The German Elections

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, September 26th, 2017 - 40 comments
Categories: Europe, International - Tags:

And now for an election that matters to the world, with some similarities to our own.

Germany’s elections held over the weekend have their Alternative Fur Deutschland (AfD) has 13%. The Christian Democrats and natural allies have 33.5%. The Social Democrats have 21%. The Greens have 9%. It’s worth refreshing yourself with what the nationalist, populist Eurosceptic AfD stand for.

Angela Merkel is set to achieve a fourth term as leader. According to Hilary Clinton, Angela Merkel is currently the most important leader in the free world.

That result is however an historic low for the centre-left Social Democrats (they are sort-of like NZ Labour). They have since ruled out a continuation of the ‘grand coalition’ they have had with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (sort-of like our National under English except that the German bunch have a brain).

In fact all main parties have all suffered their worst results since the first post-war election in 1949.

The result sets up a really interesting scenario: a ‘Jamaica coalition’.

Charles Lichfield, Eurasia Group’s associate for Europe believes that domestic policy should be more straightforward than agreeing on European policy.

Domestic policy discussion will be fairly straightforward: everyone agrees that the public surplus should be reinjected into the economy but that governments should continue to sign off balanced budgets.

Europe will prove a more divisive issue in the “Jamaica” negotiations. Over the past few months, Merkel has repeatedly tested the readiness of public opinion to accept mild Eurozone reforms. Since there has been no backlash, an overly hostile attitude from the FDP could actually undermine their chances of ending up in government.”

The reference to a “Jamaica coalition” derives from the fact that the colours symbolising the three parties involves in the likely coalition – black for the CDU, yellow for the FDP, and green for the Green Party – are also the colours of the Jamaican flag. What is likely to be proposed for Germany is essentially the Greens going into coalition with National. Quite a thing for both of them.

The Greens at 9% have made a good showing in Germany, and they have a great opportunity to gain clear policy yields in government. Paralleling New Zealand’s negotiations for government, the next two weeks will get pretty interesting as the coalition forms.

40 comments on “The German Elections”

  1. Eco maori 1

    Big Upps to Angla Merkel She see the Big picture.
    If it was not for her there would be a big stuff ups all around the World she is A GREAT LADY LEADER FOR ALL WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD TO ASPIRE TO .The Ault right movement has been during social media to steal power enough said

  2. Sparky 2

    Well if Hillary said it, err, umm…….moving on…….

  3. Eszett 4

    It’s not the first time that the Greens would be in government with the conservative CDU.

    On state level there have been three such coalitions (2 of them still ongoing)

    The big difference to NZ is that the German Greens have been in various state and federal governments (with German Labour) since 1985. They have gone through all the pains where idealism meets realpolitik and it nearly tore them apart.

    It took them 23 years of that experience before they were ready and mature enough to do a deal with the CDU.

    • Ad 4.1

      Yes I did a little post on the German Greens a month ago.

      They did pretty well to get 9% this time. It will be a really tough sell for everyone to form a “Jamaica coalition” – I am watching eagerly to see what the Greens get out of it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      The CDU also had to become more “mature”.

  4. CoroDale 5

    Die Linke (The Left) got 9%, same as the Greens. Might want to refresh yourself what they stand for:

    “DIE LINKE as a socialist party stands for alternatives, for a better future. We democratic socialists…” https://en.die-linke.de/welcome/

    “The Left aims for democratic socialism in order to overcome capitalism.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Left_(Germany)

    Did they say democratic socialism? I though SPD where the democratic socialists? And Socialism to overcome capitalism? But we haven’t seen that in Germany since the 30’s! Is SPD truly centre-left, or just another centre-right Zionist lap-dog? Dear The Standard, wake-up!

    German haven’t seen a grand-coalition do war on this scale since the 40’s.
    “What war?” Oh, so the million or so refugees didn’t tip you off?
    Yeah, like it wasn’t German backed sanctions that lead to wars in the Middle East.
    Like it wasn’t German operated weapon-systems on the boarder of Syria watching “ISIS” sell oil to Turkey, from day one.
    Like it wasn’t German owned weapons factories arming Israeli solders who stand between Palestinian children and their right to drink water.
    (If you think I’m being anti-sematic, then hear it from a privileged Jew, yeah truth hurts) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOaxAckFCuQ
    Like German export war isn’t fueling the inequality under a fiat Euro, pumping up the banks and dropping the ecosystem depleting economy into overdrive with negative interest rates!

