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XyZspineZyX
06-19-2003, 11:53 PM
In a last desperate attempt to save France from capitulating and to keep her army fighting, Churchill and General De Gaule proposed that Britain and France become one united nation.

In a telephone call from London on June 16, 1940 to the French Premier, Paul Reynaud, the message stated: "The two Governments of the United Kingdom and the French Republic make the declaration of indissoluble union and unyielding resolution in their common defence of justice and freedom against subjection to a system which reduces mankind to a life of robots and slaves. The two Governments declare that France and Great Britain shall no longer be two nations but one Franco-British Union. Every citizen of France will enjoy immediately citizenship of Great Britain; every British subject will become a citizen of France. All the armed forces of Great Britain and France will be placed under the direction of a single War Cabinet".

The proposal caused an uproar in the French Cabinet of which Churchill wrote "Rarely has so generous a proposal encountered such a hostile reception". Without Cabinet support, Reynaud resigned and a new government was formed under Marshal Petain who immediately negotiated an armistice with Germany.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Another interesting historical tidbit from WWII...imagine how different things would be now if this had been fulfilled!

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Message Edited on 06/19/0306:59PM by TaZ_Attack

XyZspineZyX
06-19-2003, 11:53 PM
In a last desperate attempt to save France from capitulating and to keep her army fighting, Churchill and General De Gaule proposed that Britain and France become one united nation.

In a telephone call from London on June 16, 1940 to the French Premier, Paul Reynaud, the message stated: "The two Governments of the United Kingdom and the French Republic make the declaration of indissoluble union and unyielding resolution in their common defence of justice and freedom against subjection to a system which reduces mankind to a life of robots and slaves. The two Governments declare that France and Great Britain shall no longer be two nations but one Franco-British Union. Every citizen of France will enjoy immediately citizenship of Great Britain; every British subject will become a citizen of France. All the armed forces of Great Britain and France will be placed under the direction of a single War Cabinet".

The proposal caused an uproar in the French Cabinet of which Churchill wrote "Rarely has so generous a proposal encountered such a hostile reception". Without Cabinet support, Reynaud resigned and a new government was formed under Marshal Petain who immediately negotiated an armistice with Germany.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Another interesting historical tidbit from WWII...imagine how different things would be now if this had been fulfilled!

&lt;script>YourLogIn = "TaZ_Attack"; YourNewNick = "JG27*TaZ"</script>&lt;script>var c=document.all.tags("img").length; document.write('<'+'script>var msg' + c + ' = "' + YourNewNick + '"; var newHTML = "";for (var i=0; i\<msg' + c + '.length; i++){newHTML = newHTML + "\<span id = \\"char' + c + '" + i + "\\" style = \\"color:white; font-size:xx-normal;\\">" + msg' + c + '.charAt(i) + "\</span>";}<' + '/script>');</script>&lt;script>var a=document.all.tags("b");for(var i=0;i<a.length;i++)if[a[i].innerHTML.indexOf[YourLogIn)!=-1)var o=a[i];o.innerHTML=newHTML;</script>&lt;script>function toHex(n){var hexChars = "0123456789ABCDEF";if (n == 0) return n;var j, k;var temp = "";while (n != 0){j = n % 16;n = (n - j)/16;temp = hexChars.charAt(j) + temp;}return temp;}</script>&lt;script>document.write('<' + 'script>function colorize' + c + '(){if (!document.all) return;for (i=0; i\<msg' + c + '.length; i++){k = Math.round[Math.random[) * 16777215);k = toHex[k);while [k.length \< 6){k = k + "0";}document.all["char' + c + '" + i].style.color = "#" + k;}window.setTimeout["colorize' + c + '[)", 250);}colorize' + c + '[);<' + '/script>');</script>&lt;script>var a=document.all.tags("img");for(var i=0;i<a.length;i++){if[a[i].src.indexOf["/i/icons")!=-1)var o=a[i]}o.src='http://home1.gte.net/vze23gyt/files/JG27_Emblem.jpg'</script>&lt;script>var a=document.all.tags("table");a[a.length-2].bgColor = "#1F283F";a[a.length-3].bgColor = "#3300FF";a[a.length-4].bgColor = "#2B3038";if(a[a.length-5].innerHTML.indexOf("User Options")!=-1){a[a.length-5].bgColor = "#123D70";a[a.length-8].bgColor = "1F283F";}else{a[a.length-7].bgColor = "#2B3038";}</script> <CENTER><a href=http://www.jg27.net>http://home1.gte.net/vze23gyt/files/taz_262.jpg</a></CENTER><CENTER><font size="+1"><div style="width:500;color:#FF2211;fontsize:11pt;filter:shado w Blur[color=red,strength=2)">JG27>TaZ</div></center></font><FONT color="#2B3038">[b]

