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Just Curious

[weather|slushy rain]
[mood|curious]

So, is it fairly widely known that Hitler, Schellenberg and Von Ribbentrop planted Wallis Simpson in Edward VIII's social circles to influence Britain's involvement in WWII? Apparently it had gotten to the point where Nazi Germany had told Japan that Britain would not interfere, so that was Japan's green light to attack Pearl Harbour.

A Google search doesn't seem to say much other than the fact that the Edward/Wally thing and the Hitler/Nazi thing happened at roughly the same time, so I decided to put this question to my learned friends...

[Update - January 17, 2001]

badkarma_05 briefed me on WWII again and I think I'm beginning to piece this together a bit. The short of it is, Hitler and his posse tried to gain access to British State Secrets by pimping Wallis Simpson to Edward VIII before the war. They continued to do stuff during the war too, but none of it really worked out well enough that the mainstream media picked up on it.

All the press I've seen says that there were three things against Wallis Simpson - she was a commoner, American and divorced. What no one ever says (and I'm not quite sure why) is that she was also on the Nazi Government's payroll. This little ploy fell apart, of course, and no one's ever thought much of it.

I guess what's intriguing to me is that the publicity around the Edward/Wally situation was made to be such a romantic anti-fairy tale. A King abdicates for the woman he loves; "the heart has its reasons"; "I have found it impossible to carry on the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge the duties of King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love."

And it's all bullshit =) The British intelligence knew about her and what she was there for. I supposed the media was easier to control back then.

Fascinating.


Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
xinit
Jan. 16th, 2002 05:57 pm (UTC)
I only recognize the name Hitler. I'm not sure why, though.
bride
Jan. 16th, 2002 06:01 pm (UTC)
Edward VIII abdicated the throne of Britain in 1936 to marry American divorcee, Wallis Simpson.
xinit
Jan. 16th, 2002 06:39 pm (UTC)
Re:
Ah yeah - knew of that, but just not the names.
badkarma_05
Jan. 16th, 2002 06:31 pm (UTC)
I wouldn’t profess to be an expert on the subject. However, here are my thoughts. I seem to recall reading that the Eastern (Japan) and Western (Germany & Italy) Axis powers acted largely independently from each other. The alliance between the Asian and European members was one of convenience without any real mutual loyalty. Rather, it was “the enemy of my enemy” kind of relationship; not unlike the American & Russian alliance on the allied side. Nippon forces kept their plans to attack the American fleet at Pearl Harbor (and British forces in South East Asia) secret from Germany. The attack likely surprised to the Nazi Werhrmach as it did the American and British governments. Had the Imperial Japanese forces consulted with Germany, the Nazi would likely have attempted to dissuade Japan. Germany was still trying to bring Britain to its knees, and had just invaded Russia in June, 1941. Complicating their strategic situation by bringing the United States into the picture (to bolster a beleaguered RAF) wouldn’t have been their first choice. Especially since Germany had nothing to gain by a Japanese controlled Pacific Ocean. Furthermore, (from a cultural standpoint) both German and Japanese saw themselves as the ethnic elite. Had they not existed on other sides of the world, they likely would have been enemies themselves. Thus, I wouldn’t have expected much coordination between these two bedfellows.

The Japanese decision to attack the Americans (and British Forces) was one that was pushed by the Japanese army… not civilian government or Japanese navy. In fact, the Japanese navy opposed any attack on the Americans. However, the Army was engaged in a land battle in China and the Asian sub-continent. I’m sure you’re aware that Japan, China, and Korea have a long history of invasions and counter invasions. The Japanese Army believed it could achieve its objectives quickly. However, the American’s had slapped an oil embargo on them, to dissuade them from further aggression. Without fuel, the Japanese war machine couldn’t continue for long. They decided to capture oil sources in their theater of conflict. That meant capturing French, Dutch, and British colonial possessions. However, they knew an American counter offensive would be launched to defend our historical European allies. The American fleet had been moved up to Pearl Harbor from its traditional port in San Diego, California, as a show of strength regarding the oil embargo. If the Japanese thrust for oil were to succeed, the American fleet needed to be neutralized first. This was the Japanese motivation to attack. Not any kind of signal from their Axis friends in Europe.