    Note that it was a SPD/Green coalition that bombed Yugoslavia in 1999, without UN mandate. A first in world history, a “humanitarian war”, yeah right.

    If AfD think they can improve a sense of German pride for the nation, well I wish them luck, they have got a lot of work to do. A good start for AfD would be to work more closely with Die Linke. The only two parties that the grand-coalition can’t work with! “But wouldn’t that be the extreme right, working with the extreme left? How would that work?”

    Left-right, left-right, the od’ political jab-hook, 1-2 1-2, jab-hook. Ok, I’m taking my spade back to the garden.

    • And Socialism to overcome capitalism? But we haven’t seen that in Germany since the 30’s!

      Get your history right. Germany in the 1930s was heavily capitalist and supported the capitalists.

      • CoroDale 5.1.1

        Ok, Mr Draco Fact Book,
        Can you name me anytime in the last century when there wasn’t a heavily capitalist Govt in either NZ or Germany?
        Here is your clue, “why was NZ’s Social Credit party so strong in the 30’s”.

        • joe90 5.1.1.1

          “why was NZ’s Social Credit party so strong in the 30’s”

          Err…the New Zealand Social Credit Party was founded in 1953…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Credit_Party_(New_Zealand)#Early_history_.281953.E2.80.931972.29

          • CoroDale 5.1.1.1.1

            That didn’t answer my question 😉 Bugger! But I cut n past from your link to recover. “Social Credit claimed that the first Labour government, which was elected at the 1935 election, pulled New Zealand out of the Great Depression by adopting certain Social Credit policies”
            (I was thinking of Sir J H Kelliher’s book: The New System 1937) Hey, I see Social Credit was winning elections in Canada in the late1930’s n early 40’s, winning!

            Like NZ’s 1935 Lab Govt, German Nazis of the 30’s are the only example I know of using left-wing economics. Didn’t all other Govts support fiat capital as full finance? Why does Draco attack me and spin this in the other direction?

            • In Vino 5.1.1.1.1.1

              From my rememberings of history studied, Hitler’s finance man was not so much a socialist as an eccentric who fortunately fell upon some successful policies. If Hitler had known that these would later have been seen as socialist, he would probably have sacked him and thrown him into a concentration camp.

              • Stuart Munro

                One of my students reckons Germany followed what was perceived to be the leading economic theory of the time – that of Keynes. Other governments, being in less trouble, didn’t make that step till considerably later.

                • In Vino

                  Yes, that was Hitler’s Economics man being fortunate. As I remember, he knew little about Keynes, and pushed no such theories. But I studied all this a long time ago..

                  • Stuart Munro

                    You’re still one up on me – I didn’t study it at all… but this student is generally meticulous and often has some good input. He did an internship with a prof studying North Korea and came back with many amusing stories from their propaganda releases.

                • If you read/listen to Steve Keen he says that what was implemented in the West as Keynesianism was nothing of the sort as his theory was completely fucked with to give the answer that the capitalists wanted.

              • mikesh

                Why did Adolph call his party the National Socialists. As I understand it National Socialism was socialism without the internationalism preached by Marx.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Fiat money created by government, as the First Labour government used, doesn’t mean that it’s not a capitalist society.

              And there’s a very good reason why Mussolini said that fascism should really be called corporatism.

              Why does Draco attack me and spin this in the other direction?

              You got your facts wrong and I didn’t spin it.

        • Sabine 5.1.1.2

          Germany is a Sociale Marktwirschaft, just to be pedantic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_market_economy

          Germany is a highly capitalistic society, it is also a society that to an extend has understood since Bismark the Iron Chancellor that in order to preserve peace and prosperity one needs to look after its most vulnerable and thus we have had Accident Insurance Act since 1884, Old Age and Disability Benefits since 1889 , Health Insurance since 1883, the Workers Protection Act 1891, the Childrens Protection Act 1903.

