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  #21  
Old 18 September 2017, 00:19
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Originally Posted by maim View Post
An interesting article debunking a number of myths around WW 1
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-25776836
esp
"Some 12% of the British army's ordinary soldiers were killed during the war, compared with 17% of its officers. Eton alone lost more than 1,000 former pupils - 20% of those who served. UK wartime Prime Minister Herbert Asquith lost a son, while future Prime Minister Andrew Bonar Law lost two. Anthony Eden lost two brothers, another brother of his was terribly wounded, and an uncle was captured."
Somehow I can't see the same sort of thing happening now.
Yes, WW1 essentially destroyed the creme of Europe. It was an intensely dysgenic war; the mechanical slaughter of the best of European manhood, without any selection/reward for courage, strength or valor. It was an abattoir.

It left the sick, the lame, the crazy and malingerers on the homefront to breed with the women.

If you look at some of the works of WW1 combatants, feats of literature, science and art, you have to think that WW1 significantly retarded the progress of human civilization.

This is not to say that exempting scholars, scientists etc from combat is what I'm advocating, not at all.

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A nation that draws too broad a difference between it's scholars and it's warriors will have it's thinking done by cowards, and it's fighting done by fools. -Thucydides
I guess I'm simply lamenting the fact that generations of Europeans were dramatically failed by their "leaders" and we should recognize this and learn from it. S/F....Ken M
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  #22  
Old 20 September 2017, 04:22
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Yes, WW1 essentially destroyed the creme of Europe.
I'd say it was WWI and WWII both. WWII being the nail in the coffin. Between WWI and WWII there still was lots of royalty and nobility plus many noble and courageous men left.

WWI proved how bankrupt the royal grip on Europe was. It was the most blatant show of how little the "elites" care of the so-called "rabble" that fights for them. It's been mocked even in comedic takes on the subject created decades after the conflict such as Black Adder Goes Forth. Hell, you can even read traces of it in King Rat where some British prisioners in Changi are still divided by the caste system (like Grey and his inferiority complex)

I won't go into the historical context and outcome because there's no need to repeat what's already been written in the voluminous bibliography on the subject of the First World War. But there's one thing I'd like to add:

The WWI was the first war where people realized how much were they played by the ones at the top. But it was also the last war where the ones at the top allowed themselves this degree of nonchalance.

If someone thinks that the elites - whoever we put in that basket nowadays - have reformed, he/she is, in my opinion, very wrong. WWI showed the elite that the people evolved in their thinking and a change of course was needed, if only temporarily. Like in the Imperial Russia where the German attempt at injecting Lenin into the country for him to move Russia out of the world war succeeded only partially (Lenin was a skilled terrorist and cunning politician so he quickly turned Romanov Empire upside down only to reinstate his own version of it under catchy ideology).

After a brief hiccup of WWII the descendants of people who allowed the soldiers of WWI to dissolve in murky, sewer-like trenches, get blown up, mutilated, massacred, blinded, in short - maimed beyond belief, are still gripping the power. And I'm certain that they care about the people of today as much as their ancestors did about the people of yesteryear.
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  #23  
Old 20 September 2017, 06:28
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Originally Posted by Paul85 View Post
I'd say it was WWI and WWII both. WWII being the nail in the coffin. Between WWI and WWII there still was lots of royalty and nobility plus many noble and courageous men left.

WWI proved how bankrupt the royal grip on Europe was. It was the most blatant show of how little the "elites" care of the so-called "rabble" that fights for them. It's been mocked even in comedic takes on the subject created decades after the conflict such as Black Adder Goes Forth. Hell, you can even read traces of it in King Rat where some British prisioners in Changi are still divided by the caste system (like Grey and his inferiority complex)

I won't go into the historical context and outcome because there's no need to repeat what's already been written in the voluminous bibliography on the subject of the First World War. But there's one thing I'd like to add:

The WWI was the first war where people realized how much were they played by the ones at the top. But it was also the last war where the ones at the top allowed themselves this degree of nonchalance.

