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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:39 pm 
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edgeplay_cgo wrote:
I think there was a lot of local "mini wars" and local animosities as well. A f(r)iend of mine had family in Germany who were vintners. After WW-I, French requisitions of their wine almost broke their family. After Germany invaded France in WW-II, one of the family became a horse requisitioning agent for the Wehrmacht. He would deliberately ruin French farmers by requisitioning all their horses that were not half dead. According to the family, it was explicit revenge.


Local? Not so much if viewed for the receiving end.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ez%C3%A ... M%C3%A9lac

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In present southwestern Germany, Mélac's name became a synonym for "murderer and arsonist". As a lasting result, until today, "Mélac" has also been turned into a common dog's name in this part of Germany.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:42 pm 
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M.Becker wrote:
edgeplay_cgo wrote:
I think there was a lot of local "mini wars" and local animosities as well. A f(r)iend of mine had family in Germany who were vintners. After WW-I, French requisitions of their wine almost broke their family. After Germany invaded France in WW-II, one of the family became a horse requisitioning agent for the Wehrmacht. He would deliberately ruin French farmers by requisitioning all their horses that were not half dead. According to the family, it was explicit revenge.


Local? Not so much if viewed for the receiving end.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ez%C3%A ... M%C3%A9lac

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In present southwestern Germany, Mélac's name became a synonym for "murderer and arsonist". As a lasting result, until today, "Mélac" has also been turned into a common dog's name in this part of Germany.

Why would you do that to a poor dog?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:39 am 
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Eric wrote:
When I was a little kid almost 60 years ago, my father made a comment about the French. He said that the French population never recovered from the Napoleonic Wars, and then they fought WW 1. I think the ultimate results of the Napoleonic Wars, WW 1 and 2, has pretty much taken the heart out of Europe. That's a pretty standard insight, but accurate I believe. I think most only go back to WW 1, but I think you need to include the Napoleonic wars also...

The effect of the war on France over this time period was considerable. According to David Gates, the Napoleonic Wars cost France at least 916,000 men. This represents 38% of the conscription class of 1790–1795. This rate is over 14% higher than the losses suffered by the same generation one hundred years later fighting Imperial Germany.[3] The French population suffered long-term effects through a low male-to-female population ratio. At the beginning of the Revolution, the numbers of males to females was virtually identical. By the end of the conflict only 0.857 males remained for every female.[4] Combined with new agrarian laws under the Napoleonic Empire that required landowners to divide their lands to all their sons rather than the first born, France's population never recovered. By the middle of the 19th century France had lost her demographic superiority over Germany and Austria and even the United Kingdom.


The Napoleonic Wars are odd given the cultural legacy they produce, which was to mark most everyone's opinion of war as a neat adventure and something every boy should have in their coming of age story right up to the trenches butchered that mentality as well.

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This is a very tedious, hard -to-read opus that tells some seriously inconvenient truths. Essentially it puts the responsibility for what happened in Europe in those years squarely on Woodrow Wilson and then goes to show why.


As if his mentality throughout 1919 wasn't enough....

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:17 am 
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Beastro wrote:
As if his mentality throughout 1919 wasn't enough....


What Tooze shows is that it was his mentality in general, going way back before 1919 but becoming more pronounced and more exaggerated after that point, was responsible for the catastrophic bungling of the and of WW1 and the peace agreement thereafter. Wilson's policy from 1915 through 1919 and beyond was a "peace without victors". Deluge shows that he forced through a completely misconceived peace agreement whose political preconceptions and prejudices virtually guaranteed WW2 and whose economic blindness made the Great Depression inevitable. Reading Deluge is exceptionally hard work; its probably the worst-written economic history I've read (and I've had to read some doozies in my time) but the picture that emerges out of it is an exceptionally valuable - and a very surprising - one.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:42 am 
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Why were their casualties in WW1 that high? Did they do something particular wrong, did we something right, was it a consequence of the circumstances: we were deep in their country and just had to stay there, while they had to push us out? Or all of the above?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:54 am 
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M.Becker wrote:
Why were their casualties in WW1 that high? Did they do something particular wrong, did we something right, was it a consequence of the circumstances: we were deep in their country and just had to stay there, while they had to push us out? Or all of the above?

