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This Thread Will Go Down in [History]

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  • PlatyPlaty anything but regular Registered User regular
    Basically they used it as a mobile artillery piece and used it at ranges where the crew was outside the Dreyse needle rifle's range (so over a thousand meters).

    Instead of using it for e.g. strongpoint defense or using it to support infantry at closer ranges.

    Dongs Galore
  • GundiGundi Serious Bismuth Registered User regular
    French WWII tanks were pretty decent by very early war standards they just didn't make that many of them and never really had the chance to put them to full effect. The Germans on the other hand, liked several models of the French tanks they captured in support roles. Compare that to early war british tanks, where pretty much everyone who used them (british, soviet, and german) thought they were woefully inadequate.

  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Total Goober Registered User regular
    Gundi wrote: »
    French WWII tanks were pretty decent by very early war standards they just didn't make that many of them and never really had the chance to put them to full effect. The Germans on the other hand, liked several models of the French tanks they captured in support roles. Compare that to early war british tanks, where pretty much everyone who used them (british, soviet, and german) thought they were woefully inadequate.

    Matilda 2 was great don't at me!

    Dongs Galore
  • Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    edited February 17
    Also, the French in general were just super unfortunate with their doctrinal choices in every industrial war they fought, even though they were trying to learn the lessons of their last war.

    In 1871 they went into the Franco-Prussian War with a doctrine that emphasized strongpoint defense and the destruction of enemy infantry by weight of fire. The Prussians used a maneuver doctrine and placed more emphasis on shock. In the event, the French doctrine failed catastrophically, as the Prussians outmaneuvered their positions and annihilated the French armies.

    In 1914 they went into WW1 with a doctrine that emphasized maneuver and attack, to the extent of stripping most of the border forts of artillery in order to arm their field divisions. The Germans placed more emphasis on fire and defense (albeit not too much). The French doctrine failed catastrophically, as German fire decimated the attacking French Armies.

    In 1939, they went into WW2 with a doctrine that emphasized strongpoint defense and firepower. The Germans emphasized maneuver. The French doctrine failed catastrophically.

    In 1980, they would have gone into WW3 with a doctrine that emphasized maneuver and attack...

    Do you think the French Doctrine of the Franco-Prussian War was flawed, or just their morale and leadership? Like, if the war lasted longer would maneuver warfare have fallen out of favor? Or was it just the German doctrine was correct for that narrow period of fast shooting rifles and cannon but no beyond line of sight artillery or machine guns?

    Both were flawed. Their doctrine was inadequate (note that doctrine in this era was much less formalized) and their leadership made poor decisions. These decisions however partly reflect their doctrine to start with (the interaction between technology, leadership and doctrine is a big part of military adaptation). The obsession with taking up strong positions allowed the Germans to take the initiative and keep it. The Germans also had excellent field commanders, which they tended to have in all their wars because they had a very good staff academy, and slightly more recent combat experience from the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. That being said, French defeat was not a foregone conclusion. As always, there were moments where the battle turned on combination of luck and valor.

    I'm not sure how much longer the war could have lasted. In this period, the military-industrial complex was not quite robust enough to support high-intensity warfare for years,* as it did in WW1 (this is the actual reason everyone expected WW1 to be over in 6 months; they assumed nobody could fight longer than that). The Third Republic did intend to fight on from the French interior, and their mobilization of the Gardes Mobiles did pose a sufficient threat that Bismarck wanted to force a peace while Prussia was still in a favorable position, but it was kind of a forlorn proposition with the capital lost and a the nation in chaos.

    *the US Civil War I think is an exception to this because the neither side had a large standing army to start with and they were basically gearing up throughout the war whereas European powers were throwing massive armies at each other from day 1
    Juggernut wrote: »
    Kind of in the tone of Joffre and the first weeks of WW1 does anybody know of any resources devoted to the Battle of the Frontiers? Something that goes into depth about that whole debacle, specifically the fighting on the 22nd of August in and around Rossignol?

    I'm trying to research it for a thing but so far I've found very sparse amounts of information considering it was basically the single bloodiest day of the War. I think I've come across one book that's entirely in French and I can't actually find for sale anywhere.

