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01 March 2010

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While I understand your sentiments My Lord I suggest the shortcomings of a number of our own players are as much blame as the flagrant Celtic cheating. The fellow Borthwick would make a fine gardener or manual labourer but he is assuredly no leader of men. He carries the demeanour of one who would be happier with a bag of compost over his shoulder than leading the charge towards the opposition try line. Off to the amateur leagues for him. The colonial Flutey decided to take the afternoon off, though he should be granted a stay of execution due to his sterling service for Queen and Country in 2009. The oik Care is a pitiful excuse for a scrum-half, how a scrum-half who cannot pass is selected at Test level is beyond me. Youngs in for Care, assuming his schooling is acceptable.

Your thoughts My Lord?

Nail on the head, old stick.

We need more beef and more breeding. The mighty Hask cannot do it all on his own.

My Dear Lord Crouchback,

I'm afraid to say that your Beefcake of choice (Hask) was thoroughly beasted by my fellow Ulsterman, Ferris, on the day!! Ho ho!! I dare say a bout of Greek wrestling between these pair would be a sight to behold. Extra oil would be a must ...

Leaving that aside, may I say what a wonderful occasion Saturday was and I would like to thank my English hosts and colleagues for their generosity and welcome before the game. You may have been upset with your team but you were incredibly gracious to Ireland in defeat - the true mark of the Englishman.

I have the honour etc.

Lord Antrim.

Indeed, Lord Antrim. Ferris takes beefcakery to a whole new level. Heaslip too, I note, has magnificently powerful forearms, though (sadly) his once fresh face increasingly resembles that of a gargoyle.

Your sentiments are most generous, though I confess perhaps ought not be addressed to me. I am ashamed to say that I drank rather too much brandy on Saturday and, on seeing Bowe score, I impulsively lashed out at several celebrating Munstermen with my walking stick. It was a most regrettable incident.

Kieran and Donncha - if you are reading this, I am profoundly sorry. Donncha, I do hope that the nasty welt on your cheek has healed.

Yours, etc
Viscount Crouchback

My Lord,

Defeated again by a superior race I see. It’s getting somewhat tedious watching old Erin giving you limeys a jolly good trashing year in year out, tantamount to us playing the Italians one could say...i.e we always expect to(and always do) win. Poppycock I hear you say?? How can the proud Englishman be compared to the surrendering Italian? Quite easily in fact, for every educated person knows that if was not for those uncouth yankees across the water we would more than likely be speaking Russian or German. I’m for one am a grateful Irishman, for old blightly acted as a buffer against the ruthless nazis and the raping red army & the Americans duly saved the day. Not to mention all the wonga they lent you which you only paid off a few years ago...

Back to rugger..How i miss the days of old, where every Irishman relished the prospect of the plucky Irish team getting one over our saxon foe. Now that it happens every year it takes away from the allure of the fixture.

I do hope you sneaky English find your form again and make the annual clash what it once was. Storming tickers was once akin to taking the beaches of normandy or taking Moscow by the throat.. presently it is as easy as invading Sicily

Your etc a bored Irishman

Hear, hear Mr K!

Next year the revamped Lansdowne Road will play host to a ritualistic and glorious seventh victory in eight years by the Irish over our Saxon rugby foes

I urge the travelling English hordes to resist the urge to recreate the disgraceful scenes of 1995 when those hoodlums from across the sea resorted to violence and aggression in response to the Irish administering a fifth consecutive beasting to their football team

In fact it was just last month that we passed the 25th anniversary of the England football team’s last victory over the heroes in green. I anticipate this magnificent Irish rugby team will be celebrating a similar milestone in the near future, such is the ease with which we seem to dispose of those nefarious scoundrels nowadays

Yours etc,

My Lord,

I wouldn't worry too much about the Munster lads, most of the will have suffered worse at the hands of the Christian Brothers, they can take it.

Lord Antrim.

Lord Antrim,

I am afraid you are sorely mistaken, for i am a proud anglo-irishman who is leinster born and bred. I had the pleasure of attending a mixed grammar school where the only sexual activity involved the hanky panky between the pupils. So your attempted dismissal based on an assumed background is pathetic.

My Lord,

I am appalled that you have not responded. The silence is deafening, as Eisenhower once said after he kicked the Germans out of Africa. I assume the paucity of response is due to the inescapable fact that I am right. The Wellington in me is prepared to fight on yet my English counterpart has fled quicker than the British army in the face of a German Blitzkrieg. I imagine the dear viscount is on the shores of Dunkirk waiting to be rescued. Defeat seems to be the mantra of this Englishman. I am afraid there are no Americans to bail you out this time my boy

After all your blustering on about the inferior Celt and other absurd comments you have the temerity to shy away from one.. yes it appears that you are too much like your rugger team..(or the Italian army) as in you trumpet on how great you are but when it comes to the crunch you are shown what you really are. A bunch of sneaky, useless defeatist dogs.. Pathetic really.

Good heavens, it appears that the Internet age has reached even the bogs!

Keep your eyes peeled, chaps. I've got a post just for you (or should that be "ye") coming up any minute now.

Crouchers

It better be good...

Andrew my dear fellow, your recollection of modern history is clearly informed by Hollywood films. Much as it is convenient films such as 'Saving Private Ryan' to claim that the Yanks saved our bacon, the deciding factor of the war was Hitler's decision to invade the Soviet Union. Blind to the lessons of WW1, the Germans could not hope to succeed on two fronts and for much of the rest of the war agitated for peace on the Western Front. Meanwhile, and to their eternal shame, the Irish stood idly by as German u-boats sailed freely in the Atlantic waters.

