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  • #16
    Originally posted by fjk View Post


    If anyone has any other recommendations, I'd be glad to hear them!

    Thanks

    Frank
    Thanks for the list. A good one I read last year is The Wolf, Published April 20th 2010 by Free Press.
    George
    Traverse City, MI

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    • #17
      Some sobering WW1 factoids:

      The British Empire/Commonwealth had a policy in WW1 to bury soldiers where they fell, usually in a cemetery near the aid station or hospital. It was impossible in those days to repatriate all the fallen. The British Empire has over 16,000 cemeteries (some big some small) around the world just for the WW1 casualties. Canadian soldiers are buried in 700 different cemeteries on the western front.

      Many of the grave markers only say "An unknown soldier of the Great War". The actual identities are missing. Identity tags came about after WW1 because of the problems with identifying the dead.

      Many cemeteries where over run during the see saw fighting and all the marker blown away so that when the war was over know one knows any more then Pri. *** is buried here but his graves actual position isn't known.

      Over half the soldiers killed in WW1 are missing with no grave sites.

      Most of the graves were never visited by their families because of the cost and distances that needed to be traveled made it impossible for most in those days.

      When you calculate the amount of acreage of farm land taken up by the British Empire, French , German, Russian and US cemeteries from both world wars it would probably feed a lot of hungry people.

      On a good note, there is still a war graves common still working to identify the Unknown soldiers even after 100 years.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      I was watching a show last night about this subject and learned a few things most Canadians don't know about those that served in WW1.

      We know that many US citizens joined the Canadian army and fought in the war before the US joined in but there where people from South America, Iceland, Korea And Japan to name a few that also fought in the Canadian army. Enough Japanese Joined up that they were formed into there own units. These people had no obligation and nothing to gain by doing this but still felt the need to join.

      Some towns and villages, particularly in Newfoundland, lost all their male population in the battle of the Somme. Many of the surviving wife's didn't remarry and a few of the towns just died out and are now "ghost" towns.
      Last edited by loose nut; 04-28-2015, 12:08 PM.
      The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

      Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

      Southwestern Ontario. Canada

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by loose nut View Post
        Some sobering WW1 factoids:

        The British Empire/Commonwealth had a policy in WW1 to bury soldiers where they fell, usually in a cemetery near the aid station or hospital. It was impossible in those days to repatriate all the fallen. The British Empire has over 16,000 cemeteries (some big some small) around the world just for the WW1 casualties. Canadian soldiers are buried in 700 different cemeteries on the western front.

        Many of the grave markers only say "An unknown soldier of the Great War". The actual identities are missing. Identity tags came about after WW1 because of the problems with identifying the dead.

        Many cemeteries where over run during the see saw fighting and all the marker blown away so that when the war was over know one knows any more then Pri. *** is buried here but his graves actual position isn't known.

        Most of the graves were never visited by their families because of the cost and distances that needed to be traveled made it impossible for most in those days.

        When you calculate the amount of acreage of farm land taken up by the British Empire, French , German, Russian and US cemeteries from both world wars it would probably feed a lot of hungry people.

        On a good note, there is still a war graves common still working to identify the Unknown soldiers even after 100 years.

        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        .

        I spent some time in Libya, Pre Qaddafi, and visited some of the WWII grave yards maintained by the British war commission, some had head stones going into the desert as far as the eye could see, with the oldest buried there being about 30yrs old. most about 18 up.
        Particularly interesting was the German one built like a fort with a entrance wreath dedicated to F.M. Rommel.
        I was particularly disturbed on seeing some of the vandalism that occurred in Libya after the recent Arab Spring uprising and saw the destruction of some of the WWII war memorials and graves by the insurgents.
        And in light of seeing this, I also wondered what happened to the beautiful Roman and Greek ruins that I visited when I was there, remains of the Roman and Greek empire that still existed.
        Fortunately I still have some photo's including some of pre-war monuments left by the Italian occupation of the area under Mussolini and before, that were destroyed by Qaddafi..
        Max..
        Last edited by MaxHeadRoom; 04-28-2015, 11:57 PM.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by MaxHeadRoom View Post
          Sobering data:
          It is estimated that during the short period of the 20th century, between 150 and 200 million humans lost their lives at the hands of other humans due to wars, genocide, purges etc, which is apparent it is part of our evolutionary make up, I have always felt can be attributed essentially to Human Tribalism.
          The 21st century is shaping up no different.
          I live in a city that just built (at great cost) a human right museum, although their intentions may be noble, I think they are flogging a dead horse!
          Max.
          I would say it's a culturally induced perversion of tribally evolved behaviors... Yeah, too many big words... I'll try again. In evolutionary terms, we're a bunch of hunter-gatherers running around pretending to be civilized. But, that "civilization" is just an overlay, what we call 'culture', and it causes a lot of nasty problems.