However, that is just my opinion.
bride
Jan. 16th, 2002 06:55 pm (UTC)
Germany was still trying to bring Britain to its knees

They thought they had Britain (or were close) by '41, didn't they? That's why they told Japan to feel free to clobber the US for the oil embargo - because Britain would no longer be a problem.
badkarma_05
Jan. 16th, 2002 08:31 pm (UTC)
While the RAF was certainly ragged by the end of The Battle of Britain, it wasn’t defeated. Hitler made the tactical mistake of switching his targeting from RAF bases, radar sites, and control centers to civilian metropolitan target. Since he couldn’t defeat the RAF he thought he could break the spirit of the civilian population. Had he continued to pound the RAF, he might have eventually overcome them. However, he wasn’t a patient man, and never continued with a strategy if it wasn’t immediately successful. Hitler’s quirks aside, the RAF pilots outmatched the German Luftwaffe in the sky and saved their nation. Thus Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “Never before have so many owed so much to so few.” Faced with invading England across the channel without achieving air superiority, he instead turned and attack Russia. Both Stalin and Hitler had previously signed a non-aggression pact.” However, when it became apparent that Britain would not be defeated, he sought to knock out the Russian army. Things would have turned out badly for the Russians, but the Germans were bogged down by the Russian winter. Thus giving Russia time to pull its industry back and reinforce its lines of defense. The same thing happened to Napoleon, which caused his retreat to Waterloo. When the German V-1 and V-2 rockets, and the jet powered ME-262 fighter plane, came into service it was too late. These weapons might have turned the battle against Britain, but by then the Allied forces were encroaching on Berlin from the east and west. On the land, American and British forces had pushed the Germans out of North Africa. We had also won the battle for Sicily, Italy, but were slowing down fighting the Germans in the Italian Alps. However, the battle in Italy was largely commanded by the British commander, General Montgomery. Although severely pounded, Britain was not near collapse. And they gave the Germans a bloody nose for every one they received. However, at the time Britain was on the ropes, Hitler had ost his resolve and retreated.
bride
Jan. 17th, 2002 09:49 am (UTC)
Huh. Yeah, I vaguely remember going through this in 10th Grade Social Studies.
badkarma_05
Jan. 17th, 2002 01:57 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... personally I wasn't aware of the intruige surounding Wallis Simpson... or even that she ever existed. However, I'm not sure what the Nazi government might have hoped to gain? The British monarchy wasn't in control of the British government during WWII. The institution of the British monarchy didn't hold any overt political power. The British Parliment and the Prime Minister were the policy and decision makers during the war.
bride
Jan. 17th, 2002 04:07 pm (UTC)
They didn't have direct control, but you wonder how much indirect influence the royals really have ... or had, I should say, because Wally Simpson had David's (Edward VIII's) attention in the years just before the war. He abdicated in '36, they got married a few months after that.

During the war, they were openly supporting the Nazi's. The agreement was that Edward VIII would try to convince British officials who were still loyal to him to support Germany. In turn, Hitler was going to have Edward reinstated after the war was over.

*shrug*
badkarma_05
Jan. 18th, 2002 06:29 am (UTC)
That is an interesting question. I guess I don't really know how much influence the monarchy has with regards to policy. As I understand it, the monarchy survives today as the moral and cultural compass for British society. Even then, I wonder how my influence they really have. Of course, the monarchy is still very wealthy and money weilds power.
bride
Jan. 18th, 2002 11:32 am (UTC)
Re:
It seems that a short time ago, up until just before WWII, they had a lot more power. King George V actually sat in Parliament (or Senate or some other House) in an arbitration role of some sort.

After George V that the British Parliament started keeping the royals at arms length of the political arena. I suppose that's understandable behaviour. First there was Edward VIII who hooks up with an American divorcee on the Nazi payroll. Then you have a stuttering George VI who never really wanted to be King in the first place. Then after that was Elizabeth who, despite the fact that she's actually a kickass lawyer type, is "only a woman afterall".

And the future doesn't look too bright either.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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