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The Even Cooler Stuff From [History] Thread

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Posts

  • A Half Eaten OreoA Half Eaten Oreo Registered User regular
    Not exactly "new" but a Hardcore History series on WW2 Asia-Pacific war came out in July. I just finished the first episode focusing mostly on the rise of Imperial Japan.

    hawkboxHarry Dresden
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    I think "correct plan" overstates the chance of a meaningful German victory. When they lost Russia thry lost the chance to win a general war and still be in a shape to enjoy it.

    Best case after that was always a pyrric victory.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    Nearly every analysis of Germany in WWI that I have read makes it sound like they were doomed almost no matter what barring some miracle.

    Styrofoam SammichFencingsaxMoridin889
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    Couscous wrote: »
    Nearly every analysis of Germany in WWI that I have read makes it sound like they were doomed almost no matter what barring some miracle.

    There's not much you can do to get past surrounded and outmanned.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    Nearly every analysis of Germany in WWI that I have read makes it sound like they were doomed almost no matter what barring some miracle.

    There's not much you can do to get past surrounded and outmanned.

    Stop being a bellicose blowhard might help a little.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Also German Military Necessity is the name of my new electronic metal band.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    Nearly every analysis of Germany in WWI that I have read makes it sound like they were doomed almost no matter what barring some miracle.

    There's not much you can do to get past surrounded and outmanned.

    And saddled with the political monstrosity know as Austria-Hungary for its main ally.

    People bitch about Russia being being bad, but they had nothing on AH. Its army was made up multiple ethnic forces of dubious loyalty and competency. None of which had sufficient modern equipment. I mean some of them where armed with black powder rifles at the start of the war! AH of course did not have the industry or economy to fight a war on the scale of WWI, so despite starting the war and dragging Germany in it, they constantly needed German support.

    Honestly its amazing that Germany did as well as it did.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
    Solardestroyah87
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    Nearly every analysis of Germany in WWI that I have read makes it sound like they were doomed almost no matter what barring some miracle.

    There's not much you can do to get past surrounded and outmanned.

    And saddled with the political monstrosity know as Austria-Hungary for its main ally.

    People bitch about Russia being being bad, but they had nothing on AH. Its army was made up multiple ethnic forces of dubious loyalty and competency. None of which had sufficient modern equipment. I mean some of them where armed with black powder rifles at the start of the war! AH of course did not have the industry or economy to fight a war on the scale of WWI, so despite starting the war and dragging Germany in it, they constantly needed German support.

    Honestly its amazing that Germany did as well as it did.

    "We are shackled to a corpse"

    Germany struggled for useful allies the entire war

    SolarDuke 2.0
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    Nearly every analysis of Germany in WWI that I have read makes it sound like they were doomed almost no matter what barring some miracle.

    There's not much you can do to get past surrounded and outmanned.

    And saddled with the political monstrosity know as Austria-Hungary for its main ally.

    People bitch about Russia being being bad, but they had nothing on AH. Its army was made up multiple ethnic forces of dubious loyalty and competency. None of which had sufficient modern equipment. I mean some of them where armed with black powder rifles at the start of the war! AH of course did not have the industry or economy to fight a war on the scale of WWI, so despite starting the war and dragging Germany in it, they constantly needed German support.

    Honestly its amazing that Germany did as well as it did.

    WWI-re.png

    altid
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    Don't forget about the Ottoman Empire!

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Couscous wrote: »
    Don't forget about the Ottoman Empire!

    I know that whole thing was just as much a British screwup as a German triumph, but getting them on side was probably the shrewdest and most effective diplomatic move the Central Powers achieved all war.

  • [Expletive deleted][Expletive deleted] The mediocre doctor NorwayRegistered User regular
    Having "the sick man of Europe" on your side doesn't seem like it would be much help, but…

    Sic transit gloria mundi.
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Having "the sick man of Europe" on your side doesn't seem like it would be much help, but…

    As Barbara Tuchmann put it, their greatest strength was their Geography.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Having "the sick man of Europe" on your side doesn't seem like it would be much help, but…

    As Barbara Tuchmann put it, their greatest strength was their Geography.

    Still is.

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
    RMS OceanicShorty
  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Total Goober Registered User regular
    Also the failure to keep Italy on their side, or at least neutral.

    Instead, they allowed the Allies to sweet talk Italy into joining on their side and opening up yet another front.

    Solar
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Also the failure to keep Italy on their side, or at least neutral.

    Instead, they allowed the Allies to sweet talk Italy into joining on their side and opening up yet another front.

    Italy was always a long shot. Most of their grievances where with AH about south Tyrol and Trieste. No way where they going to bleed for AH and get nothing for it. Might as well join the allies and be honest about their war aims.