I think the key determinant was that the French Army carried the bulk of the war for the first three years - which alone meant that they would suffer terrible casualties. That was the period when the horrible reality of the war was only just being realized and how to cope with it was a blank book. It wasn't quite that 'they didn't know what they were doing' as 'they didn't know what it was that they had to be doing". Once people found out what is was that they had to do, they did it pretty well but the French (on the allied side) did much of that experimental work and paid dearly for it.

The Germans, by the way, lost 54.6 percent killed or severely wounded in that particular cohort.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:40 pm 
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The French Army at the start of both world wars had the advantage over the British that they already had a huge, trained, conscript army. In both wars, the British either did not have a mass army or were just beginning to build one.

There's also an inevitable bias in British Commonwealth and American historiography of the wars that English language sources concentrate primarily on people who spoke English. This tends to give us a WWI narrative of Miracle on the Marne and the 1917 mutinies while the British (or sometimes the Americans, Canadians, or Australians) won the war. It gives us a WWII narrative that the Battle of France ended at Dunkirk. As Francis points out, that leaves out some very important stuff.

One thing forgotten is that the French Army and Navy were rebuilt and quite active by 1945 now Metropolitan France was free.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:45 pm 
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DaveAAA wrote:
The French Army at the start of both world wars had the advantage over the British that they already had a huge, trained, conscript army. In both wars, the British either did not have a mass army or were just beginning to build one.


Although, this did mean that the Army did have a lot of inappropriate lessons to work out of its system. They did so very well though; one of the comments one reads about the French Army in 1916 is how tactically skilled they were.

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There's also an inevitable bias in British Commonwealth and American historiography of the wars that English language sources concentrate primarily on people who spoke English. This tends to give us a WWI narrative of Miracle on the Marne and the 1917 mutinies while the British (or sometimes the Americans, Canadians, or Australians) won the war. It gives us a WWII narrative that the Battle of France ended at Dunkirk. As Francis points out, that leaves out some very important stuff.

That's why I like watching other people's history programs (ie Russian and Chinese etc). They often give us insights that we lack from other sources.

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One thing forgotten is that the French Army and Navy were rebuilt and quite active by 1945 now Metropolitan France was free.


Indeed so. Their operations history for that period makes interesting reading.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:11 pm 
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I'd thought it was essentially common knowledge that Woodrow Wilson almost single-handedly stuffed up the peace process after WWI, to the point of looking more like active, malicious sabotage than "mere" naivete and incompetence. At any rate, that's the way I heard it in school - and that was decades ago, in a none-too-prepossessing public school in semi-rural Arkansas.

At that time, what little time we spent on Wilson focused on the Great War and its aftermath; and as I said, that already cast him in a distinctly negative light. Having read more about the guy since, including his writings prior to entering politics (To sum up his political philosophy: Direct democracy is an absolute good, therefore all governmental power should by rights be concentrated in the Presidency as the most directly elected Federal office - and "separation of powers" is merely a quaint and antiquated notion.), I rate him right up there with Buchanan on the list of All-Time Worst U.S. Presidents.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:29 pm 
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Philistine wrote:
I rate him right up there with Buchanan on the list of All-Time Worst U.S. Presidents.


Sounds about right to me. You'd like Tooze's book; he doesn't just say Wilson stuffed up the peace treaty et al but how he did it and why. And yes, he did do it deliberately. If there's any consolation, it would have been much worse if the House and Senate hadn't managed to rein him in.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:39 pm 
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Philistine wrote:
I'd thought it was essentially common knowledge that Woodrow Wilson almost single-handedly stuffed up the peace process after WWI, to the point of looking more like active, malicious sabotage than "mere" naivete and incompetence.


