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Duke of Windsor style note - Page 2

post #16 of 36
Actually, there is evidence of some Hitler sympathy on the duke's part. It's not clear how far it went, but it was there. He was not sent to the Bahamas because of the kidnap plot nonsense, which in any case no one in Britain knew about at the time, and which the British government did not take seriously when they did find out. He was sent because Churchill couldn't stand him. Churchill also thought that because his past admiring comments about Hitler had not been retracted, they served as a rallying point for certain elements of British society who wanted to make a deal with the Nazis and used the duke to paint their own appeasement as still somehow respectable.
post #17 of 36
From the San Diego Union Tribune: "The most famous governor general (and hence the historical hook of our visit) was the late Duke of Windsor, who along with his American wife, Wallis Warfield Simpson, was ensconced in Government House between 1940 and 1945." "The diminutive duke came by his title after he abdicated as King Edward VIII so he could marry Simpson, who was in the process of divorcing her second husband. The duke and Simpson were shipped off to the Bahamas by King George VI and Winston Churchill during World War II to get them far away from Europe and their chum, Adolf Hitler. " The fear was not of an abduction, but rather an invasion. In the summer of 1940, as you may recall, Hitler had 20 divisions waiting by their barges in the French channel ports, any weapon heavier than a pocketknife had been left behind at Dunkirk by the fleeing British Army, and Goering was burning two percent of London each night. Len Deighton wrote a great speculative novel called SSGB about how easy it would have been for Hitler to roll up England in a month. In his book, the Gestapo imprisons the entire royal family in the Tower of London as a living symbol of national humiliation. That apprehension was precisely why the DOW slipped out of town by cruiser.
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Len Deighton wrote a great speculative novel called SSGB about how easy it would have been for Hitler to roll up England in a month.
There is the small matter of crossing the channel. Even Napolean couldn't pull that off. Rule Britannia.
post #19 of 36
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Um, actually it was the Bahamas
Sweet merciful Jesus. How could I make that mistake. As I said, I don't doubt that there are some unsavory aspects of the Duke of Windsor but the argument on what he ultimately would have done as king during WWII and to what extent he was a fascist will never be resolved, at least to my satisfaction.
post #20 of 36
Quote:
From the San Diego Union Tribune: "The most famous governor general (and hence the historical hook of our visit) was the late Duke of Windsor, who along with his American wife, Wallis Warfield Simpson, was ensconced in Government House between 1940 and 1945." "The diminutive duke came by his title after he abdicated as King Edward VIII so he could marry Simpson, who was in the process of divorcing her second husband. The duke and Simpson were shipped off to the Bahamas by King George VI and Winston Churchill during World War II to get them far away from Europe and their chum, Adolf Hitler. " The fear was not of an abduction, but rather an invasion. In the summer of 1940, as you may recall, Hitler had 20 divisions waiting by their barges in the French channel ports, any weapon heavier than a pocketknife had been left behind at Dunkirk by the fleeing British Army, and Goering was burning two percent of London each night. Len Deighton wrote a great speculative novel called SSGB about how easy it would have been for Hitler to roll up England in a month. In his book, the Gestapo imprisons the entire royal family in the Tower of London as a living symbol of national humiliation. That apprehension was precisely why the DOW slipped out of town by cruiser.
Is this your source? A fifth-rate newspaper in a twelfth-rate town? Or is this an excerpt from something serious?
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Is this your source?  A fifth-rate newspaper in a twelfth-rate town?  Or is this an excerpt from something serious?
San Diego is at least a third-rate town. At least.
post #22 of 36
The San Diego piece is a wire service pickup, and therefore presumably read even in first rate towns by first rate minds. I am sorry if the particular newspaper does not meet the high standards of reference required for an internet chatboard. How about "To keep him out of enemy hands and still far from his home country he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas."-- "Action This Day, a Daily Churchill Chronicle" Or is Churchill to be condemned as a third rate politician from a twelfth rate country, albeit with first rate tailors?
post #23 of 36
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How about "To keep him out of enemy hands and still far from his home country he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas."-- "Action This Day, a Daily Churchill Chronicle"
This was a pretext. Churchill shipped him off to get him out of the way and off the scene. Churchill had backed him in the abdication crisis and came to regret it. The turning point was an impromptu 1939 "debate" in the South of France that the two had about Germany and Nazi intentions. Churchill humiliated the duke in front of witnesses. He was shocked that anyone could hold such views at that late date. In his opinion, the duke did not learn anything and was at best naively out of touch as the war got going.
post #24 of 36
Even after the War, the Duke and Duchess were quite happy to make moral laughing-stocks of themselves. They became the prototypical English Scroungers, who dined and lived off any starry-eyed arriviste who invited them for a stay. It's also telling that their best friends in Paris after the War were Oswald and Diana (nee Mitford) Mosley. Diana died two years ago, and to her dying day never renounced her friendship with Hitler or could quite accept that he was responsible for the War, the Holocaust and various other unpleasantries. The fact is that the Duke was an extemely shallow and silly man who seemed to have absolutely no moral underpinnings whatsoever. His life was built around self-indulgence, and while Americans might believe that giving up the Empire for love was a great romantic act, it was probably more a gesture of extreme petulance and self-absorption. One almost feels a bit sorry for the Duchess. She was aiming for the Crown, but got stuck with the Duke and not even an HRH. And kind of like Woody Allen and his marriage, she couldn't back out after all that.
post #25 of 36
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It's also telling that their best friends in Paris after the War were Oswald and Diana (nee Mitford) Mosley. Diana died two years ago, and to her dying day never renounced her friendship with Hitler or could quite accept that he was responsible for the War, the Holocaust and various other unpleasantries.
I had a Communist friend that I never renounced who argues that there were no mass killings in Soviet Russia. Is that telling fact about me as well? You've offered no evidence that the Duke of Windsor or his wife were fascists. Again, I believe that the DoW did indeed have fascist sympathies during a period of his life but I've seen no real evidence that it was nothing but the same trendy infatuation that gripped many in England, the United States and Canada.
post #26 of 36
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I had a Communist friend that I never renounced who argues that there were no mass killings in Soviet Russia. Is that telling fact about me as well?
If your friend summered with Stalin, was married by him and thought him the most charming man alive, then I would probably say, "Yes". In general I think you're right, though.  The DoW seemed to have no political philosophy whatsoever.  Instead, he believed in indulging himself and getting what he wanted.  Democracy was messy to him and Communism wasn't really keen on him and his chums, so it makes sense that fascism was his sympathetic option.  He believed that ends justified means.  The ends of Nazism (to him) were full employment, maintenance of a ruling class, and no boring middle classes to have to deal with.  The "other bits" didn't really bother him because they didn't affect him.
post #27 of 36
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If your friend summered with Stalin, was married by him and thought him the most charming man alive, then I would probably say, "Yes".
He would have if he had been alive at that point in history :-) Eh...I'm a libertarian-conservative. I only admire the man's sense of sartorial style. He choice of wives and political ideologies isn't all that interesting to me. I'm just being pedantic when I argue that accusing the man of being a fascist while having no direct proof of his political beliefs isn't kosher.
post #28 of 36
You gotta love the Church of England, the religion that frowns upon divorce, which was founded so that a divorce was possible. Jon.
post #29 of 36
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You gotta love the Church of England, the religion that frowns upon divorce, which was founded so that a divorce was possible. Jon.
I am at a loss to think of any key Catholic thinkers during the reformation (or slightly before or after) who argued that divorce, in limited circumstances, was okay. Anyone?
post #30 of 36
Then there's Charles Lindbergh.
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