    @Juggernut on a cursory scan of my bibliographies I can't see any titles that specifically deal with the Frontiers, but there are some books which I think dealt with it in some detail. Have you read The French Army and the First World War by Elizabeth Greenhalgh? She has a chapter specifically on the Frontiers

    Dongs Galore on
  • Dongs GaloreDongs Galore Registered User regular
    edited February 17
    @Juggernut I have not read these, but there is also The Battle of the Frontiers: Ardennes 1914 by Terence Zuber and Germany's Western Front: The Battle of the Frontiers and pursuit to the Marne by John Maker, although the latter is from the perspective of the German official history

    Dongs Galore on
  • JuggernutJuggernut Registered User regular
    Oh sweet, thanks. I'm gonna look these up.

  • GundiGundi Serious Bismuth Registered User regular
    I would say part of the reason why the Civil War could go on is that the majority of both armies were not really professional quality. While each had at least a small quality force most of the volunteers and conscripts were not well trained or equipped, even by the standards of the day. I mean you had officers fresh out of West Point put in the roles of generals, parts of armies on both sides would desert for months at a time, etc.

  • Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Neither side was prepared for it and the prevailing idea was that it would be over very shortly.

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  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    Additionally the idea of a national-scale army (or navy, for that matter) hadn't yet emerged in the United States. Every State fielded, supplied, and paid their own armies. This is one of the reasons why so many different sorts of gun were used, with wild variations in quality from one to the next.

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  • JedocJedoc Take a look. It's in a book. It was always in a book, you fool.Registered User regular
    Additionally the idea of a national-scale army (or navy, for that matter) hadn't yet emerged in the United States. Every State fielded, supplied, and paid their own armies. This is one of the reasons why so many different sorts of gun were used, with wild variations in quality from one to the next.

    It's notable that up until the Civil War, the idea that the US should have a large, permanent, professional army was political anathema on both sides. Like, you'd suggest a political opponent supported a large standing army if you thought people were getting bored with you accusing him of eating babies. In the immortal words of founding father Elbridge "-mandering" Gerry, "A standing army is like a man's engorged member, an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure." The golden age of political civility, folks.

    In 1845, the US was a nation of 20 million with a regular army of 7,300, and were aiming to pick a fight with Mexico, who had a population of 7 million with a regular army of 18,000 and a 10,000-strong militia. Both of these would have been laughable in Europe, where even Belgium had 30,000 full-time soldiers to protect 2 million people in a country the size of Maryland.

    The Civil War was terrible, but it was some babytime frolics compared to anything that would have happened if a European power of similar size and industrial capacity had decided to beat the shit out of itself until half of itself surrendered.

    I don't know that this indicates any great epiphanies, it's just an interesting fact to contrast with the Franco-Prussian war in the runup to WWI.

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  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Jedoc wrote: »
    In the immortal words of founding father Elbridge "-mandering" Gerry, "A standing army is like a man's engorged member, an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure." The golden age of political civility, folks.

    Awesomed in a large part for this. Politicians come and go, but dick jokes are forever.

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Although after the US Civil War you could definitely argue that the Union Army was one of the best in the world.

    Same with the Red Army in 1945. Massive industrialised conflicts tend to make you learn some lessons.

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  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Solar wrote: »
    Although after the US Civil War you could definitely argue that the Union Army was one of the best in the world.

    Same with the Red Army in 1945. Massive industrialised conflicts tend to make you learn some lessons.

    Unfortunately the lesson they took away was that
    Sherman's attack on civilian populations was effective in breaking the enemy. Immediately afterward the Union army turned itself against the First Nations. The army and militias were defeated in battle after battle, and they only declared "victory" after several massacres against Native Americans.

    Mayabird
  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    In many ways the American Civil War defined what the USA was before the conflict, and what it would become afterward. Before, organizationally, the USA is an association of member States, who largely pass their own laws, but have free trade and travel amongst themselves, though interestingly each State printed its own currency. A person was more likely to describe themselves as Virginian rather than American. You can draw a decent parallel with the modern day European Union.

    After, the USA steadily consolidates power in the central, Federal government, continues to aggressively expand its territory due to its shiny new central Army, builds an impressive Navy, and slowly jogs towards empire by the close of the 19th century. And all the while we didn't really solve any of our very real problems presented by the American Civil War, and still haven't a century and a half later. (And also the state-versus-federal conflict is still around and still problematic.)

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  • ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User regular
    edited February 19
    On a somewhat less nation-razing front, today is the birthday of one Mikołaj Kopernik, better known as Copernicus, back in 1473.

    Gotta love people who dutifully go off to school in order to enter the clergy only to surreptitiously study math and astronomy instead. That seems to have worked out for him in the long run, even it took until the last couple years of the man's life before he actually started publishing on the whole heliocentrism thing.