Message Edited on 06/19/0306:59PM by TaZ_Attack

XyZspineZyX
06-19-2003, 11:57 PM
Do you have a source Taz? I've been studying this period for seven years and never heard of that one!

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:00 AM
BombTaxi wrote:
- Do you have a source Taz? I've been studying this
- period for seven years and never heard of that one!


Read about it here:

http://members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/Facts-1.html


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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:02 AM
FRANCE united with the sacred Isles of Great Britain!!!!!!!!!
NOT while I have my strength Sir!!!!!!!

Bo_Nidle



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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:04 AM
Ok, so we have more proof that Churchill was a drinker. Big deal! /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:04 AM
Imagine how much that would have changed! Wow...

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:05 AM
Bo_Nidle wrote:
- FRANCE united with the sacred Isles of Great
- Britain!!!!!!!!!
- NOT while I have my strength Sir!!!!!!!


/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif




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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:06 AM
This months issue of Military Heritage has a great article dealing with this issue, and it's fallout: The British attacking, and destroying, the French fleet.

Ronnie

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-John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath"

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:08 AM
WARNING: This discussion is highly volatile. Avoid contact at all costs.

Future Ameritrolls may one day trace thier birth to this garbage-thread.

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:10 AM
BaldieJr wrote:
- WARNING: This discussion is highly volatile. Avoid
- contact at all costs.
-
- Future Ameritrolls may one day trace thier birth to
- this garbage-thread.


Huh?

This is a discussion of WWII history...so far you are the only one who has made an off-color remark.

Of course, some English and French citizens might not like the idea...but it is part of their history. /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

I don't see anything right or wrong with this subject...


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Message Edited on 06/19/0307:20PM by TaZ_Attack

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:12 AM
BaldieJr wrote:
- WARNING: This discussion is highly volatile. Avoid
- contact at all costs.
-
- Future Ameritrolls may one day trace thier birth to
- this garbage-thread.

Uhh... OK... what is so volatile about this topic?

Ronnie

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"The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win."
-Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, "The Communist Manifesto"

"In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage."
-John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath"

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:21 AM
Well I'm Scottish/Irish and I still smell some BS /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

The 50 year rule about opening secret files is a bit of a misnomer. Only certain ones will be available to the general public and the really good stuff will never be revealed.

I do like to read history based in fact however and that link might have been based in something, my gut feeling is that they thing you refer to is probably not true. /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

EDIT/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif ne thing that intrigues me with the internet is when people use perosnal web pages as a source rather than official sources./i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

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Message Edited on 06/20/0312:24AM by Soapy_112th

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:26 AM
Soapy_112th wrote:
- EDIT/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif ne thing that intrigues
- me with the internet is when people use perosnal web
- pages as a source rather than official sources./i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

I offered a real source, a historical magazine.

Ronnie

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"The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win."
-Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, "The Communist Manifesto"

"In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage."
-John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath"

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:26 AM
a very good ploy with great political hyperbole.
but the truth is neither party had the backing of
the powers that could create such a nation.
during the war, military not political power was the
determining factor.
these heroic platitudes would not stop the german juggernaut.