          The Iron one said “German social legislation [edit]
          „[…] the actual complaint of the worker is the insecurity of his existence; he is unsure if he will always have work, he is unsure if he will always be healthy and he can predict that he will reach old age and be unable to work. If he falls into poverty, and be that only through prolonged illness, he will find himself totally helpless being on his own, and society currently does not accept any responsibility towards him beyond the usual provisions for the poor, even if he has been working all the time ever so diligently and faithfully. The ordinary provisions for the poor, however, leaves a lot to be desired […].“
          — Otto von Bismarck, 20.03.1884[5]”

          Quote: The social market economy was originally promoted and implemented in West Germany by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1949.[3] Its origins can be traced to the interwar Freiburg school of economic thought.[4]
          The social market economy was designed to be a third way between laissez-faire economic liberalism and socialist economics.[5] It was strongly inspired by ordoliberalism,[6] social democratic ideas, and the tradition of Catholic social teaching or, more generally, Christian ethics.[5] The social market economy refrains from attempts to plan and guide production, the workforce, or sales, but it does support planned efforts to influence the economy through the organic means of a comprehensive economic policy coupled with flexible adaptation to market studies. Effectively combining monetary, credit, trade, tax, customs, investment, and social policies, as well as other measures, this type of economic policy creates an economy that serves the welfare and needs of the entire population, thereby fulfilling its ultimate goal.[7]

          Quote: Social market economies aim to combine free initiative and social welfare on the basis of a competitive economy.[19] The social market economy is opposed to laissez-faire policies and to socialist economic systems[20] and combines private enterprise with regulation and state intervention to establish fair competition, maintaining a balance between a high rate of economic growth, low inflation, low levels of unemployment, good working conditions, social welfare, and public services.[21] The term “social” was established by Adenauer to prevent further reference to “christian Socialism”,[22] which was used in the early party agenda “Ahlener Programm” in 1947.[23]

          Who was Adenauer?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konrad_Adenauer

          Quote:
          Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer (German: [ˈkɔnʁaːt ˈhɛɐ̯man ˈjoːzəf ˈaːdəˌnaʊ̯ɐ] (About this sound listen); 5 January 1876 – 19 April 1967) was a German statesman who served as the first post-war Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1949 to 1963. He led his country from the ruins of World War II to a productive and prosperous nation that forged close relations with France, the United Kingdom and the United States.[2] During his years in power West Germany achieved democracy, stability, international respect and economic prosperity (“Wirtschaftswunder”, German for “economic miracle”).[3] He was the first leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a Christian Democratic party that under his leadership became one of the most influential parties in the country.
          Adenauer, who was Chancellor until age 87, was dubbed “Der Alte” (“the old man”). British historian Roy Jenkins says he was “the oldest statesman ever to function in elected office.”[4] He belied his age by his intense work habits and his uncanny political instinct. He displayed a strong dedication to a broad vision of market-based liberal democracy and anti-communism. A shrewd politician, Adenauer was deeply committed to a Western-oriented foreign policy and restoring the position of West Germany on the world stage. He worked to restore the West German economy from the destruction of World War II to a central position in Europe, presiding over the German Economic Miracle. He reestablished the German military (Bundeswehr) in 1955. He came to terms with France, which made possible the economic unification of Western Europe. Adenauer opposed rival East Germany and made his nation a member of NATO and a firm ally of the United States.
          A devout Roman Catholic, he had been a leading Centre Party politician in the Weimar Republic, serving as Mayor of Cologne (1917–1933) and as president of the Prussian State Council (1922–1933).