    This probably explains why I've been seeing honest-to-god geocentrists spamming up some space-related hangouts I follow elsewhere..

    (I shall gracefully sidestep the longstanding popular and academic brawl over whether he was Polish, Prussian, Texan, Klingon, or whatever else people are claiming him as these days.)

    Zibblsnrt on
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  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    In many ways the American Civil War defined what the USA was before the conflict, and what it would become afterward. Before, organizationally, the USA is an association of member States, who largely pass their own laws, but have free trade and travel amongst themselves, though interestingly each State printed its own currency. A person was more likely to describe themselves as Virginian rather than American. You can draw a decent parallel with the modern day European Union.

    After, the USA steadily consolidates power in the central, Federal government, continues to aggressively expand its territory due to its shiny new central Army, builds an impressive Navy, and slowly jogs towards empire by the close of the 19th century. And all the while we didn't really solve any of our very real problems presented by the American Civil War, and still haven't a century and a half later. (And also the state-versus-federal conflict is still around and still problematic.)

    This reminded me I’ve been thinking for a while about how interesting a “wtf is the United States” thread could be.

    It comes out a little in each of so many different threads. It might be too contentious or broadly scoped though...

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    In many ways the American Civil War defined what the USA was before the conflict, and what it would become afterward. Before, organizationally, the USA is an association of member States, who largely pass their own laws, but have free trade and travel amongst themselves, though interestingly each State printed its own currency. A person was more likely to describe themselves as Virginian rather than American. You can draw a decent parallel with the modern day European Union.

    After, the USA steadily consolidates power in the central, Federal government, continues to aggressively expand its territory due to its shiny new central Army, builds an impressive Navy, and slowly jogs towards empire by the close of the 19th century. And all the while we didn't really solve any of our very real problems presented by the American Civil War, and still haven't a century and a half later. (And also the state-versus-federal conflict is still around and still problematic.)

    This reminded me I’ve been thinking for a while about how interesting a “wtf is the United States” thread could be.

    It comes out a little in each of so many different threads. It might be too contentious or broadly scoped though...

    I mean, the basic answer is that we're a bunch of jury-rigged systems that are answers to contemporary crises and attempts to maintain status quo, and then here we are.

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    The interesting thing about the US to me is that in most of the world, it'd be fifty countries.

    But in the US, people didn't want to be a new country, they wanted to be a new State in the US when they founded, I dunno

    Kansas or whatever

  • PolaritiePolaritie Sleepy Registered User regular
    Solar wrote: »
    The interesting thing about the US to me is that in most of the world, it'd be fifty countries.

    But in the US, people didn't want to be a new country, they wanted to be a new State in the US when they founded, I dunno

    Kansas or whatever

    Most states were former territories. The colonies originally tried a really loose coalition and it was a disaster.

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Yeah I know, I'm just saying that they wanted to be States in the US, not States outside the US

    Which is somewhat unusual, because in a lot of places at the time, you didn't want to join the big country, you wanted to be free of it

    I guess there's various reasons why

    DouglasDanger
  • JedocJedoc Take a look. It's in a book. It was always in a book, you fool.Registered User regular
    In many ways the American Civil War defined what the USA was before the conflict, and what it would become afterward. Before, organizationally, the USA is an association of member States, who largely pass their own laws, but have free trade and travel amongst themselves, though interestingly each State printed its own currency. A person was more likely to describe themselves as Virginian rather than American. You can draw a decent parallel with the modern day European Union.

    After, the USA steadily consolidates power in the central, Federal government, continues to aggressively expand its territory due to its shiny new central Army, builds an impressive Navy, and slowly jogs towards empire by the close of the 19th century. And all the while we didn't really solve any of our very real problems presented by the American Civil War, and still haven't a century and a half later. (And also the state-versus-federal conflict is still around and still problematic.)

    This reminded me I’ve been thinking for a while about how interesting a “wtf is the United States” thread could be.

    It comes out a little in each of so many different threads. It might be too contentious or broadly scoped though...

    Is the United States a sandwich?

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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    Jedoc wrote: »
    In many ways the American Civil War defined what the USA was before the conflict, and what it would become afterward. Before, organizationally, the USA is an association of member States, who largely pass their own laws, but have free trade and travel amongst themselves, though interestingly each State printed its own currency. A person was more likely to describe themselves as Virginian rather than American. You can draw a decent parallel with the modern day European Union.