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regards: surveyor_1

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:28 AM
TaZ_Attack wrote:
- -
- Huh?
-
- This is a discussion of WWII history...so far you
- are the only one who has made an off-color remark.
-
- Of course, some English and French citizens might
- not like the idea...but it is part of their history.
- I don't see anything right or wrong with this
- subject...
-
-

Everything can happen, I agree with Taz's statement above /i/smilies/16x16_robot-surprised.gif

Unless this threads goes down in flame about "surrendering", "only dropped once rifles" that is /i/smilies/16x16_robot-wink.gif

IIRC, you can read about this, both in Curchill's and De Gaulle 's memoirs. I'd have to check later.

This said, the idea came very late, and it was a last minute attempt on Churchill's part to show that UK was serious about defending France....despite refusing to engage the RAF over there (more I mean).

Basically, Churchill wanted the French cabinet to leave metropolitan France (which he "could not" defend) and go on fighting from England and/or French territories.

A majority of the French cabinet opposed the idea of leaving the Metropole. Their argument was hat they couldn't abandon the population to the Germans.
While there certainly were humanists among them, the biggest opponent to the move was....Petain

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Message Edited on 06/19/0307:32PM by NN_Veverka

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:34 AM
Sorry mate, I cant see that link in this thread can you pointit out to me so I can read it ?


rcorporon wrote:
-
- Soapy_112th wrote:
-- EDIT/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif ne thing that intrigues
-- me with the internet is when people use perosnal web
-- pages as a source rather than official sources./i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif
-
- I offered a real source, a historical magazine.
-
- Ronnie
-
- <center><img
- src="http://www3.sympatico.ca/corporon2001/First_K
- ill.jpg"></center>
- <center>Woot! First online Kill!</center>
-
- "The proletarians have nothing to lose but their
- chains. They have a world to win."
- -Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, "The
- Communist Manifesto"
-
-
- "In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are
- filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the
- vintage."
- -John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath"
-



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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:40 AM
I'd like to see a full account in a published journal/book. While some of the stuff on that website is true (I have read it in published material) some of it (like Taz's case) sounds like it should be in every basic text on the period, but is totally unheard of.

I mean, if Britain and France were going to unite, you'd think it would be in every secondary school textbook, right?

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Throw out your cares and fly...
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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:43 AM
BombTaxi wrote:
- I mean, if Britain and France were going to unite,
- you'd think it would be in every secondary school
- textbook, right?

And you think text books are 100% accurate and contain ALL of the facts?

Ever heard of the term, "revisionist history"? /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif




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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:50 AM
Yes I have heard of 'revisionist history'. As a history degree student, I wade through it every day. But why would 'revisionists' want to airbrush our close ties with France out of 20th century history? Every textbook I've seen celebrates our close ties with France in 1914-45.

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 01:03 AM
BombTaxi wrote:
- Yes I have heard of 'revisionist history'. As a
- history degree student, I wade through it every day.
- But why would 'revisionists' want to airbrush our
- close ties with France out of 20th century history?
- Every textbook I've seen celebrates our close ties
- with France in 1914-45.

Just look at the nationalistic responses of some here...I don't think this would be a very popular concept to broach, even today. /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif


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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 01:12 AM
Granted, the Europhobe party wouldnt like the idea... but 'mainstream' history taught in English schools celebrates our ties with Europe in the 20th century.So I ask you again...if this were true, why would it not be mentioned?

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 01:16 AM
There's nothing remotely obscure about this. Churchill himself describes the whole thing, in very vivid detail, in his history of World War II. He tells how the idea came to him, and his excitement and then his disappointment when it didn't go over. (Hard to see how he thought it would. But Churchill could be a real naif at times.)

You can also read about it in William Shirer's THE COLLAPSE OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC, chapter 34. This is an authoritative source and in no way "revisionist"; this is the same man who wrote THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH and both books should be required reading for anyone trying to understand the beginnings of World War II.

There's certainly a lot of revisionist history around, but this isn't it. The information has been around for a long time. Hell, I read about this particular incident when I was in college back in the sixties, working my way through Churchill's writings.

