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chenpv

纪念抗日战争暨世界反法西斯胜利60周年

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大肚子

I'm really no expert on the Pacific Theatre, it's something I realise I need to read up on (any recommendations, BTW?), but as far as the European Theatre is concerned I would say that:

Britain prevented the war from being lost

Russia won the war

The US vastly speeded up the conclusion, probably saving a lot of lives in the process.

By holding out against Germany in the Battle of Britain, and later tying the Germans down in North Africa Britain prevented the Germans from being able to fully commit to the Eastern Front. Contrary to Youshen's comment the "English" threat was by no means nder threat of imminent removal, Lancaster bombers were hitting German cities long before the US came into the war and a German invasion was not even a pipe dream. As far as North Africa is concerned the Battle of El Alamein predated D-Day by 19 months, and Operation Torch (US involvement in North Africa and the first serious involvement in the war) by 1 month.

As for the Russians Stalingrad (predating D-Day by 16 months) was certainly the turning point as far as German morale on the Eastern Front is concerned while the Battle of Kursk (predating D-Day by 5 months) was the turning point of the whole war militarily. Had the Russians not pinned down, then later pinned back, the Germans in the east it is incredibly unlikely any invasion of France could have succeeded. It would also have made it much less likely Britain would have held out.

It is, however, equally unlikey and invasion of France could have succeeded without US involvement, at least not until much later in the war as the Germans would undoubtedly have had to move more troops east (possibly, but not likely, turning the war, granted). In any case the Russians would have, at least, had a much harder time of it.

It's quite difficult to answer Outofin's question about the cause of the German-Soviet conflict in a short post. However, a very good book on the subject is "The Road To Stalingrad". From the evidence in the book it's pretty clear that the conflict came about less because of ideological differences (which really weren't as great as people imagine) and more to do with old fashioned Great Power rivalry. Stalin and Hitler simply couldn't agree on how to divide Europe; Hitler wanted the Romanian oil fields, Stalin wanted the Dardanelles (a seeming obsession of Russian leaders) and it was simply impossible for them to both get what they want. Negotiations became worse and worse until Hitler decided to bring things to a head. This is a vast oversimplification, however, and anyone really interested in the subject should check the book out.

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chenpv

Thank you all above for giving me all these interesting imformations.

Britain prevented the war from being lost

Russia won the war

The US vastly speeded up the conclusion, probably saving a lot of lives in the process.

大肚子,i totally agree with you. Countries like China, Britain, France, Russia played an important role at the first stage of the WW2. They counteracted the enormous ascending attack momentum from the the Axis, and meantime suffered from great casualties. Without all these selfless sacrifice, the Axis were sure to keep their 'invincible' legends, and i just cannot imagine what would have happened. we of course can not deny the indisplaceable role played by the US, which 'speeded up' the final victories of the Allies.

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Ian_Lee

If Germany and Japan had made a concerted effort to attack USSR simultaneously from both the east and west, the Axis Powers could have won the war.

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Quest
the Axis Powers could have won the war.

一山不能藏二虎, who would have been the ultimate winner? germany, japan, or the us?

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bhchao

Hitler made a couple of mistakes that cost him the advantage. First, he switched to attacking civilian targets in London instead of continuing to cripple RAF airfields. The RAF aircrews were exhausted, and British industrial output could not keep up with the depleting numbers of Spitfires and Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain.

During the Battle of Britain, a stray German bomber plane dumped its load onto a residential area in London. The British thought it was an intentional German attack on civilian targets, and retaliated by bombing Berlin. Hitler became enraged and ordered an all-out Luftwaffe assault on London. This gave RAF crews and airfields a much needed respite from German bombing raids while the Luftwaffe was busy hitting civilian targets. It also gave the British aircraft industry the opportunity to replace the planes lost in the Battle of Britain.

Second, he started a two-front war by invading Russia before finishing off Britain. History has not been kind to countries who are stuck in the middle of a two-front war. Napoleon went down in defeat in a similar scenario in 1812, and Koguryo fell to Silla and Tang in a two-front war (only exception being that Koguryo did not initiate the two-front scenario)

Sun Tzu wrote "to strike the enemy at the point where they are most vulnerable". Hitler obviously knew nothing about Sun Tzu.