Andrew
You are both right and wrong. It is a travesty that Ireland remained neutral. Luckily my mother is of English stock and my grandfather was a doctor on the front lines while my great uncle was one of the first British troops to arrive at Bergen belsen.
It is also true that the Germans big mistake was invading the USSR. However two points are important here, firstly the US gave the russkis large quantities of supplies under the lend lease program aiding the Bolsheviks during the crucial year of 1942.
Secondly, according to Anthony Beevors book The fall of Berlin (an excellent British historian you may note) he states that in the last days of the war the British 8th army moved quickly and valiantly to intercept the Russians from taking Denmark. Stalin, who was greedily carving up eastern europe for himself decided he also wanted neutral Denmark. One can assume that had the Americans not provided the men, materials and most importantly the cash for D-day, thus leaving the low countries and France under german control, that the russkis may have kept on pushing right through Germany. This could have lead to war between Britain and the USSR. Unfortunately this would have, in all likelihood, been won by the red army and we(including Ireland) could have possibly become tiny satellite states in the greater USSR.. Hence the US involvement was critical for freedom of the West.
It is not absurd as you think. If you told a British person in 1933(the year Hitler became Chancellor) that Germany would control ALL of western Europe by 1941 and then lose a massive war(mainly to the USSR) coupled with Britain eventually losing its empire with the US becoming a superpower, they would have laughed at your lunacy. Not to mention the takeover of Poland and other eastern European nations following the war’s end and the subsequent cold war for 45 years..

My Dear Andrew K,

Lighten up you Anglo-Irish Banker - roysh?

I have the honour etc.

Lord Antrim.

Lord Antrim,

AKA Frank.. Get a job

Andrew

I take your silence as acceptance of my point and that

A: the Americans involvement was crucial for our freedom and
B: that you were wrong

Ah yes..another Irish victory over the useless and pathetic Saxon

Sorry Andrew, I was busy working yesterday.

There are two distinct questions here. Firstly the notion that but for American involvement in Europe the war with Germany would have been lost. This is plainly untrue. American cash and arms were important before 1944 but the plain facts are that Operation Barbarossa was a huge strategic error and that by 1942 it was clear that the Eastern Front was only going to move one way. Meanwhile the Allies were rapidly moving towards Italy, exposing Austria and Bavaria. Would the Allies have successfully invaded France without US involvement? Almost certainly not, but what preceded was more important. Would the US have been able to intervene in Europe had the Battle of Britain been lost? Almost certainly not. Had Operation Barbarossa been successful, or even had Operation Barbarossa never taken place, would the Nazis have successfully repelled the French liberators? Almost certainly.

As to your question of whether the Soviet Union sought dominance of Western Europe the evidence is plainly against the notion. As a result of WW1 and WW2 Soviet strategy in Europe was always to protect itself from possible future invasion from Germany and create a buffer zone between its borders and its arch enemies. Outside Europe the USSR and USA played a game of brinkmanship in order to promote their respective ideologies. It is highly likely that had they been permitted to do so, the Red Army would have marched past Berlin and treated West Germany with the same brutality that they treated the East, but there is no evidence to suggest that Stalin or future leaders had ambitions towards France and Britain.

Andrew

Thank you for your response. Its an interesting argument you put forward and I must admit your second paragraph is fundamentally sound. Although I am using facts such as the attempted invasion of Denmark and the actual takeover of Eastern Europe as the basis for my argument, we will never know how far the soviets would have gone.. But if D-day not occurred and if the allies were still bogged down in Italy the soviets may have to had to clear the Germans out of France. Needless to say its a remote possibility that they may have stayed. My point was just to clearly show how important american involvement was as it rules out the take over of France as a possibility.

Re your first paragraph, i disagree with some of it. Von Mainstein(the architect of the masterful plan for the fall of France and arguably one of the greatest generals since Napoleon)claims in his war memoirs that the war in the east could have been won even after the loss of Stalingrad and that occurred in Feb 1943! The main impediment to German victory, according to Von Mainstein, was Hitlers meddling. In fact Operation Blue (the incursion into Southern Russia in the summer of 1942) was going splendidly until Hitler changed much of it and forced the already over stretched German forces to conquer too much territory. This impeded the Germans ability to conquer Stalingrad quickly and also left the flanks full of useless Romanian and Hungarian troops. These troops were easily overrun by the Russians during Operation Saturn in November 1942 allowing for the encirclement of Stalingrad. Anthony Beevor in his book Stalingrad agrees with this point.

However your point about the importance of the battle of Britain is spot on. If it were not for the brave fighters in the skies above Britain in 1940 the Americans would have had a very difficult platform(africa perhaps?)to launch their attacks.

Also i agree that D-day would have failed miserably if the Germans had won in Russia or never invaded Russia. However i bet a few atom bombs on German cities in 1945 would have changed their tune and this again would be purely attributed to the yanks.

The Battle of Britain was actually not very important, simply because Germany could not have invaded anyway. Not "would not", "could not". Operation Sealion was impossible because of the Royal Navy's existence.

To see this clearly, consider the seaborne invasion of Crete in May 1941. This was undertaken under conditions of total German air superiority, over a body of water much more amenable than the English Channel. Nevertheless, the Royal Navy intercepted and utterly destroyed the invasion. They did suffer thereafter from the Luftwaffe, but not intolerably so. A German invasion of mainland Britain would have been met by every ship the British had, and would have been sunk before it ever got near land.

This is without even considering the utterly inadequate German sea transport - river barges! - that they were planning to use in 1940.

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