    After, the USA steadily consolidates power in the central, Federal government, continues to aggressively expand its territory due to its shiny new central Army, builds an impressive Navy, and slowly jogs towards empire by the close of the 19th century. And all the while we didn't really solve any of our very real problems presented by the American Civil War, and still haven't a century and a half later. (And also the state-versus-federal conflict is still around and still problematic.)

    This reminded me I’ve been thinking for a while about how interesting a “wtf is the United States” thread could be.

    It comes out a little in each of so many different threads. It might be too contentious or broadly scoped though...

    Is the United States a sandwich?

    no, it's not like a hotdog

  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Solar wrote: »
    Yeah I know, I'm just saying that they wanted to be States in the US, not States outside the US

    Which is somewhat unusual, because in a lot of places at the time, you didn't want to join the big country, you wanted to be free of it

    I guess there's various reasons why

    I think it's probably they were all colonising invaders from the same region colonising and invading new areas together

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  • JayKaosJayKaos Registered User regular
    And for the most part states were already part of the US' territory before they became a state, as the country expanded westward through various land deals (ignoring of course the opinions of any inconvenient native populations) the land would just be unincorporated for a while until the area had enough population to request statehood. The big exceptions were areas where a lot of Americans had either settled or invested in business stuff enough with the goal of eventually becoming a state anyway.

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  • Duke 2.0Duke 2.0 Time Trash Cat Registered User regular
    If you are in the physical expansion path of this massive country, do you want to be a different country in that path or part of the national steamroller.

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  • GundiGundi Serious Bismuth Registered User regular
    edited February 19
    Solar wrote: »
    Yeah I know, I'm just saying that they wanted to be States in the US, not States outside the US

    Which is somewhat unusual, because in a lot of places at the time, you didn't want to join the big country, you wanted to be free of it

    I guess there's various reasons why
    I'm not sure why you think they'd have a choice? Outside of the first thirteen states, Vermont, and Texas, no state had a choice in the matter. All other states were considered defacto and dejure as part of the United States at the time any sort of pre-state government existed.

    Gundi on
  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    Yeah I would argue that plenty of people who were in the areas that became the US did not want to become states

    Both looking at the indigenous peoples who were already living in those places and looking at some of the early settlers and colonists who moved outside the bounds of the United States for a deliberate reason

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  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Solar wrote: »
    The interesting thing about the US to me is that in most of the world, it'd be fifty countries.

    But in the US, people didn't want to be a new country, they wanted to be a new State in the US when they founded, I dunno

    Kansas or whatever

    Kansas is....probably not the best example. The whole debacle surrounding it's admission as a state was basically the first real battleground of the civil war.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Also, when you're landlocked and that far from a navigable river, your economic options are a little limited.

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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular

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  • BrainleechBrainleech 機知に富んだコメントはここにあります Registered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Also, when you're landlocked and that far from a navigable river, your economic options are a little limited.

  • BrainleechBrainleech 機知に富んだコメントはここにあります Registered User regular
    Well the US civil war was one of the last wars with foreign observation {Officers of other countries' armies would visit conflicts to see how the that army ran for ideas or intel to apply to thier's}
    So Prussian officers applied this to the Unification of Germany in 1871{various wars and political maneuvers.} To the war with Austria to the Franko Prussian War because they saw the effect of Trains and logistics and what effect they had when used to rapidly move and resupply forces

  • Brovid HasselsmofBrovid Hasselsmof [Growling historic on the fury road] Registered User regular
    Been watching a Netflix series on the Vietnam war, which previously I only really knew about froma few movies like Full Metal Jacket. I didn't even know Vietnam used to be a French colony.

    It's a really good doc. Think it's a PBS thing? Lots of different people from all sides of the conflict. And a crazy amount of real footage. I guess I've not seen documentaries of any war more recent than WWII, so it's novel to see one with so much video from the field.

    What an intense clusterfuck situation.

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  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    PiptheFair wrote: »

    Soooooooooo around about the 1600's French trappers/explorers were out a huntin and a trappin in what we call the Ohio Valley today. Naturally they had extensive contact with the various tribes in the area, in particular the Sioux and Quapaw. When asked what the name of the area on the western banks of the Mississippi River, the reply was the word "akakaze", meaning either "people of the south wind" when a Sioux replied, or "land of the downriver people" when a Quapaw answered. The Quapaw themselves would later relocate west of the river and somewhat south, to the confluence of the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers, in response to European settlers encroaching on their lands. The French being French, they misheard the word and pronounced it "ar-can-sah" and spelled it "arcansas" to fit with French spelling/pronunciation rules. Additionally they misattributed the word that referred to people in that land to the name of the land itself.