Churchill wrote in his memoirs that had Hitler concentrated more attention in the North Atlantic area instead of Russia, he would have seriously disrupted British-American efforts to liberate Western Europe.

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Ian_Lee

Actually China proved one thing in the war: It could never be conquered.

Unlike France which gave up the war within weeks, China withstood the war for 14 years -- longer than any other countries did.

IMO the real victor in WWII is Spain.

General Franco acquired power with the help of Hilter and Mussolini and defeated indirectly Stalin and the volunteers like Hemingway from U.S. in 1936. Later he even dispatched "volunteer" army to help Nazi siege Stalingrad.

But after the war, the Allied Powers seemed to have forgotten this "accomplice" and did not punish Spain.

Moreover, Spain's case proved that Fascism is more well conducive to liberal democracy than Communism is.

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chenpv
Actually China proved one thing in the war: It could never be conquered.

This is an eternal truth, i like this saying. :)

Second, he started a two-front war by invading Russia before finishing off Britain.

After reading all these, i have got a question. which side of the euro battle field--- east(Russia) or west(England)----- do you think is the strategic gist if we view it from the point of Hitler?

In my opinion, i think its the east (Russia) side.Russia is a continental country with a vast land of territory, and most of whose populace and economic backup are near the europe. so if Germany could fight the Russia back to the east a little, they would have controlled the WW2 to some extent because they would have not only controlled the abundent resources there, but also had the possibility to fight to the Indian Ocean, which suggested they would find other way out to the sea, ending the days of relying on the sole Atlantic.

Oppositely, England is an island country with less natural resources. With the strait as a defend, it was unlikely for the germans to conquer the GB. And what they had to do was just build up a defence along the beach strong enough to last for some time, till they fought the Russia back. As long as the Germany could take up the west Russia or even better, the way to Indian Ocean, i dont think Germany really cared about whatever landing of the Allies which was sure to happen some day.(sorry, this might hurt.) In a sense, Germany was right on his schedule in WW2.

However, most luckily, Germany overestimated his army and underrated the Russia, which led to a total lose of the war. Or in other words, the triumphs of the Russia in the east underscored the D-day.

Still, another reason for their loses is the lack of cooperation among the Axis.

The US, of course, could never front the lives needed for this (though they helped with the Flying Tigers).

Are Flying Tigers getting the equal reputation with the soldiers in D-Day in the US? :help

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Outofin

What after all made Japanese not to attack Soviet from the east?

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大肚子
Actually China proved one thing in the war: It could never be conquered.

Tell that to the Mongols and the Manchus

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Ian_Lee

Outofin:

Japan did attack USSR two times in the war.

In 1938, the Kwantung Army engaged in a small skirmish at the southeastern part of Manchukuo area -- the area close Hunchun where currently Russia, China and Korea converge. The result was a stalemate.

In 1939, the Kwantung Army tested the Red Army again in Nomonhon -- the bundary between Mongolia and Manchukuo at the Hulunbuir area. The result was disastrous for the Kwantung Army. Whole battalion of Japanese Army was wiped off with thousands turned POWs.

Why did Japan repeatedly test the Red Army during those two years?

(1) In Tokyo, there were two camps in the military strategists. One aimed for "Northward" -- attacking USSR. The other camp aimed for "Southward" -- grabbing the natural resources in SE Asia which would naturally confront with UK and US. After this defeat, the "Southward" camp prevailed and resulted in the Pearl Harbor attack two years afterwards.

(2) Tokyo thought that most of the competent Soveit generals had been killed or exiled under the Great Purge staged by Stalin in the mid-'30s. But Stalin dispatched the famous Zhukov to lead this battle at Nomonhon.

In fact, this battle was a "Battle of the Bulge" waged on the Mongolian steppes. Why was Japanese tank no match for the Soviet T-45? Because it was built smaller to suit the railroad tunnels in Honshu.

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Ian_Lee

大肚子:

I stand by my statement.

In case of Mongol, the Hans got rid of the Mongol rule faster than anybody else -- 92 years. How long did the Europeans get rid of the Khanates? Centuries.

In case of Manchus, they became even more Chinese than Chinese merely only decades after they established their rule in China.

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bhchao

The Kwantung Army dared not mess with the Red Army after Nomonhon

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大肚子

Ian Lee: Right, so the Mongols were kicked out quickly and the Manchus became (somewhat, far from totally) integrated. How does this change the fact that they conquered China, and thus the statement "China could never be conquered" is clearly wrong?

