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Even Blackadder can cause a political rift


Nick
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“however, one of the statements of recommendation for a VC has to be from a Commissioned Officer. Once granted by the King how rude that someone trying to sell a book , or an article, should attack that Award.

Perhaps Chris - with his different background doesn't realise the offence given by these nonentities ?”

Do you mean, if the King decides… who are the common people to question?

Personally I don’t believe in the infallibility of the Pope, the King or Commissioned officers J

I guess I am an upstart heathen ;-)

There is nothing in life that is above question…

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"Lord Fisher was the main person in Britain who pushed for a reform with our ships - and the result was at the turn of the 20th Century we developed and started building a new type of Battleship - the Dreadnought class. Every country in the World - of any importance - had to immediately copy them."

Indeed... and as we have learned... you can't start an arms race and expect the other folks not to run... has not changed since then... any advantage a country has by adding a new weapon is soon lost when the others guys add something similar...

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But is building a fleet a naughty thing to do? Would the Germans have suddenly decided to shell Cape Town ?

It would make me think less of Great Britain if a major reason for going to war was hurt pride because the Germans were building nicer ships.

It is a bit presumptuous to say "We have lots of little boats, but you can't build anymore as our pride will be hurt!" ;-)

The fact of the matter is... Britain was still building more ships than any other nation. The German ship building effort was not a threat. I'm convinced it was all about British ego when it comes to naval power. Now, German control of the Low Countries and a "defeated" France with Germany dominant on the Continent; that presented a threat to the English Channel. That's a different story. Dreadnoughts were not of any use in Flanders.

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An interesting debate.

However, let us consider its starting point: one of the least competent Ministers of Education (a post that rarely attracts much talent) that has ever been in post griping about a fictional respresentation of life in the trenches... which did, amidst the humour, give a reasonable representation of the squalor and hardships suffered by those on the front line compared to the comfort enjoyed by their commanders. As a teacher, I know that a little light relief enhances any lesson and makes the actual facts that you are imparting easier for the students to remember.

Remember 'lions led by donkeys'?

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An interesting debate.

However, let us consider its starting point: one of the least competent Ministers of Education (a post that rarely attracts much talent) that has ever been in post griping about a fictional respresentation of life in the trenches... which did, amidst the humour, give a reasonable representation of the squalor and hardships suffered by those on the front line compared to the comfort enjoyed by their commanders. As a teacher, I know that a little light relief enhances any lesson and makes the actual facts that you are imparting easier for the students to remember.

Remember 'lions led by donkeys'?

I for one love Blackadder... And who can forget: Baldrick opined that the war began when 'Archie Duke shot an ostrich because he was hungry'.

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I think the last scene of the last episode does more to show the bravery of the simple man, in the face of the madness than many histories... I defy anone to say that it is not patriotic.

Indeed. Who would have noticed another madman around here?

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The protection of the British Empire? From the Germans? Really? The 2 excellent allies of the 19th century? The 2 armies sharing common battle honours against common foes? The 2 countries sharing the same royal family? I remember reading on how a young MP by the name of Winston Churchill highly praised Germany for its remarkable social programs during a pre WW1 state visit, and how honoured he would be to be able to introduce such programs back home...

The British Empire chose the French side because it couldn't afford France to lose the war and default on its debt to it! Economics pushed the UK to the French side... Otherwise they might've probably stayed out of it if at all possible. Had they respected traditions and historical alliances, they would've joined with the Germans and turned France into a parking lot...

There isn't a European crowned head of head of state with clean hands in this mess of a war...

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The protection of the British Empire? From the Germans? Really? The 2 excellent allies of the 19th century? The 2 armies sharing common battle honours against common foes? The 2 countries sharing the same royal family? I remember reading on how a young MP by the name of Winston Churchill highly praised Germany for its remarkable social programs during a pre WW1 state visit, and how honoured he would be to be able to introduce such programs back home...

The British Empire chose the French side because it couldn't afford France to lose the war and default on its debt to it! Economics pushed the UK to the French side... Otherwise they might've probably stayed out of it if at all possible. Had they respected traditions and historical alliances, they would've joined with the Germans and turned France into a parking lot...

There isn't a European crowned head of head of state with clean hands in this mess of a war...

A welcome different perspective Frank... I can see the logic.