    Then they appointed Luigi Cadorna supreme leader and let him run the entire war effort. Which leads to such things as the 12 battles of the Izonso; 12 battles where the plan was a frontal assault, across a river, uphill the Alpine foothills, against entrenched enemy forces with artillery superiority. Then sacking officers that said this was a stupid idea and shooting soldiers that balked for "defeatism".

    When people talk about lions lead by donkeys in WWI, they where talking about this guy. He makes Lord Rust from Discworld seem sane and competent.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
    Mc zany
  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    Italy I think used decimation among the ranks more than any other country in WW1.

  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    Trace wrote: »
    Italy I think used decimation among the ranks more than any other country in WW1.

    Not really, none of the major powers used collective punishments that way. It was more that the Italians used summary execution far more widely. Stuff that would get you sent to the stockades in another army, got you the firing squad after a short pro-forma court martial in the Italian Army. Stuff like accidentally shooting yourself in the foot to avoid charging a machine gun nest head on.

    Decimation was always exaggerated even in historic accounts. In the Roman army it was mostly kept on the book as an ultimate threat, rather then carried out regularly. Crassus using it during the Spartacus rebellion was considered extreme and even then it only because the legions had retreated from a rabble of slaves. Turns out trying to round up armed men and execute them is a bad idea. If they didn't mutiny before, they will now.

    Kipling217 on
    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
    Fencingsax
  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    Italy I think used decimation among the ranks more than any other country in WW1.

    Not really, none of the major powers used collective punishments that way. It was more that the Italians used summary execution far more widely. Stuff that would get you sent to the stockades in another army, got you the firing squad after a short pro-forma court martial in the Italian Army. Stuff like accidentally shooting yourself in the foot to avoid charging a machine gun nest head on.

    it might as well still be considering how many of their own they executed. Italy's number one in that aspect of WW1.

    And the one historical example of decimation occurred under Cadorna so it's a sure bet there was more.

  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Total Goober Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Also the failure to keep Italy on their side, or at least neutral.

    Instead, they allowed the Allies to sweet talk Italy into joining on their side and opening up yet another front.

    Italy was always a long shot. Most of their grievances where with AH about south Tyrol and Trieste. No way where they going to bleed for AH and get nothing for it. Might as well join the allies and be honest about their war aims.

    For sure, yet the Central Powers could of offered other spoils (Nice, Tunisia, a big ole chunk of Greece). Maybe they did, but I've never heard about it.

  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    Nearly every analysis of Germany in WWI that I have read makes it sound like they were doomed almost no matter what barring some miracle.

    There's not much you can do to get past surrounded and outmanned.

    And saddled with the political monstrosity know as Austria-Hungary for its main ally.

    People bitch about Russia being being bad, but they had nothing on AH. Its army was made up multiple ethnic forces of dubious loyalty and competency. None of which had sufficient modern equipment. I mean some of them where armed with black powder rifles at the start of the war! AH of course did not have the industry or economy to fight a war on the scale of WWI, so despite starting the war and dragging Germany in it, they constantly needed German support.

    Honestly its amazing that Germany did as well as it did.

    That should be the motto of Germany in both world wars.

    The really insane thing is that Germany could have probably gotten a status quo peace in the West even as late as the US joining the war but refused because of sunk costs and an odd belief that one more big push would knock out France.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    Nearly every analysis of Germany in WWI that I have read makes it sound like they were doomed almost no matter what barring some miracle.

    There's not much you can do to get past surrounded and outmanned.

    And saddled with the political monstrosity know as Austria-Hungary for its main ally.

    People bitch about Russia being being bad, but they had nothing on AH. Its army was made up multiple ethnic forces of dubious loyalty and competency. None of which had sufficient modern equipment. I mean some of them where armed with black powder rifles at the start of the war! AH of course did not have the industry or economy to fight a war on the scale of WWI, so despite starting the war and dragging Germany in it, they constantly needed German support.

    Honestly its amazing that Germany did as well as it did.

    That should be the motto of Germany in both world wars.

    The really insane thing is that Germany could have probably gotten a status quo peace in the West even as late as the US joining the war but refused because of sunk costs and an odd belief that one more big push would knock out France.

    There were times that lacking hindsight it was reasonable for them to think they could have taken Paris at least. But by the later few years that wouldn't have ended the war.

  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Kipling217 wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    Nearly every analysis of Germany in WWI that I have read makes it sound like they were doomed almost no matter what barring some miracle.

    There's not much you can do to get past surrounded and outmanned.

    And saddled with the political monstrosity know as Austria-Hungary for its main ally.

    People bitch about Russia being being bad, but they had nothing on AH. Its army was made up multiple ethnic forces of dubious loyalty and competency. None of which had sufficient modern equipment. I mean some of them where armed with black powder rifles at the start of the war! AH of course did not have the industry or economy to fight a war on the scale of WWI, so despite starting the war and dragging Germany in it, they constantly needed German support.