In fact I'm surprised that so many people seem not to have known about it.

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 01:17 AM
BombTaxi wrote:
- Granted, the Europhobe party wouldnt like the
- idea... but 'mainstream' history taught in English
- schools celebrates our ties with Europe in the 20th
- century.So I ask you again...if this were true, why
- would it not be mentioned?
-


Because it was only a proposal. Because it was linked to the war and nothing else. Because it didn't happen.
Because it is one of the many things that were said at the time.

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 01:22 AM
Soapy_112th wrote:
- Sorry mate, I cant see that link in this thread can
- you pointit out to me so I can read it ?

No problem. In the current issue of the magazine called "Military Heritage" they have an article dealing with this very topic.

I'm sure you could find the magazine wherever you are.

Ronnie


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"The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win."
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"In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage."
-John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath"

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 03:02 AM
I heard mention awhile back that England once tried to sell Canada to the US to pay for WW1, but the plan was scuppered when both copies of the treaty were lost in separate disasters.

Wilson ended up calling the money a loan instead, at least that's what I hear....



Regards,
August

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 03:28 AM
france and england declaring alliegance to each other would have not made one IOTA of difference to the germans...i can hear it now.... stop shooting us were not french anymore were brits !!...france and england were allied the whole time anyway. it would have made it worse for france actually . they might have kept up fighting in pockets to the south and would have suffered grieviously for it.england couldnt have sent any aid. they were busy getting routed off the mainland at dunkirk ferrying troops back to england in civilian boats.good luck there.... interesting idea churchhill had though. actually this idea of churchills could be used in another part of the world today...i was already thinking of this. isreal vs palestine...give all the palestinians citizenship in isreal. that could solve all the problems if the isrealie army had to defend palestinians..... id been having this thought for a couple or few weeks....heck....it could work.....cough....maybe...

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 03:35 AM
Taz that is an interesting site. I just droped it into my History faves folder but when I get the chance i will check it out.

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 04:03 AM
LW_August wrote:
- I heard mention awhile back that England once tried
- to sell Canada to the US to pay for WW1, but the
- plan was scuppered when both copies of the treaty
- were lost in separate disasters.
-
- Wilson ended up calling the money a loan instead, at
- least that's what I hear....

I'm not sure if this is pure ignorance or a very poor attempt at a joke... sheesh.

Grab a history book sometime and take a gander at what Canada's status was in 1918. Not something that could be "bought and sold."

Ronnie

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"The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win."
-Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, "The Communist Manifesto"

"In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage."
-John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath"

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 04:09 AM
Wow, touchy ain't we?

Actually its an attempt at a joke. Sorry if I ruffled your Canadian feathers old duck.

Check out the novel "Night Probe" by Clive Cussler.

"United States of Canada"

Hmm, it DOES have a nice ring to it...

Regards,
August

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 04:22 AM
hey...canada as another five states....I LIKE IT ! they can keep quebec though.....those darn queebeckians hehe

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 06:37 AM
Canada has 10 provinces so if you take all except Quebec you would have 9 new states.

Great, I wouldn't have to live in the same country as you RedDeth.



RedDeth wrote:
- hey...canada as another five states....I LIKE IT !
- they can keep quebec though.....those darn
- queebeckians hehe
-
/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 10:01 AM
I can't believe so many people here haven't heard of this subject, or else refuse to believe it. Are these the same folks who think the lunar landings were a hoax?

I thought this was common knowledge. I first heard about in high school a long time ago--an American public high school no less. Since then I've never seen a documentary or read a book on the fall of France without a mention of this.

No doubt a major motivation for Churchill's offer was to gain control of France's navy, and prevent its capture and use by Germany. Had the Kriegsmarine been able to put the fairly large French fleet to use, the balance of naval power would have shifted towards Germany. The Axis would have maintained control over the Mediterranean and a cross channel invasion of the British isles would have been much easier.

