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Phil

Gove's take on WW1

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When France invaded Germany.

 

see http://www.france2.fr/emissions/telematin  about 19 minutes 13 seconds in. Telematin is the morning news programme on France 2 run by the virulently  anti-English William Leymergie. Ignore the opening advert about the WC that squirts water up your bum.

 

In March 1921, French and Belgian troops occupied Duisburg, which under the [/size]Treaty of Versailles formed part of the demilitarized Rhineland. In January 1923 the whole [/size]Ruhrgebiet was occupied as a reprisal after Germany failed to fulfill [/size]World War I reparation payments as agreed in the Versailles Treaty. The German government responded with "[/size]passive resistance", letting workers and civil servants refuse orders and instructions by the occupation forces. Production and transport came to a standstill and the financial consequences contributed to [/size]German hyperinflation and ruined public finances in Germany. Passive resistance was called off in late 1923, allowing Germany to implement a currency reform and to negotiate the [/size]Dawes Plan, which led to the withdrawal of the French and Belgian troops from the Ruhr in 1925.[/size]

Versailles and the subsequent tensions between France and Germany didn't help the cause of a lasting peace. The creation of the ECSC/EEC/EU after WW2 has done a better job so far....

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25776836

 

 

Much of what we think we know about the 1914-18 conflict is wrong, writes historian Dan Snow.

 

No war in history attracts more controversy and myth than World War One.

 

For the soldiers who fought it was in some ways better than previous conflicts, and in some ways worse.

 

By setting it apart as uniquely awful we are blinding ourselves to the reality of not just WW1 but war in general. We are also in danger of belittling the experience of soldiers and civilians caught up in countless other appalling conflicts throughout history and the present day.

 

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The Blackadder character, as I said, is behaving in a consistent way to his previous incarnations - always in it for himself and weaseling out of anything he can. If you observe him in that context, rather than as a representative figure of a British soldier, then it makes sense. I don't recall the other 3 trying to avoid going over the top. As I said, George specifically refuses the general's offer.

Lloyd George in particular disagreed with Haig's tactics, but the politicians had no real appetite for peace despite the appalling loss of life. Ultimately you can argue that Haig was vindicated in that the Western Front was won, but at a terrible price. And indeed, all that the victory did was to light a fuse that burned for 21 years until it all kicked off again. Although that was a political, rather than a military, failure.

It's not just Blackadder, it is also Darling and to an extent Baldrick that wish to escape the war.

 

Lloyd George may have disagreed with Haig's tactics but he didn't suggest an alternative. Nobody did because there wasn't one.

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Excellent little piece by the BBC.

Interesting, but totally lacking in what Mr. Gove would call "rigour".

Example: Item 6 - Gallipoli was fought by Australians and New Zealanders

Er, yes it was. If you'd put "solely" in there I could have accepted it.

It's good that this debate is open, though. However let's still have a bit of perspective in the fact that hundreds of thousands of people died and very little came out of it, except another war later on.

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It's good that this debate is open, though. However let's still have a bit of perspective in the fact that hundreds of thousands of people died and very little came out of it, except another war later on.

Which it is estimated cost the lives of 60 million people - 2.5% of the world population

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Which it is estimated cost the lives of 60 million people - 2.5% of the world population

And even then that's a conservative estimate.  No-one really knows how many Chinese died, it's just guesses and I read something many years ago that the figures could be almost double there because those compiling the official statistics just couldn't make themselves believe the evidence that so many people could be killed in such a very short relative time.  There is credible evidence that the true total of war related deaths from WW2 exceeds 100,000,000 people.

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Slightly off topic, but I guess WW2 was a series of separate conflicts that had been brewing / under way for a while but all got joined together due to the treaties that were in place, or shared political ambitions?

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Slightly off topic, but I guess WW2 was a series of separate conflicts that had been brewing / under way for a while but all got joined together due to the treaties that were in place, or shared political ambitions?

Japan had been conducting a war in China since 1936 ( I think)  They needed raw materials to continue this war, all the raw materials they needed were there in South East Asia, with the colonial powers otherwise occupied in Europe they, concluded an alliance with Hitler, tried to knock the Yank navy out of the war at Pearl Harbor, invaded and plundered the spoils of the Philippines, Malaya, and Indonesia.  The famous "Axis" did not operate as one, Germany needed to threaten the Allies with Japan and vice versa.  Had they really operated as a strategic alliance, and had Japan advanced to India from Burma, whilst the Germans had advanced South from the Caucasus, and East from Africa, who knows what the outcome would have been. But both nations were military dictatorships and presumably organically incapable of trusting one another.