    Honestly its amazing that Germany did as well as it did.

    That should be the motto of Germany in both world wars.

    The really insane thing is that Germany could have probably gotten a status quo peace in the West even as late as the US joining the war but refused because of sunk costs and an odd belief that one more big push would knock out France.

    There were times that lacking hindsight it was reasonable for them to think they could have taken Paris at least. But by the later few years that wouldn't have ended the war.

    Germany being a right asshat with Brest-Litovsk didn't help matters. Everybody rags on Versailles, but compared to Brest-Litovsk it was lovetap; 1/3 of russia's population and agriculture, 3/4 of its coal and iron, and 1/4 of the total land area. It made the allies determined to not end up in the same position.

    Even their status quo ante bellum proposals left a lot to be desired. Belgium would have been reduced to a bedroom and broom closet for the Belgian king to sleep in. France would have been forced to rebuild all the damage the war had done without compensation for the looting Germany had done. Britain and the US would have been told to suck it.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
    JusticeforPlutoSolarBlackDragon480tynic
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Really what I can never wrap my head around is the casualty rates were insane, just unbelievable... and yet they kept fighting

    It was staggering, the amount of men that were dying in each battle, and yet the will to battle on from almost all sides went on undiminished for years. How, after Verdun, the French didn't say "alright fuck this" is beyond me. And Verdun, in casualty numbers, had already happened over and over and over...

    V1m
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    Hardly undiminished, and the main reason why it went on? Because nobody except the people in power could see the enormity of things.
    A family could lose their father, or their sons and brothers....and be aware that yes this shit happened to everyone in their village. But nobody was aware of the enormity or the brutality of things, except men who were on the frontlines and either pushed through it or were broken by it.

    Vietnam was the first war that changed things, the first televised war, the first journalistic war. That made people see, experience and feel the brutality, the enormity and the senselessness of it all.
    And so the "significant casualties" went from "in the millions" to 60,000 dead and 150,000 wounded. And after that, it's gone down to the point where we consider the Iraq war or Afghanistan war "too much".

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
    -Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden
    Duke 2.0Zibblsnrt
  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    Solar wrote: »
    Really what I can never wrap my head around is the casualty rates were insane, just unbelievable... and yet they kept fighting

    It was staggering, the amount of men that were dying in each battle, and yet the will to battle on from almost all sides went on undiminished for years. How, after Verdun, the French didn't say "alright fuck this" is beyond me. And Verdun, in casualty numbers, had already happened over and over and over...

    Sunk cost fallacy. Once a nation has "lost too much to give up now", it feels it needs to keep going. And when it keeps going, it loses more, making it even more imperative that it keeps going.

    sig.gif
  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Total Goober Registered User regular
    There's also the issue of French Revenichism. I think not only for the loss of Alsace Lorraine, but to undo the poor performance in the Franco-Prussian War. I think there was a need amongst the military and politicians not to repeat and embarrassing loss.

    And as it's been pointed out, by Verdun France needed a victory. Germany had looted or destroyed Northeastern France. Even if they didn't take any territory (unlikely given Brest-Litowsk), that alone would devestate the French Economy when they were already being out paced by Germany.

    Tl;Dr once WW1 started I think it could not be stopped by the leaders at the time except in total victory for one side over the other.

  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Registered User regular
    WW1 did have some effect on public opinion of war. It's a big part of why the Allies, Britain in particular, treated Germany like they did in the lead up to WW2. There wasn't the same enthusiasm for war that there was at the start of WW1. This is especially noticeable in how the church supported the war. It still supported the war in WW2, but WW1 was almost a crusade and the support of WW2 was muted in comparison.

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    I've been listening to China Mieville's October about the Russian Revolution while I wait on Mike Duncan to finish Mexico. The Kornilov Incident is a straight up comedy of errors at times.

  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    I'm seeing a lot of First World War discussion here, so I'm morally obligated to command you guys to grab a copy of G.J. Meyer's A World Undone so you can enjoy one of the best single-volume treatments of the war (including the civilian aspects!) I've ever read.

    It actually spends some time talking about how the combination of that sunk cost mindset and the propaganda of the war turned it into a thing that nobody could conceivably back away from without essentially committing national suicide. I'd stick the quote in here, but my copy tends to keep migrating onto other peoples' bookshelves so I can't at the moment.

    Seriously. Go get it. Why are you still here?
    Solar wrote: »
    Really what I can never wrap my head around is the casualty rates were insane, just unbelievable... and yet they kept fighting

    It was staggering, the amount of men that were dying in each battle, and yet the will to battle on from almost all sides went on undiminished for years. How, after Verdun, the French didn't say "alright fuck this" is beyond me. And Verdun, in casualty numbers, had already happened over and over and over...