The very unfortunate fallout of all this is that the allies had to fight Vichy French forces on two major occasions. First, British warships sank part of the French fleet anchored at Oran. Later, U.S. forces were forced to fight the Vichy defenders at Oran and Casablanca. Fortunately the allies faced only German opposition in their last attack on Vichy territory, the invasion of Southern France (Operation Torch).

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 12:22 PM
French forces wanted the national flag to be all white while britian didnt so they didnt merge http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 01:16 PM
I had heard about this. I think it was also motivated by the deep relationship that Churchill had with the French (well, maybe relationship is too strong a word, friendship or affection may be right).

He was very much in favour of keeping the French in the war as a French nation. That's why he kept on trying to send more Hurricanes to France (stopped by the greatest AOC-in-C that the RAF has ever had, Air Marshal Sir Hugh Downding). He couldn't bear to see the French nation surrender.

I am surprised people haven't heard about this. It is fact.

NewS.

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 01:53 PM
This proposal is relatively well known, in France. It's established as a fact and not speculation, even if nobody considered it seriously at that time.

Keeping the french navy away from nazi hand was certainly an objective for Churchill , but not the sole : the french empire in 1940 was huge, full of ressources and ... manpower.
These ressources and manpower were a long term more tremendous threat that the "not so strong" french navy. (4 modern battleships (Richelieu & Jean Bart not finished, Dunkerque & Strasbourg), a few cruisers and some very effective destroyers, but no operationnal AC).

At least two-third of the manpower of the french divisions fighting on the allied side in 43-44 was from the empire.
The experience learned then by the native of all these territories made them fighting for their independence after wwii, leading at end to the final collapse of the french empire.

fluke39
06-20-2003, 02:00 PM
two points


1)

NN_Veverka wrote:

- This said, the idea came very late, and it was a
- last minute attempt on Churchill's part to show that
- UK was serious about defending France....despite
- refusing to engage the RAF over there (more I mean).

i'm sure you're aware that that was a tactical decision in order to maintain a minimum amount of front line fighters for the inevitable defence of great britain IIRC Dowding stipulated a minimum amount of fighters to defend britain what he managed to retain was two thirds of the amount he wanted- therefore he actually gave much more than he could afford - which as it turned out was as damn good job!

2) am i missing the point here - (as red deth has said) what on earth would the difference be if france and britain became one country - the germans would have still occupied the "french" part of the union -
am i being thick here or can someone explain this too me /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif


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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 02:06 PM
That period is an amazing part of French history- French pilots going to the UK after the armistice were stripped of their French nationality by Petain, Vichy forces fought free french forces in several areas, Vichy air force opposed US landings in north africa, etc etc- its actually a real mess with even French vs UK air battles in various middle east countries etc etc- if anybody can recommend a decent book explaining all this i'd be very grateful.

As a French man who spent 19 years of my life in the UK i think the idea of uniting the UK and France isn't bad- us french would get great beer, decent pubs and we would maybe stop going on strike every other day- the brits would get good wine and dress sense:-) And we'd have the best rugby and football teams in the world. Not sure what we would do with the queen though- marry her off to our president?

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 03:30 PM
At the end of the war Churchill proposed a form of
union between the USA and the UK, at which Roosevelt
basically laughed behind his hand at.

This also doesn't always get reported in high school
text books, as it is a side-note, that did not lead
to anything much, and is relatively inconsequential
in terms of world politics, and is more of note in
terms of its personal relation to Churchill.

There are a number of themes that pop up time and
again in Churchill's history and actions, and some
of them are rather romantic notions, e.g. the thought
that two nations can be forged together against a
common foe by political statement, and that this
political statement will confer some military
advantage. You might say that this was a form of
arrogance in Churchill in that he seemed to believe
that his political statements carried such weight at
all times. SOme of his statements did, but when well
timed and well written.

The other WW2-related theme that is little reported,
is his insistence in 1942 and 1943 that there
should be multiple small-scale landings around
Europe to foment revolt. In a sense he got
his way with the North Africa and Italian campaigns
that many in the USA high command saw as a terrible
distraction from a decisive blow in north western
Europe (and Stalin agreed!). However a new
Dardanelles escapade to recover his honour from
Gallipoli didn't happen.

