Will Stalin invade India? And what about the West Indies? – WW2 – Out of the Foxholes 008

Will Stalin invade India? And what about the West Indies? – WW2 – Out of the Foxholes 008

I’m Indy Neidell and this is Out of The
Foxholes, where I sit her in the Chair of Infinite knowledge and answer all your questions
about the Second World War. When the Netherlands fell in May 1940, their
possessions in America went under the name the Dutch West Indies. They include the Caribbean
islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, and Dutch Guiana- present-day Surinam. Earlier
in 1939 and 40, Dutch interest in Dutch Guiana increased because of its essential bauxite
fields. See, bauxite is used in the production of aluminum, which is vital for manufacturing
things like airplanes. So the Dutch government started selling loads of bauxite to Britain
and France, but also the United States. After June 1940, there was a fear in British High
Command that Vichy France might launch an invasion from Vichy-controlled French Guyana
into Surinam. However, the Dutch governor Johannes Kielstra refused British military
help. He continued to govern Surinam as a de facto independent region and Surinamese
economy boomed from exports of bauxite and gold. By 1941, the United States has grown
increasingly dependent on Surinamese bauxite so in November that year, President Franklin
D. Roosevelt sends American troops to occupy Dutch Guiana, also afraid of a sudden Vichy
French attack. Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao were occupied by British soldiers from May
1940 to protect their naval bases. The French West Indies include Martinique,
Guadeloupe, and French Guiana. Their governors all declared loyalty to Philippe Pétain’s
Vichy State in the summer of 1940. Consequently, a British blockade of the territories was
put in place to stop the exports of things like gold, rum, and sugar to occupied Europe.
Due to the embargo, there are severe food shortages that will last throughout the war.
No Allied invasion of the territories were launched, and the French West Indies still
remain a distant Vichy French enclave here in 1941. As far back as the early 19th century, the
British and Russian Empires had a great interest in the annexation and colonization of Central
Asia; the British expanding from India and the Russians expanding from the north. This
“Great Game”, as it was called, ended in 1895, when the two great powers agreed on the Afghan
borders. Afghanistan thus became a buffer state between the two countries, and this
was still the case in 1939 when war broke out in Europe. Nevertheless, a Russian invasion of India
is and always has been a real threat. India has an enormous abundance of resources and
manpower, and it constitutes a giant fortress between the British ports of Suez, Aden and
Singapore. Taking India would be an terrible blow to the British, so they had a contingency
battle plan: “The Interim Plan of Operations in India”. Catchy. As a Russian or Soviet
invasion of India first had to go through Afghanistan to get there, the whole plan was
centered on Afghanistan. So this was the deal: if the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the
British would see this as a direct casus belli against the USSR and declare war. The British
army would have then entered Afghanistan in a defensive line from Jalalabad to Qandahar,
and a British military mission would go to Kabul to help with Afghan mobilization and
strategy. The threat became greater with the Molotov-Ribbentrop
Pact in August 1939 and the subsequent joint German-Soviet invasion of Poland in the following
month. Meanwhile, German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop advised Joseph Stalin
and Vyacheslav Molotov to turn south and attack British India during several of their meetings.
So there was a bit of government panic in late 1939 in Kabul, and British and Indian
officials were on high alert last year in 1940. However, with the end of 1940 and no
Soviet invasion in progress tensions began to die down, and things have cooled off a
bit. After the Fall of France, approximately 28,000
Frenchman remained in England. Sure, over 100,000 French soldiers had been evacuated
at Dunkirk. Still, these were quickly shuttled in camps and repatriated back to France after
a few days. Only about 1/10 of the French soldiers left during Operations Dynamo and
Ariel remained in England when General Charles Huntziger signed the armistice with the Germans
on June 22nd 1940. These soldiers were conflicted as to how to
proceed. Some followed Vichy French leader Philippe Pétain’s orders to lay down arms
and return, while others followed General Charles de Gaulle to continue the fight as
part of the Free French forces. However, many just wanted to go home to their families and
away from the war. Despite de Gaulle’s Appeal of June 18th, a majority of the French soldiers
sought to repatriate to either Vichy France or the occupied zone. In fact, by the end
of July 1940, only 7.000 French soldiers had joined de Gaulle’s forces. Well, that is it for today. If you want me
to answer your own question, you can submit it at our community forum at community.timeghost.tv.
Link is in the video descirption. Join the TimeGhost Army on patreon or TimeGhost.tv
so we can continue to bring you awesome content. Subscribe, ring that bell and see you next

100 thoughts on “Will Stalin invade India? And what about the West Indies? – WW2 – Out of the Foxholes 008

  1. Do you have a question about World War Two or our production? Make sure to go to https://community.timeghost.tv/c/Out-of-the-Foxholes-Qs and submit your question. We're always looking for new interesting angles and perspectives, or to fill in some of the gaps that are left in our episodes covering World War Two. Make sure to check the other Out of the Foxholes videos to see which ones have been covered already!
    Hope you like the video!
    Cheers, Rune


    STAY CIVIL AND POLITE we will delete any comments with personal insults, or attacks.