          --- okay, I deleted a very long-winded explanation that doesn't really matter. I'll post it if you want ---

          So, we evolved to be social animals because cooperation is supposed to benefit each of us. Alone, we get eaten; together, we eat. That kind of thing. Then we get some guy saying (roughly, I'm not going to look it up) "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country." If you really sit back and think about it... it's totally screwed up. We live together for mutual benefit, not to benefit some abstract concept like "country."

          A very long time ago, we lived in little tribes that fought each other for territory. If your tribe was pushed off it's territory, you died. Thus, dieing in battle made sense. If you lost, you died anyway, so why not fight? At least your kids, or your sister and her kids, might survive. That made sense. It doesn't make sense anymore. We don't fight those kinds of wars. The losers don't generally die, their rulers just change. So, what? People willing to die for their way of life... are actually idiots, very dangerous idiots. The world would be better off without them.

          Easy to say... but I feel it like everyone else. I think "If the Americans ever invaded (the only ones capable of invading Canada), I'd be out there sniping." But, why? Sure, I live in a great country... I have no desire to move south. But, is it so great that I'd be willing to die to preserve it? Because, you know, I'd be dead. It's pretty hard to enjoy a way of life when you're dead. But, that cultural programming is pounded into us from birth... we're so great! You must sacrifice everything for your nation. It's a lie. My nation lies to me; your nation lies to you. So, we die in battle... for nothing.

          There is nothing wrong with Human Tribalism. It's just been perverted by Cultural Nationalism. And, when it comes to that, we're the worst. By "we," I mean European culture and their emigrated colonies, like the US, Canada, and Australia. By some fluke of geography, the cultures that evolved in Europe are by far the most war-mongering on this planet. We pretend we're not, that those other places generate the killers that we have to defend against, but history shows that to be a lie. Somehow, early on, the wars in Europe never really stopped. While the martial Shogunate in Japan ruled for hundreds of years, the Europeans fought "hundred year wars." Somehow, our cultures evolved to total war. Look at WWII. The "warrior Samurai" started WWII flying Zeros, getting 10:1 kill ratios again anything the Americans could put up against them. By the end of the war, the Americans were fielding Warhawks getting 10:1 kill ratios against the Japanese Zeros. You could say it was the bombing that destroyed the Japanese R&D efforts but the Germans, bombed even worse, were fielding combat jets by the end of the war. Their R&D, like other western nations, switched to War-Mode while the Japanese did not. As well, in the end, the Japanese has so few pilots they were sailing carriers with no planes. Canada... CANADA, trained hundreds of thousands of aircrew. What happened is that in Japan the army was at war but the people were just the people doing what they were told to do. In European culture, it's total war. Everyone is at war: the engineers, the factory workers, the farmers... everyone. And, we'll do anything it takes to win.

          We tisk-tisk the evil ISIS, and all those other nasty people running around doing those bad things. Ruthless savages, no respect for human life. We have to stop them. But, how many soldiers died in stupid pointless assaults in WWI? We invented poison gas, and on up. They burned some poor pilot alive, we burned entire cities, deliberately, tens of thousands of civilians burned alive, in city after city, over and over again. We're good at it, very good. We invented and built the weapons that can literally bomb the entire planet back to the stone age. And, we're willing to use them if we have to. Even if we lose, we would rather wipe out most of the human race than let someone else win. Better dead than red.

          No.

          We are not better dead than red. No, No, No, NO, NO, NO!

          Alistair is right. Wars are futile. We need to stop this, somehow. We need to get rid of the nation states before they destroy the world. They are not worth dieing for.

          That is what we need to remember on days like this. The victories and losses are nothing, but the humans that died fighting for them need to be remembered. They did what they believed was right and they suffered for it. No one should have to suffer like that. It isn't about blaming this leader or that, victory would have just meant the deaths were on the other side in the battle... it's the system, the nations, that are to blame.