          Adenauer under Hitler

          Quote:
          Election gains of Nazi Party candidates in municipal, state and national elections in 1930 and 1932 were significant. Adenauer, as mayor of Cologne and president of the Prussian State Council, still believed that improvements in the national economy would make his strategy work: ignore the Nazis and concentrate on the Communist threat. Adenauer thought the Nazis should be part of the Prussian and Reich governments based on election returns, even when he was already the target of intense personal attacks.[18] Political manoeuvrings around the aging President Hindenburg then brought the Nazis to power on 30 January 1933.
          By early February Adenauer finally realized that all talk and any attempts at compromise with the Nazis were futile. Cologne’s city council and the Prussian parliament had been dissolved; on 4 April 1933, he was officially dismissed as mayor and his bank accounts frozen. “He had no money, no home and no job.”[19] After arranging for the safety of his family, he appealed to the abbot of the Benedictine monastery at Maria Laach for a stay of several months. According to Albert Speer in his book Spandau: The Secret Diaries, Hitler expressed admiration for Adenauer, noting his civic projects, the building of a road circling the city as a bypass, and a “green belt” of parks. However, both Hitler and Speer concluded that Adenauer’s political views and principles made it impossible for him to play any role in Nazi Germany.
          Adenauer was imprisoned for two days after the Night of the Long Knives on 30 June 1934, however, on 10 August 1934, maneuvering for his pension, he wrote a ten-page letter to Hermann Göring (the Prussian interior minister). He stated that as Mayor he had violated Prussian laws in order to allow NSDAP events in public buildings and Nazi flags to be flown from city flagpoles and that in 1932 he had declared publicly that the Nazis should join the Reich government in a leading role.[20][21] Der Spiegel reported that at the end of 1932, Adenauer had indeed demanded a joint government by his Zentrum party and the Nazis for Prussia.[22]
          During the next two years, Adenauer changed residences often for fear of reprisals against him, while living on the benevolence of friends. With the help of lawyers in August 1937 he was successful in claiming a pension; he received a cash settlement for his house, which had been taken over by the city of Cologne; his unpaid mortgage, penalties and taxes were waived. With reasonable financial security he managed to live in seclusion for some years. After the failed assassination attempt on Hitler in 1944, he was imprisoned for a second time as an opponent of the regime. He fell ill and credited Eugen Zander, a former municipal worker in Cologne and communist, with saving his life. Zander, then a section Kapo of a labor camp near Bonn, discovered Adenauer’s name on a deportation list to the East and managed to get him admitted to a hospital. Adenauer was subsequently rearrested (as was his wife), but in the absence of any evidence against him, was released from prison at Brauweiler in November 1944.

          Ludwig Erhard, father of the Wunderjahre

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Erhard

          Quote:
          Ludwig Wilhelm Erhard (German: [ˈluːtvɪç ˈe:ʁhaʁt]; 4 February 1897 – 5 May 1977) was a German politician affiliated with the CDU and the second Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1963 until 1966. He is often famed for leading German postwar economic reforms and economic recovery (“Wirtschaftswunder,” German for “economic miracle”) in his role as Minister of Economic Affairs under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer from 1949 to 1963. During that period he promoted the concept of the social market economy (soziale Marktwirtschaft), on which Germany’s economic policy in the 21st century continues to be based.[1] In his tenure as chancellor, however, Erhard failed to win confidence in his handling of a budget deficit and his direction of foreign policy, and his popularity waned. He resigned his chancellorship on 1 December 1966.

          Erhard under Hitler

          Quote:
          Born in Fürth, Kingdom of Bavaria, Erhard was a commercial apprentice from 1913 to 1916. After his apprenticeship he worked as retail salesman in his father’s draper’s shop.
          In 1916, during World War I, he joined the German forces as an artilleryman. He fought in Romania and was seriously injured near Ypres in 1918. Because of his injury he could no longer work as a draper and started learning economics. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Frankfurt in 1925, for a dissertation written under Franz Oppenheimer.
          During his time in Frankfurt he married Luise Lotter (1893–1975), widow Schuster, on 11 December 1923. After his graduation they moved to Fürth and he became executive in his parents’ company in 1925. After three years he became assistant at the Institut für Wirtschaftsbeobachtung der deutschen Fertigware, a marketing research institute. Later, he became deputy director of the institute.
          During World War II, he worked on concepts for a postwar peace; however, officially such studies were forbidden by the Nazis, who had declared total war. As a result, Erhard lost his job in 1942 but continued to work on the subject by order of the “Reichsgruppe Industrie.” In 1944 he wrote War Finances and Debt Consolidation (orig: Kriegsfinanzierung und Schuldenkonsolidierung). In this study he assumed that Germany had already lost the war. He sent his thoughts to Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, a central figure in the German resistance to Nazism, who recommended Erhard to his comrades. Erhard also discussed his concept with Otto Ohlendorf, deputy secretary of state in the Reichsministerium für Wirtschaft. Ohlendorf himself spoke out for “active and courageous entrepreneurship (aktives und wagemutiges Unternehmertum)”, which was intended to replace bureaucratic state planning of the economy after the war. Erhard was an outsider who completely rejected Nazism, supported resistance, and endorsed efforts to produce a sensitive, intelligent approach to economic revival during the postwar period.[2]

          So to recap, since the mid 1880 Germany has had social programs in force to ‘safeguard’ capitalism from pure socialism. Hitler did nothing but kept programs in place that came about some 50 years earlier.

          And in order to keep capitalism you need to have some sort of worker protection programs considering that there are more worker then ‘bosses’.

