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 Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme

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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:29 am

evercloserunion wrote:
Toxic has shouted down some of my concerns but has been largely unable to ease them in spite of all his years of historical training.

I don't shout, that's the girlfriend's job, and I have a sore throat anyway. And I can only do my best, convincing others of my magnificence and omniscience is one of my less honed qualities...
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:31 am

Quote :
For the same reasons as the
British? The British thought it worthwhile, even if only as a gesture,
and even with drop captures by the enemy. The Russians could have done
it with more precision. Only not involving thousand-mile suicide
missions.
The British may have thought it worthwhile to waste fuel, lives and supplies on an airdrop 80% of which would go into enemy hands. But such an airdrop was hardly the only reasonable course of action.

Quote :
No. Unless you're almost touchingly gullible.
So it's entirely unreasonable for a nation to have anti-air defences operating in wartime. Gladwe have that cleared up.

And this is the problem with historians; any book that doesn't favour their own personal views is nothing more than a "political exercise" as cactus reminded us, and anyone who doesn't agree with you is "touchingly gullible".
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:31 am

toxic avenger wrote:
evercloserunion wrote:
Toxic has shouted down some of my concerns but has been largely unable to ease them in spite of all his years of historical training.

I don't shout, that's the girlfriend's job, and I have a sore throat anyway. And I can only do my best, convincing others of my magnificence and omniscience is one of my less honed qualities...
Evidently! Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:41 am

Quote :
[quote="evercloserunion"]
Quote :

On the contrary, I am leaving room for uncertainty and room for the
possibility that there will be greater certainty at some stage in the
future. You have asked valid questions. Toxic Avenger has answered some
of them.
You certainly don't seem to be leaving much room for uncertainty. From where I'm standing your stance seems to be that you are correct and everyone knows it, but they won't be able to prove it for a few years. Sure what is prove when we have geo-politics to go on anyway.

From one of my earlier posts - "You are questioning a very widely held view of events, and at the moment we are putting one set of speculations up against another, and not really getting very far." I pointed out that there is new archive material being released, and that some time in the future there might be a definitive answer. Why should I assume one way or the other what that answer would be?

Quote :
I'm not saying I'm right, I'm not saying that one thing or another definitely happened. I've simply raised concerns that I have about treating one-sided speculation as indisputable fact, as the documentary did. Toxic has shouted down some of my concerns but has been largely unable to ease them in spite of all his years of historical training.
Again, I think you have valid questions. My own question when watching the beginning (visitors arrived and I missed the end) was what determined the timing of the uprising. Was it incited by the Soviets, or was it a decision to try to get into position of control before the Soviets arrived? Do we have enough evidence to know the answer to that?

Quote :
Quote :
Not my theory, a theory that is very widely believed and cited, as in the Britannica link, but I could find you scores more.
And again, I never said that theory was not supported by many. Do you deny that some historians favour other explanations?

Hardly.

Quote :

The book does not favour either theory - it doesn't cover the issue at all. The book appears to be in part a poltical exercise, as is much
history writing. The fact that this controversy was not covered in the book if anything suggests to me that the documentary evidence was not
such as would help in "bringing the two countries together".
My mistake. The book itself offered no help but the authors' reasons for excluding the issue gave some help IMO. Apparently the theory that Stalin had a sinister ulterior motive for declining to march on Warsaw is not as universally accepted as you or toxic would have us believe.[/quote]
Well, that one was hardly written into the USSR history text books.

The underlying issue here perhaps is self-determination. My view would be that the Polish people should have had the right to choose their own leadership, whether or not it suited the Soviet Union's immediate agenda.
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:45 am

evercloserunion wrote:

The British may have thought it worthwhile to waste fuel, lives and supplies on an airdrop 80% of which would go into enemy hands. But such an airdrop was hardly the only reasonable course of action.
The British did the decent and moral thing, whether reasonable or not. As they did when they diverted badly needed lend-lease supplies to the Russians via the killing fields of the Arctic Convoy. But it's not the air-drop, or lack of, by the Russians that bothers me, it's the refusal to allow the British, flying the most hazardous mission imaginable, to use Russian landing strips to refuel that gets my goat. Those pilots that died as a result were killed directly by Stalin, in my view, and purely because of his own cynical and recorded motives.

Quote :

So it's entirely unreasonable for a nation to have anti-air defences operating in wartime. Gladwe have that cleared up.

And this is the problem with historians; any book that doesn't favour their own personal views is nothing more than a "political exercise" as cactus reminded us, and anyone who doesn't agree with you is "touchingly gullible".

It's entirely unreasonable to shoot at clearly identifiable allied planes, being fully aware of their mission, and being in unconditional military alliance with them, for base motives, yes.

