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Old February 13 2010, 01:49 PM   #52
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Re: Was Picard wrong in I,Borg?

Timo wrote: View Post
Yet the direct consequence of taking the war to unconditional victory was to create a brutal, evil, genocidal dictatorship for half of Europe. That happened exactly because everybody was so eager to wage war. Giving the Nazis a little bit of that famed Western thing they call mercy would have saved millions from the horrors of communism, while still winning the war, ending the Nazi evils, and making the world think a bit.
As soon as Hitler died the Nazis surrendered, given a chance they would have done in 1944 but Hitler and those around him would never have accepted this.

Why blame the allies? "Unconditional Surrender" is a good thing to ask for when fighting a "total" war, and honestly I don't think anyone was keen to be fighting, literally millions were dying.

Also how would giving the Nazis mercy have stopped the Russians from taking over Eastern Europe? The Nazis certainly would not have surrendered if they were not losing very badly, so at the absolute earliest mid-1944, after D-Day when the Russian summer offensive had already taken most of the ground they would later have.

Sure Soviet Russia was bad, but Hitler was much worse. The western allies saved as much as they could from communism without provoking another war. Sure it was not all sunchine and lollipops but a tremendous amount of good was done.

Not really "except". The victors spilled more blood. Much of it just happened to be their own.
So the Nazi invasion of the whole of Europe was a fun romp we should have laughed off, Britain should have just let Hitler cross the channel and take over? Liberating France did not create a liberal ,left leaning democracy? The European Union is not a freely co-operating alliance of Imperial powers that bickered for centuries until the utter destruction of WW2 compelled us all to change our ways?

Your argument to me seems really ludicrous.

Who said anything about letting the Nazis win? Suffering would have been avoided by not letting the Allies win. That's completely different from giving victory to Hitler.
Well it was a total war - one side or the other. Hitler was MAD he was not going to give back his conquered lands and live in peace with the west or the USSR, no idea why you think he would have.

Armies up till the 19th century understood that perfectly well. But it seems that when the United States got to play real war for the first time, on somebody else's turf, it didn't bother to find out how it's properly done. "Unconditional surrender" is not a valid goal of war, and is completely unassociated with "victory".
The twentieth century saw war fought in a completely different way to the 19th, with vastly more technology and total industrialisatino allowing a whole population to contribute to a conflict. This is also going to lead naturally to a change to the definition of "victory".

For over two years Britain was simply fighting to survive, as was the USSR for over a year. That in the end all three powers agreed that the Nazis should simply be wiped out is fairly sensible.

Most of the suffering in the big 20th century wars really comes from the US not knowing how to wage war. "Winning" is a goal for little children, and for the deranged who think war is a game.
Nice idea but in reality you have to accept WW2 as a one-off in this respect. Whereas the conflict in Northern Ireland, Iraq and hopefully eventually Afghanistan can be resolved with a constructive peace from a cease fire, the Nazi regime could not be allowed to stand. They were fundamentally too dangerous.

By 1944, said leadership would have been perfectly willing to negotiate with the West, in the unlikely situation where the West would have stopped to think and listen.
Utter crap, sorry but it just is total nonsense. Hitler would never have negotiated in good faith. Never. Nothing I have ever read about him suggests he would have.

They were humans, after all, not Borg.
They were genocidal maniacs. The Prussian aristocracy who ran the upper echelons of the Wermacht probably would have negotiated a cease fire, but their various plots to kill Hitler and do so all failed largely due to lack of support.

one Europe saved from most of the destruction, which had been minimal during Germany's expansion phase. In Europe, that is.
You might not want to travel back in time and mention that to the 50,000 dead British civilians from the Blitz, or the millions of dead Russians from Barbarossa. Or the citizens of Rotterdam or Warsaw.

I'm just telling why the eventual outcome really sucks from my European point of view, and why the idea of "taking wars to their conclusion" is not the antithesis of Nazi atrocities for me, but their direct continuation.
I do see your point and applied to virtually any other conflict I'd almost agree, but not WW2, not with what the Nazis did and stood for.

Sometimes you really do need "total victory" and while a negotiated peace would probably have ended the war in 1944 with hundreds of thousands saved had Hitler been removed, while he was in charge and had broad support it was never going to end. If Hitler had somehow survived Berlin the allies would probably have had to liberate Denmark and Norway with force as well!
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