          As for the war in Yugoslavia, 1991 to 1999/2001, 1991 – 1998 Germany was run by the CDU under Helmut Kohl – so essentially the Christian Democratic Party of whom Merkel is the leader. The SPD/Die Gruenen gained power in 1998 with Gerhard Schroeder to become Chancellor – i guess 16 years under Helmut Kohl was enough. He stayed Chancellor till 2005 and kept Germany out of the clusterfuck that was the second War in Iraq. Since then it has been Merkel ever since.
          So i think it would be a bit ‘misleading’ to make the SPD/Green coalition responsible for what was equally the failure of the previous German Government under the CDU/CSU.

  5. RC 6

    There would be a left wing government in power right now if the left were committed to changing the government instead of virtue signaling about the AFDs stance on immigration.

  6. joe90 7

    AfD Nazis gonna nazi.
    /

    With regard to the Nazi period from 1933 to 1945, Gauland added: “We do not have to keep these twelve years. They no longer affect our identity. That’s why we have the right to bring back not only our country, but our past as well. ”

    Gauland also demanded a re-evaluation of the deeds of German soldiers in both world wars. If Frenchmen and Britons were proud of their emperor or the war ministry, Winston Churchill, “we have the right to be proud of the achievements of German soldiers in two world wars,”

    https://translate.google.co.nz/translate?hl=en&sl=de&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.faz.net%2Faktuell%2Fpolitik%2Fbundestagswahl%2Fafd-alexander-gauland-relativiert-verbrechen-der-wehrmacht-15199412.html

    • Sanctuary 7.1

      “…Gauland also demanded a re-evaluation of the deeds of German soldiers in both world wars. If Frenchmen and Britons were proud of their emperor or the war ministry, Winston Churchill, “we have the right to be proud of the achievements of German soldiers in two world wars,”…”

      To be fair, the performance of the Wehrmacht in WWII was legendary, and it get’s better with almost every new book on the subject – especially from US military historians who just can’t get enough of that sweet, sweet German operational skill. Indeed, it is little short of a miracle we won at all, such was the combat efficiency of the German army. /sarc/

      The biggest problem, of course, in recognising the achievements of the German army is the German Army was complicit in the all the various genocides and war crimes perpetrated in the east as much the Waffen SS and the various Sonderkommandoes. I have some sympathy for Germans on this, it must be an impossible moral and emotional task to try and make sense of the loss of five million German soldiers who died defending such a disgusting and evil regime.

      I do feel sorry though for the German fallen of WW1. They lie largely forgotten outside of the memorial to the kindermord at Langemark. On my Western front bicyle(!) tour with my German friend last we visited a couple of the German cemeteries. We were always alone, and the German fallen are basically forgotten today. The German soldiers of the Great War differed little from their enemies. It is sad they do not the recognition we give our WW1 dead.

      • RedLogix 7.1.1

        Some very good points there; especially regarding WW1.

        Indeed, it is little short of a miracle we won at all, such was the combat efficiency of the German army.

        I wouldn’t read much sarc into that at all. In many ways it was a miracle the Allies won; there were so many fine turning points (like Ruweisat Ridge, the Battle of Britain and the Atlantic, etc) on which the war pivoted on but a needle. If it were not for the fact of the Russians brutally grinding down 90% of the German Army in the east, or the Americans unlimited access to oil and a large manufacturing resource safe from attack … the Allies would have lost pitifully.

        Nor was the Allied war effort ever above moral critique; the destruction wrought in both the European and Japanese bomb campaigns is a stain that can never be wiped clean either.

        War is hell and no matter how noble the intent, no-one emerges with clean hands; the only real sense that the Allies emerged from both those wars as military heroes is that as victors they got to write the propaganda afterwards. Politically there was another score card of course; nothing counters or minimises the Holocaust and it’s associated horrors.

        All that history should be approached with much humility, an awareness that there is no pure light or absolute darkness in war, just shades of murk. Indeed it could be said that in the light of say the Marshall Plan and the formation of the UN, many leaders of that generation were more realistic about this than we are now.

      • GregJ 7.1.2

        There is a book “The Blitzkrieg Legend: The 1940 Campaign in the West ” (ISBN 1591142954) written by Karl-Heinz Frieser (a Lieutenant Colonel in the German Army and a trained military historian who served for many years at the Militargeschictliches Forschungsamt – Military History Research Office – in Freiburg and Potsdam) that explodes many of the myths concerning German Blitzkrieg warfare and the planning for the 1940 campaign.

