Eamon de Valera’s April 1945 missive to Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin:
After the cease fire, you must begin a peace process (even if, at first, you lack cooperation from your opponents). The first steps in that peace process are: to recognize the Axis Powers’ governments (even if not democratic) to allow all parties to return to their borders as they existed prior to the outbreak of these past regrettable hostilities and finally, to allow international trade to flow freely so that hungry innocents may be fed, clothed, and receive medicine. It is true that this might allow (some of) your enemies to rearm. But my own experts assure me that this possibility is minor. Inconsequential, abstract, and theoretical future risks such as potential rearmament cannot overcome the pressing, real, and current demands of suffering humanity and international law.
(A parody by Seth Barrett Tillman. Read the whole thing here, or in the Claremont Review of Books, where it appears towards the bottom of the Correspondence page here.)
8 thoughts on ““Dear Heads of Government of the Major Allied Powers””
The Irish position in WWII was shameful. I have never joined those Americans who clebrate Ireland as a wonderful country.
The Irish were confident that the Royal Navy would protect them without any need for them to pay any of the costs.
That’s also one interpretation of large chunks of US history, isn’t it?
He sounds like Obama. Offering his own government to guarantee the results. A government with no army or navy.
This is a case of pacifism and idealism regardless of long term costs. It is true that this might allow (some of) your enemies to rearm. Is he planning on going off to fight them if they do? Will he guarantee territory that was reclaimed with blood?
Translation: I contributed nothing to the defeat of these armies and the securing of our freedom, nor will I contribute anything in the future, but I hereby offer to dictate the terms of surrender.
But of course.
What was your position if you were named Schwartz?
Oh. Well nothing shameful. I’m here all day if you wish to pursue. Shameful then, Shameful now.
This was a parody by the way.
DeValera did not enter the war because he had no means to fight, or to hold off the Germans had they attacked. Ireland had 3 mail planes as their air force. Nor would sacrificing Ireland and hundreds of thousands of Paddy’s for Churchill’s cannon fodder be in Ireland’s interests, which was DeValera’s charge. What he did do was send all the workers they could to England as well as do everything economically they could for England.
He also swept Ireland free of German spies, and locked up the IRA for the duration of the war.
The Germans made their policy towards Ireland entering the war with some accidental way off course bombings of Dublin, not to mention leveling Belfast [and DeValera sent medical aid North into a hated bigot stronghold when Belfast was bombed].
The Nazis would have smashed Ireland in one of their shorter campaigns, and conducted anti-guerrilla war far more efficiently than anyone since Cromwell.
Unconditional surrender was in no one’s interest, except for Robert Morgenthau’s. He forced FDR’s hand on it from the Left wing of the Democratic party going into the 1944 election. All the Allies and Americans who knew anything about war were aghast. It forced the Germans to fight to the end when they were ready to quit after Kursk in 1943, even the Russians would have cut Germany a deal. We are still living with the consequences of the policy of unconditional surrender today as neither Germany nor Japan have recovered in either birthrates or power.
The United States does not exist to fight the wars or settle blood feuds of others despite what you may have been raised to believe, never mind poor and utterly helpless Ireland.
DeValera was probably a wiser man than FDR in this regard.
America could use a DeValera now, a man who fights for his people instead selling them out to foreign interests…or alien interests.
Dearieme-The Royal Navy would not have been able to protect Ireland even if it was willing to..which is very questionable.
PS – do leave this up long enough for them to read it.
Again…the article is a parody…my reply wasn’t.
The “Defeated German” of 1943 is a myth, propogated mostly these days by people arguing that Russia really won the war. The Eastern Front included millions of Ukrainians and Romanians and other Slavs fighting for the Nazis, so there was no German manpower shortage by the time things heated up in the West. In addition, Albert Speer had whipped German industry into an economic miracle, doubling armament production from 1942 to 1944. The Germans were able to field a huge and dangerous fighting force in 1944, and that was fully realized in the Ardennes Offensive.
Germany could not win after Kursk per the German Generals post war memoirs and interviews by allied officers. They could not win, that doesn’t mean they weren’t still dangerous. It’s possible they could have held Germany itself had Hitler given his generals freedom to maneuver as opposed to ‘hold or die’.
Germany was in no position to win after Kursk. They would have made peace. Unconditional surrender made them fight to the very end.
The policy of unconditional surrender was FDR pandering to the Democrat’s Left Wing and led to millions of unnecessary deaths all around, Europe and Japan have still to recover. They may never recover.
In economic terms Germany did increase production under Speer but could not outproduce any of her chief competitors – England, America or the USSR – never mind all 3. What Germany attempted with protracted war that required economic competition against those powers was simply more than Germany could bear, by 1943 that was apparent. Germany would have made peace as would every other combatant but the United States.
“Germany could not win after Kursk. They would have made peace.”
Who would have made peace? Hitler? Even in the wackiest alternative history Hitler didn’t ever want to make peace or negotiate with anyone ever. He proved in Munich and with Molotov–Ribbentrop that he only saw negotiations as a means to exploit the enemy.
The Germans fighting and killing Allied soldiers every day certainly didn’t believe they couldn’t win, and neither did Hitler. It’s easy to sit back now and say what may have been, but back then no one knew what was going to happen. Had a few lucky breaks gone the other way or poor decisions avoided, German fortunes could have been much different.
A few of his commanders may have known it, but they were unable and/or unwilling to dislodge him from power. Anyway, they sure weren’t opposed to him when they were winning.
Anglo-American forces didn’t slaughter or massacre German forces and towns when they advanced as was the case on the Eastern Front. There was no raping and pillaging like the Russians. There was much less incentive to fight to the death instead of surrender. Yet the Germans still fought fiercely. They were fighting for their Fatherland, and they would have fought hard regardless of any bureaucratic surrender policy.
“had Hitler given his generals freedom to maneuver as opposed to ‘hold or die’.”
That’s the key right there isn’t it. Hitler wasn’t ever going to do this. He was as suspicious of his generals as he was the enemy. He wasn’t ever going to cede control to anyone and certainly never surrender. He had 50,000 of his own soldiers shot for desertion or cowardice. That’s not the policy of a man capable of considering negotiating an armistice.
The fact is, every day in 1943 to 1945 that we weren’t completely victorious was another day that thousands of innocent people died engaging in slave labor and in concentration camps. It was the Nazis that set really the terms with their single-minded barbarism. No revisionist history can paper over or explain away these atrocities.
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