    The world wars were absurd on that level. The Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War took forty percent casualties and was seen as doing really well and getting off really lightly.

    Zibblsnrt on
    chrishallett83
  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    Mindboggling.

    Then again it was before antibiotics and before the most common diseases where taken care of by vaccines.

    Most of the soldiers would probably have lived if they got the golden hour treatment available 50 years later in Vietnam. That's into an operation theater within 1 hour of being wounded. Hell, MASH quality care from the Korean war would have been a gamechanger.

    As it was, infection killed more soldiers then we think. Certainly more then gas. That's before we even think about the Spanish flu.

    On the flip side, Iraq and Afghanistan would have been massacres without modern care. The number of vet walking around with wounds that would have been a one way trip to the graveyard back in WWI is on the order of 15-20 thousand I have heard.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
    Zibblsnrtfurlion
  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    Yeah, the KIA:WIA ratio in Iraq for American forces is somewhere around 1:9. In the First World War it was somewhere between 1:3 and 1:2 depending on the specifics. It was about 1:1 or worse in the Civil War, which is all kinds of obscene even by the standards.

    I recently got my great-grandfather's CEF records. He was seriously injured a bit behind the line at the Somme, and nearly all of the file is just the medical documents. He survived but never really recovered. It's kind of baffling looking at some of the stuff people can come back from today - the injury he got crippled him for life, but someone getting something similar these days would probably be fit for the front line again with modern treatment.

    Of course it's a mixed blessing too - the number of survivable injuries these days means there's a lot of tragically untreatable TBIs that medical personnel in the 40s or 50s would never have noticed because their patients wouldn't have made it anyway, and those are much harder to do something about...

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Zibblsnrt wrote: »
    TBIs

    *googles*

    "Traumatic Brain Injury", presumably?

    (I'm fairly certain this is correct, consider it more of a PSA for anyone else who draws a blank on that)

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
    FencingsaxZibblsnrt
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Forar wrote: »
    Zibblsnrt wrote: »
    TBIs

    *googles*

    "Traumatic Brain Injury", presumably?

    (I'm fairly certain this is correct, consider it more of a PSA for anyone else who draws a blank on that)

    Same process, same assumption for me

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • hawkboxhawkbox Registered User regular
    Thank you, I was having trouble with that TLA.

    Kayne Red Robe
  • MuzzmuzzMuzzmuzz Registered User regular
    The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich makes for some dry reading (or listening in my case), but is very informative.

    Which made the testimony of a witness st the Nuremberg Trials about a Jewish grandma tickling a baby before being shot feel like a punch to the gut, and caused me to burst out crying while walking home from work.

    Man, fuck the Nazis, and anyone who wants bring them back.

    hawkboxRedTideRchanenkimeElvenshaeDisruptedCapitalistRichyZibblsnrtFencingsaxSkeithDuke 2.0chrishallett83SolarAimMoridin889VegemyteKwoaruShortyHonkTicaldfjamwebguy20AridholAl_watL Ron Howardnever dieboogedybooTheColonel
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    hawkbox wrote: »
    Thank you, I was having trouble with that TLA.

    (Three Letter Acronym, also get out *points at the door*).

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
    hawkboxlonelyahava
  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Forar wrote: »
    hawkbox wrote: »
    Thank you, I was having trouble with that TLA.

    (Three Letter Acronym, also get out *points at the door*).

    Usually I see that used for Three Letter Agencies.

    Steam: Polaritie
    3DS: 0473-8507-2652
    Switch: SW-5185-4991-5118
    PSN: AbEntropy
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    I find this visualization of WWII's death counts to be pretty amazing. They use little mans to represent 1000 people each and stack them according to faction, basically.

    But also not a good thing to watch if you want to feel happy about anything for the rest of the day. When I first watched it I could barely deal with watching the USSR's column rise, even remembering it is enough to cause bad feelings.

    Kaputa on
    chrishallett83
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited September 2018
    Hardly undiminished, and the main reason why it went on? Because nobody except the people in power could see the enormity of things.
    A family could lose their father, or their sons and brothers....and be aware that yes this shit happened to everyone in their village. But nobody was aware of the enormity or the brutality of things, except men who were on the frontlines and either pushed through it or were broken by it.

    Vietnam was the first war that changed things, the first televised war, the first journalistic war. That made people see, experience and feel the brutality, the enormity and the senselessness of it all.
    And so the "significant casualties" went from "in the millions" to 60,000 dead and 150,000 wounded. And after that, it's gone down to the point where we consider the Iraq war or Afghanistan war "too much".

    After some ill-advised recruitment strategies revolving around getting to serve with your home town friends the British went out of their way to spread the casualties around to help avoid people seeing the damage.

    Styrofoam Sammich on
    Fencingsaxdestroyah87RchanenV1mLoisLane
This discussion has been closed.