          It's too late for us, we're too programmed to change. But, don't teach your kids that they live in the best nation on earth. Don't teach them to hate others because of whatever excuse is proffered. Teach them that we live on a little blue planet, together, so we should all figure out how to get along before it's too late.

          And, with that, I will end what has to be the most off-topic post I've ever done on this forum (I think),

          David...
          http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

          Comment


          • #20
            I have a simple philosophy, however poorly I am able to implement it.
            I don't care what you do, as long as you don't do it with my money or in my house.

            There is no way that translates to a away to run a nation, but it might make more sense than what we do now. No matter how you decide to 'improve the world' one little guy with a big stick wins against anyone unwilling to physically defend themselves. Just the way it is...

            paul
            paul
            ARS W9PCS

            Esto Vigilans

            Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
            but you may have to

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            • #21
              Paris 1919, also by Margaret MacMillan. About the post war peace conference, which apart from anything else sowed the seeds for WW2.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by fixerdave View Post
                By some fluke of geography, the cultures that evolved in Europe are by far the most war-mongering on this planet.

                Alistair is right. Wars are futile. We need to stop this, somehow. We need to get rid of the nation states before they destroy the world. They are not worth dieing for.

                ..
                You seem to have forgotten about Genghis Kahn who conquered most of the known world, the pre-columbian American Indian cultures (Incas etc) that where unbelievable bloody and brutal and lets not forget the Muslim's, in the olden days that spread their religion by force. Catholics have a lot to answer for also. Europeans are no better or worse then anybody else. We are brutal as a race.

                We need to stop war. Fine. Give us a detailed plan on how to do it because nothing has worked so far and not for lack of trying. As the population problem gets worse, wars will just get worse.

                We may vary well look back on WW1 and think of how quaint it was and not particularly bad by future standards.

                So bend over and get ready to take it. It's coming.
                The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                Southwestern Ontario. Canada

                Comment


                • #23
                  I'm just glad I live in an era where I have a choice whether or not I want to fight, a choice I have in a large part because of the choices of others.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by mattthemuppet View Post
                    I'm just glad I live in an era where I have a choice whether or not I want to fight,
                    You may not want to be around when the earth human population crunch comes and available resources will no longer be able to support the population.
                    Human population is increasing exponentially, and the predicted crunch time is not far off.
                    This is when you will see tribalism at its worst.
                    Max.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by mattthemuppet View Post
                      I'm just glad I live in an era where I have a choice whether or not I want to fight, a choice I have in a large part because of the choices of others.
                      Well, you have "free choice" only if you're old enough to not fall under any conscription law that Congress chooses to make.

                      Here's an extract from Wikipedia concerning the expansion of the draft made after WWII...


                      After Pearl Harbor the STSA was further amended (December 19, 1941), extending the term of service to the duration of the war and six months and requiring the registration of all men 18 to 64 years of age. In the massive draft of World War II, 50 million men from 18 to 45 were registered, 36 million classified, and 10 million inducted.

                      Things would have to get pretty desperate to put old men on the battlefield (think Volksturm) but old guys are going to have lots of expertise that is usable in making the machinery with which the war is fought.
                      Regards, Marv

                      Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
                      http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

                      Location: LA, CA, USA

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                      • #26
                        In Britain, during WW2, they had so many casualties that 40 + year old men were conscripted for front line combat units. 60 and 70 year old men were sent to home defense units (home guard).

                        In Sweden, at least in the past, underage boys, old men and those that are physically disabled were the first into combat if Sweden where ever invaded. It is their job to slow the enemy down for 24 hours and allow the army (mostly reservists) time to form up. There survival is not considered important or likely.

                        If things ever get really bad it could happen to you.

                        Mattthemuppet, It would seem that you are not old enough to remember the Vietnam war, American boys got drafted and sent to war literally by the millions and treated poorly when they got back.
                        Last edited by loose nut; 04-30-2015, 04:12 PM.
                        The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                        Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                        Southwestern Ontario. Canada

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by loose nut View Post
                          In Britain, during WW2, they had so many casualties that 40 + year old men were conscripted for front line combat units. 60 and 70 year old men were sent to home defense units (home guard).

                          In Sweden, at least in the past, underage boys, old men and those that are physically disabled were the first into combat if Sweden where ever invaded. It is their job to slow the enemy down for 24 hours and allow the army (mostly reservists) time to form up. There survival is not considered important or likely.