    AVOID PARTISAN POLITICS AS FAR AS YOU CAN we reserve the right to cut off vitriolic debates.

    HATE SPEECH IN ANY DIRECTION will lead to a ban.

    RACISM, XENOPHOBIA, OR SLAMMING OF MINORITIES will lead to an immediate ban.


  2. Fun fact: That tiny little panhandle that Afghanistan has connecting to China was just added arbitrarily to block Britain off from Russia properly, i'm pretty sure 😂

  3. A reason why Afghanistan has that long "panhandle" (The Wakhan corridor) that streches east, was due to Russian-British concern! In 1873 they both agreed on their borders with Afghanistan to set up a buffer state.

  4. Probably a dumb question but is the contents of this channel available on DVD? I’m a binge watcher myself.

  5. For French terrotories in America everyone seems somehow to forget Saint Pierre & Miquelon :p

    It especially has an interesting history in WW2 since it became re-taken by the Free French Forces without approuval from the allies, De Gaulle kinda sneaked them back under his control

  6. It's hard to fathom nowadays, but at one point that was a very real concern. It was kind of like the establishment of Communism in Cuba, the sudden creation of ISIS in Iraq , or China creating islands and bases in the South China Sea.

  7. Why did the French colonies in the Caribbean support the treasonous Vichy regime in the first place rather than immediately siding with the free French? They were under no immediate danger of German attack

  8. Kinda surprised that many French returned to France and so little stayed in Britain with the free French forces.

  9. Does Indy just know these things off the top of his head or is there a list of information prepared for him to study beforehand?

  10. Thanks I never knew that Russians had sights on India. Wasn't India German's Interested in India also? I heard Rommel and his gang would push toward British India, there was a meeting between the Subash Chandra Bose and Hitler, Bose was very antagonistic to rhe British.

  11. I still laugh of the portrait of Franz Conrad von Hotzendorf that Indy has. If he hangs a portrait of Luigi Cadorna his wall would shake indecisively at least 12 times per day.

  12. Which chair is/was more comfortable? The Chair of Wisdom or the Chair of Infinite Knowledge? Or are you really psyching us out and they're one and the same…😛

  13. Does anyone know if the Italian invasion of Ethiopia was a bit more palatable because of the Ethiopian position of legalized slavery

  14. Imagine a world where Stalin is on Hitler's side and the Soviets and Japan invade India together

    Although Hitler never would have allowed that. He hated the Soviets so much and was so overconfident of victory that he never let logic get in the way of his folly of Barbarossa

  15. You spoke about the Indian Invasion but didn't mention about the Indian revolutionary leader Subhas Chandra Bose who travelled from India to Berlin through Moscow on a Italian passport and worked from there also creating a army from the German POW camps to launch an invasion of India through the USSR,
    And when that route was closed after operation babrossa, he travelled to Japan and the attacked British India through Siam with a Indian POW force under Japanese control.
    You skipped this very vital details about the Invasion of British India.

  16. From 1918 onwards, the oil refineries on Curaçao and Aruba played a key role in relations between the islands and the United States. Since the islands and Suriname were the only non-occupied territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands during World War II, Curaçao was center stage and strategically important to the Allied powers. The oil refineries on Curaçao and Aruba provided 70% of the fuel used by the Allies Forces.

  17. As if the Indians would simply do nothing while the Soviets occupy India… The Soviets would be embroiled in a guerilla war just like Japan in China.

  18. Nice to see you haven't forgotten about me Indiana – ah the good ol' days of the Great War

  19. About the French colonies in the Caribbean, in July 1940 Churchill wanted to attack the French ships docked in Martinique and Guadeloupe (1 carrier Bearn, 2 light cruisers Jeanne d'Arc and Emile Bertin, carrying golds from the Bank of France) as of Operation Catapult but was dissuaded at the last moment by the intervention of president Roosevelt. The ships were decomissionned until 1943 when they joined the Free French and were rearmed.

    Also the fate of the population living in those French oversea territories was not enviable. Not only did they suffer deeply from starvation and shortage of medicine due to the Ally blockades but they had to cope with the harsh treatment imposed by the Vichy authorities too. When strict laws where passed as the Laval goverment went more and more collaborationist and fascist (especially between 1942 and 1943), numerous case of arrestation, torture and execution occured. Nearly everyone was suspected to be a jew, communist or De Gaulle sympathiser.
    A French TV documentary talked about the difficult life of those colonies during the war.

  20. Stalin : "let's invade Finland"
    (gets a kick in the nuts)
    Stalib : "mmh… now how about invading India through Afghanistan ?"

  21. Russians never Invaded India and they eventually became friends and state of Bangladesh was born…happy ending..

  22. Could you also tell us what happened to the Belgian Kongo during the occupation? I couldn't find much about the Kongolese history in the time period of WW2 and would be very interested.

