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Thread: History Judges Neville Chamberlain Unfairly, Says His Granddaughter

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    History Judges Neville Chamberlain Unfairly, Says His Granddaughter

    He was derided as the Prime Minister who could have stopped Hitler but instead opted for appeasement.

    Many believe Neville Chamberlain's policy encouraged the Nazi dictator's imperialism and led to the horror of the Second World War.

    But as historians made fresh claims this week that Chamberlain - PM from 1937 to 1940 - was a weak leader, his granddaughter defended him against "cheap shots" he "wasn't cut out to lead Britain" in times of war.

    Mary de Vere Taylor said her grandfather was "peace-loving" and one of the "greatest social reformers" of the 20th century. Mary, of Ashburton, Devon, described him as "astute" and insisted he did recognise the threat posed by the Nazis.

    She added: "He was under no illusions about the person he was dealing with.

    "To forge somebody's reputation on the last three years of life is incredibly unfair. Had his career ended in 1937 before he became Prime Minister, he would probably have been seen as one of the great social reformers of the inter-war period.

    "You just have to live with it, but it's very difficult when personal opinions are bandied about as facts, people get misquoted, documents are misread or mistranslated and cheap shots are fired." Historians have accused Chamberlain of under-estimating Hitler by adopting appeasement in the run up to war.

    His diary and other letters, recently put on display at the Imperial War Museum, showed he accidentally entered "War declared" on September 4, 1939, before re-writing it under September 3. In one letter he declared that at times he had "nothing to do".

    And Terry Charman, a historian at the museum in London, said: "He wasn't a war minister. He wasn't cut out to lead Britain to victory."

    Chamberlain's bid to avoid war culminated in Britain and France agreeing that the Czech region of Sudetenland should be ceded to Germany.

    And when a non-aggression pact was signed in Munich in September 1938, Chamberlain arrived back in the UK the accord with the Germans signalled "peace for our time".

    Less than a year later Nazi troops invaded Poland and Chamberlain was forced to declare war. He resigned the premiership on May 10, 1940, after no Germany invaded the Netherlands, Belgium and France. He was succeeded by Winston Churchill

    But Ms de Vere Taylor said that as health minister, Chamberlain was responsible for many "innovative" social reforms, including paid holidays for workers and free medical check-ups. She said: "That has tended to be forgotten."

    Historian David Dutton also insisted yesterday Neville Chamberlain should be praised for his handling of the war.

    Prof Dutton, of the University of Liverpool, said the former PM was a "highly intelligent, strong man". He argued that few could have done a better job, and that he had been cast in a bad light only with the benefit of hindsight.

    He said: "Chamberlain did misunderstand Hitler because he failed to see he was unappeasable. However, it's all too easy for us to say that because we can look backwards - we know the barbarity of his regime. But Chamberlain was right to try to avoid war for as long as possible.

    "Britain was in no position to fight in the 30s. We didn't have the military harddeclaring ware or the Hurricanes and Spitfires which played a major part in saving us in the Battle of Britain two years later.

    "We also didn't have the Allies, we couldn't rely on the US, Russia or the countries of the Commonwealth.

    "People also grossly over-estimated how bad war would be, they thought it would be nuclear war. There were very few in 1938 saying we ought to fight now.

    "A year later people felt that Hitler had to be stopped, there was a reluctant acceptance we had to go to war."

    Chamberlain, who married Anne de Vere Cole and had two children, never lived to see the war end - dying of bowel cancer six months after leaving office.
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-sto...5875-21646619/

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    Chamberlain was the darling of the masses after the Munich Agreement, and the opinion of Hitler was high enough after said conference throughout the British public. When Chamberlain waved the sign of paper and proudly declared the signature of the agreement, people were hopeful that this was an arrangement to last.

    Whilst ultimately unsuccessful, Chamberlain I believe understood the importance and preferability of an "Anglo-Teutonic Alliance" () and was thus very focussed on not making war with Germany. I wager to say that he perhaps understood Hitler better than his successor Churchill, who was just hateful of Germans and somewhat blood-thirsty.

    Let's not forget that Churchill was in an important position when it came to the Boer War concentration camps, the use of Mustard Gas in Pakistan in 1918, not to forget already First Lord of the Admiralty between 1911- October 1914. He was also Chancellor of the Exchequer on various occasions.