If someone thinks that the elites - whoever we put in that basket nowadays - have reformed, he/she is, in my opinion, very wrong. WWI showed the elite that the people evolved in their thinking and a change of course was needed, if only temporarily. Like in the Imperial Russia where the German attempt at injecting Lenin into the country for him to move Russia out of the world war succeeded only partially (Lenin was a skilled terrorist and cunning politician so he quickly turned Romanov Empire upside down only to reinstate his own version of it under catchy ideology).

After a brief hiccup of WWII the descendants of people who allowed the soldiers of WWI to dissolve in murky, sewer-like trenches, get blown up, mutilated, massacred, blinded, in short - maimed beyond belief, are still gripping the power. And I'm certain that they care about the people of today as much as their ancestors did about the people of yesteryear.
Good post!
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  #24  
Old 20 September 2017, 07:26
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Originally Posted by Paul85 View Post
I'd say it was WWI and WWII both. WWII being the nail in the coffin. Between WWI and WWII there still was lots of royalty and nobility plus many noble and courageous men left.

WWI proved how bankrupt the royal grip on Europe was. It was the most blatant show of how little the "elites" care of the so-called "rabble" that fights for them. It's been mocked even in comedic takes on the subject created decades after the conflict such as Black Adder Goes Forth. Hell, you can even read traces of it in King Rat where some British prisioners in Changi are still divided by the caste system (like Grey and his inferiority complex)

I won't go into the historical context and outcome because there's no need to repeat what's already been written in the voluminous bibliography on the subject of the First World War. But there's one thing I'd like to add:

The WWI was the first war where people realized how much were they played by the ones at the top. But it was also the last war where the ones at the top allowed themselves this degree of nonchalance.

If someone thinks that the elites - whoever we put in that basket nowadays - have reformed, he/she is, in my opinion, very wrong. WWI showed the elite that the people evolved in their thinking and a change of course was needed, if only temporarily. Like in the Imperial Russia where the German attempt at injecting Lenin into the country for him to move Russia out of the world war succeeded only partially (Lenin was a skilled terrorist and cunning politician so he quickly turned Romanov Empire upside down only to reinstate his own version of it under catchy ideology).

After a brief hiccup of WWII the descendants of people who allowed the soldiers of WWI to dissolve in murky, sewer-like trenches, get blown up, mutilated, massacred, blinded, in short - maimed beyond belief, are still gripping the power. And I'm certain that they care about the people of today as much as their ancestors did about the people of yesteryear.
Nicely put...
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  #25  
Old 20 September 2017, 07:37
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Originally Posted by Paul85 View Post
I'd say it was WWI and WWII both. WWII being the nail in the coffin.

. . . S N I P . . .

After a brief hiccup of WWII . . . S N I P . . .
Don't quite think I've ever heard a Pole describe WWII as being a brief hiccup, even if only describing the elites who moved the chess pieces and the loss of the cream of society. Poland caught hell from both directions, and lost at least 20%, possibly as much as a quarter of the entire population during WWII, far more than anybody else.
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  #26  
Old 20 September 2017, 09:22
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Poland caught hell from both directions, and lost at least 20%, possibly as much as a quarter of the entire population during WWII, far more than anybody else.
The best book I've read on that was called Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.
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  #27  
Old 20 September 2017, 10:19
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Gents, it was a minor hiccup for the so called worldwide elites.
For Poland along with many other countries it was hell personified.
My family suffered greatly thanks to Nazi Germany and Soviet Union as did many others in my country.
It was so horrible we as a nation will carry the scars of it forever, I think. Doesn't mean we should walk around and say what horror we endured. It's there in the books and in our tales.