        “First published in 1995 as the official German history of the 1940 campaign in the west, the book goes beyond standard explanations to show that German victory was not inevitable and French defeat was not preordained. Contrary to the usual accounts of the campaign, Frieser illustrates that the military systems of both Germany and France were solid and that their campaign planning was sound. The key to victory or defeat, he argues, was the execution of operational plans—both preplanned and ad hoc—amid the eternal Clausewitzian combat factors of friction and the fog of war. Frieser shows why on the eve of the campaign the British and French leaders had good cause to be confident and why many German generals were understandably concerned that disaster was looming for them”.

        It was published in cooperation with the Association of the U.S. Army. It’s a refreshing and realistic appraisal compared to many histories (which often border on panegyric).

      • Sabine 7.1.3

        both of my Grandfathers were in the Wehrmacht, a few of my great uncles were in the Navy. We call them Kanonenfutter. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon_fodder

        I think the issue that some German have is not to admit or accept that the Wehrmacht has committed atrocities – they did, especially if they wanted to stay alive and not be killed for treason, cowardice and such. The issue is that all of them have been conscripted. Going to war was not their choice, at least not initially and once it happend it was too late. As Goering said: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Hermann_G%C3%B6ring

        I have a picture of one of my Grandfather, the only picutre i have of him – in his uniform. He looks like a fine example of the ‘Ugly German’. All blond, blue eyed, handsome, he fathered 1 child, and died when the child was two. Like a dog, frozen meat, shot to pieces in Russia. This picture of my Grandfather does not hang on my wall. He wears the wrong uniform. And we can not speak of them – at least those my generation and older don’t and the younger ones, especially those coming from East Germany don’t have the same connection to the principle of blood shame, blood guilt that we were raised with in West Germany under the occupation of the US/UK/FR.

        The war was won thanks to the sacrifice of the Russians mainly. One should never forget that. The bear in tandem with Father Frost is a mighty adversary.

        • In Vino 7.1.3.1

          Thank you Sabine. I learned German + history, lived for nearly 2 years in Koeln.
          You recount things better than I could, naturally… Full agreement.

        • RedLogix 7.1.3.2

          Thanks for this; I read it with great interest.

          Apologies for the snark last night btw.

          • In Vino 7.1.3.2.1

            I might add that historians seem generally agreed that in both wars, the Allies learned bloody hard lessons from the German Military, and used those lessons to defeat them. Had Germany not lost mastery in the air in WW2, I wonder if the result would have been different.

            • RedLogix 7.1.3.2.1.1

              Somewhere in Churchill’s biography there is an extremely chilling episode in I think March 1943 where he wrote that unless something changed to turn the around the course of the Battle of the Atlantic … that within two weeks he would be compelled to surrender. The Americans were sustaining appalling losses of ships and men.

              But within literally those two weeks a number of technologies converged:

              1. Bletchley Park finally succeeding in decoding the seven wheel Enigma machine the U-Boat fleet was using, giving the Allied Command a huge tactical advantage

              2. The boffins finally developed a millimetre wavelength radar that could detect a periscope and be mounted in a patrol craft armed with depth charges. The Coastal Command accounted for more U-Boats than any other service in the last three years of the war. (At one time I knew one of the engineers who served on this team who developed the cavity magnetron into a usable military radar.)

              3. The mid-Atlantic gap that had previously been unreachable by aircraft was closed by introduction of the long-range Consolidated B-24 Liberators, whose range made possible by the fluke discovery of the ‘Davis Wing’ that had much lower drag a moderate speeds than any prior design.

              The timing was critical and virtually miraculous, a vital Battle that was being horribly lost, was won within months. More effective tactics and better escort destroyers also contributed … but truly in hindsight … just a few weeks later and it would have all been too late.

  7. Ad 8

    Any word on what the German Greens are going to get out of a coalition with Merkel?

  8. DS 9

    While the AFD aren’t as nasty as Le Pen’s bunch in France, they are much nastier than New Zealand First. Basically, they are what New Zealand First could have been, without Winston’s mitigating influence.

    Die Linke are the re-branded successor party to the SED (the East German Communists), which means they are quite popular in the East, but politically toxic in the West. So the SPD can’t figure out what to do about them.

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