    The white people who eventually settled in the land known as Arkansas, the c changed to a k to better fit English spelling and pronunciation rules by this time, pronounced the name "ar-Kansas" (to fit with the U.S. Territory of Kansas, which is pronounced...Kansas) and "ark-n-saw" (to approximate the "original" French pronunciation) interchangeably. How to pronounce the name of the State was a source of contention up until 1881, when a state law was passed to define it as "ark-n-saw", as a consequence of the two sitting U.S. Senators from Arkansas, Augustus Garland and James D. Walker, nearly coming to blows and a possible dual challenge, over their differences regarding the State's pronunciation. It is unknown which preferred "ar-Kansas" and which preferred the now-official "ark-n-saw". Garland would resign his seat to become U.S. Attorney General a couple years later, so I'm inclined to believe he championed the now-modern pronunciation.

    Source: me, am from there.

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  • GvzbgulGvzbgul Ask me about my scrotalist agenda Registered User regular
    https://www.euronews.com/2019/02/20/germany-still-pays-uk-and-belgian-pensioners-who-served-in-hitler-s-ss
    Dozens of pensioners in Belgium and the UK are still receiving secret payments from Germany for collaborating with the Nazi government during the Second World War, according to a document presented to the Belgian parliament.

    The national authorities are unaware of their identities, which are known only to the German ambassadors in each country, meaning the payments are tax free. Around 30 Belgians receive the money, with the number in the UK not mentioned in the document.

    The pensions were the only decree implemented by Hitler that was not revoked at the Potsdam Conference of 1945, the document's authors note.

  • JuggernutJuggernut Registered User regular
    edited February 21
    @Juggernut I have not read these, but there is also The Battle of the Frontiers: Ardennes 1914 by Terence Zuber and Germany's Western Front: The Battle of the Frontiers and pursuit to the Marne by John Maker, although the latter is from the perspective of the German official history

    So I got The Battle of the Frontiers: Ardennes 1914 and so far it's going into excruciating detail about German tactics and force strength leading up to WW1 but more or less dismisses the French military organization. Some of this might be because the French military structure of the time was largely similar to Germany, less some numbers but also because the author is very much enamored with the German army. He posits that most of the accepted French accounts of the battle (accepted, I guess, because they eventually won the war) -eg: encountering barbed wire, machine gun emplacements and trenches- were more or less made up in an attempt to explain their enormous losses and he pretty much leaves it at that. Which, I can see to a point but seems a little blasé to gloss over the French experience.

    I'm disappointed because I'm very interested in the French approach to the Battle of the Frontiers but there is a ton of info so far so eh. I guess it's a wash. Somewhat expected considering the general attitude towards France's military history that you generally encounter these days.

    Juggernut on
  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Been watching a Netflix series on the Vietnam war, which previously I only really knew about froma few movies like Full Metal Jacket. I didn't even know Vietnam used to be a French colony.

    It's a really good doc. Think it's a PBS thing? Lots of different people from all sides of the conflict. And a crazy amount of real footage. I guess I've not seen documentaries of any war more recent than WWII, so it's novel to see one with so much video from the field.

    What an intense clusterfuck situation.

    Yeah, that's Ken Burns. If you haven't seen any of his documentaries, he's really freaking good. His scope is largely centered on the US and its impact.

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  • PiptheFairPiptheFair Registered User regular
    ken burn's civil war series is probably one of the best documentary series ever produced

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  • BrainleechBrainleech 機知に富んだコメントはここにあります Registered User regular
    PiptheFair wrote: »
    ken burn's civil war series is probably one of the best documentary series ever produced

    His Baseball one is really interesting showing the crazy history of the game

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  • IronKnuckle's GhostIronKnuckle's Ghost Registered User regular
    PiptheFair wrote: »
    ken burn's civil war series is probably one of the best documentary series ever produced

    My father is a Civil War buff, and used to drag the whole family around to visit battlefields and monuments and whatnot. I always disliked it, because I just did not have the knowledge or context of the period to really understand the scale of what I was seeing. This documentary really changed that attitude I had, and now rather than seeing some war we had forever ago, I see a war we had about a really, incredibly important issue, and the human cost that followed.

    And it's kind of crazy, cause the thing happened 150 years ago, and yet the south is still dealing with the effects. It's still less populous, poorer, and of course comically racist, and weirdly proud of all of these things.

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