If we are on topic of Poland during WWII, I'm alive only because German Wehrmaht soldiers helped out my family. Entire estate of my mother's family who were full blooded Polish szlachta (nobility) was turned into a flat surface thanks to German bombs. My grandfather and grandmother along with several other members of the family hid in an underground cellar used to store potatoes. When Wehrmaht was going thru the officers found my grandparents and gave them bread, vegetables, canned food. And they did this several times effectively saving my family from starvation.
When Soviets came....don't ask.
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  #28  
Old 20 September 2017, 10:26
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Well acquainted with Poland's trials, my family was mostly lucky to have emigrated to the USA prior to the war. Maternal grandmother a relative to Bór-Komorowski.

Other parts of the family from Lithuania. They too got it badly under the Russians, but that's another story.
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  #29  
Old 20 September 2017, 10:31
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Thank you for sharing this. God bless you and your family.
Sorry for the hijack.
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  #30  
Old 20 September 2017, 11:57
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Originally Posted by Paul85 View Post
Gents, it was a minor hiccup for the so called worldwide elites.
For Poland along with many other countries it was hell personified.
My family suffered greatly thanks to Nazi Germany and Soviet Union as did many others in my country.
It was so horrible we as a nation will carry the scars of it forever, I think. Doesn't mean we should walk around and say what horror we endured. It's there in the books and in our tales.

If we are on topic of Poland during WWII, I'm alive only because German Wehrmaht soldiers helped out my family. Entire estate of my mother's family who were full blooded Polish szlachta (nobility) was turned into a flat surface thanks to German bombs. My grandfather and grandmother along with several other members of the family hid in an underground cellar used to store potatoes. When Wehrmaht was going thru the officers found my grandparents and gave them bread, vegetables, canned food. And they did this several times effectively saving my family from starvation.
When Soviets came....don't ask.
Thanks for sharing this.
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  #31  
Old 26 September 2017, 00:27
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Paul 85 is a good poster and gives good insight on US topics from a foreign countries perspective.

Thanks for the post Paul
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  #32  
Old 27 September 2017, 07:45
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Paul 85 is a good poster and gives good insight on US topics from a foreign countries perspective.
Thanks for the post Paul
Thank you!
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  #33  
Old 28 September 2017, 11:13
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Originally Posted by Paul85 View Post
Gents, it was a minor hiccup for the so called worldwide elites.
For Poland along with many other countries it was hell personified.
My family suffered greatly thanks to Nazi Germany and Soviet Union as did many others in my country.
It was so horrible we as a nation will carry the scars of it forever, I think. Doesn't mean we should walk around and say what horror we endured. It's there in the books and in our tales.

If we are on topic of Poland during WWII, I'm alive only because German Wehrmaht soldiers helped out my family. Entire estate of my mother's family who were full blooded Polish szlachta (nobility) was turned into a flat surface thanks to German bombs. My grandfather and grandmother along with several other members of the family hid in an underground cellar used to store potatoes. When Wehrmaht was going thru the officers found my grandparents and gave them bread, vegetables, canned food. And they did this several times effectively saving my family from starvation.
When Soviets came....don't ask.
Poland certainly had many dark days during WW2.

Poland also had some who demonstrated the very best of humanity in the most inhumane places and times.

Captain Witold Pilecki is one of the finest individuals in history that I have learned of. A hero in every measure of the word.

Sorry for the derail.
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  #34  
Old 9 October 2017, 10:54
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For those that want to understand how the war could have been avoided or at least its impact minimized watch or read the Pity of War by Niel Ferguson.

No treaty or agreement required Britain to enter the war, they entered it because they thought t hey could win quickly and at Germany expense. The amount of incompetence at all levels is still stunning.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dhhn4nswSMc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NXRfAEHU-E
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  #35  
Old 30 December 2017, 03:56
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Whilst Australia and New Zealand are far from the battle fields of the Western Front and our contribution was tiny when expressed as percentages, there are few of the major battle fields where our blood was not spilt.