His unleashing of self-determination certainly could fit that. After all the years hammering on about it, he finally had to confront that hydra after releasing it and realized the problems and contradictions within it, but instead just threw up his hands and ran away. Armenia really shows what a hallow idealistic talker he was, all on board for their claims until he found out the issues of backing such an isolated and remote region he suddenly went quiet and bullshitted them until he left.

The reality of self-determination can be summed up with a quote a Polish officer said to an American observer in Eastern Europe, pointing to a crater he declared "That is self-determination" and we've spent all the time since then trying to dealing with that has resulted in the drawn out contradictions of modern times like the Israel-Palestine conflict that should have been settled during Israel's War of Independence.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:40 pm 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
Philistine wrote:
I rate him right up there with Buchanan on the list of All-Time Worst U.S. Presidents.


Sounds about right to me. You'd like Tooze's book; he doesn't just say Wilson stuffed up the peace treaty et al but how he did it and why. And yes, he did do it deliberately. If there's any consolation, it would have been much worse if the House and Senate hadn't managed to rein him in.

Gosh, it's almost like there was a good reason for all that "Separation of Powers" stuff that Wilson so despised.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:38 pm 
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Philistine wrote:
At that time, what little time we spent on Wilson focused on the Great War and its aftermath; and as I said, that already cast him in a distinctly negative light. Having read more about the guy since, including his writings prior to entering politics (To sum up his political philosophy: Direct democracy is an absolute good, therefore all governmental power should by rights be concentrated in the Presidency as the most directly elected Federal office - and "separation of powers" is merely a quaint and antiquated notion.), I rate him right up there with Buchanan on the list of All-Time Worst U.S. Presidents.


Most directly what? Senators and Congressmen are directly elected, US Presidents not at all.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:54 pm 
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I don't think that it is a coincidence that the British formations that did the best on the first day of the Battle of the Somme were those with the French on their right flank. The BEF did adopt a lot of French practise during their learning process.

Had the war gone into 1919 the corporate knowledge built up by the French and added to by the BEF would have been of great benefit to the expanding AEF.

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Frankly I had enjoyed the war...and why do people want peace if the war is so much fun?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:35 pm 
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Bernard Woolley wrote:
I don't think that it is a coincidence that the British formations that did the best on the first day of the Battle of the Somme were those with the French on their right flank. The BEF did adopt a lot of French practise during their learning process.
Three Armies on the Somme says that explicitly. Sixth Army had some of the best French troops, and a much higher density of artillery, and their efforts greatly helped the British next door.

If anything, that shows why Verdun was a German victory. As badly as the mincing machine on the Meuse hurt them, the Somme ripped the guts out of the armies in the west. That's explicit in the reasons they changed defensive doctrine and pulled back to the Hindenberg Line. They could not afford another Somme.

What Verdun did was to spoil the great Allied offensive on the Somme, and reduce the French participation by two thirds. No Verdun, and three full French armies, backed by damn near every gun in France, hit that line, while Rawlinson has a much smaller front, better trained troops, and much larger amounts of artillery. Based on French performance on day 1 in @, they're going to tear a massive gaping hole in the German lines at much cheaper cost, taking damn near whatever they want within artillery support. No Bapaume, no Thievpaul, no Pozieres, and none of the angst that came with it.

Then it's Germany's turn to REALLY bleed.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:41 pm 
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M.Becker wrote:
Philistine wrote:
At that time, what little time we spent on Wilson focused on the Great War and its aftermath; and as I said, that already cast him in a distinctly negative light. Having read more about the guy since, including his writings prior to entering politics (To sum up his political philosophy: Direct democracy is an absolute good, therefore all governmental power should by rights be concentrated in the Presidency as the most directly elected Federal office - and "separation of powers" is merely a quaint and antiquated notion.), I rate him right up there with Buchanan on the list of All-Time Worst U.S. Presidents.


Most directly what? Senators and Congressmen are directly elected, US Presidents not at all.

Pre 16th Amendment, Senators were elected by the State Legislators. Congresscritters are only electrd by their district.

The President is the only member of the US Government the whole country votes for. Everyone else is responsible to just a segment of the nation.