                          If things ever get really bad it could happen to you.

                          Mattthemuppet, It would seem that you are not old enough to remember the Vietnam war, American boys got drafted and sent to war literally by the millions and treated poorly when they got back.
                          I heard at one time that Switzerland has mandatory military service, ( as do Sweden Finland? and Turkey, among many others). The primary difference was that once out of training everyone went home with their weapon, and were expected to answer when called. Effectively none were ever discharged, just on prolonged leave from the army.
                          Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit

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                          • #28
                            ....and on the subject of graveyards..... there are graveyards everywhere on the lower half of the Gallipoli peninsula. There are few individual graves. Some memorials are set up not with individual gravestones, but a stone for each village represented among the dead. Some "cemeteries" are very new having been set up in the last couple of years in anticipation of the centennial...
                            Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by loose nut View Post
                              Mattthemuppet, It would seem that you are not old enough to remember the Vietnam war, American boys got drafted and sent to war literally by the millions and treated poorly when they got back.
                              Nope, I'm not - born 3yrs after the fall of Saigon. For all the misery it caused and still causes to both sides, it's a valuable lesson often forgotten. There have been several interesting articles about it from both sides on BBC news recently.

                              I did visit my great uncle's WW1 grave in France a number of years ago. It wasn't even in one of the larger cemeteries but it was still a sobering visit. Trouble is, we're not the people that decide whether or not to go to war.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by loose nut View Post
                                You seem to have forgotten about Genghis Kahn who conquered most of the known world, the pre-columbian American Indian cultures (Incas etc) that where unbelievable bloody and brutal and lets not forget the Muslim's, in the olden days that spread their religion by force. Catholics have a lot to answer for also. Europeans are no better or worse then anybody else. We are brutal as a race.

                                We need to stop war. Fine. Give us a detailed plan on how to do it because nothing has worked so far and not for lack of trying. As the population problem gets worse, wars will just get worse.

                                We may vary well look back on WW1 and think of how quaint it was and not particularly bad by future standards.

                                So bend over and get ready to take it. It's coming.
                                Genghis Kahn conquered most of the known world, but not all of Europe. Neither did the Romans, nor Ottoman Turks, nor anyone from Europe for that matter. That's my point. While most places all over the world had dynasties, empires, shogunates, and the like, Europe had war after war. There's something about the geography that prevented total or lasting control. Just a bunch of countries eternally squabbling with each other. While these long-lasting empires may have been nasty or expansionist, they did provide their citizens a form of peace not really known in Europe. Out of that European ever-lasting war evolved a very unique cultural element, one of total war.

                                If you stand back and look, it becomes obvious. I remember one WWII newsreel of some grandmother types sitting around drinking tea. There was no grandmotherly compassion or pity, no restraint. They were very much "our boys should bomb the hell out of them." That is what our culture teaches us. Be all nice and caring, but when push comes to shove, kill them all any way you can. But why?

                                The why is simple... we are being used by our respective cultures. The first step in stopping this is to see it. It's easy to see the insanity of teaching your son to throw rocks at a guy in a tank. We can, from our distance, see that the Palestinians, as individuals, would be massively better off if they just said "Okay, I'm Jewish." But, no, they keep teaching hatred, fighting, and martyrdom... why? We can see that in others, but we do it too. We need to get to the point where we can see it in ourselves.

                                I'm not some idealist... I know that force is a requirement of peace. We will always have enforcers to stop those that would use force against us. We will have alliances to gang up on the enforcers that get any ideas. But, as individuals, we need to get past the cultural programming that teaches us that we should die to defend our way of life. If we're going to fight for something, it should be something that benefits us, as individuals, not our nation-states.

                                As for the coming wars... hard to say. Population levels are expected to peak at 9-12 billion and then start falling. They talk about food and resource scarcity, but they've been talking that for many generations. There are options, and ones that aren't actually that bad if it came down to it. The "world is coming to an end" crowd have been yelling about this pretty much from the start, even Christianity started off as a doomsday cult. At some point, you have to get past the fear-mongering. Wars today are a small fraction of what they were in the previous century. I was born into the first generation (probably ever) that actually didn't have to go off and fight a war somewhere. I'm probably the first generation in European history that doesn't rank having their son's die in combat as a major risk. That's a pretty big improvement; it might last, if we try.

                                David...
                                http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

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