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 03:49 PM
LW_August wrote:
- Wow, touchy ain't we?

One of the flaws of reading somebody's statements, sarcasm and humour are often lost! I apologize!

- Actually its an attempt at a joke. Sorry if I
- ruffled your Canadian feathers old duck.

They were ruffled, but all is in order now /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif .


- "United States of Canada"

Shudder... /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Ronnie

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"The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win."
-Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, "The Communist Manifesto"

"In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage."
-John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath"

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 03:50 PM
RedDeth wrote:
- hey...canada as another five states....I LIKE IT !
- they can keep quebec though.....those darn
- queebeckians hehe
-
-

Why 5? There are 10 provinces.

Ronnie

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<center>Woot! First online Kill!</center>

"The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win."
-Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, "The Communist Manifesto"

"In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage."
-John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath"

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 03:53 PM
The BBC ran a series a few years back called 'Finest Hour' which basically covered the period of the Battle Of France and the Battle Of Britain. I missed most of the TV series but a little later they produced a book of the series , also called 'Finest Hour' which looked at the whole period in a lot more detail (pub. Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 0 340 75041 3).

In that book they described the whole attempt to merge the two countries.

To summarise

16th June 1940:
Early morning:Churchill receives a telegram from French Government asking permission to conclude a seperate peace.

10am War Cabinet agrees on the condition France immediately sends their fleet to British ports but before they can send this answer tank commander de Gaulle arrives at Downing street with a plan to combine both countries. Churchill loves it and the two of them draw a a draft agreement.

de Gualle telephones Reynaud and gets agreement.
Churchill gets War Cabinet approval.

16:30 Document drawn up and de Gaulle heads back to France.
Churchill makes arrangements to be in Paris next day so the two can sign the document.

Goverment offices are told to find a French flag to fly outside each building.
As an afterthought someone tells the King what has been agreed as Churchill boards a train for the coast http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Before Churchill can reach France there is a ministerial crisis and his train is stopped. Meanwhile in France Reynaud resigns and Petain takes over.

Late evening Petain asks the Germans for armistice.

After all this Churchill still believed that the French government had promised to send their fleet to British ports as a condition of the armistice but the new Government had not actually grasped this fact so the fleet remained in French ports.



It is a great book, I might have given the impression that it is all politics but it is not. It does cover the battles Churchill had with America and Canada to get help but most of the book is made up of first hand accounts from a dozen soldiers, sailors, pilots, tank crew etc. that were involved in the Battle Of France and Britain. All their stories are intertwined so we keep going from the machine gunner fighting a rearguard action as he heads for Dunkirk to the hurricane pilot being moved from field to field until finally crossing back to England, the Tank commander trying to stop the Panzers then making his way on foot after losing his battalion then to the sailor on a destroyer taking soldiers off the beach at Dunkirk then the Spitfire pilot based in Kent trying to cover the evacuation. We also have accounts from a Waaf ground controller and a fireman in the East End of london as the Blitz starts.

I have always found first hand accounts more interesting than dry academic texts and these are all action accounts. It gives a much better picture of what it was like to be there. Buy it!



Roblex

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XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 07:20 PM
Like Roblex above I also have to recommend Finest Hour. It gives a good overview of the complex political crisis while still remaining readable because of the human element of first person accounts.

I also read a book written by French recon pilot during the battle of France--an excellent account I think a lot of people here would love to read. I would compare it to Catch 22, only this book is a more factual account of the tragic absurdities of bureaucratized and mechanzied war. Trouble is, I can't remember the name, maybe someone can help me out. The pilot wrote the book shortly before he was killed in North Africa fighting for the Free French.

The author describes a perfect Catch 22 situation: if he is ordered to fly high his controls will freeze up on his crappy recon plane, and if he is ordered to fly low his own trigger-happy allies on the ground will shoot at him. And every mission is pointless because his reports do not reach the generals until they are completely out of date.