But the real reason Wilson - and all Progressives to this day - hate checks and balances are because they believe that the power of government should be used to make you good. And they get to define what is good. That is why Wilson is the worst president, bar none. He was explicitly a foe of the Constitution, because it kept him from autocratic rule 'for our benefit.' Direct autocratic power in the hands of Woodrow Wilson would have submerged the nation in a tide of tyranny and blood worse than what Prohibition wrought.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:35 am 
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Johnnie Lyle wrote:
M.Becker wrote:
Philistine wrote:
At that time, what little time we spent on Wilson focused on the Great War and its aftermath; and as I said, that already cast him in a distinctly negative light. Having read more about the guy since, including his writings prior to entering politics (To sum up his political philosophy: Direct democracy is an absolute good, therefore all governmental power should by rights be concentrated in the Presidency as the most directly elected Federal office - and "separation of powers" is merely a quaint and antiquated notion.), I rate him right up there with Buchanan on the list of All-Time Worst U.S. Presidents.


Most directly what? Senators and Congressmen are directly elected, US Presidents not at all.

Pre 16th Amendment, Senators were elected by the State Legislators. Congresscritters are only electrd by their district.

The President is the only member of the US Government the whole country votes for. Everyone else is responsible to just a segment of the nation.

But the real reason Wilson - and all Progressives to this day - hate checks and balances are because they believe that the power of government should be used to make you good. And they get to define what is good. That is why Wilson is the worst president, bar none. He was explicitly a foe of the Constitution, because it kept him from autocratic rule 'for our benefit.' Direct autocratic power in the hands of Woodrow Wilson would have submerged the nation in a tide of tyranny and blood worse than what Prohibition wrought.


Nope he has a modern rival for worst president: Obama. Obama is a modern rival of Wilson's for worst president for precisely the same reasons. They share the same set of beliefs and their presidencies had much the same results. It's just that in Wilson's day the US wasn't a global power yet and his impact was actually less bad than that of Obama.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:14 am 
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David Newton wrote:
Nope he has a modern rival for worst president: Obama. Obama is a modern rival of Wilson's for worst president for precisely the same reasons. They share the same set of beliefs and their presidencies had much the same results. It's just that in Wilson's day the US wasn't a global power yet and his impact was actually less bad than that of Obama.

Obama, for all his faults, probably hasn't set the scene for another world war. Unlike Wilson, Obama, another Nobel Peace Prize winner, mostly voted present in international affairs.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:39 am 
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DaveAAA wrote:
David Newton wrote:
Nope he has a modern rival for worst president: Obama. Obama is a modern rival of Wilson's for worst president for precisely the same reasons. They share the same set of beliefs and their presidencies had much the same results. It's just that in Wilson's day the US wasn't a global power yet and his impact was actually less bad than that of Obama.

Obama, for all his faults, probably hasn't set the scene for another world war. Unlike Wilson, Obama, another Nobel Peace Prize winner, mostly voted present in international affairs.


I'd dispute that conclusion. Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Ukraine. All crises made worse by Obama's actions or inactions. All of the crises have a real possiblity to spark a very large war. The chances of a world war are much lower, but that's thanks to nukes being involved and mitigating against great powers directly fighting one another. Conversely the chances of a very large, and very nasty war being sparked have increased dramatically thanks to Obama and his stupidity, incompetence and hubris.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:04 pm 
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DaveAAA wrote:
David Newton wrote:
Nope he has a modern rival for worst president: Obama. Obama is a modern rival of Wilson's for worst president for precisely the same reasons. They share the same set of beliefs and their presidencies had much the same results. It's just that in Wilson's day the US wasn't a global power yet and his impact was actually less bad than that of Obama.

Obama, for all his faults, probably hasn't set the scene for another world war. Unlike Wilson, Obama, another Nobel Peace Prize winner, mostly voted present in international affairs.


The treasonous Criminal Zerobama, through his Iran deals, has all but guaranteed a nuclear war in our lifetime. His inaction on Korea has raised the risk on the Korean peninsula. His destabilization of the Middle East has supercharged the colonist crisis in Europe.

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