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And the poor bloody citizens lined up to enlist, terrified that it would be "over before Christmas" and that they'd not get a chance to 'teach the bloody XXX a lesson'. Lions led by donkeys indeed, but lions who put themselves into uniform and lined up to be led. Because...? Because it was a different world and they looked at it differently than we do now. If we'd been there, liely we'd have thought as they did, because we didn't have grands and great-grands who lived through four years of Hell!

History is easy! Living is hard. Never mind world politics, international trade debt and imperialism, just tell me who'll win in Brazil next year. Now, I mean. I'll die happy and rich! Do we really think that the politicians, economists and kings had a good clear grasp of what was happening? As I was fond of telling my students in civics class, running a government is not like steering a ship or a plane. Its more like driving a train, with somebody else - God, public opinion or the Flying Spaghetti Monster - laying the track.

No coincidence that the French had a marvellous plan for getting their troops to the Front but apparently none for getting them back into barracks peacefully should the war somehow be averted! Ther were empires, arms races and rabid rabid nationalism. And generals who wanted to try their toys. And citizens who hated 'them, over there, the different ones.' Tell me its different today!

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The protection of the British Empire? From the Germans? Really? The 2 excellent allies of the 19th century? The 2 armies sharing common battle honours against common foes? The 2 countries sharing the same royal family? I remember reading on how a young MP by the name of Winston Churchill highly praised Germany for its remarkable social programs during a pre WW1 state visit, and how honoured he would be to be able to introduce such programs back home...

.......except that public opinion in the UK across all party lines hardened against Kaiserism and German's demands for European domination. after the Kaisers's interview after the North African crisis and the Prince of Wales Charm offense in Paris along with Germanys' hysterical bombast and massive ship building program turned British opinion against Germany. The Riddle of the Sands is a good book on this subject.

The British Empire chose the French side because it couldn't afford France to lose the war and default on its debt to it! Economics pushed the UK to the French side... Otherwise they might've probably stayed out of it if at all possible. Had they respected traditions and historical alliances, they would've joined with the Germans and turned France into a parking lot...

not really. France leant more to Russia and everyone owed the USA a lot more.( still do actually).

There isn't a European crowned head of head of state with clean hands in this mess of a war...

except the French didn't have a monarch and the British Monarch is innocent because he had limited power.

Edited by Ulsterman
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A commiseration card, including pomp, glory and medals, condolences for the sons death, and at the same time the thought that "What can be more beautiful than dying for the fatherland"... I can think of plenty of things...

Now, if it had been my sons death... I would have knocked on the senders door, and made him eat this. But this is more or less a standard card....

And many of the death cards ordered by the families show PRIDE in having lost a son.... and did the average man in the street undestand anything more than "We are fighting the bloody Tommies!" or "We are fighting the bloody hun!"

But it is 2014... maybe in 1914 "Fatherland" was something different.

Another point, back then people did not travel, or few of them did. It has always been a theory of mine that the less people see of the world, the more they live in their own little sorner of the globe, and anything further than their next village is marked "Here be dragons!" on the map.

I wont be alone in saying I have friends in South Africa, Canada, France, UK, Germany... could not really see myself involved in a war against any of them.... but I also remember as a kid in South africa, a kind of circled Wagon mentality where there was Anti South Africa stuff on the news all the time and even as a kid you thought of those countries where a boycott of South african peaches was taking place as "the enemy"....

I think the last scene of the last episode does more to show the bravery of the simple man, in the face of the madness than many histories... I defy anone to say that it is not patriotic.

I agree...so Eisenhower, Churchill and Roosevelt won. The world has never been so pacific and so interconnected.

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The Germans did issue a peace proposal in 1916 in response to Wilson's memorandum to each of the warring powers. From what I can find out about it it was on the arrogant side, but it was a starting point from which the other powers may have tried to hammer out something. Whatever it contained, it was certainly a better chance of peace than Lloyd George's reply, ''We shall put our trust rather in an unbroken army than in broken faith."

true...BUT, the German proposal was at best half hearted and indeed, designed not to succeed. I believe Buelow wrote about this. France was adamant at that point in no negotiated peace, as was Russia (stupidly).

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I would challenge this statement... I would say they could not longer win by taking Paris... but they were still doing OK... There were times after 1915 when a victory may have been possible... like after the Failed French offensives in 1917... apparently the germans did not realise the near state of collapse of the French army, but if they had made the most of the situation, things could have been very different.

The Somme, Nivelle Offensive, Various defensive efforts in Flanders... the Germans were not realy on the ropes.... Some folks can do a lot with the little they have left...