    Either way, I don't think that Chamberlain was a weak Prime Minister. His legacy merely has the taint of ultimately failing to achieve what he set out to do: Good relations between Germany and the UK. But it was not in his hands. Like he once said: "Churchill and International Jewry have driven me into this war."

    Finally, let's not forget that his resignation was not primarily due to "failure", it was primarily due to his declining health, which admittedly dwindled once he was faced with the fact that he, on paper the most powerful man in the Anglosphere, could not stop a second Brothers' war tearing up the Germanic world.

    In any case, I consider Chamberlain a much more genuine and less shady character than Churchill. That Churchill was a superior War Minister is clear, as he had three essential qualities of a good warlord - rhetoric, leadership and ruthlessness (explaining his quick rise through army/navy ranks in young years). Nonetheless, his rise to power was more of a coup-de-etat in effect than anything, and certainly brought more evil upon the wider Germanic world as well as Britain itself by being vocal towards the declaration of war.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    A pacifist Britain had the same problem as a pacifist Germany: the disadvantageous long-term development of global power balances. Despite the need to fight for its position, the British Empire was in no shape to do so. Not during the time of so-called "appeasement", not by the time war was declared. Preparations were made nonetheless.

    If Britain had found a way to master the triple challenge of Germany, Soviet Union and United States, it would now be studied as an astounding feat of statesmanship, but no such miracle was forthcoming. Instead, Britain became the near-bankrupt flunky of the US and opened the door for US domination over the Germanic nations of Europe, the fruits of which are now enjoyed by all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hauke Haien View Post
    Despite the need to fight for its position, the British Empire was in no shape to do so. Not during the time of so-called "appeasement", not by the time war was declared.
    Yet they let themselves be forced into a war, which took so much of their fighting effort and ate so much of their resources, that it became impossible to sustain and retain the colonies, certainly much more Britain's pride than their first-world-war effort against Germany.

    I do not doubt that in part, appeasement was due to Britain's inability to fight a war with Germany - I also strongly believe however, that good British-German relations were desired both by Chamberlain and the British people, by extension.

    Even had Britain had the strength to fight a war with Germany, I doubt they would have freely done so: I would class it a strong claim that Britain was much ready at the time the conflict with Poland ensued than at the time of the annexation of Czechoslovakia, with whom Britain had an alliance, too.

    I also don't feel that it is a bold claim that Britain "secretly" knew that the subversive character of the German attack upon Poland was not to start a war with them. The war was mainly Churchill's goal, who can be shown by all types of historical sources to have been hostile of Germany and the German people.

    Either way, neither nation was in a position at the time, to fight a war of such a scope - so it is only sensible and understandable that, besides their desire not to be at war with each other, they continuously pursued arrangements on the diplomatic chess-field.

    If Britain had found a way to master the triple challenge of Germany, Soviet Union and United States, it would now be studied as an astounding feat of statesmanship, but no such miracle was forthcoming.
    If Chamberlain had found a way to master Churchill, it would now be studied as an astounding feat of statesmanship. The involvement of the United States was actively desired by Churchill, several quotes of the man underline such a notion. Why he felt such a tie to America is unclear, but it might perhaps be very personal, i.e. due to his family ties, as his mother was American-born.

    Instead, Britain became the near-bankrupt flunky of the US and opened the door for US domination over the Germanic nations of Europe, the fruits of which are now enjoyed by all.
    Which, not to forget, also came at a dire price to the Germanic population of the US. In terms of political, diplomatic and economic power, it would appear that the construct of the US came to be predominant - the internal sociological changes which can be seen as directly or indirectly derivative of the outcome of the war, essentially ended effective traditional Germanic domination within the US.

    Other than that, it is very correct, that of the victors, there were only two: The United States (as a state construct) and The Soviet Union (as a state construct). Britain wasted a fighting effort otherwise needed for retaining their colonies, and France was fairly lost anyhow. Either way, the two victors emerged as apparent antipodes, but curiously enough the guiding ideological force behind both derived from an ethnic source not too different.

    Essentially, the true and only victor of World War II, was the Jewish folk. Whilst they had their own price to pay, the economic and political influence they managed to obtain subsequently on both sides of the Atlantic; as well as the physical creation of the state of Israel, were two of their gains, and for them certainly an advancement, at least in the long run. Essentially, they took much more long-term profit from their persecution than short-term loss.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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