actually enjoyed themselves is another question altogether.
     
  11. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    26,698
    Okaaaay.

    But where does that leave us? Could you claim to have ever enjoyed anything, in that case?

    One old lady recalled to me recently that she went dancing two or three times a week during the war. Far more frequently than after it. Are you saying she imagined it? Old people do, of course, confabulate a great deal. Yet their memories of the distant past can very often be more reliable, or at least more readily accessible, than much more recent ones.
     
  12. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The long wait

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    20,030
    Don't trust anyone over 30 Sir B. Even regarding their own personal feelings and experiences. ;)

    I think that leaves us at the more things change the more they stay the same?
     
  13. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    26,698
    I don't think I trust anyone under 55, at the moment.

    They've always got some axe to grind, or something to proof to themselves or everybody else, or some hidden agenda. Or something.

    What a deranged lot you all are!

    Mind you, the brother is 64, and he's as deranged as they come.
     
  14. Tarquelne

    Tarquelne Follower of Tytalus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2001
    Messages:
    3,715
    De-emphasizing negative or painful memories is more likely. Assuming, of course, that she had them.

    And if she was rather young, particularly brave, or simply a little uncomprehending then maybe she was never all that worried about the bombs, invasion, or (with luck) a loved one or friend getting hurt or dying.

    Heck, people's experiences var a LOT in a war. Imagine the only daughter - no boyfriend - of an older couple whose only relatives are in the States. The father owns a local business. The town might be one with a lot of military money flowing through it, but nonetheless safe from the enemy. The girl's family is making a lot of money, she gets to go to lots of dances with airmen, or whatever, she's not getting bombed, and she's risking no-one at the front. Sounds great! The downsides to the whole situation are, from her POV, rather distant and abstract.

    The people killed in the blitz was less than an order of magnitude more than killed annually in auto accidents, IIRC. And people live with that reaper without even thinking about it much, without much support structure helping them bear it.

    WWII, as bad as it was, wasn't HUGELY worse than normal life for the folks at home. ("Worse things happen at sea." Or in say, Leningrad.)
    They had quite a bit of public support.
    And there wasn't a whole lot of choice but to endure.

    The British are to be credited for getting through it as well as they did, and I can excuse them if they play it up ... but it wasn't really a particularly exceptional feat.
     
  15. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    32,751
    Location:
    Scotland
    I'm not saying that their memories are necessarily inaccurate, but that they're unreliable as historical source material. Memories do not present the past to us directly, even a subjective view of the past, because they're always mediated by the intervening years. Memories are viewed and thus re-written through the lens of later experience, are influenced by ideology and culture, and are in some instances simply repressed.

    In this case, it's true that many people claim to have found the Blitz to be a jolly old time, because they spent the next seventy years of their life being told and telling themselves that it was a jolly old time, an influence which cannot be discounted. When the alternative is to remember it as period of fear and desperation, which would have been both psychologically burdensome and also (as Flying Pig observed) cause for derision, it isn't surprising that people prefer the version of events that allowed them to function as approximately normal human beings.
     
  16. privatehudson

    privatehudson The Ultimate Badass

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Messages:
    4,796
    I think its true that people's recollection of the blitz decades after the fact is generally positive, indeed far more positive than contemporary reports and accounts would suggest was the case at the time. Even the authorities during WW2 could be inclined towards panic, exaggeration and pessimism on occasion, the very things you'd expect them to be responsible for avoiding.

    Memories written down long after the events are of limited value and often tend to mix up details in the retelling. Far better to try to locate and study contemporary accounts such as diaries, Mass Observation Reports and similar. Not that these are perfect and like any source they need checking.
     
  17. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    9,445
    In the midst of chaos and the suspension of normality one can find some freedom and even happiness. There is denial if there is something catastrophic, but there would be those who were not directly effected. For them the event would be more freeing as war was a distraction from what may have been a dreary existence before the war.
     
  18. bonefang

    bonefang Emperor

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,132
    Location:
    Kolkata, India
    Love / Hate totally depends on what ever a population has seen and/or experienced. I went through some of the earlier posts, that Holocaust isn't taught in Eastern Asia. Check my location, Kolkata, India, it was in the history books.

    Rommel was there too. Became a fan of that guy after class 8th.

    So, Hitler is hated by Asia and Europe.
    What about Churchill ? or Harry Truman ? The saviour of Jews ? The liberator of France ?

    Surely loved / adored right ?
    Are you sure the descendants of this loved Churchill ? I am one such , btw..... :(

    Spoiler :


    Spoiler :



    Or this guy, because America wanted to test its new toy ?
    Spoiler :


    Why should I hate Hitler ? For all that matters, he helped weaken the British Empire, that was ruling my country.
     
  19. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    26,698
    I don't know anyone possessed of even rudimentary critical faculties who is an apologist for Churchill.

    I don't believe the British, and other European powers, had any right to be in India in the first place.

    But, since we're being so fair-minded at the moment, why has India made such a poor fist of lifting most of its population out of poverty since 1947?

    What percentage of the population is still illiterate? Is this the responsibility of the British Empire?
     
  20. bonefang

    bonefang Emperor

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,132
    Location:
    Kolkata, India
    "But, since we're being so fair-minded at the moment, why has India made such a poor fist of lifting most of its population out of poverty since 1947?
    What percentage of the population is still illiterate?"

    A hell lot actually. Why are you bringing this up ? Something to do with the post I made ? Surely not !!!!
    What has being fair-minded got to do with education / literacy in India ?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page