...and I would disagree. The German high command knew they had to take Paris for the rail junctions. take Paris and cripple France's supply chains. also, defensive ties were NOT victories. the Germans were at a loss as to how to defeat Russia...just too much land to occupy, no occupation plans. Etc.. armies they could destroy, cities they could capture, but then what? revolution and conquest ... even with a replacement government like Kerensky was. NOT what the Junkers wanted. they too still basically had debt serfdom and a similar socio-economic system and they knew it. they were terror died of the SPD and the universal franchise and the chance that the Reichstag might limit the Kaisers' almost absolute powers. fritz Fischers details the internal debates and confusion within Berlin..." What to do about Russia? german Princes in the Baltic? Finland with a German monarch? separate the Ukraine? absorb Poland? no one had any idea what to do.....hence drift...and defeat.

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.Fritz Fischer details the internal debates and confusion within Berlin..." What to do about Russia? german Princes in the Baltic? Finland with a German monarch? separate the Ukraine? absorb Poland? no one had any idea what to do.....hence drift...and defeat.

If old Fritz hadn't died in '99, I'd say you two have a special thing... I agree that his thesis has a lot of merit. I wrote about the Dec 1912 War Council in an earlier post. But it's too one dimensional. We still need to look at the other Powers and what they did, didn't do, and wanted to do...going back to the turn of the century. It's cliche, but it takes more than one to make a party. I would even be willing to say Germany owns a larger share...but I would put that share at less than 75%.

Let's not forget that Fisher had his own "domestic political" motivations for writing in the 1960s ... Perhaps even to salve his own Nazi past. His remains a significant historical work on the subject, but it shouldn't be considered the last word. Or even gospel.

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If old Fritz hadn't died in '99, I'd say you two have a special thing... I agree that his thesis has a lot of merit. I wrote about the Dec 1912 War Council in an earlier post. But it's too one dimensional. We still need to look at the other Powers and what they did, didn't do, and wanted to do...going back to the turn of the century. It's cliche, but it takes more than one to make a party. I would even be willing to say Germany owns a larger share...but I would put that share at less than 75%.

Fun debate. one could also blame Italy for whussing out of their treaty obligAtions. Had Italy attacked France, the Republic would've collapsed under the pressure, the war would've been over in the West by Christmas and everything would have been different.

Fritz was special all right for a very "richtig" Teutonic Professor who always managed to say "American" with a slight sneer in his voice, but I admire his book and the counter attacks for their logical conclusions and rigor. however, to truly be special Fritz would have had to look like Imogen Stubbs in the Rainbow.

Edited by Ulsterman
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Imogen Stubbs

My biggest problem with Fisher is the lack of a smoking gun. His thesis that Germany "conspired" to wage war and actually precipitated the event is based upon snippets of conversations, including alleged ramblings of the Kaiser himself. There was a very detailed war plan, but there is not detailed evidence that Germany's actions were premeditated and executed with foresight. Oh, Berlin was willing. But stumbled along (as I think you call "drift"). If Berlin indeed had an aggressive "plan" to instigate a war, then what was the intended trigger? Certainly not Sarajevo.

As for Imogen...I've no interest.

Edited by IrishGunner
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I agree...so Eisenhower, Churchill and Roosevelt won. The world has never been so pacific and so interconnected.

Ahhh... that took WW2.... it was a two step program.

as for "The world"... The best learning experiance is to have the war in your front garden.... which large sections of the continent did... maybe WW1 was really too contained to really teach the populations a lesson...., WW2 threw the net a bit wider....

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An interesting article....

"This is all preposterous nonsense. Unlike the second world war, the bloodbath of 1914-18 was not a just war. It was a savage industrial slaughter perpetrated by a gang of predatory imperial powers, locked in a deadly struggle to capture and carve up territories, markets and resources."

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/08/first-world-war-imperial-bloodbath-warning-noble-cause

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An interesting article....

"This is all preposterous nonsense. Unlike the second world war, the bloodbath of 1914-18 was not a just war. It was a savage industrial slaughter perpetrated by a gang of predatory imperial powers, locked in a deadly struggle to capture and carve up territories, markets and resources."

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/08/first-world-war-imperial-bloodbath-warning-noble-cause

Hello Chris.

Thank you for drawing our attention to this article. It is worth reading and mulling around in one's mind. But are we learning ???

Bernhard H. Holst

Edited by Bernhard H.Holst
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