My pride in having served in an Infantry Bn who's exploits are well documented on the Somme is naught compared to the two times I was the Queen's Colour Orderly at two Garrison Church Parades.

For the non-Commonwealth members: My job was to uncase and case the Queens Colours, a huge honour for a young Digger. On both occasions under the watchful eyes of members of the 17th Bn 1st AIF who fought at Ypres. Two of those Gents at the first service I did were what we call "Originals" i.e. They landed at Gallipoli at dawn on 25 Apr 1915 and fought and survived to come home from the Somme and were present when the Bn was disbanded in 1919.

After the service had finished, all these Gents spoke to us very young Diggers in very forthright language about their experiences.

It was then that I understood why the Bn Motto is "Facta Probant" (Deeds Prove). It also scared the crap out of me and I vowed to always work hard aiming to be the type of Soldier those men would approve of.

This year in Australia and New Zealand, the Centenary of Ypres has been honoured by the current Military. I read this thread and am struck by the insight of self, that when the men and women here talk of the tragedy, waste and evil of war, I find myself nodding in agreement. Yet when our elected civilian "leaders" make those sort of remarks, I get somewhat snarky and want to punch them in their collective throats.

Those men who watched over my dress and drill at the Garrison Church certainly didn't appreciate the platitudes of politicians and made it very clear to us youngun's.

To a man they all agreed that they hoped we never went to war but if we did, to always remember, you fight for your mates to either side and as one of the Originals said "A pox on the people who sit in judgment having never lost a mate to a sniper".

I am glad I was not there, I am proud to have met those survivors who were and I am very impressed with the insights being shared in this thread.

Thank you all for sharing, especially those with personal links to the "show".

Cheers,
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  #36  
Old 30 December 2017, 04:47
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I was too late to edit my previous, but I meant to say that the scrutiny of those men whilst I executed my drill as Colour Orderly was more stressful than having my RSM giving the commands. Such was their presence!

Cheers,
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  #37  
Old 30 December 2017, 09:29
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Thanks for your posts Gents.

There are days when our Web Site just blows me away for its depth and breadth. This is one of those moments. Great thread.
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  #38  
Old 11 January 2018, 05:01
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Whilst Australia and New Zealand are far from the battle fields of the Western Front...
...the Anzacs brought with them the kangaroos!

Besides, the deeds of Australian Soldiers during WWI, along with their tough-as-nails FAIF are legendary. Finest men.
All finest, young men, on all sides, went into the grinder...
The idiocy of royalty and power players bit them in the rear during WWII. They made the bed for themselves, with Hitler (granted, nationalsozialismus was catchy for its times but the general ideas about supremacy, power and need to rule the lower, lesser masses surrounding the Germany were deeply ingrained in German history and mindset so it's not all that he was just a product of his times), and with Lenin. From a historical POV it's easy to judge the situation the WWI created in terms of social and political turmoil, and that what happened after was a logical outcome. However, the powers of early 20th century could be excused for their short-sightedness because they honestly beleived that the status quo will carry on forever. They even believed in that bullshit "War to end all wars" motto (David Lloyd George, I'm looking at you!). After all, what could go wrong?

Someone might say that WWI shaped almost entire 20th century.
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  #39  
Old 11 January 2018, 12:34
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God Bless your wife...I've seen a couple lineman/tree trimmers make direct contact, I don't think you ever get that smell out of your nose.

There is no worse smell seared into the brain then burned or scorched flesh and a close second is rotting bloated bodies.

Something that is never forgotten and can take you strait back in a millisecond with one whiff of something similar in the air.
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  #40  
Old 11 January 2018, 13:19
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My Great Grandfather was gassed there. I didn't realize that the Purple Heart was not given during that time frame but rather a Lady Columbia wound certificate. It's also interesting to see his discharge papers that have the engagements he took part in. It's also weird because on the back of his discharge papers it says "Wounds Recieved-None" so jacked up DD-214's have been happening for a long time.
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