Historians are trained to be objective, not to be opinionless. You asked me 'The country was at war, and it shot at foreign warplanes that flew over its territory. Is there no way this could be explained other than by concluding that Stalin personally wanted the Poles to suffer?'. No serious historian who had read the evidence could arrive at any other conclusion. It would take gullibility of the highest order, or else partisan disingenuousness, not to arrive firmly at that conclusion. If you want bland, ask someone else.
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:53 am

Quote :

And this is the problem with historians; any book that doesn't favour their own personal views is nothing more than a "political exercise" as cactus reminded us, and anyone who doesn't agree with you is "touchingly gullible".

That is not "as cactus reminded us", so I assume its your own view of historians. The specific book I referred to was written explicitly "to bring two countries closer together" and thus, in part, was a political exercise. Would you not agree that all history writing is informed to some extent by the writer's political viewpoint, whether conciously or unconciously ?

Selective quoting isn't only a historian's vice - I suspect anyone who ever opened a book and has an opinion has been guilty of it at one stage or another. In writing a book, its a bad, bad thing. In open debate, there is a fair chance that the other view will be put across too.
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:11 am

Quote :
Again, I think you have valid
questions. My own question when watching the beginning (visitors
arrived and I missed the end) was what determined the timing of the
uprising. Was it incited by the Soviets, or was it a decision to try to
get into position of control before the Soviets arrived? Do we have
enough evidence to know the answer to that?
Well the documentary said that the idea was to take the city before the Soviets got there because they wanted to underscore their own sovereignty.

Quote :


The underlying issue here perhaps is self-determination. My
view would be that the Polish people should have had the right to
choose their own leadership, whether or not it suited the Soviet
Union's immediate agenda.
And how does it follow from that that the Soviets should have invaded Warsaw? confused
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:18 am

evercloserunion wrote:
Quote :
Again, I think you have valid
questions. My own question when watching the beginning (visitors
arrived and I missed the end) was what determined the timing of the
uprising. Was it incited by the Soviets, or was it a decision to try to
get into position of control before the Soviets arrived? Do we have
enough evidence to know the answer to that?
Well the documentary said that the idea was to take the city before the Soviets got there because they wanted to underscore their own sovereignty.

Quote :


The underlying issue here perhaps is self-determination. My
view would be that the Polish people should have had the right to
choose their own leadership, whether or not it suited the Soviet
Union's immediate agenda.
And how does it follow from that that the Soviets should have invaded Warsaw? confused

Say the Soviets were totally benign: what were the options for them in relation to the formation of a Polish government, and what did they actually do?
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:19 am

Quote :
The British did the decent and moral thing, whether reasonable or not.
As they did when they diverted badly needed lend-lease supplies to the
Russians via the killing fields of the Arctic Convoy. But it's not the
air-drop, or lack of, by the Russians that bothers me, it's the refusal
to allow the British, flying the most hazardous mission imaginable, to
use Russian landing strips to refuel that gets my goat.
Well if the facts of this matter are to be decided on moral grounds then I must concede. The Brits did the noble (if somewhat stupid) thing alright, and Stalin wasn't a very nice man at all. Of that there is no doubt. But how that dictates the facts and leads to the conclusion you say it does is beyond me. Oh well.

Quote :
Those pilots that died as a result were killed directly by Stalin, in my view, and purely because of his own cynical and recorded motives.
Recorded motives? Well it was not brought to my attention that Stalin actually explicitly said that the reason he was holding back from Warsaw was so that the Poles would be annihilated by the Nazis. It's funny, you'd think that with that kind of established evidence there'd be no contention at all over this matter, but there is. Funny creatures historians.

Quote :

It's entirely unreasonable to shoot at clearly identifiable allied
planes, being fully aware of their mission, and being in unconditional
military alliance with them, for base motives, yes.
Of course. And of course they were clearly identifiable to the man at the AA gun at the time, and of course the man at the AA gun knew of their mission.

Maybe it was Stalin himself at the AA gun.

Quote :
Historians are trained to be objective, not to be opinionless. You
asked me 'The country was at war, and it shot at foreign warplanes that
flew over its territory. Is there no way this could be explained other
than by concluding that Stalin personally wanted the Poles to suffer?'.
No serious historian who had read the evidence could arrive at any
other conclusion. It would take gullibility of the highest order, or
else partisan disingenuousness, not to arrive firmly at that
conclusion. If you want bland, ask someone else.
I didn't ask you to be opinionless. It just seems to me that saying "Stalin did it for the most sinister purposes I can fathom because Stalin was a bad man" is a bit less than satisfactory.
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:24 am

Whatever about questioning Stalin's motives for not sending the troops across the Vistula in time to aid the residents of Warsaw, is there any question about who was responsible for the Katyn massacre?
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:02 am

Helium Three wrote:
Whatever about questioning Stalin's motives for not sending the troops across the Vistula in time to aid the residents of Warsaw, is there any question about who was responsible for the Katyn massacre?

Was it not questioned/denied by the Soviet Government?