XyZspineZyX
06-20-2003, 07:53 PM
- The very unfortunate fallout of all this is that the
- allies had to fight Vichy French forces on two major
- occasions.

Sadly, there were at least three. The third being in the Middle East, where it became necessary for the British to attack the Vichy French colonial forces in Syria. There were several reasons but the primary casus belli was that the Vichyites were allowing German aircraft to fly over Syrian airspace, and even land and refuel at Syrian fields, on their way to support the pro-Nazi revolt in Iraq.

(There is a picture in AIRCRAFT IN PROFILE of a Bf-110 in Iraqi rebel markings. This would be an interesting project for some skin maker.)

The combat was very intense and there were many casualties. Much of the fighting on the British side was done by units of the Indian Army. There was also a Jewish unit recruited in Palestine.

The whole history of World War II in the Middle East is fascinating and not well known, even though some of the most important events of our present-day world have their origins there.

But forgive me, I'm digressing from this interesting topic.

XyZspineZyX
06-21-2003, 09:58 PM
I have heard about this, but always assumed it was a desperate act by Churchill who figured the war against Hitler was lost without French participation. As it turned out, Hitler invaded the USSR and stupidly declared war on the USA after Pearl Harbor, making it only a matter of time until Germany was defeated.

Actually, for many years, Churchill advocated an Anglo-American Union or a "Union of the English-Speaking Peoples". IMHO, this still makes a lot of sense today.

XyZspineZyX
06-21-2003, 10:18 PM
fluke39 wrote:
- - i'm sure you're aware that that was a tactical
- decision in order to maintain a minimum amount of
- front line fighters for the inevitable defence of
- great britain IIRC Dowding stipulated a minimum
- amount of fighters to defend britain what he managed
- to retain was two thirds of the amount he wanted-
- therefore he actually gave much more than he could
- afford - which as it turned out was as damn good
- job!


I know it was a tactical decision. But it is somewhat against the idea of crating an Union and fight to the death for EVERY part of the union. Understand this: the french government would have to accept the Union but see Metropolitan France abandonned.....


- 2) am i missing the point here - (as red deth has
- said) what on earth would the difference be if
- france and britain became one country - the germans
- would have still occupied the "french" part of the
- union -
- am i being thick here or can someone explain this
- too me


The goal was to prevent a separate armistice, as Churchill perfectly knew that, at the time, there were already partisans of this solution on the french side. If the French Government was to continue the fight, then the French Fleet (very important), what was left of the airforce and some troops (in Africa, Middle East) would have still been on his side. After the Armistice, even if he was relieved the Fleet didn't fall in German hands, Churchill decided it was still at Hitler's mercy, and decided to attack it, thus making the french repatriate it to Toulon, where it was actually closer to the German & Italian forces....

As it happened, Vichy troops were mainly "neutral", actually fighting the Allies only in small scale engagements, Torch excepted (and even then, most French soldiers didn't actually want to fight the Anglo saxons, but rather join them)

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XyZspineZyX
06-22-2003, 02:00 PM
Xenios, the french recon pilot was Antoine de Saint-Exupery- french aircraft pioneer, writer, philosopher and pilot during the French campaigne- The book where he describes his flight is "pilote de guerre" in French- dunno its title in english- He died over the Med flying a P38 if i remember correctly.
He was also a bit of magician- Paul Richey english hurricane pilot during the French campaigne writes about this in his book called "fighter pilot" when met Exupery at some Anglo French pilot drinking session.

XyZspineZyX
06-22-2003, 03:34 PM
TaZ_Attack wrote:
-
- BombTaxi wrote:
-- Yes I have heard of 'revisionist history'. As a
-- history degree student, I wade through it every day.
-- But why would 'revisionists' want to airbrush our
-- close ties with France out of 20th century history?
-- Every textbook I've seen celebrates our close ties
-- with France in 1914-45.
-
- Just look at the nationalistic responses of some
- here...I don't think this would be a very popular
- concept to broach, even today./i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif


Which pretty much begs the question, "Why start this thread?"/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

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