Monday, 27 July 2009


THE general verdict among the German generals I interrogated in 1945 was that Field-Marshal von Manstein had proved the ablest commander in their Army, and the man they had most desired to become its Commander-in-Chief.
Captain B. H. Liddel Hart

So … that would make Manstein the best general of the entire war then? Now then, what did this man, probably the most formidable individual general this country's army has faced since Napoleon, think about the character of the British?

O.K.H. was bound to regard this sceptically from the outset, partly because of the British national character, which made it fairly improbable that Great Britain would come to terms

If Hitler really believed he had already won the war after the defeat of France and that it was now merely a matter of bringing this home to Britain, he could not have been more wrong. The icy indifference of the British to his peace offer - which was anyway an extremely vague one - showed that neither the Government nor the nation were open to persuasion. And so Hitler and O.K.W. found themselves wondering 'What next?'

Certainly no war goes off according to a firm programme set by one side or the other. But
since Hitler accepted the risks of war with France and Britain in September 1939, it was his duty to consider beforehand how he should cope with these powers in various contingencies. It is quite obvious that prior to - or even during - the offensive in France, Germany's supreme command had no kind of 'war plan' to determine what measures should be taken once the victories it hoped for had been won. Hitler's hope was that Britain would give in. …

… the German Supreme Command had two facts to contend with: First, the existence of an unbeaten Britain which was palpably unwilling to come to terms.

… On the other hand, though, it may be that the British national character, so impressively incorporated in the person of Winston Churchill, prevented Britain from entertaining any serious thought of a rational settlement at that or indeed any later stage of the war. There was that admirable tenacity of the British which impels them to go through with any struggle they have once embarked on, however threatening the situation of the moment may be.

In addition to all this, Churchill was probably too much of a fighter. His mind was too exclusively concerned with battle and ultimate victory to see beyond this military goal into the political future.

… Painful though the loss of Gibraltar, Malta and her positions in Egypt and the Near East might well have been for Britain, it would certainly not have been fatal. Indeed, the British being as they are, it would presumably have served only to stiffen their national will. The British nation would have refused to accept these losses as final and would have gone on fighting all the more bitterly. In all probability it would have given the lie to the slogan about the Mediterranean being the life-line of the Empire. It is also most unlikely that the Dominions would have withdrawn their support.

I wonder what today’s scumbaggy enemies think of us … given that we can’t even deport foreign nonces and murderers ?

Sad isn’t it, what successive governments have been doing to the British character.

A fascinating account of one man’s war, and he wrote it for easy reading. Read it all, or just pick out the bits that interest you. Whatever – you’ll read a new perspective written by our then enemy, and it really will make you seriously consider what you thought happened, in places. Hold your friends close; hold your enemies closer.
Check the comment for how to get the book for free.


1 comment:

Sir Henry Morgan said...

I'm getting a 'Google Error' page from those two links.

OK, go to your Google search and enter Lost Victories Manstein. On the page that comes up, click the fourth entry - the one titled "Lost Victories: War Memoirs of Hitlers most ... ". That'll take you to it.