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Japan had been conducting a war in China since 1936 ( I think)  They needed raw materials to continue this war, all the raw materials they needed were there in South East Asia, with the colonial powers otherwise occupied in Europe they, concluded an alliance with Hitler, tried to knock the Yank navy out of the war at Pearl Harbor, invaded and plundered the spoils of the Philippines, Malaya, and Indonesia.  The famous "Axis" did not operate as one, Germany needed to threaten the Allies with Japan and vice versa.  Had they really operated as a strategic alliance, and had Japan advanced to India from Burma, whilst the Germans had advanced South from the Caucasus, and East from Africa, who knows what the outcome would have been. But both nations were military dictatorships and presumably organically incapable of trusting one another.

Their reason for the Japanese war against the European powers and the USA was the oil embargo against Japan, which was brought in to try to block Japan from conquering more of China. Had the Netherlands, France, the UK and the US carried out a different policy then WW2 would have been very different. It's likely that Japan would have succesfully invaded China but that this conflict would not really be part of WW2. This means to Eastern war for the UK and no Pearl Harbor (and thus a delayed entry or no entry into the war by the USA).

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Their reason for the Japanese war against the European powers and the USA was the oil embargo against Japan, which was brought in to try to block Japan from conquering more of China. Had the Netherlands, France, the UK and the US carried out a different policy then WW2 would have been very different. It's likely that Japan would have succesfully invaded China but that this conflict would not really be part of WW2. This means to Eastern war for the UK and no Pearl Harbor (and thus a delayed entry or no entry into the war by the USA).

 

Setting aside the appalling loss of human life in WW2...

 

And my own suerficial knowledge of the proceedings....

 

I've always wondered exactly why Japan bothered bombing Pearl harbour and how much of a mistake it was for them. They seemed to be doing fine with their empire building and were perhaps slipping under the radar in terms of international attention which inevitably focussed on Europe. Ive heard it said they were 'getting their retaliation in first' for what they thought the USA was going to do to them, but Im not sure what if anything the US were planning.

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Setting aside the appalling loss of human life in WW2...

 

And my own suerficial knowledge of the proceedings....

 

I've always wondered exactly why Japan bothered bombing Pearl harbour and how much of a mistake it was for them. They seemed to be doing fine with their empire building and were perhaps slipping under the radar in terms of international attention which inevitably focussed on Europe. Ive heard it said they were 'getting their retaliation in first' for what they thought the USA was going to do to them, but Im not sure what if anything the US were planning.

 

A few lectures I have attended highlight they adopted a pre-emptive to destroy the threat the US Pacific Fleet posed as they attempted to exert their dominance over the Pacific. I believe they launched their invasion of the Phillipines on roughly the same date, which was home to US troops. Destroying the Fleet would remove the threat to their own invasion forces and wider Pacific aims.

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Setting aside the appalling loss of human life in WW2...

 

And my own suerficial knowledge of the proceedings....

 

I've always wondered exactly why Japan bothered bombing Pearl harbour and how much of a mistake it was for them. They seemed to be doing fine with their empire building and were perhaps slipping under the radar in terms of international attention which inevitably focussed on Europe. Ive heard it said they were 'getting their retaliation in first' for what they thought the USA was going to do to them, but Im not sure what if anything the US were planning.

The Japanese arrived at the view that only the resources of South East Asia, particularly Indonesia, would give them enough power to conquer China. The USA was part of the blockading nations and with the Europeans committed elsewhere, only the USA seemed to stand between them and domination of the Far East. They thought that after they crippled the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, the Americans would be forced to stay out.  

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The Japanese arrived at the view that only the resources of South East Asia, particularly Indonesia, would give them enough power to conquer China. The USA was part of the blockading nations and with the Europeans committed elsewhere, only the USA seemed to stand between them and domination of the Far East. They thought that after they crippled the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, the Americans would be forced to stay out.  

But they didn't cripple the US Fleet at Pearl Harbor, the aircraft carriers, the key to the Pacific War, as it turned out, weren't there.  Six months later these same carriers were instrumental in destroying three Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway, the American victory at Midway enabled the US to fight a holding action in the Pacific, while they pursued the agreed "Germany First" policy.  The Japanese opting for the easy pickings in the Pacific also enabled Stalin to transfer hardened crack troops who were in Siberia guarding against a Japanese attack to the Western front, thus stalling the German 1942 new Spring offensive. Again had the Axis actually operated as an axis, the Japanese would have attacked the USSR and effectively it would have been game over.  

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But they didn't cripple the US Fleet at Pearl Harbor, the aircraft carriers, the key to the Pacific War, as it turned out, weren't there.  Six months later these same carriers were instrumental in destroying three Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway, the American victory at Midway enabled the US to fight a holding action in the Pacific, while they pursued the agreed "Germany First" policy.  The Japanese opting for the easy pickings in the Pacific also enabled Stalin to transfer hardened crack troops who were in Siberia guarding against a Japanese attack to the Western front, thus stalling the German 1942 new Spring offensive. Again had the Axis actually operated as an axis, the Japanese would have attacked the USSR and effectively it would have been game over.  

Evidently it did not cripple the US fleet but the Japanese assumption was that it would.

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