  23. Be a neat freak. Wash your hands. Give to people in need. If you’re going to spread anything, spread help, compassion and humor. And do not panic. We all need help greatest generation survive one I ast battle

  24. Why didn' t the Soviets turn to Iran, Afghanistan and India ? The advantages would have been significant and the horrific destruction and losses of the fight against the Axis would have been avoided. In the end this and later the West movement of Poland instead of forming a much stronger German puppet state caused the Sovietunions' decline.

  25. i have one question, did the axis tried to support independence movements in the british empire like they did with the soviets in russia in ww1?

  26. Nonsense. Soviets didn't intend to conquer India. And that pact had no deal with India. USSR had a threat to the east from Japan. In fact the pact was made to prevent Soviet Union having war on 2 fronts. Assault on India was excluded they already had threat from the West and East, they were no fools to start a war in the South. That would be suicidal move.

  27. I went to a french school in Chile which was founded in 1943. They had to bring teachers from Martinique, since France was, you know, full of nazis. The founding of the school itself was an act of defiance.

  28. Our governor here in California just 'grounded' the whole state. Isn't this a bit like being in a city when one army replaces another? What were the instructions to civilians when Paris was declared an open city and the government left? How about Stalingrad? Berlin? Rome? Oslo? Tokyo?

    And related, civilians clearly were in danger if a battle was going on. What was that like? Just hide in a basement until the shooting stopped, you ran out of food or water? (I do know someone who was in school when the Japanese Imperial Army took over Hong Kong, she said they smelled like BO, looked tired and wanted fountain pens, watches and jewelry. She later left the city with her sisters. The Japanese let people leave so they wouldn't have to be fed. I thought I was going to hear a story of fleeing in the night. They had 8 porters. Her sister, Anna Chennault soon stepped up and took over running their group. One day when everyone was impressed that I'd just walked across Hong Kong island I just looked at her and shrugged. "I know you walked to Guilin." She just smiled. Was it scary? "No. I was too young." She was 9.

  29. Didn’t France posses (and still does) an island w/port near Canadian New Foundland that could have been seen as a threat/annoyance?

  30. You know if we have ww3, I would love if TimeGhost would do a week by week review on what happened in the war. If there is a side war than they can do a special on it.

  31. Don’t get research the questions or just answer right if the top of his head? I feel like they have to research the but the way he’s just like “uuUuuhH aha!” Makes me think Indy just knows it all from memory haha

  32. During your discussion about the French colonies in the Americas, I noticed that you did not mention St. Pierre and Miquelon in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Since they lie close to a major shipping lane for war supplies, they also have major strategic importance. Did they support the Vichy French, and if so, how were these islands affected during the war?

  33. Sorry to intervene but you missed Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, a french territory near Quebec. This case is interesting because it was one of the first to switch to de Gaulle's side. Moreover, Guyane, Martinique and Guadeloupe were not french colonies, but territories fully associated to french law, which means that the inhabitants had all french citizenship (at least in theory), contrary to Indochina or african colonies, who has special status.

  34. I have a question for you. How could you have left out St Pierre and Miqilon? Three small islands off the coast of Newfoundland which were a politically huge pain in the backside from July 1940 through the early part of 1942 after the Free French took over the island. It caused major rifts between Canada, the United States and Great Britain. How about a what if. What would have happened if Roosevelt had acted on his impulse of sending a naval force including the battleship Arkansas to sink the Free French Fleet? De Gaulle had basically spit on both the Monroe Doctrine and the Act of Havana 1941. And what if the Vichy Fleet in Martinique had of been sea worthy enough to sail north and retake the islands? Great Britain could not allow it, but U.S. policy would have to support it. And what of Canada? After the fishing fleet incident, and especially after Pearl Harbor, was gravitating more to the U.S. for defense and away from Great Britain for security.

  35. FYI: Your picture of American troops stationed in Paramaribo Surinam frame (1.47) is backwards. Everybody is left handed.

  36. It seems like the Germans wanted the Russians to invade India in an attempt to weaken Russia’s European front.

  37. Imagine how much less information Out of the Foxholes would have if Indy still sat on the Chair of Wisdom instead of the Chair of Infinite Knowledge. I mean, what is wisdom really, compared to infinite knowledge?

  38. Ask a better question: Could Stalin invaded Japan in WW2? Yes,the Soviet army could have invaded Hokkaido in August 1945, if the Soviets had a better navy in the Pacific at that time!

  39. New here, would love to see you dive deeper into other countries that are not as often mentioned as ww2 nations. India being one of them, without which, the western world would look very different, would take up an episode alone.

  40. I do understand it . But the idea of going back to France to avoid the war , seems, with hindsight , to be a bit silly . I will use this example when people ask me to define irony

  41. How stalin spied on its allies even in the on going war…………was russia always so suspicious??🤔🤔

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *