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Saturday, 06 February 2010

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Seems a good sum-up David, your assessment of Ike's "political warring" would seem to confirm MacArthur's opinion that Ike was, "The best clerk I ever had."

But I also liked Ike's retort upon being asked about Mac's opinion, "Yes, I studied dramatics under him for three years."

Carry on.

Keep calm and carry on.

Do you intend to carry your talk through to the apparently remarkable recovery of German strength in the west represented by the second Ardennes offensive (aka Battle of the Bulge)?

Separately but relatedly, you report that a German general said that Germany could not fight on without the Ruhr. I suppose he was right, but note (Richard Overy - Why the Allies Won (?)) that Speer had already told Hitler that fuel supplies could not last more than 18 months, given the almost complete destruction or loss of the synthetic oil plants. So the German defeat was already virtually inevitable, regardless of where the allies struck (which I guess was plain to most Germans for all sorts of reasons). Which, in turn, prompted such desperate last throws of the dice as the Battle of the Bulge and the March offensive in Hungary (to recover the Hungarian oil fields, not coincidentally).

'H', you touch on a tricky aspect of my talks - what to leave out! As you will have deduced from this blog, I have a tendency to drone on ... and on ... and on! I try to aim for 45 minutes in the sure and certain knowedge that once I am in full flow it will be nearer an hour. Oh well, at least they get their money's worth!

I can only repeat what Hastings (and Liddell Hart) reports in his book which was that all the German generals reckoned that the loss of the Ruhr would have stopped the war with the implication that an attack on the Saar would not. Of course, the fact that the northern thrust to Arnhem failed, as did the southern one into the Saarland, plus atrocious weather, meant that the Germans enjoyed a brief respite - and of course from the top to the bottom a brief respite was all they ever needed.

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