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peeyuwu

Please do not copy and paste Chinese texts without an explanation. Roddy

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chenpv

hehe, peeyuwu, maybe you could share your opinions with us in English. we are looking forward to them. Dont be discouraged. :)

How does this change the fact that they conquered China, and thus the statement "China could never be conquered" is clearly wrong?
大肚子,I really dont think the wars between the nationalities can be regarded as the conflicts with 'countries'. I think the reason you hold this kind of idea is that you took 'Han is china' for granted, which is a little partial to assume that China is comprised of single nationality.

BTW: I recommend the latest 南方周末 (Southern Weekends)which presents a whole special edition discussing and rethinking about the Chinese battlefield in WWII.

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Ian_Lee

"Nationalities" is a misnomer in case of China.

In now defunct USSR or Yugoslavia, "nationalities" is an approproate description since both countries were comprised of 28/6 sovereign republics with their own respective nationals in each republic.

But China is not a Soviet federation. Its sovereignty is indivisible. To describe the various ethnic groups as "nationalities" inside a single sovereign republic like China is carries malicious intention.

Of course, I know that is still the term PRC officially uses. But such residue from the Soviet era is outdated.

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chenpv

Sorry everyone, the discussion here goes a little far from the topic of WWII in China.

"Nationalities" is a misnomer in case of China.
Ian lee, I am sorry for causing the perplexity, it's all because of my awkward english. :wall . I dont know how to translate the words : 中华民族,中华,民族.
Actually China proved one thing in the war: It could never be conquered.
I interpreted your sentence as: 通过战争,中华民族证明了她是不可征服的. And it is unreasonable and ridiculous to interpret 'China' here as 'P.R.China' here in the sentence. why?Even for CCP, its goal is to help us get to the Communism when the entity of government doesnt exist then. In this sense, the concept of 'country' will go to the dust when communism is achieved. So all my remarks are based on the concept of '中华民族' which is never ever having the intention to make it USSR-like. So how can I correct it into the right meaning, can you help me?

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大肚子
I really dont think the wars between the nationalities can be regarded as the conflicts with 'countries'. I think the reason you hold this kind of idea is that you took 'Han is china' for granted, which is a little partial to assume that China is comprised of single nationality.

I didn't mention countries at all. Nobody could argue that the Mongols or Man had formed countries. But they were outside Chinas borders then, and they did come into China and take over the government. If this isn't conquering, what is it?

It hardly has anything to do with taking "Han is China" for granted (I have too many Man and Zhuang friends to believe that). But just because China is now one big happy bouncy family, Man and Mongols included, does not change the fact that it has been conquered by outsiders in the past.

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atitarev
Well, my only real comment is that the US won the war, but did so largely by manipulating Russia and China who did 95% of the fighting!

The US won the war?

Correction: The US took part in the war with the allies and the allies won.

Russia and China were manipulated?

Correction: Russia and China were protecting their lands, fighting Nazis and militarists.

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chenpv
But they were outside Chinas borders then, and they did come into China and take over the government. If this isn't conquering, what is it?
大肚子,sorry to differ, but I am a little confused by your sentence. I just cannot figure out how you define 'China' there in your sentence. (1) Can it be 'P. R. China'? I dont think so, because PR. China was founded in 1949. I think you were not trying to say that countries hundreds of years ago had taken over the present government. :) . (2) Can it be 'the nation based on a same cultural and spiritual backgroud'?. I dont think so, because, in that case according to your 'theory', It is even more ridiculous to assume that the minorities are 'outside' Chinas borders, and to assume that some 'components' had conquered the 'whole'?? :)
Actually China proved one thing in the war: It could never be conquered.
通过战争,中华民族证明了她是不可征服的. This is how i interpret the sentence. And i define the 'China' as 'the nation based on a same cultural and spiritual backgroud.', in chinese, that is '中华民族'. So no matter if it is Han or Mongol or Man who ruled as the highest emperor, 'China' had never been conquered. it was just a re-distribution of power among the members of 'China'.

You can say that: The existence of 'China' had been greatly jeopardised during 1840-1945, but we finally saved ourselves and China are going to flourish again. :)

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