The impression I have is that Stalin's actions were determined by his perception of how to protect the Soviet Union, and that he/the regime was prepared to make any alliance (including an alliance with Hitler) and allow any atrocity irrespective of what that meant to the peoples/working classes and political movements of any other country. In the long haul, the Soviet Union is gone, and we are all, in my opinion, the worse for that.
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:33 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Helium Three wrote:
Whatever about questioning Stalin's motives for not sending the troops across the Vistula in time to aid the residents of Warsaw, is there any question about who was responsible for the Katyn massacre?

Was it not questioned/denied by the Soviet Government?

The impression I have is that Stalin's actions were determined by his perception of how to protect the Soviet Union, and that he/the regime was prepared to make any alliance (including an alliance with Hitler) and allow any atrocity irrespective of what that meant to the peoples/working classes and political movements of any other country. In the long haul, the Soviet Union is gone, and we are all, in my opinion, the worse for that.

It has long since been admitted by them. It was the Germans who discovered it, not who did it.
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:38 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Helium Three wrote:
Whatever about questioning Stalin's motives for not sending the troops across the Vistula in time to aid the residents of Warsaw, is there any question about who was responsible for the Katyn massacre?

Was it not questioned/denied by the Soviet Government?

The impression I have is that Stalin's actions were determined by his perception of how to protect the Soviet Union, and that he/the regime was prepared to make any alliance (including an alliance with Hitler) and allow any atrocity irrespective of what that meant to the peoples/working classes and political movements of any other country. In the long haul, the Soviet Union is gone, and we are all, in my opinion, the worse for that.

It has long since been admitted by them. It was the Germans who discovered it, not who did it.

So does anyone question it, and does it tell us anything about the Warsaw Uprising?
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:39 pm

cactus flower wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Helium Three wrote:
Whatever about questioning Stalin's motives for not sending the troops across the Vistula in time to aid the residents of Warsaw, is there any question about who was responsible for the Katyn massacre?

Was it not questioned/denied by the Soviet Government?

The impression I have is that Stalin's actions were determined by his perception of how to protect the Soviet Union, and that he/the regime was prepared to make any alliance (including an alliance with Hitler) and allow any atrocity irrespective of what that meant to the peoples/working classes and political movements of any other country. In the long haul, the Soviet Union is gone, and we are all, in my opinion, the worse for that.

It has long since been admitted by them. It was the Germans who discovered it, not who did it.

So does anyone question it, and does it tell us anything about the Warsaw Uprising?

Nobody I know of now questions it, seeing as how the Russians freely admit it nowadays. What it tells us about Warsaw is to provide a context for Stalin's actions. Stalin knew that Poland was his, he was already a few steps ahead. His treatment of the issue of aid to the Rising is explained by his treatment of the Officers at Katyn. The Polish Home Army was a clear threat to order in a post-War Soviet-dominated Poland. Hence Stalin's denunciation of them as 'criminals' and as working for the enemy, hence the lies put out by the Soviet News Agency that there was no Rising long after it was obvious. Katyn was Stalin's answer to this perceived threat to domination of Poland in 1940, and his obstinate refusal even to just not stand in the way of others helping Warsaw was Stalin's answer in 1944.
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:44 pm

I asked evercloserunion this question: this also seems to be part of the picture:

Quote :
Say the Soviets were totally benign: what were the options for them in relation to the formation of a Polish government, and what did they actually do?
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:09 pm

cactus flower wrote:
I asked evercloserunion this question: this also seems to be part of the picture:

Quote :
Say the Soviets were totally benign: what were the options for them in relation to the formation of a Polish government, and what did they actually do?
I don't quite understand the question.
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PostSubject: Re: Warsaw Uprising - RTE Programme   Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:44 am

toxic avenger wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Helium Three wrote:
Whatever about questioning Stalin's motives for not sending the troops across the Vistula in time to aid the residents of Warsaw, is there any question about who was responsible for the Katyn massacre?

Was it not questioned/denied by the Soviet Government?

The impression I have is that Stalin's actions were determined by his perception of how to protect the Soviet Union, and that he/the regime was prepared to make any alliance (including an alliance with Hitler) and allow any atrocity irrespective of what that meant to the peoples/working classes and political movements of any other country. In the long haul, the Soviet Union is gone, and we are all, in my opinion, the worse for that.

It has long since been admitted by them. It was the Germans who discovered it, not who did it.

So does anyone question it, and does it tell us anything about the Warsaw Uprising?

Nobody I know of now questions it, seeing as how the Russians freely admit it nowadays. What it tells us about Warsaw is to provide a context for Stalin's actions. Stalin knew that Poland was his, he was already a few steps ahead. His treatment of the issue of aid to the Rising is explained by his treatment of the Officers at Katyn. The Polish Home Army was a clear threat to order in a post-War Soviet-dominated Poland. Hence Stalin's denunciation of them as 'criminals' and as working for the enemy, hence the lies put out by the Soviet News Agency that there was no Rising long after it was obvious. Katyn was Stalin's answer to this perceived threat to domination of Poland in 1940, and his obstinate refusal even to just not stand in the way of others helping Warsaw was Stalin's answer in 1944.

FWIW that was my sense of it.
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